The Triple Warning part 3

The youth shrugged his shoulders:

“How, Oin visible spirit, can I deny that all this that thou prophesiest will come to pass, since on earth one thing always follows from another, and often the most terrible events are caused by the most trivial things, and the most trivial events by the most terrible things?

And why should 1 believe this particular prophecy, since the other, threatening me with death should I mount these steps, has not come to pass?”

“lie who mounts those steps,” rang out the terrible voice, “must turn back and descend them, if he wishes to mix with mankind again.
I Issi thou pondered that?”

The youth stopped suddenly and for a moment it seemed as though he would take the safe path downwards, but fearing the impenetrable night that encircled him, he clearly perceived that for so hazardous an enterprise he would require the light of day, and in order to make sure that he would have all his wits at his command on

The Triple Warning part 2

Where upon came a great sound as of thunder from the mountain sides, and at the same time exceeding close at hand:

“Youth, thou arrest!” And the overpowering weight of the words felled the wanderer. He stretched himself out on the edge of rock as though he intended to rest there, and with an ironical curl of the lips he said half to himself:

“So it appears that I have committed murder without knowing it!” “Thy careless foot has crushed a worm,” the answer thundered back. And the youth answered with indifference:

“I see: neither a good nor an evil spirit spoke to me, but a spirit with a sense of humor. I was not aware that such hovered about among us mortals.”

And again the voice resounded in the fading twilight of the heights: “Art thou then no longer the same youth whose heart only this morning thrilled to the rhythmical beat of all the world? Is thy soul so dead that thou art untouched by the happiness and sorrow of even a

The Triple Warning part 1

Arthur Schnitzler (1862 – 1931)

Arthur Schnitzler, born in Vienna in 1862, was one of the most distinguished figures in Austrian literature, and a dramatist and fiction writer of international renown. His delicately written and finely conceived short stories are among the very best of their kind. The Triple Warning is a philosophical and metaphysical parable related in the author`s best and most brilliant style.

The present version is translated especially for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, from the volume Masks and Miracles.

The Triple Warning

In the morning mist, shot through with the blue of the heavens, a youth was making his way toward the beckoning mountains. His heart thrilled to the rhythmical beat of all the world. Without a care or Worry he went on for hours over the level country when, on reaching (lie edge of a forest, a voice rang out, sounding at once near at hand and far off, and very mysterious: