Wieland and Byron (both exalted poets, the first old, the second in full youth) stroll through the Park on the Ilm river, in Weimar. Suddenly, Wieland lowers his head and discovers a penny coin on the ground.
-Look, Byron! A pfennig!
With an expression of great joy, he picks it up and pocketed it.
-As always, Mrs. Schopenhauer was right. Last week she read my palm and predicted that very soon I would pocket unexpected money.
-This afternoon I will attend her salon. They say it’s very busy lately.
-Yes, it’s because of the reading of palms. She never fails.
Wieland looks curiously at the palm of his hands.
-I wonder how she does it. As much as I look at my palms, I don’t perceive anything else that they need a good wash.
-In Manchester I met a gypsy who read the foot soles
-Bah, Mrs. Schopenhauer beats the hell out of your gypsy.
-Well, I’ve been told that last week she failed in a prediction with a member of her family.
-Bah, you mean that airhead Arthur. He’d better keep out of sight tonight. It would be embarrassing.
-Who is Arthur?
-Mrs Schopenhauer’s son. It’s like a rock in the shoe. A little chat with him and you end up so depressed that you feel like shooting yourself. I’ve never met such a Jonah.
-I thought mother and son didn’t get along.
-And so it is. They hate each other.
-And how is it that he now lives in her home?
-He convalesces from a serious accident. Well, accident … That’s the official version, but what really happened is that he threw himself out the window.
-I was present. He did it to discredit his mother as a palmist. She had just read his palm and predicted that in the short term he shouldn’t worry about his health.
-Wow. That man is dangerous.
-Especially for himself.
Byron looks around the landscape that surrounds them and breathes a sigh.
-How beautiful is Nature, eh Wieland?
-I think so. But it’s also dangerous sometimes.
-Why do you say this?
-Don’t you know what happened to Novalis?
-I’ve just arrived from England. How would I know?
-One night there was a storm. Novalis didn’t want to witness that wonder from the comfort of his window and he went out into the open. He was reciting an ode to the unleashed forces of Nature when lightning struck him.
-Good heavens! I hope he escaped unscathed!
-Only a slight tic has remained: he can’t stop fluttering his ears.
-Poor thing!
-Herta says it looks good on him. And speaking of women, it’s rumoured that you have a new romance.
-Don’t talk like that! She is not any romance! She’s the One, my Soul Mate, the woman with whom I’m going to share the rest of my life, and then all eternity!
-Yes, you always say that, but then they last you three days.
-And the third day seems like an eternity… But this one is different.
-Yes, you also always say that. Just admit it for once!
-What should I admit?
-That you are a womanizer.
-Never! I’m looking for my Soul Mate. It is a matter of trial and error.
Wieland points to the horizon.
-Over there it’s getting dark. I bet a storm is coming.
-Then, we’d better come back running. I don’t want to happen to me what happened to Novalis. It wouldn’t look good on me to flap my ears continuously.
They both start running.

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Park an der Ilm

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