But, it’s too late.
After his unannounced visit to the harbor pilot’s home, where Tony has fallen in love with the harbor pilot’s son, the adults have intervened. Both Tony’s father, and her young love’s father, have declared their romance foolishness, and tomfoolery, and Tony is brought home where she consoles herself by agreeing to marry Herr Grunlich.
I don’t trust Herr Grunlich. His speech is as gilded as his curled mutton chop whiskers. He reeks of falseness, and worse, deceit. He has tricked his way into the family, and his bride into obeying her father, and even the bride’s mother knows that future happiness is nebulous.
“Do you think she’ll be happy with him?” (she asks her husband as the nuptial carriage drives away.)
“Ah, Bethsy, she is at peace with herself, and that is the most solid kind of happiness we can achieve on earth.” (Part 3, Chapter 14)
Hmmm…sometimes, I think peace is overrated. I have sought it often in my life, and it has been a worthy goal. But, it is not without sacrifice. Peace brings with it a quiet blanket to wrap oneself in. Yet one is at the same time shrouded from excitement.
I fear Tony’s sacrifice will be worse than that. I fear her future is doomed.
(I am reading Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann for German Lit Month. It is a wonderful way to spend November nights.)