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174

(1913) [MARC] Author: August Strindberg Translator: Claud Field
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“Leave us, O damned soul, and do not
bring avenging demons on our innocent heads.”
Everything goes to pieces; my last remaining
happiness, the companionship of my little
daughter, is taken from me, and in the gloomy
silence I mentally bid the world adieu.

After the evening meal I withdraw to the
once rose-coloured—now black—room and prepare,
since I feel myself threatened, for a night-battle.
With whom? I know not, but challenge
the Invisible, be it diabolic or divine, and will
wrestle with It, like Jacob with the angel. There
is a knock at the door. It is my mother-in-law,
who forebodes a bad night for me, and invites me
to sleep on the sofa in her sitting-room. “The
presence of the child will safeguard you,” she
says. I thank her and assure her there is no
danger, and that nothing can frighten me so
long as my conscience is untroubled. With a
smile she wishes me good-night.

I put on my martial cloak, boots and cap
again, determined to lie down dressed and ready
to die like a brave warrior who despises life
and challenges death. About eleven o’clock the
air in the room begins to grow dense, and a
deadly fear masters my courageous heart. I
open the window. The draught threatens to

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