- Project Runeberg -  The Inferno /
175

(1913) [MARC] Author: August Strindberg Translator: Claud Field
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blow out the lamp. I close it again. The lamp
begins to make a sound between a sigh and a
moan; then all is still again.

A dog in the village howls. According to
popular superstition, this is a sign of death. I
look out of the window; only the Great Bear is
visible. Down there in the poorhouse a light
is burning; an old woman is sitting bent over
her work, as though she were waiting for her
release; perhaps she fears sleep and its dreams.
Weary, I lie down again on the bed, and try to
sleep. At once the old game recommences. An
electric stream seeks my heart; my lungs cease
to work; I must rise or die. I sit down on a
chair, but am too exhausted to be able to read,
and spend half an hour thus in listless vacancy.
Then I resolve to go for a walk till daybreak.
I leave the house. The night is dark and the
village asleep, but the dogs are not. One attacks
me, and then the whole band surrounds me;
their wide-open jaws and fiery eyes compel me
to retreat.

When I open the door of my room and enter,
it seems to me as though it were full of hostile
living creatures through whom I must force my
way in order to reach my bed. Resigned, and
resolved to die, I throw myself upon it. But

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