- Project Runeberg -  The Inferno /
176

(1913) [MARC] Author: August Strindberg Translator: Claud Field
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at the last moment, when the invisible vulture
is about to stifle me under its wings, someone
lifts me up, and the pursuit of the furies is at
an end. Conquered, hurled to the earth, beaten
down, I quit the scene of an unequal battle and
yield to the invisible. I knock at the door on
the other side of the passage. My mother-in-law,
who is still at prayer, opens the door. The
expression of her face as she looks at me makes me
feel afraid of myself.

“What do you wish, my child?”

“I wish to die, and then to be burnt, or rather,
burn me alive!”

She does not answer. She has understood me,
and sympathy and pity conquer her fear, so
that she prepares the sofa for me with her own
hand. Then she retires to her own room where
she sleeps with the child. Through a
chance—always this Satanic chance!—the sofa stands
opposite the window, and the same chance has
willed that it has no curtains, so that the black
window opening gapes at me. Moreover, it is
the very same window through which the wind
gust came when we were at supper. With all
my powers exhausted, I sink on the sofa. I curse
this ever-present, unavoidable “chance” which
persecutes me with the obvious purpose of

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