Title: Journey to the East
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 Material Information
Title: Journey to the East
Series Title: Journey to the East
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Hesse, Hermann, 1877-1962
Rosner, Hilda ( Translator )
Publisher: Pete Owen, Ltd.
Vision Press, Ltd.
Place of Publication: London
London
Manufacturer: Boscombe Printing Co., Ltd.
Publication Date: 1956
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00023422
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAB3071
ltuf - AJF5618
oclc - 03066743
alephbibnum - 001742893

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THE JOURNEY
TO THE
EAST








By the same author:
MAGISTER LUDI
Nobel Prize Novel
SIDDHARTHA
GERTRUDE
and others





HERMANN HESSE



THE JOURNEY

TO THE

EAST

Translated by
HILDA ROSNER


Peter Owen Vision Press
,- Londo'n








Published jointly by
PETER OWEN LIMITED
50 Old Brompton Road
London SW 7 and
VISION PRESS LIMITED
Saxone House 74a Regent
Street London W 1








Translated from the German
Die Morgenlandfahrt









Made and printed in Great Britain by
Boscombe Printing Co. (1933) Ltd., Bournemouth
MCMLVI

















As I was destined to join in a great experience, as
I have had the good fortune to belong to the League
and have been allowed to be a participant in that
unique journey, the wonder of which then had a
meteor-like radiance, and later was forgotten so
quickly, which, indeed, even fell into disrepute, I
have decided to attempt a short description of this
fabulous journey, a journey which since the days of
Hugo and mad Roland, has not been attempted again
until our remarkable times, the troubled, confused,
and yet so very fertile times since the World War.
I do not think that I am under any illusion about the
difficulties of my attempt; they are very great and
are not only of a subjective nature, although these
alone would be considerable. For not only do I no
longer possess the tokens, mementos, documents and
diaries relating to the journey, but in the difficult
years of misfortune, sickness and deep affliction which
have elapsed since then, a large number of my
recollections have also vanished. As a result of the
blows of Fate and continual discouragement, my
memory as well as my confidence in these earlier








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


vivid recollections have become impaired. But apart
from these purely personal notes, I am handicapped
because of my former vow to the League; for
although this vow permits unrestricted communica-
tion of my personal experiences, it forbids any
disclosures about the League itself. And even though
the League seems to have had no visible existence
for a long time and I have not seen any of its
members again, no allurement or threat in the world
would induce me to break my vow. On the contrary,
if today or tomorrow I had to appear before a court-
martial and was given the option of dying or divulg-
ing the secret of the League, I would joyously seal
my vow to the League with death.
It can be noted here that since the travel diary
of Count Keyserling, several books have appeared in
which the authors, partly unconsciously, but also
partly deliberately, have given the impression that
they are brothers of the League and had taken part
in the Journey to the East. Incidentally, even the
adventurous travel accounts of Ossendowski come
under this justifiable suspicion. But they all have
nothing to do with the League and our Journey to
the East, or at any rate, no more than ministers of
a small sanctimonious sect have to do with the
Saviour, the Apostles and the Holy Ghost to whom
they refer for special favour and membership. Even
if Count Keyserling really sailed round the world








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


with ease, and if Ossendowski actually traversed the
countries he described, yet their journeys were not
remarkable and they discovered no new territory,
whereas at certain stages of our Journey to the East,
although the common-place aids of modem travel
such as railways, steamers, telegraph, automobiles,
aeroplanes, etc., were renounced, we penetrated into
the heroic and magical. It was shortly after the
World War, and the beliefs of the conquered nations
were in an extraordinary state of unreality. There
was a readiness to believe in things beyond reality
even though only a few barriers were actually over-
come and few advances made into the realm of a
future psychiatry. Our journey at that time across
the Moon Ocean to Famagusta under the leadership
of Albert the Great, or say, the discovery of the
Butterfly Island, twelve leagues beyond Zipangu, or
the inspiring league ceremony at Rudiger's grave-
those were deeds and experiences which were allotted
once only to people of our time and zone.
I see that I am already coming up against one of
the greatest obstacles in my account. The heights
to which our deeds rose, the spiritual plane of
experience to which they belong might be made
proportionately more comprehensible to the reader if
it were permitted to disclose to him the essence of
the League's secret. But a great deal, perhaps every-
thing, will remain incredible and incomprehensible








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


to him. The paradox alone must always be accepted
that the seemingly impossible must continually be
attempted. I agree with Siddhartha, our wise friend
from the East, who once said: "Words do not
express thoughts very well; everything immediately
becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little
foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right
that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems
nonsense to another." Even centuries ago the mem-
bers and historians of our League recognized and
courageously faced up to this difficulty. One of the
greatest of them gave expression to it in an immortal
verse :
"He who travels far will often see things
Far removed from what he believed was Truth.
When he talks about it in the fields at home,
He is often accused of lying,
For the obdurate people will not believe
What they do not see and distinctly feel.
Inexperience, I believe,
Will give little credence to my song."
This inexperience has also created the position
where, now that publicity is being given to our
journey which once roused thousands to ecstasy, it
is not only forgotten but a real taboo is imposed
upon its recollection. History is rich in examples of
a similar kind. The whole of world history often








,THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


seems to me nothing more than a picture-book which
portrays humanity's most powerful and senseless
desire-the desire to forget. Does not each genera-
tion, by means of suppression, concealment and
ridicule, efface what the previous generation con-
sidered most important ? Have we not just had the
experience that a long, horrible, monstrous war has
been forgotten, gainsaid, distorted and dismissed by
all nations ? And now that they have had a short
respite, are not the same nations trying to recall by
means of exciting war novels what they themselves
caused and endured a few years ago ? In the same
way, the day of re-discovery will come for the deeds
and sorrows of our League, which are now either
forgotten or are a laughing-stock in the world, and
my notes should make a small contribution towards
it.
One of the characteristics of the Journey to the
East was that although the League aimed at quite
definite, very lofty goals during this journey (they
belong to the secret category and are therefore not
communicable), yet every single participant could
have his own private goals. Indeed, he had to have
them; for no one was included who did not have
such private goals, and every single one of us, while
appearing to share common ideals and goals and to
fight under a common flag, carried his own fond
childhood dream within his heart as a source of








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


inner strength and comfort. My own goal for the
journey, about which the President questioned me
before my acceptance into the League, was a simple
one, but many members of the League had set them-
selves goals which, although I respected, I could not
fully understand. For example, one of them was a
treasure-seeker and he thought of nothing else but
of winning a great treasure which he called Tao ".
Still another had conceived the idea of capturing a
certain snake to which he attributed magical powers
and which he called Kundalini. My own journey and
life-goal, which had coloured my dreams since my
late boyhood, was to see the beautiful Princess
Fatima and, if possible, to win her love.
At the time that I had the good fortune to join
the League-that is, immediately after the end of
the World War-our country was full of saviours,
prophets and disciples, of presentiments about the
end of the world, or hopes for the dawn of a Third
Empire. Shattered by the war, in despair as a result
of deprivation and hunger, greatly disillusioned by the
seeming futility of all the sacrifices in blood and
goods, our people at that time were lured by many
phantoms, but there were also many real spiritual
advances. There were Bacchanalian dance societies
and Anabaptist groups, there was one thing after
another that seemed to point to what was wonderful
and beyond the veil. There was also at that time a








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


widespread leaning towards Indian, ancient Persian
and other Eastern mysteries and religions, and all
this gave most people the impression that our ancient
League was one of the many newly-blossomed cults,
and that after a few years it would also be partly
forgotten, despised and decried. The faithful amongst
its disciples cannot dispute this.
How well do I remember the hour when, after the
expiration of my probation year, I presented myself
before the High Throne. I was given insight to the
project of the Journey to the East, and after I had
dedicated myself, body and soul, to this project, I
was asked in a friendly way what I personally hoped
to gain from this journey into the legendary realm.
Although blushing somewhat, I confessed frankly
and unhesitatingly to the assembled officials that it
was my heart's desire to be allowed to see Princess
Fatima. The Speaker, interpreting the allusion,
gently placed his hand on my head and uttered the
formula which confirmed my admission as a member
of the League. "Anima pia," he said and bade me
be constant in faith, courageous in danger, and to
love my fellow-men. Well-schooled during my year's
probation, I took the oath, renounced the world and
its superstitions and had the League ring placed on
my finger to the words from one of the most beautiful
chapters in our League's history:








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


"On earth and in the air, in water and in fire,
The spirits are subservient to him,
His glance frightens and tames the wildest beasts,
And even the anti-Christian must approach him
with awe. . etc."
To my great pleasure, immediately on admission
to the League, we novitiates were given insight to
our prospects. For instance, on following the direc-
tions of the officials to attach myself to one of the
groups of ten people who were en route throughout
the country to join the League's expedition, one of
the League's secrets immediately became vividly clear
to me. I realized that I had joined a pilgrimage to
the East, seemingly a definite and single pilgrimage--
but in reality, in its broadest sense, this expedition
to the East was not only mine and now; this pro-
cession of believers and disciples had always and
incessantly been moving towards the East, towards
the Home of Light. Throughout the centuries it had
been on the way, towards light and wonder, and each
member, each group, indeed our whole host and its
great pilgrimage, was only a wave in the eternal
stream of human beings, of the eternal strivings of
the human spirit towards the East, towards Home.
The knowledge passed through my mind like a ray
of light and immediately reminded me of a phrase
which I had learned during my novitiate year, which
had always pleased me immensely without my








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


realising its full significance. It was a phrase by the
poet Novalis, "Where are we really going ? Always
home! "
Meantime, our group had set off on its travels;
soon we encountered other groups, and the feeling
of unity and a common goal gave us increasing
happiness. Faithful to our instructions, we lived like
pilgrims and made no use of those contrivances
which spring into existence in a world illuded by
money, number and time, and which drain life of its
content; mechanical contrivances such as railways,
watches and the like came chiefly into this category.
Another unanimously observed rule bade us visit and
pay homage to all places and associations relating to
the ancient history of our League and its faith. We
visited and honoured all sacred places and monu-
ments, churches and consecrated tombstones which
we came across on our way; chapels and altars were
adorned with flowers; ruins were honoured with
songs or silent contemplation; the dead were com-
memorated with music and prayers. It was not
unusual for us to be mocked at and disturbed by
unbelievers, but it also happened often enough that
priests blessed us and invited us to be their guests,
that children enthusiastically joined us, learned our
songs and saw us depart with tears in their eyes;
that an old man would show us forgotten monu-
ments or tell us a legend about his district; that








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


youths would walk with us part of the way and desire
to join the League. The latter, were given advice and
apprised of the first rites and practices of novitiates.
We were aware of the first wonders, partly through
seeing them with our own eyes and partly through
unexpected accounts and legends. One day, when I
was still quite a new member, someone suddenly
mentioned that the giant Agramant was a guest in
our leaders' tent, and was trying to persuade them
to make their way across Africa in order to liberate
some League members from Moorish captivity.
Another time we saw the Goblin, the pitch-maker,
the comforter, and we presumed that we should
make our way towards the Blue Pot. However, the
first amazing phenomenon which I saw with my own
eyes was when we had stopped for prayer and rest
at an old half-ruined Chapel in the region of
Spaichendorf; on the only undamaged wall of the
Chapel there was painted a very large picture of
Saint Christopher, and on his shoulder, small, and
half-faded from old age, sat the Child Saviour. The
leaders, as was sometimes their custom, did not
simply propose the direction we should take, but
invited us all to give our opinion, for the Chapel lay
at a three-direction signpost and we had the choice.
Only a few of us expressed a wish or gave advice,
but one person pointed to the left and urgently
requested that we should choose this path. We were








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


all silent then and waited for our leaders' decision,
when Saint Christopher raised his arm holding the
long, thick staff and pointed to the left where our
brother desired to go. We all watched this in silence,
and silently the leaders turned to the left and went
along this path, and we all followed with the utmost
pleasure.
We had not been long on our way in Swabia when
a power which we had not thought about became
noticeable. We had felt its influence strongly for
rather a long time without quite knowing whether it
was friendly or hostile. It was the power of the
guardians of the crown who, since olden times, had
preserved the memory and inheritance of the Hohen-
staufen in that country. I do not know whether our
leaders knew more about it and had any instructions
regarding it. I only know that we received many
exhortations and warnings from them, such as on
the hill on the way to Bopfingen where we met a
hoary old warrior; he shook his grey head with his
eyes closed and disappeared again without leaving
any trace. Our leaders took notice of the warning;
we turned back and did not go to Bopfingen. On
the other hand, it happened in the neighbourhood
of Urach that an ambassador of the crown guardians
appeared in our leaders' tent as if sprung from out
of the ground, and with promises and threats tried
to induce them to put our expedition at the service








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


of the Staufen, and indeed to make preparations for
the conquest of Sicily. When the leaders firmly
refused this demand, he said he would put a dreadful
curse on the League and on our expedition. And yet
I am only reporting what was whispered among our-
selves ; the leaders themselves did not mention a word
about it. Still, it seems possible that it was our
uncertain relationship with the guardians of the
crown which, for a long time, gave our League the
unmerited reputation of being a secret society for the
restoration of the monarchy.
On one occasion I also had the experience of
seeing one of my comrades entertain doubts; he
renounced his vow and relapsed into disbelief. He
was a young man whom I had liked very much. His
personal reason for joining the expedition to the
East was his desire to see the coffin of the prophet
Mohammed from which, it had been said, he could
by magic rise freely into the air. In one of those
Swabian or Alemannic small towns where we stopped
for a few days, because an opposition of Saturn and
the moon checked our progress, this unfortunate man,
who had seemed sad and restless for some time, met
one of his former teachers to whom he had remained
very attached since his schooldays. This teacher was
successful in again making the young man see our
cause in the light which it appears to unbelievers.
After one of these visits to the teacher, the poor man








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


came back to our camp in a dreadful state of excite-
ment and with a distorted countenance. He made a
commotion outside the leaders' tent, and when the
Speaker came out he shouted at him angrily that he
had had enough of this ridiculous expedition which
would never bring us to the East; he had had enough
of the journey being interrupted for days because of
stupid astrological considerations; he was more than
tired of idleness, of childish wanderings, of floral
ceremonies, of attaching importance to magic, of the
intermingling of life and poetry; he would throw the
ring at the leaders' feet, take his leave and return by
the trusty railway to his home and his useful work.
It was an ugly and lamentable sight. We were filled
with shame and yet at the same time pitied the mis-
guided man. The Speaker listened to him kindly,
stooped with a smile for the discarded ring, and said
in a quiet, cheerful voice which must have put the
blustering man to shame: "You have said good-bye
to us and want to return to the railway, to common-
sense and useful work. You have said good-bye to
the League, to the expedition to the East, good-bye
to magic, to floral festivals, to poetry. You are
absolved from your vow."
"Also from the vow of silence ? cried the deserter.
Yes, also from the vow of silence," answered the
Speaker. "Remember, you vowed to keep silent
about the secret of the League to unbelievers. As we








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


see you have forgotten the secret, you will not be
able to pass it on to anyone."
"I have forgotten something! I have forgotten
nothing," cried the young man, but became uncertain,
and as the Speaker turned his back on him and with-
drew to the tent, he suddenly ran quickly away.
We were sorry, but the days were crammed so full
with events that I quickly forgot him. But it hap-
pened some time later, when none of us thought
about him any more, that we heard the inhabitants
of several villages and towns through which we
passed, talk about this same youth. A young man
had been there (and they described him accurately
and mentioned his name) who had been looking for
us everywhere. First he had said that he belonged to
us, had stayed behind on the journey and had lost
his way. Then he began to weep and stated that he
had been unfaithful to us and had run away, but
now he realized that he could no longer live outside
the League; he wished to, and indeed must, find us
in order to go down on his knees before the leaders
and beg to be forgiven. We heard this tale told again
here, there, and everywhere; wherever we went, the
wretched man had just been there. We asked the
Speaker what he thought about it and what would be
the outcome. "I do not think that he will find us,"
said the Speaker briefly. And he did not find us. We
did not see him again.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


Once, when one of the leaders had drawn me into
a confidential conversation, I gathered courage and
asked him how things stood with this renegade
brother. After all, he was penitent and was looking
for us, I said; we ought to help him redeem his.
error. No doubt, he would in the future be the most
loyal member of the League. The leader said: "We
should be happy if he did find his way back to us,
but we cannot aid him. He has made it very difficult
for himself to have faith again. I fear that he would
not see and recognize us even if we passed close by
him; he has become blind. Repentance alone does
not help. Grace cannot be bought with repentance;
it cannot be bought at all. A similar thing has
already happened to many other people; great and
famous men have shared the same fate as this young
man. Once in their youth the light shone for them;
they saw the light and followed the star, but
then came reason and the mockery of the world;
then came faint-heartedness and apparent failure;
then came weariness and disillusionment, and so they
lost their way again, they became blind again. Some
of them have spent the rest of their lives looking for
us again, but could not find us. They have then told
the world that our League is only a pretty legend
and people should not be misled by it. Others have
become our deadly enemies and have abused and
harmed the League in every possible way."








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


There were wonderful festive days each time we
encountered other parties of the League's hosts on
our way; sometimes we then formed a camp of
hundreds, even thousands. The expedition did not,
in fact, proceed in any fixed order with participants
moving in the same direction in more or less closed
columns. On the contrary, numerous groups were
simultaneously on the way, each following their own
leaders and their own stars, each one always ready
to merge into a greater unit and belong to it for a
time, but always no less ready to move on again
separately. Some went on their way quite alone. I
also walked alone at times, whenever some sign or
call tempted me to go my own way.
I remember a select little group with which we
travelled and camped together for some days; this
group had undertaken to liberate some captive
League brothers and the Princess Isabella from the
hands of the Moors. It was said that they were in
possession of Hugo's horn, and among them were
my friends the poet Lauscher and the artists Klingsor
and Paul Klee; they spoke of nothing else but Africa
and the captured princess, and their Bible was the
book of the deeds of Don Quixote, in whose honour
they thought of making their way across Spain.
It was very pleasant whenever we met one of these
groups, to attend their feasts and devotions and to
invite them to ours, to hear about their deeds and








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


plans, to bless and know them on parting ; they went
their way, we went ours. Each one of them had his
own dream, his wish, his secret heart's desire, and
yet they all flowed together in the great stream and
all belonged to each other, shared the same reverence
and the same faith, and had made the same vow!
I met Jup, the magician, who proposed to gather the
fortune of his life in Kashmir; I met Collofine, the
sorcerer, quoting his favourite passage from the
Adventures of Simplicissimus; I met Louis the
Terrible, who dreamt of planting an olive-grove in
the Holy Land and keeping slaves. He went arm-in-
arm with Anselm, who was in search of the purple
iris of his childhood. I met and loved Ninon, known
as "the foreigner." Dark eyes gleamed beneath her
black hair. She was jealous of Fatima, the princess
of my dreams, and yet she was probably Fatima
herself without my knowing it. And as we moved
on, so had once pilgrims, emperors and crusaders
moved on to liberate the Saviour's grave, or to study
Arabian magic; Spanish knights had travelled this
way, as well as German scholars, Irish monks and
French poets.
I, whose calling was really only that of a violinist
and story-teller, was responsible for the provision of
music for our group, and I then discovered how a
long time devoted to small details exalts us and
increases our strength. I did not only play the violin








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


and conduct our choirs, but also collected old songs
and chorals. I wrote motets and madrigals for six
and eight voices and practised them. But I will not
give you details of these.
I was very fond of many of my comrades and
leaders, but not one of them subsequently occupied
my thoughts as much as Leo, while at that time he
was apparently hardly noticed. Leo was one of our
servants (who were naturally volunteers, as we
were). He helped to carry the luggage and was often
assigned to the personal service of the Speaker. This
unaffected man had something so pleasing, so
unobtrusively winning about him that everyone loved
him. He did his work gaily, usually sang or whistled
as he went along, was never seen except when needed
-in fact, an ideal servant. Furthermore, all animals
were attached to him. We nearly always had some
dog or other with us which joined us on account of
Leo; he could tame birds and attract butterflies to
him. It was his desire for Solomon's key which would
enable him to understand the language of the birds
that had drawn him to the East. This servant Leo
worked in a very simple and natural manner,
friendly in an unassuming way, alongside the many
forms of our League, which, without doing harm
to the value and sincerity of the League, had
within them something exalting, something singular,
solemn, or fantastic. What makes my account








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


particularly difficult is the great disparity in my
individual recollections. I have already said that
sometimes we marched along only as a small group;
sometimes we formed a troop or even an army, but
sometimes I remained in a district with only a few
friends, or even quite alone, without tents, without
leaders and without a Speaker. My tale becomes
even more difficult because we not only wandered
through Space, but also through Time. We moved
towards the East, but we also travelled into the
Middle Ages and the Golden Age; we roamed
through Italy or Switzerland, but at times we also
spent the night in the 10th century and dwelt with
the patriarchs or the fairies. During the times I
remained alone, I often found again places and
people of my own past. I wandered with my former
betrothed along the edges of the forest of the Upper
Rhine, caroused with friends of my youth in
Tiibingen, in Basle or in Florence, or I was a boy
and went with my school-friends to catch butterflies
or to watch an otter, or my company consisted of the
beloved characters of my books; Almansor and
Parsifal, Witiko or Goldmund rode by my side, or
Sancho Panza, or we were guests at the Barmekides.
When I found my way back to our group in some
valley or another, heard the League's songs and
camped by the leaders' tents, it was immediately clear
to me that my excursion into my childhood and my








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


ride with Sancho belonged essentially to this journey.
For our goal was not only the East, or rather the
East was not only a country and something geo-
graphical, but it was the home and youth of the soul,
it was everywhere and nowhere, it was the union
of all times. Yet I was only aware of this for a
moment, and therein lay the reason for my great
happiness at that time. Later, when I had lost this
happiness again, I clearly understood these con-
nections without deriving the slightest benefit or
comfort from them. When something precious and
irretrievable is lost, we have the feeling of having
awakened from a dream. In my case this feeling is
strangely correct, for my happiness did indeed arise
from the same secret as the happiness in dreams; it
arose from the freedom to experience everything
imaginable simultaneously, to exchange outward and
inward easily, to move Time and Space about like
scenes in a theatre. And as we League brothers
travelled throughout the world without motor-cars
or ships, as we conquered the war-shattered world
by our faith and transformed it into Paradise, we
creatively brought the past, the future and the
fictitious into the present moment.
And again and again, in Swabia, at Bodensee, in
Switzerland, everywhere, we met people who under-
stood us, or were in some way thankful that we and
our League and our Journey to the East existed.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


Amid the tramways and banks of Zirich we came
across Noah's Ark guarded by several old dogs which
all had the same name, and which were bravely
guided across the shallow waters of a calm period by
Hans C. to Noah's descendant, to the friend of the
arts. We went to Winterthur, down into Stocklin's
Magic Closet; we were guests in the Chinese Temple
where the incense holders gleamed beneath the
bronze Maja and the black king played the flute
sweetly to the vibrating tone of the temple gong.
And at the foot of the Sun Mountains we came across
Suon Mali, a colony of the King of Siam, where,
amongst the stone and brazen Buddhas, we offered
up our libations and incense as grateful guests.
One of the most beautiful experiences was the
League's celebration in Bremgarten ; the magic circle
surrounded us closely there. Received by Max and
Tilli, the lords of the castle, we heard Othmar play
Mozart on the grand-piano in the lofty hall. We
found the grounds occupied by parrots and other
talking birds. We heard the fairy Armida sing at
the fountain. With blown locks the heavy head of
the astrologer Longus nodded by the side of the
beloved countenance of Henry of Ofterdingen. In
the garden, the peacocks screeched, and Louis con-
versed in Spanish with Puss in Boots, while Hans
Resom, shaken after his peeps into the masked game
of life, vowed he would go on a pilgrimage to the








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


grave of Charles the Great. It was one of the
triumphant periods of our journey ; we had brought
the magic wave with us; it cleansed everything.
The native paid homage on his knees to beauty, the
lord of the castle produced a poem which dealt with
our evening activities. The animals from the forest
lurked close to the castle walls, and in the river the
gleaming fishes moved in lively swarms and were fed
with cakes and wine.
The best of these experiences really worth relating
are those which reflect the spirit of it. My description
of them seems poor and perhaps foolish, but everyone
who participated in and celebrated the days at Brem-
garten would confirm every single detail and supple-
ment them with hundreds which are more beautiful. I
shall always remember how the peacocks' tails shim-
mered when the moon rose amongst the tall trees,
and on the shady bank the emerging mermaids
gleamed fresh and silvery amongst the rocks; how
Don Quixote stood alone under the chestnut-tree by
the fountain and held his first night-watch while the
last Roman candles of the firework display fell so
softly over the castle's turrets in the moonlight, and
my colleague Pablo, adorned with roses, played the
Persian reed-pipe to the girls. Oh, which of us ever
thought that the magic circle would break up so
soon! That almost all of us-and also I, even I-
should again lose myself in the soundless deserts of








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


mapped out reality, just like officials and shop-
assistants who, after a party or a Sunday outing,
adapt themselves again to everyday business life!
In those days none of us was capable of such
thoughts. From the castle's turrets of Bremgarten,
the fragrance of lilac entered my bedroom. I heard
the river flowing beyond the trees. I climbed out of
the window in the depth of the night, intoxicated
with happiness and yearning. I stole past the knight
on guard and the sleeping banqueters down to the
river-bank, to the flowing waters, to the white,
gleaming mermaids. They took me down with them
into the cool, moonlit crystal world of their home,
where they played dreamily with the crowns and
golden chains from their treasure-chambers. It
seemed to me that I spent months in the sparkling
depths and when I emerged and swam ashore,
thoroughly chilled, Pablo's reed-pipe was still to be
heard from the garden far away, and the moon was
still high in the sky. I saw Leo playing with two
white poodles, his clever, boyish face radiating
happiness. I found Longus sitting in the wood. On
his knees was a book of parchment in which he was
writing Greek and Hebrew characters; dragons flew
out of the letters, and coloured snakes reared them-
selves. He did not look at me; he went on painting,
absorbed in his coloured snake-writing. For a long
time I looked over his bent shoulders into the book.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


I saw the snakes and dragons emerge from his
writing, whirl about and silently disappear into the
dark wood. "Longus," I said to him softly, "dear
friend! He did not hear me, my world was far
from his. And quite apart, under the moonlit trees,
Anselm wandered about with an iris in his hand;
lost in thought, he stared and smiled at the flower's
purple calyx.
Something that I had observed several times during
our journey, without having fully considered it,
impressed me again during the days at Bremgarten,
strangely and rather painfully. There were amongst
us many artists, painters, musicians and poets.
Ardent Klingsor was there and restless Hugo Wolf,
taciturn Lauscher and vivacious Brentano -but
however animated and lovable the personalities of
these artists were, yet without exception their
imaginary characters were more animated, more
beautiful, happier and certainly finer and more real
than the poets and creators themselves. Pablo sat
there with his flute in enchanting innocence and joy,
but his poet slipped away like a shadow to the river-
bank, half-transparent in the moonlight, seeking
solitude. Stumbling and rather drunk, Hoffman ran
here and there amongst the guests, talking a great
deal, small and elfish, and he also, like all of them,
was only half-real, only half there, not quite solid,








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


not quite real. At the same time, the archivist Lind-
horst, playing at dragons for a joke, continually
breathed fire and discharged energy like an auto-
mobile. I asked the servant Leo why it was that
artists sometimes appeared to be only half-alive,
while their creations seemed so irrefutably alive.
Leo looked at me, surprised at my question. Then
he released the poodle he was holding in his arms
and said: "It is just the same with mothers. When
they have borne their children and given them their
milk and beauty and strength, they themselves
become invisible, and no one asks about them any
more."
"But that is sad," I said, without really thinking
very much about it.
"I do not think it is more sad than all other
things," said Leo. "Perhaps it is sad and yet also
beautiful. The law ordains that it shall be so."
"The law ? I asked curiously. "Which law is
that, Leo ? "
"It is the law of service. He who wishes to live
long must serve, but he who wishes to rule does not
live long."
Then why do so many strive to rule? "
"Because they do not understand. There are few
who are born to be masters; they remain happy and
healthy. But all the others who have only become
masters through endeavour, end in nothing."








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


"In what nothing, Leo ? "
"For example, in the sanitoria."
I understood little about it and yet the words
remained in my memory and left me with a feeling
that this Leo knew all kinds of things, that he
perhaps knew more than us, who were ostensibly his
masters.















II

Each participant in this unforgettable journey had
his own ideas as to what made our faithful Leo
suddenly decide to leave us in the middle of the
dangerous gorge of Morbio Inferiore. It was only
very much later that I began in some measure to
suspect and review the circumstances and'deeper
significance of this occurrence. It also seemed that
this apparently incidental but in reality extremely
important event, the disappearance of Leo, was in
no way an accident, but a link in that chain of events
through which the eternal enemy sought to bring
disaster to our undertaking. On that cool autumn
morning when it was discovered that our servant Leo
was missing and that all search for him remained
fruitless, I was certainly not the only one who, for
the first time, had a feeling of impending disaster
and menacing destiny.
However, for the moment, this was the position.
After we had boldly crossed half Europe and a
portion of the Middle Ages, we camped in a very
narrow rocky valley, a wild mountain gorge on the
Italian border, and looked for the inexplicably








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


missing Leo. The longer we looked for him and the
more our hopes of finding him again dwindled during
the course of the day, the more were we oppressed
by the thought that it was not only the question of a
popular, pleasant man amongst our servants who
had either met with an accident or run away or had
been captured by an enemy, but that this was the
beginning of trouble, the first indication of a storm
which would break over us. We spent the whole of
the day, far into the twilight, searching for Leo. The
whole of the gorge was explored, and while these
exertions made us weary, and a feeling of hopeless-
ness and futility grew amongst us all, it was very
strange and uncanny how from hour to hour the
missing servant seemed to increase in importance and
our loss created difficulties. It was not only that each
pilgrim, and without doubt the whole of the staff,
were worried about the handsome, pleasant and
willing youth, but it seemed that the more certain
his loss became, the more indispensable he seemed;
without Leo, his handsome face, his good humour
and his songs, without his enthusiasm for our great
undertaking, the undertaking itself seemed in some
mysterious way to lose meaning. At least, that is how
it affected me. Despite all the strain and many minor
disillusionments during the previous months of the
journey, I had never had a moment of inner weak-
ness, of serious doubt; no successful general, no bird








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


in the swallows' flight to Egypt, could be more sure
of his goal, of his mission, of the rightness of his
actions and aspirations than I was on this journey.
But now, in this fateful place, while I continually
heard the calls and signals of our sentinels during
the whole of the blue and golden October day, and
awaited again and again with growing excitement the
arrival of a report, only to suffer disappointment and
to gaze at perplexed faces, I had feelings of sadness
and doubt for the first time. The stronger these
feelings became, the clearer it seemed to me that it
was not only that I had lost faith in finding Leo again,
but everything now seemed to become unreliable and
doubtful; the value and meaning of everything was
threatened: our comradeship, our faith, our vow,
our Journey to the East, our whole life.
Even if I was mistaken in presuming that we all
had these feelings, indeed even if I was subsequently
mistaken about my own feelings and inner experi-
ences and many things which were in reality
experienced much later and erroneously attributed to
that day, there still remains, despite everything, the
strange fact about Leo's luggage. Quite apart from
all personal moods, this was, in fact, rather strange,
fantastic, and an increasing source of worry. Even
during this day in the Morbio gorge, even during
our eager search for the missing man, first one man,
then another missed something important, something








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


indispensable from the luggage which could not be
found anywhere. It appeared that every missing
article must have been in Leo's luggage, and although
Leo, like all the rest of us, had only carried the usual
linen haversack on his back, just one bag amongst
about thirty others, it seemed that in this one lost
bag there were all the really important things which
we carried with us on our journey. And although it
is a well-known human weakness that a thing at the
time we miss it has an exaggerated value and seems
less dispensable than the things we have, and
although the loss of many of the articles which
troubled us so much in the Morbio gorge did, in fact,
turn up again later, or finally did not prove so indis-
pensable-yet, despite all this, it is unfortunately true
that we did at that time, with quite justifiable alarm,
confirm the loss of a whole series of extremely
important things.
The further extraordinary and singular thing was
this: the objects that were missing, whether they
appeared again later or not, assumed their importance
by degrees, and gradually all the things believed lost,
which we had wrongly missed so much and to which
we had mistakenly attached so much importance,
turned up again in our stores. In order to express
here quite clearly what was true yet altogether
inexplicable, it must be said that during the course
of our further journey, tools, valuables, cards and








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


documents which were all lost seemed, to our shame,
to be indispensable. Quite frankly, it seemed as if
each one of us stretched his entire imagination to
persuade himself of terrible, irreplaceable losses, as
if each one endeavoured to conceive as lost that which
was most important to him and to mourn over it;
with one it was the passports, with another the maps,
with another it was the Letter of Credit to the
Caliph; it was this thing with one, that thing with
another. And although in the end it was clear that
one article after the other which was believed lost
was either not lost at all or was unimportant or dis-
pensable, there did remain one single thing that was
really valuable, an inestimably important, absolutely
fundamental and indispensable document that was
really indisputably lost. But now opinions were
ineffectually exchanged as to whether this document,
which had disappeared with the servant Leo, had
really been in our luggage. There was complete
agreement about the great value of this document
and that its loss was irreplaceable, and yet how few
of us (amongst them myself) could declare with cer-
tainty that this document had been taken with us on
the journey. One man asserted that a similar docu-
ment had certainly been carried in Leo's linen bag;
this was not the original document at all, but natur-
ally only a copy; others declared that it had never
been intended to take either the document itself or a








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


copy on the journey, as this would have made a
mockery of the whole meaning of our journey. This
led to heated arguments and further demonstrated
that there were various completely conflicting opinions
about the whereabouts of the original (it was
immaterial whether we only had the copy and
whether we had lost it or not). The document, it was
declared, was deposited with the government in
Kyffhauser. No, said another, it lies buried in the
urn which contains the ashes of our deceased master.
Nonsense, said still another, the League document
was drawn up by the master in the original characters
known only to himself and it was burned with the
master's corpse at his behest. Enquiries regarding
the original document were meaningless, because
after the master's death it was not possible for anyone
to read it. But it was certainly necessary to ascertain
where the four (some said six) translations of the
original document were, which were made during the
master's lifetime under his supervision. It was said
that Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and Latin translations
existed, and they were. deposited in the four old
capitals. Many other opinions and views were
expressed; many clung obstinately to them, others
were convinced first by one then by another opposing
argument, and then soon changed their minds again.
In brief, from that time, certainty and unity no








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


longer existed in our community, although the great
idea still kept us together.
How well do I remember those first disputes!
They were something so new and unheard-of in our
hitherto perfectly united League. They were con-
ducted with respect and politeness-at least at the
beginning. At first they led neither to fierce conflicts
nor personal reproaches or insults-at first we were
still an inseparable, united brotherhood throughout
the world. I still hear their voices, I still see our
camping ground where the first of these debates was
conducted. I see the golden autumn leaves falling
here and there amongst the unusually serious faces.
I see one on a knee, another lying on a hat. I
listened, feeling more and more distressed and fear-
ful, but amidst all the exchange of opinions I was
inwardly quite sure of my belief, sadly sure; namely,
that the original, genuine document had been in Leo's
bag, and that it had disappeared and was lost with
him. However gloomy this belief might be, still it
was a belief. It was a firm one and gave me a feeling
of certainty. At that time I truly thought that I would
willingly exchange this belief for a more hopeful one.
Only later, when I had lost this sad belief and was
susceptible to all and sundry opinions, did I realise
what I had possessed in my belief.
I see that the tale cannot be told in this way. But
how can it be told, this tale of a unique journey, of








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


a unique communion of minds, of such a wonderfully
exalted and spiritual life? I should like so very
much, as one of the last survivors of our community,
to save some records of our great cause. I feel like
the old surviving servant of perhaps one of the
Paladins of Charles the Great, who recalls a stirring
series of deeds and wonders, the images and memories
of which will disappear with him if he is not success-
ful in passing some of them on to posterity by means
of word or picture, tale or song. But through what
expedient is it possible for the story of the Journey
to the East to be told ? I do not know. Already this
first endeavour, this attempt begun with the best
intentions, leads me into the boundless and incom-
prehensible. I simply wanted to try to depict what
has remained in my memory of the course of events
and individual details of our Journey to the East.
Nothing seemed more simple. And now, when I have
hardly related anything, I am brought to a halt by a
single small episode which I had not originally
thought of at all, the episode of Leo's disappearance.
Instead of a fabric, I hold in my hands a bundle of a
thousand knotted threads which would occupy
hundreds of hands for years to disentangle and
straighten out, even if every thread did not become
terribly brittle and break between the fingers as soon
as it is handled and gently drawn.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


I imagine that every historian is similarly affected
when he begins to record the events of some period
and wishes to portray them sincerely. Where is the
centre of events, the common standpoint around
which they revolve and which gives them cohesion ?
In order that something like cohesion, something like
causality, that some kind of meaning might ensue
and that it can in some way be narrated, the historian
must invent units, a hero, a nation, an idea, and he
must allow to happen to this invented unit what has
in reality happened to the nameless.
If it is so difficult to relate connectedly a number of
events which have really taken place and have been
attested, it is in my case much more difficult, for
everything becomes questionable as soon as I con-
sider it closely, everything slips away and dissolves,
just as our community, the strongest in the world,
has been able to dissolve. There is no unit, no centre,
no point around which the wheel revolves.
Our Journey to the East and our League, the basis
of our community, has been the most important
thing, indeed the only important thing in my life,
compared with which my own individual life has
appeared completely unimportant. And now that I
want to hold fast to and describe this most important
thing, or at least something of it, everything is only
a mass of separate fragmentary pictures which has
been reflected in something, and this something is








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


myself, and this self, this mirror, whenever I have
gazed into it, has proved to be nothing but the upper-
most surface of a glass plane. I put my pen away
with the sincere intention and hope of continuing
tomorrow or some other time, or rather to begin
anew, but at the back of my intention and hope, at
the back of my really tremendous urge to relate our
story, there remains a dreadful doubt. It is the doubt
that arose during the search for Leo in the valley
of Morbio. This doubt does not only ask the ques-
tion, Is your story capable of being told ? It also
asks the question, "Was it possible to experience
it?" We recall examples of participants in the
World War who, although by no means short of
facts and attested stories, must at times have enter-
tained the same doubts.















III


Since I wrote the foregoing, I have pondered over
my project again and again and tried to find a way
out of my difficulty. I have not found a solution. I
am still confronted by chaos. But I have vowed not
to give in, and in the moment of making this vow
a happy memory passed through my mind like a ray
of sunshine. It was similar, it seemed to me, quite
similar to how I felt when we commenced our
expedition; then also did we undertake something
apparently impossible, then also did we apparently
travel in the dark, not knowing our direction and not
having the slightest prospects. Yet we had within us
something stronger than reality or probability, and
that was faith in the meaning and necessity of our
action. I shuddered at the recollection of this senti-
ment, and at the moment of this blissful shudder,
everything became clear, everything seemed possible
again.
Whatever happens, I have decided to exercise my
will. Even if I have to re-commence my difficult story
ten times, a hundred times, and always arrive at the
same cul-de-sac, just the same I will begin again a









THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


hundred times. If I cannot assemble the pictures into
a significant whole again, I will present each single
fragment as faithfully as possible. And as far as it is
now still possible, I will be mindful of the first prin-
ciple of our great period, never to rely on and let
myself be disconcerted by reason, always to know
that faith is stronger than so-called reality.
In the meantime, I did make a sincere attempt to
approach my goal in a practical and sensible manner.
I went to see a friend of my youth who lives in this
town and is editor of a newspaper. His name is
Lukas. He had taken part in the World War and
had published a book about it which had a large
circulation. Lukas received me in a friendly manner.
He was obviously pleased to see a former school-
friend again. I had two long conversations with him.
I tried to make him understand my position. I
scorned all evasion. I told him frankly that I was a
participant in that great enterprise of which he must
also have heard, in the so-called "Journey to the
East," or the League expedition, or whatever it was
then described as by the public. Oh yes, he smiled'
ironically, he certainly remembered it. In his circle
of friends, this singular episode was mostly called,
perhaps somewhat disrespectfully, "the Children's
Crusade." This movement was not taken quite
seriously in his circle. It had indeed been compared








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


with some kind of theosophical movement or brother-
hood. Just the same, they had been very surprised
at the periodic successes of the undertaking. They
had read with due respect about the courageous
journey through Upper Swabia, of the triumph at
Bremgarten, of the surrender of the Tessin mountain
village, and had at times wondered whether the
movement would like to place itself at the service
of a republican government. Then, to be sure, the
matter apparently petered out. Several of the former
leaders left the movement; indeed, in some way they
seemed to be ashamed of it and no longer wished to
remember it. News about it came through very
sparingly and it was always strangely contradictory,
and so the whole matter was just placed aside ad acta
and forgotten like so many eccentric political,
religious or artistic movements of those post-war
years. At that time so many prophets sprang up, so
many secret societies with Messianic hopes appeared
and then disappeared again leaving no trace.
His point of view was clear, it was that of a well-
meaning sceptic. All others who had heard its story,
but had not themselves taken part in it, probably
thought the same about the League and the Journey
to the East. It was not for me to convert Lukas, but
I gave him some corrected information; for instance,
that our League was in no way an off-shoot of the
post-war years, but that it had extended throughout








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


the whole of world history, sometimes, to be sure,
under the surface, but in an unbroken line, that even
certain phases of the World War were nothing else
but stages in the history of our League ; further, that
Zoroaster, Lao Tse, Plato, Xenophon, Pythagoras,
Albertus Magnus, Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy,
Novalis and Baudelaire were co-founders and
brothers of our League. He smiled exactly in the
way that I expected.
Well," I said, I have not come here to instruct
you, but to learn from you. It is my passionate desire
to write, perhaps not a history of the League (even
a whole army of well-equipped scholars would not
be in a position to do this), but to tell quite simply
the story of our journey. But I am quite unsuccessful
in even approaching the subject. It is not a question
of literary ability ; I think I have this. Moreover, I
have no ambitions in this respect. No, it is because
the reality that I once experienced, together with my
comrades, exists no longer, and although its memories
are the most precious and vivid ones that I possess,
they seem so far away, they are composed of such a
different kind of fabric, that it seems as if they
originated on other stars in other millennia, or as if
they were hallucinations."
"I can understand that!" cried Lukas eagerly.
Our conversation was only just beginning to interest
him. "How well do I understand That is just how









THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST.


I was affected by my war experiences. I thought I
had experienced them clearly and vividly, I was
almost bursting with images of them ; the roll of film
in my head seemed miles long. But when I sat at my
writing-desk, on a chair, by a table, the razed villages
and woods, the earth tremors caused by heavy bom-
bardment, the conglomeration of filth and greatness,
of fear and heroism, of mangled stomachs and heads,
of fear of death and grim humour, were all immeasur-
ably remote, only a dream, were not related to any-
thing and could not really be conceived. You know
that despite this, I finally wrote my war-book and
that it is now read and discussed a great deal. But
do you know, I do not think that ten books like it,
each one ten times better and more vivid than mine,
could convey any real picture of the war to the most
serious reader, if he had not himself experienced the
war. And there were not so many who had. Even
those who participated in it did not for a long time
experience it. And if many really did so-they forgot
about it again. Next to the hunger to experience a
thing, men have perhaps no stronger hunger than to
forget."
He was silent and looked perplexed and lost in
thought. His words had confirmed my own experi-
ences and thoughts.
After a time I asked him warily, Then how was
it possible for you to write the book ? "








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


He thought for a moment, brought back from his
reflections. "It was only possible for me to do it,"
he said, "because it was necessary. I either had to
write the book or be reduced to despair; it was the
only means of saving me from nothingness, chaos
and suicide. The book was written under this
pressure and brought me the expected cure, simply
because it was written, irrespective of whether it was
good or bad. That was the only thing that counted.
And whilst writing it, there was no need for me to
think at all of any other reader but myself, or at the
most, here and there another close war-comrade, and
I certainly never thought then about the survivors,
but always about those who fell in the war. Whilst
writing it, I was as if delirious or crazy, surrounded
by three or four people with mutilated bodies-that
is how the book was produced."
And suddenly he said-it was the end of our first
conversation: "Forgive me, I cannot say any more
about it, not a single word more. I cannot, I will not.
Good-bye."
He pushed me out.
At our second meeting he was again, calm and
collected, had the same ironical smile and yet seemed
to treat my problem seriously and to understand it
fully. He made a few suggestions which seemed,
however, of little use to me. At the end of the second
and last conversation, he said to me almost casually :








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


Listen, you continually come back to the episode
with the servant Leo. I do not like it; it seems to be
an obstacle in your way. Free yourself, throw Leo
overboard; he seems to be becoming a fixed idea."
I wanted to reply that one could not write any
books without fixed ideas. Instead he startled me
with the quite unexpected question: "Was he really
called Leo ? "
There was perspiration on my brow.
"Yes," I said, of course he was called Leo."
"Was that his Christian name ?"
I stammered.
No, his Christian name was-was-I don't know
it any more. I have forgotten it. Leo was his sur-
name. That was what everyone called him."
Whilst I was still speaking, Lukas had seized a
thick book from his writing-desk and was turning
over the leaves. With amazing speed he found and
put his finger on a place on an open page in the
book. It was a directory, and where his finger lay
stood the name Leo.
"Look," he laughed, "we already have a Leo.
Andreas Leo, 69a Seilergraben. It is an unusual
name ; perhaps this man knows something about your
Leo. Go and see him ; perhaps he can tell you what
you want to know. I do not know. Forgive me, my
time is limited. I am very pleased to have seen you."
I reeled with stupefaction and excitement as I








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


closed his door behind me. He was right. I could
get nothing more from him.
On the very same day I went to Seilergraben,
looked for the house and enquired about Mr. Andreas
Leo. He lived in a room on the third floor. He was
sometimes at home on Sundays and in the evenings;
during the day he went to work. I enquired about
his occupation. He did this, that and the other, they
said ; he could do manicures, chiropody and massage;
he also made ointments and herbal cures. In bad
times, when there was little to do, he sometimes also
occupied himself by training and trimming dogs. I
went away and decided it was better not to visit this
man, or, at any rate, not to tell him of my intentions.
Nevertheless, I was very curious to see him. I there-
fore watched the house during the next few days
during my frequent walks, and I shall also go there
today, for up till now I have not been successful in
meeting Andreas Leo face to face.
Oh, the whole business is driving me to despair,
and yet it makes me happy, or rather excited and
eager. It gives importance to myself and my life
again, and that had been very much lacking.
It is possible that the practitioners and psycholo-
gists who attribute all human action to egoistic
desires are right; I cannot indeed see that a man
who serves a cause all his life, who neglects his
pleasures and well-being, and sacrifices himself for








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


anything at all, really acts in the same way as a man
who traffics in slaves or deals in munitions and
squanders the proceeds on a life of pleasure. But no
doubt I should immediately get the worst of it and
be beaten in an argument with such a psychologist,
for psychologists are, of course, people who always
win. As far as I am concerned, they may be right.
Then everything else that I have considered good and
fine, and for which I have made sacrifices, has only
been my egoistic desires. Indeed, every day I see my
egoism more clearly in my plan to write some kind
of history of the Journey to the East. At the begin-
ning, it seemed to me that I was undertaking a
laborious task in the name of a noble cause, but I
see more and more that in the description of my
journey I am only aiming at the same thing as Mr.
Lukas with his war-book; namely, at saving my life
by giving it meaning again.
If I could only see the way If I could only make
one step forward.
Throw Leo overboard, free yourself from Leo "
Lukas said to me. I could just as much throw my
head or my stomach overboard to get rid of them !
Dear God, help me a little.















IV

Now everything seems different again, and I do not
yet know whether it has helped me in my problem
or not. But I have had an experience, something has
happened to me which I never expected-or no, did
I not really expect it, did I not anticipate, hope for
and really fear it ? Yes, I did. Yet it remains strange
and improbable enough.
I went to Seilergraben frequently, twenty times or
more, at what I thought were favourable times, and
often wandered past No. 69a, always with the
thought, "I shall try once more, and if there is
nothing in it I shall not come again." Yet I went
again and again, and the day before yesterday my
wish was fulfilled. Oh, and what a fulfilment it was !
As I approached the house of which I now knew
every crack and fissure in its grey-green plaster, I
heard the tune whistled of a little song or dance, a
popular tune, coming from the upper window. I did
not know anything yet, but I listened. The tune
stirred my memory and some dormant recollections
came to the fore. The music was banal but the
whistling was wonderfully sweet, with soft and








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


pleasing notes, unusually pure, as happy and as
natural as the songs of birds. I stood and listened,
enchanted, and at the same time strangely moved
without, however, having any kind of accompanying
thoughts. Or if I did, it was perhaps that it must be
a very happy and amiable man who could whistle
like that. For several minutes I stood there rooted to
the spot and listened. An old man with a sick,
sunken face went by. He saw me standing and
listened too, just for a moment, then smiled at me
with understanding as he went on. His beautiful, far-
seeing old man's look seemed to say: "You stay
there, one does not hear whistling like that every
day." The old man's glance cheered me. I was sorry
when he went past. At the same moment, however,
I immediately realized that this whistling was the
fulfilment of all my wishes, that the whistler must be
Leo.
It was growing dark but there was still no light in
any window. The tune, with its simple variations,
was finished. There was silence. He will now make
a light up there," I thought, but everything remained
in darkness. Then I heard a door being opened
upstairs and soon I also heard footsteps on the stairs.
The door of the house was opened and someone came
out, and his walk was like his whistling, light and
jolly, but steady, healthy and youthful. It was a very
slim, hatless man, not very tall, who walked there,








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


and now my feeling was changed to certainty. It was
Leo; not only the Leo from the directory, it was Leo
himself, our dear travelling companion and servant
Leo, whose disappearance ten or more years ago had
brought us so much sadness and confusion. I nearly
addressed him in the moment of my initial joy and
surprise. Then I only just remembered that I had
also often heard him whistling during the journey to
the East. They were the same strains of previous
times, and yet how strangely different they sounded
to me! A feeling of sadness came over me like a
stab in the heart: oh, how different everything had
become since then, the sky, the air, the seasons,
dreams, sleep, day and night! How greatly and
terribly everything had changed for me when, through
memory of the past alone, a whistle and the rhythm
of a known step could affect me so deeply and give
me so much pleasure and pain !
The man went close by me, his bare head, supple
and serene on his bare neck, appeared above his blue
open-neck shirt. The figure moved easily and gaily
along the darkening lane, hardly audible in thin
sandals or gym shoes. I followed him without any
particular intention. How could I help but follow
him! He walked down the lane, and although his
step was light, effortless and youthful, it was also in
keeping with the evening; it was of the same quality
as the twilight, it was friendly and at one with the








.THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


hour, with the subdued sounds from the centre of
the town, with the half-light of the first lamps which
were just beginning to appear.
He turned into the small park at St. Paul's Gate,
disappeared amongst the tall round bushes, and I
hurried so that I should not lose him. There he was
again; he was sauntering slowly alongside the lilac
bushes and the acacia. The path divided into two
through the little wood. There were a couple of
benches at the edge of the sward. Here under the
trees it was already dark. Leo went past the first
bench; a pair of lovers were sitting on it. The next
bench was empty. He sat down, leaned against the
bench, pressed his head back and for a time looked
up at the foliage and the clouds. Then he took a
small round white metal box out of his coat pocket,
put it by his side on the bench, unscrewed the lid
and slowly began to take something out of the box
which he put into his mouth and ate with enjoyment.
Meantime I walked to and from the entrance to the
wood; I then went up to his bench and sat down at
the other end. He looked up, gazed at me with clear
grey eyes and went on eating. He was eating dried
fruits, a few prunes and half apricots. He took them
one after the other between two fingers, pressed and
fingered each one a little, put them in his mouth and
chewed them for a long time with enjoyment. It took
a long time before he came to the last one and ate it.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


He then closed the box again and put it away, leaned
back and stretched out his legs. I now saw that his
cloth shoes had soles of plaited rope.
It will rain tonight," he said suddenly, I knew not
whether to me or to himself.
"Yes, it looks like it," I said, somewhat embar-
rassed, for as he had not yet recognized my figure
and walk, it was possible and I was almost certain
that he would now recognize me by my voice.
But no, he did not recognize me at all, not even by
my voice, and although that had been my first wish,
it nevertheless gave me a feeling of great disappoint-
ment. He did not recognize me. While he had
remained the same after ten years and had apparently
not aged at all, it was quite different with me, sadly
different.
"You whistle very well," I said. "I heard you
earlier on in Seilergraben. It gave me very much
pleasure. I used to be a musician."
"Oh, were you! he said in a friendly manner.
"That is a great profession. Have you given it up,
then ?"
"Yes, for the time being. I have even sold my
violin."
Have you ? What a pity Are you in difficulties
-that is to say, are you hungry ? There is still some
food at my house. I also have a little money in my
purse."








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


"Oh, no," I said quickly, "I did not mean that.
I am in quite good circumstances. I have more than
I need. But thank you very much; it was very kind
of you to make the offer. One does not often meet
such kind people."
"Don't you think so? Well, maybe People are
often very strange. You are a strange person, too."
"Am I ? Why ? "
"Well, because you have enough money and yet
you sell your violin. Do you not, then, like music
any more ? "
Oh, yes, but it sometimes happens that a man no
longer finds pleasure in something that he previously
loved. It sometimes happens that a man sells his
violin or throws it to the wall, or that a painter one
day burns all his pictures. Have you never heard of
such a thing ? "
"Oh, yes. That comes from despair. That does
happen. I even knew two people who committed
suicide. People like that are stupid and can be
dangerous. One just cannot help some people. But
what do you do now that you no longer have your
violin ? "
"Oh, this, that and the other. I do not really do
much. I am no longer young and I am also often
ill. But why do you keep on talking about this
violin ? It is not really so important."
"The violin ? It made me think of King David."








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


"King David ? What has he to do with it ? "
"He was also a musician. When he was quite
young he used to play to King Saul and sometimes
dispelled his bad moods with music. Later he became
a king himself, a great king full of cares, having all
sorts of moods and vexations. He wore a crown and
conducted wars and all that kind of thing, and he
also did many really wicked things and became very
famous. But when I think of his life, the most
beautiful part of it all is about the young David with
his harp playing music to poor Saul, and it seems a
pity to me that he later became a king. He was a
much happier ,and better person when he was a
musician."
"Of course he was I cried rather passionately.
"Of course, he was younger then and more hand-
some and happier. But one does not always remain
young; your David would in time have grown older
and uglier and would have been full of cares even if
he had remained a musician. So he became the great
David, performed his deeds and composed his psalms.
Life is not just a game! "
Leo then rose and bowed. "It is growing dark,"
he said, "and it will rain soon. I do not know a
great deal more about the deeds that David per-
formed, and whether they were really great. To be
quite frank, I do not know very much more about








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


his psalms either, but I should not like to say any-
thing against them. But no account of David can
prove to me that life is not just a game. That is just
what life is when it is beautiful and happy-a game !
Naturally, one can also do all kinds of other things
with it, make a duty of it, or a battleground, or a
prison, but that does not make it any prettier. Good-
bye, pleased to have met you! "
This strange, lovable man began to move away in
his light, steady and pleasing gait, and was on the
point of disappearing when all my restraint and self-
control broke down. I ran after him in despair and
cried imploringly, "Leo Leo You are Leo, aren't
you? Do you not know me any more ? We were
League brothers together and should still be so. We
were both travellers on the journey to the East. Have
you really forgotten me, Leo? Do you really no
longer remember the Crown Watchers, Klingsor and
Goldmund, the Festival in Bremgarten and the gorge
at Morbio Inferiore ? Leo, have pity on me! "
He did not run away as I had feared but he also
did not turn round; he walked steadily on as if he
had heard nothing but gave me time to catch up to
him, and did not seem to object to my joining him.
"You are so troubled and hasty," he said kindly,
"that is not a good thing. It distorts the face and
makes one ill. We shall walk quite slowly-it is so
soothing. The few drops of rain are wonderful,








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


aren't they ? They come from the air like Eau de
Cologne."
"Leo," I pleaded, "have pity! Tell me just one
thing ; do you know me yet ? "
"Ah," he said kindly, and went on speaking as if
to a sick or drunken man, "you will be better now;
it was only excitement. You ask if I know you. Well,
which person really knows another or even himself ?
As for me, I am not one who understands people at
all. I am not interested in them. Now, I understand
dogs quite well, and also birds and cats-but I don't
really know you, sir."
But do you not belong to the League ? Did you
not come on the journey with us ? "
"I am still on the journey, sir, and I still belong
to the League. So many come and go; one knows
people and yet does not know them. It is much easier
with dogs. Wait, stay here a moment! "
He raised a warning finger. We stood on the
darkening garden-path which was becomingly in-
creasingly enveloped in a thin descending dampness.
Leo pursed up his lips and sent out a long, vibrating,
soft whistle, waited a while and whistled again. I
drew back a little as, suddenly, close to us, behind
the trellis-work railing at which we stood, a large
Alsatian dog jumped out of the bushes and, whining
with pleasure, pressed close to the fence in order to








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


be stroked by Leo's fingers between the bars and
wires. The powerful animal's eyes gleamed a light
green, and whenever his glance alighted on me he
growled deep down in his throat. It was like distant
thunder, hardly audible.
"This is the Alsatian dog, Necker," said Leo,
introducing me. We are very good friends. Necker,
here is a former violinist. You must not do anything
to him, not even bark at him."
We stood there, and Leo gently scratched the dog's
damp coat through the railing. It really was a pretty
scene; it pleased me very much to see how friendly
he was with the dog and the pleasure that this noc-
turnal greeting gave him. At the same time, it was
painful to me and seemed hardly bearable that Leo
should be so friendly with this Alsatian, and probably
with many, perhaps with all the dogs in the district,
while a world of aloofness separated him from me.
The friendship and intimacy which I beseechingly
and humbly sought seemed not only to belong to this
dog Necker, but to every animal, to every raindrop,
to every spot of ground on which Leo trod. He
seemed to dedicate himself steadfastly and to rest
continually in an easy, balanced relationship with his
surroundings, knowing all things, known and beloved
by all. Only with me, who loved and needed him so
much, was there no contact, only from me did he
dissociate himself; he regarded me in an unfriendly







THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


and cool fashion, was distant with me and had erased
me from his memory.
We walked slowly on. On the other side of the
railing the Alsatian accompanied him, making soft,
contented sounds of affection and pleasure, but with-
out forgetting my undesirable presence, for several
times he suppressed his growling tone of defence and
hostility for Leo's sake.
"Forgive me," I began,again, "I am attaching
myself to you and taking up your time. Naturally,
you want to go home and go to bed."
Not at all," he said with a smile. I do not mind
strolling along throughout the night like this. I am
not lacking in either the time or the desire if it is not
too much for you."
He said this in a very friendly manner and cer-
tainly without reservation. But he had hardly
uttered the words when I suddenly felt in my head
and in every muscle of my body how terribly tired I
was, and how fatiguing every step of this futile and
embarrassing nocturnal wandering was to me.
"I am really very tired," I said dejectedly, "I
have only just realized it. There is also no sense in
wandering about all night in the rain and being a
nuisance to other people."
"As you wish," he said politely.
"Oh, Mr. Leo, you did not talk to me like that
during the League's journey to the East. Have you







THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


really forgotten all about it ? Oh, well, it is no use.
Do not let me.keep you any longer. Good-night.",
He disappeared quickly into the dark night. I
remained alone, foolish, with my head bent. I had
lost the game. He did not know me ; he did not want
to know me; he made fun of me.
I went back along the path; the dog Necker
barked angrily behind the railing. I shivered from
weariness, grief and loneliness in the damp warmth
of the summer night.
I had experienced similar hours in the past. During
such periods of despair it seemed to me as if I, a lost
pilgrim, had reached the extreme edge of the world,
and there was nothing left for me to do but to satisfy
my last desire : to let myself fall from the edge of the
world into the void-to death. In the course of time
this despair returned many times; the compelling
suicidal impulse, however, had been diverted and had
almost vanished. Death was no longer nothingness,
a void, negation. It had also become many other
things to me. I now accepted the hours of despair
as one accepts acute physical pain; one endures it,
complainingly or defiantly; one feels it swell and
increase, and sometimes there is a raging or mocking
curiosity as to how much further it can go, to what
extent the pain can still increase.
All the disgust for my disillusioned life which, since
my return from the unsuccessful journey to the East,







THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


had become increasingly worthless and spiritless, all
disbelief in myself and my abilities, all envious and
regretful longing for the good and great times which
I had once experienced, grew like a pain within me,
grew as high as a tree, like a mountain, tugged at
me, and was all related to the former task that I had
begun, to the account of the Journey to the East and
the League. It now seemed to me that even its
accomplishment was no longer desirable or worth-
while. Only one hope still seemed worth-while to me
-to cleanse and redeem myself to some extent
through my work, through my service to the memory
of that great time, to bring myself once again into
contact with the League and its experiences.
When I reached home I turned on the light, sat
down at my desk in my wet clothes, my hat on my
head, and wrote a letter. I wrote ten, twelve, twenty
pages of grievances, remorse and entreaty to Leo. I
described my need to him, conjured up images of our
common experiences, of our former mutual friends.
I bewailed the endless extreme difficulties which had
shattered my noble enterprise. The weariness of the
moment had disappeared; excited, I sat there and
wrote. Despite all difficulties, I wrote, I would endure
the worst possible thing rather than divulge a single
secret of the League. Despite everything, I would not
fail to complete my work in memory of the Journey
to the East, in glorification of the League. As if in a








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


fever, I covered page after page with hastily written
words. The grievances, indictments and self-accusa-
tions tumbled from me like water from a breaking
jug, without reflection, without faith, without hope of
reply, only with the desire to unburden myself. While
it was yet night I took the thick, confused letter to
the nearest letter-box. Then, at last, it was nearly
morning. I turned out the light, went to the small
attic-bedroom next to my living-room and .went to
bed. I fell asleep immediately and slept very deeply
and for a long time.
















After awakening and dozing off again several times,
I awoke the following day with a headache but feeling
rested. To my extreme astonishment, pleasure and
also embarrassment, I found Leo in the living-room.
He was sitting on the edge of a chair and looked as
if he had been waiting a long time.
Leo," I cried, "you have come "
"They have sent me for you from the League,"
he said. "You wrote me a letter in connection with
it. I gave it to the officials. You are to appear before
the High Throne. Can we go ? "
In confusion I hastened to put on my shoes. The
desk, disarranged the previous night, still had a
somewhat disturbed and disorderly appearance. For
the moment I hardly knew any more what I had
written there so forcibly and full of anguish a few
hours ago. Still, it did not seem to have been in vain.
Something had happened. Leo had come.
Suddenly, for the first time, I realized the sig-
nificance of his words. So there was still a League "
of which I no longer knew anything, which existed
without me and which no longer considered me as








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


belonging to it! There was still a League and the
High Throne! There were still the officials; they
had sent for me I went hot and cold at the realisa-
tion. I had lived in this town many months, occupied
with my notes about the League and our journey and
did not know whether the rest of the League still
existed, where it was, and whether I was perhaps its
last member. Indeed, to be quite frank, at certain
times I was not sure whether the League and my
membership of it were ever real. And now Leo stood
there, sent by the League to fetch me. I was remem-
bered, I was summoned, they wanted to listen to me.
perhaps to pass judgment on me. Good! I was
ready. I was ready to show that I had not been
unfaithful to the League. I was ready to obey.
Whether the officials punished me or pardoned me,
I was ready in advance to accept everything, to agree
with their judgment in everything and to be obedient
to them.
We set off. Leo went on ahead, and again, as I did
many years ago when I watched him and the way he
walked, I had to admire him as a good and perfect
servant. He walked along the lanes in front of me.
nimbly and patiently, indicating the way; he was the
perfect guide, the perfect servant at his task, the
perfect official. Yet he put my patience to no small
test. The League had summoned me, I was awaited
by the High Throne, everything was at stake for me;








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


the whole of my future life would be decided, the
whole of my past life would now either retain or
completely lose its meaning-I trembled with expecta-
tion, pleasure, anxiety and suppressed fear. And so
the route that Leo took seemed, in my impatience,
intolerably long, for I had to follow my guide for
more than two hours by way of the strangest and
seemingly most capricious detours. Leo kept me
waiting twice in front of a church in which he went
to pray. For a long time that seemed endless to me,
he remained meditating and absorbed in front of the
old town-hall, and told me about its foundation in
the fifteenth century by a famous member of the
League. And although the way he took this walk
seemed so painstaking, zealous and purposeful, I
became quite confused by the detours, roundabouts
and zig-zags by which he approached his goal. The
walk, which took us all morning, could easily have
been done in a quarter of an hour.
At last he led me into a sleepy, suburban lane,
and into a very large, silent building. Outside it
looked like an extended Council building or a
museum. At first there was not a soul to be seen
anywhere. Corridors and stairs were deserted and
resounded at our footsteps. Leo began to search
among the passages, stairs and antechambers. Once,
he cautiously opened a big door, on the other side of
which we saw a crowded artist's studio; in front of








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


an easel stood the artist Klingsor in his shirt-sleeves
-oh, how many years was it since I had seen his
beloved face But I did not dare to greet him; the
time was not yet ripe for that. I was expected. I had
been summoned. Klingsor did not pay very much
attention to us. He nodded to Leo ; either he did not
see me or did not recognize me, and silently indicated
to us in a friendly but decisive way to go out, not
tolerating any interruption of his work.
Finally, at the top of the immense building, we
arrived at a garret-storey, which smelled of paper
and cardboard, and all along the walls for many
hundreds of yards protruded cupboard-doors, backs
of books and bundles of documents: a gigantic
archive, a vast chancery. Nobody took any notice
of us everyone was silently occupied. It seemed to
me as if the whole world, including the starry
heavens, was governed or at least recorded and
observed from there. For a long time we stood there
and waited; many archive and library officials
hastened around us silently with catalogue dockets
and numbers in their hands. Ladders were placed in
position and mounted, lifts and small trucks were
carefully and quietly set into motion. Finally, Leo
began to sing. I listened to the tune, deeply moved;
it had once been very familiar to me. It was the
melody of one of our League songs.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


At the sound of the song, everything immediately
sprang into movement. The officials drew back, the
hall extended into dusky remoteness. The industrious
people, small and unreal, worked in the gigantic
archive region in the background. The foreground,
however, was spacious and empty. The hall extended
to an impressive length. In the middle, arranged in
strict order, there were many benches, and partly
from the background and partly out of the numerous
doors came many officials who slowly approached
the benches and one by one sat down on them. One
row of benches after the other was slowly filled. The
structure of benches gradually rose and culminated
in a high throne, which was not yet occupied. The
solemn Synedrium was crowded right up to the
throne. Leo looked at me with a warning glance to
be patient, silent and respectful, and disappeared
amongst the crowd; all of a sudden he was gone and
I could no longer see him. But here and there amidst
the officials who assembled around the High Throne
I perceived familiar faces, serious or smiling. I saw
the figure of Albertus Magnus, the ferryman
Vasudeva, the artist Klingsor, and others.
At last it became quiet and the Speaker stepped
forward. Small and alone I stood before the High
.Throne, prepared for everything, in a state of great
anxiety, but also in full accord with what would take
place and be resolved here.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


Clearly and evenly the Speaker's voice rang
through the hall. "Self-accusation of a deserter
League brother," I heard him announce. My knees
trembled. It was a question of my life. But it was
right that it should be so; everything must now be
put in order. The Speaker continued.
"Is your name H.H. ? Did you join in the march
through Upper Swabia, and in the festival at Brem-
garten ? Did you desert your colours shortly after
Morbio Inferiore ? Did you confess that you wanted
to write a story of the Journey to the East ? Did you
consider yourself hampered by your vow of silence
about the League's secrets ? "
I answered question after question with "Yes,"
even those which were incomprehensible and terrify-
ing to me.
The officials conferred in whispers and with
gestures for a short time; then the Speaker stepped
forward again and announced :
"The self-accuser is herewith empowered to reveal
publicly every law and secret of the League which is
known to him. Moreover, the whole of the League's
archives are placed at his disposal for his work."
The Speaker drew back. The officials disbanded
and again slowly disappeared, some into the back-
ground of the hall and some through the exits ; there
was complete silence in the large hall. I was looking
anxiously around me when I saw something lying on








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


one of the chancery documents which seemed familiar
to me. When I picked it up, I recognized my work,
my delicate offspring, the manuscript I had com-
menced. The Story of the Journey to the East," by
H.H., was inscribed on the blue envelope. I seized
it and read the small, close, hand-written, oft-times
crossed out and corrected pages. In haste, eager to
work, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that now
at last, with approval from higher quarters, indeed
assistance, I was to be allowed to complete my task.
When I considered that no vow any longer bound
me, that I had access to the archives, to those
immense treasure-chambers, my task seemed to me
greater and more worth-while than ever.
However, the more pages I read of my hand-
writing, the less did I like the manuscript. Even in
my former most despondent hours it had never
seemed so futile and absurd to me as now. Every-
thing seemed so confused and stupid; the clearest
relationships were distorted, the most obvious were
forgotten, the trivial and the unimportant pushed
into the foreground. It must be written again, right
from the beginning. As I continued reading the
manuscript, I had to cross out sentence after sentence,
and as I crossed them out, they crumbled up on the
paper, and the clear, sloping letters separated into
assorted fragments, into strokes and points, into
circles, small flowers and stars, and the pages were








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


covered like carpets with graceful, meaningless, orna-
mental designs. Soon there was nothing more left of
my text; on the other hand, there was much unused
paper left for my work. I pulled myself together. I
tried to see things clearly. Naturally, it was not
previously possible for me to present an impartial and
clear account, because everything was concerned with
secrets which I was forbidden to disclose on account
of my vow to the League. I had tried to avoid an
objective presentation of the story, and without
regard to the more important relationships, aims and
purposes, I had simply restricted myself to my
personal experiences. But one could see where that
had led. On the other hand, there was no longer a
pledge of silence and no more restrictions. I was
given complete official permission, and, moreover,
the whole of the inexhaustible archives lay open
to me.
It was clear to me that even if my former work
had not broken up into ornamentation, I had to begin
the whole thing afresh, with a new foundation, and
build it up again. I decided to begin with a short
account of the League, its foundation and constitu-
tion. The extensive, endless, gigantic labelled cata-
logues on all the tables, which reached far into the
distance and semi-darkness, must surely give an
answer to all my questions.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


First of all I decided to examine the archives at
random. I had to learn how to use this tremendous
machine. Naturally, I looked for the League docu-
ment before anything else.
"League document," it stated in the catalogue,
"see section Chrysostomos, group V, verse 39, 8."-
Right, I found the section, the group and the verse
quite easily. The archives were wonderfully arranged.
And now I held the League document in my hand.
I had to be prepared for the possibility that I might
not be able to read it. As a matter of fact, I could
not read it. It was written in Greek characters, it
seemed to me, and I understood a certain amount of
Greek, but for one thing it was in extremely ancient,
strange writing, the characters of which, despite
apparent clarity, were for the most part illegible to
me, and, for another thing, the text was written in
dialect or in a secret symbolical language, of which
I only occasionally understood a word as if from a
distance, by sound and analogy. But I was not yet
discouraged. Even if the document remained un-
readable, its characters brought back to me vivid
memories of the past. In particular, I clearly saw my
friend Longus writing Greek and Hebrew characters
in the garden in the evening, the characters changing
into birds, dragons and snakes in the night.
Looking through the catalogue, I trembled at the
abundance of material that awaited me there. I came








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


across many familiar words and many well-known
names. With a start, I came across my own name,
but I did not dare to consult the archives about it-
who could bear to hear the verdict of an omniscient
Court of Law on oneself? On the other hand, I
found, for example, the name of the artist Paul Klee,
whose acquaintance I had made during the journey
and who was a friend of Klingsor's. I looked up his
number in the archives. I found there a small gold-
plated dish on which a clover was either painted or
engraved. The first of its three leaves represented a
small blue sailing-boat, the second a fish with
coloured scales and the third looked like a telegram-
form on which was written:
As blue as snow,
Is Paul like Klee.*
It also gave me a melancholy pleasure to read
about Klingsor, Longus, Max and Tilli. Also I could
not resist the desire to learn something more about
Leo. On Leo's catalogue label was written:
Cave!
Archiepisc. XIX Diacon. D. VII.
Corno Ammon. 6
Cave!


Note: *Klee=clover.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


The two "Cave warnings impressed me. I could
not bring myself to penetrate this secret. However,
with every new attempt, I began to realise more and
more what an undreamt-of abundance of material,
knowledge and magic formula these archives con-
tained. It included, it seemed to me, the whole world.
After happy or bewildering excursions into many
branches of knowledge, I returned several times to
the label Leo with ever-increasing curiosity. Each
time the double "Cave" deterred me. Then, while
going through another filing cabinet, I came across
the word "Fatima," with the notes:
prince. orient. 2
noct. mill. 983
hort. delic. 07
I looked for and found the place in the archives.
There lay a tiny locket which could be opened and
contained a miniature portrait of a ravishingly
beautiful princess, which in an instant reminded me
of all the thousand and one nights, of all the tales
of my youth, of all the dreams and wishes of that
great period when, in order to travel to Fatima in
the Orient, I had served my novitiate and had
reported myself as a member of the League. The
locket was wrapped in a finely-spun mauve silk
kerchief, which had an immeasurably remote and
sweet fragrance, reminiscent of princesses and the








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


East. As I inhaled this remote, rare, magic fragrance,
I was suddenly and powerfully overwhelmed with the
realisation of the sweet magic which had enveloped
me when I commenced my pilgrimage to the East,
and how the pilgrimage was shattered by treacherous
and, in fact, unknown obstacles, how the magic had
then vanished more and more, and what desolation,
disillusionment and barren despair had since been my
life's breath, my food and drink! I could no longer
see the kerchief or the portrait, so thick was the veil
of tears which covered my eyes. Ah, now, I thought,
the portrait of the Arabian princess could no longer
suffice to act as a charm against the world and hell,
and make me into a knight and crusader; I would
now need other stronger charms. But how sweet, how
innocent, how blissful had been that dream which
had haunted my youth, which had made me a story-
teller, a musician and a novitiate, and had led me to
Morbio!
Sounds awakened me from my meditation. From
all sides the unending spaciousness of the archive
chamber confronted me eerily. A new thought, a new
pain shot threw me like a flash of lightning. I, in my
simplicity, wanted to write the story of the League,
I, who could not decipher or understand one-
thousandth part of those millions of scripts, books,
pictures and references in the archives Humbled,
unspeakably foolish, unspeakably ridiculous, not








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


understanding myself, feeling extremely small, I saw
myself standing in the midst of this thing with which
I had been allowed to play a little in order to make
me realise what the League was and what I was
myself.
The officials came through the numerous doors in
enormous numbers. I could still recognize many of
them through my tears. I recognized Jup, the
magician, I recognized Lindhorst, the archivist, I
recognized Mozart dressed as Pablo. The illustrious
assembly filled the many rows of seats, which became
higher and narrower at the back; over the throne
which formed the top, I saw a shining golden canopy.
The Speaker stepped forward and announced:
"The League is ready to pass judgment, through its
officials, on the self-accuser H., who felt bound to
keep silent about League secrets, and who has now
realized how strange and blasphemous was his inten-
tion to write the story of a journey to which he was
not equal, and an account of a League in whose
existence he no longer believed and to which he had
become unfaithful.
He turned towards me and said in his clear, pro-
clamatory voice: "Self-accuser H., do you agree to
recognize the Court of Justice and to submit to its
judgment ? "
"Yes," I replied.
Self-accuser H.," he continued, do you agree








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


that the Court of Justice of the officials pass judg-
ment on you without the President in the Chair, or
do you desire the President himself to pass judgment
on you."
"I agree," I said, "to be judged by the officials,
either with or without the President in the Chair."
The Speaker was about to reply when, from the
very back of the hall, a soft voice said: "The
President is ready to pass judgment himself."
The sound of this soft voice shook me strangely.
Right from the depths of the room, from the remote
horizons of the archives, came a man. His walk was
light and peaceful, his robe sparkled with gold. He
came nearer amid the silence of the assembly, and I
recognized his walk, I recognized his movements, and
finally I recognized his face. It was Leo. In a mag-
nificent, festive robe, he climbed through the rows of
officials to the High Throne like a Pope. Like a
magnificent, rare flower, he carried the brilliance of
his attire up the stairs. Each row of officials rose to
greet him as he passed. He bore his radiant office
conscientiously, humbly, dutifully, as humbly as a
holy Pope or patriarch bears his insignia.
I was deeply intrigued and moved in anticipation
of the judgment which I was humbly prepared to
accept, whether it would now bring punishment or
grace. I was no less deeply moved and amazed that
it was Leo, the former porter and servant, who now








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST

stood at the head of the whole League and was ready
to pass judgment on me. But I was still more stirred,
amazed, startled and happy at the great discovery
of the day: that the League was as completely stable
and mighty as ever, that it was not Leo and the
League who had deserted and disillusioned me, but
only that I had been so weak and foolish as to mis-
interpret my own experiences, to doubt the League,
to consider the Journey to the East a failure, and to
regard myself as the survivor and chronicler of a
concluded and forgotten tale, while I was nothing
more than a run-away, a traitor, a deserter. Amaze-
ment and joy lay in this recognition. I stood there,
small and humble, at the foot of the High Throne,
from which I had once been accepted as a brother
of the League, from which I had once undergone my
novitiate ceremony, had received the League ring
and had immediately been sent to the servant Leo
on the journey. And in the middle of everything, I
was aware of a new sin, a new inexplicable loss, a
new shame: I no longer possessed the League ring.
I had lost it, I did not know when or where, and I
had not missed it once until this day !
Meantime, the President, the golden-clad Leo,
began to speak in his beautiful, gentle voice; his
words reached me gently and comfortingly, as gentle
and comforting as sunshine.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


The self-accuser," came the words from the High
Throne, "has had the opportunity to rid himself of
some of his errors. There is much to be said against
him. It may be conceivable and very excusable that
he was unfaithful to the League, that he reproached
the League with his own failings and follies, that he
doubted its continuation, that he had the strange
ambition to become the historian of the League. All
this does not weigh heavily against him. They are,
if the self-accuser will permit me the phrase, only
novitiate stupidities. They can be dismissed with a
smile."
I breathed deeply and a faint smile passed over
the whole of the illustrious assembly. That the most
serious of my sins, even my illusion that the League
no longer existed and that I was the only disciple
left, were only regarded by the President as stupidi-
ties," as trifles, was a tremendous relief to me and
at the same time sent me most definitely back to my
starting-point.
"But," continued Leo, and his gentle voice was
now sad and serious-" there are many more serious
offences imputed to the defendant and the worst of
them is that he does not stand as self-accuser for
these sins, but appears to be unaware of them. He
deeply regrets having wronged the League in thought;
he cannot forgive himself for not recognizing the
President Leo in the servant Leo, and is on the point








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


of realising the extent of his infidelity to the League.
But while he took these sinful thoughts and follies
all too seriously, and only just realises with relief that
they can be dismissed with a smile, he stubbornly
forgets his real offences, which are legion, each one
of which is serious enough to warrant severe punish-
ment."
My heart beat quickly. Leo turned towards me.
"Defendant H., later you will have insight to your
errors and you will also be shown how to avoid them
in future. But just to show you what little under-
standing you still have of your position, I ask you:
Do you remember your walk through the town
accompanied by the servant Leo, who, as messenger,
had to bring you before the High Throne ? Yes, you
remember. And do you remember how we passed
the Town Hall, the Church of St. Paul and the
Cathedral, and how the servant Leo entered the
Cathedral in order to kneel and pray awhile, and how
you not only refrained from entering with me to
perform your devotions in accordance with the fourth
precept of your League vow, but how you remained
outside, impatient and bored, waiting for the end of
the tedious ceremony which seemed so unnecessary
to you, which was nothing more to you than a dis-
agreeable test of your egoistic impatience ? Yes, you
remember. By your behaviour at the Cathedral gate
alone, you have already trampled on the fundamental








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


requirements and customs of the League. You have
slighted religion, you have been contemptuous
towards a League brother, you have impatiently
rejected an opportunity and invitation to prayer and
meditation. These sins would be unforgivable were
there not special extenuating circumstances in your
case."
He had now struck home. Everything would now
be said; there would be no more secondary issues,
no more mere stupidities. He was more than right.
He had struck at my heart.
"We do not want to count up all the defendant's
errors," continued the President, "he is not going to
be judged according to the letter, and we know that
it only needed our reminder to awaken the defendant's
conscience and make him a repentant self-accuser."
"Just the same, self-accuser H., I would advise you
to bring some of your other acts before the judgment
of your conscience. Must I remind you of the
evening when you visited the servant Leo and wished
to be recognized by him as a League brother,
although this was impossible, for you had made
yourself unrecognisable as a League brother? Must
I remind you of things which, you yourself said to
the servant Leo? About the sale of your violin?
About the dreadful, stupid, narrow, suicidal life
which you have led for years ?








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


"There is still one more thing, League brother H.,
about which I should not keep silent. It is quite
possible that the servant Leo did you an injustice
that evening. Let us suppose that he did. The servant
Leo was perhaps too strict, perhaps too rational;
perhaps he did not show enough forbearance and
sympathy towards you and your circumstances. But
there are higher authorities and more infallible judges
than the servant Leo. What was the animal's judg-
ment on you, defendant ? Do you remember the dog
Necker? Do you remember his rejection and con-
demnation of you ? He is incorruptible, he does not
take sides, he is not a League brother."
He paused. Yes, the Alsatian Necker! He had
certainly rejected me and condemned me. I agreed.
Judgment was already passed on me by the Alsatian,
already by myself.
Self-accuser H.," began Leo again, and from the
golden gleam of his robes and canopy his voice now
rang out cool and bright and clear, like the voice of
the commandant when he appears before Don
Giovanni's door in the last Act. "Self-accuser H.,
you have listened to me. You have agreed with me.
You have, we presume, already passed judgment on
yourself ? "
Yes," I said in a soft voice, "yes."
"It is, we presume, an unfavourable judgment
which you have passed on yourself ? "








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


"Yes," I whispered.
Leo then rose from the throne and gently stretched
out his arms.
"I now turn to you, my officials. You have heard
and know how things have been with League brother
H. It is a lot that is not unfamiliar to you; many of
you have had to experience it yourselves. The
defendant did not know until this hour, or could not
really believe, that his apostasy and aberration were
a test. For a long time he did not give in. He endured
it for many years, knowing nothing about the League.
remaining alone, and seeing everything in which he
believed in ruins. Finally, he could no longer hide
and contain himself. His suffering became too great,
and you know that as soon as suffering becomes acute
enough, one goes forward. Brother H. was led to
despair in his test, and despair is the result of each
earnest attempt to understand and vindicate human
life. Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to
go through life with virtue, justice and understanding
and to fulfil their requirements. Children live on one
side of despair, the awakened on the other side.
Defendant H. is no longer a child and is not yet fully
awakened. He is still in the midst of despair. He
will overcome it and thereby go through his second
novitiate. We welcome him anew into the League,
the meaning of which he no longer claims to under-








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


stand. We give back to him his lost ring, which the
servant Leo has kept for him."
The Speaker then brought the ring, kissed me on
the cheek and placed the ring on my finger. Hardly
had I looked at the ring, hardly had I felt its metallic
coolness on my fingers, when a thousand things
occurred to me, a thousand inconceivable acts of
neglect. Above all, it occurred to me that the ring
had four stones at equal distances apart, and that it
was a rule of the League and part of the vow to turn
the ring slowly on the finger at least once a day, and
at each of the four stones to bring to mind one of the
four basic precepts of the vow. I had not only lost
the ring and had not once missed it, but during all
those dreadful years I had also no longer repeated
the four basic precepts or thought of them. Immedi-
ately, I tried to say them again inwardly. I had an
idea what they were, they were still within me, they
belonged to me as does a name which one will
remember in a moment but at that particular moment
cannot be recalled. No, it remained silent within me,
I could not repeat the rules, I had forgotten the word-
ing. I had forgotten the rules; for many years I had
not repeated them, for many years I had not observed
them and held them sacred-and yet I had considered
myself a loyal League brother.
The Speaker patted my arm kindly when he








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


observed my dismay and deep shame. Then I heard
the President speak again:
"Defendant and self-accuser H., you are acquitted,
but I have to tell you that it is the duty of a brother
who is acquitted in such a case to enter the ranks of
the officials and occupy one of their seats as soon as
he has passed a test of his faith and obedience. He
has the option of choosing the test. Now, brother H.,
answer my questions!
"Are you prepared to tame a wild dog as a test
of your faith ? "
I drew back in horror.
"No, I could not do it," I cried, moving away.
"Are you prepared and willing to burn the
League's archives immediately at our command, as
our Speaker burns a portion of them now before your
eyes ?"
The Speaker stepped forward, plunged his hands
into the well-arranged filing-cabinets, drew out both
hands full of papers, many hundreds of papers, and
to my horror burnt them over a coal-pan.
"No," I said, drawing back, "I could not do that
either."
"Cave, frater," cried the President. "Take heed,
impetuous brother! I have begun with the easiest
tasks which require the smallest amount of faith.
Each succeeding task will be increasingly difficult.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


Answer me: are you prepared and willing to consult
our archives about yourself ? "
I went cold and held my breath, but I had under-
stood. Each question would become more and more
difficult; there was no escape except into what was
still worse. Breathing deeply, I stood up and said yes.
The Speaker led me to the tables where the
hundreds of filing-cabinets stood. I looked for and
found the letter H. I found my name and, indeed,
first of all that of my ancestor Eoban, who, four
hundred years ago, had also been a member of the
League. Then there was my own name, with the
comment :
Chattorum r. gest. XC.
civ. Calv. infid. 49.
The sheet shook in my hand. Meanwhile, the
officials rose from their seats one after the other, held
out their hands to me, looked me straight in the face,
then went away. The High Throne was vacated and,
last of all, the President descended the throne, held
out his hand to me, looked me in the face, smiled
his pious, kind bishop's smile and left the hall last
of all. I remained there alone, the note in my hand
to refer to the archives for information.
I could not immediately bring myself to take the
step of consulting the archives about myself. I stood
hesitating in the empty hall and saw extending for a
long way the boxes, cupboards, pigeon-holes and








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


cabinets, the accumulation of all the worth-while
knowledge to which I could ever gain access. Yet as
much from fear of seeing my own record sheet as
from a burning desire for knowledge, I allowed my
own affairs to wait a little in order to learn first about
one thing and another which was important to me
and my story of the journey to the East. To be sure,
I had long really known that my story had already
been condemned and disposed of and that I should
never finish writing it. Just the same, I was curious.
I noticed a badly-filed memorandum projecting
from amongst the others in one of the filing-cabinets.
I went towards it and drew out the memorandum on
which was written:
Morbio Inferiore.
No other catch-word could have expressed the
extent of my curiosity more briefly and accurately.
With my heart beating quickly, I looked up the place
in the archives. It was a section of the archives which
contained a rather large number of papers. On the
top lay a copy of a description of the Morbio Gorge
taken from an old Italian book, then there was a
quarto sheet with short notes on the part which
Morbio had played in the history of the League. All
the notes referred to the Journey to the East and
indeed to the base and group to which I had belonged.
Our group, it was recorded here, had arrived at








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


Morbio on its journey. There it was submitted to a
test which it did not pass, namely, the disappearance
of Leo. Although the League's rules should have
guided us, and although even in the event of a League
group remaining without a leader, the precepts held
good and had been inculcated in us at the beginning
of the journey, yet from the moment our whole group
discovered the disappearance of Leo it had lost its
head and faith, had entertained doubts and entered
into futile arguments. In the end, the whole group,
contrary to the spirit of the League, had broken up
into factions and disbanded. This explanation of the
disaster of Morbio could no longer surprise me much.
On the other hand, I was extremely surprised at what
I read further on about the breaking-up of our group,
namely, that no less than three of our League
brothers had made an attempt to write an account
of our journey and had given a description of the
events at Morbio. I was one of these three and a fair
copy of my manuscript was included in the section.
I read through the two others with the strangest
feelings. Basically, both writers described the events
of that day not very differently from the way I had
done, and yet how different they seemed to me I
read in one of them:
"It was the absence of the servant Leo which
revealed to us, suddenly and terribly, the extent of
the dissention and the perplexities which shattered








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


our hitherto apparent complete unity. A few of us,
to be sure, immediately knew or suspected that Leo
had neither come to any harm nor run away, but that
he had secretly been recalled by the League officials.
Yet not one of us can contemplate without feelings
of deepest repentance and shame how badly we
underwent this test. Hardly had Leo left us, when
faith and concord amongst us was at an end; it was
as if the life-blood of our group flowed away from
an invisible wound. First there were differences of
opinion, then open quarrels about the most futile and
ridiculous questions. For example, I remember that
our very popular and praiseworthy choir-master H.H.
suddenly maintained that the missing Leo had also
taken in his bag, along with other valuable objects,
the ancient sacred document, the original manuscript
of the Master. This statement was heatedly disputed
for days. Treated symbolically, H.'s absurd assertion
was really remarkably significant; indeed, it did seem
as if the prosperity of the League, the cohesion of the
whole, was completely gone with Leo's departure
from our little group. The very same musician H.
was a sad example of this. Until the day of Morbio
Inferiore he was one of the most loyal and faithful
League brothers, as well as popular as an artist, and,
despite many weaknesses of character, he was one of
our most active members. But he relapsed into
brooding, depression and mistrust, became more than








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


negligent in his duties, and began to be intolerant,
nervous and quarrelsome. As he finally remained
behind on the march one day and did not appear
again, it did not occur to anyone to stop on his behalf
and look for him ; it was evidently a case of desertion.
Unfortunately, he was not the only one, and finally
nothing was left of our little travelling group. .. ."
I found this passage in the other historian's work :
"Just as ancient Rome collapsed after Casar's
death, or democratic thought throughout the world
on Wilson's desertion of the colours, so did our
League break up on the unhappy day of Morbio. As
far as blame and responsibility can be mentioned,
two apparently harmless members were to blame for
the collapse, the musician H.H. and Leo, one of the
servants. These two men were previously popular
and faithful members of the League, although lacking
in understanding of its significance in world history.
They disappeared one day without leaving any trace,
taking with them many valuable possessions and
important documents, which indicates that both
wretches were bribed by enemies of the League. .. ."
If the memory of this historian was so very con-
fused and inaccurate, although he apparently made
the report in all good faith and with the conviction
of its complete veracity-what was the value of my
own notes ? If ten other accounts by other authors
were found about Morbio, Leo and myself, they








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


would presumably all contradict and censure each
other. No, our historical efforts were of no use;
there was no point in continuing with them and
reading them; one could quietly let them be covered
with dust in this section of the archives.
A shudder went through me at the thought of what
I should still learn in this hour. How awry, altered
and distorted everything and everyone was in these
mirrors, how mockingly and unattainably did the
face of truth hide itself behind all these reports,
counter-reports and legends! What was still truth?
What was still credible ? And what would remain
when I also learned about myself, about my own
character and history from the knowledge stored in
these archives ?
I must be prepared for anything. Suddenly I
could bear the uncertainty and suspense no longer.
I hastened to the section Chattorum res gestas, looked
for my sub-division and number and stood in front
of the part marked with my name. This was a niche,
and when I drew the thin curtains aside I saw that
it contained nothing written. It contained nothing but
a figure, an old and worn-looking model made from
wood or wax, in pale colours. It appeared to be a
kind of deity or barbaric idol. At first glance it was
entirely incomprehensible to me. It was a figure that
really consisted of two; it had a common back. I
stared at it for a while, disappointed and surprised.








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


Then I noticed a candle in a metal candlestick fixed
to the wall of the niche. A match-box lay there. I
lit the candle and the strange double figure was now
brightly illuminated.
Only slowly did it dawn upon me. Only slowly
and gradually did I begin to suspect and then per-
ceive what it was intended to represent. It repre-
sented a figure which was myself, and this likeness
of myself was unpleasantly weak and half-real; it
had blurred features, and in its whole expression
there was something unstable, weak, dying or wishing
to die, and looked rather like a piece of sculpture
which could be called Transitoriness or "Decay,"
or something similar. On the other hand, the other
figure which was joined to mine to make one, was
strong in colour and form, and just as I began to
realise whom it resembled, namely, the servant and
President Leo, I discovered a second candle in the wall
and lit this also. I now saw the double figure repre-
senting Leo and myself, not only becoming clearer
and each image more alike, but I also saw that the
surface of the figures was transparent and that one
could look inside as one can look through the glass
of a bottle or vase. Inside the figures I saw some-
thing moving, slowly, extremely slowly, in the same
way that a snake moves which has fallen asleep.
Something was taking place there, something like a
very slow, smooth but continuous flowing or melting ;








THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST


indeed, something melted or poured across from my
image to that of Leo's. I perceived that my image
was in the process of adding to and flowing into
Leo's, nourishing and strengthening it. It seemed
that, in time, all the substance from one image would
flow into the other and only one would remain: Leo.
He must grow, I must disappear.
As I stood there and looked and tried to under-
stand what I saw, I recalled a short conversation that
I had once had with Leo during the festive days at
Bremgarten. We had talked about the creations of
poetry being more vivid and real than the poets
themselves.
The candles burned low and went out. I was over-
come by an infinite weariness and desire to sleep,
and I turned away to find a place where I could lie
down and sleep.







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