to political subjects. Of course, they could refuse to pass all
financial bills, but--And perhaps there was not even a sufficient
majority to defeat the government budget. It certainly looked dubious--
rotten--They cited quotations from leading parliamentarians, they proposed
to put the torch to the Castle and proclaim the republic without delay.
The Artist threatened a general revolt of the labouring classes. "Do you
know what the Speaker told me in confidence? That he never, never
would agree to a compromise--rather let the Union sink or swim! 'Sink or
swim,' these were his very words. And when one knows the Speaker--"
Still Paulsberg did not say anything, and as the comrades were eager to
hear his opinion, the Attorney finally ventured to address him:
"And you, Paulsberg, you don't say a word?"
Paulsberg very seldom spoke; he had kept to himself and to his studies and
his literary tasks, and lacked the verbal facility of his comrades. He
smiled good-naturedly and answered:
"'Let your c