“Sometimes the Angel leans over their cradle, as happened to Lotte, and that is how there are little prodigies who play the fiddle at six better than men at fifty, which, you must admit, is very wonderful.”
“Sometimes, the Angel comes much later, because the children are naughty and won’t learn their lessons or practise their scales. And sometimes, he does not come at all, because the children have a bad heart or a bad conscience.”
“And when the Count’s parents succumbed to cholera within hours of each other in 1900, it was the Grand Duke who took the young Count aside and explained that he must be strong for his sister’s sake; that adversity presents itself in many forms; and that if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.”
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