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By Stefan Zweig

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The servants were asked about the behaviour of their masters, and the children were cross-questioned as to the doings of their parents. As he walked along the street, this minion of the Calvinist dictatorship would keep his ears pricked to ascertain whether anyone was singing a secular song, or was making music, or was addicted to the diabolic vice of cheerfulness. For henceforward in Geneva the authorities were always on the hunt for anything that smacked of pleasure, for any "paillardise"; and woe unto a burgher caught visiting a tavern when the day's work was over to refresh himself with a glass of wine, or unto another who was so depraved as to find pleasure in dice or cards.

49 It was inevitable that so unsleeping a terror should, in the end, banish a sense of dignity and a feeling of energy both from individuals and from the masses. When, in a State organization, every citizen has to accept that he will be questioned, examined, and condemned, since he knows that invisible spies are watching all his doings and noting all his words; when, without notice, either by day or by night, his house is liable to "visitations"-then people's nerves give way, and a sort of mass anxiety ensues, which extends by infection even to the most courageous.

Though Geneva produced a great number of pious citizens, earnest theologians, and distinguished scholars, who made the city famous for all time, still, even two centuries after Calvin, there were in this town beside the Rhone no painters, no musicians, no artists with a worldwide reputation. The extraordinary was sacrificed to the ordinary, creative liberty to a thoroughly tamed servility. When, at long last, an artist was born in Geneva, his whole life was a revolt against the shackling of individuality.

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