Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/182

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164
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

have understood the Czech language in the first three years of my childhood, because I was born in a small village of Moravia, inhabited by Slavs. A Czech nursery rhyme, which I heard in my seventeenth year, became, without effort on my part, so imprinted upon my memory that I can repeat it to this day, although I have no idea of its meaning. There is then no lack in these dreams also of manifold relations to impressions from the first years of my life.

It was during my last journey to Italy, which, among other places, took me past Lake Trasimenus, that I at last found what re-enforcement my longing for the Eternal City had received from the impressions of my youth; this was after I had seen the Tiber, and had turned back with painful emotions when I was within eighty kilometers of Rome. I was just broaching the plan of travelling to Naples via Rome the next year, when this sentence, which I must have read in one of our classical authors, occurred to me: "It is a question which of the two paced up and down in his room the more impatiently after he had made the plan to go to Rome—Assistant-Headmaster Winckelman or the great general Hannibal." I myself had walked in Hannibal's footsteps; like him I was destined never to see Rome, and he too had gone to Campania after the whole world had expected him in Rome. Hannibal, with whom I had reached this point of similarity, had been my favourite hero during my years at the Gymnasium; like so many boys of my age, I bestowed my sympathies during the Punic war, not on the Romans, but on the Carthaginians. Then, when I came finally to understand the consequences of belonging to an alien race, and was forced by the anti-semitic sentiment among my class-mates to assume a definite attitude, the figure of the Semitic commander assumed still greater proportions in my eyes. Hannibal and Rome symbolised for me as a youth the antithesis between the tenaciousness of the Jews and the organisation of the Catholic Church. The significance for our emotional life which the anti-semitic movement has since assumed helped to fix the thoughts and impressions of that earlier time. Thus the wish to get to Rome has become the cover and symbol in my dream-life for several warmly cherished wishes, for the realisation of which one might work with the perseverance and single-mindedness of the Punic