It was night in Vienna. In the gay cabarets where the white lights blazed stolid German waiters were relieving the overburdened pocketbooks of carefree American tourists, gaining in the halls of pleasure what they had lost on the fields of battle. But on the little side street by the water-front, not far from the Franz-Josef bridge, there were no bright lights. There was only the faint glow from the garret window of a weather-beaten old house, where, working far into the night, a busy scholar was translating Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" into Albanian.
Thus opens the newest chapter in the tempestuous life of Fan S. Noli '12, Albanian Harvard graduate, bishop-ex-Premier. When last heard of, Noli was disappearing into Italy, taking with him a loyal coterie of cabinet officers and followers, and "a lot of money". Now he turns up in the capital of Austria, having discarded the role of politician for that of author. What matter if the door of his native country is barred to him? For Fan Noli it means but an opportunity to continue his literary work, interrupted by the demands of his unstable position as head of the Albanian government.
Meanwhile from Tirana. Albanian capital, comes news of the "villain" of this latest Balkan drama. Ahmed Zogu, inveterate rival of Bishop Noli, is now in full control of the government. The constituent assembly has declared Albania a republic, with a constitution modeled after that of the United States, and has named Zogu as president for a term of seven years.
So Ahmed Zogu reports "all quiet along the Adriatic", but Fan Noli talks darkly of suppression, of Serbian intervention, of a Russian army, and of a threatened partition of Albania by Italy and Jugo-Slavia. And during the period of his exile he sits in his little attic in Vienna and writes and writes and writes.