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Hans Breitman's ballads   By: (1824-1903)

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Begin the HTML special character copy of the Breitmann Ballads

The Breitmann Ballads by Charles G. Leland.



This Work is Dedicated by Charles G. Leland

Poul and Karen Anderson without whose inspiration it would not exist. Geoff Kidd Krista Rourke

Ad Musan. "Est mihi schoena etenim et praestanti corpore liebsta Haec sola est mea Musa meoque regierit in Herza. Huic me ergebo ipsum meaque illi abstatto geluebda, Huic ebrensaulas aufrichto opfroque Geschenka, Hic etiam absingo liedros et carmina scribo." Rapsodia Andra, Leipzig, 17th Century Preface To the Edition of 1889.

Though twenty years have passed since the first appearance of the "Breitmann Ballads" in a collected form, the author is deeply gratified and not less sincerely grateful to the public in knowing that Hans still lives in many memories, that he continues to be quoted when writers wish to illustrate an exuberantly joyous "barty" or ladies so very fashionably dressed as to recall "de maidens mit nodings on," and that no inconsiderable number of those who are "beginning German" continue to be addressed by sportive friends in the Breitmann dialect as a compliment to their capacity as linguists. For as a young medical student is asked by anxious intimates if he has got as far as salts, I have heard inquiries addressed to tyros in Teutonic whether they had mastered these songs. As I have realised all of this from newspapers and novels, even during the past few weeks, and have learned that a new and very expensive edition of the work has just appeared in America, I trust that I may be pardoned for a self gratulation, which is, after all really gratitude to those who have demanded of the English publisher another issue. My chief pleasure in this though it be mingled with sorrow is, that it enables me to dedicate to the memory of my friend the late NICHOLAS TRÜBNER the most complete edition of the Ballads ever printed. I can think of no more appropriate tribute to his memory, since he was not only the first publisher of the work in England, but collaborated with the author in editing it so far as to greatly improve and extend the whole. This is more fully set forth in the Introduction to the Glossary, which is all his own. The memory of the deep personal interest which he took in the poems, his delight in being their publisher, his fondness for reciting them, is and ever will be to me indescribably touching; such experiences being rare in any life. He was an immensely general and yet thorough scholar, and I am certain that I never met with any man in my life who to such an extensive bibliographical knowledge added so much familiarity with the contents of books. And he was familiar with nothing which did not interest him, which is rare indeed among men who MUST know something of thousands of works in fact, he was a wonderful and very original book in himself, which, if it had ever been written out and published, would have never died. His was one of the instances which give the world good cause to regret that the art of autobiography is of all others the one least taught or studied. There are few characters more interesting than those in which the practical man of business is combined with the scholar, because of the contrasts, or varied play of light and shadow, in them, and this was, absolutely to perfection, that of Mr. Trübner. And if I have re edited this work, it was that I might have an opportunity of recording it.

There are others to whom I owe sincere gratitude for interest displayed in this work when it was young. The first of these was the late CHARLES ASTOR BRISTED of New York. With the exception of the "Barty," most of the poems in the first edition were written merely to fill up letters to him, and as I kept no copy of them, they would have been forgotten, had he not preserved and printed them after a time in a sporting paper... Continue reading book >>

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