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Henry of Ofterdingen: A Romance.   By: (1772-1801)

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First Page:

Transcriber's notes:

1. Source: Web Archive:

2. Hebrew words: krt = kaf resh taf = to cut; krty = kaf resh taf yod = to executioner.

3. Greek word: KrĂȘtĂȘ = Kappa rho eta tau eta = Crete.

4. diphthong oe=[oe]








Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1842, BY JOHN OWEN, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.



The present translation is made from the edition of Tieck and Schlegel. The life of the author is chiefly drawn from the one written by the former. The completion of the second part is also by the same writer.

Richter said, in a prophetic feeling of the fate of his own works, that translators were like wagoners who carry good wine to fairs but most unaccountably water it before the end of the journey. Which allusion and semi confession is meant to take the place of the usual apology; and the reader can proceed without farther preface.

Cambridge , June , 1842.


Page xvi, line tenth from bottom, for tion. He read tion, he

Page 22, line ninth from top, for work read woke

Page 66, first word of the poetry, for Though read Through


Probably some of the readers of this volume will feel an interest in the author's life. Although there are but few works, in which the mind of the author is more clearly and purely reflected than in this; yet it is natural that the reader should feel some interest in the outward circumstances of one, who has become dear to him; and those friends of Novalis, who have never known him personally, will be glad to hear all that we can bring to light concerning him.

The Baron of Hardenberg, the father of the author, was director of the Saxonian salt works. He had been a soldier in his younger days, and retained even in his old age a predilection for a military life. He was a robust, ever active man, frank and energetic; a pure German. The pious character of his mind led him to join the Moravian community; yet he remained frank, decided, and upright. His mother, a type of elevated piety and Christian meekness, belonged to the same religious community. She bore with lofty resignation the loss, within a few successive years, of a blooming circle of hopeful and well educated children.

Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) was born on the second of May, in the year 1772, on a family estate in the county of Mansfield. He was the oldest of eleven children, with the exception of a sister who was born a year earlier. The family consisted of seven sons and four daughters, all distinguished for their wit and the lofty tone of their minds. Each possessed a peculiar disposition, while all were united by a beautiful and generous affection to each other and to their parents. Friedrich von Hardenberg was weak in constitution from his earliest childhood, without, however, suffering from any settled or dangerous disease. He was somewhat of a day dreamer, silent and of an inactive disposition. He separated himself from the society of his playmates; but his character was distinguished from that of other children, only by the ardor of his love for his master. He found his companions in his own family. His spirit seemed to be wakened from its slumber, by a severe disease in his ninth year, and by the stimulants applied for his recovery; and he suddenly appeared brighter, merrier, and more active... Continue reading book >>

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