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A Hungarian Nabob   By: (1825-1904)

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First Page:

WORKS OF MAURUS JÓKAI

HUNGARIAN EDITION

A HUNGARIAN NABOB

Translated from the Hungarian

By R. NISBET BAIN

NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

Copyright 1899 by Doubleday & McClure Co.

PREFACE.

This noble novel, now translated into English for the first time, was written nearly fifty years ago. On its first appearance, Hungarian critics of every school at once hailed it as a masterpiece. It has maintained its popularity ever since; and now, despite the manifold mutations of literary fashion, in Hungary as elsewhere, has reached the unassailable position of a national classic.

It is no light task to attempt to transplant a classic like "Egy Magyar Nábob." National tastes differ infinitely, and then there is the formidable initial difficulty of contending with a strange and baffling non aryan language. Only those few hardy linguists who have learnt, in the sweat of their brows, to read a meaning into that miracle of agglutinative ingenuity, an Hungarian sentence, will be able to appreciate the immense labour of rendering some four hundred pages of a Magyar masterpiece of peculiarly idiomatic difficulty into fairly readable English. But my profound admiration for the illustrious Hungarian romancer, and my intimate conviction that, of all continental novelists, he is most likely to appeal to healthy English taste, which has ever preferred the humorous and romantic story to the Tendenz Roman , or novel with a purpose, have encouraged me to persevere to the end of my formidable task.

I may add, in conclusion, that I have taken the liberty to cut out a good third of the original work, and this I have done advisedly, having always been very strongly of opinion that the technique of the original tale suffered from an excess of episode. This embarras de richesse would naturally be still more noticeable in a translation, and I am particularly anxious that "A Hungarian Nabob" should attract at first sight. Let this, therefore, be my apology to Dr. Jókai and, as I trust, my claim upon his forgiveness.

R. NISBET BAIN. AUGUST, 1898.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

I. AN ODDITY, 1822 9 II. A BARGAIN FOR THE SKIN OF A LIVING MAN 41 III. THE WHITSUN KING 58 IV. A FAMILY CURSE 89 V. THE TEMPTER IN CHURCH 116 VI. PAID IN FULL 132 VII. THE NABOB'S BIRTHDAY 153 VIII. AN UNEXPECTED CHANGE 186 IX. THE HUNTER IN THE SNARE 203 X. POOR LADY! 242 XI. THE FEMALE FRIEND 260 XII. THE HOUSE WARMING 268 XIII. THE HUNT 274 XIV. MARTYRDOM 287 XV. THE SPY 294 XVI. LIGHT WITHOUT AND NIGHT WITHIN 301 XVII. A DANGEROUS EXPERIMENT 315 XVIII. UNPLEASANT DISCOVERIES 327 XIX. ZOLTÁN KÁRPÁTHY 332 XX. SECRET VISITORS 337 XXI. THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT 344 XXII. LEAVE TAKING 356

A HUNGARIAN NABOB.

CHAPTER I.

AN ODDITY, 1822.

It is nasty, dirty weather outside there on the puszta ;[1] the sky is cloudy, the earth muddy, the rain has been falling for two weeks incessantly, as if by special command. There are inundations and submersions everywhere; rushes are growing instead of wheat, the stork is ploughing, the duck is fishing all over the precious sea like expanse... Continue reading book >>




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