Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Peter Schlemihl   By: (1781-1838)

Book cover

First Page:

PETER SCHLEMIHL:

FROM THE GERMAN OF ADELBERT VON CHAMISSO:

TRANSLATED

BY SIR JOHN BOWRING, LL.D., &c.

WITH PLATES BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." SHAKSPEAKE.

THIRD EDITION.

LONDON: ROBERT HARDWICKE, 192, PICCADILLY.

1861.

{Schlemihl giving his shadow away: p0.jpg}

LONDON: ROBERT HARDWICKE, PRINTER, 192, PICCADILLY.

NOTICE.

Adelung said to me one day at Petersburg "Have you read Peter Schlemihl?" "No." "If you read it, you will translate it." I have translated it.

The story is a moral one. I leave its development to my readers. It would be little flattering to them to suspect they required my assistance, in order to discover the obvious lessons it conveys.

I have not scrupled to introduce a few verbal alterations; but the deviations from the original are very trifling.

THE TRANSLATOR.

To my Friend Wangner

Come to the land of shadows for awhile, And seek for truth and wisdom! Here below, In the dark misty paths of fear and woe, We weary out our souls and waste our toil; But if we harvest in the richer soil Of towering thoughts where holy breezes blow, And everlasting flowers in beauty smile No disappointment shall the labourer know. Methought I saw a fair and sparkling gem In this rude casket but thy shrewder eye, WANGNER! a jewell'd coronet could descry. Take, then, the bright, unreal diadem! Worldlings may doubt and smile insultingly, The hidden stores of truth are not for them .

J. B.

To the Same, from Fouque

We must, dear Edward, protect the history of poor Schlemihl and so protect it that it may be concealed from the eyes that are not to look into it. This is a disagreeable business; for of such eyes there is a multitude, and what mortal can decide what shall be the fate of a MS. which is more hard to guard than even an uttered word. In truth, I feel as if my head were turning round, and in my anguish jump into the abyss let the whole affair be printed!

But, Edward! there are really stronger and better grounds for this decision. Unless I am wholly deceived, there beat in our beloved Germany many hearts which are able and worthy to understand poor Schlemihl, and a tranquil smile will light upon the countenance of many an honest countryman of ours at the bitter sport in which life with him and the simple sport in which he with himself is engaged. And you, Edward, you, looking into this so sincerely grounded book, and thinking how many unknown hearts this may learn with us to love it you will let a drop of balsam fall into the deep wound, which death hath inflicted upon you and all that love you.

And to conclude: there is I know there is, from manifold experience a genius that takes charge of every printed book and delivers it into the appropriate hands, and if not always, yet very often keeps at home the undeserving: that genius holds the key to every true production of heart and soul, and opens and closes it with never failing dexterity.

To this genius, my much beloved Schlemihl! I confide thy smiles and thy tears, and thus to God commend them.

FOUQUE.

Neunhausen , May 31, 1814.

To Fouque, from Hitzig

We have done, then, the desperate deed: there is Schlemihl's story which we were to preserve to ourselves as our own secret, and lo! not only Frenchmen and Englishmen, Dutchmen and Spaniards have translated it, and Americans have reprinted it from the English text, as I announced to my own erudite Berlin, but now in our beloved Germany a new edition appears with the English etchings, which the illustrious Cruikshank sketched from the life, and wider still will the story be told. Not a word didst thou mutter to me in 1814, of the publication of the MS., and did I not deem thy reckless enterprise suitably punished by the complaints of our Chamisso, in his Voyage round the World from 1815 to 1818 complaints urged in Chili and Kamtschatka, and uttered even to his departed friend Tameramaia of Owahee, I should even now demand of you crowning retribution... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books