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Tales by Polish Authors   By: (1873-1917)

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First Page:

TALES BY POLISH AUTHORS

London SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & Co., LTD.

New York LONGMANS, GREEN & Co. FOURTH AVENUE AND 30TH STREET

TALES

BY

POLISH AUTHORS

HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ STEFAN ZEROMSKI ADAM SZYMANSKI WACLAW SIEROSZEWSKI

TRANSLATED BY ELSE C. M. BENECKE

Oxford

B. H. BLACKWELL, BROAD STREET

1915

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

Of the contemporary Polish authors represented in this volume only Henryk Sienkiewicz is well known in England. Although the works of Stefan Zeromski, Adam Szymanski, and Waclaw Sieroszewski are widely read in Poland, none have as yet appeared in English, so far as the present translator is aware. 'Srul from Lubartów' is generally considered one of the most striking of Adam Szymanski's Siberian 'Sketches.' The author writes from personal experience, having himself been banished to Siberia for a number of years. The same can be said of Waclaw Sieroszewski; during the fifteen years spent in Siberia as a political exile, he made a study of some of the native tribes, especially the Yakut and Tungus, and has written a great deal on this subject. Stefan Zeromski is also one of the most distinguished modern Polish novelists; several of his books have been translated into French and German.

The translator is under a deep obligation to the authors, MM. Sienkiewicz, Szymanski, and Zeromski, for kindly allowing her to publish these tales in English, and to Mr. J. H. Retinger, Secretary of the Polish Bureau in London, for authorising the same on behalf of M. Sieroszewski.

E. C. M. B.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE Henryk Sienkiewicz: ' Bartek the Conqueror ' 1 Stefan Zeromski: ' Twilight ' 101 ' Temptation ' 113 Adam Szymanski: ' Srul from Lubartów ' 119 Waclaw Sieroszewski: ' In Autumn ' 137 ' In Sacrifice to the Gods ' 163

POLISH PRONUNCIATION:

After k, rz = English sh. sz = English sh cz = English ch l = English w w = English v

BARTEK THE CONQUEROR

HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ

CHAPTER I

My hero's name was Bartek Slowik[1]; but owing to his habit of staring when spoken to, the neighbours called him 'Bartek Goggle Eyes.' Indeed, he had little in common with nightingales, and his intellectual qualities and truly childish naïveté won him the further nickname of 'Bartek the Blockhead.' This last was the most popular, in fact, the only one handed down to history, though Bartek bore yet a fourth, an official name. Since the Polish words 'man' and 'nightingale'[2] present no difference to a German ear, and the Germans love to translate Barbarian Proper names into a more cultured language in the cause of civilization, the following conversation took place when he was being entered as a recruit.

'What is your name?' the officer asked Bartek.

'Slowik.'

'Szloik[3] Ach, ja, gut. '

And the officer wrote down 'Man.'

Bartek came from the village of Pognebin, a name given to a great many villages in the Province of Posen and in other parts of Poland. First of all there was he himself, not to mention his land, his cottage and two cows, his own piebald horse, and his wife, Magda. Thanks to this combination of circumstances he was able to live comfortably, and according to the maxim contained in the verse:

To him whom God would bless He gives, of course, A wife called Magda and a piebald horse.

In fact, all his life he had taken whatever Providence sent without troubling about it. But just now Providence had ordained war, and Bartek was not a little upset at this... Continue reading book >>




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