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Weird Tales, Vol. II.   By: (1776-1822)

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Transcriber's notes: 1. This book is derived from the Web Archive, http://www.archive.org/details/weirdtales05bealgoog.

2. The oe diphthong is represented by [oe].

3. Footnote references to volume I of this work are incorporated in the note in order to provide easier reading.

WEIRD TALES

BY E. T. W. HOFFMANN

A NEW TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN

WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR

By J. T. BEALBY, B.A. FORMERLY SCHOLAR OF CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

IN TWO VOLUMES VOL. II.

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1885

TROW'S PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING COMPANY, NEW YORK.

CONTENTS OF VOLUME II.

PAGE THE DOGE AND DOGESS,

MASTER MARTIN THE COOPER,

MADEMOISELLE DE SCUDÉRI,

GAMBLER'S LUCK,

MASTER JOHANNES WACHT,

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES,

THE DOGE AND DOGESS[1]

This was the title that distinguished in the art catalogue of the works exhibited by the Berlin Academy of Arts in September, 1816, a picture which came from the brush of the skilful clever Associate of the Academy, C. Kolbe.[2] There was such a peculiar charm in the piece that it attracted all observers. A Doge, richly and magnificently dressed, and a Dogess at his side, as richly adorned with jewellery, are stepping out on to a balustered balcony; he is an old man, with a grey beard and rusty red face, his features indicating a peculiar blending of expressions, now revealing strength, now weakness, again pride and arrogance, and again pure good nature; she is a young woman, with a far away look of yearning sadness and dreamy aspiration not only in her eyes but also in her general bearing. Behind them is an elderly lady and a man holding an open sun shade. At one end of the balcony is a young man blowing a conch shaped horn, whilst in front of it a richly decorated gondola, bearing the Venetian flag and having two gondoliers, is rocking on the sea. In the background stretches the sea itself studded with hundreds and hundreds of sails, whilst the towers and palaces of magnificent Venice are seen rising out of its waves. To the left is Saint Mark's, to the right, more in the front, San Giorgio Maggiore. The following words were cut in the golden frame of the picture.

Ah! senza amare, Andare sul mare Col sposo del mare, Non puo consolare.

To go on the sea With the spouse of the sea, When loveless I be, Is no comfort to me.

One day there arose before this picture a fruitless altercation as to whether the artist really intended it for anything more than a mere picture, that is, the temporary situation, sufficiently indicated by the verse, of a decrepit old man who with all his splendour and magnificence is unable to satisfy the desires of a heart filled with yearning aspirations, or whether he intended to represent an actual historical event. One after the other the visitors left the place, tired of the discussion, so that at length there were only two men left, both very good friends to the noble art of painting. "I can't understand," said one of them, "how people can spoil all their enjoyment by eternally hunting after some jejune interpretation or explanation. Independently of the fact that I have a pretty accurate notion of what the relations in life between this Doge and Dogess were, I am more particularly struck by the subdued richness and power that characterises the picture as a whole... Continue reading book >>




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