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has no idea of poverty but in the abstract; she has only read of it in poetry, where it is allied to love. She feels as yet no privation: she suffers no loss of accustomed conveniencies nor elegancies. When we come practically to experience its sordid cares, its paltry wants, its petty humiliations — then will be the real trial.“
„But,“ said I, „now that you have got over 36 the severest task, that of breaking it to her, the sooner you let the world into the secret the better. The disclosure may be mortifying: but then it is a single misery, and soon over: whereas you otherwise suffer it, in anticipation, every hour in the day. It is not poverty so much as pretence 37, that harasses a ruined man - the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse — the keeping up a hollow show that must soon come to an end. Have the courage to appear poor, and you disarm poverty of its sharpest sting.“ On this point I found Leslie perfectly prepared. He had no false pride himself; and as to his wife, she was only anxious to conform to their altered fortunes.
Some days afterwards he called upon me in the evening. He had disposed of 38 his dwelling-house, and taken a small cottage in the country, a few miles from town. He had been busied all day in sending out furniture. The new establishment required few articles, and those of the simplest kind. All the splendid furniture of his late residence had been sold, excepting his wife's harp. That, he said, was too closely associated with the idea of herself: it belonged to the little story of their loves; for some of the sweetest moments of their courtship were those when he had leaned over that instrument, and listened to the melting tones of her voice. I could not but smile at this instance of romantic gallantry in a doting husband.
He was now going out to the cottage, where his wife had been all day superintending its arrangement 39. My feelings had become strongly interested in the progress of this family story; and, as it was a fine evening, I offered to accompany him.
He was wearied with the fatigues of the day, and, as we walked out, fell into a fit of gloomy musing.
36) to get over = überstehen.
37) preténce (v. lat. praetendere, fr. prétendre) das Vorgeben, der Vorwand, der Schein.
38) to dispose of = disponieren über, verkaufen.
89) its arrangement == die Einrichtung derselben (sc. der ländlichen Wohnung cottage).
,Poor Mary!" at length broke, with a heavy sigh, from his lips.
„And what of her?" asked I: „has anything happened to her ?".
„What!" said he, darting an impatient glance, „is it nothing to be reduced to this paltry situation — to be caged in a miserable cottage — to be obliged to toil almost in the menial concerns of her wretched habitation 40 ?"
„Has she then repined at the change ?"
„Repined! she has been nothing but sweetness and goodhumour. Indeed, she seems in better spirits than I have ever known her. She has been to me all love, and tenderness, and comfort!“
„Admirable girl!“ exclaimed I. „You call yourself poor, my friend; you never were so rich — you never knew the boundless treasures of excellence you possessed in that woman."
„Oh! but, my friend, if this first meeting at the cottage were over, I think I could then be comfortable. But this is her first day of real experience: she has been introduced into a humble dwelling - she has been employed all day in arranging its miserable equipments — she has, for the first time, known the fatigues of domestic employment — she has, for the first time, looked round her on a home destitute of everything elegant, —- almost of everything convenient 41; and may now be sitting down, exhausted and spiritless, brooding over a prospect of future poverty.“
There was a degree of probability in this picture that I could not gainsay, so we walked on in silence.
After turning from the main road up a narrow lane, so thickly shaded with forest trees as to give it a complete air of seclusion, we came in sight of the cottage. It was humble enough in its appearance for the most pastoral poet; and yet it had a pleasing rural look. A wild vine had overrun one end with a profusion of foliage: a few trees threw their branches gracefully over it; and I observed several pots of flowers tastefully disposed about the door, and on the grass-plot in front. A small wicket gate opened upon a footpath that wound through
40) mènial niedrig, gemein; eigentlich zur Dienerschaft gehörig zu méiny Haushalt, Familie, Dienerschaft zu mansion, franz. maison, lat. mansio; to toil in the menial concerns of her wretched habitation = Magdsarbeiten in ihrer elenden Wohnung thun.
41) everything élēganl, everything convenient im Englischen concret; deutsch besser abstract: jede Éleganz, jede Bequemlichkeit.
some shrubbery to the door. Just as we approached, we heard the sound of music. — Leslie grasped my arm: we paused and listened. It was Mary's voice singing, in a style of the most touching simplicity, a little air of which her husband was peculiarly fond.
I felt Leslie's hand tremble on my arm. He stepped forward to hear more distinctly. His step made a noise on the gravel walk. A bright beautiful face glanced out at the window and vanished — a light footstep was heard -- and Mary came tripping forth to meet us: she was in a pretty rural dress of white: a few wild flowers were twisted in her fine hair; a fresh bloom 42 was on her cheek; her whole countenance beamed with smiles - I had never seen her look so lovely.
„My dear George,“ cried she, „I am so glad you are come! I have been watching and watching for you; and running down the lane, and looking out for you. I've set out a table under a beautiful tree behind the cottage; and I've been gathering some of the most delicious strawberries, for I know you are fond of them — and we have such excellent cream — and everything is so sweet and still here. — Oh," said she, putting her arm within his, and looking up brightly in his face, — „oh, we shall be so happy!“
Poor Leslie was overcome. He caught her to his bosom - he folded his arms round her — he kissed her again and again — he could not speak, but the tears gushed into his eyes; and he has often assured me that though the world has since gone prosperously with him 43, and his life has, indeed, been a happy one, yet never has he experienced "4 a moment of such unutterable felicity.
42) bloom Blüthe (zum dtsch. Blume u. engl. blossom), dann the delicate, powdery coating (Ueberzug) upon certain newly gathered fruits, as grapes, plums etc.; hier auf die Wangen übertragen, deutsch etwa: rosiger Hauch.
43) deutsch besser unpersönlich: obgleich es ihm seitdem (in der Welt) wieder gut gegangen ist.
44) has he experienced: man beachte die Inversion, die durch das vorangestellte never bewirkt ist.
RIP VAN WINKLE.
A POSTHUMOUS WRITING
[The following Tale was found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker, an old gentleman of New York, who was very curious in the Dutch history of the province, and the manners of the descendants from its primitive settlers. His historical researches, however, did not lie so much among books as among men; for the former are lamentably scanty on his favourite topics; whereas he found the old burghers, and still more their wives, rich in that legendary lore“, so invaluable to true history. Whenever, therefore, he chanced to find a genuine Dutch family, snugly shut up in its low-roofed farm-house, under a spreading sycamore, he looked upon it as a little clasped 5 volume of black-letter, and studied it with the zeal of a book-worm.
The result of all these researches was a history of the province during the reign of the Dutch governors, which he published some years since ?. There have been various opinions
1) to be very curious in = sich angelegentlich beschäftigen mit.
2) the former are lamentably scanty on his fàvourite tópics = die ersteren sind kläglich arm in Betreff seiner Lieblingsgegenstände, enthalten leider wenig über s. Liebl.
3) burgher = die jetzt altfränkisch klingende Bezeichnung des Stadtbürgers, des vollberechtigten Mitgliedes einer städtischen Corporation oder eines Stadtbezirks (borough); jetzt citizen.
4) lore (ags. lâr, dtsch. Lehre), eiv altyäterisches Wort, für welches im allgemeinen modernen Sprachgebrauch eingetreten sind: erudition, learning, doctrine, lesson, instruction; légendary lore = Kenntniss der Sagen.
5) clasped = mit Klammern versehen; wie noch jetzt Bibeln u. Gesangbücher.
6) Ueber black-letter vergl. S. 21, Anm. 48. 7) Der Verfasser meint seine im J. 1809 erschienene History of Irving, The Sketch Book.
as to the literary character of his work, and, to tell the private truth, it is not a whit better than it should be. Its chief merit is its scrupulous accuracy, which indeed was a little questioned on its first appearance, but has since been completely established: and it is now admitted into all historical collections, as a book of unquestionable authority'.
The old gentleman died shortly after the publication of his work; and now that he is dead and gone, it cannot do much harm to his memory to say, that his time might have been much better employed in weightier labours. He was apt, however, to ride his hobby his own way10; and though it did now and then
New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker. Ueber den Charakter und die Tendenz dieses Werks sagt der Autor in der Apologie, die er später dem Buche vorausschickte: „In der That, ich war erstaunt zu sehen, wie wenige meiner Landsleute wussten, dass New York früher New Amsterdam hiess, wie sie die Namen der holländischen Gouverneure nicht kannten und sich um ihre alten Vorfahren nur wenig kümmerten. Die Haupttendenz meiner Arbeit lag fern von den Zielen einer nüchternen Geschichte, sie wird aber Nachsicht bei poetischen Gemüthern finden. Ich wollte die Traditionen unserer Stadt in eine unterhaltende Form bringen, ihre alten localen Sonderbarkeiten, Sitten und Gewohnheiten illustrieren, heimatliche Localitäten, Plätze und Namen mit jenen launigen uod phantastischen Erinnerungen und Traditionen umkleiden, deren wir in unserer neuen Welt entbehren, die aber in der alten so zauberhaft die Herzen der Bewohner an ihre Heimat binden.“ Vergl. Laun, Wash. Irving, Thl. I, S. 42. Und in dem Memoir of W. Irving heisst es: „The object of the author was to take a ludicrous view of the society around him, and give a good - humoured satire on the foibles of his native city. The Burgomasters and shépens were the aldermen and assistant-aldermen of the present day. - The absurdities held up to ridicule were the follies of the present day; and both were merely arrayed in the antiquated garb that appertained to the era of the Dutch dynasty. It may be regarded as a sportive jeu d'esprit; but it had also a moral tendency to correct and to reform.“
8) privatė truth dtsch. etwa = specielle Wahrheit.
9) Das ist natürlich alles scherzhaft gemeint. - Beim ersten Erscheinen der Geschichte fehlte es in der That nicht an solchen, welche dieselbe für ernsthaft hielten. Ja der deutsche Herausgeber des Thucydides Göller citiert in einer Anmerkung zum 82. Kapitel des 3. Buches, wo der griechische Historiker tiefsinnige Bemerkungen über das Verderbliche des Parteigeistes in Griechenland macht, eine der spasshaftesten Persiflagen des Parteiwesens, nämlich die von Irving erzählte in Folge des Verbots der langen Pfeifen entstandene Trennung der Neuyorker in die Parteien der langen und der kurzen Pfeifen, zwischen die sich eine Mittelpartei, die der Tabakskauer stellt. Die Note beginnt mit den Worten: Addo locum Washingtonis Irvingii Historiae Novi Eboraci. Vergl. Laun, Washington Irving Thl. I, p. 44.
10) his own way: die adverbiale Bestimmung der Weise ausgedrückt durch den Accusativ, namentlich durch die Substantiva wise,