Max and Moritz

Max and Moritz

by Wilhelm Busch
     
 

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Max and Moritz (A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks) (original: Max und Moritz - Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen) is a German language illustrated story in verse. This highly inventive, blackly humorous tale, told entirely in rhymed couplets, was written and illustrated by Wilhelm Busch and published in 1865. It is among the early works of Busch, nevertheless it…  See more details below

Overview

Max and Moritz (A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks) (original: Max und Moritz - Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen) is a German language illustrated story in verse. This highly inventive, blackly humorous tale, told entirely in rhymed couplets, was written and illustrated by Wilhelm Busch and published in 1865. It is among the early works of Busch, nevertheless it already features many substantial, effectually aesthetic and formal regularities, procedures and basic patterns of Busch's later works. Many familiar with comic strip history consider it to have been the direct inspiration for the Katzenjammer Kids. The German title satirizes the German custom of giving a subtitle to the name of dramas in the form of "Ein Drama in ... Akten" (A Drama of ... acts), which became dictums in colloquial usage for any event with an unpleasant or dramatic course, e.g. "Bundespräsidentenwahl - Drama in drei Akten" (Federal presidential Elections - Drama in Three Acts).

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 Anyone familiar with the comic strip which featured the Katzenjammer Kids will recognize the Kids' antecedents in Max and Moritz . First published in Germany in 1872, the book relates seven mischievious and, by today's standards, malicious pranks played by the two before they are ground to bits in a mill and gobbled up by ducks. ``Max and Moritz'' editions have been generally unavailable, and students curious about the history of cartoon and comic illustration will welcome the chance to view these tinted etchings, facsimiles of the original text. Arndt's translation in rhymed couplets reads smoothly and provides a lively introduction to the historic duo. Susan Hepler, formerly at Ohio State University, Columbus

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780915361199
Publisher:
Lambda Publishers, Incorporated NY
Publication date:
04/01/1985
Pages:
59
Age Range:
9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Max and Moritz


By Wilhelm Busch, H. Arthur Klein

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1962 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-12244-1



CHAPTER 1

    First Trick

    To most people who have leisure
    Raising poultry gives great pleasure:
    First, because the eggs they lay us
    For the care we take repay us;
    Secondly, that now and then
    We can dine on roasted hen;
    Thirdly, of the hen's and goose's
    Feathers men make various uses.
    Some folks like to rest their heads
    In the night on feather beds.

    One of these was Widow Tibbets,
    Whom the cut you see exhibits.

    Hens were hers in number three,
    And a cock of majesty.

    Max and Moritz took a view;
    Fell to thinking what to do.
    One, two, three! as soon as said,
    They have sliced a loaf of bread,

    Cut each piece again in four,
    Each a finger thick, no more.
    These to two cross-threads they tie,
    Like a letter X they lie
    In the widow's yard, with care
    Stretched by those two rascals there.
    Scarce the cock had seen the sight,
    When he up and crew with might:

    Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo;—
    Tack, tack, tack, the trio flew.

    Cock and hens, like fowls unfed,
    Gobbled each a piece of bread;

    But they found, on taking thought,
    Each of them was badly caught.

    Every way they pull and twitch,
    This strange cat's-cradle to unhitch;

    Up into the air they fly,
    Jiminee, O Jimini!

    On a tree behold them dangling,
    In the agony of strangling!
    And their necks grow long and longer,
    And their groans grow strong and stronger.

    Each lays quickly one egg more,
    Then they cross to th' other shore.

    Widow Tibbets in her chamber,
    By these death-cries waked from slumber,

    Rushes out with bodeful thought:
    Heavens! what sight her vision caught!

    From her eyes the tears are streaming:
    "Oh, my cares, my toil, my dreaming!
    Ah, life's fairest hope," says she,
    "Hangs upon that apple-tree."

    Heart-sick (you may well suppose),
    For the carving-knife she goes;
    Cuts the bodies from the bough,
    Hanging cold and lifeless now;

    And in silence, bathed in tears,
    Through her house-door disappears.

    This was the bad boys' first trick,
    But the second follows quick.


    Erster Streich

    Mancher gibt sich viele Müh'
    Mit dem lieben Federvieh;
    Einesteils der Eier wegen,
    Welche diese Vögel legen;
    Zweitens: weil man dann und wann
    Einen Braten essen kann;
    Drittens aber nimmt man auch
    Ihre Federn zum Gebrauch
    In die Kissen und die Pfühle,
    Denn man liegt nicht gerne kühle.–

    Seht, da ist die Witwe Bolte,
    Die das auch nicht gerne wollte.

    Ihrer Hühner waren drei
    Und ein stolzer Hahn dabei. –

    Max und Moritz dachten nun:
    Was ist hier jetzt wohl zu tun? –
    – Ganz geschwinde, eins, zwei, drei,
    Schneiden sie sich Brot entzwei,

    In vier Teile, jedes Stück
    Wie ein kleiner Finger dick.
    Diese binden sie an Fäden,
    Übers Kreuz, ein Stück an jeden,
    Und verlegen sie genau
    In den Hof der guten Frau. –
    Kaum hat dies der Hahn gesehen,
    Fängt er auch schon an zu krähen:

    Kikeriki! Kikikerikih!!–
    Tak, tak, tak! – da kommen sie.

    Hahn und Hühner schlucken munter
    Jedes ein Stück Brot hinunter;

    Aber als sie sich besinnen,
    Konnte keines recht von hinnen.

    In die Kreuz und in die Quer
    Reißen sie sich hin und her,

    Flattern auf und in die Höh',
    Ach herrje, herrjemine!

    Ach, sie bleiben an dem langen,
    Dürren Ast des Baumes hangen. –
    – Und ihr Hals wird lang und länger,
    Ihr Gesang wird bang und bänger.

    Jedes legt noch schnell ein Ei,
    Und dann kommt der Tod herbei.

    Witwe Bolte in der Kammer
    Hört im Bette diesen Jammer;

    Ahnungsvoll tritt sie heraus:
    Ach, was war das für ein Graus!

    "Fließet aus dem Aug', ihr Tränen!
    All mein Hoffen, all mein Sehnen,
    Meines Lebens schönster Traum
    Hängt an diesem Apfelbaum!!"

    Tiefbetrübt und sorgenschwer
    Kriegt sie jetzt das Messer her;
    Nimmt die Toten von den Strängen,
    Daß sie so nicht länger hängen,

    Und mit stummem Trauerblick
    Kehrt sie in ihr Haus zurück. –

    Dieses war der erste Streich,
    Doch der zweite folgt sogleich.

CHAPTER 2

    Second Trick

    When the worthy Widow Tibbets
    (Whom the cut below exhibits)
    Had recovered, on the morrow,
    From the dreadful shock of sorrow,
    She (as soon as grief would let her
    Think) began to think 'twere better
    Just to take the dead, the dear ones
    (Who in life were walking here once),
    And in a still noonday hour
    Them, well roasted, to devour.
    True, it did seem almost wicked,
    When they lay so bare and naked,
    Picked, and singed before the blaze,—
    They that once in happier days,
    In the yard or garden ground,
    All day long went scratching round.

    Ah! Frau Tibbets wept anew,
    And poor Spitz was with her, too.

    Max and Moritz smelt the savor.
    "Climb the roof!" cried each young shaver.

    Through the chimney now, with pleasure,
    They behold the tempting treasure,
    Headless, in the pan there, lying,
    Hissing, browning, steaming, frying.

    At that moment down the cellar
    (Dreaming not what soon befell her)

    Widow Tibbets went for sour
    Krout, which she would oft devour
    With exceeding great desire
    (Warmed a little at the fire).

    Up there on the roof, meanwhile,
    They are doing things in style.
    Max already with forethought
    A long fishing-line has brought.

    Schnupdiwup! there goes, O Jeminy!
    One hen dangling up the chimney.

    Schnupdiwup! a second bird!
    Schnupdiwup! up comes the third!
    Presto! number four they haul!
    Schnupdiwup! we have them all!—
    Spitz looks on, we must allow,
    But he barks: Row-wow! Row-wow!

    But the rogues are down instanter
    From the roof, and off they canter.—

    Ha! I guess there'll be a humming;
    Here's the Widow Tibbets coming!
    Rooted stood she to the spot,
    When the pan her vision caught.

    Gone was every blessed bird!
    "Horrid Spitz!" was her first word.

    "O you Spitz, you monster, you!
    Let me beat him black and blue!"
    And the heavy ladle, thwack!
    Comes down on poor Spitz's back!

    Loud he yells with agony,
    For he feels his conscience free.

    Max and Moritz, dinner over,
    In a hedge, snored under cover;
    And of that great hen-feast now
    Each has but a leg to show.

    This was now the second trick,
    But the third will follow quick.


    Zweiter Streich

    Als die gute Witwe Bolte
    Sich von ihrem Schmerz erholte,
    Dachte sie so hin und her,
    Daß es wohl das beste wär',
    Die Verstorb'nen, die hienieden
    Schon so frühe abgeschieden,
    Ganz im stillen und in Ehren
    Gut gebraten zu verzehren. –
    – Freilich war die Trauer groß,
    Als sie nun so nackt und bloß
    Abgerupft am Herde lagen,
    Sie, die einst in schönen Tagen
    Bald im Hofe, bald im Garten
    Lebensfroh im Sande scharrten. –

    Ach, Frau Bolte weint aufs neu,
    Und der Spitz steht auch dabei. –

    Max und Moritz rochen dieses;
    "Schnell aufs Dach gekrochen!" hieß es.

    Durch den Schornstein mit Vergnügen
    Sehen sie die Hühner liegen,
    Die schon ohne Kopf und Gurgeln
    Lieblich in der Pfanne schmurgeln. –

    Eben geht mit einem Teller
    Witwe Bolte in den Keller,

    Daß sie von dem Sauerkohle
    Eine Portion sich hole,
    Wofür sie besonders schwärmt,
    Wenn er wieder aufgewärmt. –

    – Unterdessen auf dem Dache
    Ist man tätig bei der Sache.
    Max hat schon mit Vorbedacht
    Eine Angel mitgebracht.

    Schnupdiwup! da wird nach oben
    Schon ein Huhn heraufgehoben.

    Schnupdiwup! jetzt Numro zwei;
    Schnupdiwup! jetzt Numro drei;
    Und jetzt kommt noch Numro vier:
    Schnupdiwup! dich haben wir!! –
    Zwar der Spitz sah es genau,
    Und er bellt: Rawau! Rawau!

    Aber schon sind sie ganz munter
    Fort und von dem Dach herunter. –

    – Na! Das wird Spektakel geben,
    Denn Frau Bolte kommt soeben;
    Angewurzelt stand sie da,
    Als sie nach der Pfanne sah.

    Alle Hühner waren fort –
    "Spitz!!" – das war ihr erstes Wort. –

    "Oh, du Spitz, du Ungetüm!!
    Aber wart! ich komme ihm!!!"
    Mit dem Löffel, groß und schwer,
    Geht es über Spitzen her;

    Laut ertönt sein Wehgeschrei,
    Denn er fühlt sich schuldenfrei.–

    – Max und Moritz im Verstecke
    Schnarchen aber an der Hecke
    Und vom ganzen Hühnerschmaus
    Guckt nur noch ein Bein heraus.

    Dieses war der zweite Streich,
    Doch der dritte folgt sogleich.

CHAPTER 3

    Third Trick

    Through the town and country round
    Was one Mr. Buck renowned.

    Sunday coats, and week-day sack-coats,
    Bob-tails, swallow-tails, and frock coats,
    Gaiters, breeches, hunting-jackets;
    Waistcoats, with commodious pockets,—
    And other things, too long to mention,
    Claimed Mr. Tailor Buck's attention.
    Or, if any thing wanted doing
    In the way of darning, sewing,
    Piecing, patching,—if a button
    Needed to be fixed or put on,—
    Any thing of any kind,
    Anywhere, before, behind,—
    Master Buck could do the same,
    For it was his life's great aim.
    Therefore all the population
    Held him high in estimation.
    Max and Moritz tried to invent
    Ways to plague this worthy gent.

    Right before the Sartor's dwelling
    Ran a swift stream, roaring, swelling.

    This swift stream a bridge did span,
    And the road across it ran.

    Max and Moritz (naught could awe them!)
    Took a saw, when no one saw them:
    Ritze-ratze! riddle-diddle!
    Sawed a gap across the middle.

    When this feat was finished well,
    Suddenly was heard a yell:

    "Hallo, there! Come out, you buck!
    Tailor, Tailor, muck! muck! muck!"
    Buck could bear all sorts of jeering,
    Jibes and jokes in silence hearing;
    But this insult roused such anger,
    Nature couldn't stand it longer.

    Wild with fury, up he started,
    With his yard-stick out he darted;
    For once more that frightful jeer,
    "Muck! muck! muck!" rang loud and clear.

    On the bridge one leap he makes;
    Crash! beneath his weight it breaks.

    Once more rings the cry, "Muck! muck!"
    In, headforemost, plumps poor Buck!

    While the scared boys were skedaddling,
    Down the brook two geese came paddling.
    On the legs of these two geese,
    With a death-clutch, Buck did seize;

    And, with both geese well in hand,
    Flutters out upon dry land.

    For the rest he did not find
    Things exactly to his mind.

    Soon it proved poor Buck had brought a
    Dreadful belly-ache from the water.

    Noble Mrs. Buck! She rises
    Fully equal to the crisis;
    With a hot flat-iron, she
    Draws the cold out famously.

    Soon 'twas in the mouths of men,
    All through town: "Buck's up again!"

    This was the bad boys' third trick,
    But the fourth will follow quick.


    Dritter Streich

    Jedermann im Dorfe kannte
    Einen, der sich Böck benannte.–

    – Alltagsröcke, Sonntagsröcke,
    Lange Hosen, spitze Fräcke,
    Westen mit bequemen Taschen,
    Warme Mäntel und Gamaschen –
    Alie diese Kleidungssachen
    Wußte Schneider Böck zu machen. –
    Oder wäre was zu flicken,
    Abzuschneiden, anzustücken,
    Oder gar ein Knopf der Hose
    Abgerissen oder lose –
    Wie und wo und was es sei,
    Hinten, vorne, einerlei –
    Alles macht der Meister Böck,
    Denn das ist sein Lebenszweck. –
    – Drum so hat in der Gemeinde
    Jedermann ihn gern zum Freunde. –
    – Aber Max und Moritz dachten,
    Wie sie ihn verdrießlich machten. –

    Nämlich vor des Meisters Hause
    Floß ein Wasser mit Gebrause.

    Übers Wasser führt ein Steg
    Und darüber geht der Weg. –

    Max und Moritz, gar nicht träge,
    Sägen heimlich mit der Säge,
    Ritzeratze! voller Tücke,
    In die Brücke eine Lücke. –

    Als nun diese Tat vorbei,
    Hört man plötzlich ein Geschrei:

    "He, heraus! du Ziegen-Böck!
    Schneider, Schneider, meck, meck, meck!!"–
    – Alles konnte Böck ertragen,
    Ohne nur ein Wort zu sagen;
    Aber wenn er dies erfuhr,
    Ging's ihm wider die Natur.

    Schnelle springt er mit der Elle
    Über seines Hauses Schwelle,
    Denn schon wieder ihm zum Schreck
    Tönt ein lautes: "Meck, meck, meck!!"

    Und schon ist er auf der Brücke,
    Kracks! die Brücke bricht in Stücke;

    Wieder tönt es: "Meck, meck, meck!"
    Plumps! Da ist der Schneider weg!

    Grad als dieses vorgekommen,
    Kommt ein Gänsepaar geschwommen,
    Welches Böck in Todeshast
    Krampfhaft bei den Beinen faßt.

    Beide Gänse in der Hand,
    Flattert er auf trocknes Land. –

    Übrigens bei alledem
    Ist so etwas nicht bequem;

    Wie denn Böck von der Geschichte
    Auch das Magendrücken kriegte.

    Hoch ist hier Frau Böck zu preisen!
    Denn ein heißes Bügeleisen,
    Auf den kalten Leib gebracht,
    Hat es wieder gut gemacht. –

    – Bald im Dorf hinauf, hinunter,
    Hieß es: Böck ist wieder munter!!

    Dieses war der dritte Streich,
    Doch der vierte folgt sogleich.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Max and Moritz by Wilhelm Busch, H. Arthur Klein. Copyright © 1962 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Wilhelm Busch (15 April 1832 – 9 January 1908) was an influential German caricaturist, painter, and poet who is famed for his satirical picture stories with rhymed texts.
After initially studying mechanical engineering and then art in Düsseldorf, Antwerp, and Munich, he turned to drawing caricatures. One of his first picture stories, Max and Moritz (published in 1865), was an immediate success and has achieved the status of a popular classic and perennial bestseller.
Max and Moritz as well as many of his other picture stories are regarded as one of the main precursors of the modern comic strip. Max and Moritz, for instance, was an inspiration for the Katzenjammer Kids. Being an early pioneer next to Rodolphe Töpffer in the art of combining words and pictures to tell often humorous stories in sequential panels, throughout the latter half of the 20th century Busch has become posthumously known in German by the honorary epithet of Großvater der Comics ("Grandfather of Comics").
Wilhelm Busch also wrote a number of poems in a similar style to his picture stories. Besides that he produced more than 1,000 oil paintings that remained unsold up to his death in 1908. He was also active as a sculptor.

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