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The Prose Writings of Heinrich Heine [NOOK Book]

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• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
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I felt already that the man's hand trembled, and fearing lest he might imagine in his excitement that I really was the Duke of Wellington, I endeavoured to allay his violence, and in an underhanded manner, to soothe him, I called up his national pride, I represented to him that the Duke of Wellington had advanced the glory of the English, that he had always ...
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The Prose Writings of Heinrich Heine

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Overview

• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• New and improved version

I felt already that the man's hand trembled, and fearing lest he might imagine in his excitement that I really was the Duke of Wellington, I endeavoured to allay his violence, and in an underhanded manner, to soothe him, I called up his national pride, I represented to him that the Duke of Wellington had advanced the glory of the English, that he had always been an innocent tool in the hands of others, that he was fond of beefsteak, and that he—but the Lord only knows what fine things I said of Wellington as that razor tickled my throat.

What vexes me most is the reflection that Arthur Wellington will be as immortal as Napoleon Bonaparte. It is true that in like manner the name of Pontius Pilate is as little likely to be forgotten as that of Christ. Wellington and Napoleon! It is a wonderful phenomenon that the human mind can at the same time think of both these names. There can be no greater contrast than these two, even in their external appearance. Wellington, the dull ghost, with an ashy grey soul in a buckram body, a wooden smile on his freezing face—and by the side one thinks of the figure of Napoleon, every inch a god!

That figure never disappears from my memory. I still see him, high on his horse, with eternal eyes in his marble, imperial face, gazing down calm as destiny on the Guards defiling past—he was then sending them to Russia, and the old grenadiers glanced up at him, so terribly devoted, so consciously serious, so proud in death—

"Te, Cæsar, morituri salutant!"

There often steals over me a secret doubt whether I ever really saw him, if we were really his contemporaries, and then it seems to me as if his portrait, torn from the little frame of the present, vanished away more proudly and imperiously in the twilight of the past. His name even now sounds to us like a word of the early world, as antique and heroic as those of Alexander and Cæsar. It has become a rallying word among races, and when the East and the West meet, they fraternise through that single name.

How significant and magical that name can sound I once felt in the deepest manner in the harbour of London, at the India Docks, as I stood on board an East Indiaman just arrived from Bengal. It was a giant-like ship, fully manned with Hindoos. The grotesque forms and groups, the singularly variegated dresses, the enigmatical expressions, the strange gestures, the wild and foreign ring of their language, their shouts of joy and their laughter, and the seriousness ever rising and falling on certain soft, yellow faces, their eyes like black flowers which looked at me as with melancholy woe—all this awoke in me a feeling like that of enchantment; I was suddenly as if transported into Scheherezade's story, and I thought that broad-leaved palms, and long-necked camels, and gold-covered elephants, and other fable-like trees and animals, must forthwith appear. The supercargo who was on the vessel, and who understood as little of the language as I myself, could not, in his genuine English narrowness, narrate to me enough of what a ridiculous race they were, nearly all Mahometans collected from every land of Asia, from the limits of China to the Arabian sea, even jet black, woolly-haired Africans.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013406421
  • Publisher: Unforgotten Classics
  • Publication date: 9/20/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,137,342
  • File size: 390 KB

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Aero

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