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' ; " fl f i v. fX BY GEORGE SEIBEL. The Itniians have a proverb, "Tradtit- tort, tradltorl," which Is fatally true of poetry. Translators of Terse are traitors Dearly always. The airy mnslc and elu slTe meaning of tbe orlglnat are not ren dered, bat surrendered, and there Is rea son tn St. Jerome's complaint that tbe versions" of many writers should rather 'be called "perversions" (everslones). Some times a poet like Fretltgrath has suc ceeded In translating poets like Burns and Bernnger; a few years ago a budding novelist named Otto Sachs, who died too soon, turned Kipling's "Manda'ay" Into German without sacrificing any of tbe awing and color but such translation seem to be a trade secret of the Ger mans. It may be that they have more poets fitted for tbe work Kuerschner's "Lltteratur-Kalpnder" has 40.000 names of living antbors, I believe, and probably 39.000 of these are poets or It may be that tbe language is more flexible and expressive, more snbtle-sonorous. Certain It Is that translations from other lan guages Into French or English are mostly bad. Every poet that has ever been Fre'jcblfled could parallel Tennyson's lament: "How absurd "Hlng oat. wild bells.' sounds la tbe translation 'Sonnei. cloches, sonnei.' and what a ridiculous rendering of 'He cometh not, sbe said.' Is Tom ne vient pas. " "Tts tbe same in English. Translations from foreign poets nearly always lose what Lamb called "the fairy way of writ ing:" what Matthew Arnold cnlled "nat ural magic:" either because our few poets are busy with their own lutes, or beennse onr language belongs to the market-place and Is not spoken on Parnassns. Or It may be. rather Indeed, It must be that your true poet Is untranslatable, as be Is more Intimately poetic, so that by a sort of Instinct, sniffing danger, French trans lators ware of Keats as tbe English do of Musset. But. alas, led astray by cous inly affinity, English translators have not kept their hands and feet off the Ger man lyric poets. The French, from Che ster to Mnllarme, have escaped: hut 8ch!ller has been crucified with hobnails. Goethe's seamless robe has been torn iDto tatters. Even so recent a writer ns Nietzsche who Is a poet, not a philoso pher has been translated Into bosh with a blunderbnsn. Nor has the truest poet of them all escaped, the most Intimately poetic, he who sleeps at Montmartre un der marble raised by an empress, be who Interwove the homespun simplicity of Burna with the richly broldered music of Keats, who mingled the honey of Catul lus wttb tbe acid of Mordant Martial. The martyrdom of Heine's mattress grave was a mild and merciful purgatory compared with the recurring massacre of bis matchless aongs by villainous trans lators. If ever any poet was untranslatable. It Is Heine. Not that, to stretch Bentley's dle tum. no word of one language bas an ex act equivalent In another language, but rather because In Heine the mood, the meaning and the melody are so exquisite ly blended and interfused. Here are moon beams and silver mist, brooding melan choly and sardonic laughter, spiritual rapture and carnal flame, the perfume and color of flowers, the tremolos and trumpets of bird song anfl storm, the dreamy mystery of night and the sen suous spell of noon, rustling leaves and murmurous waters, the tinkling of elfln feet and the guttural faun's halloo, the bouquet of rare wines and the effluvia of the dunghill, music and madness, devout hop and deepest despair, love and hellish hate, prayer and prusslc acid -like a rainbow gamut, all these exquisite and agonizing Ingredients mingle In the aleoi We of his verse, defying the literary chemist who would distil and concentrate them In the vessel of another language. Can It be the temptation of difficulty that bas led so many to attempt the hope leas task? Ita hopelessnesa Is Intensified by tbe pe culiar genius of the Germrn language. That language holds a vast amount of .toetry and humor tn solution, and no writer ever knew better than Heine bow to precipitate these elements In his verses. There are words like "wunder achon." which are tabloid poems; words like "Slebensachen," which are condensed fbkea. Even the simple worda of every 6ny have a sound and color a "Klang farbe" that take the ear captive- "Mar chen" bas a mysterlons meaning absent from our matter-of-fact "fairy tale;" the word "Blame" has a scent and a tint missing from onr "flower." Such Is the plcturesqueneas of German words that a plain couplet Ilka Wle dnnkle Traume stehen Die Hauser In langer Rein'. becomes more vivid than If tbe scene had been painted by the brush of a Clande or a Beoozso. Especially In the accents of melancholy, of yearning and hopeless sorrow, of tender sentiment, tbe German language la richer than all others, and Heine scattered these treasures Ilka a Croesus. If our "sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought," no has ever written aught sweeter than ir-rrrr ? i - - y v -'v ;a J.i Kit ; . "A X. - ' Jfi:&r '- , ff lit. -: J t -;m U ' 5 v " 1.,. ,M t J K nW - -ill - T-TT J3SSSSS5 x.ocipaES Thi: DECriNtritrc- or ' f-5..''y ...j... ..ju iji... jn.i.iBy.j.j ,.,.,,,, n,,.., the opening quatrain of the sonnet: In stiller, webmutreicher Abendstunde Umklingen uilcb die lungst verschollnen Llerier. Und Thranen fllcssen von der Wange metier, Cnd Blut eotqulllt der alten Herzen swunde. The mood Imaged by these words which mirror the hour of dusk, echo faintly forgotten songs, trickle like tears and gush red like blood would seem In sincere and artificial In any other Ian7 guage, so Inevitable and essential are the poet's Identical words. For Heine, with all bis surprises of diction, never flashes verbal preciosities or articles of virtu dehrls of the dictionary, like Rossettl or Baudelaire. nis words, generally the plainest from the mother-lode of tbe lan guage, fit and follow each other as nat urally as In no other poet except per haps Wordsworth. Indeed. "Die Wnll- fahrt Nacb Kevlaar," that touching pic ture of a mother's pilgrimage with her dying son to a miraculous Madonna can be matched for rudimentary simplicity only by "We Are Seven." What Kro potkin has written of Pushkin Is also trne of Heine: "The verses are so nat ural that as soon as you have pronounced one word that word calls up Immediately the next and this the following, because you cannot say the thing otherwise than in the way In which Pushkin has told It." This very simplicity has lured and eluded the translators. The verses that "dance and sway like the nixies he loved" have been "smndged and fumbled and mauled" worse than Catnllns. What Hen ley said of Sir Theodore Martin's version may be applied to nearly all tbe others: "What business bas he to be trampling among our borders and crnshlng our flow ers with his stupid hobniils? If he walked Into your garden and amnsed himself so with yonr cabbages yon could put him In prison." Ah, the prisons would overflow! Everybody has bad a hack at Heine. There are at loastf, three French transla tions, and perhaps more In Russian; be has been tnrned Into almost every living language, even Japanese, Into hog Latin and kosher Hebrew. English translators "common graveyard masons that wonld play the sculptor" may be co anted by the score. Tbe ghoulish work began wbe.: J. E. Wallts translated the "Buch der Lleder," published at London In 1856. Heine, for tunately, died the same year. Then came E. A. Bowrlng with a version of the "Complete Poems." Charles Godfrey Ice land's rendering of the complete poems was published at Philadelphia In 1804, and reissued In London, somewhat Im proved, 25 years later. A version by Htrathelr appeared In 1.SS2. and a year earlier Emma Lazarus had published a volume of "Poems and Ballads." Sir Theodore Martin's translation appeared In 1S78. Among others who have ren dered Isolated poems somewhat creditably are James Thomson, George Macdonald. Frances Hellman. Julian Fane, Horatio THE TOPEKA DAILY STATE JOURNAL a a .j ' f .. . : i w .( i" . .;! j Tf1 f" i. mm it. m m . (. ,. . j- wwi.'w" ., . -ju. . i n , a " I mm i! -Mf'ff -Vv 1 jijiww.iaiwi i. utmrTTwnwomm ZVIWIG- JaSTLATT OF'JZZZT-ZVEZ S. White, Alexander Macmillan, William Stlgand. Alfred Baskerville. Charles Har vey Genung, Ernest Beard and S. L. Fleishman. Perhaps the best translation of any single poem Is Christopher Pearse Cranch's rendering of the "Lorelei," quoted by George William Curtis In "Lotus-Eating," with the comment. "Xto pher has translated It wlthont letting the aroma escape." And doubtless the best translation ns a whole Is that by the author of "Hans Breltmann," who caught much of Heine's humor and melody, as Emma Lazarus sifted out a little of the passion and despair. But all these . translators would have done well to affect the modesty of James Thom son in "The City of Dreadful Night." by calling their work "Attempts at Trans lation from Heine," as a comparison of the various versions of the "Lorelei" will show. These stammering Imitations do not give as good an Idea of the original as a kodak print wonld give of Turner's "Rain. Steam and Speed." There Is In existence, however, a manu script volume which may wrest the lanrel from Leland If It should ever be Judicious ly edited and given to the world. It rep resents the life work of a worn a- who. In her schoolgirl days, came under the magic spell of Heine's aongs. and devoted all tbe leisure of a long life to their loving In terpretation. There la something of Heine's wizardry In ber rendering of the "Lorelei." though she deviates from the -4 . Is. Jl. f meter wedded to Silcher'a music: What can this pain forecast. This sorrow at my heart? A legend from the past Haunts me, nor will depart. Chill falls the waning day. Calmly the Rhine doth flow; The mountain tops are gay With sunset's golden glow. On yonder height behold A maiden wondrous fair. How with a comb of gold She combs her golden hair. Her Jewels flash like Are, Tbe while she sings a strain Full of all sweet desire. Rapture and yearning pain. The boatman In his skiff Shaken with passionate sigh. Heeds not the frowning clitt. He only looks on high. Tbe swirling waves erelong O'er bark and boatman run. And this with her fatal song The Lorelei bath done. The immediate Promethean fire smoul ders In these stanzas, which are tbe work of an Albany woman who died little more than a year ago. She translated nearly all of tbe "Book of Songs" and many of Heine's later poems. It was a labor of love, undertaken with no thought of a publisher, and she was always pol ishing her version to bring It nearer to perfection. She began It when she was a - " V RANSLATOR3 mere schoolgirl, beautiful as might have been the poet's vision In tbe lines she bas rendered thus: Like to a flower thon art. So pure and sweet and fair I gaze, and o'er my heart Steals a foreboding care. With hands laid on thy head I fain would God entreat. To keep thee evermore So pure and fair and sweet. She did not lay her pen aside nntll death took it out of ber hand, long after the years had crowned her brow with silver. This woman was Ida Louise Moore, and the manuscript volume Is the most treas ured heirloom of her children. Ida Ferguson was born in 1840, In Del aware county, N. Y. ; sbe died at Albany In January, 1905. She was a precocious child and attended the district school at the age of four, going to Fergusonville Academy at 12. A little later, at Madame Geraud's private school. In Brooklyn, she became t:qualnted with French and Ger man. She returned to Fergusonville Acad emy as an Instructor. It Is still recalled that she taught English to a class of Cu ban boys, who knew only Spanish. About this time her devotion to Heine had Its birth ; he became her idol whom she put aboie Goethe," Schiller and Leasing and she began the work of a lifetime which Is enshrined In that manuscript volume, and which she did not lay aside even after her marriage to Dr. Levi Moore, a prominent Albany physician. Unlike the tribe of poets In general, she cared little whether ber work should ever be printed. A few original poems and a few translations from French and German appeared In the Boston True Flag, once a widely read periodical, but the name of Ida Louise Moore Is hardly known beyond her family circle. She lived for her books and with them. Once, when a serious ill ness obliged ber to remain In a darkened room several weeks, she bad a shelf of her favorite authors placed within easy reach of her bed, where sbe might see and touch the loved volumes, though forbidden to open tbem. In a spirit of this fiber the songs of the Bweet singer found a living echo, though not a drop of German blood ran In her veins. She bas rendered some of his best stanzas with wonderful felicity. Such is her translation of "Meln Kind, wlr waren Kinder:" My child, we were two children. Full of laughter and play; We crept Into the henhouse And hid beneath the hay. Just like the bens we cackled. And people passing near Heard cock-a-doodle, thinking 'Twaa the old chanticleer. Big boxes In the courtyard Were decked as mansions gay. And there we'd live together And keeping bouse would play. The neighbor's ancient tabbies Made calls In formal state. We gave them bows and curtsies. Pretending pleasure great. , Inquired their health and welfare With anxious look and tone As of other ancient tabbies That we since then have known. Oft, too, we sat sedately And aped our elder's ways, Lamenting the many changes Since former happier days. How love and faith and religion Afar from tbe earth had Down ; We thought tbe coffee was higher. And money had scarcer grown. Thus all things earthly vanish As passes childhood's play; Thus hope, and love, and riches Are blown by the years away. Of all Heine's recalcitrant rhyths, there is probably none more difficult of translation than the oft-quoted lines In "Dream Pictures:" Die Engel, die nennen es Hlmmelsfrend'. Die Teufel. die nennen es Hollenleld, Die Menschen, die nennen es Llebel Mrs. Moore has rendered these with ad mirable deftness, as follows: Ye strings all sad and mute so long. Do ye still know the olden song. The song all other songs above; The angels call It "Heaven's best, The devils call It "Hell comprest," The earthborn call It "Love." Equally felicitous, and almost as musi cal as the original. Is her rendering of tbe Initial poem In the "Book of Bongs" "Mir" traumte einst von wlldem Lle besgluhn. I dreamed once of a love Intense and strong Of waving tresses, myrtle, mignonette; Of sweetest Hps, and. words more bitter yet. Than mournful melodies and saddest song. Vanished are all those dreams of olden time. And gone for aye the visions loved bo well All save the ones that In the fond heart's spell My hand Imprisoned fast In tender rhyme. Thon dost remain, lorn song! Take also flight. To seek the visions long since flown away. And if thou flndest, give them greetings Kay To airy phantoms send I breath as light It Is not a perfect translation which Is enshrined In that manuscript volume. There are no perfect translations Swin burne "made Villon a citizen of Bedford Park." Bulwer exhibited Schiller as a Cockney playing the musical glasses, and Pope put yellow stockings, cross-gartered, upon poor old Homer. Even Rossetti's Dante has somewhat tbe air of a Meth odist addicted to metaphysics, and Fltz Gerald's fine "Omar' Is no more oriental than plum pudding. But Mrs. Moore bas come a little closer than any of the others In her "attempts," and this manuscript volume, laid away by her children, la tbe only version of Heine that will compare favorably with. In many Instances sur passing, that of Charles Godfrey Leland. WORKIXO THE AUCTIONEER. There are not many people aware of the fact that there exists among furniture dealers and others of similar callings who attend auctions a few who are known as a "ring," who agree not to bid against one another. For instance, If one of those in the "ring" wants a fine old grandfather clock, none of his cronies will bid against him, and they remain silent until the cov eted article has been knocked down to tbe bidder. Those In tbe magic circle bid for any article tbat may take their fancy in turn, knowing perfectly well tbat there will be no opposition as far as their confederates are concerned. When the sale is over tbe "ring" repair to some quiet out-of-the-way spot with the goods from tbe sale. A then puts up the grand father clock to auction again which he bought for $10, and then B raises the price to $11.00, and places the extra $1 In the "pool." The others keep on bid ding till a fair sum Is reached, and when the article Is eventually knocked down to the highest bidder be bands over to A the original sum the clock realized at tbe auction. The remainder Is left In the pool. AH the purchases are disposed of In this way, until the very comfortable amount in "the pool Is equally divided among the men. Should one . bidder have bought tbe arti cle at tbe sale for a greater price than Its actual worth, the "ring" shares the loss as they shared the profits. ' ''lW41J,IBIItjl 4 ut v JazxjzAiT car .Ifr.ircs' A Marionette Museum Th Moat RemarluMe Colleetloa of Dolls In the World. A museum fnll of dolls small dolls and large ones. Giants, strange-looking dolls, good-looking dolls and ugly ones; repre sentatives of nearly all the countries of the world, civilized and semi -civilised; very old dolls and young ones, dolls that In their time have played many parts amusing thousands of people; the direct descendents of the characters which amnsed and entertained the ancient Greeks and Romans with comedy and drama. Such Is the remarkable and unique collection that has been during many rears made by M. Maury, one of the few living authorities on marionettes, and formed Into a veritable museum in his bouse In the Rue Spontlnl, Paris. At one time marionette shows consti tuted a popular form of entertainment all over the Old World. In a few coun tries this class of show Is still In Togne, but as regards England and the Continent they have practically disappeared. The heyday of the marionette was when the music-hall was not, and when tha country fair was more prosperous and more a thing of pleasure than at present. Then It competed with the strolling player. With tbe wane of the fair and the advent of the variety theater the marionette was doomed; even abroad, where great fairs are still events. It baa lost Its charm for all bnt children. From the thousands of marionettes that once strutted the boards earning their manipulators a living, M. Maury bas res cued his representative collection, which he guards jealously in a couple of rooms In his residence. He has some hundreds of them French, Italian, English, Japa nese, and what not and they constitute an Interesting link with the past history of comedy and tragedy In various coun tries. A particularly line representative groop are tbe marionettes of Italy, which M. Maury preserves most carefully within a glass case. They are all most gorgeously attired, and as relics of tbe past are practically priceless. Italy was at one time essentially the land of the marionette shows real, com plicated dramas, often Improvised by tbe Individuals working the figures being given on tbe mlntature stage. The necessity of qnlck-change scenes was as great on the marionette atage a century ago as It Is on the stage today. Ingenious were tbe devices resorted to to bring about the desired alteration, and, while not keeping tbe audience waiting, to take its breath away with the Inge nuity of the transformation. There Is a feminine pair, one of whom Is a gaily dressed woman, and tha other a simple country maiden. The former converts, by raising her dress all round. Into a vase of flowers. Tha vase shape la hidden beneath tbe dress, at present tat tered and torn by wear and age; the floral trimming on the back becomes tbe henped-up flowers. One wonld hardly suspect the country maiden of being a windmill In disguise, yet into a windmill sbe Is transformed by merely raising ber dress to cover her face, the arms of tbe mill being secreted be neath it. The Japanese are a strange people, hold ing strange Ideas of beauty not material, surface beauty of form and grace, but beauty of tbe emotions, of virtue and aln, love and hate. And so It cornea about that their marionettes differ In aspect from tbelr European equals. Tha villain Is carved a villain about his face all hla wickedness Is plain to see, and ha could not possibly ba mistaken for a hero or even a good sort of fellow. It Is the same with the hero and the heroine. These Japanese figures are cleverly and elaborately carved In wood, and Instead of action being Imparted to them with strings tbe manipulator handles long, thin pieces of Ivory fastened to tbelr bands. But It Is the Japanese figures that are tbe wonder of tbla collection. These stand two feet In height, are marvels of mechanical construction and beautiful specimens of the Japanese carvers' and painters' art, besides being gorgeously at tired In gold and embroidered silk gar ments. St, Antolua Is the oldest of all In tha museum, and, so far aa Its proud owner haa been able to discover, the oldest marionette in existence, dating back to the sixteenth century. It Is supposed to have belonged to a religions set of mar ionettes, such as were In nse In the mon asteries of France for the performance of religious dramaa by the old mouks. The same method of teaching religion was also largely carried on In Italy In the earlier ages. The most modern figures In the col lec tion date from the time of the 1890 Paris Exhibition, when some Ill-advised specu lator opened a marionette show In the Rue de Paris. Of course, the theater failed, as did M. Maury'a attempt to run a matinee marionette theater for chil dren. M. atanry bought most of tbe figures, which were most beautifully carved, and were most nnlqne because. Instead of be ing worked by strings from above, the limbs were manipulated by a slot arrangement.