Robert Louis


The Bottle Imp

Das Flaschenteufelchen

Übersetzt von Heinrich Conrad
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2022




There was a man of the Is­land of Hawaii, whom I shall call Keawe;
for the truth is, he still lives, and his name must be kept secret;
but the place of his birth was not far from Honaunau, where the bones of Keawe the Great lie hid­den in a cave.
This man was poor, brave, and act­ive; he could read and write like a school­mas­ter;
he was a first-rate mar­iner be­sides, sailed for some time in the is­land steam­ers, and steered a whale­boat on the Ha­ma­k­ua coast.
At length it came in Keawe’s mind to have a sight of the great world and for­eign cit­ies,
and he shipped on a ves­sel bound to San Fran­cisco.
This is a fine town, with a fine har­bour, and rich people un­count­able;
and, in par­tic­u­lar, there is one hill which is covered with palaces.
Upon this hill Keawe was one day tak­ing a walk with his pock­et full of money,
view­ing the great houses upon either hand with pleas­ure,
“What fine houses these are!” he was think­ing, “and how happy must those people be
who dwell in them, and take no care for the mor­row!”
The thought was in his mind when he came abreast of a house that was smal­ler than some oth­ers, but all fin­ished and beau­ti­fied like a toy;
the steps of that house shone like sil­ver, and the bor­ders of the garden bloomed like gar­lands, and the win­dows were bright like dia­mond;
and Keawe stopped and wondered at the ex­cel­lence of all he saw.
So stop­ping, he was aware of a man that looked forth upon him through a win­dow so clear
that Keawe could see him as you see a fish in a pool upon the reef.
The man was eld­erly, with a bald head and a black beard; and his face was heavy with sor­row, and he bit­terly sighed.
And the truth of it is, that as Keawe looked in upon the man, and the man looked out upon Keawe, each en­vied the oth­er.
All of a sud­den, the man smiled and nod­ded, and beckoned Keawe to enter, and met him at the door of the house.
“This is a fine house of mine,” said the man, and bit­terly sighed. “Would you not care to view the cham­bers?”
So he led Keawe all over it, from the cel­lar to the roof,
and there was noth­ing there that was not per­fect of its kind, and Keawe was as­ton­ished.
“Truly,” said Keawe, “this is a beau­ti­ful house; if I lived in the like of it, I should be laugh­ing all day long.
How comes it, then, that you should be sigh­ing?”
“There is no reas­on,” said the man, “why you should not have a house in all points sim­il­ar to this, and finer, if you wish.
You have some money, I sup­pose?”
“I have fifty dol­lars,” said Keawe; “but a house like this will cost more than fifty dol­lars.”
The man made a com­pu­ta­tion. “I am sorry you have no more,” said he, “for it may raise you trouble in the fu­ture;
but it shall be yours at fifty dol­lars.”
“The house?” asked Keawe.
“No, not the house,” replied the man; “but the bottle.
For, I must tell you, al­though I ap­pear to you so rich and for­tu­nate, all my for­tune,
and this house it­self and its garden, came out of a bottle not much big­ger than a pint. This is it.”

Robert Louis Stevenson
The Bottle Imp / Das Flaschenteufelchen
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Heinrich Conrad

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