The Haunted Man

and the Ghost’s Bargin

Der heimgesuchte Mann

und der Vertrag des Geistes

Übersetzt von Margit Meyer, Lizenz der Aufbau Verlagsgruppe
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012







Every­body said so.
Far be it from me to as­sert that what every­body says must be true. Every­body is, of­ten, as likely to be wrong as right.
In the gen­er­al ex­per­i­ence, every­body has been wrong so of­ten,
and it has taken, in most in­stances, such a weary while to find out how wrong, that the au­thor­ity is proved to be fal­lible.
Every­body may some­times be right; “but that’s no rule,” as the ghost of Giles Scrog­gins says in the bal­lad.
The dread word, GHOST, re­calls me.
Every­body said he looked like a haunted man. The ex­tent of my present claim for every­body is, that they were so far right. He did.
Who could have seen his hol­low cheek; his sunken bril­liant eye;
his black-at­tired fig­ure, in­defin­ably grim, al­though well-knit and well-pro­por­tioned;
his grizzled hair hanging, like tangled sea-weed, about his face,
— as if he had been, through his whole life, a lonely mark for the chaf­ing and beat­ing of the great deep of hu­man­ity,—
but might have said he looked like a haunted man?
Who could have ob­served his man­ner, ta­cit­urn, thought­ful, gloomy, shad­owed by ha­bitu­al re­serve, re­tir­ing al­ways and joc­und nev­er,
with a dis­traught air of re­vert­ing to a by­gone place and time, or of listen­ing to some old echoes in his mind,
but might have said it was the man­ner of a haunted man?
Who could have heard his voice, slow-speak­ing, deep, and grave, with a nat­ur­al ful­ness and melody in it which he seemed to set him­self against and stop,
but might have said it was the voice of a haunted man?
Who that had seen him in his in­ner cham­ber, part lib­rary and part labor­at­ory,—
for he was, as the world knew, far and wide, a learned man in chem­istry,
and a teach­er on whose lips and hands a crowd of as­pir­ing ears and eyes hung daily,
— who that had seen him there, upon a winter night, alone, sur­roun­ded by his drugs and in­stru­ments and books;
the shad­ow of his shaded lamp a mon­strous beetle on the wall,
mo­tion­less among a crowd of spec­tral shapes raised there by the flick­er­ing of the fire upon the quaint ob­jects around him;
some of these phantoms (the re­flec­tion of glass ves­sels that held li­quids), trem­bling at heart like things
that knew his power to un­com­bine them, and to give back their com­pon­ent parts to fire and va­pour;
— who that had seen him then, his work done, and he pon­der­ing in his chair be­fore the rus­ted grate and red flame,
mov­ing his thin mouth as if in speech, but si­lent as the dead, would not have said that the man seemed haunted and the cham­ber too?
Who might not, by a very easy flight of fancy, have be­lieved
that everything about him took this haunted tone, and that he lived on haunted ground?
His dwell­ing was so sol­it­ary and vault-like,— an old, re­tired part of an an­cient en­dow­ment for stu­dents,
once a brave edi­fice, planted in an open place, but now the ob­sol­ete whim of for­got­ten ar­chi­tects;
smoke-age-and-weath­er-darkened, squeezed on every side by the over­grow­ing of the great city, and choked, like an old well, with stones and bricks;
its small quad­rangles, ly­ing down in very pits formed by the streets and build­ings, which, in course of time, had been con­struc­ted above its heavy chim­ney stalks;
its old trees, in­sul­ted by the neigh­bour­ing smoke, which deigned to droop so low when it was very feeble and the weath­er very moody;
its grass-plots, strug­gling with the mil­dewed earth to be grass, or to win any show of com­prom­ise;
its si­lent pave­ments, un­ac­cus­tomed to the tread of feet, and even to the ob­ser­va­tion of eyes,
ex­cept when a stray face looked down from the up­per world, won­der­ing what nook it was;
its sun-dial in a little bricked-up corner, where no sun had straggled for a hun­dred years,
but where, in com­pens­a­tion for the sun’s neg­lect, the snow would lie for weeks when it lay nowhere else,
and the black east wind would spin like a huge hum­ming-top, when in all oth­er places it was si­lent and still.
His dwell­ing, at its heart and core — with­in doors — at his fireside — was so lower­ing and old, so crazy, yet so strong,
with its worn-eaten beams of wood in the ceil­ing, and its sturdy floor shelving down­ward to the great oak chim­ney-piece;
so en­vironed and hemmed in by the pres­sure of the town yet so re­mote in fash­ion, age, and cus­tom;
so quiet, yet so thun­der­ing with echoes when a dis­tant voice was raised or a door was shut,
— echoes, not con­fined to the many low pas­sages and empty rooms, but rum­bling and grumbling
till they were stifled in the heavy air of the for­got­ten Crypt where the Nor­man arches were half-bur­ied in the earth.
You should have seen him in his dwell­ing about twi­light, in the dead winter time.

Charles Dickens
The Haunted Man / Der heimgesuchte Mann
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Margit Meyer

Dies ist ein interaktives E-Book. Klicken Sie auf den Text, um die Übersetzung einzublenden.

Der Originaltext ist gemeinfrei. Die Rechte für die synchronisierte zweisprachige Ausgabe und für die von uns in der Übersetzung ergänzten Textpassagen liegen bei Doppeltext.

Die Übersetzung erschien erstmals 1979 in Alle Weihnachtserzählungen im Verlag Rütten & Loening, Berlin. Rütten & Loening ist eine Marke der Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG.
Übersetzung © Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG

Unser Programm umfasst viele weitere zweisprachige Titel. Besuchen Sie, um mehr zu erfahren.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Meinung und Kritik.

Igor Kogan & Tatiana Zelenska
Karwendelstr. 25
D-81369 München
Tel. +49-89-76 75 55 34