Edgar Allan

Poe

King Pest

König Pest

Übersetzt von Gisela Etzel
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012

TITELBLATT

KING PEST

IMPRESSUM

The gods do bear and well al­low in kings
The things which they ab­hor in ras­cal routes.
Buck­hurst’s Tragedy of Fer­rex and Por­rex.
About twelve o’clock, one night in the month of Oc­to­ber, and dur­ing the chiv­al­rous reign of the third Ed­ward,
two sea­men be­long­ing to the crew of the “Free and Easy,” a trad­ing schoon­er ply­ing between Sluys and the Thames, and then at an­chor in that river,
were much as­ton­ished to find them­selves seated in the tap-room of an ale-house in the par­ish of St. An­drews, Lon­don
— which ale-house bore for sign the por­trait­ure of a “Jolly Tar.”
The room, al­though ill-con­trived, smoke-blackened, low-pitched,
and in every oth­er re­spect agree­ing with the gen­er­al char­ac­ter of such places at the peri­od —
was, nev­er­the­less, in the opin­ion of the grot­esque groups scattered here and there with­in it, suf­fi­ciently well ad­ap­ted to its pur­pose.
Of these groups our two sea­men formed, I think, the most in­ter­est­ing, if not the most con­spicu­ous.
The one who ap­peared to be the eld­er, and whom his com­pan­ion ad­dressed by the char­ac­ter­ist­ic ap­pel­la­tion of “Legs,” was at the same time much the taller of the two.
He might have meas­ured six feet and a half, and an ha­bitu­al stoop in the shoulders seemed to have been the ne­ces­sary con­sequence of an alti­tude so enorm­ous.
— Su­per­fluit­ies in height were, however, more than ac­coun­ted for by de­fi­cien­cies in oth­er re­spects.
He was ex­ceed­ingly thin; and might, as his as­so­ci­ates as­ser­ted, have answered, when drunk, for a pen­nant at the mast-head, or, when sober, have served for a jib-boom.
But these jests, and oth­ers of a sim­il­ar nature, had evid­ently pro­duced, at no time, any ef­fect upon the cach­in­nat­ory muscles of the tar.
With high cheek-bones, a large hawk-nose, re­treat­ing chin, fallen un­der-jaw, and huge pro­trud­ing white eyes,
the ex­pres­sion of his coun­ten­ance, al­though tinged with a spe­cies of dogged in­dif­fer­ence to mat­ters and things in gen­er­al,
was not the less ut­terly sol­emn and ser­i­ous bey­ond all at­tempts at im­it­a­tion or de­scrip­tion.
The young­er sea­man was, in all out­ward ap­pear­ance, the con­verse of his com­pan­ion. His stature could not have ex­ceeded four feet.
A pair of stumpy bow-legs sup­por­ted his squat, un­wieldy fig­ure, while his un­usu­ally short and thick arms,
with no or­din­ary fists at their ex­tremit­ies, swung off dangling from his sides like the fins of a sea-turtle.
Small eyes, of no par­tic­u­lar col­or, twinkled far back in his head. His nose re­mained bur­ied in the mass of flesh which en­vel­oped his round, full, and purple face;
and his thick up­per-lip res­ted upon the still thick­er one be­neath with an air of com­pla­cent self-sat­is­fac­tion,
much heightened by the own­er’s habit of lick­ing them at in­ter­vals.
He evid­ently re­garded his tall ship­mate with a feel­ing half-won­drous, half-quiz­zical;
and stared up oc­ca­sion­ally in his face as the red set­ting sun stares up at the crags of Ben Nevis.

Edgar Allan Poe
King Pest / König Pest
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Gisela Etzel

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