Edgar Allan


The Masque of the Red Death

Die Maske des Roten Todes

Übersetzt von Gisela Etzel
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2022




The “Red Death” had long dev­ast­ated the coun­try. No pes­ti­lence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous.
Blood was its Avatar and its seal — the red­ness and the hor­ror of blood.
There were sharp pains, and sud­den dizzi­ness, and then pro­fuse bleed­ing at the pores, with dis­sol­u­tion.
The scar­let stains upon the body and es­pe­cially upon the face of the vic­tim, were the pest ban
which shut him out from the aid and from the sym­pathy of his fel­low-men.
And the whole seizure, pro­gress and ter­min­a­tion of the dis­ease, were the in­cid­ents of half an hour.
But the Prince Pros­pero was happy and daunt­less and saga­cious. When his domin­ions were half de­pop­u­lated,
he summoned to his pres­ence a thou­sand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court,
and with these re­tired to the deep se­clu­sion of one of his cas­tel­lated ab­beys.
This was an ex­tens­ive and mag­ni­fi­cent struc­ture, the cre­ation of the prince’s own ec­cent­ric yet au­gust taste.
A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron.
The courtiers, hav­ing entered, brought fur­naces and massy ham­mers and wel­ded the bolts.
They re­solved to leave means neither of in­gress or egress to the sud­den im­pulses of des­pair or of frenzy from with­in.
The ab­bey was amply pro­vi­sioned. With such pre­cau­tions the courtiers might bid de­fi­ance to con­ta­gion.
The ex­tern­al world could take care of it­self. In the mean­time it was folly to grieve, or to think.
The prince had provided all the ap­pli­ances of pleas­ure.
There were buf­foons, there were im­pro­visatori, there were bal­let-dan­cers, there were mu­si­cians, there was Beauty, there was wine.
All these and se­cur­ity were with­in. Without was the “Red Death.”

Edgar Allan Poe
The Masque of the Red Death / Die Maske des Roten Todes
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Gisela Etzel

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