قراءة كتاب Life and Death, and Other Legends and Stories

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Life and Death, and Other Legends and Stories

Life and Death, and Other Legends and Stories

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Life and Death

And Other Legends and Stories

 

 

THE WORKS OF HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ

Translated from the Original Polish by Jeremiah Curtin.

The Zagloba Romances

With Fire and Sword. 1 vol.
The Deluge. 2 vols.
Pan Michael. 1 vol.

Quo Vadis. 1 vol.
The Knights of the Cross. 2 vols.
Children of the Soil. 1 vol.
Hania, and Other Stories. 1 vol.
Sielanka, and Other Stories. 1 vol.
In Vain. 1 vol.
Life and Death and Other Legends and Stories. 1 vol.

Without Dogma. (Translated by Iza Young.) 1 vol.

 

 

 

HOUSE PRESENTED TO HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ BY THE POLES
Mr. Sienkiewicz and Mr. Curtin in the foreground

 

 

 

Life and Death

And Other Legends and Stories

 

By
Henryk Sienkiewicz
Author of “With Fire and Sword,” “The Deluge,”
“Pan Michael,” “Quo Vadis,” “Knights
of the Cross,” etc.

 

Translated from the Original Polish by
Jeremiah Curtin

 

Boston
Little, Brown, and Company
1904

 

 

Copyright, 1897, 1899, 1900, 1904,
By Jeremiah Curtin.

All rights reserved

 

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS
CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.

 

 


PREFACE

“Is He the Dearest One?” was produced under the following circumstances: About fourteen years ago there was a famine, or at least hunger, in Silesia. Though that land is a German possession at present, it was once a part of the Polish Commonwealth, and there are many un-Germanized Poles in it yet.

The mother in this sketch is Poland. Yasko, the most unfortunate of her sons, is Silesia. Poor, ill-fated, he neglects his own language, forgets his mother; but she does not forget him, as was shown on the occasion of that hunger in Silesia. The Poles of Russian Poland collected one million marks and sent them to Yasko.

The ship “Purple” represents Poland and its career, and is a very brief summary of the essence and meaning of Polish history. Like some of the author’s most beautiful short productions, it was written for a benevolent object, all the money obtained for it being devoted to that object.

All persons who have read “Charcoal Sketches,” in Sienkiewicz’s “Hania,” will be interested to learn the origin of that striking production. It was written mainly and finished in Los Angeles, Cal., as Sienkiewicz told me in Switzerland six years ago, but it was begun at Anaheim Landing, as is described in the sketch printed in this volume, “The Cranes.” Besides being begun at Anaheim Landing, the whole plan of “Charcoal Sketches” was worked out there. “The Cranes” appeared in Lvov, or Lemburg, a few years ago, in a paper which was published for one day only, and was made up of contributions from Polish authors who gave these contributions for a benevolent purpose. The Hindu legend, “Life and Death,” to be read by Sienkiewicz at Warsaw in January, is his latest work.

JEREMIAH CURTIN.

Torbole, Lago di Garda, Austria,
December 18, 1903.

 

 


CONTENTS

  Page
Life and Death: A Hindu Legend 3
Is He the Dearest One? 21
A Legend of the Sea 29
The Cranes 41
The Judgment of Peter and Paul on Olympus 55

 

 


LIFE AND DEATH
A HINDU LEGEND

 

 

LIFE AND DEATH
A HINDU LEGEND

 

 

I

LIFE AND DEATH

There were two regions lying side by side, as it were two immense plains, with a clear river flowing between them.

At one point the banks of this river sloped gently to a shallow ford in the shape of a pond with transparent, calm water.

Beneath the azure surface of this ford could be seen its golden bed, from which grew stems of lotus; on those stems bloomed white and rose-colored flowers above the mirror of water. Rainbow-hued insects and butterflies circled around the flowers and among the palms of the shore, while higher up in the sunny air birds gave out sounds like those of silver bells. This pond was the passage from one region to the other.

The first region was called the Plain of Life, the second the Plain of Death.

The supreme and all mighty Brahma had created both plains, and had commanded the good Vishnu to rule in the Region of Life, while the wise Siva was lord in the Region of Death.

“Do what ye understand to be best,” said Brahma to the two rulers.

Hence in the region belonging to Vishnu life moved with all its activity. The sun rose and set; day followed night, and night followed day; the sea rose and fell; in the sky appeared clouds big with rain; the earth was soon covered with forests, and crowded with beasts, birds, and people.

So

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