simplicius-1

simplicius-1 - H.J.C von Grimmelshausen, The Adventurous...

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H.J.C von Grimmelshausen, The Adventurous Simplicissimus , trans. A.T.S. Goodrick (London: Heinemann, 1912). Book I, Chap. xix: HOW SIMPLICISSIMUS WAS CAPTURED BY HANAU AND HANAU BY SIMPLICISSIMUS When 'twas day I fed myself again with wheat, and thereafter betook myself to Gelnhausen and there I found the gates open and partly burnt, yet half barricaded with dung. So I went in, but was aware of no living creature there. Indeed the streets were strewn here and there with dead, some of whom were stripped to their shirts, some stark naked. This was a terrifying spectacle, as any man can imagine. I, in my simplicity, could not guess what mishap had brought the place to such a plight. But not long after I learned that the Imperialists had surprised a few of Weimar's folk there. And hardly had I gone two-stones' throw into the town when I had seen enough: so I turned me about and went across the meadows, and presently I came to a good road which brought me to the fine fortress of Hanau. When I came to the first sentries I tried to pass; but two musqueteers made at me, who seized me and took me off to their guard room. Now must I first describe to the reader my wonderful dress at that time, before I tell him how I fared further. For my clothing and behavior were altogether so strange, astonishing, and uncouth, that the governor had my picture painted. Firstly, my hair had for two years and a half never been cut either Greek, German, or French fashion, nor combed, nor curled, nor puffed, but stood in its natural wildness with more than a year's dust strewn on it instead of hair plunder or powder, or whatever they call the fools' work and that so prettily that I looked with my pale face underneath it, lie a great white owl that is about to bite or else watching for a mouse. And because I was so accustomed at all times to go bareheaded and my hair was curly, I had the look 1
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of wearing a Turkish turban. The rest of my garb answered to my head-gear; for I had on my hermit's coat, if I may now call it a coat at all, for the stuff out of which 'twas fashioned at first was now clean gone and nothing more remaining of it but the shape, which more than a thousand little patches of all colors, some put side by side, some sewn upon one another with manifold stitches, still represented. Over his decayed and yet often improved coat I wore the hair-shirt mantle-fashion, for I needed the sleeves for breeches and had cut them off for that purpose. But my whole body was girt about with iron chains, most deftly disposed cross-wise behind and before like the pictures of St. William; so that all together made up a figure like them that have once been captured by the Turks and now wander through the land begging for their friends still in captivity. My shoes were cut out of wood and the laces woven out of strips of lime-bark: and my feet looked like boiled lobsters, as I had had on the stockings of the Spanish national color or had dyed my skin with logwood. In truth I believe that any conjurer, mountebank, or stroller had
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simplicius-1 - H.J.C von Grimmelshausen, The Adventurous...

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