I generally not hurt.” Since I believed all this, I was overcome with such anxiety and fear for my life that I no longer knew where I should stay; and when the musicians, whom I had not yet espied, were heard in the bargain, and the men ran for the ladies the way soldiers run for their firearms and posts when they hear the sound of the drums, and when each seized a lady by the hand, it really seemed to me as if I already saw the floor collapsing and myself and many others plunging head over heels through it.
And when they began to jump about so that the entire building trembled, because they had begun to play a popular melody, I thought “Now your life is at an end!” My only thought was that the entire building would suddenly collapse.
Therefore, in extremest anxiety I seized by the arm, abruptly and like a bear, a lady of high nobility and excellent virtue with whom my master was just then conversing, and I clung to her like a burr.
And when she gave a start, not knowing what manner of foolish notions were going through my head, I acted the role of the homme desperat220 and fell to screaming in desperation as if someone were about to murder me.
And as if that were not enough, something also escaped me and into my breeches that gave off an indescribably foul stench, the likes of which my nose had not perceived in a long while.
On a sudden the musicians left off playing, the men and women left off dancing, and the honorable lady to whose arm I was clinging was offended, because she thought that my master had arranged this to embarrass her.
Then my master 149 Book I commanded them to beat me and afterwards lock me up somewhere, because I had already played several pranks upon him that day.
The quartermaster soldiers who were supposed to execute the order not only took pity upon me, they also could not stay close to me because of the stench, and therefore they spared me the blows and locked me up under the stairs in a goose coop.
Since that day221 I have pondered much on this affair and have come to the conclusion that those excrementa222 which escape us in moments of fear and terror give off a much worse smell than when one has taken a strong purgative. 150 I Notes Book BOOK I C ha p te r 1 : Describes the rustic origins of Simplicius and how he was brought up in keeping therewith 1. Amongst the common folk…born and bred in Guinea: this satire on the parvenu and pretender to noble birth, as Scholte pointed out, is taken, in some parts verbatim, from Garzoni, Discourse 19 (p. 119 f.), not from Martin Freudenhold’s “Guzman”, as Rudolf von Payer had thought (Freudenhold also borrowed from Garzoni); Scholte (p. 119 f.) presents in parallel texts the pertinent passages from all three works. 2. 3. in summa: in sum, to sum up, in a word.
The Sugar Boy gang in Prague: a notorious band of thieves, headed by a man named Zuckerbastl, which I have rendered as “Sugar Boy”; Grimmelshausen here departs from his model, which compares the “new noblemen” to Brontes and Sterops, the soot-blackened cyclopes who toiled in Vulcan’s blacksmithy.
Bobertag (DNL 33, xxviii) pointed out that reference is made to the same gang in Nikolaus Ulenhart’s translation of Cervantes’ Rinconete y Cortadillo, which appeared, together with the same translator’s version of Lazarillo des Tormes, in 1617 under the title Zwo kurtzweilige, lustige und lächerliche Historien….
Ulenhart moved the scene of the action in Cervantes’ novella, which he entitled “History von Isaac Winckelfelder und Jobst von der Schneid,” to Prague.
The passage in question occurs when the two protagonists are observed in the act of stealing and are then informed by the observer, himself a professional thief: “If a man wishes to be safe, he should sign on with a man here whom the criminal element commonly call Sugar Boy; he is the leader, the master, the ather, and the father-confessor of all those who desire to pass their lives and support themselves by stealing and other such-like things” (p. 245 f.).
Grimmelshausen may have been 151 — I Der seltzame Springinsfeld: “Simplicius antwortet / das Wainen gehöret dem Menschen so wohl als das Lachen eigentlich zu / aber gleichwol alzeit zulachen oder alzeit zu wainen wie diese beyde Männer gethan / wäre eine Thorheit / dann alles hat seine Zeit; gleichwohl aber ist das Wainen dem Menschen mehr als das Lachen angeborn / wainen (man hat nur das einige Exempel des Königs Zoroastris, der / wie er geborn / alsbald gelacht / so zwar von Nerone auch gesagt wird) sondesr es hat der Herr Christus unser Seeligmacher selbst etlichmahl gewainet; aber daβ wer iemahls gelacht / wird in H.
Schrifft nirgends gefunden / …”).
Weydt is in error when he asserts that Grimmelshausen constructed the Springinsfeldt passage from three passages from Harsdörffer’s Heraclitus und Democritus. 186 Book II C h a p te r 1 How goose and gander mated I n my goose coop I conceived what I wrote in the first part of my book BLACK AND WHITE1 about both dancing and toping, and it is therefore unnecessary to make any further report about them here.
But I cannot pass over in silence the fact that at that time I still doubted whether the dancers were raging so wildly in order to stamp in the floor, or whether I had merely been persuaded that this was so.
Now I shall further tell how I got out of the goose-coop prison.
For three whole hours, namely, till the praeludium Veneris2 (the dancing, I should have said) had ended, I was obliged to sit in my own offal, till a man sneaked up and fell to fumbling with the bolt.
I pricked up my ears like a sow pissing in a puddle, and the fellow who was at the door not only opened it, he whisked into it just as quickly as I should have liked to be out of it; and in addition he dragged a woman with him by the hand, just as I had seen done at the dance.
I had no way of knowing what was about to transpire, because I had well nigh grown inured to the many adventures which had befallen my foolish mind that day, and I had acquiesced to the fact that I could not but 187 Book II further endure with patience and in silence everything my Fate sent me.
So I pressed close to the door with fear and trembling, awaiting the end.
Straightway thereafter, there arose betwixt those two a whispering, of which, to be sure, I understood nothing but that one party was complaining about the foul smell, while the other party, for his part, was consoling the first one: “Assuredly, most beautiful lady,” said he, “you may be certain that I am sorry from the bottom of my heart that frowning Fortune granted us no more honorable place in which to enjoy the fruits of our love.
But I can assure you that your most charming presence makes this contemptible nook more delightful to me than the loveliest Paradise itself.” Then I heard kissing and remarked strange postures, but I knew not what it was or might signify, and therefore I continued to keep quiet as a mouse.
But when another odd noise began, and the goose coop, which was made only of slats nailed under the stairs, fell to creaking, and particularly when the woman acted as if this business were hurting her, I thought to myself: “These are two of those raging folk who helped stamp in the floor, and now they have betaken themselves hither to do the same thing here, and to deprive you of your life.” No sooner had these thoughts taken possession of me than, I for my part, in order to escape death, took possession of the door, through which I whisked out, screaming bloody murder, which naturally sounded like the screams which had got me into this 188 Book II place; but I had presence of mind enough to lock the door again behind me and to seek the open house door instead.
Now this was the first wedding I ever in all my days attended, despite the fact that I had not been invited to it.
On the other hand, however, I was not obliged to give them a wedding present either, though the bridegroom afterwards charged me all the more, which I indeed honestly paid.
Dear Reader, I tell this tale not so that you may laugh at it, but rather so that my histori3 may be complete and so that you, dear Reader, may be reminded of what fine fruits are to be expected from dancing.4 For one thing I do deem certain is that at dances many a deal is struck which an entire friendship must later be ashamed of. 189 Book II C h a p te r 2 When it is a right good time to bathe N ow though I had happily escaped the goose coop in this manner, I then first became completely aware of my misfortune, for my breeches were full, and I knew not whither to go with this load.
In my master’s quarters everyone was still and sleeping.
Therefore I durst not approach the sentry who was standing guard in front of the house.
In the corps de garde5 of the main watch they were unwilling to suffer my presence, because I stank much too badly.
It was too cold, and thus impossible for me to stay out in the streets, so I knew not which way to turn.
It was already far past midnight when it occurred to me that I ought to take refuge with the oft-mentioned parson.
I followed my intent to knock at his door, and in so doing I was so importunate that the maid finally grudgingly let me in; but when she smelled what I was bringing in with me (for her nose straightway discovered my secret), she grew even angrier.
Therefore she fell to upbraiding me, which her master, who had now almost slept his fill, soon heard.
He called the two of us to come to his bedside, but as soon as he had perceived what was amiss 190 Book II and had wrinkled his nose a little, he said that there was never a better time to take a bath, no matter what the almanacs say, than in the condition in which I then found myself, and he commanded the maid to wash my breeches and hang them by the stove till it was full daylight, and me to put myself to bed, for he well saw that I was completely stiff from the cold.
I had scarce warmed up when day began to dawn and the parson was already standing by my bed, to hear how I was and what the nature of my problems was, because I could not as yet, on account of my wet shirt and breeches, get out of bed and go to him.
I told him everything, beginning with the trick which my comrade had taught me and how badly it had turned out.
Following that I asserted that the guests, after he, the parson, had left the banquet, had quite lost their wits and (as my comrade had reported to me) had undertaken to stamp in the floor; item, into what a terrible panic I then fell, and in what manner I had attempted to save my life, but as a result had been locked in the goose coop; also, what words and deeds I witnessed there from the two persons who released me again, and in what manner I had locked the two of them up in my stead. “Simplicius,” said the parson, “your affairs are in a dreadful state.
You had a good situation-but I fear! I fear!-it is ruined.
Just hurry up and get out of bed; and get out of my house so that I do not fall into your master’s disfavor along with you because they found you in my quarters.” And so I was obliged to depart 191 Book II with my garments still damp, and to learn for the first time how well off one is with many folks when one is in one’s master’s favor, and how one is looked at askance when that favor falters.
I went to my master’s quarters, where everyone was sleeping dead to the world, except the cook and a few maidservants.
The latter were cleaning the room where the people had caroused yesterday, while the former was preparing a breakfast, or rather a meal, from the leftovers.
I came to the maidservants first.
There broken glass, from drinking vessels and windowpanes, was lying all over.
In some places it was full of what the guests had let fly from both above and below, and in other places there were large puddles of spilled wine and beer, so that the floor looked like a map on which someone had wished to portray and depict sundry bodies of water, islands, and dry or traversible lands.
It stank in the entire room much worse than in my goose coop, and therefore I could not stay there long, but instead made my way to the kitchen, and by the fire let my clothes dry out completely on my body, awaiting with fear and trembling what Fortune would further do to me when my master had slept his fill.
In addition, I pondered upon the world’s folly and mindlessness, and called to mind everything which had befallen me the day before and that same night, and what I had seen, heard, and learned at first hand.
The result of these thoughts was that I then deemed the needy and miserable life which my hermit had led to be 192 Book II a blessed one, and wished that he and I were in our former condition once more. 193 Book II C h a p te r 3 The other page is rewarded for his tutorials, and Simplicius is chosen to be a fool W hen my master got up, he sent his orderly to fetch me from the goose coop.
He brought the tidings that he had found the door open and a hole cut behind the bolt with a knife, by which means the prisoner had freed himself.
But before the report arrived my master was apprised by someone else that I had been seen in the kitchen not long since.
Meanwhile the servants were obliged to run hither and thither to fetch to breakfast yesterday’s guests, amongst whom was also the parson, who was obliged to appear earlier than the others, because my master desired to talk with him about me before the guests were at the table.
He asked him first if he thought me to be of sound mind or insane, or whether I was simpleminded or malicious, and therewith told him everything: how disgracefully I had behaved the day and night before, which some of his guests had deemed and taken to be offensive, as if he had intentionally arranged it; item, that he had commanded that I be locked up in a goose coop in order to protect himself from the sort of 194 Book II embarrassment I might yet be able to cause him, from which coop, however, I had broken out and was now walking about in the kitchen like a squire who was no longer obliged to serve him.
In all his days, he said, he had never encountered such a prank as I had played upon him yesterday in the presence of so many honorable folk; and he knew nothing to do with me but to order me whipped and, because I behaved so doltishly, he would send me packing.
In the meantime, while my master was thus complaining about me, the guests were assembling little by little, and when he had finished speaking the parson answered that if the Lord Governor would be so kind as to hear him out with patience for a little while, he would relate one thing and another about Simplicius and his affairs which would not only make clear his innocence but would also dispel any misconceptions held by those who were offended by his behavior.
While they were talking about me in this manner upstairs, downstairs in the kitchen the mad ensign, whom I had locked up in my stead together with another person, was negotiating with me, and by threats and by a sovereign which he gave me, he got me to promise to hold my tongue about his doings.
The tables were set, and like the day before were full of folks and foods.
Wines flavored with wormwood, sage, elecampane, quince, and lemon, together with hippocras,6 were given the task of soothing the heads and stomachs of the topers again, for well nigh all of them were martyrs of the devil.
The first 195 Book II thing they spoke of was themselves, namely, how they had toasted one another yesterday till they were full to the gorge; and yet there was not one of them who would honestly admit that he himself had been full to the gorge, even though the evening before some of them had sworn by the devil that they could not drink another drop and yet had kept screaming over and over “Wine, milord!” Some, to be sure, said they had gotten nicely tipsy, while others contended that no one would drink full to the gorge after tipsiness set in.
But when they were tired of both talking and hearing about their own follies, poor Simplicius was obliged to suffer.
The governor himself reminded the parson to reveal some amusing things about me as he had promised.
The parson first off begged that no one hold it against him if he perchance must needs speak words which might be deemed ill befitting a man of the cloth.
Then he began to tell his tale, first, for what reasons I was wont to be plagued by belly gasses; what manner of distress I had caused the secretario with them in the chancellery; what trick I learned, along with fortune- telling, to control them; and how badly this trick had stood the test when I tried it; item, how strange the dancing seemed to me because I had never seen anyone dance; what report about dancing I had heard from my comrade; and for what reasons I had seized the noble lady and as a result was put into the goose coop.
And this he recounted in such refined turns of phrase that they could not but laugh till tears ran 196 Book II down their cheeks; and in so doing he so modestly made excuses for my naivete and ignorance that I was taken back into my master’s good graces and was permitted to wait upon the table.
But about what had befallen me in the goose coop, and how I got out of it, he was unwilling to say a word, because it seemed to him that he might offend certain saturnine blockheads who were of the opinion that men of the cloth should always be of sour mien.
However, my master, to provide amusement for his guests, asked me what I had paid my comrade for teaching me such fine tricks, and when I answered “Nothing!” he said: “Then I shall pay him his tutor’s fees for you,” whereupon he ordered him to be tied spreadeagle over a tub and flogged, just as they had done with me the day before when I had tried to do the trick and found that it did not work.
My master now had sufficient report of my naivete and therefore desired to spur me on to provide more amusement for him and his guests.
He saw clearly that the musicians would count for nothing as long as his guests had me to amuse them, for with my foolish sallies I seemed to everyone to be better than the music of seventeen lutes.7 He asked me why I had cut a hole in the door of the goose coop.
I answered: “Someone else may have done that.” “Who?” he asked.
I said: “Maybe the man who came to join me there.” “Who came to join you?” I answered: “I dare not tell anyone that.” My master was a quickwitted man and well saw what one must needs do to get at 197 Book II me.
Therefore he pressed me and asked who had forbidden me to tell.
I straightway answered: “The mad ensign.” And after I remarked from everyone’s laughter that I must have really put my foot into my mouth, and also saw that the mad ensign, who was sitting at the table, turned as red as a beet, I was unwilling to say anything else unless he let me.
And it required no more than a gesture which my master made to the mad ensign in lieu of a command, and I was permitted to tell what I knew.
Then my master asked me what the mad ensign was doing joining me in the goose coop.
I answered: “He was bringing a damsel to me.” “What else did he do?” said my lord and master.
I answered: “It looked to me as if he was going to pass water in the coop.” My lord and master asked: “And what did the damsel do then? Was she not embarrassed?” “Oh, not in the least, milord!” said I. “She hoisted her skirts (most esteemed, well-bred, honorable, and virtuous Reader! Please forgive my ill-mannered quill-pen for putting down everything in the crude words I uttered upon that occasion!) and she was going to take a shit!” At this all who were present broke out in such loud laughter that my master could hear nothing further, much less ask me anything more, and in fact it was not necessary to do so unless one desired to make a laughing-stock of the honorable and virtuous damsel (scil.).8 Then the court steward told those at the table that I had recently come back from the bulwark, or wall of the fortress, and said that I knew where thunder and lightning came from. 198 Book II I had seen on the back of some wagons some large blocks which were hollow inside; into them they had stuffed onion seeds and an iron turnip with its tail cut off; then they tickled the end of the blocks with a jagged spit, at which smoke, thunder, and hellfire came out the front.
They came up with yet more anecdotes of that sort, so that throughout the entire meal they talked and laughed about almost nothing but me.
The result of this was a general decision that would lead to my demise, which was that if they manipulated me properly, I would in time develop into a rare good court jester whom they could give as a present to the greatest potentate in the world and who could make even dying men laugh. 199 Book II C h a p te r 4 — II like Spanish leather, and her white hair hung down around her head in remarkable disarray, because they had but just moments before fetched her from her bed.
I know of nothing comparable to her pendulous breasts but two shrunken cowudders drained of two-thirds of their milk; and at the bottom of each hung a dark brown teat a half-finger long.
Truly a frightening sight, which might have served no purpose other than as an excellent antidote against the mindless lust of lewd billy goats.
The other two hags were not a whit prettier, despite the fact that they had pug noses like monkeys and had put on their clothes somewhat more neatly.
When I had recovered a bit more, I saw that the one of them was our scullery maid, and the other two were the wives of two of our orderlies.
I acted as if I could not move a muscle—and in fact, I surely did have no desire to go dancing—when these honorable old crones undressed me till I was naked as a jaybird and cleansed me like a young child of all the offal.
This did do me much good.
While they were working on me, they showed such great patience and admirable pity for me that I should almost have revealed to them how well my affairs still stood; but I thought to myself: “No, Simplicius, do not trust any old woman; rather, consider that you have victory enough if you at your tender age can deceive three crafty old sluts whom one could use as bait with which to trap the devil himself in an open field.
From this skirmish you may find hope that you will achieve better things in your later years.” Now when they were finished with 210 Book II me, they laid me into an excellent bed, in which I fell asleep the instant my head touched the pillow.
They, for their part, went and took away with them their pails and other things with which they had bathed me, together with my clothes and all the filth.
As far as I can tell, I slept more than twentyfour hours at one stretch, and when I awoke again, there stood at my bedside two beautiful youths with wings who were richly adorned with white shirts, taffeta cummerbunds, pearls, jewels, gold chains, and other fine-looking things.15 One of them had a gilded bowl full of wafers, cookies, marchpane, and other confections; the other one, for his part, had a gilded goblet in his hands.
These two, who gave themselves out to be angels, attempted to persuade me that I was now in heaven because I had so happily withstood purgatory and had escaped both the devil and his grandmother.
Therefore, they said, I should but wish for whatever my heart desired, since everything I might wish for was present in sufficiency, or it was in their power to have it brought to me.
I was tormented by thirst, and since I saw the goblet before me, I demanded but a drink, which was in fact handed me more than willingly.
This was not wine, however, but a sleeping potion, which I drank in one draught and from which I again fell asleep as soon as it was warm in me.
The next day I awoke again (for otherwise I should still be sleeping) and found myself no longer in the bed, or in the room where I had been, but in my old goose-coop prison. 211 Book II Again there was a terrible darkness, as in the cellar before, and in the bargain I had on a garment of calfskin, the rough side of which was on the outside.
The breeches were cut in the Polish or Swabian fashion,16 and the doublet even more absurdly.
Above, on my neck, was a cap like a monk’s cowl, which was pulled down over my head and which was adorned with a fine pair of ass’s ears.
I could myself not but laugh at my unlucky star, because I saw from both my nest and my plumage what manner of bird I was meant to be.
At that time I fell, for the first time, to searching my soul and to pondering upon what was best for me.
I resolved to act as foolishly as I possibly could, and at the same time to await with patience what else Fate might have in store for me. 212 Book II C h a p te r 7 How Simplicius reconciled himself to his bestial condition I could have easily freed myself by means of the hole which the mad ensign had cut in the door before, but because I was supposed to be a fool, I did not do that, and not only did I act like a fool who had not enough wit to get out by himself, I also acted like a hungry calf yearning for its mother; and my high-pitched moos were indeed soon heard by the men who had been charged to listen for them, with the result that two soldiers came up to the goose coop and asked who was in there.
I answered: “You fools! Don’t you hear that it is a calf?” They opened the coop, took me out, and expressed amazement that a calf could speak, which roles they played with the forced posturing of a newly hired and unskillful actor who cannot play well the part of the person he is supposed to represent, so that I often thought that I myself would be obliged to help them with the farce.
They discussed what they ought to do with me, and agreed to give me as a present to the governor, who, because I could talk, would give them more than a butcher would pay them for me.
They asked me how things stood with me.
I answered: “Badly 213 Book II enough!” They asked: “Why?” I said: “Because it is the custom here to lock honest calves up in goose coops.
You fellows must know that if they want me to grow up to be a proper ox, they must bring me up as is fitting for an honorable bull.” After this brief discourse they led me across the lane towards the governor’s quarters.
A large throng of boys followed us, and because they, as well as I, were crying like calves, a blind man could not but have concluded from the noise that they were driving a herd of calves along, but from the sight of it, it looked like a pack of fools, old and young.
And so I was given as a present to the governor by the two soldiers, just as if they had taken me as booty in a foray.
He gave them an honorarium as a present, and me he promised the best things which I should have in his household.
I recollected the story about the goldsmith’s boy17 and said: “Indeed, sir, but they must not lock me up in the goose coop again, for we calves cannot abide such usage if we are to grow and become fine heads of cattle.” The governor assured me a better fate, and thought himself terribly clever because he had made such a droll fool of me.
I, for my part, thought to myself: “Just you wait, my dear sir! I have withstood the trial by fire and I have been hardened.
Now let us see which of us will be best able to play his role.” Meanwhile a peasant who had taken refuge in the fortress was driving his stock to be watered; as soon as I saw that, I left the governor and amidst my calf cries hurried to the cows, just as if I desired to suck them.
When 214 Book II I got to them they were much more frightened of me than of any wolf, even though I wore their kind of hide.
Indeed, they, running off in all directions, went as mad as if a nest of hornets had been loosed upon them in August, so that their owner could not bring them back together in one place again, which was a fine prank.
In a trice a crowd of people had assembled to watch this spectacle, and after my master had laughed as if he were about to burst, he finally said: “Show me one fool, and I’ll show you a hundred more!” But I thought to myself: “And none other than you yourself is the one of the fools you’re talking about!” Now just as everyone from that time on called me “Calf,” I, for my part, also called everyone by a particular mocking nickname.
In the opinion of the people, and particularly of my master, these were for the most part quite clever, for I christened everyone as his qualities demanded.
To put it summariter,18 many a person took me to be a witless buffoon, and I held everyone else to be a witted one.
This, in my opinion, is still the way of the world, since everyone is satisfied with his own wits and imagines that he is the cleverest person of all.
The above-described amusing diversion which I provided with the peasant’s cattle made the forenoon, which passed all too quickly anyway, pass even more quickly, for at that time it was nigh on to the winter solstice.
At the noonday meal I waited upon the table as I had before, but as I did so I did many odd things, and when I was supposed to eat, no 215 Book II — A s soon as I came home I was obliged to go into the parlor too, because noble ladies were there with my master and would have liked to see and hear his new fool.
I appeared and stood there like a mute, for which reason the lady whom I had seized at the dance before had cause to say that she had been told that this calf could speak, but now she realized that this was not true.
I answered: “And I, for my part, was of the opinion that monkeys cannot speak, but I hear clearly that this is not the case.” “What!” said my master. “Are you of the opinion that these ladies are monkeys?” I answered: “If they aren’t already, they surely soon will be.
Who knows how they may turn out? I did not expect to turn into a calf either, but I did.” My master asked me what I saw about these ladies that made me think they were monkeys.
I answered: “Our monkey goes about with his arse bare, and these ladies have already bared their breasts, while other maidens are wont to keep theirs covered.” “You scamp!” said master. “You are a foolish calf, and you talk like what you are.
These ladies are right to let what is worth seeing be seen.
The monkey, however, goes about naked out of poverty.
Now straightway make good 223 Book II your transgression, else you’ll be soundly whipped and chased by dogs into the goose coop, which is what is done to calves who do not know how to mind their manners.
Let us hear whether you know how to praise a lady as is fitting.” Then I looked the lady up and down, from head to toe, and looked at her as full of ardor and love as if I desired to marry her.
Finally I said: “Milord, I see clearly what’s amiss here.
The thieving tailor is to blame for it all.
The cloth that should be at the top, around the neck, and was supposed to cover the breasts, he left it at the bottom of the skirt.
That is why it drags along so far behind her.
You ought to cut the rascal’s hands off if he can’t do any better at dressmaking than that.
Milady,” I said to her, “get rid of him if he is going to put you so to shame, and see that you get my Pa’s tailor.
His name is Master Paulie.
He could make real pretty pleated skirts for my Ma, our Anne, and our Ursula which were completely even at the bottom all the way around.
They surely did not drag in the dirt like yours.
You really wouldn’t believe what pretty clothes he could make for the sluts.” My master asked me whether my Pa’s Anne and Ursula were prettier than this lady. “O, not at all, milord!” said I. “This lady has hair that is as yellow as baby-shit, and the part in it is as white and as straight as if the skin had been capped with hog bristles.
Indeed, her hair is so beautifully rolled up that it looks like hollow pipes, or as if she had a few pounds of candles or a dozen sausages hanging down on each side of her head.
Ah! Just look what a beautiful smooth brow 224 Book II she has! Is it not more delicately arched than a fat buttock, and whiter than a skull that has been out in the weather for years and years? But it really is a shame that her delicate skin is so blotched by her hair powder, for if people who did not know any better were to see it, they might well think the lady had a bad case of scabies which was causing those scales, which would be all the more a shame because of her sparkling eyes, which glitter more brightly in their blackness than the soot on the damper of my Pa’s stove, which glistened so terribly when our Anne stood in front of it with a wisp of straw to heat the room, as if there were not already enough fire in these eyes to set the entire world on fire.
Her cheeks are so nice and rosy, but not as completely red as the new ribbons were a while back with which the Swabian wagoners from Ulm52 decorated their bibs.
And the deep red which she has on her lips exceeds that color by far, and when she laughs or speaks (I beg milord pay close heed to this), then one sees two rows of teeth in her mouth, so neatly lined up in rows and looking like sugar, as if they had been carved from one piece of white turnip.
O, what a wonderful sight! I do not believe it would hurt a man if she bit him with them.
And her neck is well nigh as white as curdled milk, and her little breasts, which are below it, are of the same color and without doubt as hard to the touch as a goat’s udder that is bursting with too much milk.
They surely are not as limp as the ones the old crones had who wiped my arse a while back when I went to heaven.
O, milord, look at 225 Book II — II of the devil, he would not have so often desired to see the famous chasseur with his own eyes.
But just as the borrowed meat and bread was paid for much too dearly, the fright received is all the easier to get over, primarily because it was caused, against his will, by such a famous personage, who is herewith pardoned therefore with the request that he not hesitate to visit the man who did not hesitate to exorcise the devil.
Vale.194 Everywhere I behaved this way and thereby made a great name for myself, and the more I paid out and entertained, the more booty flowed into my hands, and I thought I had made a good investment with this ring, though it was worth nigh on to a hundred Imperial sovereigns.
And with this I come to the END OF THE SECOND BOOK 349 Notes BOOK II C ha p te r 1 : How goose and gander mated Book II 1. my book BLACK AND WHITE: the first of Grimmelshausen’s works to be published was Der Satyrische Pilgram I (The Satirical Pilgrim Part I), which he calls Black and White because of its subtitle: that is, Cold and Warm, White and Black…..
It consisted of ten discourses (he called them “Sätze”), each of which consisted of three parts: a “Satz” (which gave the positive aspects of the subject); a “Gegensatz” (which considered the negative aspects); and a “Nachklang” (in which an attempt was made to resolve the differences).
Most of the material was taken verbatim from Garzoni and others, and very little was original writing.
The first volume appeared in 1666; a second volume, containing ten more discourses, appeared in 1667, the year before the publication of the editio princeps of Simplicissimus, and it contains perhaps the first explicit reference to Simplicissimus.
Part I, Discourse 6 (Sechster Satz vom Tantzen) and Discours e 7 (Siebender Satz vom Wein) are the parts to which Grimmelshausen is referring here. 2. 3. 4. 32).
Praeludium Veneris: prelude of Venus, ie, prelude to love-making.
Histori: story, tale.
Dear Reader, I tell this tale…: the assignation in the goose-coop, according to Borcherdt (p. 371), is modeled on an episode in Guzman (III, C ha p te r 2 : When it is a right good time to bathe 5. corps de garde: guard-room. 350 Book II — M y resolve to learn completely the gunsmith’s trade and the art of fencing during these six months was a good one, and I knew that it was.
But it was not enough to stave off idleness, which is the root of much evil, primarily because there was no one to command me to keep busy.
To be sure, I pored over all manner of books and learned many good things from them, but some which fell into my hands did me about as much good as grass does a dog.
The incomparable ARCADIA,130 from which I desired to learn eloquence, was the first work which drew me away from genuine histories to love stories and away from true stories to romances full of derring-do.
Works of these sorts I procured wherever I could, and when I got hold of one of them, I did not stop till I had read it through to the end, even if I was obliged to pore over it day and night.
These taught me not eloquence but the art of whispering sweet nothings into women’s ears.
But at that time this weakness in me was not so violent and pronounced that one could have called it, in the words of Seneca, a divine rage or, as it is termed in Thomas Thomäus’ 482 Book III WORLD GARDEN,131 a troublesome ailment, for wherever my love was directed, I achieved easily and effortlessly what I desired, so that I had no cause to complain, as other swains and wooers do,132 who are full of fanciful notions, tribulations, desires, secret sorrows, anger, jealousy, lust for vengeance, rage, tears, bombast, threats, and a thousand such-like follies and are so short of patience that they wish they were dead.
I had money and was not afraid to spend it, and a good voice in the bargain, and I was always practicing on all manner of musical instruments.
Instead of dancing, to which I was never partial, in order to display my fine figure I showed it off when I engaged in swordplay with the furrier.
In addition, I had a fine smooth face and through practice became cordial and amiable, so that on their own accord women, even though I took no particular interest in them, chased after me more than I desired, as Aurora did133 after Clitus, Cephalus, and Tithonus;134 as Venus did after Anchises, Atidus, and Adonis;135 as Ceres did after Glaucus, Ulysses, and Jason;136 and as even chaste Diana did after her beloved Endymion.137 At this very time Martinmas came round, and then we Germans fall to glutting ourselves with food and drink, and this lasts with some folks till Shrovetide.138 Then I was invited to sundry places, to the homes of both townsmen and members of the garrison, to help devour Martinmas goose.
At such times then some things fell to happening, because on such occasions I made the acquaintance of some women.
My 483 Book III lute-playing and my singing compelled each of them to look upon me, and when they were thus observing me, I was able to perform my new love songs, which I wrote myself, with such charming looks and gestures that many a pretty maid lost her head and before she knew it became enamored of me.
And so that I might not be thought a skinflint, I, too, held two parties, one for the officers and the other for the most distinguished townfolk, by means of which I acquired the good graces of both groups and obtained access to both, because I had expensive delicacies served them.
And the object of all this for me was the dear ladies, and even though I did not find in one of them or the other what I was seeking (for there were indeed still some who could refuse it to me), I nevertheless paid visits to them as to the others, so that they would not bring into ill repute those who showed me more favor than befits a modest maiden, but would instead believe that I tarried with them solely for the sake of their conversation.
And of this I persuaded each one individually, so that she believed it of the others and could not but believe that she was the only one who was enjoying my person.
I had an even half-dozen of them who loved me, and I them in return, but not one of them possessed my heart completely or me alone.
In one of them, only her dark eyes pleased me; in another her golden hair; in a third her lovely grace; and in the others something else of that sort, which the others did not have.
And when I paid a visit to someone other than them, it 484 Book III — H im whom Fortuna desires to plunge into the depths she first raises up to the heights, even though the good Lord warn each and every man of his fall.
I had my warning too, but I paid no heed to it! I was persuaded in my mind that my position at the time was built on such a firm foundation that no ill fortune could cast me down from it, because everyone, particularly the commandant, wished me so well.
Those whom he held in high esteem I won over by all manner of deferential actions.
His loyal servants I brought over to my side with presents; and with those who were somewhat above my station I drank brotherhood and pledged to them my undying loyalty and friendship.
The common townfolk and soldiers were partial to me because I was amiable to everyone. “Ah, what a friendly man the chasseur is!” they often said to one another.” He passes the time of day with every child on the street and never has a harsh word for anyone.” When I caught 486 Book III a young hare or some partridges, I sent them to the kitchens of those whose friendship I sought, thereby inviting myself to dine with them, and I had a drop of wine fetched, which was costly in that term.
Indeed, I arranged it so that I bore well nigh all the expenses.
When, at such feasts, I fell into a conversation with someone, I praised everyone but myself and was able to behave as modestly as if I had never known arrogance.
Now because I thus curried favor with everyone and everyone held me in high esteem, I did not think that any misfortune could befall me, particularly since my money pouch was still rather well stuffed.
I often went to visit the oldest parson of that city, which gentleman loaned me books from his library; and when I brought one back to him, he discussed all manner of things with me, for we got along so well with one another that each of us was genuinely fond of the other.
Now when not only the Martinmas goose and the hog-slaughter soup139 had come and gone, but also the feast days of Christmas were over, I gave him as a New Year’s present a bottle of Strasbourg brandy, which he liked to sip in the Westphalian manner, with sugar candy in it, and after that I went to visit him, arriving just as he was reading my JOSEPH,140 which my landlord had lent him without my knowledge.
I grew pale when I saw that my work had fallen into the hands of such a learned man, particularly since it is claimed that in a man’s writings he is best seen for what he really is.
He, however, bade me sit down with him and 487 Book III in fact praised my invention, but he faulted me for devoting so much time to the love affairs of Suleika (who was Potiphar’s wife):141 “What really interests you is what you feel bound to talk about.” And he added: “If you did not know what goes on in the heart of a person in love, you would not have been able to depict and present to our eyes this woman’s passion so well.” I answered that what I had written was not my own invention, but, rather, I had extracted it from other books in order to practice writing a little. “Yes, yes!” he answered. “I’m happy to believe that (scil.),142 but rest assured that I know more about you than you imagine.” I was frightened when I heard these words and thought to myself: “Did Old Nick tell you that?” And because he saw that I changed color he went on, saying: “You are young and healthy, you are handsome, and you have time on your hands.
You live without a care in the world and, so I hear, with more than enough of everything.
Therefore I beseech and implore you, in the name of the Lord, to consider what a dangerous situation you are in.
Beware of the beast which braids its hair if you desire to keep an eye to your happiness and salvation.
You may, of course think: ‘Of what concern is it to this parson what I do or omit to do?’ (‘you have guessed correctly,’ I thought to myself) or ‘What right has he to tell me what to do?’ It is true, I am a spiritual counselor by profession! But be assured that as concerns you, my benefactor, your welfare in this world is, because of the Christian love I bear you, as important to me as if you were my own son.
It is 488 Book III — IV In 1952 Leonard Forster (pp. 161 ff.) suspected he had found Grimmelshausen’s model in an episode in Brantôme’s Le Beau Escuyer Gruffy.
Finally, Weydt (pp. 49 ff,) maintained that the true link to the Bandello novella and thus Grimmelshausen’s prime source for the episode was to be found in Harsdörffer’s Groβer Schauplatz Lust- und lehrreicher Geschichte in Part V of the 1651 edition in an anecdote (No.
CII) entitled “Das gefährliche Vertrauen” (“Dangerous Trust”).
In this story Adonis, an exceedingly handsome young man in Paris, becomes the lover of an unknown lady, spends five nights in her company, and receives for his services a large diamond, of which he is then robbed while returning home from the adventure.
Despite a number of dissimilarities between this tale and Simplicissimus’ adventure, and the complete absence of any verbal borrowings, Weydt was so sure that Harsdörffer was the source that he made the “Beau Alman Episode” the “comparative motif test case” (“motivgeschichtlicher Probefall”) in his effort to prove that Harsdörffer was one of Grimmelshausen’s prime sources and also represented a link between Grimmelshausen and French, Spanish and Italian literature.
No critic, to my knowledge, has yet pointed out a possible source for the sequence of events which lead to Simplicissimus’ transformation into a male whore: his transformation into a fool, described in Book II, Chapters 5 and 6.
Immediately before each transformation he is given a drug-in Hanau the pastor gives him an ointment to smear on himself to protect him, and in Paris Dr.
Canard gives him “a few delicate little sausages which…strongly smacked of the apothecary.” In both transformations the attempt is made to trick him: in Hanau the four men in devil’s masks try to make him think he is being taken to hell; in Paris he ls led to believe that he is being taken to see a gentleman who wishes him to give music lessons.
In both instances he is then taken blindfolded to another location, and 704 Book IV in each case he is escorted by soldiers, in Hanau by soldiers disguised as devils, in Paris by men dressed as soldiers.
In each episode Simplicissimus is bathed by a member or members of the opposite sex, in each instance by old crones whose teeth he describes.
In Hanau he is put to bed after his bath and awakens to see two “angels,” who are meant to convince him that he has left hell and is in heaven; in Paris he dines after his bath with three beautiful masked women.
In Hanau he is then put to sleep yet again and awakens in the goose coop to find himself dressed in fool’s garb; in Paris he spends a week with the lady (or ladies) and is then returned, blindfolded, to Paris, where he continues to ply the trade of a male whore, and when, after escaping Paris, he comes down with small pox, he awakens to find himself a penniless and pock-marked wretch, robbed of both his wealth and his beauty.
The two transformations are clearly contrapuntal, and the stark contrasts between them underscore the irony of the second one.
In Hanau Simplicissimus is still a naive boy, while in Paris he is a worldly, materialistic and sensual young man who has already strayed from the path of righteousness.
Whereas he permits the pastor in Hanau to help him and is thus prepared for the experience to which he is subjected, he rejects the attempts of the pastor in Lippstadt to help him and is thus unprepared for the direction his life takes.
In Paris he is deceived, in part at least, by external appearances: the three French ladies whom he sees are beautiful and desirable, and with little resistance he falls prey to them, whereas in Hanau the physical ugliness of the three old crones causes him to realize the dangers of temptations to the flesh and remark: “Truly a frightening sight, which might have served no purpose other than as an excellent antidote against the mindless lust of lewd billy goats.” This insight of the young and naive Simplicissimus, inspired by the sight of one of the old hag’s “pendulous breasts,” which he compares to “two shrunken cow705 Book IV udders drained of two-thirds of their milk” with “at the bottom of each…a dark brown teat a half-finger long,” is completely forgotten when Beau Alman gazes at the three Parisiennes, whose gowns “left their alabaster breasts rather bare.” One would think that the presence of the old German woman, whose function is similar to that of the three old hags in Hanau, should have reminded Simplicissimus of what he had already realized as a child, but Beau Alman is as blind as the Calf was clear-sighted. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. Monsig.: Monsieur, Mister.
To perulate, insolulate…: a similar series of alchemical terms-all collatio: meal, repast.
Venus…Adonis: see above Notes to Book III, Chapter 4.
The eyes of a basilisk: the basilisk was a legendary reptile whose ending in the same suffix (-irt in German) is found in Moscherosch I, 412. breath and gaze killed anyone they struck.
The creature is described in Acerra philologica II, 17 (p. 224 f.). 30. A man must know no fear when he goes to a woman: this remark is quite similar to a bon mot which Hoffmann puts into the mouth of his heroine, Mme.
De Scudery: “An amant, qui craint les voleurs, n’est point digne d’amour.” Hoffmann’s source was an anecdote in De Sacri Rom.
Imperii Libera Civitate Noribergensi commentatio (pp. 561-563) by Johann Christoph Wagenseil (1633-1705), who tells how Mme.
De Scudery wrote the aphoristic statement after courtiers had implored Louis XIV to do more to protect them from robbers and brigands who were attacking them when they went out in Paris in the evening to see their beloveds.
It is possible to determine approximately when the bon mot was the talk of Paris, for Wagenseil indicates that at about the same time Philippe Quinault (1635-1688) had completed the first three acts of his comedy Astrate, roi 706 Book IV — Book V C h a p te r 6 Story of a prank which Simplicius played at the spa A fter my arrival I grew aware that Trueheart’s condition had taken a turn for the worse rather than for the better, even though the doctores35 and the apothecaries had plucked him cleaner than a fat goose; moreover, he seemed to me to be quite childish too, and he could walk straight only with difficulty.
I, of course, cheered him up as best I could, but he was in a bad way.
He himself had clearly perceived from the dissipation of his strength that he could not last much longer; his greatest consolation was that I should be at his side when he closed his eyes for the last time.
I, for my part, made merry and sought my pleasure wherever I thought I might find it, but in such wise that Trueheart lacked for nothing in terms of care.
And because I knew myself to be a widower, the good times and my youth once more tempted me into going a-wooing, which avocation I then did eagerly pursue, because the terror which had been struck in me at Einsiedeln had of course been forgotten again.
There was at the spa a beautiful lady who claimed to be of the nobility36 but who was, in my opinion, more mobilis than 764 Book V nobilis.37 This same man-trap, because she was rather sleek in appearance, I courted most diligently, and in a short while I gained not only free access to her but also all the pleasure which I might have wished and desired; but because of her wantonness I straightway felt disgusted by her, and I therefore pondered how I could rid myself of her again in good fashion, for it seemed to me that she was more intent upon milking my purse than upon getting me for a husband.
Moreover, wherever we met she bestowed upon me ardent and adoring glances and other tokens of her burning affection in such an exaggerated manner that I could not but feel ashamed, for her sake as well as my own.
Besides that, there was also a rich Swiss at the baths; he was robbed not only of his money but also of his wife’s jewelry, which consisted of gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones.
Now because such things are as sorely missed as they are difficult to obtain, this Swiss therefore sought every way and means by which he might get his hands upon them again, for which reason he sent for the famous conjurer Geiβhut,38 who by his conjuring so tribulated the thief that he was obliged to return personally what he had stolen to the place from which he had taken it, as a result of which the conjurer was presented with ten Imperial sovereigns.
The necromancer I should have liked to see and confer with, but to my mind this could not be done without damage to my reputation (for I thought myself at that time to be no part of 765 Book V — V he got my mouth to watering, and because hopes for peace were slight and for that reason I would be subjected not only to further billeting of Swedish troops, but also to complete financial ruin, I resolved to join up again and promised the colonel to go along with him, if he would keep his word and give me the post of lieutenant colonel in the regiment which he was soon to be given.
And so the die was cast.
I sent for my Pa, or foster father; he was still with my cattle at Bairischbrunn;187 to him and his wife I signed over my farm for them to own, but under the condition that after their death my natural son, Simplicius, should inherit it and everything upon it, because I had no heirs born in wedlock.
Following that I fetched my horse and what money and valuables I still had, and after I had put all my affairs into order and arranged for the upbringing of my son out of wedlock, the blockade was suddenly lifted, so we were obliged to set forth and march to join the main army before we expected to.
I served as a “steward” to this colonel and provided for him, his men and horses, and his entire household by stealing and pilfering, which is called “foraging” when soldiers do it.
Torstenson’s promises, of which he had made so much at my farm, were by far not so grand as he had alleged, and it seemed to me that he was pretty much ignored. “Alas!” he then said to me. “What scurvy dog has blackened my name with the general staff? I shan’t be able to stay here for long.” And 846 Book V inasmuch as he suspected that I would not patiently remain with him for long, he concocted a tale to the effect that he had a new regiment he was going to recruit in Livland,188 where his home was, and with that he persuaded me to immediately mount up in Wismar189 and go with him to Livland.
Now there, too, it all came to naught, for not only did he have no regiment to recruit, he was, though a nobleman, as poor as a churchmouse, and what he did have was from his wife.
Now even though I had let myself be deceived twice and led so far away from home, I nevertheless put in with him a third time, for he showed me letters which he had received from Moscow in which he was offered high military posts, so he alleged, for that is how he translated them into my native tongue; and he boasted loud and long about how prompt and good the pay was that was being offered.
And because he immediately set forth with wife and child, I thought to myself: “He surely can’t be going on a wild-goose chase this time.” And therefore I, filled with high hopes, set out with him, because I saw no means or opportunity to return to Germany at this time anyway.
But as soon as we came across the Russian border and encountered sundry German soldiers who had been discharged, mainly officers, I began to get the wind up and said to my colonel: “What the devil are we doing? We leave a country where there is a war going on, and go to one which is at peace and in which soldiers are of no value and are being discharged!” But he continued to cozen me, 847 Book V saying that I should leave everything to him, he knew better what should be done than these fellows, who were not of much use anyway.
Now after we arrived in the city of Moscow I straightway saw that things had gone awry.
To be sure, my colonel conferred daily with the magnates,190 but far more often with metropolitans than with princes, which behavior did not seem all that odd to me, but did seem to savor too much of religion, which fawning over Russian priests aroused in me all manner of crotchets and musings, though I could not divine what his goal and purpose was.
Finally he notified me that the business with the war had come to naught and that his conscience compelled him to convert to the Russian Orthodox church; his candid advice was that I should do likewise, since he could not help me as he had promised anyway.
His Majesty the tsar, he said, already had good report of my person and good qualities; if I would agree to convert, His Majesty would be so gracious as to make me a nobleman and bestow upon me a royal estate and many subjects, which most gracious offer should not be rejected, since it was more advisable for anyone to have in a great monarch a most generous master rather than a hostile grand prince.
I was completely taken aback at this and knew not what answer to give, because if I had had the colonel somewhere else I would have seen to it that he felt rather than heard my answer; but I was obliged to sing a different tune and adapt myself to the 848 Book V
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