Garman and Worse by Alexander Lange Kielland


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Garman and Worse, by Alexander Lange
Kielland, Translated by W. W. Kettlewell

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Garman and Worse
A Norwegian Novel

Author: Alexander Lange Kielland

Release Date: May 19, 2005 [eBook #15864]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


E-text prepared by Clare Boothby, Jim Wiborg, and the Project Gutenberg
Online Distributed Proofreading Team


A Norwegian Novel



Authorized Translation by W. W. Kettlewell

London, Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1, Paternoster Square
Printed by William Clows and Sons, Limited, London and Beccles.



Nothing is so boundless as the sea, nothing so patient. On its broad
back it bears, like a good-natured elephant, the tiny mannikins which
tread the earth; and in its vast cool depths it has place for all mortal
woes. It is not true that the sea is faithless, for it has never
promised anything; without claim, without obligation, free, pure, and
genuine beats the mighty heart, the last sound one in an ailing world.
And while the mannikins strain their eyes over it, the sea sings its old
song. Many understand it scarce at all, but never two understand it in
the same manner, for the sea has a distinct word for each one that sets
himself face to face with it.

It smiles with green shining ripples to the barelegged urchin who
catches crabs; it breaks in blue billows against the ship, and sends the
fresh salt spray far in over the deck. Heavy leaden seas come rolling in
on the beach, and while the weary eye follows the long hoary breakers,
the stripes of foam wash up in sparkling curves over the even sand; and
in the hollow sound, when the billows roll over for the last time, there
is something of a hidden understanding--each thinks on his own life, and
bows his head towards the ocean as if it were a friend who knows it all
and keeps it fast.

But what the sea is for those who live along its strand none can ever
know, for they say nothing. They live all their life with face turned to
the ocean; the sea is their companion, their adviser, their friend and
their enemy, their inheritance and their churchyard. The relation
therefore remains a silent one, and the look which gazes over the sea
changes with its varying aspect, now comforting, now half fearful and
defiant. But take one of these shore-dwellers, and move him far landward
among the mountains, into the loveliest valley you can find; give him
the best food, and the softest bed. He will not touch your food, or
sleep in your bed, but without turning his head he will clamber from
hill to hill, until far off his eye catches something blue he knows, and
with swelling heart he gazes towards the little azure streak that shines
far away, until it grows into a blue glittering horizon; but he says

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