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Leichhardt Letter

Leichhardt Letter

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Published by ABC News Online

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Published by: ABC News Online on Oct 22, 2013
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10/25/2013

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Translation of Ludwig Leichhardt's letter to his friend Mr J. Nicholson, Tubingen, Wurtembergdated Paris 25th January 1839, the original German letter being the property of the JohnsonianCub Brisbane.Ernst MarwedelToowoomba June 11th 1887(Courtesy, Queensland State Library)My most valued friendSince we have waited so long with pains for a letter from you, I begin to fear, that you perhapsnever received William's last letter. But since it was I who carried the letter to the post office, myfirst care is to know whether the letter really reached the good town Tubingen. Is it in your hands,all the better then, I will at least assist to shake the tree and try whether a small friendly note or along heavy letter drops down for us.Let us be sincere, not unlike a pair of solitary/lonely/octopi------extend hopefully our feelers inorder to close them merryly----ever over a little prey from you. Let us therefore soon hear fromyou, since in your small (house) domestic and statelife, in the struggle for Gar, manydevelopments-----------------are promised by brightness. Mark was the last who sent us somenews from beyond the strait. He is in good health and fairly hopeful. Poor William is not quite sowell, he has been working here during the last 6 months like the --- chief of a German universityand since inclement weather, unfriendly, sent cold temperature and fire without warmth or heatcombine together, no wonder, if intellectual foggy days, dejection, depression and discomfortmake their appearance. Consider that a letter from you will do a good deal to clear this foggy sky.Like a pair of chilly dormice we sit stooping before a smouldering fire, not wood, a heap of ash asthough there is no post yet - Ardently we look forward to the spring like a dear bride full of plans to be developed in emulationwith young nature.The Parisians are at present full of politics, the debates more in the reply to the address and abattle for life and death between the Ministry Mole and the Opposition.-This was a coalition since the Doctrinaires (Guizot) the left (la gauche) the opposition propreOdilon Barrot and Thiers had united to overthrow the Ministry. They have carried the day, theopposition forces sing songs of victory, while those organs of the Ministry are in mourning. Youcan imagine, that such an event creates amongst the noisy Frenchmen unheard of excitement.The new Ministry is yet unknown.Since the Picture Gallery in the Louvre is intended to be closed for from 3 to 4 months, we haveemployed the last fortnight, to inspect the most important pieces of the Dutch and Italian School.We have at least discovered, that later on this will be a source of rich enjoyment for us and thatthe poetry of colors is intimately united with the poetry of words. Thus we attract gradually oneorb after the other, to observe it more seriously, in order to say with Goethe, to animate eachcircumference with a precise intuition and to say with Odysseus, to give speech to the shadows of the lower regions through blood, or to the shadowlike ideas, the children of the book and theparlour, through real natural impressions.We have seen nothing of Captain Louis since William could hear at his hotel nothing about him,expect his being still at Nantes. May we later on at least meet him in Cuba.

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