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Le Sommet des Monagnes; Gornaia-Verchina; Vers inédits adressés par Dumas à lui-même en apprenant la mort de Méry

vers/verse, pub:1859




From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     Five lines, rhyming a, b, b, a, a.
     A translation from Lermontoff.
     They appear in the "Impressions de Voyage : En Russie," Chapter LVIII., under the title of "Le Sommet des Montagnes." This can be dated 1859, since the latter part of these travels were then appearing in "Le Constitutionnel." M. Glinel draws attention to the fact that it again appeared in Dumas' journal "Le Caucase," No. for the 4th of May, 1859, Chapter XXXIX., but this time under the title of "Gornaia-Verchina."
     From this it found its way into the "Impressions de Voyage : Le Caucase," Chapter XL.
     Moreover, M. Glinel possessed the original MS. in Dumas' autograph of these very lines (obtained, he says, from the firm of Voisin, Paris, on the 25th December, 1887), and containing the following note in Dumas' hand: "Ces vers sont tellement populaires en Russie qu'on les trouve sur tous les pianos et qu'il n'y a peut-être pas une jeune femme en Russie qui ne les sache par coeur." ("These lines are so popular in Russia that one finds them on every piano, and there is perhaps not a young Russian woman who does not know them by heart,") In "Le Caucase" Dumas says he believes they are a recollection of Goethe or of Heine.
     On November 5th, 1883, these lines were published in "Le Gaulois." Here they were headed: "Vers Inédits Adressés par Dumas à lui-même en Apprenant la Mort de Méry." ("Unpublished verses Addressed by Dumas to himself on Learning of the Death of Méry.") As M. Glinel justly comments: "Méry died on the 17th of June, 1866. Thus this verse by Dumas was not addressed to himself, nor was it unpublished."

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