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King Solomon's Mines (Anglais) Broché – 24 février 2011


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Extrait

CHAPTER I

I Meet Sir Henry Curtis


It is a curious thing that at my age-fifty-five last birthday- I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write a history. I wonder what sort of a history it will be when I have finished it, if ever I come to the end of the trip! I have done a good many things in my life, which seems a long one to me, owing to my having begun work so young, perhaps. At an age when other boys are at school I was earning my living as a trader in the old Colony. I have been trading, hunting, fighting, or mining ever since. And yet it is only eight months ago that I made my pile. It is a big pile now that I have got it-I don't yet know how big-but I do not think I would go through the last fifteen or sixteen months again for it; no, not if I knew that I should come out safe at the end, pile and all. But then I am a timid man, and dislike violence, and, moreover, I am fairly sick of adventure. I wonder why I am going to write this book: it is not in my line. I am not a literary man, though very devoted to the Old Testament and also to the "Ingoldsby Legends." Let me try to set down my reasons, just to see if I have any.

First reason: Because Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good asked me to.

Second reason: Because I am laid up here at Durban with the pain in my left leg. Ever since that confounded lion got hold of me I have been liable to this trouble, and its being rather bad just now makes me limp more than ever. There must be some poison in a lion's teeth, otherwise how is it that when your wounds are healed they break out again, generally, mark you, at the same time of year that you got your mauling? It is a hard thing when one has shot sixty-five lions and more, as I have in the course of my life, that the sixty-sixth should chew your leg like a quid of tobacco. It breaks the routine of the thing, and putting other considerations aside, I am an orderly man and don't like that. This is by the way.

Third reason: Because I want my boy Harry, who is over there at the hospital in London studying to become a doctor, to have something to amuse him and keep him out of mischief for a week or so. Hospital work must sometimes pall and grow rather dull, for even of cutting up dead bodies there may come satiety, and as this history will not be dull, whatever else it may be, it will put a little life into things for a day or two while Harry is reading it.

Fourth reason and last: Because I am going to tell the strangest story that I know of. It may seem a queer thing to say, especially considering that there is no woman in it-except Foulata. Stop, though! there is Gagaoola, if she was a woman and not a fiend. But she was a hundred at least, and therefore not marriageable, so I don't count her. At any rate, I can safely say that there is not a petticoat in the whole history. Well, I had better come to the yoke. It is a stiff place, and I feel as though I were bogged up to the axle. But "sutjes, sutjes," as the Boers say-I am sure I don't know how they spell it-softly does it. A strong team will come through at last, that is, if they are not too poor. You can never do anything with poor oxen. Now to begin.

I, Allan Quatermain, of Durban, Natal, Gentleman, make oath and say-That's how I began my deposition before the magistrate about poor Khiva's and Ventvögel's sad deaths; but somehow it doesn't seem quite the right way to begin a book. And, besides, am I a gentleman? What is a gentleman? I don't quite know, and yet I have had to do with niggers-no, I will scratch out that word "niggers," for I do not like it. I've known natives who are, and so you will say, Harry, my boy, before you have done with this tale, and I have known mean whites with lots of money and fresh out from home, too, who are not. Well, at any rate, I was born a gentleman, though I have been nothing but a poor travelling trader and hunter all my life. Whether I have remained so I know not, you must judge of that. Heaven knows I've tried. I have killed many men in my time, yet I have never slain wantonly or stained my hand in innocent blood, but only in self-defence. The Almighty gave us our lives, and I suppose He meant us to defend them, at least I have always acted on that, and I hope it will not be brought up against me when my clock strikes. There, there, it is a cruel and a wicked world, and for a timid man I have been mixed up in a deal of slaughter. I cannot tell the rights of it, but at any rate I have never stolen, though once I cheated a Kafir out of a herd of cattle. But then he had done me a dirty turn, and it has troubled me ever since into the bargain.

Well, it is eighteen months or so ago since first I met Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, and it was in this way. I had been up elephant hunting beyond Bamangwato, and had met with bad luck. Everything went wrong that trip, and to top up with I got the fever badly. So soon as I was well enough I trekked down to the Diamond Fields, sold such ivory as I had, together with my wagon and oxen, discharged my hunters, and took the post-cart to the Cape. After spending a week in Cape Town, finding that they overcharged me at the hotel, and having seen everything there was to see, including the botanical gardens, which seem to me likely to confer a great benefit on the country, and the new Houses of Parliament, which I expect will do nothing of the sort, I determined to go back to Natal by the Dunkeld, then lying at the docks waiting for the Edinburgh Castle due in from England. I took my berth and went aboard, and that afternoon the Natal passengers from the Edinburgh Castle transhipped, and we weighed and put out to sea.

Among the passengers who came on board there were two who excited my curiosity. One, a gentleman of about thirty, was per- haps the biggest-chested and longest-armed man I ever saw. He had yellow hair, a thick yellow beard, clear-cut features, and large grey eyes set deep into his head. I never saw a finer-looking man, and somehow he reminded me of an ancient Dane. Not that I know much of ancient Danes, though I knew a modern Dane who did me out of ten pounds; but I remember once seeing a picture of some of those gentry, who, I take it, were a kind of white Zulus. They were drinking out of big horns, and their long hair hung down their backs, and as I looked at my friend standing there by the companion-ladder, I thought that if he only let his hair grow a little, put one of those chain shirts on to his great shoulders, and took hold of a battle-axe and a horn mug, he might have sat as a model for that picture. And by the way it is a curious thing, and just shows how the blood will out, I discovered afterwards that Sir Henry Curtis, for that was the big man's name, is of Danish blood.* He also reminded me strongly of somebody else, but at the time I could not remember who it was.

The other man who stood talking to Sir Henry was short, stout, and dark, and of quite a different cut. I suspected at once that he was a naval officer; I don't know why, but it is difficult to mistake a navy man. I have gone on shooting trips with several of them in the course of my life, and they have always proved themselves the best and bravest and nicest fellows I ever met, though given to the use of profane language.

I asked a page or two back, what is a gentleman? I'll answer it now: a Royal Naval officer is, in a general sort of a way, though of course there may be a black sheep among them here and there. I fancy it is just the wide seas and the breath of God's winds that wash their hearts and blow the bitterness out of their minds and make them what men ought to be. Well, to return, I was right again; I ascertained that he was a naval officer, a lieutenant of thirty-one, who, after seventeen years' service, had been turned out of her Majesty's employ with the barren honour of a commander's rank, because it was impossible that he should be promoted. This is what people who serve the Queen have to expect: to be shot out into the

* Mr. Quatermain's ideas about ancient Danes seem to be rather confused; we have always understood that they were dark-haired people. Probably he was thinking of Saxons. -Editor.

cold world to find a living just when they are beginning to really understand their work, and to reach the prime of life. Well, I suppose they don't mind it, but for my part I had rather earn my bread as a hunter. One's halfpence are as scarce perhaps, but you do not get so many kicks. His name I found out-by referring to the passengers' list-was Good-Captain John Good. He was broad, of medium height, dark, stout, and rather a curious man to look at. He was so very neat and so very clean shaved, and he always wore an eye-glass in his right eye. It seemed to grow there, for it had no string, and he never took it out except to wipe it. At first I thought he used to sleep in it, but I afterwards found that this was a mistake. He put it in his trousers pocket when he went to bed, together with his false teeth, of which he had two beautiful sets that, my own being none of the best, have often caused me to break the tenth commandment. But I am anticipating.

Soon after we had got under weigh evening closed in, and brought with it very dirty weather. A keen breeze sprang up off land, and a kind of aggravated Scotch mist soon drove everybody from the deck. As for the Dunkeld, she is a flat-bottomed punt, and going up light as she was, she rolled very heavily. It almost seemed as though she would go right over, but she never did. It was quite impossible to walk about, so I stood near the engines where it was warm, and amused myself with watching the pendulum, which was fixed opposite to me, swinging slowly backwards and forwards as the vessel rolled, and marking the angle she touched at each lurch.

"That pendulum's wrong; it is not properly weighted," suddenly said a voice at my shoulder somewhat testily. Looking round I saw the naval officer whom I had noticed when the passengers came aboard.

"Indeed, now what makes you think so?" I asked.

"Think so. I don't think at all. Why there"-as she righted herself after a roll-"if the ship had really rolled to the degree that thing pointed to then she would never have rolled again, that's all. But it is just like these merchant skippers, they always are so confoundedly careless."

Just then the dinner-bell rang, and I was not sorry, for it is a dreadful thing to have to listen to an officer of the Royal Navy when he gets on to that subject. I only know one worse thing, and it is to hear a merchant skipper express his candid opinion of officers of the Royal Navy.

Captain Good and I went down to dinner together, and there we found Sir Henry Curtis already seated. He and Captain Good were placed together, and I sat opposite to them. The captain and I soon fell into talk about shooting and what not; he asking me many questions, and I answering them as well as I could. Presently he got on to elephants.

"Ah, sir," called out somebody who was sitting near me, "you've reached the right man for that; Hunter Quatermain should be able to tell you about elephants if anybody can."

Sir Henry, who had been sitting quite quiet listening to our talk, started visibly.

"Excuse me, sir," he said, leaning forward across the table, and speaking in a low deep voice, a very suitable voice, it seemed to me, to come out of those great lungs. "Excuse me, sir, but is your name Allan Quatermain?"

I said that it was.

The big man made no further remark, but I heard him mutter "fortunate" into his beard.

Presently dinner came to an end, and as we were leaving the saloon Sir Henry strolled up and asked me if I would come into his cabin to smoke a pipe. I accepted, and he led the way to the Dunkeld deck cabin, and a very good cabin it is. It had been two cabins, but when Sir Garnet or one of those big swells went down the coast in the Dunkeld, they knocked away the partition and have never put it up again. There was a sofa in the cabin, and a little table in front of it. Sir Henry sent the steward for a bottle of whisky, and the three of us sat down and lit our pipes.

"Mr. Quatermain," said Sir Henry Curtis, when the steward had brought the whisky and lit the lamp, "the year before last about this time you were, I believe, at a place called Bamangwato, to the north of the Transvaal."

"I was," I answered, rather surprised that this gentleman should be so well acquainted with my movements, which were not, so far as I was aware, considered of general interest.

"You were trading there, were you not?" put in Captain Good, in his quick way.

"I was. I took up a wagon-load of goods, made a camp outside the settlement, and stopped till I had sold them." --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

“A peculiarly thrilling and vigorous tale of adventure.” —Andrew Lang --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .


Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 320 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Classics (24 février 2011)
  • Collection : PENG.POPULAR CL
  • Langue : Français
  • ISBN-10: 0141197781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141197784
  • Dimensions du produit: 11,1 x 1,9 x 18,1 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 416.847 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. He may be a little verbose but every word has a use. And as with written stories this one is much more intricate than the movie adaptations. You will find many assumptions of the time such as any complex construction must have been built by white people and natives on their own may turn savage.
The story is told first person by Allan Quartermain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a 300 year old map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.
If you get a chance to also hear the recording, an added plus is narration by John Richmond; He brings the characters to life and adds to the mystique that this story has been passed down.
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Format: Broché
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. And as with written stories this one is much more intricate than the movie adaptations. You will find many assumptions of the time such as any complex construction must have been built by white people and natives on their own may turn savage.

The story is told first person by Allan Quatemain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.

King Solomon's Mines Starring: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger
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Amazon.com: 171 commentaires
113 internautes sur 115 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great Enjoyment in this Classic Adventure Story 12 juin 2000
Par Ein Kunde - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Reading "King Solomon's Mines" reminded me of the joke about the guy who sees his first Shakespere play, and when asked what he thought of it, said, "real good, but so many cliches". So it is with this classic adventure story: so much of the action and plot devices were similar to what I remembered from other adventure stories (and comic books and movies), yet Rider Haggard came decades earlier. Here is one of the prototypes (along with Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island", written just a few years earlier) of the modern adventure-action story. There is lots to admire in this well crafted story: great action, excitement, characters, and exotic locations. If there's a kid you know that only wants to watch television or play video games, read this book with him or her. It shows what words on a page can do in the imagination of the reader.
It is also interesting to see the book in its historical perspective. "King Solomon's Mines", 1885, records European ignorance of and fascination with Africa, which was still partly (as Joseph Conrad later called it in "Heart of Darkness") a blank area on the map: The source of the Nile had been discovered only two decades earlier; Henry Stanley and Richard Burton were still living, the memories of David Livingstone and John Speke were still fresh; and the Berlin Africa Conference was taking place just as the novel was going into print. If that's not of interest to you, skip it. Want to curl up with a good book? Here's one for you and your kids.
41 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If you are thinking Debra Kerr you will be shocked. 30 novembre 2009
Par bernie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. And as with written stories this one is much more intricate than the movie adaptations. You will find many assumptions of the time such as any complex construction must have been built by white people and natives on their own may turn savage.

The story is told first person by Allan Quatemain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.

King Solomon's Mines Starring: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger
31 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
In it's class, five stars! 30 janvier 2000
Par Stuart W. Mirsky - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I formerly rated this one at only four stars since it lacks "gravitas" and is basically a pure, escapist tale. I thought that made it too light for the heady draught of five star-ism. But on reflection I think I was too harsh. The book does have staying power in my memory. So here goes.

Surely a classic, this was Haggard's first foray into the literary field -- to prove he could do it better than some of his contemporaries. Having spent time in South Africa as a minor civil servant, he drew on his experiences of that land to impart a feel for the country in this short, but by no means small, tale of treasure hunting and adventure among unknown and exotic peoples. This is the story of an over the hill "white hunter" taken into the service of two English gentlemen seeking the brother of one of them, who had disappeared years before on the edge of a great desert in vain (or perhaps not so vain) pursuit of the fabled mines of King Solomon. Along the way they are joined by an enigmatic native guide who is much more than what he seems as they stumble across previously unexplored (at least by Europeans) tracts of Africa and into a lost nation related, apparently, to the Zulus of southern Africa whom the English of that day so feared and respected. Drawn at once into the internal politics of these people and overawing them w/their European technology, they are soon in deadly peril from the cruel king of that country and the evil sorceress who conspires behind his throne.

But there's no use telling too much of a tale like this in a review -- the interested reader is urged to read it for him or herself. It's adventure in strange parts, for those with a taste to see how the great ones, like Haggard, did it.

SWM
The King of Vinland's Saga
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great adventure tale 7 février 2008
Par Jordan M. Poss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I had heard of King Solomon's Mines my entire life but never read it. Now I know what I'd been missing. H. Rider Haggard's breakout novel is a grand, enjoyable adventure, a sort of Indiana Jones prototype from the great age of Victorian imperialism.

The narrator, Allan Quatermain, is a middle-aged big game hunter who has somehow managed to survive decades in the African wilderness. His name is known far and wide, and as a result he is approached by a pair of men with an unusual proposition. One of the men, Sir Henry Curtis, has lost an estranged brother whom he believes was searching for the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon. Quatermain just happens to possess a map and some personal knowledge of the legends, and with a deal in place to grant him half of the diamonds--should they find some as well as Curtis's brother--he agrees to join them on the journey.

Naturally, a great deal more happens to the party than they originally expected. Elephant hunts, witchcraft, and tribal warfare complicate their quest, but in the end all works out well--if unexpectedly--for most involved. Quatermain recounts the tale in a rapid, exciting manner that gripped me from the first chapter. This is one of a very few books I've read in a single day.

This Penguin Classics edition of King Solomon's Mines reproduces the first edition text of Haggard's novel. As an appendix, a heavily-revised chapter from later editions is offered as a point of comparison with the original. The editor's notes are good, though they failed to explain one or two minor things and missed some rather obvious historical allusions. A preface and introduction place Haggard's work in its historical context and offer some interesting critical insights, but are by no means required reading and, honestly, are a little dull next to Allan Quatermain's epic quest.

Overall, King Solomon's Mines is a great adventure story for readers of all ages, with well-drawn characters and exciting episodes on every page. Don't make my mistake and wait so long to read it.

Highly recommended.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Review of King Solomon's Mines 15 septembre 2005
L'évaluation d'un enfant - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
King Solomon's Mines, writtten by H. Rider Haggard, is a story told from the point of view of a man named Allen Quartermain. Quartermain is an experianced hunter, fighter, trader, and miner. This book is written sometime in the late 19th century and takes place in the remote African interior. While Quartermain was on a junting expedition, he met two men, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good. They asked him to accompany them on a trek to find Sir Henry's lost brother. Quartermain accepts this offer after much thought. Their journey well take them to remote and dangerous parts of Africa. Along the way, they face many great dangers. They nearly die of thirst in the desert and are close to being trampled by a wounded elephant. All these things they but finally, when they are so close to their destination, they get themselves into a situation that they believe is impossible to get out of. And all this happens when they were so close to obtaining the precious diomonds of solomon's mines. All their hope is is lost, and they can but pray.

I enjoyed this book very much and I would recommend it to anyone of any age. This book is crammed full of action, suspense, and mystery. if you're looking for a book to keep awake then this is it. This book is close to impossible to put down and often kept me up late to finish a good part. there are surprises around every corner and you never know what's coming. Overall I movie, "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman". This book has a sequel called Allen Quartermain. I think anyone could read this book over and over and never get tired of it.
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