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Master Flea

E. T. A. Hoffmann

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Book Overview: 

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. Hoffmann's stories were very influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement.
He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann, and the author of the novelette The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based. The ballet Coppelia is based on two other stories that Hoffmann wrote. Also Schumann's Kreisleriana is based on one of Hoffmann's characters.
(Introduction by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ified to excess, stretched out their probosces, crawled upon their long hairy legs, or fluttered their long wings. A more hideous spectacle Pepusch had never seen. He was even beginning to be sensible himself of horror, when something rough suddenly flew in his face, and he saw himself enveloped in a thick cloud of meal dust. His terror immediately left him, for he at once perceived that the rough thing could be nothing else than the round powdered wig of the flea-tamer--which, in fact, it was.

By the time Pepusch had rubbed the powder from his eyes, the disgusting population of insects had vanished. The flea-tamer sate in his arm-chair quite exhausted.

"Leuwenhock!"--exclaimed Pepusch to him--"Leuwenhock, do you see now what comes of your trickeries? You have again been forced to have recourse to your vassals to keep the people's hands off you--Is it not so?"

"Is it you?&qu. . . Read More