Today Project Gutenberg has added some proto-sf to their library in the form of E. T. A. Hoffmann's Weird Tales. (Vol. I). Hoffmann's novelette The Nutcracker and the Mouse King inspired the famous ballet The Nutcracker, and Offenbach's famous opera The Tales of Hoffmann is based on these stories.
"Yet it's very strange that several of us have formed pretty much the same opinion about Olimpia. We think she is—you won't take it ill, brother?—that she is singularly statuesque and soulless. Her figure is regular, and so are her features, that can't be gainsaid; and if her eyes were not so utterly devoid of life, I may say, of the power of vision, she might pass for a beauty. She is strangely measured in her movements, they all seem as if they were dependent upon some wound-up clock-work."