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myself with the thought, that others before me are, they find themselves in the midst of horror have not been more fortunate.
and bloodshed. The French, in their present " " I could not, indeed, be a friend to the French literary movement, intended nothing further than to Revolution, for its horrors were too near to me, oblain a freer form ; but they do not now stop at and revolted me daily and hourly, whilst its that, but along with the form reject also the matbeneficent consequences were not then to be per- ter. The representation of noble deeds and noble ceived. I could not, either, be indifferent, when characters, begins to be thought tedious; and the attempt was made to bring about, in an arti- variety is sought in the exhibition of depravity. ficial manner, in Gerinany, scenes similar to In place of the beautiful fictions of heathen those which in France had been the consequence mythology, come devils, witches, and vampires; of a great necessity. But I was just as little the and the heroes of former ages have to give place friend of arbitrary power; and I was perfectly con to cheats and galley-slaves. That is piquant that vinced, that every great revolution is the fault of produces an effect; and after the public has been the government, not of the people.
accustomed to these highly-spiced ingredients, it Because, however, I hated revolutions, I desires continually more and stronger stimulants. have been called a friend to the existing state of “¢ A young writer who wishes to succeed, and things-conservative (Freund des Bestehenden.) is not strong enough to choose his own path, If all that existed were good and just I should must accomodate himself to the taste of the day, have nothing to say against this. But since, by and, if possible, outdo all his predecessors in the side of much that is good, there exists also scenes of horror. In this striving after effect, much that is bad, imperfect
, and unjust, a friend every profound study, and every gradual developof whatever exists is often a friend of the per- ment of the man from within, is out of the quesnicious and the obsolete. Time is in perpetual tion. That is the greatest injury that can be done progress-and human affairs take, every fifty to the man; but literature in general will gain years, another form; so that an institution that by the direction it is now taking.' 'How, said I, may be perfection in the year 1800, will become can a movement, which destroys individual talent, an abuse in 1850.
be favorable to literature in general ?' " • Again, nothing is good for a nation but what 6. The extremes and excesses to which I have proceeds from its innerinost kernel, from its own alluded,' replied Goethe, will gradually disapinternal wants, without imitation of any other; pear, but the gre advantage will remain, that, for what to a people, at a certain stage of culture, besides a freer form, a richer and more various inay afford beneficent nourishment, may act on matter will have been obtained; and no object in another as a poison. All attempts to introduce the wide extent of life and the world will be reany foreign innovation—for which the necessity jected any more as unpoetical. I compare the does not lie deep in the heart of the nation itself, present literary epoch to the crisis of a violent are a folly, and all such intended revolutions re fever-a condition not in itself good or desirable, main without result. They are without God, who but which is followed by an improved state of holds himself aloof from any such botching. health, The extravagances which at present Whenever a real necessity for any great reform form the whole contents of a poetical work will exists, God goes with it, and it succeeds. He was hereafter only enter as an occasional ingredient; visibly with Christ and his apostles and their first and the pure and the noble, banished for the modisciples; for the appearance of the new doctrine ment, will be sought for again with so much the of love was a want, a necessity, for all nations : greater eagerness. he was just as visible with Luther, for the purification of that doctrine, disfigured by priestcraft, They then talked of Berenger, and Eckerwas equally necessary. Neither of the above
the preference to his love-songs named great powers could be called friends of the
over his political poems. existing, far more were both deeply penetrated with the necessity of clearing out the old leaven, " " That is because the political poems are not that what was defective, untrue, and unjust, written for you,' said Goethe, "Ask a Frenchcould not be suffered to continue.'»
man, and he will tell you what they are worth.
A political poem is, in the most favorable cases, On another occasion he returns to the sub- only to be regarded as the organ of a certain naject. The conversation turned upon French tion, and, in most, only of a certain party. A cirliterature, and upon the ultra-romantic ten- cumstance favorable to Berenger was, that as dencies of several writers of considerable Paris is France, all the important interests of his talents. Goethe was of opinion, that the country are concentrated in the capital, and find poetical revolution then going on, though it there their echo. In most of his political songs, might be prejudicial to individuals, was in organ of a party, but rather of the whole people. the highest degree favorable to literature it- With us, in Germany, that would not be possible. self.
We have no city-not even a country of which
we could say, this is Germany. Should we ask 6. In no revolution,' said he, "are extremes to in Vienna, we should be told this is Austria ; in be avoided. In the beginning, nothing further is Berlin, this is Prussia Sixteen years ago, ingenerally contemplated than the getting rid of deed, when we wanted to get rid of the French, some abuses; but before people know where they | Germany was everywhere, and a political poet
might have produced some effect; but he was not “Our conversation soon turned on other matters, wanted. A universal feeling of the disgrace we and Goethe requested me to tell him my notion of had suffered, and of the necessity for an effort, the Saint-Simonians. had seized on the minds of the people ; the ethereal “ The chief principle of their doctrines,' I fire which the poet might have kindled was burn- replied, ' appears to be this--that every one shall ing in every heart ; but I will not deny that labor for the happiness of the whole, as a necesArndt, Körner and Ruckert did something. sary condition of his own happiness.'
“ . You have been reproached,' said I, rather " " I thought,' rejoined Goethe, that every one thoughtlessly, with not having taking up arms should begin at home, and first of all work out at that epoch ; or, at all events, taken your part his own happiness, from which finally the happiin the movement as a poet.'
ness of the whole would infallibly result. For “ . Let us drop that subject, my good friend,' the rest, that doctrine seems to me throughout replied Goethe. • It is an absurd world which unpractical and impracticable. It contradicts all does not know what it wants. How could I take nature, all experience, and the whole course of up arms without feeling any hatred; and how things, for centuries. If every one will but do his could I hate at my age ? Had that period found duty as an individual, and will but be courageous me a lad of twenty, I should certainly not have and sufficient in the sphere of his immediate been the last ; but remember, I was already turned calling, there need be no fear for the weal of the of sixty. We cannot all serve our country in the whole. In my vocation of author I have never same way; but let every one do his best, ac. asked, “What is it the great mass wishes, and cording to the gifts that God has given him. ! how can I be useful to the whole ?” but my have worked hard enough for half a century, and endeavor, and my only endeavor has been this I may say that, in those things which Nature has to make myself wiser and better, to increase the appointed me to work at, I have allowed myself no worth of my own personality; and then always to rest, day or night, but have toiled and striven with express only what I recognized to be good and out ceasing, whenever and wherever I could. If true. My work indeed, I do not mean to deny it, everyone can say the same, it will be well for us all.' has been effective and useful in a great circle ;
“ At bottom,' said I, endeavoring to make but such was not my aim, it was merely a necesamends, that reproach should not annoy you. sary consequence—one which takes place in all For what does it mean more than that the world's activity whatsoever. If, as a writer, I had kept opinion of you is so great, that they require of in view the wants of the mob, and sought in him who has done so much for their culture noth- appease them, I should have betaken myself to ing less than all ?'
story-telling, and made sport of them, like Kotze*I don't know,' said Goethe ; 'there is more
bue of blessed memory!' malace against me in those sayings than you im " " That admits of no question,' I replied. agine. It is a new form of the same old hatred | There is, however, besides the happiness which I that has pursued me for years, and is ever seeking enjoy as a private individual, one which arises for a vulnerable point. I have long been a stum- from my existence as a citizen and a member of bling-block to many, and they would gladly be a great community. If, now, the attainment of rid of me. As they can find nothing against my the greatest possible happiness by an entire nation talents, they attack my character. I am proud, be not made a principle of action, on wliat basis selfish, envious; of young talent-sunk in sensual is legislation to erect itself ?' indulgence-no Christian—and now, forsooth, “ If that be your meaning,' rejoined Goethe, without any attachment to my country, or my 'I have indeed no objection to urge. In such dear fellow-countrymen. You have known me cases, however, none but a very select few could for years, and can say how much truth there is in make use of your principle. It would be a reall this. As for sitting quietly in my room and cipe for princes and lawgivers solely, although writing fierce war-songs-that was not my way. even in that case it seems to me that laws should Lying at night by a bivouac fire, when one can strive rather to lessen the mass of evil, than prehear the neighing of the enemy's horse-then, in- tend to introduce universal happiness.' deed, one might write warlike songs; but that " . Both these things,' I replied, would in the was not the life for me, but for Theodore Körner. long run coincide. Bad roads, for example, apHis martial songs suit him admirably. I am not pear to me to be a great evil; now if the ruler of a warlike disposition; and had I assumed it, it makes good roads through his state, even to the must have been a mere task, which would have humblest villages, he has not merely destroyed a sat very ill on me.
great evil, he has conferred on his people a great " . There has been no affectation in my poetry: blessing. Further, a tardy administration of jusI have not talked and made verses about what's tice is a great misfortune ; now if the ruler, by the have not known and lived through. How could I introduction of a public and oral legal procedure, write poems of hate, when I felt no hatred ? bestows on his people a speedy one, not merely is Between ourselves, I did not hate even the French, a great evil subdued, but a great blessing is introthough I was heartily glad when we were free of duced.'—' I could sing you many a song to this them. How could I, to whom culture and barba- tune,' interrupted Goethe. But we will agree to rism alone are things of consequence, hate a leave some evils unindicated, in order that mannation which is one of the most cultivated in kind may still possess something on which to Europe--and to which I am myself indebted for exercise their power. My main doctrine is briefiy so great a part of my own culture ?'
this : Let the father care for his house, the artisan VOL. XVI. NO. IV.
for his customers, the priest for mutual love, and the petty jealousy with which scientific men
will frequently dispute with each other the
priory of a discovery-
by my scientific studies. The acquisition has,
indeed, cost me much trouble and annoyance; but
“It appears,' said I, that the egotism of men
is especially awakened in the pursuit of science;
and when that is once put in action, all the defects
“ • The questions of science,' replied Goethe,
are frequently questions of existence. A single in his
exaggerated love of utility, overstepped the discovery may make a man famous, and lay the boundaries of his own doctrine, and thereby ran
foundation of his social position. This is often into radicalism, both in politics and religion.'
the occasion of the vigilance and jealousy with
which scientific men watch over each other. In
the region of æsthetics, offenses of this sort are
more easily pardoned. Thoughts are more or less
treatment and carrying out of them, so that there
is less room for envy. A single thought may
serve as matter for a hundred epigrams; and we
beautiful and effective manner. In matters of
these things; but the particular manifestations of
the laws of Nature lie dumb, rigid and sphinx-like
before us. Every new observation of a phenom
enon is a discovery—every discovery a property;
his passions stands before you. It happens, how-
in academies, is also regarded as property; and
then should any one appear who brings with him
with the creed that we have for years been
are up in arms, and we endeavor, by every method
to suppress him. We struggle as long as we as all sensible people are and ought to be, and as
n-pretend not to hear him, or not to understand I myself not only ain, but as such have endeavored him, and speak of him in a depreciating manner; to work through the course of a long life. The
so many obstacles has a new truth to encounter,
before it can make its way.'”
Soon after, he recurs again to the accusation
no lover of revolutionary mobs-practising incen-
diarism, robbery, and murder; who, behind the
mask of the public weal, have none but objects of Speaking of the natural sciences, and of the lowest selfishness in view. Of such a people
as this I am no more a friend than I am of Louis * Our readers will probably be astonished, and XV. I hate all violent overthrows ; for they deeven shocked by the epithet, but we cannot help it. stroy as much good as they effect. I hate those Thus it stands written. The word narr cannot, that
who execute them, as well as those who give we are aware of, be translated otherwise than by cause for them; but am I, for that reason, no friend simpleton, fool, or ass. Among these they must to the people? Can any right-minded man think take their choice.
otherwise on this point ?
" •You know how I rejoice at every improve- | the great for the sake of the selfish advanment which the future promises; but, as I have tages to be obtained from them, he was said, everything violent and sudden is hateful to wholy incapable; but to virtue, tranquillity, to me; for it is not according to nature.
power of “I love plants—I love the rose, as the most unfolding itself in the freedom and perfect flower thatour German climate can produce; a high station, he had more affinity than to but I am not fool enough to require my garden to equal virtue struggling with adverse circumprovide me with them at the end of April. I am stances. content if I then find the first green buds—if, from He did not “despise poor folk,” but he week to week, I can see the leaves, one after soared, perhaps, in somewhat too lordly a another, unfolding themselves; and rejoice when,
manner above them; and cared little to seek at the end of June, the rose unfolds itself in all beneath the plain, or sometimes repulsive its glory and fragrance. If any one has not patience to wait for this, let him go to the forc- exterior of more humble life, for the virtues ing-house.
that so often “make a sunshine in that shady “ • I have been reproached with being a ser- place.” The following has much interest at vant of princes. Do I then serve a tyrant or the present moment. a despot ? Do I serve one who lives for his own pleasure at the cost of his subjects ? Such
“We spoke of the unity of Germany, and in princes and such times lio, thank God, far behind what sense it was possible and desirable. 'I us! For half a century I have been strongly and have no fear,' said Goethe, but that Germany intimately attached to the Grand Duke; for half a will one day be united. Our good roads and our century I have worked and striven with him--but future railways will do their part; but, before all, I should speak falsely if I said I knew of a single let us be united in love among ourselves, and day during that period in which the Duke has had united aguinst a foreign foe. Let German dollars no thoughi tending to the good of his country, and and groschen have the same value all over Gerthe improvement of the condition of his people. many. Let my trunk, when I am travelling, pass What does he get personally by his princely rank through the six-and-thirty states without being but a weight of care and trouble? Is his habita- opened. Let the passport of a citizen of Weimar tion, his dress, his table better appointed than that not be regarded everywhere else in Germany as of many a private man? There are merchants that of a foreigner. Let there be no more talk of enough'in our great trading cities who expend Inland and Outland among Geripan states. Let more upon their kitchen and cellar than ever he Germany be one in her trade and commerce, in did. We shall celebrate this autumn the day on her weights and measures, and a hundred similar which the Grand Duke will have ruled and things that I could name.' reigned for fifty years. But when we consider "But if, by the unity of Germany, it is meant this reign, what has it been other than a fifty that it shall be one great empire, with one great years' service? A service for the attainment of capital-if it be supposed that this great capital great objects—for the welfare of his people. . If, will promote the welfare of the great mass of the then, I must needs be a servant of princes, it is at people, as it may do the development of great inleast a consolation that I am the servant of one dividual talent, that is a great error. A state has who is himself a servant of humanity.'
been compared to a living body with many limbs ;
and in this comparison the capital will, of course, In all this we doubt nat Goethe was per- take the place of the heart, from which life and fectly sincere. We do not believe that he well-being circulates to the nearer and more dis
tant members, But for the members that are would have felt, still less that he would have
most distant, the stream of life will flow with less stooped to profess, without feeling this at
and less vigor. tachment to a sovereign who did not possess, “ « A clever Frenchman--I believe Dupin-has in a great measure, the virtues and excel made a map of the intellectual culture of France, lences described ; but would he have felt the and marked the greater or smaller illumination of same attachment and veneration for these the departments, with brighter or darker tints. virtues and excellences, had they been man
We found in those provinces situated at the south, ifested in a humbler sphere? It belonged, at the greatest distance from the capital, particuperhaps, to the character of his mind, to his lar departments marked black, to represent their
intellectual condition. But would this be the intense susceptibility to the beautiful, that
case if la belle France had possessed not one, but they should attract him more powerfully ten centres of life and light? In what is Germ. when thus set in the imposing environments many great but in the admirable cultivation of her of princely rank; it belonged, too, to what people, which has penetrated simultaneously to we cannot but think a somewhat effeminate every part of the country? But does not this proshrinking from all that was painful, that he ceed from the numerous capitals? How would should seek for the objects of his admiration it stand with German culture, if
, for centuries rather on the glittering summits, than in the past, we had no other capitals than Vienna and
Berlin, or, perhaps, only one ?-Nay, even with dark and rugged highways of life.
the general diffusion of prosperity, which goes. Of the low servility that attaches itself to hand-in-hand with culture.
"Germany possesses twenty universities, scat- should lose their sovereignty, and be incorporated tered over her territory, and above a hundred in a great German empire as provincial towns ? public libraries, besides a proportionately large I greatly doubt it.'” number of collections of works of art, and museums of natural history; for every prince has endeavored to draw some of these advantages to It will be perceived that, though this volhis own territory. Gymnastic and industrial schools we have in superabundance; and there is
ume can hardly be considered in any other scarcely a single German village that is unpro- light than that of gleanings from a field alvided with the means of education. What is the ready reaped, it contains much that we would position of France in this respect ?
not willingly have lost; and if our readers "* Again, we have above seventy theatres—and should feel, occasionally, perplexity or disapthe theatre is by no means to be despised as the pointment in some of the poet's utterances, promoter of the higher popular culture. The taste
as here set forth, they should recollect how and capacity for music and singing is in no country in the world so extensively diffused as in Ger- this perpetual jotting down of his most care
severe is the trial to which he is exposed in many. Then think of such cities as Dresden, Munich, Stuttgart, Cassel, Brunswick, Hanover,
less conversation. and the like; think of the great elements of life,
Like the saint of old, in the door of whose which they have in them; of the effects which cell a devout follower bored a hole, in order proceed from them to the neighboring provinces, to have an opportunity of watching him at --and ask yourself if they would have been what every hour of the day and night, Eckermann they are if they had not been the seats of separate
seems fully convinced that there is nothing his rulers ? « • Frankfort, Bremen, Hamburg, Lubeck, are
hero can say or do which is not worthy of splendid cities in themselves-not to calculate record as tending to edification. But truly their effects on the general prosperity of Germa we may say in this instance, that “even his ny. Would they, however, remain such if they | failing leans to virtue's side."
SONNETS ADDRESSED TO MY MOTHER.
BY HENRY FRANK LOTT.
By ties of sympathy as well as blood
Warm from my bosom in a gushing flood
Where love unselfish, glowing gratitude,
With all that makes us kind, or leaves us good,
As o'er the varied scenes of life I rove-
Meeting or parting with the maid I love:
As age accumulates upon thy brow,
And all thine energies become less warm,
My toil shall comfort thee; secure from harm,
While blythe I sported, didst thou toil for me,
Beset with hardship and with poverty.
By feeling grateful, and by aiding thee!
Thy love was like a sheltering tree, that grew
Was not more warm when first mine infant face
Seeking all sorrow from my brow to chase,
I plead me guilty to a wayward will;
That I returned to love thee better still;
Ånd proved an antidote to many an ill.
Dost ask why I have joined thy name to song ?
Lo! how the ivy round the oak entwines !
Thus round thy worth these transitory lines Enwreathe themselves, existence to prolong: My muse now noteless 'mid the busy throng, If in her lay a parent's virtue shines,
A pleasing theme unto her numbers joins
Dwells ever with us, making all serene;
That, after we resign this earthly scene,
O'er which remembrance shall in fondness lean.