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mirable and formidable animal, very lustful and well armed, such was his object; and the effect, after a hundred years, is visible. They tore one another to pieces like beautiful lions and superb panthers. In this society, which was turned into an arena, amid so many hatreds, and when exhaustion was setting in, the foreigner appeared: all bent beneath his lash; they were caged, and thus they pine away, in dull pleasures, with low vices, bowing their backs. Despotism, the Inquisition, the Cicisbei, dense ignorance, and open knavery, the shamelessness and the smartness of harlequins and rascals, misery and vermin,--such is the issue of the Italian Renaissance. Like the old civilizations of Greece and Rome, like the modern civilizations of Provence and Spain, like all southern civilizations, it bears in its bosom an irremediable vice, a bad and false conception of man. The Germans of the sixteenth century, like the Germans of the fourth century, have rightly judged it; with their simple common sense, with their fundamentai honesty, they have put their fingers on the secret plague-spot. A society cannot be founded only on the pursuit of pleasure and power; a society can only be founded on the respect for liberty and justice. In order that the great human renovation which in the sixteenth century raised the whole of Europe might be perfected and endure, it was necessary that, meeting with another race, it should develop another culture, and that from a more wholesome conception of existence it might educe a better form of civilization.
II. Thus, side by side with the Renaissance, was born the Reformation. It also was in fact a new birth, one in harmony with the genius of the Germanic peoples. The distinction between this genius and others is its moral principles. Grosser and heavier, more given to gluttony and drunkenness, these nations are at the same time more under the influence of conscience, firmer in the observance of their word, more disposed to self-denial and sacrifice. Such their climate has made them; and such they have continued, from Tacitus to Luther, from Knox to Gustavus Adolphus and Kant. In the course of time, and beneath the incessant action of the ages, the phlegmatic body, fed on coarse food and strong drink, had become rusty, the nerves less excitable, the muscles less strung, the desires less seconded by action, the life more dull and slow, the soul more hardened and indifferent to the shocks of the body: mud, rain, snow, a profusion of unpleasing and gloomy sights, the want of lively and delicate excitements of the senses, keep man in a militant attitude. Heroes in the barbarous ages, workers to-day, they endure weariness now as they courted wounds then; now, as then, nobility of soul appeals to them; thrown back upon the enjoyments of the soul, they find in these a world, the world of moral beauty. For them the ideal is displaced; it is no longer amidst forms, made up of force and joy, but it is transferred to sentiments, made up of truth, uprightness, attachment to duty, observance of order. What matters it if the storm rages and if it snows, if the wind blusters in the black pine-forests or on the wan sea-surges where the sea-gulls scream, if a man, stiff and blue with cold, shutting himself up in his cottage, have but a dish of sourkrout or a piece of salt beef, under his smoky light and beside his fire of turf; another kingdom opens to reward him, the kingdom of inward contentment: his wife loves him and is faithful; his children round his hearth spell out the old family Bible; he is the master in his home, the protector, the benefactor, honored by others, honored by himself; and if so be that he needs assistance, he knows that at the first appeal he will see his neighbors stand faithfully and bravely by his side. The reader need only compare the portraits of the time, those of Italy and Germany; he will comprehend at a glance the two races and the two civilizations, the Renaissance and the Reformation : on one side a halfnaked condottiere in Roman costume, a cardinal in his robes, amply draped, in a rich arm-chair, carved and adorned with heads of lions, foliage, dancing fauns, he himself full of irony, and voluptuous, with the shrewd and dangerous look of a politician and man of the world, craftily poised and on his guard; on the other side, some honest doctor, a theologian, a simple man, with badly combed locks, stiff as a post, in his simple gown of coarse black serge, with big books of dogma ponderously clasped, a conscientious worker, an exemplary father of a family. See now the great artist of the age, a laborious and conscientious workman, a follower of Luther's, a true Northman-Albert Durer. He also, like Raphael and Titian, has his ideal of man, an inexhaustible ideal, whence spring by hundreds living figures and the representations of manners, but how national and original ! He cares not for expansive and happy beauty: to him nude bodies are but bodies undressed: narrow shoulders, prominent stomachs, thin legs, feet weighed down by shoes, his neighbor the carpenter's, or his gossip the sausage-seller's. The heads stand out in his etchings, remorselessly scraped and scooped away, savage or commonplace, often wrinkled by the fatigues of trade, generally sad, anxious, and patient, harshly and wretchedly transformed by the necessities of realistic life. Where is the vista out of this minute copy of ugly truth? To what land will the lofty and melancholy imagination betake itself? The land of dreams, strange dreams swarming with deep thoughts, sad contemplation of human destiny, a vague notion of the great enigma, groping reflection, which in the dimness of the rough woodcuts, amidst obscure emblems and fantastic figures, tries to seize upon truth and justice. There was no need to search so far; Durer had grasped them at the first effort. If there is any decency in the world, it is in the Madonnas which are constantly springing to life under his pencil. He did not begin, like Raphael, by making them nude; the most licentious hand would not venture to disturb one stiff fold of their robes; with an infant in their arms, they think but of him, and will never think of anybody else but him; not only are they innocent, but they are virtuous. The good German housewife, for ever shut up, voluntarily and naturally, within her domestic duties and contentment, breathes out in all the fundamental sincerity, the seri
See, in Casanova's Mémoires, the pictire of this degradation. See also the Mémoires of Scipione Rossi, on the convents of Tuscany at the close of the eightcenth century.
2 From Horner to Constantine, the ancient city was an association of freemen, whose aim was the con quest and destruction of other freemen.
Hmoires de la Vargrave de Bairenth. See also Misson, l'ryage en Italie, 1700. Cornpare the manners of the students at the present day. "The Germans are, as you know, won lerful drinkers: no peple in the world are more flatring, more civil, more officious: but yet they have terrible customs in the matter of drinking. With them every. thing is done drinking: they drink in doing everything. There was not time during a visit to say three words before you were astonished to see the collation arrive, or at least a few jugs of wine, accompanied by a plate of crusts of bread, dished up with pepper and salt;
a fatal preparation for bad drinkers. Then you must become acquainted with the laws which are afterwards observed, sacred and inviolable laws. You must never drink without drinking to some one's health ; also, after drinking, you must offer the wine to him whose health you have drunk. You must never refuse the glass which is offered to you, and you must naturally drain it to its last drop. Reflect a linle, I beseech you, on these customis, ani see how it is possible to ceasc drinking; accordingly, they never cease. In Germany it is a Derpetual drinking-bout; to drink in Germany is to drink for ever.”
ousness, the unassailable loyalty of their attitudes and looks, He has done more; with this peaceful virtue he has painted a militant virtue. There at last is the genuine Christ, the man crucified, lean and fleshless through his agony, whose blood trickles minute by minute, in rarer drops, as the feebler and feebler pulsations give warning of the last throe of a dying life. We do not find here, as in the Italian masters, a sight to charm the eyes, a mere flow of drapery, a disposition of groups. The heart, the very heart is wounded by this sight: it is the just man oppressed, who is dying because the world hates justice. The inighty, the men of the age, are there, indifferent, full of irony: a plumed knight, a big-bellied burgomaster, who, with hands folded behind his back, looks on, kills an hour. But the rest weep; above the fainting women, angels full of anguish catch in their vessels the holy blood as it trickles down, and the stars of heaven veil their face not to behold so tremendous an outrage. Other outrages will also be represented; tortures manifold, and the true martyrs beside the true Christ, resigned, silent, with the sweet expression of the earliest believers. They are bound to an old tree, and the executioner tears them with his iron-pointed lash. A bishop with clasped hands is praying, lying down, whilst an auger is being screwed into his eye. Above, amid the interlacing trees and gnarled roots, a band of men and women climb under the lash the breast of a hill, and they are hurled from the crest at the lance's point into the abyss; here and there roll heads, lifeless bodies; and by the side of those who are being decapitated, the swollen corpses, impaled, await the croaking ravens. All these sufferings must be undergone for the confession of faith and the establishment of justice. But above there is a guardian, an avenger, an all-powerful Judge, whose day shall
This day has come, and the piercing rays of the last sun already flash, like a handful of darts, across the darkness of the age. High up in the heavens appears the angel in his shining robe, leading the ungovernable horsemen, the flashing swords, the inevitable arrows of the avengers, who are to trample upon and punish the earth; mankind falls down beneath their charge, and already the jaw of the infernal monster grinds the head of the wicked prelates. This is the popular poem of conscience, and from the days of the apostles man has not had a more sublime and complete conception."
For conscience, like other things, has its poem; by a natural invasion the all-powerful idea of justice overflows from the soul, covers heaven, and enthrones there a new deity. A formidable deity, who is scarcely like the calm intelligence which serves philosophers to explain the order of things; nor to that tolerant deity, a kind of constitutional king, whom Voltaire discovered at the end of a chain of argument, whom Béranger sings of as of a comrade, and whom he salutes " sans lui demander rien.” It is the just Judge, sinless and stern, who demands of man a strict account of his visible actions and of all his invisible feelings, who tolerates no forgetfulness, no dejection, no failing, before whom every approach to weakness or error is an outrage and a treason. What is our justice before this strict justice? People lived in peace in the times of ignorance; at most, when they felt themselves guilty, they went for absolution to a priest; all was ended by their buying a big indulgence; there was a tariff, as there still is ; Tetzel the Dominican declares that all sins are blotted out “ as soon as the money chinks in the box.” What ever be the crime, there is a quittance; even “si Dei matrem violavisset,” he might go home clean and sure of heaven. Unfortunately the vendors of pardons did not know that all was changed, and that the intellect was become manly, no longer gabbling words mechanically like a catechism, but probing them anxiously like a truth. In the universal Renaissance, and in the mighty growth of all human ideas, the German idea of duty blooms like the rest. Now, when we speak of justice, it is no longer a lifeless phrase which we repeat, but a living idea which we produce; man sees the object which it represents, and feels the emotion which summons it up; he no longer receives, but he creates it; it is his work and his tyrant; he makes it, and submits to it. “ These words justus and justitia Dei,” says Luther, “ were a thunder to my conscience. I shuddered to hear them; I told myself, if God is just, He will punish me."? For
I See a collection of Albert Durer's wood-carvings. Remark the resemblance of his A poca!ypse to Luther's Table Talk.
: Calvin, the logician of the Reformation, well explains the dependence of all the Protestant ideas in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. i. (1.) The idea of the perfect God, the stern Judge. (2.) The alarm of conscience. (3.) The impotence and corruption of Jature, (4-) The advent of free grace. (5.) The rejection of rites and ceremonies.