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The " delenda est Carthago" of Cato was dence to the men who were gaining much less necessary in Rome, than “ca for Germany its intellectual reputavenda est Austria" is in Munich, and tion, and whom they cherished as Stuttgard, and Hanover.
friends and companions, secure aThe Diet is held to be utterly impotent gainst the mortifications to which even in its most important duty, the pre- genius is so often exposed from the servation of that equality among its own
pride of patronage. Schiller," as members, without which a confederation is one of the most intolerable forms of op
our author well remarks," would
not have endured the caprices of pression. The King of Prussia chose to lay taxes, as was alleged, on the subjects Frederick for a day; and Göthe of his neighbour the Duke of Anhalt Cö. would have pined at the court of an then, both of them members of the con emperor who could tell the teachers federation. The little duke brought his of a public seminary, 'I want no action before the Diet against the great learned men,-I need no learned king. All Germany was on tiptoe expec
It was here that Wieland, tation to see how the supreme govern
the Patriarch of the tribe, and the ment would discharge its duty. The su. nucleus round which the daily inpreme government was much averse to creasing body of light collected, ended show the nakedness of its impotency in a his days in comfort and tranquillity. dispute where all was strength on the one
All who remember him speak of him side, and all weakness on the other, and
with rapture, and it is easy to conceive contrived to have the case settled out of
that the author of Oberon and of Agathon, court, a phrase by no means out of place, for the form and nomenclature of pro
and the translator of Cicero's Letters,
must have been a delightful combination ceeding in the supreme executive go.
of acuteness and witno ordinary powers vernment of Germany would be intelligi of original thinking, united to a fancy ble only in the Court of Chancery, or, still
rich, elegant, and playful. To the very more, in the Scottish Court of Session. Nothing is managed without whole reams
close of bis very long life, he continued.
to be the pride of the old, and the delight of petitions, and answers, and replies, and
of the young. Much less a man of the duplies. A growler of Berlin was asked, " What is the Diet about ?” “Of course,
world than Göthe, he commanded equal examining the stationer's accounts,” was
respect and greater attachment. Göthe
has been accused of a too jealous sensibi. the reply.
lity about his literary character, and a
constantly - sustained authorial dignity, At Weimar,—the German Athens, which have exposed him to the imputa, and, till the Holy Allies overshadow. tion of being vain and proud. Wieland ed it with their dark and malignant gave himself no anxiety about his reputawings, the only spot in Europe where tion ; except when the pen was in his the press was, in the broadest sense hand, he forgot there were such things in of the term, free, and where men the world as books and authors, and might think as they pleased, and strove only to render himself an agreepublish what they thought, without able companion. The young people of the intervention of censors, or the
the court were never happier than when, terror of ex-officio informations, -our round“ Father Wieland” in the shades
on a summer evening, they could gather author finds almost every thing to
of Tiefurth, or the garden of his own lit. his wish,—the people contented and tle country residence. Writers of books happy,—the Grand Duke the most
sometimes misunderstood the man, and popular prince in Europe, and de- talked of him as a trifer, because he did serving to be so,—and an assemblage not always look like a folio ; Wieland of literary men, such as no other smiled at their absurdities. Göthe, too, small state of Germany can boast. got into a passion with people whose visits It has been the great ambition of he had permitted, and who then put him the Princes of this House to attract into their books, not altogether in the to their little capital whatever was eulogistic style which he expects, and, most brilliant in native genius,--and moreover, deserves ; but, instead of treat, they have succeeded. While the ing such things with indifference, he treasures of more weighty potentates
made himself more inaccessible, and as. were insufficient to meet the neces
sumed a statelier dignity. sity of their political relations, the Of the great national dramatic confined revenues of these Princes poet of Germany, the author thus have afforded leisure and indepen- speaks :
No German poet deserves better to be with as heart-felt devotion as any believer known than Schiller, yet his most suc among ourselves. Shakespeare would cessful efforts are least generally known seem to have been bestowed upon us, at among us. His merits are by no means once to maintain the supremacy of our confined to the drama ; whoever is not country, and to teach us humility by the acquainted with Schiller's Lyrical Poems, reflection, that it was given to no other, is ignorant of many of his most peculiar even among ourselves, to follow his and inimitable productions. In the ballad, course ;-a comet hung in our sky, to be he aimed at the utmost simplicity of feel. gazed on, and wondered at by us in coming, and narrative, and diction. It would mon with the rest of the world, but as scarcely be too much to say, that, in this far beyond our reach, though blazing in style, his “ Knight Toggenburg" has no our zenith, as to those who only caught equal ; in German it certainly has none.
his more distant rays. Even in the drama, most English readers judge of Schiller only from the Rob.
This is followed by an account of bers, a boyish production, which gave, Göthe, which cannot fail to prove inindeed, distinct promise of the fruit that teresting. was to come, but is no more a sample of Schiller, than Titus Andronicus would be
Of the Weimar sages and poets Göthe of Shakespeare. It is impossible to form
alone survives. One after another, he has any idea of the German dramatist with
sung the dirge orer Herder, and Wieland,
and Schiller : “his tuneful brethren all out knowing his Don Carlos, Mary Stuart, the Bride of Messina, and, higher
are fled;" but, lonely as he now is in the than them all, Wallenstein. It was an
world of genius, it could be less justly unworthy tribute to living genius, to se
said of him than of any other man, that lect Göthe's Iphigenia for the opening of
he, the new theatre in Berlin ; for, high and
neglected and oppressori,
Wished to be with them and at rest; multifarious as Göthe's merits are, Schil. ler will always remain the great national for no living author, at least of Germany, dramatic poet of Germany. Before his can boast of so long and brilliant a career, time, her tragic muse had seldom risen At once a man of genius and a man of above damning mediocrity ; and ages will the world, Göthe has made his way as an probably elapse before another appear to accomplished courtier, no less than as a raise her to the same honours. When. great poet. He has spent in Weimar ever a tragedy of Schiller was to be per more than one half of his prolific life, the formed, I never found an empty theatre object of enthusiastic admiration to his in any corner of Germany. Moreover, countrymen ; honoured by Sovereigns, to on such occasions, the theatre is not whom his muse has never been deficient crowded with the usual regular play-go- in respect ; the friend of his prince, who ing loungers, who spend a couple of hours esteems him the first man on earth ; and in a box because they have nothing else caressed by all the ladies of Germany, to to do ; the audience consists chiefly of whose reasonable service he has devoted respectable citizens, who feel much more himself from his youth upwards. It is truly what nature and passion are, than only necessary to know what Göthe still the ribboned aristocracy of Berlin or Vi. is in his easy and friendly moments, to
Schiller nursed his genius by conccive how justly the universal voice studying Shakespeare ; and it is wonder. describes him as having been in person, ful how little an Englishman regrets manners, and talent, a captivating man. Drury-Lane or Covent-Garden, when He is now seyenty-four years old, yet his Madame Schröder, at Vienna, plays tall imposing form is but little bent by Lady Macbeth in Schiller's translation. years; the lofty open brow retains all its We cannot be surprised that Shakespeare dignity, and even the eye tas not lost is admired; but at least we owe our gra.
much of its fire. The effects of age are titude to those who have introduced him chietly perceptible in an occasional indis. to a people more able to appreciate his tinctness of articulation. Much has been excellence than any other except our. said of the jealousy with which he guards selves ; and that, too, in a dress' which, his literary reputation, and the haughty from the affinity of the languages, when reserve with which this jealousy is alleged in the hands of such men as Wieland and to surround his intercourse. Those who Schiller, Schlegel and Voss, impairs so felt it so must either have been persons little the original form. Instead of sneer whose own reputation rendered hun cau. ing at the German drama, we should be tious in their presence, or whose doubt. inclined in its favour, by the fact, that it ful intentions laid him under still more is the drama of a people which worships unpleasant restraints ; for he sometimes at the altar of our unequalled dramatist shuts his door, and often his mouth, from
the dread of being improperly put into which he has not run, song, epigram, books. His conversation is unaffected, ode, elegy, ballad, opera, comedy, trage. gentlemanly, and entertaining: in the dy, the lofty epic, and that anomalous neatness and point of his expressions, no production of the German Parnassus, the less than in his works, the first German civil epic, (Bürgerliche Epos) which, classic, in regard of language, is easily re- forsaking the deeds of heroes and the cognized. He has said somewhere, that fates of nations, sings in sounding hexa. he considered himself to have acquired meters the simple lives and loves of citionly one talent, that of writing German. zens and farmers. Yet the muses have He manifests no love of display, and least been far from monopolizing the talents of all in his favourite studies. It is not of this indefatigable man; as they were uncommon, indeed, to hear people say, the first love, so they are still the farour. that they did not find in Göthe's conver. ites of his genius ; but he has coquetted sation any striking proof of the genius with numberless rivals, and mineralogy, which animates his writings; but this is criticism on the fine arts, biography and as it should be. There are few more in- topography, sentimental and philosophical tolerable personages than those who, have novels, optics and comparative anatomy, ing once acquired a reputation for clever. have all employed his pen. His lucu. ness, think themselves bound never to brations in the sciences have not comopen their mouths without saying some. manded either notice or admiration ; to thing they take to be smart or uncommon. write well on every thing, it is not enough
The approach of age, and certain un. to take an interest in every thing. It is toward circumstances which wounded his in the fine arts, in poetry as an artist, in vanity, have, at length, driven Göthe in painting and sculpture as a critic, that to retirement. He spends the winter in Göthe justifies the fame which he has Weimar, but no man is less seen. Buried been accumulating for nearly fifty years ; among his books and engravings, making for his productions in this department himself master of everything worth read. contain an assemblage of dissimilar exing in German, English, French, and Ita- cellencies which none of his countrymen lian, he has said adieu to worldly plea can produce, though individually they sures and gaieties, and even to much of might be equalled or surpassed. Faust the usual intercourse of society. Not long alone, a poem, which only a German can ago, he attended a concert, given at court, thoroughly feel or understand, is mani. in honour of a birth-day. He was late : festly the production of a genius, quite at when he entered the room the music in. home in every thing with which poetry stantly ceased ; all forgot court and deals, and master of all the styles which princes to gather round Göthe, and the poetry can adopt. Tasso deserves the Grand Duke himself advanced to lead up name of a drama, only because it is in his old friend.
dialogue, and it becomes intolerably tire. At Jena, where he generally spends the
some when declaimed by actors; but it summer and autumn, he mixes more is from beginning to end a stream of the with the world; and he occasionally in. richest and purest poetry. It is an old dulges in a month's recreation at Töplitz story, that his first celebrated work, Weror Carlsbad, where, among princes and ther, turned the heads of all Germany ; nobles, he is still the great object of pub- young men held themselves bound to fall lic curiosity. Among the erudite pro- in love with the wives of their friends, fessors of Jena, there are more than one and then blow out their own brains ; it is who do not seem to entertain much re- averred, that consummatives of this sort spect for him, and have written and done actually took place. The public admiramortifying things against him. 'One of tion of the young author, who could paint the few clouds, for example, which have with such force, was still warm, when he passed over the sky of his literary life, gave them that most spirited sketch, was an article in the Edinburgh Review, Götz of Berlichingen with the Iron Hand, some years ago, on his memoirs of him. a picture of the feudal manners of their self. It vexed him exceedingly ; but the forefathers. The reading and writing most vexatious thing of all was, that one world immediately threw themselves into of his enemies at Jena immediately trans this new channel, and German presses. lated it into German, and circulated it and German stages groaned beneath the with malicious industry.
knights, the abbots, the battles, and the Göthe stands pre-eminent above all his banquets of the fifteenth century. Like countrymen in versatility and universa every man of original genius, he had nolity of genius. There are few departments velty in his favour ; and, like every suc. which he has not attempted, and in cessful adventurer in what is new, he was many he has gained the first honours. followed by a host of worthless imitators. There is no mode of the lyre through and insipid mannerists,
The regular novels of Göthe are of a in the literature of Germany there will be very questionable sort. The vivacity of a vacant throne. his imagination and fireness of feeling
Our author next visits Jena, which supply good individual pictures and a. cute remarks ; but they cannot be praise and after retailing some popular
is only a short distance from Weimar; ed either for incident or character. They are often stained, too, with the degrada. anecdotes of the celebrated battle, tion to which he unfortunately reduces
which humbled the Prussian monlove, where liking and vice follow fast archy to the dust, he proceeds to upon each other. “ The Apprenticeship give an account of the mode of edu. of William Meister," for instance, is a cation pursued at that notorious Univery readable book, in so far as it con versity, and of the character and tains a great deal of acute and eloquent habits of the young men who frecriticism ; but who would purchase the quent it, with a few short but incriticism, even of Göthe, at the expence teresting notices of the more disof the licentiousness of incident and pru. tinguished Professors. The radical riency of description, with which the book
defect by which the system of educateems? He now devotes himself chiefly tion in all the German Universities to philosophical and critical disquisitions is more or less vitiated, and which on the fine arts.
leads to much of the insubordination It is scarcely possible for a man who
by which they are disgraced, consists has written so much, not to have written much that is mediocre. Göthe, having
in not restricting, with sufficient ri. long since reached that point of reputa
gour, each Professor to a particular tion at which the name of an author is department. By the constitution of identified, in the eyes of his countrymen,
these bodies, any Professor may, in with the excellence of his work, has been fact, teach any branch be pleases ; frequently overrated, and men are not
he is indeed compelled to give one awanting who augur that the best of his or more public lectures on the subfame is past. But he can well afford to ject which he ostensibly professes; make many allowances for the excesses but then he may give private lectures into which popular enthusiasm, like po on any, or all of the departments of pular dislike, is so easily misled; for there human knowledge. This, with their will always remain an abundance of ori. small salaries, leads to a scramble for ginal, and varied, and powerful genius, to
pupils ; the Professors wish to stand unite his name for ever with the litera.
well with the young men ; and, as ture of his country. He himself said truly of Schiller, that where the present less lads, he is the greatest favourite
will always happen among thoughtage had been deficient, posterity would be profuse ; and the prophecy is already
who is the least severe, and who is receiving its fulfilment. To Göthe the disposed to hold the reins of discippresent has been lavish, and the future line with the most accommodating will not be unjust. From his youth, he hand. Hence naturally arise all the has been the favourite of fortune and irregularity and absurdity by which fame; he has reached the brink of the these seminaries have so long been grave, haijed by the voice of his country disgraced, and which have not onas the foremost of her great, the patri. ly justified the summary interfearch of her literature, and the model of rence of the governments, but renher genius. In his old age, wrapped up dered it in many instances imperain the seclusion of Weimar, so becoming tively necessary. The practice of his years and so congenial to his habits, renowning, as it is called, or in other he hears no sounds but those of eulogy words, of doing any thing extravaand affection. Like an eastern potentate, gant, outré, and wicked, provided or a jealous deity, he looks abroad from always it will attract
notice, and such his retirement on the intellectual world which he has formed by his precept or his
associations as the Landsmannschaft example; he pronounces the oracular and the Burschenschaft, could not doom, or sends forth a revelation, and
exist a single day, (notwithstandmen wait on him to venerate and obey. ing all the means of concealment to Princes are proud to be his companions ;
which the young men have recourse,) less elevated men approach him with awe,
if the Professors were sternly kept as a higher spirit : and when Göthe shall
each to his appropriate department. follow the kindred minds whom he has and a proper and uncompromising seen pass away before him, Weimar will system of Academical discipline ahave lost the last pillar of her fame, and dopted and enforced. This is proved
by the comparative good order which is fixed by the Almanack. If the aus. has always existed at Göttingen, picious moment pass away, he willingly though more numerously attended bears his burden twelve months longer, than either Jena, or any other of the
till the next advent of the Bibliopolical German Universities, and which,
Lucina. This periodical littering at Leipthough defective in the point above zig does not at all arise, as is sometimes alluded to, (of suffering the Pro- supposed, from all or most of the books
being printed there ; Leipzig has only its fessors to interfere with one ano
own proportion of printers and publishers. ther's departments,) has been very
It arises from the manner in which this properly compelled by the Govern
branch of trade is carried on in Germany. ment to tighten the reins of autho- Every bookseller of any eminence, throughrity, and to preserve some sort of de out the Confederation, has an agent or corum and subordination. It is no commissioner in Leipzig. If he wishes less ridiculous than extraordinary, to procure works which have been pubthat a parcel of raw and beardless lished by another, he does not address youths should be suffered to lord it himself directly to the publisher, but 10 over their masters by their violence his own commissioner in Leipzig. This and impudence,-to fight duels,- is not all, for the latter, whether he be renown, -besot themselves with beer ordered to transmit to another books and tobacco, -wander through the published by his principal, or to procure streets at all hours of the night, sing- for his principal books published by anoing licentious or traitorous songs,
ther, instead of dealing directly with the insult the peaceable citizens,-and, in
person from whom he is to purchase, or
to whom he is to sell, treats only with his short, commit any wild freak which Leipzig agent. The order is received by they may take into their crazy nod
the publisher, and the books by the purdles, merely because such is their chaser at third hand. The whole book. sovereign will and pleasure ; and it is trade of Germany thus centres in Leipzig. the very ne plus ultru of all folly and Wherever books may be printed, it is extravagance, to hear of such strip- there they must be bought; it is there lings setting themselves forth as the that the trade supplied. Such an ar. apostles of liberty, and denomina- rangement, though it employ four persons ting themselves the patterns of all in every sale instead of two, is plainly an human virtue, and the political re
advantageous arrangement for Leipzig ; generators of their country. Pretty
but the very fact, that it has subsisted regenerators ! Admirable patterns of
two hundred years, and still flourishes, virtue !-of which, by the way, we
seems to prove that it is likewise found
to be beneficial to the trade in general. may form a pretty accurate con
Abuses in public institutions may endure ception from the circumstance, that
for centuries ; but inconvenient arrange. a Toundling Hospital is, in every
ments in trade, which affect the credit town where a University is establish- side of a man's balance-sheet at the end ed, an institution of the first neces
of the year, are seldom so long-lived. sity.
German booksellers, moreover, are not On leaving Jena, our author vi- less attentive to profit than any other sits Leipsig, the great book-mart of honest men in an honest business. They Germany. We do not know how even reckon among the advantages of this Meinherr Brockhaus will relish the system, the saving which it enables them following exposé of the mysteries of to make in the article of carriage. If a The Trade.
bookseller in Berlin has ordered books
from Vienna, Strasburg, Munich, StuttAs Frankfort monopolizes the trade in gard, and a dozen other places, they are wine, so Leipzig monopolizes the trade in all deposited with his Leipzig agent, who books. It is here that every German author then forwards them in one mass much (and in no country are authors so numer more cheaply than if each portion had ous) wishes to produce the children of his been sent separately and directly to Berlin. brain, and that, too, only during the Till the middle of the sixteenth cen. Easter fair. He will submit to any de tury, publishers, in the proper sense of gree of exertion, that his work may be the word, were unknown. John Otto, ready for publication by that important born at Nürnberg in 1510, is said to be season, when the whole brotherhood is in the earliest on record who made bargains labour, from the Rhine to the Vistula. for copy-right, without being himself a Whatever the period of gestation may be, printer. Some years afterwards, two rethe time when he shall come to the birth gular dealers in the same department