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age, may be traced much farther into the condition and prevailing disposition of our spiritual nature itself. Consider, for example, the general fashion of Intellect in this era. Intellect, the power man has of knowing and believing, is now nearly synonymous with Logic, or the mere power of arranging and communicating. Its implement is not Meditation, but Argument "Cause and effect" is almost the only category under which we look at, and work with, all Nature. Our first question with regard to any object is not, What is it? but, How is it? are no longer instinctively driven to appre hend, and lay to heart, what is Good and Love We To define the limits of these two departments is produced, whence it comes, whither it goes. ly, but rather to inquire, as onlookers, how it of man's activity, which work into one another, Our favourite Philosophers have no love and and by means of one another, so intricately no hatred; they stand among us not to do, nor and inseparably, were by its nature an impos- to create any thing, but as a sort of Logic-mills sible attempt. Their relative importance, even to grind out the true causes and effects of all to the wisest mind, will vary in different times, that is done and created. To the eye of a according to the special wants and dispositions Smith, a Hume, or a Constant, all is well that of these times. Meanwhile, it seems clear works quietly. An Order of Ignatius Loyola, enough that only in the right co-ordination of a Presbyterianism of John Knox, a Wickliffe, the two, and the vigorous forwarding of both, or a Henry the Eighth, are simply so many does our true line of action lie. Undue culti-mechanical phenomena, caused or causing. vation of the inward or Dynamical province leads to idle, visionary, impracticable courses, and, especially in rude eras, to Superstition and Fanaticism, with their long train of baleful and well-known evils. Undue cultivation of the outward, again, though less immediately prejudicial, and even for the time productive of many palpable benefits, must, in the long run, by destroying Moral Force, which is the parent of all other Force, prove not less certainly, and perhaps still more hopelessly, pernicious. This, we take it, is the grand characteristic of our age. By our skill in Mechanism, it has come to pass that, in the management of external things, we excel all other ages; while in whatever respects the pure moral nature, in true dignity of soul and character, we are perhaps inferior to most civilized ages. In fact, if we look deeper, we shall find that this faith in Mechanism has now struck its roots deep into men's most intimate, primary Sources of conviction; and is thence sending up, over his whole life and activity, innumerable stems, fruit-bearing and poison-bearing. The truth is, men have lost their belief in the Invisible, and believe, and hope, and work only in the Visible; or, to speak it in other words, This is not a Religious age. Only the material, the immediately practical, not the divine and spiritual, is important to us. solute character of Virtue has passed into a The infinite, abfinite, conditional one; it is no longer a worship of the Beautiful and Good; but a calculation of the Profitable. Worship, indeed, in any sense, is not recognised among us, or is mechanically explained into Fear of pain, or Hope of pleasure. Our true Deity is Mechanism. It has subdued external Nature for us, and, we think, it will do all other things. We are Giants in physical power: in a deeper than a metaphorical sense, we are Titans, that strive, by heaping mountain on mountain, to
Conquer Heaven also.
The strong mechanical character, so visible in the spiritual pursuits and methods of this
have passed away, or at best died into a faint tradition, of no value as a practical principle. To judge by the loud clamour of our Constitution builders, Statists, Economists, directors, creators, reformers of Public Societies; in a word, all manner of Mechanists, from the Cartwright up to the Code-maker; and by the nearly total silence of all Preachers and Teachers who should give a voice to Poetry, Religion, and Morality, we might fancy either that man's Dynamical nature was, to all spiritual intents, extinct, or else so perfected, that nothing more was to be made of it by the old means; and henceforth only in his Mechanical contrivances did any hope exist for him.
his pleasant predecessors.
tions rarely occur.
fore. We have our little theory on all human long-past class of Popes were possessed of; and divine things. Poetry, the workings of inflicting moral censure; imparting moral engenius itself, which in all times, with one or couragement, consolation, edification; in all another meaning, has been called Inspiration, ways, diligently" administering the Discipline and held to be mysterious and inscrutable, is of the Church." It may be said, too, that in no longer without its scientific exposition. The private disposition, the new Preachers somebuilding of the lofty rhyme is like any other what resemble the Mendicant Friars of old masonry or bricklaying: we have theories of times: outwardly full of holy zeal; inwardly its rise, height, decline, and fall,-which latter, not without stratagem, and hunger for terresit would seem, is now near, among all people. trial things. But omitting this class, and the Of our Theories of Taste," as they are call- boundless host of watery personages who pipe, ed, wherein the deep, infinite, unspeakable as they are able, on so many scrannel straws, Love of Wisdom and Beauty, which dwells let us look at the higher regions of Literature, in all men, is “explained," made mechanically where, if anywhere, the pure melodies of Poevisible, from "Association," and the like, why sy and Wisdom should be heard. Of natural should we say any thing? Hume has written talent there is no deficiency: one or two richlyus a "Natural History of Religion;" in which endowed individuals even give us a superiority one Natural History, all the rest are included in this respect. But what is the song they Strangely, too, does the general feeling coin-sing? Is it a tone of the Memnon Statue, cide with Hume's in this wonderful problem; breathing music as the light first touches it? for whether his "Natural History" be the right a "liquid wisdom," disclosing to our sense the one or not, that Religion must have a Natural deep, infinite harmonies of Nature and man's History, all of us, cleric and laic, seem to be soul? Alas, no! It is not a matin or vesper agreed. He indeed regards it as a Disease, we hymn to the Spirit of all Beauty, but a fierce again as Health; so far there is a difference; clashing of cymbals, and shouting of multibut in our first principle we are at one. tudes, as children pass through the fire to MoTo what extent theological Unbelief, we lech! Poetry itself has no eye for the Invisimean intellectual dissent from the Church, in ble. Beauty is no longer the god it worships, its view of Holy Writ, prevails at this day, but some brute image of Strength; which we would be a highly important, were it not, un- may well call an idol, for true Strength is one der any circumstances, an almost impossible and the same with Beauty, and its worship also inquiry. But the Unbelief, which is of a still is a hymn. The meek, silent Light can mould, more fundamental character, every man may create, and purify all Nature; but the loud see prevailing, with scarcely any but the faint- Whirlwind, the sign and product of Disunion, est contradiction, all around him; even in the of Weakness, passes on, and is forgotten. Pulpit itself. Religion in most countries, more How widely this veneration for the physically or less in every country, is no longer what it Strongest has spread itself through Literature, was, and should be,-a thousand-voiced psalm any one may judge, who reads either criticism from the heart of Man to his invisible Father, or poem. We praise a work, not as "true," the fountain of all Goodness, Beauty, Truth, and but as "strong;" our highest praise is that it revealed in every revelation of these; but for has "affected" us, has "terrified" us. All this, the most part, a wise, prudential feeling it has been well observed, is the "maximum grounded on a mere calculation; a matter, as of the Barbarous," the symptom, not of vigorall others now are, of Expediency and Utility: ous refinement, but of luxurious corruption. whereby some smaller quantum of earthly en-It speaks much, too, for men's indestructible joyment may be exchanged for a far larger love of truth, that nothing of this kind will quantum of celestial enjoyment. Thus Reli- abide with them; that even the talent of a gion, too, is Profit; a working for wages; not Byron cannot permanently seduce us into Reverence, but vulgar Hope or Fear. Many, idol-worship; but that he, too, with all his wild we know, very many, we hope, are still reli- syren charming, already begins to be disregious in a far different sense; were it not so, garded and forgotten. our case were too desperate: But to witness that such is the temper of the times, we take any calm observant man, who agrees or disagrees in our feeling on the matter, and ask him whether our view of it is not in general wellfounded.
Again, with respect to our Moral condition: here also, he who runs may read that the same physical, mechanical influences are every where busy. For the "superior morality," of which we hear so much, we too, would desire to be thankful: at the same time, it were but blindness to deny that this "superior morality" is properly rather an "inferior criminality," produced not by greater love of Virtue, but by greater perfection of Police; and of that far subtler and stronger Police, called Publi Opinion. This last watches over us with its Argus eyes more keenly than ever; but the "inward eye" seems heavy with sleep. Of any belief in invis ble, divine things, we find as few traces in our Morality as elsewhere. It is by tangible, material considerations that we are
Literature, too, if we consider it, gives similar testimony. At no former era has Literature, the printed communication of Thought, been of such importance as it is now. We often hear that the Church is in danger; and truly so it is, in a danger it seems not to know of: For, with its tithes in the most perfect safety, its functions are becoming more and more superseded. The true Church of England, at this moment, lies in the Editors of its Newspapers. These preach to the people daily, weekly; admonishing kings them-guided, not by inward and spiritual. Self-denial, selves; advising peace or war, with an au- the parent of all virtue, in any true sense of thority which only the first Reformers and a that word, has perhaps seldom been rarer: so
rare is it, that the most, even in their abstract | the high vocation to which, throughout this his speculations, regard its existence as a chimera. earthly history, he has been appointed. HowVirtue is Pleasure, is Profit; no celestial, but ever it may be with individual nations, whatan earthly thing. Virtuous men, Philanthro- ever melancholic speculators may assert, it pists, Martyrs, are happy accidents; their seems a well-ascertained fact that, in all times, "taste" lies the right way! In all senses, we reckoning even from those of the Heracleids worship and follow after Power; which may and Pelasgi, the happiness and greatness of be called a physical pursuit. No man now mankind at large have been continually proloves Truth, as Truth must be loved, with an gressive. Doubtless this age also is advancing. infinite love; but only with a finite love, and as Its very unrest, its ceaseless activity, its disit were par amours. Nay, properly speaking, content, contains matter of promise. Knowhe does not believe and know it, but only "thinks" | ledge, education, are opening the eyes of the it, and that "there is every probability!" He humblest,-are increasing the number of thinkpreaches it aloud, and rushes courageously ing minds without limit. This is as it should forth with it,-if there is a multitude huzzaing be; for, not in turning back, not in resisting, at his back! yet ever keeps looking over his but only in resolutely struggling forward, does shoulder, and the instant the huzzaing lan- our life consist. Nay, after all, our spiritual guishes, he too stops short. In fact, what mo- maladies are but of Opinion; we are but fetrality we have takes the shape of Ambition, of|tered by chains of our own forging, and which Honour; beyond money and money's worth, our ourselves also can rend asunder. This deep, only rational blessedness is popularity. It were paralyzed subjection to physical objects comes but a fool's trick to die for conscience. Only for not from Nature, but from our own unwise mode "character," by duel, or in case of extremity, of viewing Nature. Neither can we understand by suicide, is the wise man bound to die. By that man wants, at this hour, any faculty of arguing on the "force of circumstances," we heart, soul, or body, that ever belonged to him. have argued away all force from ourselves; and stand leashed together, uniform in dress and movement, like the rowers of some boundless galley. This and that may be right and true; but we must not do it. Wonderful "Force of Public Opinion!" We must act and walk in all points as it prescribes; follow the traffic it bids us, realize the sum of money, the degree of "influence" it expects of us, or we shall be lightly esteemed; certain mouthfuls of articulate wind will be blown at us, and this, what mortal courage can front? Thus, while civil Liberty is more and more secured to us, our moral Liberty is all but lost. Practically considered, our creed is Fatalism: and, free in hand and foot, we are shackled in heart and soul, with far straiter than Feudal chains. Truly may we say with the Philosopher," the deep meaning of the laws of Mechanism lies heavy on us;" and in the closet, in the marketplace, in the temple, by the social hearth, encumbers the whole movements of our mind, and over our noblest faculties is spreading a night-mare sleep.
These dark features, we are aware, belong more or less to other ages, as well as to ours. This faith in Mechanism, in the all-importance of physical things, is in every age the common refuge of Weakness and blind Discontent; of all who believe, as many will ever do, that man's true good lies without him, not within. We are aware also, that, as applied to our selves in all their aggravation, they form but half a picture; that in the whole picture there are bright lights as well as gloomy shadows. If we here dwell chiefly on the latter, let us not be blamed: it is in general more profitable to reckou up our defects, than to boast of our attainments.
Neither, with all these evils more or less clearly before us, have we at any time despaired of the fortunes of society. Despair, or even despondency, in that respect, appears to us, in all cases, a groundless feeling. We have a faith in the imperishable dignity of man; in
He, who has been born, has been a First Man;" has had lying before his young eyes, and as yet unhardened into scientific shapes, a world as plastic, infinite, divine, as lay before the eyes of Adam himself. If Mechanism, like some glass bell, encircles and imprisons us, if the soul looks forth on a fair heavenly country which it cannot reach, and pines, and in its scanty atmosphere is ready to perish,-yet the bell is but of glass; "one bold stroke to break the bell in pieces, and thou art delivered!" Not the invisible world is wanting, for it dwells in man's soul, and this last is still here. Are the solemn temples in which the Divinity was once visibly revealed among us, crumbling away? We can repair them, we can rebuild them. The wisdom, the heroic worth of our forefathers, which we have lost, we can recover. That admiration of old nobleness, which now so often shows itself as a faint dile tantism, will one day become a generous emulation, and man may again be all that he has been, and more than he has been. Nor are these the mere daydreams of fancy; they are clear possibilities; nay, in this time, they are even assuming the character of hopes. Indications we do see, in other countries and in our own, signs infinitely cheering to us, that Mechanism is not always to be our hard taskmaster, but one day to be our pliant, all-ministering servant; that a new and brighter spiritual era is slowly evolving itself for all men. But on these things our present course forbids us to enter.
Meanwhile, that great outward changes are in progress can be doubtful to no one. The time is sick and out of joint. Many things have reached their height; and it is a wise adage that tells us, “the darkest hour is nearest the dawn." Whenever we can gather any in dication of the public thought, whether from printed books, as in France or Germany, or from Carbonari rebellions and other political tumults, as in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece, the voice it utters is the same. The thinking minds of all nations call for change.
There is a deep-lying struggle in the whole fabric of society; a boundless, grinding collision of the New with the Old. The French Revolution, as is now visible enough, was not the parent of this mighty movement, but its offspring. Those two hostile influences, which always exist in human things, and on the constant intercommunion of which depends their health and safety, had lain in separate masses, accumulating through generations, and France was the scene of their fiercest explosion; but the final issue was not unfolded in that country: nay, it is not yet anywhere unfolded. Political freedom is hitherto the object of these efforts; but they will not and cannot stop there. It is towards a higher freedom than mere freedom from oppression by his fellow-mortal that man dimly aims. Of this higher, heavenly freedom, which is "man's reasonable service,"
all his noble institutions, his faithful endeavours, and loftiest attainments, are but the body, and more and more approximated emblem.
Wahrheit aus Jean Paul's Leben. (Biography of Jean Pam) Istes, 2tes, 3tes Bändchen. Breslau, 1826, 27, 28.
On the whole, as this wondrous planet, Earth, is journeying with its fellows through infinite space, so are the wondrous destinies embarked on it journeying through infinite time, under a higher guidance than ours. For the present, as our astronomy informs us, its path lies to wards Hercules, the constellation of Physical Power: But that is not our most pressing concern. Go where it will, the deep HEAVEN Will be around it. Therein let us have hope and sure faith. To reform a world, to reform a nation, no wise man will undertake; and all but foolish men know that the only solid though a far slower reformation, is what each begins and perfects on himself.
JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER AGAIN.*
[FOREIGN REVIEW, 1830.]
Ir is some six years since the name “Jean | god, with all his thyrsi, cymbals, Phallophori, Paul Friedrich Richter" was first printed with and Manadic women: the air, the earth is English types; and some six-and-forty since it giddy with their clangor, their Evohes; but, has stood emblazoned and illuminated on all alas! in a little while, the lion-team shows true literary Indicators among the Germans; long ears, and becomes too clearly an assa fact, which, if we consider the history of team in lion-skins; the Manads wheel round many a Kotzebue and Chateaubriand, within in amazement; and then the jolly god, dragged that period, may confirm the old doctrine, that from his chariot, is trodden into the kennels as the best celebrity does not always spread the a drunk mortal. fastest; but rather, quite contrariwise, that as blown bladders are far more easily carried than metallic masses, though gold ones, of equal bulk, so the Playwright, Poetaster, Philosophe, will often pass triumphantly beyond seas, while the Poet and Philosopher abide quietly at home. Such is the order of nature a Sparzheim flies from Vienna to Paris and London, within the year; a Kant, slowly advancing, may, perhaps, reach us from Königsberg within the century: Newton, merely to cross the narrow Channel, required fifty years; Shakspeare, again, three times as many. It is true there are examples of an opposite sort; now and then, by some rare chance, a Goethe, a Cervantes, will occur in literature, and Kings may laugh over Don Quixote while it is yet unfinished, and scenes from Werter be painted on Chinese tea-cups, while the author is still a stripling. These, however, are not the rule, but the exceptions; nay, rightly interpreted, the exceptions which confirm it. In general, that sudden tumultuous popularity comes more from partial delirium on both sides, than from clear insight; and is of evil omen to all concerned with it. How many loud Bacchus-festivals of this sort have we seen prove to be Pseudo-Bacchanalia, and end in directly the inverse of Orgies! Drawn by his team of lions, the jolly god advances as a real
That no such apotheosis was appointed for Richter in his own country, or is now to be anticipated in any other, we cannot but regard as a natural, and nowise unfortunate circumstance. What divinity lies in him requires a calmer worship, and from quite another class of worshippers. Neither, in spite of that forty years' abeyance, shall we accuse England of any uncommon blindness towards him: nay, taking all things into account, we should rather consider his actual footing among us, as evincing not only an increased rapidity in literary intercourse, but an intrinsic improvement in the manner and objects of it. Our feeling of foreign excellence, we hope, must be becoming truer: our Insular taste must be opening more and more into a European one. For Richter is by no means a man whose merits, like his singularities, force themselves on the general eye; indeed, without great patience, and some considerable catholicism of disposition, no reader is likely to prosper much with him. He has a fine, high, altogether unusual talent; and a manner of expressing it perhaps still more unusual. He is a Humorist heartily and throughout; not only in low provinces of thought, where this is more common, but in the loftiest provinces, where it is well nigh unexampled; and thus, in wild sport, " playing bowls with the sun and moon," he fashions the strangest ideal world, which at first glance looks no better than a chaos. The Germans themselves find much to bear with in him;
most part, are so barren of incident: the earlier
But if the acted life of a pius Vates is so high
JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER.
and for readers of any other nation, he is in- | volved in almost boundless complexity; a mighty maze, indeed, but in which the plan, or traces of a plan, are nowhere visible. Far from appreciating and appropriating the spirit of his writings, foreigners find it in the highest difficult to seize their grammatical meaning. Probably there is not, in any modern language, so intricate a writer; abounding, without measure, in obscure allusions, in the most twisted phraseology; perplexed into endless entanglements and dislocations, parenthesis within parenthesis; not forgetting elisions, sudden whirls, quibs, conceits, and all manner of inexplicable crotchets: the whole moving on in the gayest manner, yet nowise in what seem military lines, but rather in huge partycoloured mob-masses. How foreigners must find themselves bested in this case, our readers may best judge from the fact, that a work with the following title was undertaken some twenty years ago, for the benefit of Richter's own countrymen: "K. Reinhold's Lexicon for Jean Paul's works, or explanation of all the foreign words and unusual modes of speech which occur in his writings; with short notices of the historical persons and facts therein alluded to; and plain German versions of the more difficult passages in the context: ―a necessary assistance for all who would read So much for the those works with profit!" dress or vehicle of Richter's thoughts; now let it only be remembered farther, that the thoughts themselves are often of the most abstruse description; so that not till after laborious meditation, can much, either of truth or of falsehood, be discerned in them; and we have a man, from whom readers with weak nerves, and a taste in any degree sickly, will not fail to recoil, perhaps with a sentiment approaching to horror. And yet, as we said, notwithstanding all these drawbacks, Richter already meets with a certain recognition in England; he has his readers and admirers; various translations from his works have been published among us; criticisms, also, not without clear discernment, and nowise wanting in applause; and to all this, so far as we can see, even the un-German part of the public has listened with some curiosity and hopeful anticipation. From which symptoms we should infer two things, both very comfortable to us in our present capacity: First, that the old strait-laced, microscopic sect of Felles-lettresmen, whose divinity was "Elegance," a creed of French growth, and more admirable for men-milliners than for critics and philosophers, must be rapidly declining in these Islands; and, secondly, which is a much more personal consideration, that, in still farther investigating and exhibiting this wonderful Jean Paul, we have attempted what will be, for many of our readers, to unwelcome service.
Our inquiry naturally divides itself into two departments, the Biographical and the Critical; concerning both of which, in their order, we have some observations to make; and what, in regard to the latter department at least, we reckon more profitable, some rather curious documents to present.
It does not appear that Richter's life, externally considered, differed much in general