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mankind this were heavy news; for, of the thousand, scarcely one is rich, or connected with the rich; nine hundred and ninety-nine have always been poor, and must always be so. We take the liberty of questioning the whole postulate. We think that, for acquiring true poetic taste, riches, or association with the rich, are distinctly among the minor requisites; that, in fact, they have little or no concern with the matter. This we shall now endeavour to make probable.
and costly furniture? To the great body of | ampton allowed him equal patronage with the zanies, jugglers, and bearwards of the time? Yet compare his taste, even as it respects the negative side of things; for in regard to the positive, and far higher side, it admits no comparison with any other mortal's,-compare it, for instance, with the taste of Beaumont and Fletcher, his contemporaries, men of rank and education, and of fine genius like himself. Tried even by the nice, fastidious, and in great part false, and artificial delicacy of modern times, how stands it with the two parties with the gay triumphant men of fashion, and the poor vagrant link-boy? Does the latter sin against, we shall not say taste, but etiquette, as the former do? For one line, for one word, which some Chesterfield might wish blotted from the first, are there not in the others whole pages and scenes which, with palpitating heart, he would hurry into deepest night? This, too, observe, respects not their genius, but their culture; not their appropriation of beauties, but their rejection of deformities, by supposition, the grand and peculiar result of high breeding! Surely, in such instances, even that humble supposition is ill borne out.
Taste, if it mean any thing but a paltry connoisseurship, must mean a general susceptibility to truth and nobleness; a sense to discern, and a heart to love and reverence, all beauty, order, goodness, wheresoever, or in whatsoever forms and accompaniments they are to be seen. This surely implies, as its chief condition, not any given external rank or situation, but a finely gifted mind, purified into harmony with itself, into keenness and justness of vision; above all, kindled into love and generous admiration. Is culture of this sort found exclusively among the higher ranks? We believe it proceeds less from without than within, in every rank. The charms of Nature, the majesty of Man, the infinite loveliness of Truth and Virtue, are not hidden from the eye of the poor; but from the eye of the vain, the corrupted, and self-seeking, be he poor or rich. In all ages, the humble Minstrel, a mendicant, and lord of nothing but his harp and his own free soul, had intimations of those glories, while to the proud Baron in is barbaric halls they were unknown. Nor is there still any aristocratic monopoly of judgment more than of genius: And as to that Science of Negation, which is taught peculiarly by men of professed elegance, we confess we hold it rather cheap. It is a necessary, but decidedly a subordinate accomplishment: nay, if it be rated as the highest, it becomes a ruinous vice. This is an old truth; yet ever needing new application and enforcement. Let us know what to love, and we shall know also what to reject; what to affirm, and we shall know also what to deny : but it is dangerous to begin with denial, and fatal to end with it. To deny is easy; nothing is sooner learnt or more generally practised: as matters go, we need no man of polish to teach it; but rather, if possible, a hundred men of wisdom to show us its limits, and teach us its reverse.
Such is our hypothesis of the case: But how stands it with the facts? Are the fineness and truth of sense manifested by the artist found, in most instances, to be proportionate to his wealth and elevation of acquaintance? Are they found to have any perceptible relation either with the one or the other? We imagine not. Whose taste in painting, for instance, is truer and finer than Claude Lorraine's? And was not he a poor colour-grinder; outwardly, the meanest of menials? Where, again, we might ask, by Shakspeare's rent-roll; and what generous peer took him by the hand and unfolded to him the "open secret" of the Universe; teaching him that this was beautiful, and that not so? Was he not a peasant by birth, and by fortune something lower; and was it not thought much, -ven in the height of his reputation, that South
The truth of the matter seems to be, that with the culture of a genuine poet, thinker, or other aspirant to fame, the influence of rank has no exclusive or even special concern. For men of action, for senators, public speakers, political writers, the case may be different; but of such we speak not at present. Neither do we speak of imitators, and the crowd of mediocre men, to whom fashionable life sometimes gives an external inoffensiveness, often compensated by a frigid malignity of character. We speak of men, who, from amid the perplexed and conflicting elements of their everyday existence, are to form themselves into harmony and wisdom, and show forth the same wisdom to others that exist along with them. To such a man, high life, as it is called, will be a province of human life certainly, but nothing more. He will study to deal with it as he deals with all forms of mortal being; to do it justice, and to draw instruction from it: bu his light will come from a loftier region, or he wanders for ever in darkness; dwindles into a man of vers de societé, or attains at best to be a Walpole or a Caylus. Still less can we think that he is to be viewed as a hireling; that his excellence will be regulated by his pay. "Sufficiently provided for from within, he has need of little from without:" food and raiment, and an unviolated home, will be given him in the rudest land; and with these, while the kind earth is round him, and the everlasting heaven is over him, the world has little more that it can give. Is he poor? So also were Homer and Socrates; so was Samuel Johnson; so was John Milton. Shall we reproach him with his poverty, and infer that, because he is poor, he must likewise be worthless? God forbid that the time should ever come when he too shall esteem riches the synonyme of good! The spirit of Mammon has a wide empire; but it cannot, and must not, be worshipped in the Holy of Holies. Nay, does not the heart of every genuine disciple of literature, however mean his sphere, instinctively deny this prin
ciple, as applicable either to himself or ano- | tered Baron, who still hovers in our minds, ther? Is it not rather true, as D'Alembert has said, that for every man of letters, who deserves that name, the motto and the watchword will be FREEDOM, TRUTH, and even this same POVERTY! and that if he fear the last, the two first can never be made sure to him?
never did exist in such perfection, and is now as extinct as our own Squire Western. His descendant is a man of other culture, other aims, and other habits. We question whether there is an aristocracy in Europe, which, taken as a whole, both in a public and private capacity, more honours art and literature, and does more both in public and private to encourage them. Excluded from society! What, we would ask, was Wieland's, Schiller's, Herder's, Johannes Müller's society? Has not Goethe, by birth a Frankfort burgher,been, since his twentysixth year, the companion, not of nobles but of princes, and for half his life a minister of state? And is not this man, unrivalled in so many far deeper qualities, known also and felt to be unrivalled in nobleness of breeding and bearing; fit not to learn of princes, in this respect, but by the example of his daily life to teach them?
We hear much of the munificent spirit displayed among the better classes in England; their high estimation of the arts, and generous patronage of the artist. We rejoice to hear it; we hope it is true, and will become truer and truer. We hope that a great change has taken place among these classes, since the time when Bishop Burnet could write of them,-"They are for the most part the worst instructed, and the least knowing, of any of their rank I ever went among!" Nevertheless, let us arrogate to ourselves no exclusive praise in this particular. Other nations can appreciate the arts, and cherish their cultivators, as well as we. Nay, while learning from us in many other matters, we suspect the Germans might even teach us somewhat in regard to this. At all events, the pity, which certain of our authors express for the civil condition of their brethren in that country, is, from such a quarter, a superfluous feeling. Nowhere, let us rest assured, is genius more devoutly honoured than there, by all ranks of men, from peasants and burghers up to legislators and kings. It was but last year that the Diet of the Empire passed an act in favour of one individual poet: the final edition of Goethe's works was guarantied to be protected against commercial injury in every state of Germany; and special assurances to that effect were sent him, in the kindest terms, from all the Authorities there assembled, some of them the highest in his country or in Europe. Nay, even while we write, are not the newspapers recording a visit from the Sovereign of Bavaria in person, to the same venerable man; a mere ceremony, perhaps, but one which almost recalls to us the era of the antique Sages and the Grecian Kings?
We have stated these things, to bring the question somewhat nearer its real basis; not for the sake of the Germans, who nowise need the admission of them. The German authors are not poor; neither are they excluded from association with the wealthy and well-born. On the contrary, we scruple not to say, that, in both these respects, they are considerably better situated than our own. Their booksellers, it is true, cannot pay as ours do; yet, there as here, a man lives by his writings; and, to compare Jorden with Johnson and D'Isracli, somewhat better there than here. No case like our own noble Otway's has met us in their biographies; Boyces and Chattertons are much rarer in German, than in English history. But farther, and what is far more important: From the number of universities, libraries, collections of art, museums, and other literary or scientific institutions of a public or private nature, we question whether the chance, which a meritorious man of letters has before him, of obtaining some permanent appointment, some independent civic existence, is not a hundred to one in favour of the German, compared with the Englishman. This is a weighty item, and indeed the weightiest of all; for it will be granted, that, for the votary of literature, the relation of entire dependence on the merchants of literature, is, at best, and however liberal the terms, a highly questionable one. It tempts him daily and hourly to sink from an artist into a manufacturer; nay, so precarious, fluctuating, and every way unsatisfactory must his civic and economic concerns become, that too many of his class cannot even attain the praise of common honesty as manufacturers. There is, no doubt, a spirit of martyrdom, as we have asserted, which can sustain this too: but few indeed have the spirit of martyrs; and that state of matters is the safest which requires it least. The German authors, moreover, to their credit be it spoken, seem to set less store by wealth than many of ours. There have been prudent, quiet men among them, who actually appeared not to want more wealth,-whom | wealth could not tempt, either to this hand or that, from their pre-appointed aims. Neither must we think so hardly of the German nobility as to believe them insensible to genius, or of opinion that a patent from the Lion King is so superior to "a patent direct from Almighty God." A fair proportion of the German authors are themselves men of rank: we mention only, as of our own time, and notable in other respects, the two Stolbergs and Novalis. Let us not be unjust to this class of persons. It is a poor error to figure them as wrapt up in ceremonial stateliness, avoiding the most gift-nation, as a public, taking one thing with anoed man of a lower station; and, for their own ther, we imagine they may stand comparison supercilious triviality, themselves avoided by with any of their neighbours; as writers, as ali truly gifted men. On the whole, we should critics, they may decidedly court it. True, there change our notion of the German nobleman: is a mass of dulness, awkwardness, and false that ancient, thirsty, thickheaded, sixteen-quar-susceptibility in the lower regions of their lite
This hypothesis, therefore, it would seem, is not supported by facts, and so returns to its original elements. The causes it alleges are impossible: but, what is still more fatal, the effect it proposes to account for has, in reality, no existence. We venture to deny that the Germans are defective in taste; even as a
rature: but is not bad taste endemical in such | but the battle; as indeed himself admits to us, regions of every literature under the sun? Pure that "it is not the finding of truth, but the honStupidity, indeed, is of a quiet nature, and con- est search for it, that profits." We confess, tent to be merely stupid. But seldom do we we should be entirely at a loss for the literary find it pure; seldom unadulterated with some creed of that man who reckoned Lessing other tincture of ambition, which drives it into new than a thoroughly cultivated writer; nay enand strange metamorphoses. Here it has as- titled to rank, in this particular, with the most sumed a contemptuous trenchant air, intended distinguished writers of any existing nation. to represent superior tact, and a sort of all- As a poet, as a critic, philosopher, or controwisdom; there a truculent atrabilious scowl, versialist, his style will be found precisely which is to stand for passionate strength: now such as we of England are accustomed to we have an outpouring of tumid fervour; now admire most; brief, nervous, vivid; yet quiet, a fruitless, asthmatic hunting after wit and without glitter or antithesis; idiomatic, pure humour. Grave or gay, enthusiastic or de- without purism, transparent, yet full of charisive, admiring or despising, the dull man racter and reflex hues of meaning. "Every would be something which he is not and can- sentence," says Horn, and justly, "is like a not be. Shall we confess, that, of these too phalanx;" not a word wrong placed, not a common extremes, we reckon the German word that could be spared; and it forms itself error considerably the more harmless, and, in so calmy and lightly, and stands in its comour day, by far the more curable? Of unwise pleteness, so gay, yet so impregnable! As a admiration much may be hoped, for much good poet he contemptuously denied himself all is really in it: but unwise contempt is itself a merit; but his readers have not taken him at negation; nothing comes of it, for it is nothing. his word: here, too, a similar felicity of style To judge of a national taste, however, we attends him; his plays, his Minna von Barnmust raise our view from its transitory modes helm, his Emilie Galotti, his Nathan der Weise, to its perennial models; from the mass of vul- have a genuine and graceful poetic life; yet no gar writers, who blaze out and are extinguished works known to us in any language are purer with the popular delusion which they flatter, to from exaggeration, or any appearance of falsethose few who are admitted to shine with a hood. They are pictures, we might say paintpure and lasting lustre; to whom, by common ed not in colours, but in crayons; yet a strange consent, the eyes of the people are turned, as attraction lies in them; for the figures are to its lodestar and celestial luminaries. Among grouped into the finest attitudes, and true German writers of this stamp, we would ask and spirit-speaking in every line. It is with any candid reader of them, let him be of what his style chiefly that we have to do here; yet country or what creed he might, whether bad we must add, that the matter of his works is taste struck him as a prevailing characteristic. not less meritorious. His Criticism and phiWas Wieland's taste uncultivated? Taste, we losophic or religious Skepticism were of a should say, and taste of the very species which higher mood than had yet been heard in Eua disciple of the Negative School would call rope, still more in Germany: his Dramaturgie the highest, formed the great object of his life; first exploded the pretensions of the French the perfection he unweariedly endeavoured theatre, and, with irresistible conviction, made after, and, more than any other perfection, has Shakspeare known to his countrymen; preattained. The most fastidious Frenchman might paring the way for a brighter era in their literead him, with admiration of his merely French rature, the chief men of which still thankfully qualities. And is not Klopstock, with his clear look back to Lessing as their patriarch. His enthusiasm, his azure purity, and heavenly, if Laocoon, with its deep glances into the philostill somewhat cold and lunar light, a man of sophy of Art, his Dialogues of Free-masons, a taste? His Messias reminds us oftener of no work of far higher import than its title inother poets than of Virgil and Racine. But it dicates, may yet teach many things to most of is to Lessing that an Englishman would us, which we know not, and ought to know. turn with the readiest affection. We cannot but wonder that more of this man is not known among us; or that the knowledge of him has not done more to remove such misconceptions. Among all the writers of the eighteenth century, we will not except even Diderot and David Hume, there is not one of a more compact and rigid intellectual structure; who more distinctly knows what he is aiming at, or with more gracefulness, vigour, and precision sets it forth to his readers. He thinks with the clearness and piercing sharpness of the most expert logician: but a genial fire pervades him, a wit, a heartiness, a general richness and fineness of nature, to which most logicians are strangers. He is a skeptic in many things, but the noblest of skeptics; a mild, manly, half-careless enthusiasm struggles through his indignant unbelief: he stands efore us like a toilworn, but unwearied and aeroic champion, earning not the conquest
With Lessing and Klopstock might be joined, in this respect, nearly, every one, we do not say of their distinguished, but even of their tolerated contemporaries. The two Jacobis, known more or less in all countries, are little known here, if they are accused of wanting literary taste These are men, whether as thinkers or poets, to be regarded and admired for their mild and lofty wisdom, the devoutness, the benignity and calm grandeur of their philosophical views. In such, it were strange if among so many high merits, this lower one of a just and elegant style, which is indeed their natural and even necessary product, had been wanting. We recommend the elder Jacobi no less for his clearness than for his depth; of the younger, it may be enough in this point of view to say, that the chief praisers of his earlier poetry were the French. Neither are Hamann and Mendelsohn, who could meditate deep thoughts, defective in the power of uttering
them with propriety. The Phadon of the latter, | that their views of it are not only dim and per
in its chaste precision and simplicity of style, may almost remind us of Xenophon: Socrates, to our mind, has spoken in no modern language so like Socrates, as here, by the lips of this wise and cultivated Jew.*
Among the poets and more popular writers of the time, the case is the same: Utz, Gellert, Cramer, Ramler, Kleist, Hagedorn, Rabener, Gleim, and a multitude of lesser men, whatever excellences they might want, certainly are not chargeable with bad taste. Nay, perhaps of all writers they are the least chargeable with it: a certain clear, light, unaffected elegance, of a higher nature than French elegance, it might be, yet to the exclusion of all very deep or genial qualities, was the excellence they strove after, and, for the most part, in a fair measure attained. They resemble English writers of the same, or perhaps an earlier period, more than any other foreigners: apart from Pope, whose influence is visible enough, Beattie, Logan, Wilkie, Glover, unknown perhaps to any of them, might otherwise have almost seemed their models. Goldsmith also would rank among them; perhaps, in regard to true poetic genius, at their head, for none of them has left us a Vicar of Wakefield; though, in regard to judgment, knowledge, general talent, his place would scarcely be so high.
plexed, but altogether imaginary and delusive. It is proposed to School the Germans in the Alphabet of taste; and the Germans are already busied with their Accidence! Far from being behind other nations in the practice or science of Criticism, it is a fact, for which we fearlessly refer to all competent judges, that they are distinctly, and even considerably, in advance. We state what is already known to a great part of Europe to be true. Criticism has assumed a new form in Germany; it proceeds on other principles, and proposes to itself a higher aim. The grand question is not now a question concerning the qualities of diction, the coherence of metaphors, the fitness of senti ments, the general logical truth, in a work of art, as it was some half century ago among most critics. Neither is it a question mainly of a psychological sort, to be answered by discovering and delineating the peculiar nature of the poet from his poetry, as is usual with the best of our own critics at present; but it is, not indeed exclusively, but inclusively of those two other questions, properly and ultimately a question on the essence and peculiar life of the poetry itself. The first of these questions, as we see it answered, for instance, in the criticisms of Johnson and Kames, relates, strictly speaking, to the garment of poetry; the The same thing holds, in general, and with second, indeed, to its body and material existfewer drawbacks, of the somewhat later and ence, a much higher point; but only the last more energetic race, denominated the Göttingen to its soul and spiritual existence, by which School, in contradistinction from the Saxon, to alone can the body, in its movements and which Rabener, Cramer, and Gellert directly phases, be informed with significance and belonged, and most of those others indirectly. rational life. The problem is not now to Hölty, Bürger, the two Stolbergs, are men whom determine by what mechanism Addison comBossu might measure with his scale and com-posed sentences, and struck out similitudes, passes as strictly as he pleased. Of Herder, but by what far finer and more mysterious Schiller, Goethe, we speak not here: they are mechanism Shakspeare organized his dramas, men of another stature and form of movement, and gave life and individuality to his Ariel and whom Bossu's scale and compasses could not his Hamlet, Wherein lies that life; how have measure without difficulty, or rather not at all. they attained that shape and individuality? To say that such men wrote with taste of this Whence comes that empyrean fire, which irsort, were saying little; for this forms not the radiates their whole being, and pierces, at apex, but the basis, in their conception of style; least in starry gleams, like a liviner thing, a quality not to be paraded as an excellence, into all hearts? Are these dramas of his not but to be understood as indispensable, as there verisimilar only, but true; nay, truer than by necessity, and like a thing of course. reality itself, since the essence of unmixed reality is bodied forth in them under more expressive symbols? What is this unity of theirs; and can our deeper inspection discern it to be indivisible, and existing by necessity, because each work springs, as it were, from the general elements of all Thought, and grows up therefrom, into form and expansion, by its own growth? Not only who was the poet, and how did he compose; but what and how was the poem, and why was it a poem and not rhymed eloquence, creation and not figured passion? These are the questions for the critic. Criticism stands like an interpreter between the inspired and the uninspired; be tween the prophet and those who hear the melody of his words, and catch some glimpse of their material meaning, but understand not their deeper import. She pretends to open for us this deeper import; to clear our sense that it may discern the pure brightness of this eter nal Beauty, and recognise it as heavenly, unde all forms where it looks forth, and reject, as
In truth, for it must be spoken out, our opponents are so widely astray in this matter,
The history of Mendelsohn is interesting in itself, and fall of encouragement to all lovers of self-improvement. At thirteen he was a wandering Jewish beggar, without health, without home, almost without a language, for the jargon of broken Hebrew and provincial German which he spoke could scarcely be called one. At middle age, he could write this Phadon; was a man of wealth and breeding, and ranked among the teachers of his age. Like Pope, he abode by his original creed, though often solicited to change it: indeed, the grand problem of his life was to better the inward and outward condition of his own ill-fated people; for whom he actually accomplished much benefit. He was a mild, shrewd, and worthy man; and might well love Phadon and Socrates, for his own character was Socratic. He was a friend of Lessing's: indeed a pupil; for Lessing having accidentally met him at chess, recognised the spirit that lay struggling under such incumbrances, and generously undertook to help him. By teaching the poor Jew a little Greek he disenchanted him from the Talmud and the Rabbins. The two were afterwards co-labourers in Nicolai's Deutsche Bibliothek, the first German Review of any character; which, however, in the hands of Nicolai himself, it subsequently lost. Mendelsohn's Works have mostly been translated into French.
of the earth earthy, all forms, be their mate- | urged, between the Classicists and the Romanrial splendour what it may, where no gleaming of that other shines through.
ticists, in which the Schlegels are assumed, much too loosely, on all hands, as the patrons and generalissimos of the latter, shows us sufficiently what spirit is at work in that long stagnant literature. Doubtless this turbid fermentation of the elements will at length settle into clearness, both there, and here, as in Germany it has already in a great measure done; and perhaps a more serene and genial poetic day is everywhere to be expected with some confidence. How much the example of the Germans may have to teach us in this particular, needs no farther exposition.
This is the task of Criticism, as the Germans understand it. And how do they accomplish this task? By a vague declamation clothed in gorgeous mystic phraseology? By vehement tumultuous anthems to the poet and his poetry; by epithets and laudatory similitudes drawn from Tartarus and Elysium, and all intermediate terrors and glories; whereby, in truth, it is rendered clear both that the poet is an extremely great poet, and also that the critic's allotment of understanding, overflowed by these Pythian raptures, has unhappily melted into de- The authors and first promulgators of this liquium? Nowise in this manner do the Ger- new critical doctrine, were at one time conmans proceed: but by rigorous scientific in-temptuously named the New School; nor was it quiry; by appeal to principles which, whether till after a war of all the few good heads in the correct or not, have been deduced patiently, nation, with all the many bad ones, had ended and by long investigation, from the highest and as such wars must ever do,* that these critical calmest regions of Philosophy. For this finer principles were generally adopted; and their portion of their Criticism is now also embo- assertors found to be no School or new heretidied in systems; and standing, so far as these cal Sect, but the ancient primitive Catholic reach, coherent, distinct, and methodical, no Communion, of which all sects that had any less than, on their much shallower foundation, living light in them were but members and the systems of Boileau and Blair. That this subordinate modes. It is, indeed, the most new Criticism is a complete, much more a cer- sacred article of this creed to preach and practain science, we are far from meaning to affirm: tise universal tolerance. Every literature of the aesthetic theories of Kant, Herder, Schiller, the world has been cultivated by the Germans; Goethe, Richter, vary in external aspect, ac- and to every literature they have studied to give cording to the varied habits of the individual; due honour. Shakspeare and Homer, no doubt, and can at best only be regarded as approxima occupy alone the loftiest station in the poetical tions to the truth, or modifications of it; each Olympus; but there is space for all true Singcritic representing it as it harmonizes more or ers, out of every age and clime. Ferdusi and less perfectly with the other intellectual per- the primeval Mythologists of Hindostan, live suasions of his own mind, and of different in brotherly union with the Troubadours and classes of minds that resemble his. Nor can ancient Story-tellers of the West. The waywe here undertake to inquire what degree of ward mystic gloom of Calderon, the lurid fire such approximation to the truth there is in of Dante, the auroral light of Tasso, the clear each or all of these writers; or in Tieck and icy glitter of Racine, all are acknowledged and the two Schlegels, who, especially the latter, reverenced: nay, in the celestial fore-court an have laboured so meritoriously in reconciling abode has been appointed for the Gressets and these various opinions; and so successfully in Delilles, that no spark of inspiration, no tone impressing and diffusing the best spirit of them, of mental music, might remain unrecognised. first in their own country, and now also in The Germans study foreign nations in a spirit several others. Thus much, however, we will which deserves to be oftener imitated. It is say: That we reckon the mere circumstance their honest endeavour to understand each with of such a science being in existence, a ground its own peculiarities, in its own special manof the highest consideration, and worthy the ner of existing; not that they may praise it, or best attention of all inquiring men. For we censure it, or. attempt to alter it, but simply should err widely, if we thought that this new that they may see this manner of existing as tendency of critical science pertains to Ger- the nation itself sees it, and so participate in many alone. It is a European tendency, and whatever worth or beauty it has brought into springs from the general condition of intellect being. Of all literatures, accordingly, the in Europe. We ourselves have all, for the last German has the best as well as the most transthirty years, more or less distinctly felt the ne- lations; men like Goethe, Schiller, Wieland, cessity of such a science: witness the neglect Schlegel, Tieck, have not disdained this task. into which our Blairs and Bossus have silently Of Shakspeare there are three entire versions fallen; our increased and increasing admira- admitted to be good; and we know not how tion, not only of Shakspeare, but of all his contemporaries, and of all who breathe any portion of his spirit; our controversy whether Pope was a poet; and so much vague effort on the part of our best critics, everywhere, to express some still unexpressed idea concerning the nature of true poetry; as if they felt in their hearts that a pure glory, nay, a divineness, belonged to it, for which they had as yet no name, and no intellectual form. But in Italy too, in France itself, the same thing is visible. Their grand controversy, so hotly
It began in Schiller's Musenalmanch for 1793. The
Xenien, (a series of philosophic epigrams jointly by Schiller and Goethe,) descended there unexpectedly, like a flood of ethereal fire, on the German literary world; quickening all that was noble into new life, but visiting the ancient empire of Dulness with astonishment and unknown pangs. The agitation was extreme: scarcely since the age of Luther, has there been such stir and strife in the intellect of Germany; indeed, scarcely since ultimate bearings on the best and noblest interests of that age, has there been a controversy, if we consider its mankind, so important as this, which, for the time, seemed only to turn on metaphysical subtilties, and matters of mere elgance. Its farther applications ba came apparent by degrees.