صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

too the genuineness of whatsoever he did ; his system of society, 10 adjut himself aright: hearty, idiomatic way; simplicity with lotiiness, and, working for the world, and in the world, and nobleness, avd aerial grace.-Pure works keep himself unsportell from the world, -let of art, completed with an antique Grecian him look here. This man, we may say, bepolish as “ Torquato Tasso," as “Iphigenie," came morally great, by being in his own age Proverbs; “Xenien;" Patriarchal Sayings, what in some other ages many miglit have which, siuce the Hebrew Scriptures were closed, been a genuine man. His grand excellency we know not where lo match; in whose bomely was this, that he was genuine. As his primary depths lie often the materials for volumes. faculty, the foundation of all others, was Intel

To measure and estimate all this, as we leci, depih and force of Vision, so his primary said, the time is not come; a century hence virtue was Justice, was the courage to be iust. will be the fitter time. He who investigates it A giani's strengih we admired in him; yet; best will find its meaning greatest, and be the strength ennobled into softest mildness; even readiest to acknowledge that it transcends like that “sileut rock-bound strengih of a him.-Let the reader have seen, before he at- world," on whose bosom, that rests on the tempts to oversee. A poor reader, in the mean- adamant, grow fowers. The greatest pf hearts while were he, who discerned not here ihe was also the bravest: fearless, unwearied, authentic rudiments of that same New Era, peacefully invincible. A completed man; the whereof we have so often had false warning: trembling sensibiliiy, the wild enthusiasm of a Wondrously, the wrecks and pulverized rub- Mignon, can assort with the scornful worldbish of ancient things, institutions, religions, mockery of a Mephistophiles; and each side forgotten noblenesses, made alive again by the of many-sided life receives its due from him. breath of Genius, lie here in new coherence Goethe reckoned Schiller happy that he died and incipient union, the spirit of Art working young, in the full vigour of his days: that he creative through the mass : that chaos, into could “figure him as a youth for ever." To which the eighteenth century with its wild war himself a different, higher destiny was apof hypocrites and skeptics had reduced the pointed. Through all the changes of man's Past, begins here to be once more a world.-life, onwards to its extreme verge, he was to This, the highest that can be said of written go; and through them all nobly. In youth, books, is to be said of these; there is in them Hatterings of fortune, uninterrupted outward a new time, the prophecy and beginning of a prosperity cannot corrupt him; a wise of new time. The corner stone of a new social server must remark, “only a Goethe, at the edifice for mankind is laid there ; firmly, as sum of earthly happiness, can keep his Phædis. before, on the natural rock, far extending traces wings unsinged."— Through manhood, in the of a ground-plan we can also see, which future most complex relation, as poet, courtier, policenturies may go on to enlarge, amend, and tician, man of business, man of speculation; work into reality. These sayings seem strange in the middle of revolutions and counter-revoto some; nevertheless they are not empty ex- lutions, outward and spiritual ; with the world aggerations, but expressions, in their way, of loudly for him, with ihe world loudly or si. a belief, which is not now of yesterday ; per- lently against him ; in all seasons and situahaps when Goethe has been read and medi- tions, he holds equally on his way. Old age tated for another generation, they will not seem itself, which is called dark and feeble, he was so strange.

lo render lovely: who that looked upon him Precious is the new light of knowledge there, venerable in himself, and in the world's which our teacher conquers for us; yet small reverence, ever the clearer, the purer, bat to the new light of Love which also we derive could have prayed that he too were such an from him; the most important element of any old man? And did not the kind Heavens conman's performance is ihe life he has accom- tinue kind, and grant to a career so glorious plished. Under the intellectual union of man the worthiest end? and man, which works by precept, lies a holier Such was Goethe's life; such bas his de union of affection, working by example: the parture been-he sleeps now beside his Schilinfluences of which latter, mystic, deep-reach-ier and his Carl August: so had the Prince ing, all-embracing, can still less be computed. willed it, that between these two should be bis For Love is ever the beginning of Knowledge, own final rest. In life they were united, in as fire is of light; works also more in the death they are not divided. The unwearied manner of fire. That Goethe was a great Workman now rests from his labours; the teacher of men, means already that he was a fruit of these is left growing, and to grow. good man; that he himself learned; in the His earthly years bave been numbered and school of experience had striven and proved ended: bui of his activity (for it stood rooted victorious. To how many hearers languish in the Eternal) there is no end. All that we ing, nigh dead, in the airless dungeon of Un- mean by the higher Literature of Germany, belief (a true vacuum and nonentity) has the which is the higher Literature of Europe, al. assurance that there was such a man, that such ready gathers round this man, as its creator ; a man was still possible, come like tidings of of which grand object, dawning mysterious on great joy! He who would learn to reconcile a world that hoped not for it, who is there that Reverence with clearness, to deny and defy can assume the significance and far-reaching what is false, yet believe and worship what is influences? The Literature of Europe will true; amid raging factions, bent on what is pass away; Europe itself, the Earth itself will either altogether empty or has substance in it pass away; this little life-boal of an Earth, only for a day, which stormfully convulse and with its noisy crew of Mankind, and all their lear hither and thither a distracted, expiring troubled History, will one day have vanished, faded like a cloud-speck from the azure of the drawing from this new made grave. The man All! What then is man! What then is man? whom we love lies there: bul glorious, worthy: He endures but for an hour, and is crushed and his spirit yet lives in us with an authentic before the moth. Yet in the being and in the life. Could each here vow to do his litile task, working of a faithful man is there already (as even as the Departed did his great one; in the all faith, from the beginning, gives assurance) manner of a true inan, not for a Day, but a something that pertains not to this wild for Eternity! To live, as he counselled and death-element of Time; that triumphs over commanded, not commodiously in the RepuTime, and is, and will be, when Time shall be table, the Plausible, the Half, but resolutely in

the Whole, the Good, the True: And now we turn back into the world, with- “ Im Ganzen, Guten, Wakren resolut zu leben:

no more.



It is now four years since we specially in- | ness, and now seriously ask itself a question, vited attention to this Book; first in an essay perhaps never seriously asked before : What on the graceful little fantasy-piece of Helena, ihe purport and character of his presence here then in a more general one on the merits and was: now when he has gone hence, and is not workings of Goethe himself: since which time present here, and will remain absent for evertwo important things have happened in refe- more. It is the conclusion that crowns the rence to it; for the publication, advancing with work; much more the irreversible conclusion successful regularity, reached its fortieth and wherein all is concluded : thus is there no life last volume in 1830; and now, still more em- so mean but a death will make it memorable. phatically to conclude both this “completed At all lykewakes, accordingly, the doings final edition,” and all other editions, endeavours and endurances of the Departed are the theme: and attainments of one in whose hands lay so rude souls, rude longues grow eloquently busy much, come tidings that the venerable man has with him; a whole septuagint of beldames are been recalled from our earth, and of his long striving to render, in such dialect as they have, labours and high faithful stewardship we have the small bible,or apochrypha, of his existence, had what was appointed us.

for the general perusal. The least famous of The greatest epoch in a man's life is not mankind will for once become public, and have always his death; yet for bystanders, such as his name printed, and read not without interest: contemporaries, it is always the most notice in the Newspaper obituaries; on some frail able. All other epochs are transition-points memorial, under which he has crept to sleep. from one visible condition to another visible; Foolish lovesick girls know that there is one the days of their occurrence are like any other method to impress the obdurate, false Lovelace, days, from which only the clearer-sighted will and wring his bosom; the method of drowning : distinguish them; bridges they are, over which foolish ruined dandies, whom the tailor will no the smooth highway runs continuous, as if no longer trust, and the world turning on its heel Rubicon were there. But the day in a mortal's is about forgetting, can recall it to attention by destinies which is like no other, is his death. report of pistol; and so, in a worthless death, day: here too is a transition, what we may call ir in a worthless lise no more, re-attain the topa bridge, as at other epochs; but now from the gallant of renown,-for one day. Death is keystone onwards haif the arch rests on in- ever a sublimity, and supernatural wonder, visibility; this is a transition out of visible were there no other left: the last act of a most Time into invisible Eternily.

strange drama, which is not dramatic but has Since death, as the palpable revelation (not now become real: wherein, miraculously, Futo be overlooked by the dullest) of the mystery ries, god-missioned, have in actual person of wonder, and depth, and fear, which every risen from the abyss, and do verily dance where from beginning 10 ending through its there in that lerror of all terrors, and wave whole course and movement lies under lise, is their dusky-glaring torches, and shake their in any case so great, we find it not unnatural serpent-hair! Out of which heart-thrilling, so that hereby a new look of greatness, a new in- | authentically tragic fifth act there goes, as we terest should be impressed on whatsoever has said, a new meaning over all the other four: preceded it and led to it; that even towards making them likewise tragic and authentic, some man, whose history did not then first and memorable in some measure, were they become significant, the world should turn, at formerly the sorriest pickle-berring farce. his departure, with a quite peculiar earnest- But above all, when a Great Man dies, then

has the time come for putting us in mind that • Goethes Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzer Hand, he was alive: biographies and biographic (Goethe's Works. Completed, final edition) 40 voll. Stuttgard and Tübingen. 1827-30.

sketches, criticisms, characters, anecdotes

reminiscences, issae forth as from opened highest is not independent of him; bis suffrage springing fountains; the world, with a passion has value: could the highest monarch conwhetted by impossibility, will yet a while retain, vince himself that the humblest beggar with sinyet a while speak with, though only to the un- cere mind despised him, no serried ranks of answering echoes, what it has lost without halberdiers and body-guards could shut oui remedy: thus is the last event of life often the some little twinge of pain ; some emanation loudest; and real spiritual Apparitions, (who from the low had pierced into the bosom of the have been named Men,) as false imaginary high. Of a truth, men are mystically united; a ones are fabled to do, vanish in thunder. mystic bond of brotherhood makes all men one.

For ourselves, as regards the great beauty, if “Thus too has that fierce hunting after Popunot seeking to be foremost in this natural move-larity, which you often wonder at, and laugh at, ment, neither do we shun to mingle in it. The a basis on something true : nay, under ihe other life and ways of such men as he, are, in all sea- aspect, what is that wonderful spirit of Intersons, a matter profitable to contemplate, to speak ference, were it but manifested as the paltriest of; if in this death season, long with a sad reve- scandal and tea-table backbiting, other than, rence looked forward to, there has little increase inversely or directly, a heartfelt indestructibl. of light, little change of feeling arisen for the sympathy of man with man? Hatred itself is writer, a readier attention, nay a certain expect- but an inverse love. The philosopher's wife ance, from some readers is call sufficient. In. complained to the philosopher that certain twonumerable meditations and disquisitions on this legged animals without leathers spake evil of subject must yet pass through the minds of him, spitefully criticised his goings out and men; on all sides must it be taken up, by comings in; wherein she too failed not of her various observers, by successive generations, share: • Light of my life,' answered the philoand ever a new light may evolve itself: why sopher, it is their love of us, unknown to should not this observer, on this side, set down themselves, and taking a foolish shape; thank what he partially has seen into, and the neces- them for it, and do thou love them more wisely. sary process thereby be forwarded, at any rate, Were we mere steam-engines working here continued ?

under this rooftree, they would scorn to speak A continental Humourist, of deep-piercing, of us once in a twelve-month. The last stage resolute, though strangely perverse faculty of human perversion, it has been said, is when whose works are as yet but sparingly if at all sympathy corrupts itself into envy; and the cited in English literature, has written a indestructible interest we take in men's doings chapter, somewhat in the nondescript manner has become a joy over their faults and misof metaphysico-rhetorical, homiletic-exegetic fortunes: this is the last and lowest stage; rhapsody, on the Greatness of great men; which lower than this we cannot go: the absolute topic we agree with him in reckoning one of petrifaction of indifference is not attainable on the most pregnant. The time, indeed, is come this side total death. when much that was once found visibly sub- “And now,"continues the Professor,“ rising sistent Without must anew be sought for With- from these lowest tea-lable regions of human in; many a human feeling, indestructible, and to communion into the higher and highest, is man's well-being indispensable, which once there not still in the world's demeanour tomanifested itself in expressive forms to the wards Great Men, enough to make the old Sense, now lies hidden in the formless depths practice of Herc-korship intelligible, nay, signiof the Spirit, or at best struggles out obscurely ficant? Simpleton! I tell thee Hero-worship in forms become superannuated, altogether still continues; it is the only creed which inexpressive, and unrecognisable ; from which never and nowhere grows or can grow obsoparalysed, imprisoned state, often the best leie. For always and everywhere this remains effort of the thinker is required, and inoreover a true saying: Il y a dans le crur humain un fibre were well applied to deliver it. For if the religieux. Man always worships something; Present is to be the “living sum-lotal of the always he sees the Infinite shadowed forth in whole Past,” nothing that ever lived in the something finite; and indeed can and must so Past must be let wholly die; whatsoever was see it in any finite thing, once tempı him well done, whatsoever was said or written aforetime, to fix his eyes thereon. Yes, in practice, be was done and written for our edification. In it in theory or not, we are all Supernaturalisis; such state of imprisonment, paralysis and un- and have an infinite happiness or an infinite recognisable desacement, as compared with its wo not only waiting us hereafter, but looking condition in the old ages, lies this our feeling 10- out on us through any pitifullest present good wards great men; wherein, and in the much that or evil;-as, for example, on a high poetic else belongs to it, some of the deepest human Byron through his lameness; as on all young interests will be found involved. A few words souls through their first lovesuit; as on older from Herr Professor Teufelsdreck, if they help souls, still more foolishly, through many a law. to set this preliminary matter in a clearer suit, paper-battle, political horse-race or asslight, may be worth translating here. Let us Atheisin, it has been said, is impossifirst remark with him, however, “how wonder- ble; and truly, if we will consider it, no ful in all cases, great or little, is the importance Atheist denies a Divinity, but only some NAME of man to man;"

(Nonien, Numen) of a Divinity: the God is still “Deny it as he will,” says Teufelsdreck, present there, working in that benighted heart, “man reverently loves man, and daily by ac- were it only as a god of darkness. Thousands tion evidences his belief in the divineness of of stern Sansculoites, to seek no other instance,

What a more than regal mystery en- go chanting martyr hymns to their guillotine; circles the poorest of living souls for us! The these spurn at the name of a God; yet worship

[ocr errors]



one (as hapless .Proselytes without the Gate') | only some barbarous mixed lingua rustua, more under the new pseudonym of Freedom. What like a jargon than a language, must prevail; and indeed is all this that is called political fanati- thus the deepest matters be either barbarously cism, revolutionary madness, force of hatred, spoken of, or wholly omitted and lost sight of, force of love, and so forth; but merely under which were still worse.” But to let the homily new designations, that same wondrous, won- proceed: der-working reflex from the Infinite, which in “ Consider, at any rate," continues he elseall tires has given the Finite its empyrean or where, “ under how many categories, down to tartarean hue, thereby its blessedness or cursed the most impertinent, the world inquires conness, ils marketable worth or unworth? cerning Great Men, and never wearies striving

“Remark, however, as illustrative of several to represent to itself their whole structure, things, and more to the purpose here, that man aspect, procedure, outward and inward! Blame does in strict speech always remain the clearest not the world for such minutest curiosity about symbol of the Divinity to man. Friend Nova- its great ones: this comes of the worlu's old. lis, the devoutest heart I knew, and of purest established necessity to worship: and, indeed, depth, has not scrupled to call man what the whom but its great ones, that “Jike celestial Divine Man is called in Scripture, a “Revela- fire-pillars go before it on the march,” ought tion in the Flesh.' "There is but one temple it to worship? Blame not even that mistaken in the world,' says he, and that is the body worship of sham great ones, that are not of man. Bending before men is a reverence celestial fire-pillars, but terrestrial glass-landone to this revelation in the flesh. We touch terns with wick and tallow, under no guidance heaven when we lay our hand on a human but a stupid fatuous one; of which worship body.' In which notable words, a reader that the litanies, and gossip-homilies are, in some meditates them, may find such meaning and quarters of the globe, so inexpressibly unin. scientific accuracy as will surprise him. teresting. Blame it not; pity it rather, with a

" The age of superstition, it appears to be certain loving respect. sufficientìy known, are behind us.

To no

“Man is never, let me assure thee, altogether man, were he never so heroic, are shrines any a clothes-horse; under the clothes there is more built, and vows offered as to one having always a body and a soul. The Count von supernatural power. The sphere of the trans Bügeleisen, so idolized by our fashionable SCENDESTAL cannot now, by that avenue of classes, is not, as the English Swift asserts, heroic worth, of eloquent wisdom, or by any created wholly by the Tailor: but partiaily, also, other avenue, be so easily reached. The by the supernatural Powers. His beautifully worth that in these days could transcend all cut apparel, and graceful expensive tackle and estimate or survey, and lead men willingly cap- environment of all kinds, are but the symbols tive into infini e admiration, into worship, is of a beauty and gracefulness supposed to be still waited for (with little hope) from the un- inherent in the Count himsell; under which seen Time. All that can be said to offer itself predicament come also our reverence for his in that kind, at present, is some slight house counthood, and in good part that other notable hold devotion, (Haus-Andacht,) whereby this or phenomenon of his being worshipped, because the other enthusiast, privately in all quietness, he is worshipped, of one idolater, sheep-like, can love his hero or sage without measure, running after him, because many have alreally and idealize, and, so in a sense, idolize him; run. Nay, on what other principle but this - which practice, as man is by necessity an latter hasi thou, O reader, (if thou be not one idol-worshipper, (no offence in him so long as of a thousand,) read, for example, thy Homer, idol means accurately vision, clear symbol,) and and found some real joy therein? All these all wicked idolatry is bul a more idolairous things, I say, the apparel, the counthood, the vor-hip, may be excusable, in certain cases, existing popularity, and whatever else can com. praiseworthy. Be this as it will, let the curious bine them, are symbols ;-bank notes, which, eye gratify itself in observing how the old ante. whether there be gold behind them, or only diluvian feeling still, though now struggling bankruptcy and empty drawers, pass curren! out so imperfecily, and forced into unexpected for gold. But how, now, could they so pass, shapes, asserts its existence in the newest if gold itself were not prized, and believed and man: and the Chaldeans or old Persians, with known to be somewhere extant! Proiluce the their Zerdusht, differ only in vesture and actual gold visibly, and mark how, in these dialect from the French, with their Voltaire distrustful days, your most accredited banko étouffé sous des roses.".

paper stagnates in the markel! No holy Allie This, doubtless, is a wondersul phraseology, ance, though plush, and gilding, and genealo. but referable, as the Professor urges, to that gical parchment, to the ulmost that the time capacious reservoir and convenience, “the yields, be hung round it, can gain for itself a nature of the time:" " A time," says he, “when domision in the heart of any man; soine ihirty as in some Destruction of a Roman Empire, or forty millions of men's hearts being on the wrecks of old things are everywhere confusedly other hand, subdued into loyal reverence by a jumbled with rudiments of new; so that, till Corsican Lieutenant of Artillery. Such is the once the mixture and amalgamation be com- difference between God-creation and Tailorplete, and even have long continued complete, creation. Great is the tailor, but not the and nniversally appareni, no grammatical lan- greatest. So, 100, in matters spiritual, what gue d'ur or lungue d'oui can establish itself, but avails it that a man ne Doctor of the Sorbonne,

Doctor of Laws, of Both Laws, and can cover Die Kleider : ihr Werden und Wirken Von D. Ten half a square foot in pica-type with the list of FELSTRECK. Weissnichtwo. Stillschweign'sche Buchhandlung, 1830.

his fellowships, arrangeilas equilateral triangle,

at the vertex an '&c.' over and above, and with, and the new-born golden age proves with the parchment of his diplomas could always to be still-born: neither is there, was thatch the whole street he lives in: What there, or will there, be any other golden age pose avails it? The man is but an owl; of pre-sible, save only in this: in new increase of possessing gravity indeed; much respected by worth and wisdom ;-that is to say, therefore, in simple neighbours; but to whose sorrowful the new arrival among us of wise and wurthy hootings no creature hastens, eager to listen. men. Such arrivals are the great occurrences, While, again, let but some riding gauger arrive though unnoticed ones; all else that can occur, under cloud of night at a Scottish inn, and in what kind soever, is but the road, up hill or word je whispered that it is Robert Burns; in down bill, rougher or smoother: nowise the few instants all beds and truckle-beds, from power that will nerve us for travelling forward garret to cellar, are left vacani, and gentle and inereon. Su liile comparatively can furesimple, with open eyes and erect ears, are thought or the cunningest mechanical pre-congathered together.”

Trivance do for a nation, for a world! Ever Whereby, at least, from amid this question must we wait on the bounty of Time, and see able lingua, “more like a jargon than a lan- what leader shall be born for us, and whither he guage,” so much may have become apparent: will lead. Thus too, in defect of great men, What unspeakable importance the world at noted men become important: the Noled Man taches, has ever attached, (expressing the same of an age is the emblem and living summary by all possible methods,) and will ever attach, of the Ideal which that age has fashioned for to its great men. Deep and venerable, whether itself: show me the noted man of an age, you looked at in the Teufelsdreck manner or other show me the age that produced him. Such wise, is this love of men for great men, this figures walk in the van, for great good, or for their exclusive admiration of great men; aj greal evil; if not leading, then driven and still quality of vast significance, if we consider it farther misleading. The apotheosis of Beau well; for, as in its origin it reaches up into the Brummel has marred many a preity youth; highest and even holiest provinces of man's landed him not at any goal where oak garlands, nature, so, in his practical history it will be earned by faithful labour and valour, carry found 10 play the most surprising part. Does men to the immortal gods; but, by a fatal inpot, for one example, the fact of such a temper version, at the King's Bench guul, where he indestructibly existing in all men, point out that has never sowed shall not any longer reap, man as an essentially governable and teach- still less any longer burn his barn, but scrape able creature, and for ever refute that calumny himself with potsherds among the ashes of his being by nature insubordinate, prone to thereof, and consider with all deliberation rebellion ? Men seldoin, or rather never for a “ what he wanted, and what he wants." length of time and deliberately, rebel against To enlighten this principle of reverence for anything that does not deserve rebelling againsi. the great, to teach us reverence, and whom we Ready, ever zealous is the obedience and de. are to revere and admire, should ever be a chief votedness they show to the great, to the really aim of Education, (indeed it is nerein that inhigh ; prostrating their whole possession and struction properly both begins and ends ;) and sell, body, heart, soul, and spirii, under the feet in these late ages, perhaps more than ever, so of whatsoever is authentically above them. indispensable is now our need of clear reveNay, in most times, it is rather a slavish de- rence, so inexpressibly poor our supply. “ Clear votedness to those who only seem and pretend reverence!" it was once responded to a seeker to be above them that constitutes their fault. of light: "all want ii, perhaps thou thyself."

But why seek special instances? Is not what wretched idols, of Leeds cloth, stuffed Love, from of old, known to be the beginning out with bran of one kind or other, do men of all things? And what is admiration of the either worship, or being tired of worshipping, great but love of the truly loveable? The (so expensively without fruit.) rend in pieces first product of love is imitation, that allo and kick out of doors, amid loud shooting and important peculiar gift of man, whereby Man- crowing, what they call “ tremendous chers," kind is not only held socially together in the as if the seat were miraculous! In private present time, but connected in like union with life, as in public, delusion in this sort does its the past and the future; so that the allainment work; the blind leading the blind, both fall into of the innumerable Departed can be conveyed the ditch. down to the Living, and transmitted with in- “For alas !” cries Teufelsdreck on this occrease to the Unborn. Now great men, in casion, “though in susceptive hearts it is felt particular spiritually great men, for all men that a great man is unspeakably great, the have a spirit to guide, though all have not specific marks of him are mournfully mistaken: kingdoms to govern and battles lo fight, are thus must innumerable pilgrims journcy, in the men universally imitated and learned of, oil and hope, to shrines where there is no the glass in which whole generations survey healing. On the fairer half of the creation, and shape themselves.

above all, such error presses hard. Women Thus is the Great Man of an age, beyoudare born worshippers; in their good little comparison, the most important phenomenon hearts lies the most craving relish for greattherein; all other phenomena, were they Water- ness: it is even said, each chooses her husloo Victories, Constitutions of the year One, band on the hypothesis of his being a great glorious revolutions, new births of the golden man in his way. The good creatures, yet the age, in what sort you will, are small and trivial. foolish! For their choices, no insight, or next Alas, all these pass away, and are left extinct to none, being vouchsafed them, are unutter. behind, like the tar-barrels they were celebrated able. Yet how touching, also to see, for ex.

« السابقةمتابعة »