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is not worthy of some study. The reply we must now leave to themselves.

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As an appendage to the charge of Mysticism brought against the Germans, there is often added the seemingly incongruous one of Irreligion. On this point also we had much to say; but must for the present decline it. Meanwhile, let the reader be assured, that to the charge of Irreligion, as to so many others, the Germans will plead not guilty. On the contrary, they will not scruple to assert that their literature is, in a positive sense, religious; nay, perhaps to maintain, that if ever neighbouring nations are to recover that pure and high spirit of devotion, the loss of which, however we may disguise it or pretend to overlook it, can be hidden from no observant mind, it must be by travelling, if not on the same path, at least in the same direction, in which the Germans have already begun to travel. We shall add, that the Religion of Germany is a subject not for slight but for deep study, and, if we mistake not, may in some degree reward the deepest.

Here, however, we must close our examina-passes him on this hand and on that; and tones

old Saxon speech, which is also our mother


We confess the present aspect of spiritual Europe might fill a melancholic observer with doubt and foreboding. It is mournful to see so many noble, tender, and high-aspiring minds deserted of that religious light which once guided all such: standing sorrowful on the scene of past convulsions and controversies, as on a scene blackened and burnt up with fire; mourning in the darkness, because there is desolation, and no home for the soul; or what is worse, pitching tents among the ashes, and kindling weak earthly lamps which we are to take for stars. This darkness is but transitory obscuration: these ashes are the soil of future herbage and richer harvests. Religion, Poetry, is not dead; it will never die. Its dwelling and birthplace is in the soul of man, and it is eternal as the being of man. In any point of Space, in any section of Time, let there be a living Man: and there is an Infinitude above him and beneath him, and an eternity encom

tion or defence. We have spoken freely, be- of Sphere-music, and tidings from loftier cause we felt distinctly, and thought the matter worlds, will flit round him, if he can but listen, worthy of being stated, and more fully inquired and visit him with holy influences, even in the into. Farther than this, we have no quarrel thickest press of trivialities, or the din of busiest for the Germans; we would have justice done life. Happy the man, happy the nation that them, as to all men and all things; but for their can hear these tidings; that has them written in literature or character we profess no sectarian | fit characters, legible to every eye, and the soor exclusive preference. We think their re- lemn import of them present at all moments to cent Poetry, indeed, superior to the recent every heart! That there is, in these days, no Poetry of any other nation; but taken as a nation so happy, is too clear; but that all na whole, inferior to that of several; inferior not tions, and ourselves in the van, are, with more to our own only, but to that of Italy, nay, per- or less discernment of its nature, struggling haps to that of Spain. Their Philosophy, too, towards this happiness, is the hope and the must still be regarded as uncertain; at best glory of our time. To us, as to others, success, only the beginning of better things. But surely at a distant or a nearer day, cannot be uncereven this is not to be neglected. A little light tain. Meanwhile, the first condition of success is precious in great darkness: nor, amid the is, that, in striving honestly ourselves, we homyriads of Poetasters and Philosophes, are Poets nestly acknowledge the striving of our neighand Philosophers so numerous that we should bour; that with a Will unwearied in seeking reject such, when they speak to us in the hard, Truth, we have a Sense open for it, wheresobut manly, deep, and expressive tones of that ever and howsoever it may arise.



*1. Lebens-Abriss Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werners. Von dem Herausgeber von Hoffmanns Leban und NachWerner. By the Editor of "Hoffmann's Life and Remains.") Berlin, 1823.

Sketch of the Life of Frederic Ludwig Zacharias

2. Die Söhne des Thals. (The Sons of the Valley.) A Dramatic Poem. Part I. Die Templer auf Cypern. (The Templars in Cyprus.) Part II. Die Kreuzesbrüder. (The Brethren of the Cross.) Berlin, 1801, 1892.

3. Das Kreuz an der Ostsee. (The Cross on the Baltic.) A Tragedy. Berlin, 1806. 4. Martin Luther, oder Die Weihe der Kraft. (Martin Luther, or the Consecration of Strength.) A Tragedy. Berlin. 1807.


If the charm of fame consisted, as Horace | with the finger, and having it said, This is he!” has mistakenly declared, "in being pointed at few writers of the present age could boast of more fame than Werner. It has been the unhappy fortune of this man to stand for a long period incessantly before the world, in a far stronger light than naturally belonged to him, or could exhibit him to advantage. Twenty years ago he was a man of considerable note, which has ever since been degenerating into notoriety. The mystic dramatist, the skepti cal enthusiast, was known and partly esteemed by all students of poetry; Madame de Staël, we recollect, allows him an entire chapter in her "Allemagne." It was a much coarser curiosity, and in a much wider circle, which the

5. Die Mutter der Makkabier. (The Mother of the Maccabees A Tragedy. Vienna, 1820.

service. His "Life of Hoffmann," pretending to no artfulness of arrangement, is redundant, rather than defective, in minuteness; but there, at least, the means of a correct judgment are brought within our reach, and the work, as usual with Hitzig, bears marks of the utmost fairness; and of an accuracy which we might almost call professional: for the author, it would seem, is a legal functionary of long standing, and now of respectable rank; and he examines and records, with a certain notarial strictness too rare in compilations of this sort. So far as Hoffmann is concerned, therefore, we have reason to be satisfied. In regard to Werner, however, we cannot say so much: At the same time, it is not the history of a here we should certainly have wished for more mere literary profligate that we have here to do facts, though it had been with fewer consewith. Of men whom fine talents cannot teach quences drawn from them; were these somethe humblest prudence, whose high feeling, what chaotic expositions of Werner's characunexpressed in noble action, must lie smould- ter exchanged for simple particulars of his walk ering with baser admixtures in their own and conversation, the result would be much bosom, till their existence, assaulted from surer, and, especially to foreigners, much more without and from within, becomes a burnt and complete and luminous. As it is, from repeated blackened ruin, to be sighed over by the few, perusals of this biography, we have failed and stared at, or trampled on, by the many,— to gather any very clear notion of the man; there is unhappily no want in any country; nor with, perhaps, more study of his writings nor can the unnatural union of genius with than, on other grounds, they might have merdepravity and degradation have such charms ited, does his manner of existence still stand for our readers, that we should go abroad in out to us with that distinct cohesion which quest of it, or in any case to dwell on it, other-puts an end to doubt. Our view of him the wise than with reluctance. Werner is some-reader will accept as an approximation, and be thing more than this: a gifted spirit, struggling content to wonder with us, and charitably pause earnestly amid the new, complex, tumultuous where we cannot altogether interpret. influences of his time and country, but without Werner was born at Königsberg, in East force to body himself forth from amongst them; Prussia, on the 18th of November, 1768. His a keen adventurous swimmer, aiming towards father was Professor of History and Eloquence high and distant landmarks, but too weakly in in the University there; and further, in virtue so rough a sea, for the currents drive him far of this office, Dramatic Censor, which latter astray, and he sinks at last in the waves, at-circumstance procured young Werner almost taining little for himself, and leaving little, daily opportunity of visiting the theatre, and save the memory of his failure, to others. A so gave him, as he says, a greater acquaintglance over his history may not be unprofita- ance with the mechanism of the stage than ble; if the man himself can less interest us, even most players are possessed of. A strong the ocean of German, of European Opinion, taste for the drama it probably enough gave still rolls in wild eddies to and fro; and with him; but this skill in stage mechanism may its movements and refluxes, indicated in the be questioned, for often in his own plays no history of such men, every one of us is con- such skill, but rather the want of it, is evinced.


dissipated man, by successive indecorums, occasioned; till at last the convert to Popery, the preaching zealot, came to figure in all newspapers; and some picture of him was required for all heads that would not sit blank and mute in the topic of every coffeehouse and aesthetic tea. In dim heads, that is, in the great majority, the picture was, of course, perverted into a strange bugbear, and the original decisively enough condemned; but even the few, who might see him in his true shape, felt too well that nothing loud could be said in his behalf; that, with so many mournful blemishes, if extenuation could not avail, no complete defence was to be attempted.

Our materials for this survey are deficient, not so much in quantity as quality. The "Life," now known to be by Hitzig of Berlin, seems a very honest, unpresuming performance; but, on the other hand, it is much too fragmentary and discursive for our wants; the features of the man are nowhere united into a portrait, but left for the reader to unite as he may; a task which, to most readers, will be hard enough for the work, short in compass, is more than proportionally short in details of facts; and Werner's history, much as an intimate friend must have known of it, still lies before us, in great part, dark and unintelligible. For what he has done we should doubtless thank our Author; yet it seems a pity, that, in this instance, he had not done more and better. A singular chance made him, at the same time, companion of both Hoffmann and Werner, perhaps the two most showy, heterogeneous, and misinterpretable writers of his day; nor shall we deny, that, in performing a friend's Puty to their memory, he has done truth also a

The Professor and Censor, of whom we hear nothing in blame or praise, died in the fourteenth year of his son, and the boy now fell to the sole charge of his mother, a woman whom he seems to have loved warmly, but whose guardianship could scarcely be the best for him. Werner himself speaks of her in earnest commendation, as of a pure, high-minded, and heavily-afflicted being. Hoffmann, however, adds, that she was hypochondriacal, and generally quite delirious, imagining herself to be the Virgin Mary, and her son to be the promised Shiloh! Hoffmann had opportunity enough of knowing; for it is a curious fact that these two singular persons were brought up under the same roof, though, at this time, by reason of their difference of age, Werner being eight years older, they had little or no acquaintance. What a nervous and melancholic parent was, Hoffmann, by another unhappy coincidence had also full occasion to know: his own mother parted from her husband, lay helpless and broken-hearted for the last seventeen years of her life, and the first seventeen of his; a source

of painfu. influences, which he used to trace | through the whole of his own character; as to the like cause he imputed the primary perversion of Werner's. How far his views on this point were accurate or exaggerated, we have no means of judging.

Of Werner's early years the biographer says Ettle or nothing. We learn only that, about the usual age, he matriculated in the Königsberg University, intending to qualify himself or the business of a lawyer; and with his professional studies united, or attempted to unite, he study of philosophy under Kant. His college-life is characterized by a single, but too expressive word: "It is said," observes Hitzig, to have been very dissolute." His progress in metaphysics, as in all branches of learning, might thus be expected to be small; indeed, at no period of his life can he, even in the Language of panegyric, be called a man of culture or solid information on any subject. Nevertheless, he contrived, in his twenty-first year, to publish a little volume of " Poems," apparent ly in very tolerable magazine metre, and after some" roamings" over Germany, having loitered for a while at Berlin, and longer at Dresden, he betook himself to more serious business, applied for admittance and promotion as a Prussian man of law; the employment which young jurists look for in that country being chiefly in the hands of government: consisting, indeed, of appointments in the various judicial or administrative Boards by which the Provinces are managed. In 1793, Werner accordingly was made Kammersecretär (Exchequer Secretary;) a subaltern office, which he held successively in several stations, and last and longest in Warsaw, where Hitzig, a young man following the same profession, first became acquainted with him in 1799.


What the purport or result of Werner's "roamings" may have been, or how he had demeaned himself in office or out of it, we are nowhere informed; but it is an ominous circumstance that, even at this period, in his thirtieth year, he had divorced two wives, the last at least by mutual consent, and was looking out for a third! Hitzig, with whom he seems to have formed a prompt and close intimacy, gives us no full picture of him under any of his aspects: yet we can see, that his life, as naturally it might, already wore somewhat of a shattered appearance in his own eyes, that he was broken in character, in spirit, perhaps in bodily constitution; and, contenting himself with the transient gratifications of so gay a city, and so tolerable an appointment, had renounced all steady and rational hope either of being happy or of deserving to be so. Of unsteady and irrational hopes, however, he had still abundance. The fine enthusiasm of his nature, undestroyed by so many external perplexities, nay, to which, perhaps, these very perplexities had given fresh and undue excitement, glowed forth in strange many-coloured brightness, from amid the wreck of his fortunes, and led him into wild worlds of speculation, the more vehemently, that the real world of action and duty had become so unmanageable in his hands. Werner's early publication had sunk, after a

brief provincial life, into merited oblivion; in fact, he had then only been a rhymer, and was now, for the first time, beginning to be a poet. We have one of those youthful pieces transcribed in this volume, and certainly it exhibits a curious contrast with his subsequent writings, both in form and spirit. In form, because, unlike the first fruits of a genius, it is cold and correct: while his later works, without exception, are fervid, extravagant, and full of gross blemishes. In spirit no less, because, treating of his favourite theme, Religion, it treats of it harshly and skeptically; being, indeed, little more than a metrical version of common Utilitarian Freethinking, as it may be found (without metre) in most taverns and debatingsocieties. Werner's intermediate secret history might form a strange chapter in psychology: for now, it is clear, his French skepticism had got overlaid with wondrous theosophic garniture; his mind was full of visions and cloudy glories, and no occupation pleased him better than to controvert, in generous inquiring minds, that very unbelief which he appears to have once entertained in his own. From Hitzig's account of the matter, this seems to have formed the strongest link of his intercourse with Werner. The latter was his senior by ten years of time, and by more than ten years of unhappy experience; the grand questions of Immortality, of Fate, Free-will, Fore-knowledge absolute, were in continual agitation between them; and Hitzig still remembers with gratitude these earnest warnings against irregularity of life, and so many ardent and not ineffectual endeavours to awaken in the passionate temperament of youth a glow of purer and enlightening fire.

"Some leagues from Warsaw," says the Biographer, "enchantingly embosomed in a thick wood, close by the high banks of the Vistula, lies the Cameldulensian Abbey of Bielany, inhabited by a class of monks, who in strictness of discipline yield only to those of La Trappe. To this cloistral solitude Werner was wont to repair with his friend, every fine Saturday of the summer of 1800, so soon as their occupations in the city were over. In defect of any formal inn, the two used to bivouac in the forest, or at best to sleep under a temporary tent. The Sunday was then spent in the open air; in roving about the woods; sailing on the river, and the like; till late night recalled them to the city. On such occasions, the younger of the party had ample room to unfold his whole heart before his more mature and settled companion; to advance his doubts and objections against many theories, which Werner was already cherishing: and so, ty exciting him with contradiction, to cause him to make them clearer to himself."

Week after week, these discussions were carefully resumed from the point where they had been left: indeed, to Werner, it would scem, this controversy had unusual attractions; for he was now busy composing a Poem, intended principally to convince the world of those very truths which he was striving to impress on his friend; and to which the world, as might be expected, was likely to give a similar reception. The character, or at least the way


of thought, attributed to Robert d'Heredon, the Scottish Templar, in the Sons of the Valley, was borrowed, it appears, as if by regular instalments, from these conferences with Hitzig; the result of the one Sunday being duly entered in dramatic form during the week; then audited on the Sunday following; and so forming the text for further disquisition. "Blissful days," adds Hitzig, "pure and innocent, which doubtless Werner also ever held in pleased remembrance!"

spiration is not wanting: Werner evidently thinks that in these his ultramundane excursions he has found truth; he has something positive to set forth, and he feels himself as if bound on a high and holy mission in preaching it to his fellow-men.

In this last point of view, however, as a ture of himself, independently of other considerations, this play of Werner's may still have a certain value for us. The strange chaotic nature of the man is displayed in it: his skepticism and theosophy; his audacity, yet intrinsic weakness of character; his baffled longings, but still ardent endeavours after Truth and Good; his search for them in far journeyings, not on the beaten highways, but through the pathless infinitude of Thought. To call it a work of art would be a misapplication of names: it is little more than a rhapsodic effusion; the outpouring of a passionate and mystic soul, only half knowing what it utters, and not ruling its own movements, but ruled by them. It is fair to add that such also, in a great measure, was Werner's own view of the matter: most likely the utterance of these things gave him such relief, that, crude as they were, he could not suppress them. For ought to be remembered, that in this performance one condition, at least, of genuine in

To explain with any minuteness the articles of Werner's creed, as it was now fashioned, and is here exhibited, would be a task perhaps too hard for us, and, at all events, unprofitable in proportion to its difficulty. We have found some separable passages, in which, under dark symbolical figures, he has himself shadowed forth a vague likeness of it: these we shall now submit to the reader, with such expositions as we gather from the context, or as German readers, from the usual tone of speculation in that country, are naturally enabled to supply. This may, at the same time, convey as fair a notion of the work itself, with its tawdry splendours, and tumid grandiloquence, and mere playhouse thunder and lightning, as by any other plan our limits would admit.

The Söhne des Thals, composed in this rather questionable fashion, was in due time forthcoming; the First Part in 1801, the Second about a year afterwards. It is a drama, or rather two dramas, unrivalled at least in one particular, in length; each Part being a play of six acts, and the whole amounting to somewhat more than eight hundred small octavo pages! To attempt any analysis of such a work would but fatigue our readers to little purpose it is, as might be anticipated, of a most loose and formless structure: expanding on all sides into vague boundlessness, and, on Let the reader fancy himself in the island the whole, resembling not so much a poem as of Cyprus, where the Order of the Templars the rude materials of one. The subject is the still subsists, though the heads of it are already destruction of the Templar Order; an event summoned before the French King and Pope which has been dramatized more than once, Clement; which summons they are now, not but on which, notwithstanding, Werner, we without dreary enough forebodings, preparing suppose, may boast of being entirely original. to obey. The purport of this First Part, so far The fate of Jacques Molay, and his brethren, as it has any dramatic purport, is to paint the acts here but like a little leaven; and lucky situation, outward and inward, of that once were we, could it leaven the lump; but it lies pious and heroic, and still magnificent and buried under such a mass of Mystical theology, powerful body. It is entitled The Templars in Masonic mummery, Cabalistic tradition, and Cyprus; but why it should also be called The Rosicrucian philosophy, as no power could Sons of the Valley does not so well appear; for work into dramatic union. The incidents are the Brotherhood of the Valley has yet scarcely few, and of little interest; interrupted contin- come into activity, and only hovers before us ually by flaring shows and long-winded specu- in glimpses, of so enigmatic a sort, that we lations; for Werner's besetting sin, that of know not fully so much as whether these its loquacity, is here in decided action; and so we Sons are of flesh and blood like ourselves, or of wander, in aimless windings, through scene some spiritual nature, or of something interafter scene of gorgeousness or gloom; till at mediate, and altogether nondescript. For the last the whole rises before us like a wild phan-rest, it is a series of spectacles and disserta. tasmagoria; cloud heaped on cloud, painted tions; the action cannot so much be said to indeed here and there with prismatic hues, but advance as to revolve. On this occasion the representing nothing, or at least not the subject, Templars are admitting two new members; but the author. the acolytes have already passed their prelimpic-inary trials; this is the chief and final one:


Midnight. Interior of the Temple Church. Backwards, a deep perspeetive of Altars and Gothic Pillars. On the right-hand side of the foreground, a little Chapel; and in this an Altar with the figure of St. Sebastian. The scene is lighted very dimly by a single Lamp which hangs before the Altar.

ADALBERT (dressed in white, without mantle or doublet;
groping his way in the dark.)
Was it not at the Altar of Sebastian

That I was bid to wait for the unknown?

Here should it be ; but darkness with her veil
Inwraps the figures.

(Advancing to the Altar.)
Here is the fifth pillar!
Yes, this is he, the Sainted.-How the glimmer
Of that faint lamp falls on his fading eye!--
Ah, it is not the spears o' th' Saracens,
It is the pangs of hopeless love that burning
Transfix thy heart, poor Comrade!-O my Agnes,
Be looking on 7 Art hovering in that moon-beam
Which struggles through the painted window, and dies
Amid the cloister's gloom? Or linger'st thou

May not thy spirit, in this earnest hour,

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Bare thyself!

ADALBERT (alone.)

Yes, Grayhead, whom the beckoning of the Lord
Bent hither to awake me out of craven sleep,
I will remember thee and this stern midnight,
And my Agnes' spirit shall have vengeance!


(He strips him to the girdle and raises him.)
Look on the ground, and follow!

(He leads him into the back-ground to a trap door, on the right. He descends first himself; and when ADALBERT has followed him, it closes.)

(ADALBERT kneels.)


Cemetery of the Templars, under the Church. The scene is lighted only by a Lamp which hangs down from the vault. Around are Tombstones of deceased Knights, marked with Crosses and sculptured Bones. In the back ground, two colossal Skeletons holding between them a large white Book, marked with a red Cross; from the under end of the Book hangs a long black curtain. The Book, of which only the cover is visible, has an inscrip tion in black ciphers. The Skeleton on the right holds in its right hand naked drawn sword; that on the left holds in its left hand a Palm turnoð downwards. On the right side of the foreground, stands a black Coffin open; on the left, a similar one with the body of a Templar in full dress of his Order; on both Coffins are inscriptions in white ciphers. On each side nearer the back-ground, are seen the lowest steps of the stairs, which less up into the Temple Church above the vault.

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Enter an ARMED MAN. (He is mailed from head to foot in black harness; his visor is closed.)


Look down! 'Tis on thy life!


(Leads him to the open Coffin.) What seest thou 1


'Tis the house Where thou one day shalt dwell. Canst read th' inscription ?




Then man thee!

Hear it, then; "Thy wages, Sin, is Death."

(Looking up, then shrinking together as with dazzled eyes.) | (Leads him to the opposite Coffin where the Body is lying.)

Look down! 'Tis on thy life!-What seest thou 1

Ha! was not that his lightning ?-Fare thee well!
I hear the footstep of the Dreaded!-Firm!-
Remember me, remember this stern midnight!

(Shows the Coffin.)

(Retires hastily.)

A Coffin with a Corpse.



He is thy Brother; One day thou art as he.-Canst read the inscription↑


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