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crown with thine omnipotence the humble strivings | courage, cordiality, and real union with your of thy children, to subvert oppression and wrong, race."-III. 486. to spread light and freedom, peace and joy, the truth and spirit of thy son, through the whole earth."

In the letters written from this summer retreat, there is a richness and depth of sentiment a freedom of hand and heart in blending without contrast the incidents of the hour with thoughts belonging to all time,--that affect the reader with anticipations unspeakably grand. To Mrs. Follen he says:

The next month (September) he was seized, during a journey among the Green Mountains of Vermont, with a feverish attack, which rapidly wasted his slight store of strength and at sunset, on the 2nd October, he breathed his last: having left, during these lingering weeks of decline, no impression, by word or look, out of harmony with the invariable gentleness, and grace and sanctity of his life.

The influence of Channing we will not attempt to estimate. We believe it has "I am sorry to learn from your letter that your far exceeded the measure of power usually solicitude about me has continued so long. Ever attained by moral writers: and we are sure since I began to improve in health, I have gone that its quality has been as pure as its ex on very slowly, to be sure, but steadily, until now I am in my usual condition. Perhaps I insensibly tent has been vast. The popularity of his let down my standard of health, and after every writings is one of many signs,-needed in convalescence am satisfied with a little less vigor deed to cheer us amid more conspicuous than I had before. But I have all things and discouragements,-that a sound and noble abound.' It is not necessary to me to learn to be heart yet lives and may be reached in this content.' I have been imbued with that lesson working, weary England. Long may our without effort. Life presents to me, as yet, her people love the pure and serene light of more cheering aspects. Is it that my condition has been happier, or my temperament happier, or such a heavenly wisdom; and never turn that I have resisted evil less than most people? from it to inflame their reason at the deI have not gone through life fighting with my lot. vastating fires of a passionate literature and When evil has come, I have accepted it at once. depraving philosophy!

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This looks like insensibility, and yet I am not stone. "What mysteries we are to ourselves. Here am I finding life a sweeter cup as I approach what are called its dregs, looking round on this fair, glorious creation with a serener love, and finding more to hope for in society at the very time that its evils weigh more on my mind. Undoubtedly the independent happiness which I find in thought and study has much to do with my freedom from the common depression. The man who lives in a world of his own, and who has contrived to make or find a bright one, has struck one inine at least. But enough. This page of egotism is not to my taste, and, what is more, I have not gone to the root of the matter, but have touched only on superficial influences."-III. 484.

FICHTE'S LECTURE.-Fichte was short and robust he made use of most keenly sharp expressions, while in figure, but had a searching, commanding look; he tried by every imaginable means to make his meaning understood, being fully aware of the slender powers of too many of his bearers. He seemed to claim imperiously a strict obedience of thought, forbidding the suspicion of a doubt. Gentlemen,' he began, "compose yourselves; turn your thoughts inwards: we have nothing to do now with anything external, but simply with ourselves." The audience so commanded, seemed each to do his best to retreat within himself: some changed their position, and sat

And again he dwells upon his new dis- bolt upright, some curled themselves up and shut coveries of privilege in his lot :

"Our natural affections become more and more beautiful to me. I sometimes feel as if I had known nothing of human life until lately-but so it will be for ever. We shall wake up to the wonderful and beautiful in what we have seen with undiscerning eyes, and find a new creation without moving a step from our old haunts.

their eyes; all waited breathlessly for the next word. "Gentlemen, let your thought be-the Wall." I sess their minds fully with the wall, and they seemed perceived that the listeners did all they could to posto succeed. Now, gentlemen, let your thought be-that which "Now have you thought-the wall? thought the wall." It was curious to watch the evident perplexity and distress. Many seemed to search about in vain, without the power of forming any idea of "what had thought the wall;" and i "I mix freely with conservatives and with the quite understood how many young minds which hopeful, and am more and more inclined to extend could so stumble on the threshold of speculative phimy intercourse with men. Everywhere our comlosophy might be in danger of falling into a most mon nature comes out. I have kept up by books however, was most admirable, distinct, and lucid, unhealthy state by striving further. Fichte's lecture, an acquaintance with all classes; but real life is and I never heard any exposition at all to be comthe best book. At the end of life I see that I have pared with it. Fichte made few philosophers, but lived too much by myself. I wish you more many powerful reasoners.- Steffens' Adventureɛ. Vol. XV. No. III.


From the British Quarterly Review.


Vorlesungen über die Geschicte der deutschen National-Literatur, von Dr. A. F. C. Vilmar, Director des kurfürstlichen Gymnasiums zu Marburg. Zweite mit Anmerkungen und einem Register Vermehre Auflage. (Lectures on the History of German National Literature, by Dr. A. F. C. Vilmar, Director of electoral Gymnasium at Marburg. Second edition, enlarged, with Notes and Index.)

THERE are men to whom the sight of a proof sheet is hardly less necessary to enjoyment, than is the sight of his glass to the man accustomed to such companionship The fascination in the former case often produces a habit not at all less rooted than in the latter. With such men, thought is valuable only as it may be made to present itself upon paper. To live is good, only as it gives a man the power and the space to write. The chief end of the universe is, that there is an objectivity in it about which a man may work out sentences and paragraphs. The past is worth remembering, because it is a something that may be described-something on which man may speculate a something about which books may be made. History is made for the historian, not the historian for history. Science is made for the author of treatises, not the author of treatises for science. Mohammed was made for Gibbon-the heavens for La Place. Deep and resistless in some men is this love of offspring-of selfreflection in the shape of authorship. Achievement in this form is to them what the gift of speech is to others; both are processes by which men communicate thought and emotion, and the cessation of either would be to the respective parties like the cessation of existence.

In this busy money-getting country of ours, the minds which come to such extent under the sway of this feeling form a comparatively limited class. Not so with our German neighbors. Judging from appearances, one is sometimes tempted to regard these neighbors as a nation of book-makers. It would almost seem as if the human race had attained to such a state of harmony among themselves, as to have completed a grand division of labor scheme, assigning to the Germans, as their one vocation, the making of books. What less can we suspect in the case of a nation which is said to furnish products of this sort at the rate of ten millions a year? Whether done by steam or by any other power, something like

this amount of production is realized, and surely so far as quantity is concerned, the world itself can hardly need anything more. But what must be the passion for production when it takes place to this extent, though the demand to be met, in place of being that of the world, is confined almost entirely to a people speaking one language, and occupying a comparatively small section in one quarter of the world? How mighty must be the impulse in this extraordinary people, which thus promises to augment the number of writers until only a minority shall remain to be described as being merely readers?

For this singular conveyance of so much power into one channel there must be a cause, and, as philosophers say, a cause equal to the effect. Man is an onward creature. Shut him out from one course, and like the impeded waters, he will force his way into another. Narrow his impulses to one groove, and the rush there will be strong and perilous. It has been thus with Germany. The sword has been consigned to its scabbard for nearly a generation past, but the functions of the state have been everywhere retained as an appendage to the crown. The public spirit called forth by war, has not been succeeded by the public spirit which gives health and progress in times of peace. Political liberty has not been the fruit of military triumphs. The freedom of the professor's chair, and the comparative freedom of the press, have been the only exceptions to a condition of affairs tending to dwarf the nation to a state of passiveness and childhood in respect to nearly everything social. Political feeling, denied all outlet through the forms of a free constitution, has created outlets elsewhere. Religious liberty, proscribed by law, has taken a terrible revenge by indirect means. Action being prohibited, speculation has come into its place. It was very much thus with the old schoolmen. The church without enjoined quiescence on those sturdy thinkers, but the spi

esting theme, and his countrymen have confirmed his decision in this respect by the attention they have given to this fruit of his labor.

rit within them could not rest. It was bad enough to doom them to inaction-too bad to prohibit the exercise of thought. The church might chain them to orthodoxy, but it could This volume consists of lectures not prevent them enjoying some degree of delivered, as the author states in his prefreedom in doing real or pretended battle face, to an auditory of "educated men and against heresy. If they dared not speculate women," in the town of Marburg, during with any license themselves, it was something the winter of 1843--44. The lectures are that, in the conduct of an argument, they sufficient in bulk to furnish matter for two could freely personate those who did; and respectable English octavoes, and though often, very often, the demon raised in the described by the author as falling far below shape of an objection, was such as not to an adequate exhibition of his subject, they be laid by the charm of the reasoning pa- are of sufficient fulness to satisfy the ordiraded in opposition to it. Thus, the preach-nary English reader; while in respect to ers of orthodoxy often became virtually the learning, profound thought, critical skill, preachers of something very different. In the graces of style, and the glow of feeling this manner will nature ever avenge herself. The wise are taken in their own craftiness. To sin against the rights of human intelligence treasures up wrath against the day of wrath. Excess naturally generates excess -superstition is parent to atheism, despotism to anarchy.

Thus has it been in great part in Germany. The Germans are prolific as authors, because doomed to barrenness in so much beside; and if their authorship has often been adverse to liberty and religion, this has happened because the training which rational liberty might have secured to them has been denied them, and because religion itself has too often come before them as a tyranny, more than as a religion. It has not been good for the national mind--for its well-balanced health, that so much power should be thrust away from the practical, and made to converge on the speculative. If its products in other things had been of greater extent, its products in the form of books would have been of better quality. It would have aimed at less in this form, but it would have accomplished more Its abstractions would have been mellowed by experience, its idealism would have been less divorced from the actual. It would, as the consequence, have exhibited a more robust, a more equally developed intelligence and feeling, and would have learnt to look with a manly contempt on a multitude of conceits which it now lauds as the proofs of geniusas passports to a wonderful immortality.

But this literary productiveness in his country has not sufficed to deter Dr. Vilmar from becoming the author of a book. Much has been written in Germany on German literature, but our author has judged that there was still room for one other mode of treating this large and inter

and imagination, they possess a charm which has secured to the author a celebrity rarely obtained in Germany by a first publication. In the present article we shall submit to our readers some account of the contents of these seven hundred closely printed pages, together with translations of such portions of the work as may enable them to judge for themselves as to the correctness of our critical estimate. The following passage may be taken as the author's explanation of his purpose:→→→

"The history of German literature, which these pages will set forth, cannot embrace what is usually termed German literature in its widest compass. Even with the most hasty sketches, scribe the entire literary produce of our people, and the lightest strokes, it cannot undertake to dewhich throughout, in common with other nations, has had its share in all the sciences relating to it. The subject of these discourses will be the province of German national literature, those literary works of our nation which reflect in form and substance its own peculiar mode of thought, sentiments, and these alone as constituting the German national manners; which represent its own life and spirit; literature (or German literature in a more limited sense), will be considered in their rise, nature, consequences, and influence on one another. As poetry has been the most ancient and characteristic language of all nations, so has it been with the Germans, for in it the national character has been most firmly and perfectly stamped in body, soul, and spirit; the poetical national literature of our people will, therefore, be the principal subject of discourse.

"But I shall not be able to present this national literature to the eye of my reader in the form of elaborate descriptions, so much as in slight sketches, which will often be little more than indicative of the subject. Still it would promise but little to the just expectations of the reader, and the dignity of the subject before us, did I not endea vor to unite these sketches into one general, cor rect, and expressive picture of the connexion in which these individual literary appearances stand

to one another, and of the internal necessity and distinguished position among the nations of through which the one calls forth and limits the the earth, and unite as the greatest glory of life, other. I must therefore, beg the reader to ac- the noblest pride and firmest independence, the company me, not merely back to the olden times, most simple modesty and silent humility." but even to the most ancient periods of our history, because it is only in this way that the necessary connexions of literary productions can be made stages in German literature are more disclear-only by a retrospect of the old can the new tinctly markedbe thoroughly understood, and submitted to a riper and more penetrating judgment."

It is in the following terms that Dr. Vilmar speaks of the two classic periods assigned by him to the literature of Germany:

Subsequently these two characteristic

"When our nation first appears in the history of the mental development of man, we see it seized in every branch with a vehement excitement, with a wild passion for wandering, and rude eagerness for battle; tribe on tribe, race on race, press on towards the south and west, so that our primitive tribes threaten to become divided, and to "Our literature presents a phenomenon shared consume themselves in their unbridled rage for by that of no other nation in the world. It has war. Then from the south and west, whither the twice reached the highest bloom of its perfection; innumerable hordes forced their way, there arose twice has it beamed forth in the splendor of a a mighty voice proclaiming aloud the peace of cheerful, fresh, and powerful youth-in a word, God the Lord, over the restless multitudes, far init has had two classical periods, while other to the north and east; and it became still in the nations have had but one; twice has it stood the forests and on the heaths, and the host gave rehighest of the time, and, in full consciousness of verend ear to the words of the peace of God. At rich vital powers, has reflected, with simple fidelity the cross ways of the high roads the cross, was and generous truth, our inward and outward life planted, and the wandering armies halted and in poetic works of art; twice has the purest and raised cottages, and castles, and towers at their noblest life of our nation been poured forth in foot. The song of the gods of Wuotan, Donar, orms equally pure and noble, natural, and, there- and of Ziu, were silent; but the heroic songs, the fore, perfect. The one of these brilliant periods, songs of the deeds of their tribes, their kings and which in freshness and fulness of form, in worth dukes, still continued, and mingled with those of and in richness of subject, by no means yields to the believers, who sang the praises of God the that which we have lived to see, but in many res- Lord, and of him who was crucified. Former pects even surpasses it, lies in a region apparently wildness gave way to Christian manners and distant and unknown, and falsely regarded as de- Christian gentleness; but bravery and fidelity, solate. Perhaps the proper pride in a national generosity and gratitude, chastity and family pre-eminence, not even shared by the Greeks to affection, the oldest and most genuine traits of its full extent, may not only justify, but even de- German character, remained undiminished and unmand a careful consideration of it, and a somewhat broken. Around the foot of the cross, from that more searching treatment of this first bright period living wood,' (as the old Catholic song in this of our literary existence. Whose independence respect, at least so aptly says), they derived fresh has not often been wounded by ignorant persons, nourishment, still increasing in strength and splenwho, although acknowledging our Klopstock, dor. In Christianity, there was nothing strange, Lessing, Schiller, and Goethe, still tell us that we nothing to which the Germans were naturally have become what we are only through Voltaire, averse; on the contrary, the German character Corneille, and Racine, Shakspeare, Tasso, and received through it only the perfection of itself; Ariosto; that we have reached our present literary in the church of Christ it became elevated, spirituposition slowly, and as idle stragglers, long after alized, and sanctified; and if we speak of the other nations had arrived at their full growth, struggle of the German nature and manners, at its urged onward only by the goad of the taskmaster? first introduction, it can only be as of a strife of love. But when it is shown that our brightest, freshest The Apostolic representation of the Church as the youth, lay far behind the blooming time of other Bride of the Lord, found its truest counterpart in nations that long, not only before Tasso and the German church. Thus, when the union of Ariosto, but also before Dante and Petrarch, we the German and Christian spirits was completed, had our Walter von den Vogelweide, Volfram von this character of love, tenderness, and fervor Eschenbach, our Gudrun and our Lay of the which marks in a high degree the poetry of our Nibelungen-poems and poets with which fo- first classic period--may almost be looked upon reigners have scarcely any thing to compare, and as a barrier preventing the present age, so deficicertainly nothing in regard to epic poems-the ent in affection, from fully or rightly understandGreeks alone had an Iliad,' and we alone a Laying these poems, intelligible only to hearts of the of the Nibelungen-when it is thus seen that we same mould, at once wholly German and wholly are not the last, but the first, or rather the first and Christian. the last, that, like the eagle and the phoenix, we rise out of the ashes renewed with fresh lifewe will not, contrary to the German manner, boast of our performances, but will recognise with high, fervent, and, therefore, silent joy, our rich gifts

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"It was under essentially different circumstances that the second classic period of our literature arose, commencing with the middle of the fifteenth century, and reaching to the eighteenth. This, however, was not, as before, a strife of love,

but a war of life and death. During the sixteenth, in the grave highly reverenced and prized by his and still more, in the seventeenth century, our scholars, he crowned his work of Christian innational life and our peculiar character as Ger- struction among the Goths, which he had pursued mans were assailed; in the eighteenth, Christian thirty-three years, with his translation of the Biindependence, and the worth and dignity of the ble into their language, excepting only the four Christian church, were also, for a time, not only books of Kings, by which he feared to inflame the conquered, but apparently annihilated. Only after warlike spirit of his people. It is not improbable long struggles and hot battles, were we able to re-that he invented an alphabet for it, partly old Gercognise ourselves as the masters of the opposing man and partly borrowed from the Greeks. For cenelement, and of the rich booty secured from the turies, this work was held in the highest veneration desolating war of mind. Our second classic period by the Visigoths, who passed onward into Spain therefore, bears with it a something specially pre- and Italy, and who, in the ninth century, still underpared for war. The yielding affection of the stood its language. Since then, its very existence former period is no longer there. In vain we became doubtful, and only some Greek ecclesiastiseek for the friendliness and cordiality of the Min-cal writers asserted that an Ulfilas once lived, and nesingers, or the fidelity unto death of the servant that a translation of the Scriptures by him was towards his master, sung in the heart-stirring still extant. Six hundred years had passed, and a songs of our epic poems. Criticism is the constant vague rumor was spread, towards the end of the companion-nay, more, it is the mother and nurse sixteenth century, by a geometrician named Arof the greater part of our modern classical litera-nold Mercator, from Belgium, in the service of the ture. The youthful, often touching embarrass. Hessian landgrave, William the Fourth, that one ment and naïveté of those olden times has been of the parchment-books in the monastery of Werexchanged for the adroitness and intellect of the world. That glance which was then limited to house and court, the dark forest and green mountain ridges, which surrounded the peaceful towns, now roves freely, far beyond the boundary of the ancestral province, beyond the fatherland, into the most distant regions of the earth, to wander on the shores of China and India, to find equal pleasure in the desolate wastes of the polar sea, or the glowing deserts of Africa.

den contained a very old German translation of the four Evangelists. As this astonishing manuscript gradually became known, it reached Prague, and, after the conquest of that town by Count Konigsmark, in 1648, it passed into Sweden, where it is still preserved at Upsal as one of our most valuable literary treasures. The parchment is dyed purple, the letters marked with silver, and through the generosity of Marshal Lagardie, a member of the Swedish family Lagardie, lately Concerning the theology of this extract silver. Two hundred and fifty years later, in become extinct, the whole was bound in massive we say nothing, but during the most ancient 1815, the epistles of the Apostle Paul, in the transperiod of the national literature of Ger- lation of Ulfilas, were also discovered among the many, the period which exhibits the strug-treasures of the Lombardian Convent, at Bobbio, gle between its heathenism and Christiani- by the present Cardinal Mai and Count Castiglio ty, the translation of the Scriptures into ni. But a few lines remain of the translation of the language of the people forms a grand the Old Testament. The language, which speaks literary landmark:

to us from these venerable remains of our German antiquity, is the mother of our present high Ger"Solitary, and separated by at least three hun-man; and in purity and euphony of the vowels, dred years, from other and later literary produc-in strict grammatical construction, in richness of tions-the most ancient monument of our literature form, variety of accent, accuracy of expression, stands like a giant castle, passed in reverential fear and more especially in dignity and force, far surby the dwarf races of succeeding centuries: the passes her daughter, even though she may not translation of the Bible by the Gothic Bishop boast of the same fluency of versification. It was Ulfilas. This great and memorable work can as a resurrection from the dead, when this work here meet only with a passing mention, as we awoke from its slumber of more than a thousand treat not of the history of the German language, years, and spoke in a new and wonderful tongue but of literary works, and the history of German to its grandchildren; first opening to them the poetry. To pass it, however, entirely by, would be a dishonor to the literature of Germany. Still our remarks must be limited. In our days, an entirely new science, the latest and most perfect, has been raised upon this work-the science of the German language. The historical grammar, and a knowledge of the Gothic language, is a great assistance to the thorough understanding, not only of the old high German, but also of the middle high German poems.

real and inward understanding of their own language, raising a new and active life, as we have before said—an entirely new science. In fact, the Gothic language, the most perfect one of our ancestors, though on a first appearance mysterious, yet presently astonishingly clear-strange, and yet at once domestic and familiar-seemingly rugged, harsh, and repelling, nevertheless insinuates itself into our inmost and purest feelings-a something unusually exciting, and one might almost say, Ulfilas, a bishop of the Visigoths, died in the heart-stirring-an effect which it has never failed year 338, aged 70 years, a point ascertained with-to produce in those who will dedicate themselves In the last three years, through one of those happy to it. After many unsuccessful attempts, an inliterary discoveries in which our times abound. terpreter worthy of the subject has been found in A zealous and faithful teacher of his people, even Jacob Grimm."


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