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Linnæus. But for thirty years after the first appear. ance of the Metamorphosis,' it produced little or no effect even in Germany, Now, indeed, it has come to be considered the basis of all scientific knowledge of vegetable structure! Whether, in the revolutions of opinion, the bold polemical writings of Goethe against the Newtonian theory of light and colours will ever be looked upon as more than the extravagancies of a great genius wandering out of his own sphere, time will shew, For the present this is the view taken of the great poet's scientific writings, both by Italians and Frenchmen. But whatever dreams he may have mixed up with his investigations, Goethe was no mere dreamer: to the last hour of his life, he made it his business to inform himself of the progress of the sciences in foreign countries. All new books were brought to him, even to the end of his life; he composed elaborate poems at the age of seventy; and when beyond sixty years of age, entered with zeal into the study of Oriental poetry, to apply the spirit of which, to Western notion and feeling,
he composed his West-Eastern Divau.' In this the
infinite variety of his pursuits and studies lay that all-sidedness. (if we may be pardoned for adopting such a word from the German), for which he was so remarkable. From the same quality proceeded that unusual toleration of novelties which he could reconcile to the love of what is established. He would not permit a clever farce to be acted on the stage, when he was manager, written in derision of Gall's cranioscopy. Instead of joining in the ridicule against animal magnetism, he would fairly investigate its pretensions. When a book on the clouds was published by Howard, in England, Goethe instantly wrote an account of it, inventing appropriate German words to designate the forms pointed out. In his hunger and thirst after knowlege, he was omnivorous. This was the ruling passion strong in death. Only the evening before his decease he received some new books from Paris, by which he was greatly excited. It is said that a volume by Salvandy was grasped in his hand when he died; and his last words were singularly appropriate to his temper, and might be received by his admirers as almost prophetic. He ordered the window shutters to be opened, exclaim, ing, 'More light! More light!'
the drama of Goetz von Berlichingen; the late celebrated prose-translation of the drama of Faust (Dr. Faustus) by Mr. Hayward; Mr. Shelley's noble, though less correct specimen of the same work, in his Posthumous Poems; Goethe's Autobiography (an abridgement however, and said to be badly translated from the French) Mr. Taylor's Historic Survey of German Poetry (containing a great deal of information, translations, &c.) Mrs. Austin's Characteristics of Goethe, translated from various accounts of him by his friends (a work of which we should say more,-for it seems very curious and interesting,—but we have only just seen it for the first time, while correcting this article for the press; and lastly, and Mr. Carlyle's own transtion of a Sequel to Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, called his Travels; which is to be found in Specimens of German Romance, in four volumes, with biographical and critical notices,-a collection that deserves to be better known, and that will be so in proportion as people learn to relish a thinking style of writing, and wish to know how the Germans really express themselves.
SPECIMENS OF CELEBRATED AUTHORS.
Passages from his "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship."* IN attempting to give the English reader as universal a taste as possible of fine writers, we are of necessity compelled now and then to make use of translations; but we only do it when the translations themselves are fine; and even then there are no persons who would be more anxious than those who are capable of making such versions, to bespeak the candour of criticism, and see that the judgment respecting the original be qualified accordingly. We make this remark however, in the present instance, purely in deference to what we consider might be the feelings of Mr. Carlyle, the translator of the work before us, who with the modesty natural to a mind of extraordinary perceptions, expresses his solicitude to that effect in the preface. For ourselves, though we do not read German, we see in this version so much strength, delicacy, and diversity of masterly feeling, of all sorts, that we take for granted the agreement of its excellence with its reputation; and indeed we believe that the person most concerned in its being good, was one of those who were most pleased with it; for it is well known that Mr. Carlyle was in correspondence with his illustrious original, and that he was held by him in singular regard and respect.†
We have chosen the present week for giving a specimen of Goethe, in order that it might accompany the memoir of him, taken from the Gallery of Portraits. The reader will there see what is thought of this extraordinary writer in Germany. He will here have a taste of the man himself. Should he wish to complete the acquaintance, as far as versions can pro'cure it, he must read that of the domestic epic of Hermann and Dorothea, by Mr. Holcroft, (though not worthy of the translator's natural powers); the wellknown circulating-library work, the Sorrows of Werter (a young production, which Goethe is afterwards said to have laughed at); Walter Scott's version of
Three Vols. 8vo. Whittaker.
It was Goethe, if we remember rightly, who with a truly German affectionateness and domestic sympathy, sent to Mr. Carlyle for a dortrait of his house and its localities, that he might get as well acquainted with him at a distance as be possibly could. And in the same feeling, the picture was engraved for the German version of the translator's Life of Schiller
From these works, particularly the Faust and the Wilhelm Meister, we have, for our own parts, acquired the very highest ideas of Goethe as a poet, and all but the very highest as a philosopher. He appears to us to have a subtle and sovereign imagination, to be a master in criticism, in manners, and almost always in morals too,-humane, universal, reconciling, provident, yet tolerant of the past, a noble casuist, a genuine assertor of first principles, wise in his generation, and yet possessing the wisdom of the children of light, superior to all sordid conventionalities, superior to all other things erroneously conventional, but one, and there we have a quarrel with him; though with many it will be his greatest recommendation. Certainly, no man daring to think and speculate as he has done, would have been shewn so much indulgence, opposed as he was at first, if worldly power had not taken him under its wing, and had he not shewn too conventional a taste for remaining there, and falling in with one of its most favoured opinions. He maintained that the great point for society to strain at, was not to advance (in the popular sense of that word) but to be content with their existing condition, and to labour contentedly every man in his vocation. We are not going to discuss this question politically, still less in a party manner; nor even to discuss it at all. It is a political question certainly, inasmuch as it is a moral question; but far above any of the questions commonly understood as politi. cal, and to be solved easily, we think, with men not in prejudiced circumstances, by reference to the simple fact of the existence of hope and endeavour in the nature of men. If society is determined never to be satisfied, still it will hope to be so; the hope itself may for aught we can affirm to the contrary, be a mere part of the work-of the necessary impulse of action; but there it is now working harder than ever-and a thousand Goethes could not destroy, though they might daunt it. They must destroy hope itself first, and life, and death too, which is continually renewing the ranks of the hopeful and the young, and above all, the press, which will never stop till it has shaken the world more even.
It was easy for a man in Goethe's position to recommend people to be content with their own. But to be content with some positions, is to be superior to them; and yet Goethe after all, in his own person, was neither superior to, nor content with conventionalities as he found them made for him. He dia not marry the lady he lived with, till circumstances, as he thought, compelled him, and late in life. And instead of being superior to his condition, as he recommended the poor and struggling to be, his very acquiescence in other conventionalities shewed how little he was so. If the great universalist proved his superiority by condescension, it was at any rate by contracting his wings and his views into the court circle, and feathering an agreeable nest which he never gave up. Unluckily for the reputation of his impartiality all his worldly advantages were on the side of his theory. It is, therefore, impossible to shew that it was any thing else but a convenient acquiescence. He hazarded nothing to prove it otherwise, though in the
instance of his non-inarriage, he shewed how willing he was to depart from it where the hazard was not too great. In England he would have married sooner, or departed from his acquiescences more.
Goethe, on account of this opinion of his, and the position which he occupied, is not popular at present in Germany. The partisans of advance there do not like him, perhaps from a secret feeling that they are more theoretical than active themselves, and that in this respect he has represented his native country too well. For honest Germany, perhaps because she is more material than she supposes, and has unwittingly acquired a number of charities and domesticities from a certain sensual bonhommie, which has given her more to say for herself in that matter, than she or her transcendentalists would like, is unquestionably far more contemplative than active in her politics, and willing enough to let other nations play the game of advancement, as long as she can eat, drink, and dream, without any very violent interruption to her self-complacency. Pleasant and harmless may she live, with beau ideals (and very respectable ones they are,) in the novels of Augustus La Fontaine; and may no worse fate befal the rest of the world, if it is to get no further. Much of it, we grant, has not got got half so far. Her great poet, who partook of the same bonhommiè to an extent which he would have thought unbecoming his dignity, even as a partaker of good things, let the cat out of the bag in this matter a little too ingenuously; and for this, and the court airs they thought he gave himself, his countrymen will not forgive him. It is easy for his wholesale admirers, especially for the great understandings among them, (Mr. Carlyle, for instance,) to draw upon all the possibilities of an abstract philosophy, and give a superfine unworldly reason for whatever he did; but we must take even great poets as we find them. Shakspeare himself did not escape the infection of a sort of livery servitude among the great, (for actors were but a little above that condition in his time.) With all his humanity, he finds it difficult to repress a certain tendency to browbeat the people from behind the chairs of his inferiors; and though Goethe, living in a more equal age, seldom indulges in this scornful mood, (for it seems he is not free from it,) yet it is impossible to help giving a little scorn for scorn, or at least smile for smile, when we see the poetical minister of state, with his inexperience of half the ills of life, his birth, his money, his strength, beauty, and prosperity, and a star on each breast of his coat, informing us, with a sort of patriarchal dandyism, or as Bonaparte used to harangue from his throne, that he is contented with the condition of his subjects and his own,France et moi-and that we have nothing to do but to be good people and cobblers, and content ourselves with a thousandth part of what it would distress him to miss.
So much for the courtier which it was his lot to be, and for the circumstances which more or less influence every body. What was infirm, however, in Goethe, was infirm in others; what was strong in him, was most rare, and will reduce the influence of the infirmity to next or nothing with posterity, with whom he will be immortal as a great poet and a kind man, constantly refuting his own theories, and helping the world forward by the inevitable inspiriting of genius. He and his disciples, after all, talk of advancement of some sort, of meliorating this or that point of life, of doing away this or that evil. Where will they stop? Where they desire to stop? Yes; but where is the limit expressed, or how are they to dictate it, so long as the same uneasiness which impels them to the change, exists in other men, and from greater necessities?
We have not left ourselves time to point out the beauties of the following passages. They must speak for themselves. All Goethe's writings, as far as we can gather, abound with such,-runover, in superabundant measure, with the happy author of genial thought and feeling. And the expression, as was natural, is equal to what it contains. If the style of the original is so much superior to the version as Mr. Carlyle says it is, it must indeed surpass all established models of excellence. We can only say, that
municate, even to shavings of wood and paper clip pings, the aspect of animated nature. It is so strong a spice, that tasteless, or even nauseous soups, are by it rendered palatable.
our reason, our imagination, our tears, have been quite content with what he has given us.
Lovers. When desire and hope had first attracted Wilhelm to Mariana, he already felt as if inspired with new life; felt as if he were beginning to be another man; he was now united to her; the contentment of his wishes had become a delicious habitude. His heart strove to enoble the object of his passion; his spirit to exalt with it the young creature whom he loved. In the shortest absence, thoughts of her arose within him. If she had once been necessary to him, she had now grown indispensible, now that he was bound to her by all the ties of nature. His pure soul felt that she was the half, more than the half of himself. He was grateful, and devoted
Mariana, too, succeeded in deceiving herself for a season; she shared with him the feeling of his liveliest blessedness. Alas! if the cold hand of selfreproach had not often come across her heart, she was not secure from it, even in Wilhelm's bosom, even under the wings of his love, And when she was again left alone, again left to sink from the clouds, to which passion had exalted her, into the consciousness of her real condition, then she was indeed to be pitied. So long as she had lived among degrading perplexities, disguising from herself her real situation, or rather never thinking of it, frivolity had helped her through; the incidents she was exposed to had come upon her each by itself; satisfaction and vexation had cancelled one another; humiliation had been compensated by vanity; want by frequent though momentary superfluity; she could plead necessity and custom as a law or an excuse; and hitherto all painful emotions from hour to hour, and from day to day, had by these means been shaken off. But now, for some instants, the poor girl had felt herself transported to a better world; aloft as it were, in the midst of light and joy, she had looked down upon the abject desert of her life, had felt what a miserable creature is the woman, who inspiring desire, does not also inspire reverence and love; she regretted and repented, but found herself outwardly or inwardly no better for regret. She had nothing which she could accomplish or resolve upon. Looking into herself and searching, all was waste and void within her soul; her heart had no place of strength or refuge. But the more sorrowful her state was, the more vehemently did her feelings cling to the man whom she loved; her passion for him even waxed stronger daily, as the danger of losing him came daily
Wilhelm, on the other hand, soared serenely happy in higher regions; to him also a new world had been disclosed, but a world rich in the most glorious prospects. Scarcely had the first excess of joy subsided, when all that had long been gliding dimly through his soul, stood up in bright distinctness before it. She is thine! She has given herself away to thee! She, the loved, the wished-for, the adored, has given herself away to thee in truth and faith; she shall not find thee ungrateful for the gift. Standing or walking, With a copiousness of splendid words, he uttered to him. self the loftiest emotions.
Happy season of youth! Happy times of the first wish of love! A man is then like a child that can for hours delight itself with an echo, can support alone the changes of conversation, and be well contented with its entertainment, if the unseen interlocutor will but repeat the concluding syllables of the words addressed to it.
So was it with Wilhelm in the earlier, and still more in the later period of his passion for Mariana; he transferred the whole wealth of his own emotions to her, and looked upon himself as a beggar that lived upon her alms; and, as a landscape is more delightful, nay, is delightful only, when it is enlightened by the sun, so likewise in his eyes were all things beautiful and glorified which lay around her or related to her.
Often would he stand in the theatre behind the scenes, to which he had obtained the freedom of access from the manager. In such cases, it is true, the perspective magic was away; but the far mightier sorcery of love then first began to act. For hours he could stand by the sooty light-frame, inhaling the vapour of tallow lan ps, looking at his mistress; and when she returned, and cast a kindly glance upon him, he could feel himself lost in ecstacy, and though close upon laths and bare spars, he seemed transported into Paradise. The stuff bunches of wool denominated lambs, the waterfalls of tin, the paper roses, and the one-sided huts of straw, awoke in him fair poetic visions of an old pastoral world. Nay, the very dancing girls, ugly as they were when seen at hand, did not always inspire him with disgust; they trod the same floor with Mariana. So true is it, that love which alone can give their full charm to rosebowers, myrtle-groves, and moonshine, can also com
She had been unworthily trained, and was not exactly what he took her for in point of life; though more than wor thy of him by nature and aspiration. Her story is one of the most beautifully touching we ever read.-Ed. L. J
Two Merchants.-Wilhelm's father and Werner's were men of very different modes of thinking, but whose opinions so far coincided that they both regarded commerce as the finest calling, and both were peculiarly attentive to every advantage which any kind of speculation might produce to them. Old Meister, when his father died, had turned into money a valuable collection of pictures, drawings, copperplates, and antiquities; he had entirely rebuilt and furnished his house in the newest style, and turned his other property to profit in all possible ways. A considerable portion of it he had embarked in trade, under the direction of the elder Werner, a man noted as an active merchant, whose speculations were commonly favoured by fortune. But nothing was so much desired by Meister, as to confer upon his son those qualities of which himself was destitute, and to leave his children advantages which he reckoned it of the highest importance to possess. Withal he felt a peculiar inclination for magnificence, for whatever catches the eye, and possesses at the same time real worth and durability. In his house, he would have all things solid and massive; his stores must be copious and rich, all his plate must be heavy, the furniture of his table must be costly. On the other hand, his guests were seldom invited; for every dinner was a festival, which, both for its expense and inconvenience, could not often be repeated. The economy of his soul went on at a settled uniform rate, and everything that moved or had a place in it was just what yielded no one any real enjoyment.
The elder Werner, in his dark and hampered house led quite another sort of life. The business of the day in his narrow counting room, at his ancient desk, once done, Werner liked to eat well, and if possible, to drink better. Nor could he fully enjoy good things in solitude; with his family, he must always see at his table his friends, and any stranger that had the slightest connexion with his house. His chairs were of unknown age and antic fashion, but he daily invited some to sit on them. The dainty victuals arrested the attention of his guests, and none remarked that they were served up in common ware. His cellar held no great stock of wine, but the emptied niches were usually filled up with more of a superior sort.
The Poet.vat is it that keeps men in continual discontent and agtation? It is, that they cannot make realities correspond with their conceptions, that enjoyment steals away from among their hands, that the wished-for comes too late, and nothing reached and acquired produces on the heart the effect, which their longing for it at a distance led them to anticipate. Now, fate has exalted the poet above all this, as if he were a god. He views the conflicting tumult of the passions; sees families and kingdoms raging in aimless commotion; sees those inexplicable enigmas of misunderstanding, which frequently a single monosyllable would suffice to explain, occasioning convulsions unutterably baneful. He has a fellow feeling of the mournful and the joy ful in all human beings. When the man of the world is devoting his days to wasting melancholy, for some deep disappointment, or in the ebullition of joy, is going out to meet his happy destiny, the lightly-moved and all-conceiving spirit of the poet steps forth, like the sun from night to day, and with soft transition tunes his harp to joy or woe. From his heart its native soil, springs up the lovely flower of wisdom; and, if others, while waking dream, and are painted with fantastic delusions from their every sense, he passes the dream of life like one awake, and the strangest of incidents is to him a part both of the past and the future. And thus the poet is at once a teacher, a prophet, a friend both of gods and men. How! thou wouldst have him to descend from his height to some paltry occupation? He who is fashioned like the bird to hover round the world, to nestle on the lofty summits, to feed on buds and fruits, exchanging gaily one bough for another, he ought also to work at the plough like an ox; like a dog to train himself up to the harness and draught; or perhaps, tied up in a chain, to guard a farm-yard by his barking."
Werner, it may be well supposed, had listened with the greatest surprise. 'All true,' he rejoined, 'if men were but made like birds, and thongh they neither spun nor weaved, could yet spend peaceful days in perpetual enjoyment. If at the approach of winter they could as easily betake themselves to distant regions, could retire before scarcity, and fortify themselves against frost.
'Poets have lived so,' exclaimed Wilhelm, 'in times when true nobleness was better reverenced; and so should they ever live. Sufficiently provided for within, they had need of little from without; the gift of communicating lofty emotions and glorious images to men, in melodies and words that charmed the ear, and fixed themselves inseparably on whatever objects they referred to, of old enraptured the world, and served the gifted as a rich inheritance. At the courts of kings, at the tables of the great, beneath the windows of the fair, the sound of them was
heard, while the ear and the soul were shut from all beside; and men felt, as we do when delight comes over us, and we stop with rapture, if, among the dingles we are crossing, the voice of the nightingale starts, out touching and strong. They found a home in every habitation of the world, and the lowliness of their condition but exalted them the more. The hero listened to their songs; and the conqueror of the earth did reverence to a poet; for he felt that, without poets, his own wild and vast existence would pass away like a whirlwind, and be forgotten for ever. The lover wished that he could feel his longings and his joys so variedly and so harmoniously as the poet's inspired lips had skill to shew them forth; and even the rich man could not of himself discern such costliness in his idol grandeurs, as when they were presented to him shining in the splendour of the poet's spirit, sensible to all worth, and exalting all.'
Pecuniary Obligations. It is singular,' said the baron, 'to see what a world of hesitation people feel about accepting money from their patrons and friends, though ready to receive any other gift with joy and thankfulness. Human nature manifests some other such peculiarities, by which many scruples of a similar kind are produced and carefully cherished.'
Is it not the same with all points of honour?' said our friend.
It is so,' replied the baron,' and with several other prejudices. We must not root them out, lest, in doing so, we tear up noble plants along with them. Yet I am always glad when I meet with men that feel superior to such objection, when the case requires it; and I think with pleasure on the story of that ingenious poet, which I dare say you have heard of. He had written several plays for the court theatre, which were honoured by the warmest approbation of the monarch.' 'I must give him a distinguished recompence,' said the generous prince; 'ask him whether he would choose to have some jewel given him; or if he would disdain to accept a sum of money.' In his humourous way, the poet answered the enquiring courtier: 'I am thankful, with all my heart, for these gracious intentions; and as the emperor is daily taking money from us, I see not wherefore I should feel ashamed of taking some from him.
Self-love exaggerates our faults as well as our virtues. (That is to say, partly that you may contradict them, partly that you may admire the candour, and chiefly because the talk is of the person's self, and vanity thinks its own vices as good as other people's virtues.)
The one thing hopeless. Your blockhead is the only: person that can never be improved, whether it be selfconceit, stupidity, or hypochondria, that renders him unpliant and unguidable.
A good Daily Memorandum. Men are so inclined to content themselves with what is commonest; the spirit and the senses so easily grow dead to the impression of the beautiful and the perfect; that every one should study to nourish in his mind the faculty of feeling these things by every method in his power. For no man can bear to be entirely deprived of such enjoyment; it is only because they are not used to taste of what is excellent, that the generality of people take delight in silly and insipid things, provided they be new. For this reason, one ought every day at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine' picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reason». able words.
Love of Power.-Every man desires to gather all things round him, to make and manage them according to his pleasure; the money, which himself does not expend, he seldom reckons well expended.
Generosity not always generous.-My brother-inlaw, you see, is giving up his fortune, in so far as this is in his power, to the community of Herrnhuth: he reckons that by doing so, he is advancing the salvation of his soul. Had he sacrificed a slender portion of his revenue, he might have rendered many people happy, might have made for them and for himself a heaven upon earth. Our sacrifices are but rarely of an active kind: we, as it were, abandon what we give away. It is not from resolution but despair, that we renounce our property.
The dread of dreads.-The herd of people dread sound understanding more than anything; they ought to dread stupidity, if they had any notion what was really dreadful.
A hint to violent and selfisn teachers.-Lydia returned: my mother had been harsh enough to cast the poor girl off, after having altogether spoiled her. Lydia had learned with her mistress to consider passions as her occuvation she was wont to curb herself in nothing.
A mirror for the censorious.-No man should cast a stone at his brother: when one composes long speeches with a view to shame his neighbours, he should speak them to a looking glass.
Do what you lament is not done.-I have often heard people who themselves kept silence in regard to works of merit, complaining and lamenting that silence was kept.
He means, ennobirs it, and renders it fitting; not a light acceptance of obligations that can be reasonably avoided, or rom any body.-E. L. J.
The useful and the beautiful.-Every gift is valuable, and ought to be unfolded. When one encourages the beautiful alone, and another encourages the useful alone, it takes them both to form a man. The useful encourages itself; for the multitude produce it, and no one can dispense with it; the beautiful must be encouraged; for few can set it forth, and many need it.
MR. WALSH AND MRS. BENN.
I beg leave to refer you to an article in No. 6, May 7th of your London Journal, in which supposed facts so startling are detailed, that in justice to the memory of my late father, I have taken the liberty of addressing you, hoping that from your well known liberality as an editor, you will rectify what has appeared in your interesting little Journal.
The first paragraph is substantially correct; viz: that Mr. Walsh left all his property to his niece Mrs. Benn, to the prejudice of his nephew, my deceased parent; who was the brother, and not the cousin of the lady in question, as related in your article; but the will was so tied down, that Mrs. Benn could not act in the manner described in your Journal. Besides, an impediment lay in the way. Her husband, Mr. Benn, afterwards Sir J. B. Walsh, was alive at the time alluded to, and consequently must have, or been supposed to have, a voice, if not a casting vote in the affair.
I do not exactly understand what is meant by a
"little villa;" but the magnificent estate called War-
This contradiction to your "shortest and sweetest
Your most obedient servant,
This day is published, Part I., containing six numbers, price 1s., of
Ferry Side in Carmarthen,
с A ME L E 0
The points of the story in question were, that Mrs. Benn had had an estate of four thousand a year left her, to the prejudice of her "cousin" the male heir, and that she gave it all up to him, reserving only to herself a little villa in Berkshire. The little Berkshire villa, it seems, turns out to be a large mansion, and what is worse, Mrs. Benn did not give up the estate. Our feelings of disappointment, however, are relieved by finding that she could not. We are sorry to have been the medium of any misrepresentation. The story was taken from a work, generally held to be veracious as well as curious.-The Loungers' Common-Place Book.-ED. L. J.
Our friend T. R.'s communication is laughable; but in this our urbane paper, we propose to correct errors solely by the gradual substitution of better
Le Caméléon will consist of everything which can instruct interest, or amuse. Scientific, literary, and entertaining publications will furnish us with subjects. We shall be careful to purify them; that the Journal may breathe the utmost purity of taste and morality. Nothing shall be wanting to render it worthy of the approbation of the public, and we trust that, in this respect, it will leave nothing to be desired; for it will be compiled with that zeal and care which can only be inspired by an ardent desire for the benefit of youth, and the hope of contributing to their instruction and amusement. We shall thus be enabled to obviate many difficulties; and not only to lessen the fatigue of both professors and pupils, but to diminish the expense (at all times considerable) to those parents who, either from inclination or necessity, undertake the education of their own children. Le Caméléon is therefore addressed to both sexes, to all ages, and to every class ; its cheapness placing it within the reach of all.
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knowledge. He will see that we
JUVENIS is a worthy reader of poetry, and shews occasional evidences of looking at nature with his own eyes. His only "fault," (to answer his question) is, that he does not in general do so; or if he does, is too content to repeat what has been said before him.
London: H. Hooper, 13, Pall-Mall East. Sold by R. Groombridge, Panyer-Alley, Paternoster-Row, and may be hrd of all Booksellers.
The object of Le Caméléon will be to initiate the inhabitant of England into the tone, the forms, and the language of the higher classes of society in Franee; to make him familiar with their purest idioms and modes of expression; to advance him towards a perfect knowledge of the French people by the variety with which it will be stored; in short, to forward his studies by the most pleasing and efficacious means, and to assist his progress by examples which will enable him to arrive in a comparatively short time at as perfect a knowledge
of the French language as he has of his own, and to speak it THE MERCURY, the fastest, most commowith fluency and elegance.
are trying to meet The paper is left
We shall give a passage out of the lines on " Hope" next week, among other pickings, to which we are compelled to confine ourselves, from our numerous poetical correspondents.
The author of Hints to Young Students, has our best thanks and respect, though we do not insert his paper. Articles that redound to the writer's credit, may yet not always be suitable to a Journal that has so many calls upon its attention.
GRAVESEND STAR STEAM PACKETS.
Dr. B.'s letter gratified us much.
We will make the enquires requested by G. F. and inform him of the result.
Errata in the Extract from Dr. Bevan's “ Honey Bee" upon
Page 99. Column 1. The last word of the Latin quotation
should of course be umbram.
The MEDWAY Yacht leaves London Bridge at half pas
Line 32. from the end, occasioning vice occasionally.
The celebrated Commercial Packet, the COMET, leaves Gravesend at Seven o'clock in the Morning, (except Mondays, when she leaves at Half-past-six ;) and London Bridge, on her return, at Half past Four, performing her passage in less time than any other Packet, except the Mercury.
In a few days the STAR will be added to the Establishment and due notice given of the hours of her departure.
The Public are respectfully requested to bear in mind, that the Packets start punctually, but are half an hour at the Wharf before the times appointed to start, in order that Passengers may embark conveniently to themselves.
JOHN PERRING, Maker and Inventor of Light Hats,
dlous, and elegantly fitted Packet on the River station, FRANKS & Co. 140, Regent Street, and London
leaves London Bridge Wharf, every Monday at Half-past Nine
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This Mercury (esteemed a perfect model,) is the only Graves. end Packet with a Saloon, affording the light and view through the stern windows, the effect of which has obtained universa admiration.
BEAVER HATS.-Superfine qualities 16s. eqaul to those charged 17s. 6d. and 21s.; second qualities, 12s. (a very superior Hat); PATENT EXTRA LIGHT BEAVER HATS, in 100 different shapes, 21s. the best that can possibly be made; newly invented Light Summer Hats, black or drab, 12s., 34 ounces weight; Youths Hats and Caps in great variety; also Travelling, Fishing, and Shooting Hats and Caps, Livery and Opera Hats, good qualities, at the lowest prices possible. The Nobility, Gentry, and Public are respectfully solicited to compare the above Hats with those made by pretended manufacturers; the difference in make, shape, and quality must be plainly seen.
TO ASSIST THE ENQUIRING, animate the STRUGGLING, AND SYMPATHIZE WITH ALL.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 1834.
SOME FURTHER REMARKS UPON GOETHE, WITH ANOTHER SPECIMEN OF HIM. SINCE writing the remarks upon Goethe in our last number, we have become acquainted, not only with the "Characteristics," but with a variety of criticisms upon him, and upon other German authors, written in reviews and magazines by Mr. Carlyle. It shall be our business to become thoroughly intimate with these criticisms, and we hope the reader, as well as ourselves, shall be the wiser for them. Meantime we revert to the main point in our last week's observations for the purpose of shewing the extent of our views on the subject, and the reasons why we venture to differ upon it with so great a man.
Goethe was for taking no notice of the politics and public events of his time, nor for busying himself with what is understood in the language of the present day by the hopes of the world," and the "advancement of society." The great business of man, he thought, was to be working cheerfully and manfully in the sphere in which he found himself, without troubling his head with the affairs of government or the species, but at the same time to know and enjoy as much as possible of the world of Nature, for the purpose of assisting that cheerfulness and developing the faculties of that manhood. His enemies said, that he thought in this manner for expedience' sake, and because he happened to be comfortably situated, and therefore had no personal interest in change. His friends said, that his position was nothing but an accident which he could not help, and which he was not bound to alter; that he was too great a man to sacrifice the universality of his views to the narrowness of a court circle, or any circle; and that to suppose otherwise, only argued an inability to comprehend him. They charge his enemies with mere "Radicalism" or political narrowness of one sort, just as his enemies charge him with political or personal narrowness of another.
It would ill become us while noticing what appears to us to be a defect in a great man, to pretend that our belief in it may not arise from one of the numerous defects in our own mode of thinking or measure of understanding. We have been subjected strongly, in the course of our life, to the influence of political circumstances; and with all our desire to be impartial, and to see the truth for its own sake, cannot assert, that we are able to divest ourselves of that influence at will, and stand apart from it, while contemplating the character of a fellow-creature. It appears to ushowever, from all we have hitherto seen, that the advocates of Goethe in this matter, with an instinctive misgiving, confound the wholesomeness of his opinion respecting the advancement of the world, with his right of objection to the immediate movement in its behalf. Granting that he might reasonably differ with those movements, like any other privy-councillor of a German sovereign, without being influenced by the same motives, it does not follow that he was bound to differ with the abstract theory of advancement; nor indeed do we believe that they would argue that it did. But we cannot help thinking, by the way in which the two ideas always co-exist in their arguments at present, that they feel as if such had been the case; nor can we help fearing, that for an analogous reason, such was really the case with the illustrious poet. We must add, from what we have seen of the weaknesses of other leading spirits (Burke for one, not to make invidious instances of SPARROW, PRINTER, CRANE-COURT.
the living) that what it did not fall to his lot to head, at the right juncture for the reputation of his foresight and for the convenience or hopes of his fortune, he would not like to see headed, or fought for, by others. The French Revolution did not break out till after Goethe's connexion with the Duke of Saxe Weimar. Suppose, instead of the Duke's coming to him and asking him to live in his court, it had fallen to his lot to have mixed with the Americans, and to have had the same honours paid him there, on an intellectual score, as were paid to La Fayette on a military. Might not he have been a far greater and more influential man in politics than ever La Fayette was, or rather than he himself was, (for there is no comparison between the powers of these two admirable men) and been the new star of the advancement of his species in every respect, instead of the attempt to reconcile it to acquiescence in any?
Before we go further, let it clearly be understood what we mean by advancement and acquiescence. We do not mean,-far are we from intending any such absurdity or injustice,—that people in their senses are violently to throw down any obstacle in the way of a better state of society; but that all are to advance, quietly, and with a good understanding, for the sake of all; so that each may give up what is found wrong, or be gifted with what is right, according as experience shall determine, to the better distribution of labour and leisure, and the gradual elevation of the whole species.
We had written thus far, when having become further acquainted with the Characteristics in the intervals of our writing, our feelings of respect and admiration for Goethe have been so increased, that we must plainly confess we cannot proceed in the same strain of objection to him. If our opinion on one point has not been done away, it has at least become mixed up and coloured with so much that is reverent and beautiful (struck from the many-coloured radiance of his greatness) and we have found ourselves so forcibly thrown upon a sense of what is doubtful and possible in all questions relating to the rights and perceptions of a mind of the first order, and consequently upon a feeling of what is due to common modesty on our own part, that we gladly drop our eyelids under the effulgence of his beams, and should as soon think of objecting any more to his politics, as of questioning the sun for shining on 'the just and the unjust." The reader shall see, from time to time, in many a beautiful extract, the reasons we have for thus feeling; and not the least of these reasons will be (what indeed we should have added, had we gone on, though not to the same extent) that a man like Goethe, loving nature thoroughly, believing the best of her, making it the business of his life to study and act with her, cannot, whatever his opinion may be on passing events, or his errors, real or supposed, do any thing but assist the grand possibilities of advancement, let their bounds be as he may think them or not. Either the attainment of one mountain-top must produce the view of another, or when nothing further is to be seen, the limits of our pilgrimage must be ascertained, and humanity be content, as he desired it to be, with the capabilities of what is round about it. All that we ever quarrelled with him for, was out of a notion that he wished to stop short unnecessarily, and mistook his own ample ground of content
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ment too easily for the mill-horse round of others. We now care less if he did so, seeing what it was in the nature of his genius inevitably to do for all men.
For ourselves, who venture to give our personal opinion on the matter, solely by reason of no ordinary experience both of suffering and enjoyment, we should be more than content to take the world as it is, provided that all classes could get the pleasure out of it that Goethe supposes, whether under the more received notions of pleasure or not; for like him, we are far from confining the pleasurable to the limits of its ordinary acceptation; nay, to oblige those who have a suspicious grudge against the word, we could give up the word itself to a great extent, and change it for the word "action,"-action, we allow, being a a good half of the business of life, or the whole of it, if they please, including mental action; and the face wearing a shew neither of pleasure nor pain in the general course of it. But it appears to us, that society must first put itself into a condition fitter for dividing this pleasure, or something better than pleasure, reasonably among its members; and that if the politics of the German States had had their way, uninfluenced by the old revolutions of England and France, the day of that better division would have been retarded; nay, Goethe's and the Duke of Weimar's own improvements had been retarded; and Germany itself would have been less able to turn round upon the abuses of liberty, and read a new lesson of freedom to its corrupted teachers. We must not quarrel with the throes and agonies of mankind,merely because it is our good fortune not to be forced to partake of them. They have broken up the ground for our luckier cultivation.
That the reader may be excited to make haste and admire Goethe as much as we do, we shall conclude this article with an exquisite specimen (beautifully translated by Mrs. Austen,) of the way in which he could describe a friend's character. A more lovely, full, delicate, and potent bit of writing we never met with. The softer aspect of his soul,-the gentlest and loveliest of all his Muses, must have been in her happiest state of sympathetic self-complacency, when he wrote it, saturated to the heart with the balm of belief in good, with the realization of a beautiful vision of humanity. Herder was one of the leading spirits of the modern German literature. The reader shall know more of him. We have not been able to hinder ourselves from marking and carving passages with Italics, just as our gratitude might have imprinted kisses on the eyelids of the sweetly-seeing Muse herself, had she become visible and tangible out of the head of this Teutonic Jupiter.
"Few minds have been learned upon the same grand scale as Herder. The major part pursue only what is most rare and least familiar in science; he, on the contrary, could receive only the great and catholic streams of every science into the mighty depths of his own heaven-reflecting ocean, that impressed upon them all its own motion and fluctuation. Others are fastened upon by their own learning as by a withering and strangling ivy: but HIS hung about him as gracefully as the tendrils of a vine, and adorned him with fruit as with clusters of grapes. How magnificently, how irreconcileably did he blaze into indignation against the creeping and crawling vermin of the times-against German coarseness of taste-against all sceptres in brutal paws-and against the snakes of the age. But would you hear the sweetest of voices, it was his voice in the utterance of love-whether for a little child, or for poetry, or music, or in the tones of mercy and forbearance towards the weak. In general he has been little weighed or appraised, and in
parts only, never as a whole. His due valuation he will first find in the diamond scales of posterity; into which scales will assuredly not be admitted the pebbles with which he was pelted by the coarse critics of his days, and the still coarser disciples of Kant. Two sayings of his survive which may seem trifling to others; me they never fail to impress profoundly; one was, that on some occasion, whilst listening to choral music that streamed from a neighbouring church as from the bosom of some distant century, he wished, with a sorrowful allusion to the cold frosty spirit of these times, that he had been born in the middle ages. The other, and a far different, sentiment was that he would gladly communicate with an apparition from the spiritual world, and that he neither felt nor foreboded anything of the usual awe connected with such a communication. Oh the pure soul that already held commerce with spirits! To such a soul this was possible, poetical as that soul was; and though it be true that just such souls it is that shudder with the deepest awe before the noiseless and inaudible mysteries that dwell and walk on the other side of death, to his soul it was possible; for the soul of Herder was itself an apparition upon this earth, and never forgot its native world. At this moment, I think I see him; and, potent as death is otherwise to glorify the images of men with saintly transfiguration-yet, methinks, that from the abyss of distance and sumless elevation, he appears not more radiant and divine than he did here below; and I think of him, far aloft in the heavens and behind the stars, as in his natural place, and as of one but little altered from what he was, except by the blotting out of his earthly sorrows."
From Wednesday the 6th to Tuesday the 12th August.
BEAUTY OF THE YEAR. ITS RICHES TO POETS AND POETICAL READERS.
To know a little of a great man, is to wish to know more of him; and if we have any enthusiasm, to wish to know it instantly. As we take it for granted that our readers sympathize with us on this point, and as the year is now in a state of ripe and golden perfection, worthy to have the sound of a true poet's deep and melodious memory murmuring over it like a divine bee, we shall indulge ourselves with giving another passage from the "Characteristics of Goethe," descriptive of the successive influence of the seasons upon a poetically constituted mind. It is part of a criticism written by him upon the lyrics of another German poet, Voss; and is particularly suited to our Journal, from the recommendation it contains of a regard for every-day objects, and a developement of the riches they possess for all who chuse to seek them. Mrs. Austen speaks of the "beauty" of it. It is difficult at any time to read this lady's translations, without speaking of the beauty of them; and still less so, when she is giving praise to her originals. She thus puts the last degree of sympathy into her echoes of them, and perfects our delight by making us sure of her own. In the preface to her version of the "Tour of a German Prince," we thought her cold towards her author. We grant she was not bound to be so enthusiastic, as in the present instance. We doubt even whether her enthusiasm has not allowed her to admit some contributions to the "Characteristics," which had been better omitted; but if she is chary of expressing her approbation, she at least does not bestow it in the wrong places. Every author, in some degree, pourtrays-himself in his works, even be it against his will. In this case, he is present to us, and designedly; nay, with a friendly alacrity sets before us his inward and outward modes of thinking and feeling; and disdains not to give us confidential explanations of circumstances, thoughts, views, and expressions, by means of appended notes.
And now, encouraged by so friendly an invitation, we draw nearer to him; we seek him by himself; we attach ourselves to him, and promise ourselves rich enjoyment, and manifold instruction and improvement.
In a level northern landscape we find him rejoicing in his existence, in a latitude in which the ancients hardly expected to find a living thing.
And truly,Winter there manifests his whole might and sovereignty. Storm-borne from the Pole, he covers the wood with hoar-frost, the streams with ice; a drifting whirlwind eddies around the high gables, while the poet rejoices in the shelter and comfort of his home, and cheerily bids defiance to the raging elements. Furred and frost-covered friends arrive, and are heartily welcomed under the protecting roof; and soon they form a cordial, confiding circle, enliven the household meal by the clang of glasses, the joyous song, and thus create for themselves a moral summer.
We then find him abroad, and braving the inclemencies of the wintry heavens. When the axle-tree creaks heavily under the load of fire-wood-when the footsteps of the wanderer ring along the ground-we see him now walking briskly through the snow to the distant dwelling of a friend; now joining a sledge party, gliding, with tinkling bells, over the boundless plain. At length a cheerful inn receives the hal-f frozen travellers; a bright flickering fire greets them as they crowd around the chimney; dance, choral song and many a warm viand, are reviving and grateful to youth and age. But when the snow melts under the returning sun, when the warmed earth frees itself somewhat from its thick covering, the poet hastens with his friends into the free air, to refresh himself with the first living breath of the new year, and to seek the earliest flowers. The bright golden clover is gathered, bound into bunches, and brought home in triumph, where this herald of the future beauty and bounty of the year is destined to crown a family festival of Hope.
And when Spring herself advances, no more is heard of roof and hearth; the poet is always abroad, wandering on the soft pathways around his peaceful lake. Every bush unfolds itself with an individual character, every blossom bursts with an individual life, in his presence. As in a fully worked out picture, we see, in the sun-light around him, grass and herb, as distinctly as oak and beech-tree; and on the margin of the still waters there is wanting neither the reed nor any succulent plant.
Here his companions are not those transforming fantasies, by whose impatient power the rock fashions itself into the divine maiden, the tree puts off its branches, and appears to allure the hunter with its soft, lovely arms. Rather wanders the poet solitary, like a priest of nature; touches each plant, each bush, with gentle hand; and hallows them members of a loving harmonious family.
Around him, like a dweller in Eden sport harmless, fearless creatures-the lamb on the meadows, the roe in the forest. Around him assemble the whole choir of birds, and drown the busy hum of day with their varied accents.
Then, at evening, towards night, when the moon climbs the heaven in serene splendour, and sends her flickering image curling to his feet on the surface of the lightly ruffled waters; when the boat rocks softly, and the oar gives its measured cadence, and every stroke calls up sparkles of reflected light; when the nightingale pours forth her divine song from the shore, and softens every heart; then do affection and passion manifest themselves in happy tenderness; from the first touch of a sympathy awakened by the Highest himself, to that quiet, graceful, timid desire, which flourishes within the narrow enclosure of domestic life. An heaving breast, an ardent glance, a pressure of the hand, a stolen kiss, give life to his song. But it is ever the affianced lover that is emboldened; it is ever the betrothed bride that yields; and thus does all that is ventured, and all that is granted bend to a lawful standard; though within that limit he permits himself much freedom.
Soon, however, he leads us again under the free heavens; into the green; to bower and bush; and there is he most cheerfully, cordially, and fondly at home. The Summer has come again; a genial warmth Thunders roll; breathes through the poet's song. clouds drop showers; rainbows appear; lightnings
gleam; and a blessed coolness overspreads the plain. Every thing ripens; the poet overlooks none of the varied harvests; he hallows all by his presence.
And here is the place to remark what an influence our poets might exercise on the civilization of our German people-in some places, perhaps, have exercised.
His poems on the various incidents of rural life, indeed, do represent rather the reflexions of a refined intellect than the feelings of the common people; but if we could picture to ourselves that a harper were present at the hay, corn, and potatoe harvests; if we recollected how he might make the men around him observant of that which recurs to them as ordinary and familiar; if, by his manner of regarding it, by his poetical expression, he elevated the common, and heightened the enjoyment of every gift of God and nature by his dignified representation of it, we may truly say he would be a real benefactor to his country. For the first stage of a true enlightenment is, that man should reflect upon his condition and circumstances, and be brought to regard them in the most agreeable light. Let the song of the potatoe be sung in the field, where the wondrous mode of increase, which calls even the man of science to high and curious meditation, after the long and silent working and interweaving of vegetable powers, comes to view, and a quite unintelligible blessing springs out of the earth; and then first will be felt the merit of this and similar poems, in which the poet essays to awaken the rude, reckless, unobservant man, who takes every thing for granted, to an attentive observation of the high wonders of all nourishing Nature, by which he is constantly surrounded.
But scarcely are all these bounties brought under man's notice, when Autumn glides in and our poet takes an affecting leave of nature, decaying, at least in outward appearance. Yet he abandoned not his beloved vegetation wholly to the unkind winter. The
elegant vase receives many a plant, many a bulb, wherewith to create a mimic summer in the hard seclusion of winter, and even at that season, to have no festival, without its flowers and wreaths. Care is taken that even the household birds belonging to the family should not want a green, fresh roof to their bowery cage.
Now is the loveliest time for short rambles,-for friendly converse in the chilly evening. Every domestic feeling becomes active; longings for social pleasures encrease; the want of music is more sensibly felt, and now, even the sick man willingly joins the friendly circle, and a departing friend seems to clothe himself in the colours of the departing year.
For, as certainly as Spring will return after the lapse of Winter, so certainly will friends, lovers, kindred, meet again; they will meet again in the presence of the all-loving Father; and then first will they form a Whole with each other, and with every thing good, after which they sought and strove in vain in this piece-meal world. And thus does the felicity of the poet, even here, rest on the persuasion that all have to rejoice in the care of a wise God, whose power extends unto all, and whose light lightens upon all. Thus does the adoration of such a Being create in the poet the highest clearness and reasonableness; and, at the same time, an assurance that the thoughts, the words, with which he comprehends and describes infinite qualities, are not empty dreams and sounds; and thence arises a rapturous feeling of his own and other's happiness, in which every thing conflicting, peculiar, discordant, is resolved and dissipated.
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
XXVI-A RECLUSE IN THE THICK OF LONDON.
THIS simple and affecting account of a human being so constituted as to be driven from society by a single shock to his feelings, is taken from the notes to the excellent edition of the "Tatler," published in 1789. Mr. Welby's resolution probably originated in a variety of motives. He was shocked by the strangeness as well as inhumanity of his brother's attempt; it gave him a horror of the very faces of his fellowcreatures, perhaps also something of a personal fear of them; and very likely a hypochondriacal dread even of himself, and of the blood of which his veins partook. We see that he lived in the most sparing manner, eating little else then gruel and sallads. But great was the proportion of beauty mixed up with his character, and even of strength, though it retreated into this timid shape. He was a blighted human fruit of the most noble and delicate order; and one wishes that instead of the old servant, he could have had some affectionate companion to live with and love him, and repay him for the large sympathics he retained with his species. But he had his consolation. He was a reader; and the same romantic turn of mind, which put him into his solitude, as well as the temperance which enabled him to grow old in it, probably secured him a child-like delight in his books to
The noble and virtuous Henry Welby, Esq. was a native of Lincolnshire, and inherited a clear estate of more than £1000. a year. He was regularly bred at the university, studied for some time at one of the inns of court, and in the course of his travels, spent several years abroad. On his return, this very accomplished gentleman settled on his paternal estate, lived with great hospitality, matched to his liking, and had a beautiful and virtuous daughter who was wedded with his entire approbation, to a Sir Christopher Hilliard, in Yorkshire. He had now lived to the age of forty, respected by the rich, prayed for by the poor, honoured and beloved by all; when one day a younger brother, with whom he had some difference in opinion, meeting him in the field, snapped a pistol at him which happily flashed in the pan. Thinking that this was done only to fright him, he coolly disarmed the ruffian, and putting the weapon carelessly into his pocket, thoughtfully returned home; but on after examination, the discovery of bullets in the pistol had such an effect upon his mind, that he instantly conceived an extraordinary resolution, of retiring entirely from the world, in which he persisted inflexibly, till the end of his life. He took a very fair house in the lower end of Grub Street, near Cripplegate; and contracting a numerous retinue into a small family, having the house prepared for his purpose, he selected three chambers for himself, the one for his diet, the second for his lodging, and the third for his study. As they were one within another, while his diet was set on table by an old maid, he reretired into his lodging-room, and when his bed was making into his study, still doing so till all was clear. Out of these chambers, from the time of his first entry into them, he never issued, till he was carried. thence, forty-four years after, on men's shoulders; neither in all that time did his son-in-law, daughter,