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an ease not at all inferior to his speech. Indeed his conversation was, as I have intimated, of a torrent-like eloquence- it was irresistible; he took you by storm, and fairly rained upon you words, like the pelting of a hail shower, from whose fury there was neither cover nor retreat. He seemed to us to be labouring under an Anglo-mania-a very midsummer madness in whatever referred to our country or people; for though his office, style, and title was that of guide at the Zähringer, to no other people than the English would he do the honour of exercising any part of his vocation. To such a height had he carried this frenzy, that when the Grand Duke of Baden had come to Friburg, and was desirous of being shown about the place, the guide could not be found; he had purposely concealed himself, because he would not be called upon to conduct a German, though he was a prince, to see the curiosities of his own town and minster!
Such was the rapidity of this man's discourse, that nothing checked it nothing caused a
for he seemed to have acquired the art of speaking with that continuation which requires neither pause, nor full stops, nor subject; words being all-sufficient, and one rambling thought rushing in after another without the slightest direction of the judgment, as to connection or arrangement, or any of those impertinences that trammel a genius of an order less original in discourse.
I confess I was quite overpowered with astonishment, and could only look and smile in wonder at such a curious and eccentric character; entertaining no small respect for the perseverance and the talent which had enabled a man, in his sphere of life, to instruct himself, acquire such a knowledge of our language, and to do what was yet more difficult to compose
in it both in prose and verse.
There was also, notwithstanding all that was comic and ludicrous in his address, something of generosity in what he called the sentiments of his character, that made you respect the right feeling of the man, though you could not help laughing at the manner in which he gave it ex
pression. He would have been a rich subject for Mathews, had he been disposed to give a picture of German sentimentality in an English dress.
Scarcely had we obtained a breathing space in the discourse, scarcely had we recovered from the first feeling of wonder into which we had been surprised, when our man of letters, like one of those poets of whom we have Pope's wellknown assurance, that
"They rave, recite, and madden round the land,"
gave us new cause for admiration by reciting, off-hand, a considerable portion of his poem, called "The Storm ;" pulling out of his pocket, as he did so, a couple of pamphlets, being printed copies of the same, one of which he handed to my nephew and the other to myself.
Only fancy the scene that followed - fancy our Friburg poet, with an erect mien, an unmoved gravity, his eyes lit up with the animation of his subject, standing directly facing us (so that we were compelled to undergo the agony of suppressed laughter that was ready, at every
instant, to burst out), reciting, with that wondrous volubility I have already described, his poem of "The Storm;" and, like the running bass to Steibelt's celebrated piano-forte piece so called, giving a running comment of his own (though he made the blank verse halt for it), every now and then, wherever he fancied that to us, as strangers to the scene of his composition, it might be necessary to add such illustrative and interjectional notes. Fancy all this if you can, for I could not describe it in its full
How much did I (not only when listening to this, but when reading his sentimentalities in his prose account of Friburg cathedral) call to mind the glorious and self-satisfied son of the barber Nunez, immortalised by the pen of the witty Le Sage! We did not venture upon any cism, though, had we done so, the genius of Friburg might truly have said of his works, even as did Fabricius when descanting on the merits of his own, in reply to the remarks of Gil Blas, who, notwithstanding the charm of his friend's poem, found it too obscure to be
understood, -Authors who wish to be sublime must not accommodate themselves to the simple and the natural. "C'est l'obscurité qui en fait tout le mérite: il suffit que le poëte croie s'entendre." This supposition certainly satisfied the son of the Friburg Apollo, no less than it did the barber's of Madrid. But I will not enter into the mysteries of the poem; I will only give you, from my copy of it, an extract from
the opening scene:
"World's stormy scenes, the unmeasured fields on high,
Say, Muse, high throned! the howling storms impart,
Thy superior worth, not of mortal kind,
Glides from thy heart, and all-considering mind,
At every time hurtful wiles antedates;
Then with benign vote to the last unfold
Wild tempests, strong assaults, and attempts bold;
Contriving lofty forest-mountain's fall,
Their convulsions in tempestuous array,
And Schwarzwald scenes by this canto convey."
The poem concludes with this compliment to