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BOOK THE SEVENTH.
THE BATTLE OF JENA.
The death of Schiller left him very lonely. It was more than the loss of a friend; it was the loss also of an energetic stimulus which had urged him to production; and in the activity of production he lived an intenser life. During the long la borious years which followed, years of accumulation, of study, of fresh experience, and of varied plans, we shall see him produce works of which many might be proud; but the noonday splendour of his life has passed, and the light which we admire is the calm effulgence of the setting sun.
As if to make him fully aware of his loss, Jacobi came to Weimar; and although the first meeting of the old friends was very pleasant, they soon found the chasm which separated them intellectually, had become wider and wider, as each developed in his own direction. Goethe found that he understood neither Jacobi's ideas nor his language. Jacobi found himself a stranger in the world of his old friend. Alas! this is one of the penalties we pay for progress : we find ourselves severed from the ancient moorings; we find our language is like that of foreigners to those who once were dear to us, and understood us.
Jacobi departed, leaving him more painfully conscious of the loss he had sustained in losing Schiller's ardent sympathy. During the following month, Gall visited Jena, in the first LEWES, VOL. II.
successful eagerness of propagating his system of Phrenology, which was then a startling novelty. All who acknowledge the very large debt which Physiology and Psychology owe to Gall's labours (which acknowledgment by no means implies an acceptance of the premature, and in many respects imperfect, system founded on those labours) will be glad to observe that Goethe not only attended Gall's lectures, but in private conversations showed so much sympathy, and such ready appreciation, that Gall visited him in his siek-room, and dissected the brain in his presence, communicating all the new views to which he had been led. Instead of meeting this theory with ridicule, contempt, and the opposition of ancient prejudices—as men of science, no less than men of the world, were and are still wont to meet it-Goethe saw at once the importance of Gall's mode of dissection (since universally adopted), and of his leading views; although he also saw that science was not sufficiently advanced for a correct verdict to be delivered. Gall's doctrine pleased him because it determined the true position of Psychology in the study of man. It pleased him because it connected man with Nature more intimately than was done in the old schools, showing the identity of all mental manifestation in the animal kingdom.*
But these profound and delicate investigations were in the following year interrupted by the roar of cannon. On the 14th of October, at 7 o'clock in the morning, the thunder of distant artillery alarmed the inhabitants of Weimar. The battle of Jena had begun. Goethe heard the cannon with terrible distinctness; but as it slackened towards noon, he sat down to dinner as usual. Scarcely had he sat down, when the cannon burst over their heads. Immediately the table was cleared. Riemer found him walking up and down the garden. The balls whirled over the house; the bayonets of the Prussians in flight gleamed over the garden wall. The French had planted a few guns on the heights above Weimar, from which they could fire on the town. It was a calm bright day. In
* Gall's assertion that Goethe was born for political Oratory more than for Poetry, has much amused those who know Goethe's dislike of politics; and does not, indeed, seem a very happy hit.
the streets everything appeared dead. Everyone had retreated under cover.
Now and then the boom of a cannon broke silence; the balls, hissing through the air, occasionally struck a house. The birds were singing sweetly on the esplanade ; and the deep repose of nature formed an awful contrast to the violence of war.
In the midst of this awful stillness a few French hussars rode into the city, to ascertain if the enemy were there. Presently a whole troop galloped in. A young officer came to Goethe to assure him that his house would be secure from pillage ; it had been selected as the quarters of Marshal Auge
The young hussar who brought this message was Lili's son! He accompanied him to the palace. Meanwhile several of the troops had made themselves at home in Goethe's house. Many houses were in flames. Cellars were broken open. The pillage began.
Goethe returned from the palace, but without the Marshal, who had not yet arrived. They waited for him till deep in the night. The doors were bolted, and the family retired to rest. About midnight two tirailleurs knocked at the door, and insisted on admittance. In vain they were told the house was full, and the Marshal expected. They threatened to break in the windows, if the door were not opened. They were admitted. Wine was set before them, which they drank like troopers, and then they insisted on seeing their host. They were told he was in bed. No matter; he must get up ; they had à fancy to see him. In such cases, resistance is futile. Riemer went up and told Goethe, who, putting on his dressinggown, came majestically down stairs, and by his presence considerably awed his drunken guests, who were as polite as French soldiers can be when they please. They talked to him ; made him drink with them, with friendly clink of glasses ; and suffered him to retire once more to his room. In a little while, however, heated with wine, they insisted on a bed. The other troopers were glad of the floor; but these two would have nothing less than a bed. They stumbled up stairs; broke into Goethe's room, and there a struggle ensued, which had a very serious aspect. Christiane, who throughout displayed great courage and presence of mind, procured a rescue, and the intruders were finally dragged from the room. They then threw themselves on the bed kept for the Marshal; and no threats would move them. In the morning the Marshal arrived, and sentinels protected the house. But, even under this protection the disquiet may be estimated by the simple fact that twelve casks of wine were drunk in the first few days; that eight-and-twenty beds were made up for the soldiers and officers, and that the cost of billetting on Goethe amounted to more than two thousand dollars.
The sun which shone with continuous autumnal splendour throughout these anxious days looked down on horrible scenes in Weimar. The pillage was prolonged, so that even the palace was almost stripped of the necessaries of life. In this extremity, while houses were in flames close to the palace, the Duchess Luise manifested that dauntless courage which has never been forgotten, and which produced a profound impression on Napoleon, as he entered Weimar, surrounded by all the terrors of conquest, and was received at the top of the palace stairs by her,--calm, dignified, unmoved. Voilà une femme à laquelle même nos deux cent canons n'ont pu faire peur ! he said to Rapp. She pleaded for her people ; vindicated her husband ; and by her constancy and courage prevailed over the conqueror, who was deeply incensed with the Duke, and repeatedly taunted him with the fact that he spared him solely out of res for the Duchess.
The rage of Napoleon against the Duke was as unwise as it was intemperate ; but I do not allude to it for the purpose of showing how petty the great conqueror could be; I allude to it for the purpose of quoting the characteristic outburst which it drew from Goethe. “Formed by nature to be a calm and impartial spectator of events, even I am exasperated," said Goethe to Falk, “when I see men required to perform the impossible. That the Duke assists wounded Prussian officers robbed of their pay; that he lent the lion-hearted Blücher four thousand dollars after the battle of Lübeck—that is what you call a conspiracy !—that seems to you a fit subject for reproach and accusation! Let us suppose that to-day