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VOLUME

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JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

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2. A.D. ^ ^t (^nman (HIubbub OF C[)e J^ineteentt) anD Ctoentictft Centuries Masterpieces of German Literature TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH Editor-in-Chief KUNO FRANCKE. Professor of the History of German Culture and Curator of the Germanic Museum.M. LL. Harvard University 9n (Hmrntii "Baiwrna ifUustratett THE GERMAN PUBLICATION SOCIETY NEW YORK .. Ph. Harvard University Assistant Editor-in-Chief WILLIAM GUILD HOWARD..D. Assistant Professor of German.D..8^. Litt.

Copyright 1913 by The Gbeman Publication Soceett .

Ja^es Anthony Fboude and The Elective Julia Franklin : R. Zelter. Ph. Translators Louis H. Hum- George Kkiehx. Sometime Preceptor Winckelmann and His Age. Shakespeare and Again Shakespeare.CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS VOLUME II Special Writer Calvi::^ Thomas. Bailey Sauxders: Maxims and Reflections. in Princeton University: Fbances H. . LL. Dillon Boylax: Affinities.. Goethe's Correspondence with Wilhelm von boldt and His Wife. Columbia University: Introduction to Elective Affinities.. : Oration on Wieland.D.D.D. John Oxenford: Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. ILrxG: Goethe's Correspondence with K. R. Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Ph. F. Dillon Boylan: The Pedagogic Province. Gbat.

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King 402 . Gray Goethe's Correspondence with K. Translated by Julia Franklin 292 Oration on Wieland. Gray The Pedagogic Proviaee (from " Wilhelm Meister's Travels "). Maxims and 326 Translated by George Kriehn 367 Translated by Bailey Saunders Eckermann's Conversation with Goethe. Dillon Boylan Winckelmann and His Age. Translated by John Oxenford. Translated by James Anthony Froude and 5 R.Translated by Louis H. Zelter. Reflections. Translated 315 by R. Translated by Louis H. F. Dillon Boylan 279 Shakespeare ajid Again Shakespeare. II PAGE By Calvin Thomas 1 The Elective AflBnities.. 390 Goethe's Correspondence with Wilhelm von Humboldt and His Wife.CONTENTS OF VOLUME Introduction to The Elective AflSnities. 463 Translated by Frances H.

By P. Weimar. By P. Grotjohann Ottilie. Grotjohann Edward and Ottilie. By Peter Woltze Garden House at Jena. By P Grotjohann Luciana posing as Queen Artemisia. Weimar. By Franz Simm Ottilie examines Edward's Presents. By Otto Knille Edward reading aloud to Charlotte and the Captain Charlotte receives Ottilie. Ottilie and the Captain discuss the new plan house. Charlotte. By Wilhelm von Kaulbach The Old Theatre. By Peter Woltze Martin Wieland. Hader Princess Amalia Winckelmann Weimar seen from the North Goethe and his Secretary. Drawing by Goethe 468 . Drawing by Goethe The Moat at Jena. By P.ILLUSTRATIONS — VOLUME Weimar 1803. By Johann Josef Schmeller Goethe's Study Schiller's 62 112 156 240 280 292 326 328 332 366 390 394 464 466 The Garden at Goethe's City House. By E. Grotjohann II PAGE Frontispiece 34 48 58 of the Edward. Drawing by Goethe View into the Saale Valley near Jena.

So it is certainly in this case. say. whose comings and goings have no very obvious connection with the story. " Ottilie's Expiation. the idea of which had occurred to him some time before. He had no very all definite plot in view. too. . has served to divert attention from the real centre of gra\'ity. Those long descriptions of landscape-gardening. The following spring he set about elaborating another tale of renunciation. the pages given to subordinate characters. Columbia University (^gnnan^ ^ the spring of the year 1807 Goethe began work on the second part of Wilhelm Meister." there would have been less room from — for misunderstanding and irrelevant criticism. As he proceeded the matter grew apace. LL.INTRODUCTION TO THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES By Calvin Thomas. while he was taking the waters at Karlsbad. which was to be the cenIn the tral theme of the Wanderjalire. over the aspect of the story. and more artistic. until it finally developed into the novel which was given to the world in 1809 under the title of The Elective Affinities.D.. the copious extracts Ottilie's diary. But somehow it refused to be confined within the limits of a novelette. When that which should be a short story is expanded into a novel one can usually detect the padding and the embroidery. there would have been less concern over the moral. Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures. all these retard the narrative and tend to hide the essential idea. I (ClHSSiCS hut proposed to of short stories. containing many thoughts which would hardly have entered the head of such a girl. The strange title. course of the summer. Had the tale been called. two or three of the stories were written. make room for a number relating to the subject of renunciation.

He had also observed. that of the soul is highly variable. forms new combinations. between physical law and the Great interest was felt in suggestion. The scientific analogy must not be pressed too not important. of course. It is no part of the analogy that the pressure of sex is always and by its very nature like the attraction of atoms. as no one can fail to observe. who are. suffice it to say that Goethe does not preach any doctrine of mechanical determinism in human relations. self-respect. to all seeming. since after all nothing interest the novel has it would have if all reference to chemistry had been omitted. He imagines a middle-aged man and woman. and souls on the other: the character of the atom or molecule is constant. turns on Whatever is fate. Each has been married before to an unloved .2 INTRODUCTION What then was the essential idea? Simply to describe a resulting from the invasion of the peculiar marriage relation by lawless passion. that the sexual attraction sometimes seems to act like chemical affinity: it*breaks up old unions. destroys pre-existing bodies. have each its specific character. is simply that character It is really it. But if this is to happen the recombining elements must. There is no room here for remarks on free will and determinism. As for the title. Edward and Charlotte. it should be remembered that there was just then a tendency tragedy to look for curious analogies operations of the human mind. Such a process will now and then defy prudence. hard. there momentous difference between atoms or molecules. whatever the consequences. Aside from the fact that character consists largely in the — is this steady inhibition of instinct and passion by the will. Goethe himself had lately been lecturing on magnetism. if he can be said to have one. happily united in marriage. and all that sort of thing. occult influence. as if it were a law that miist work itself out. duty. Goethe's thesis. else there is no affinity and no tragedy. even religion. going its way like a blind and ruthless law of physics. on the one hand.

falls madly in love vrith the charming Ottiiie. The others are almost won over to this solution when the event happens that precipitates the tragedy: the child of a first . Their feeling for each other is only a mild friendship. who is for the moment without suitable employ- and energy. since they are well-to-do. but finally She herself has a niece. Edward. After much debate the pair take both the Captain and Ottiiie into their spacious castle. while the very dubious link in Goethe's fiction that this genuine offspring of Edward and Charlotte.INTRODUCTION mate who has conveniently 3 died. And now the elective affinity begins to do its disastrous boarding-school. Her . and would like to do so. a beautiful girl yields. but within the limits of wifely duty. humors his whims. and their fine estate offers them both a plenty of interesting work. has the features of OttiUe and the Captain. and worships liim in an innocent girlish way. Ottiiie. work. Edward has a highly esteemed friend called the Captain. Edward can give him just the needed work. fails to see what a shabby specimen of — at he really is. She adapts Edward. Charlotte is not long in discovering that the Captain is a much better man than her husband she loves him. whom no one understands and who is not doing well at her Charlotte would like to have the girl under her own care. leaving them both free to yield to the gentle pull of long-past youthful attachment. This is what Edward proposes and tries to bring about. It is a Charlotte is accidentally drowned by Ottihe's child. man Edward and carelessness. From the moment of the drowning Ottiiie is a changed being. In the vulgar world of prose such a tangle could be most easily straightened out by divorce and remarriage. Charlotte fears that the presence ment for his ability of the Captain may disturb their pleasant idyl. ^\ith great advantage to the property. but that does not appear to augur ill. who has always indulged himself in every whim and has no other standard of conduct. who has a passion for making herself to herself useful and serving everybody.

like a wakened sleep-walker she what a dangerous path she has been treading. to be sure. A season of dreamy happiness. It becomes a fixed idea. That Edward is quite unworthy of the girl's love. For a moment they plan to send her back to school. She is a creature of romance. The figure of Ottilie. One is reminded of that medieval lady who is doomed to eat the heart of her crusading lover and then refuses all other food and dies. Happiness is not. since at the end of the tale we are no longer in the realm of normal psychology. hopelessness. is irradiated by a light that never was on sea or land. She must atone character quickly matures sees her awful sin. that the death of the child is no sufficient reason for her morbid remorse. His death. as she moves about in a world unrealized. . It is a study of a delicately organized virgin soul caught in the meshes of an ignoble fate and beating its wings in hopeless misery until death ends the struggle. is unthinkable for such a man and does but testify to the unearthly attraction with which the girl is invested by Goethe's art. like that of her spiritual sister Mignon. Edward ordinary in his moral flabbiness and his foolish infatuation. and her remorse takes on a morbid tinge. Any For her sake the book was written. She must renounce it all. The wretched atone — for — Edward does likewise. She She feels that marriage with Edward would be a crime. renunciation. for her. and after that. resists his passionate appeals. is quite immaterial. 4. Such is the logic of the tale. the will to die.hen a terrible shock. but she cannot tear herself away from Edward's sinister presence. just appreciation of Goethe's art in The Elective Affinities must begin by recognizing that it is about Ottilie. and we learn without much surprise that her dead body performs miracles.4 INTRODUCTION . At last she refuses food and gradually starves herself to death. remorse. The other characters are ordinary people: Charlotte and the Captain ordinary in their good sense and self-control.

the village at your feet. was complacently survejdng his work. '* Have you seen my wife an}'^vhere!" inquired Edward. Tell her I wish to see this good new creation of hers." '' Quite true. too. "the summer-house which she has been making on the rock over against the castle is finished today." replied Edward. as he moved to go away. it is a pleasure work under her. My gracious to lady understands these things . and you look the gardener. as to wait for me there. and having laid his tools together in their box. are excellently arranged. to the right of the church again." [5] ." then." said Edward." ''Go '* and desire her to be so to her. along over a range of wood and meadow far into the distance. which you can just see over. a few steps ** '' I can see the people at ' ' work * ' And standing. and really it is The It cannot fail to please your grace." said the man. view from it is — garden. when the gardener came up young and complimented his master on his industry. a little perfect: to your right the church. TRANSLATED BY JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE AND I I call DILLON BOYLAN |D"WARD — SO man in we shall the prime of life had been spending several hours of a fine April morning in his — a wealthy noble- nursery-garden. budding the stems of some trees with cuttings which had been recently sent to him. and enjoy it with her. from where I am continued is the opening of the valley. the castle and the beautiful. He had finished what he was about. and directly opposite you.THE ELECTIVE PAKT Chapter AFFINITIES R. '' My lady is alone yonder in the new grounds. The steps up the rock. mth its tower.

immediately up the face of the rock. Descending the terrace. . to a place where the walk leading to the summer-house branched off in two directions. a seat had been made.6 THE GERMAN CLASSICS The gardener went rapidly off. and thence. he came presently to the stream. and for a fourth also. conducted at last through a narrow more or less steep outlet to the summer-house. with a more gradual ascent. and in such a pleasant mood." " I have observed that there has been something of the sort. he found himself. into which he struok." said Edward. and Edward spoke of it with delight. " For larger parties we can contrive other places. through a pretty shrubbery. about which I have Tip wished to speak to you. third." he '^ the summer-house itself is rather small." replied Charlotte. " there is room for a '' said . but have never been able to muster my courage. over a narrow bridge. Spring was coming on a rich. She made him sit down where. without moving. in w^hich they were set like pictures. following the now single road. *' There is only one thing which I should observe. Charlotte was standing at the door to receive her husband." ** Now that we are here by ourselves." ** Of course. after scrambling along among steps and slopes of all sorts and kinds. ** It is large enough for you and me." added. Where the two paths joined again. easily." Edward. with no one to disturb us. The other. Certainl}^. and stopping as he passed to look into the hot-houses and the forcing-pits. wound away to the left. he could command a view of the different landscapes through the door and window these serving as frames. beautiful life w^ould soon everywhere be bursting. — ." answered Charlotte. where he stopped a few moments to rest and then. " it is a good opportunity for me to tell you that I have for some time had something on my mind. One path led across the churchyard." said Charlotte. too. at any rate. and Edward soon followed.

it is his passion — to be daily and hourly exercising for the benefit of others." said Charlotte. I I hesitate any longer with what I am wishing for him. It is answered which he." in you know the unfortunate position others. all we have been in the habit of borrowing from and lending to each other. ." returned Edward. acquiring." — ." "We must think about that. to find himself without employment. and we could not tell. "that he had had offers from many different quarters. he feels it doubly and trebly. male and female. and alone as he is. many through no fault of his own." affection- What It is it. is placed. concerns " Edward. I myself wrote to numbers of my own friends. He knows thoroughly well how to limit his expenses and I have taken care for everything absolutely necessary. it is a painful situation. when he can make no use of what he already possesses. and acquiring.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES "And even now. as I have reason to believe. The many accomplishments which he has cultivated in himself. if we would. . my dear creature. turning our friend the ately toward him." 7 Edward went on. how our debtor and creditor account stands. I should very likely have still " kept it to myself. for him and." "But I thought. but you may imagine how painful it must be for a person \\ith his knowledge and talents and accomplishI will not ments. or to go on studying. "with his arms folded. And now. " Through his last letters there is a — prevailing tone of despondency not that he is really in any want. " if it were not for a letter which the post brought me this morning. like " Captain. . then?" asked Charlotte. should like to have him here with us for a time." replied Charlotte. "it should be considered on more sides than one. it is his only pleasure — indeed. and which obUges me to come to some resolution today. no distress to him to accept obligations from me." " I am quite ready to tell you what I have in view. to sit still. not without effect. It is being It is our lives "without occupation wliich is really fretting him.

as well.8 '^ THE GERMAN CLASSICS It is true. friend's position. and get it made. his purposes. and to that he cannot bring himself. do and say it out freely and jovl say what you think." '* I have done that. What shall we not be thus doing for him! and how agreeable and how profitable may not his society prove to us I have long been wishing for a plan of the property and the grounds. '* to enter with so much sympathy into your Charlotte. The country people have knowledge enough. In any case. his presence with us. we can have nothing to expect from except pleasure and advantage. '* — think of yourself and of me. it would be but small and you know he will be of no inconvenience to us at . " For ourselves. but they are deficient in personal experience. and from which I can foresee innumerable advantages. the more I feel about it. I will say nothing of the can have his own rooms in the right wing of the and everything else can be arranged as simply as possible. fully. you know. tiently listening to me." replied Edward. if he came to us. is a serious thing." replied these various — have proposals embarrassment. ! intend yourself to take the management of the estate. but their way of imparting it is confused." . He would have nothing to do he would have to sacrifice himself. and not always honest. You all. his w^hole method of life. a person as he is. His various information will be of immense benefit to us. I will not interrupt you. * * ' ' but these very offers only caused him fresh Not one of them is at all suitable to such Edward. He will see to it. Thank you for so pa- Now. only you must allow me to ask you to . The students from the towns and universities are sufficiently clever and orderly. and that. and hundreds of other circumstances I can easily conceive arising. and the more anxious I am to see him here Avith us. From my friend. as soon as our present steward's term is expired. I can promise myself both knowledge and method. He castle. his time. affecting you as well as me. expense. The more I think of it all. I feel only too acutely how much I require a person of this kind." answered It is very beautiful and amiable in you.

" replied Charlotte. your poor mother at the same time leaving you in possession of your large fortune. for your companion. and it is exactly this which it is — — their mission to promote. at court. I at first hesitated. women. more of how things hang together in life. our present and our past life. I from you. So we met once more. you would settle down and enjoy life. " 9 I will begin at once with a general observation. We spoke of the past. I settled my daughter where she could be more completely educated than would be possible in the retirement of the country. to leave things as they were. having to give my hand. and I placed my niece Ottilie there wdth her as well. if I did not love. in the army. I later. we could enjoy — We and love the recollection of it.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES ''Very well. You were urgent for our marriage. I will go back to those happy days of our earliest intercourse. choosing to all — marry you to an elderly and rich lady. from an insatiable desire of wealth. became again free you first. and our arrangements. and that rightly too. on the other hand. our hearts. young as we then were. This was done with your consent. because — their destiny the destiny of their families is bound up in this interdependence. just at the time when you returned from abroad. We w^ere parted: you from me your father. whom I respected. but We only "v\ith me at a school. with We loved each other. you were to recover from at my side. would have grown up better at home with me. . without any especial motive. were about the same age. and rightly. but I as a woman had grown older than you as a man. or in traveling. So now^ let us cast a glance at and you will acknowledge that the invitation of the Captain does not fall in so entirely wdth our purposes. their calling being to do and to work. At last I could not refuse you what you seemed to tliink the one thing you cared for. our plans. who. in each other's society. perhaps. Men think most of the immediate the present. under my own care. we might have been con- tented. to an excellent man. All the discomfort Avhich you had ever experienced.

the journal which you made You were to take the opportunity of arranging it. you have ning is already made. accompanying me on the piano. indeed. taken up your flute again. in consecutive order." — Since the interdependence of things. depend mainly on our being together. that we introduce no alien element. What we Well. only. principle has been to meet your wishes in everything. even those which only concern our amusements. are we to build ** nothing to be developed out of it? I in the garden. ourselves. so delightful. The foundation which we have hitherto been laying for ourselves. The beginThen. My own you the out-of-doors and the general control. as you call it. in the evenings. sound sort. you have been in the right up to the present day. me. you in the " is it all only for a pair of hermits? park very well. which should give pleasure to to ourselves and to others. putting all the loose matter connected with it in its place and with me to work with you and help you." replied Edward. nothing which shall cross or obstruct us. is '' one should your especial element. replied Charlotte. trains of reasoning. to travel over in recollection the world which we were unable to see together.10 THE GERMAN CLASSICS merely that we might have our own lives to ourselves merely that we might enjoy undisturbed our so-long-wishedWe came here and settled for. to At least. so-long-delayed happiness. You were to read nothing upon All the ' ' it? is — work we have done ' ' — ' * when you were abroad. and. or either never listen to any of your make up one's mind to allow you to be in the right. Remember. let us give ourselves a fair live only for you. and I we thought promised to assist you in it would be so pleasant. so charming. I undertook the domestic part of the menage. well. have to look to is. transcribing. . out of these invaluable but chaotic leaves and sheets to put together a complete thing. our plans. is of the true. while of visits backwards and forwards among the neigh- . trial how far in this way we can be enough for each other.

I ^^411 acknowledge openly. that one and sisters." said Charlotte. . I have an instinct which tells me no good will come of it. then so affectionate. " A\'ith people who live on without looking where they are going but not." — . through every bit of this which you have been so sweetly and so sensibly lajdng before me. . the Captain's presence can be any interruption. Nothing is of greater moment." replied Edward." my many ** Edward. in any state of things. then. my dearest husband. merely as such." *' I am not superstitious. how." answered " Charlotte." replied is there no answering glad to give way to you full of feelings. I should rather have He was thought it would give it all fresh zest and life. I have seen friends. promising myself out of all this the first really happy summer I haye ever thought to spend in my life. whose relation to each other. " and I care nothing for these dim sensations. husbands and wives. but in general they are the result of unconscious recollections of happy or unhappy consequences." replied Edward. and full of forebodings." '' Only I cannot see. which terrify one. He made companion during a part of my travels. that is this way. I have been borhood. wliich one cannot wound. observations from a different point of view from mine. through the accidental or intentional introduction of a third person. has been altogether changed whose whole moral condition has been inverted by it. with persons whom experience has taught to understand themselves.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 11 For my part. than the intervention of a third person. surely." '' Well." " That understanding ourselves. lovers. with some impatience." '* That may very well be. and so make a charmingly complete work of it. there is abundance. You women are inducible in '* You are so sensible. brothers you. which we have experienced as following on our own or others' actions. my feeling is against this plan. We can put it all together. rubbing his fore" head.

however. to leave them to chance. in such a serious your way matter." returned Edward. their mutual purposes. while in her presence had felt so happy. this seems almost a crime. the sad condition of this excellent man rose again vividly before him. To me. " That is as good as none at all." " cried " Then what am I to write to the Captain? " for w^rite I must at once. I think the best thing we can do is to draw lots. he had settled himself at his writing-table. . rather to write nothing than not to write. And out of all this. The arguments for and against are all before us. and taken up his friend's letter to read it — — over once more. at least so much seems Let to arise. and in which it is the real kindness. that we should not be in too great a hurry. don't decide. "Write him a Mnd. kind. and it appeared impossible to him to leave one whom he called his friend in such painful embarrassment. sensitive as he was.12 THE GERMAN CLASSICS '' is no such certain weapon. that he had thought out a warm. all we want is the conclusion. When. me have a few days to think. sensible." are obliged. worked him." Chapter II Edward was alone incidents of his life tion of their The repetition of the from Charlotte's lips. the representamutual situation. It is very insisted Charlotte." " I " that in doubtful cases it is know. but quiet and indefinite epistle which he would send to the Captain. had in his room. and as things are. " in which " And there are answered we she. we shall still be in too great a hurry." said Charlotte. many cases." "As the matter stands. The feelings which had been all day distressing him again awoke. into a very pleasant state he While close to her of mind." Edward. "wait as many days as we will." replied Edward. often a most dangerous one for the person who bears it. sympathizing letter." answered Charlotte.

kindly and sweetly. The most natural thing to do. she seeking to reward his kindness to her by the utmost liberality. — throw open his w^hole heart He felt annoyed. and as often threw it down again. felt himself. For although. The next day. impossible for him. for the first time. even if he had wished. w^hen those wishes were to in\ite to his home the friend of his youth just won her and now he at last. sensitive as he was. to .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 13 Edward was unaccustomed to deny himself anything. he had a romantic fidelity. contradicted. as they were walking to the same spot. but free-hearted. easy letter. with desires never excessive. he begged his friend to forgive him for ha^dng left his letter unanswered that day he was unable as he as it w^ere. was what Edward w^as wishing. was to put it off. . after her early death his own master. with an obstinate. at multiple and various times even noble — — what was there in the world to cross or Charlotte thwart him? Hitherto. The only child. and again by her petted and indulged in every possible way. Charlotte took the opportunity of bringing back the conversation to the subject. but shortly. impatient. to write a quiet. again and again. traveling independently of every one. but highly advantageous marriage ^\ith a lady far older than himself. brave. He expressed himown way. In a few w^ords. perhaps because she knew that there is no surer It way than by often talking self in his it of rooting out any plan or purpose over. was longing. and consequently the spoilt child. everything had gone as he desired! had become his . who had persuaded him into a singular. he took up his pen to him. it would have been he could not. of wealthy parents. generous. Against his wife's ^^dshes he would not go against her expressed desire Ill at ease as he was. equal to all contingencies and all changes. crossed in his wishes. he hoped to be able to tell him what he felt at greater length. to write circumstantially. because he could not make up his mind what to write. he flamed up readily although the — .

This morning. he first contrived to bring Charlotte into the happiest humor." she continued." — are to learn at present. with me about Ottilie as it is with you about the Captain. everything that is taught there. with him. unmoved. She distinguishes herself above every one at the school with the freedom of her carriage. and the elegance of her address. Luciana. wishes. have not left me till now. " In the married state. and the warmth and sweetness with which you express them." *' Glad am I to hear that. The dear child is most uncomfortable at the * ' ** You that it is and I am thoroughly uneasy about her. a difference of opinion now and then. we learn something of each other by it. daughter. gifts. that it was impossible not to be charmed. my *' I will acknowledge that your dearest. then. The superior of the establishment regards . she learns them off at sight. I am in exactly the same position with you. At least. and his obstinacy made him impatient were so softened by his ^vish to spare the feeUngs of those — whom he was speaking. and an excellent memory.14 THE GERMAN CLASSICS vehemence with which he desired anything made him presshis words ing. and then so disarmed her with the graceful turn which he gave to the conversation. and in a moment calls it all back again. born as she is for the world. have not left me untouched. I see. I too have had a concealment from you. history. You drive me to make a confession. my forgets everything." said Charlotte. as it She has quick natural were. languages. the grace of her move- ment. one may almost say she school. that she to cried out at last : " You are determined that what I refused to the husband you mil make me grant to the lover. even when one most disagreed. and with the inborn royalty of nature makes herself the queen of the little circle there. is there training hourly for the world. she acquires with so much ease that." said Edward. is no bad thing. and I have hitherto been putting the same restraint on my inclination which I have been exhorting you to put on yours.

and her monthly notices of progress. but since I have clearly known the painfulness of her situation. who. who knows very well that poor Ottilie is entirely dependent upon us. the same sorrows to Let us bear. destroys the little good which for her. bear them together." . you see. and so. I have been thinking over all possible to make some other arrangement. touching both our hearts in the same point. the first pages of this good lady's letters.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES her as a tion. and show^s neither capacity nor accomplishment. uiuler her hands. does not refrain from flourishing her own successes in her face. to a we have done who stands certain extent. and then I do not mean to hesitate any more. This. and whose daughter. We have both. Who are well trained enough never to w^ound others by a parade of their own advantages? and so high as not at times to suffer under such a In trials like these. my dear Edward. who grew up wdth myself. is no riddle to me. if I had the care of her education. how^ever. I think it better to bear. it is with me. gain her reputaand bring her a large increase of pupils. Every hour I am expecting an answer to my own last letter. has not fallen in with our plan. even the unpleasant impression that my daughter. wdio was my own dearest friend. while her concluding sentences about Ottilie are nothing but excuse after excuse attempts at explaining how it can be that a girl in other respects growing up so lovely — seems coming to nothing. ** This. is shaping into excellence. or for ever introducing new elements among the conditions of our lives. are forever hymns about the excellence of such a child. So. and to conquer as I can. and as one ought not to be picking and pulling. Ottilie 's character is growing slight? in strength. and the little she has to say besides. which I have to translate into my own prose. because I can see in this dear child the same character as that of her mother. little 15 divinity. and who will do her honor. would form into an exquisite creature. since we neither of us can press our ways own against the other. I am certain.

a fever was to me." said Charlotte. at least. . If we look " — . let the trial be made. . of an age (I am not saying this to flatter you) when a man becomes first capable of love and first deserving of it. — . and met her at your aunt's. Attractive she is. she could not bear to let me be a moment out of her sight. at once. some misfortune must have happened If I got wet through in a shower. we fancy at once we have got rid of it." said Edward. although she is much younger ing . If I was out later than usual in my ride. impression upon me. when we came back last year. merely to avoid exposing ourselves to a chance of danger. we are leaving exposed to pain and distress. If this is not to be called You take Ottilie. But do you think at it closer. we can only put out of sight anything which troubles We can give us. which have the closest claims on our aifection. '* ishly. I scarcely seemed to belong to her. she has particularly pretty eyes but I do not know that she made the slightest I can only explain it to myself by supinherited your affection for her mother." '' That was quite proper in you. and a girl of " Ottilie 's attractiveness? *' I cannot conceive how you can rate Ottilie so high." "We might venture it.16 '* THE GERMAN CLASSICS We If are strange creatures. thoughtfully. what is? tain and." replied Edward. both of very culpably. inevitable. but to make sacrifices in little things is a demand to w^hich we are rarely equal. the Captain. as long as I lived with her. up much in the large and general. we are both acting very fooU Two very noble natures. ** seethat I was there. for a short period." he continued. Let me have the Capselfish. while a boy and a young man. no doubt. it prudent to bring Ottilie and the Captain into a situation where they must necessarily be so closely intimate. *' if the danger were only to ourselves. I traveled I was absent from her altogether and. ' ' posing her to have Pretty she is. smiling. a man no older than yourself. I remember the Captain observing it to me. and." said Charlotte. So it was with my mother.

while he was taking the waters at Karlsbad. and more for over the artistic.D. say. Had the tale been called. aspect of the story. As he proceeded grew apace. When that which should be a short story is expanded into a novel one can usually detect the padding and the embroidery.INTRODUCTION TO THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES By Calvin Thomas.. all these retard the narrative and tend to hide the essential idea. whose comings and goings have no very obvious connection with the story. tral which was to be the cenIn the theme of the Wanderjahre. has served to divert attention from the real centre of gravity. He had *'= — but proposed to of short stories. too. the pages given to subordinate characters. until it finally developed into the novel which was given to the world in 1809 under the title of The Elective Affinities. the copious extracts from Ottilie's diary. there would have been less concern over the moral. s no very definite plot in view. containing many thoughts wliich would hardly have entered the head of such a girl. Those long descriptions of landscape-gardening." there would have been less room — misunderstanding and irrelevant criticism. the idea of wliich had occurred to him some time before. The following spring he set about elaborating another tale of renunciation. make room for a number all relating to the subject or renunciation. two or three of the stories were w^ritten. '* Ottilie's Expiation. The strange title. Columbia University JN the spring of the year 1807 Goethe began work on the second part of Wilhelm Meister. . So it is certainly in this case. But somehow it refused to be confined wdthin the matter the limits of a novelette. course of the summer. LL. Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Edward and Charlotte. happily united in has been married before to an unloved . steady inhibition of instinct and passion by the will. to all seeming. is simply that character relations. Whatever interest the novel has it would have if all reference to chemistry had been omitted. occult influence. There is no room here for remarks on free will and determinism. if he can be said to have one. going its way like a blind and ruthless law of physics. Aside from the fact that character consists largely in the — . there momentous difference between atoms or molecules. self-respect.2 INTRODUCTION What then was the essential idea? Simply to describe a resulting from the invasion of the marriage relation by lawless passion. Each are. that the sexual attraction sometimes seems to act like chemical affinity: it breaks up old unions. Goethe's thesis. and souls on the other: the character of the atom or molecule is constant. destroys pre-existing bodies. who marriage. Such a process will now and then defy prudence. and all that sort of thing. it should be remembered that there was just then a tendency peculiar tragedy to look for curious analogies between physical law and the operations of the human mind. But if this is to happen the recombining elements must. Goethe himself had lately been lecturing on magnetism. He imagines a middle-aged man and woman. that of the soul is highly variable. as no one can fail to observe. on the one hand. of course. It is no part of the analogy that the pressure of sex is always and by its very nature like the attraction of atoms. forms new combinations. whatever the consequences. even religion. have each its specific character else there is no affinity and no tragedy. since after all nothing turns on it. As for the title. is fate. He had also observed. as if it were a law that must work itself out. It is really not important. suffice it to say that Goethe does not is this preach any doctrine of mechanical determinism in human The scientific analogy must not be pressed too hard. Great interest was felt in suggestion. duty.

under her own both the Captain and Ottiiie into their spacious castle. a beautiful girl yields. Their feeling for each other is only a mild friendship. Edward can give him just the needed work. who has always indulged himself in ever\^ whim and has no other standard of conduct. who has a passion for is not doing well at her Charlotte would like to have the girl care. and would like to do so. falls madly in love with the charming Ottiiie. but within the limits of wifely duty. Avith great advantage to the property.INTRODUCTION 3 mate who has conveniently died. and worships him first in an innocent girlish w^ay. child. she loves him. but that does not appear to aug-ur ill. And now the elective affinity begins to do its disastrous work. Charlotte fears that the presence of the Captain may disturb their pleasant idyl. Edward. She adapts Edward. has the features of Ottiiie and the Captain. leaving them both free to yield to the gentle pull of long-past youthful attachment. In the vulgar world of prose such a tangle could be most easily straightened out by divorce and remarriage. since they are well-to-do. After much debate the pair take making herself to — at a man herself useful and serving everybody. Ottiiie. but finally She herself has a niece. and their fine estate offers them both a plenty of interesting Edward has a highly esteemed friend called the Captain. work. who is for the moment without suitable employment for his ability and energy. Her . The others are almost won over to this solution when the event happens that precipitates the tragedy: the child of Edward and Charlotte is accidentally drowned by Ottiiie 's carelessness. From the It is a moment of the drowning Ottiiie is a changed being. Charlotte is not long in discovering that the Captain is a much better man than her husband . humors his whims. whom no one understands and who boarding-school. This is what Edward proposes and tries to bring about. very dubious link in Goethe's fiction that this while the genuine offspring of Edward and Charlotte. fails to see what a shabby specimen of he really is.

: hopelessness. She is a creature of romance. and her remorse takes on a morbid tinge. It becomes a fixed idea. and we learn \\T. It is For her sake the book was a study of a delicately organized virgin soul caught in the meshes of an ignoble fate and beating its wings in hopeless misery until death ends the struggle. That Edward is quite unworthy of the girl's love. the will to die.thout much surprise that her dead body performs miracles. Happiness is not for her. like a wakened sleep-walker she what a dangerous path she has been treading. is unthinkable for such a man and does but testify to the unearthly attraction A\itli which the girl is invested by Goethe's art. Such is the logic of the tale. that the death of the child is no sufficient reason for her morbid remorse. written. Any Affinities just appreciation of Goethe's art in Tlie Elective must begin by recognizing that it is about Ottilie. since at the end of the tale we are no longer in the realm of normal psychology. She must renounce it all. One is reminded of that medieval lady who is doomed to eat the heart of her crusading lover and then refuses all other food and dies. She must atone character quickly matures sees For a moment they plan to send her back to school. but she cannot tear herself away from Edward's sinister presence. Edward ordinary in his moral His death. A season of dreamy happiness. . remorse. At last she refuses food and gradually starves herself to death. sure. is irradiated by a light that never was on sea or land. then a terrible shock. The figure of Ottilie. like that of her spiritual sister Mignon.4 INTRODUCTION . is quite immaterial. resists his passionate appeals. to be flabbiness and his foolish infatuation. as she moves about in a world unrealized. The other characters are ordinary people Charlotte and the Captain ordinary in their good sense and self-control. She She feels that marriage vjith Edward would be a crime. renunciation. Edward does likewise. The wretched atone — for — her awful sin. and after that.

" good as me there. budding the stems of some young trees with cuttings which had been recently sent to him. meadow far into the disit is The steps up the rock. He had finished what he was about. which you can just see over. with its tower. My gracious to lady understands these things '' a pleasure to be so work under her. My man. is the opening of the valley." work '* few steps from where I am then. The view from it is perfect the \dllage at your feet a little : — . to your right the church." *' Go to her." continued *' the gardener. and having laid his tools together in their box." said Edward. ." replied a garden." " Edward. are excellently arranged. and directly opposite you. when the gardener came up and complimented his master on his industry. and you look And along over a range of wood and tance. and enjoy [5] .THE ELECTIVE PART AFFINITIES R. the castle and the Quite true. "the it is alone yonder in the new grounds. ** Have you seen my wife anywhere?" inquired Edward." said the summer-house which she has been making on the rock over against the castle is finished today. too. Tell her I wish to see this it new creation of hers. It cannot fail to please your grace. was com- JDWARD — so man in the we — placently survejdng his work. to wait for and desire her with her. " I can see the people at standing. and really beautiful. as he *' moved lady to is go away. TRANSLATED BY JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE AND I DILLON BOYLAN Chapter I shall call a wealthy noblehad been spending prime of life several hours of a fine April morning in his nursery-garden. to the right of the church again.

he could command a view of the different landscapes through the door and ^dndow these serving as frames. wound away to the left." ** I have observed that there has been something of the sort. conducted at last through a narrow more or less steep outlet to the summer-house. and in such a pleasant mood. following the now single road. at any rate. in which they were set like pictures. '* there is room for a tliird. *' There is only one thing which I should observe. into which he struok. She made him sit down where. "It is large enough for you and me. Descending the terrace. where he stopped a few moments to rest and then. he came presently to the stream. through a pretty shrubbery. Where the -two paths joined again. he found himself. beautiful life would soon everywhere be bursting.6 THE GERMAN CLASSICS The gardener went rapidly off. . One path led across the churchyard. For larger parties we can contrive other places. after scrambling along among steps and slopes of all sorts and kinds. '^Certainly." said too. and Edward spoke of it with delight. " it is a good opportunity for me to tell you that I have for some time had something on my mind. Charlotte was standing at the door to receive her husband. The other. and for a fourth also. to a place where the walk leading to the summer-house branched off in two directions. without moving. but have never been able to muster my courage. ^\ith a more gradual ascent. immediately up the face of the rock." said Edward." he '' the summer-house itself is rather small. and Edward soon followed." said Charlotte. a seat had been made. Spring was coming on a rich. with no one to disturb us. easilv. *' up wished to speak to you." *' Now that we are here by ourselves. over a narrow bridge." rephed Charlotte. and stopping as he passed to look into the hot-houses and the forcing-pits. about which I have Edward." answered Charlotte. . and thence." added." ** Of course. — .

acquiring. and which obliges me to come to some resolution today." "But I thought. person with his knowledge and talents and accomplishI will not ments. not without effect. "it should be considered on more sides than one. And now." affection- What It is it. if it 7 were not for a letter which the post brought me this morning. *' Through his last letters there is a prevailing tone of despondency." replied Charlotte. It is through no fault of his like many others. if we would. — — and hourly exercising for the benefit of others. I hesitate any longer with what I am wishing for him. It is being without occupation which is really fretting him. . The many accomplishments which he has cultivated in himself. it is his passion — ' ' * ' ' ' . . or to go on studjdng. all our lives we have been in the habit of borrowing from and lending to each other. and we could not tell. how our debtor and creditor account stands. but you may imagine how painful it must be for a own. when he can make no use of what he already possesses. with his arms folded. for him and. I should verylikely *' have still kept it to myself. It is no distress to him to accept obligations from me. it it is a painful doubly and trebly. creature. numbers of my own friends." answered Edward you know the unfortunate position in wliich he. is placed. male and female. concerns ' ' Captain. **We must think about that. not that he is really in any want." I am quite ready to tell you what I have in view. returned Edward. turning our friend the ately ** toward him." said Charlotte." and alone as he he feels . to find himself without employment. it is to be daily his only pleasure indeed. I should like to have him here with us for a time." Edward went on. situation. He knows thoroughly well how to limit his expenses and I have taken care for everything absolutely necessary. as I have reason to believe. — my dear is.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES " **And even now. to sit still. and acquiring. then?" asked Charlotte. "that he had had I myself wrote to offers from many different quarters.

you know. but these very offers only caused him fresh Not one of them is at all suitable to such Edward. and get it made." *' I have done that. and the more . the more I feel about it. and to that he cannot bring himself. His various information will be of immense benefit to us. *' — a person as he is. affecting you as well as me. The more I think of it all. ** to enter with so much sympathy into your Charlotte. I feel only too acutely how much I require a person of this kind. castle." ' ' answered very beautiful and amiable in you. but they are deficient in personal experience." . as soon as our present steward's term is expired. except pleasure and advantage. The country people have knowledge enough. Thank you for so patiently listening to me. is a serious thing. but their way of imparting it is confused. The students from the towns and universities are sufficiently clever and orderly. You It is ." replied Edward. if he came to us. his time. and that. friend's position. do you say what you think. and everything else can be arranged as simply as possible. we can have nothing to expect from his presence with us. and hundreds of other circumstances I can easily conceive arising. as well. I wall say nothing of the expense. out freely and fully. his purposes. it w^ould be but small and you know he will be of no inconvenience to us at He can have his own rooms in the right wing of the all. anxious I ' ' am to see him here "with us. He will see to it.8 ** THE GERMAN CLASSICS It is true. He would have nothing to do he would have to sacrifice himself. In any case. and say it Now. ! intend yourself to take the management of the estate. and not always honest. only you must allow me to ask you to think of yourself and of me. I will not interrupt you. and from which I can foresee innumerable advantages. What shall we not be thus doing for him! and how agreeable and how profitable may not his society prove I have long been wishing for a plan of the property to us and the grounds. " For ourselves. his whole method of life." replied these various — have proposals embarrassment. From my friend. I can promise myself both knowledge and method.

more of how hang together in life and that rightly too. young as we then were. under my own care. we might have been con- We You were urgent tented. where she could be more completely educated than would be possible in the retirement of the country. having to give my hand. . for our marriage. and our arrangeI will go back to those happy days of our earliest intercourse. but only with me at a school. So met once more. at court. Men think most of the imme- their calling being to do work. This was done with your consent. to an excellent man. would have grown up better at home with me. in each other's society. on the other hand.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES ** 9 Very well. if I did not love. and it is exactly this which it is their mission to promote. or in traveling. I at first hesitated. I later. from an insatiable desire of wealth. diate — the present. we just at the time when you returned from abroad. spoke of the past. entirely with our purposes. you would settle down and enjoy life. We were parted: you from me your father. with We loved each other. We became you first. who. and rightly. to leave things as they were. about the same age but I as a woman had grown At last I could not refuse you older than you as a man. without any especial motive." with a general observation. you were to recover from at my side. and you will acknowledge and to — that the invitation of the Captain does not fall in so ments. we could enjoy and love the recollection of it. choosing to marry you to an elderly and rich lady I from you. '* I will begin at once replied Charlotte. — leaving you in possession of your large fortune. our hearts. So now let us cast a glance at our present and our past life. your poor mother at the same time again free all — . perhaps. — . I settled my daughter for your companion. and I placed my niece Ottilie there with her as well. We were All the discomfort which you had ever experienced. whom I respected. our plans. what you seemed to think the one thing you cared for. women. . in the army. because things is bound up the destiny of their families their destiny in this interdependence.

so-long-delayed happiness. which should give pleasure to I promised to assist you in ourselves and to others. you have ning is already made. one's mind to allow you to be in the right. are it? is we to build developed out of it? nothing nothing upon I in the garden.10 THE GERMAN CLASSICS merely that we might have our own lives to ourselves merely that we might enjoy undisturbed our so-long-wishedWe came here and settled for. you in the All the work we have done " is it all only for a pair of hermits f park — — to be very well." replied Edward. you have been in the right up to the present day. What we Well. You were to take the opportunity of arranging it. transcribing. that we introduce no ahen element. Remember. '' " depend mainly on our being together. I undertook the domestic part of the menage. My own to principle has been to meet your wishes in everything." replied Charlotte. while of visits backwards and forwards among the neigh- . and with me to work with you and help you. in the evenings. and. out of these invaluable but chaotic leaves and sheets to put together a complete thing. or make up indeed. let us give ourselves a fair only for you. The foundation which we have hitherto been laying for ourselves. have to look to is. even those which only concern our amusements. ourselves. putting all the loose matter connected with it in its place . sound sort. the journal which you made when you were abroad. how far in this way we can be enough for each other. in consecutive order. so charming. our plans. as you call it. either never listen to any of your trains of reasoning." *' Since the interdependence of things. The beginThen. is of the true. you the out-of-doors and the general control. accompanying me on the piano. to You were to read me. taken up your flute again. is '' one should your especial element. and we thought it would be so pleasant. only. well. to travel over in recollection the world which we were unable to see together. live trial — At least. nothing which shall cross or obstruct us. so delightful.

my dearest husband." Well. husbands and \\^ves. "my in feeling is against have an instinct which are in\^ncible tells me no good will "You women Edward. lovers. this sensible." . that there is no answering you. but in recollections — stand themselves. has been altogether changed whose whole moral condition has been inverted by it." " That " may very w^ell be. through every bit of this which you have been so sweetly and so sensibly lajdng before me. full of feelings." replied have experienced as following on our own or others' actions. surely. I have seen friends." will acknowledge openly. nothing for these dim sensations." said Charlotte. which we " and I care such. and full of " You are so way. I have been borliood. We can put it all together. which terrify one. ' ' " That understanding ourselves. A\ith this plan. that one is glad to give way to you. but not. how." replied Edward. than the intervention of a tliird person. with persons whom experience has taught to under- forebodings. which one cannot wound. and so make a charm- my many ingly complete '* work I of it. rubbing his forehead. brothers and sisters. I come of it." answered some impatience. He was * ' companion during a part of my travels. I should rather have thought it would give it all fresh zest and life. then so affectionate. through the accidental or intentional introduction of a third person. there is abundance. merely as general they are the result of unconscious of happy or unhappy consequences. in any state of things. Charlotte. promising myself out of all this the first really happy summer I have ever thought to spend in my life." replied Edward. then." *' Only I cannot see. He made observations from a different point of view from mine." " I am not superstitious. the Captain's presence can be any interruption. Nothing is of greater moment. with people who live on without looking where they are going.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 11 For my part. whose relation to each other.

'' in which we are obliged. however. sensible." Chaptek II Edwaed was tion of their incidents of his Ms room. this seems almost a crime." answered she. sensitive as he was." Write him a kind." said Charlotte. I think the best thing we can do is to draw lots. and in which it is the real kindness. While close to her while in her presence he had felt so happy. kind. To me. don't decide." '* I know." replied Edward. ''wait as many days as we will. their mutual purposes. and as things are. the sad condition of this excellent man rose again vividly before him. '' that in doubtful cases it is your way to leave them to chance. at least so much seems Let to arise. The arguments for and against are all before us. but quiet and indefinite epistle which he would send to the Captain.12 THE GERMAN CLASSICS '' insisted Charlotte. The feelings which had been all day distressing him again awoke. that we should not be in too great a hurry. for write I must at once. into a very pleasant state of mind. answered Charlotte. It is very often a most dangerous one for the person who bears it. And out of all this. me have a few days to think. in such a serious matter. he had settled himself at his writing-table." *'As the matter stands." returned Edward. all we want is the conclusion. we shall still be in too great a hurry. sympatliizing letter. and it appeared impossible to him to leave one in such painful whom he called his friend embarrassment. had alone in life . '' And there are many cases. is no such certain weapon. and taken up his friend's letter to read it — — over once more. '' That is as good as none at all. rather ' ' ' ' to write nothing than not to write. When. The repetition of the from Charlotte 's lips the representamutual situation." *' Then what am I to write to the Captain? " cried " Edward. that he had thought out a warm. . worked him.

when those wishes were to imdte to his home the friend of his youth just won her and now he at last. but shortly. wdth desires never excessive. with an obstinate. . and consequently the spoilt child. was to put it oif In a few words. impatient. it would have been . felt himself. he hoped to be able to tell him what he felt at greater length. The only child. again and again. to write a quiet. she seeking to reward his kindness to her by the utmost liberality. who had persuaded liim into a singular. — although the For . Ill at ease as he was. he flamed up readily although. perhaps because she knew that is no surer way of rooting out any plan or purpose than by often talking it over. but multiple and various free-hearted. as it were. Against his wife's wishes he would not go against her expressed desire he could not. even if he had wished. kindly and sweetly. The most natural thing to do. easy letter. and again by her petted and indulged in every possible way. he had a romantic fidelity. Charlotte took the opportunity of bringing back the conversation to the subject. traveling independently of every one. brave. equal to all contingencies and all changes. contradicted. impossible for him.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 13 Edward was unaccustomed to dejiy himself anything. he begged his friend to forgive him for having left his letter unanswered that day he was unable to write circumstantially. after her early death his own master. of wealthy parents. at times even noble — — what was there in the world to cross or ! thwart him? Hitherto. It was what Edward was wishing. everything had gone as he desired Charlotte had become his . he took up his pen to him. to throw open liis whole heart He felt annoyed. sensitive as he was. for the first time. because he could not make up his mind what to write. but highly advantageous marriage ^\ith a lady far older than himself. He expressed him- there self in his own way. . The next day. as they were walking to the same spot. generous. and as often threw it down again. — as he w^as longing. crossed in his wishes.

have not left me till now. then. even when one most disagreed. with him. gifts. Luciana. that she cried out at last: *' band you You are determined that what I refused to the huswill make me grant to the lover. I am in exactly the same position with you. a difference of opinion now and then. one may almost say she and am my forgets everything. everything that is taught there. that it was impossible not to be charmed. and then so disarmed her with the graceful turn which he gave to the conversation. it is are to learn at present. — have had a concealment from you. he first contrived to bring Charlotte into the happiest humor. as it She has quick natural were. At least." she continued. In the married state. — This morning. history. unmoved. she acquires with so much ease that. said Edward. have not left me untouched. and in a moment calls it all back again. we learn sometliing of each other by it. and the w^armth and sweetness with which you express them. my ^' I will acknowledge that your dearest.14 THE GERMAN CLASSICS vehemence with which he desired anything made him presshis words ing. is no bad thing. wishes. and I have hitherto been putting the same restraint on my inclination which I have been exhorting you to put on yours. I see. daughter. The dear I child is most uncomfortable at the thoroughly uneasy about her. and his obstinacy made him impatient were so softened by his wish to spare the feelings of those to whom he was speaking. the grace of her move- ment. and an excellent memory. with me about Ottilie as it is with vou about the Captain. and the elegance of her address." I too * ' ' ' ' ' '' You " that school. languages." said Charlotte. is there training hourly for the world. born as she is for the world. The superior of the establishment regards ." Glad am I to hear that. she learns them off at sight. She distinguishes herself above every one at the school "vinth the freedom of her carriage. and with the inborn royalty of nature makes herself the queen of the little circle there. You drive me to make a confession.

but since I have clearly known the painfulness of her situation. you see. divinity. Ottilie 's character is growing slight? in strength. and bring her a large increase of pupils. it is with me." . *' This.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES her as a little 15 into excellence. since we neither of us can press our ways own against the other. This. if I had the care of her education. my dear Edward. We have both. who knows very well that poor Ottilie is entirely dependent upon us. however. and the little she has to say besides. the same sorrows to Let us bear. who. has not fallen in with our plan. destroys the little good which we have done for her. and her monthly notices of progress. I am certain. would form into an exquisite creature. and so. and then I do not mean to hesitate any more. because I can see in this dear child the same character as that of her mother. So. is no riddle to me. the first pages of this good lady's letters. I think it better to bear. while her concluding sejitences about Ottilie are nothing at explaining how it can be that a girl in other respects growing up so lovely seems coming to nothing. gain her reputa- tion. I have been thinking over all possible to make some other arrangement. who grew up with myself. Every hour I am expecting an answer to my own last letter. which I have to translate into my own prose. and whose daughter. touching both our hearts in the same point. to a certain extent. even the but excuse after excuse — attempts unpleasant impression that my daughter. or for ever introducing new elements among the conditions of our lives. and shows neither capacity nor accomplishment. and as one ought not to be picking and pulling. does not refrain from flourishing her own successes in her face. and to conquer as I can. under her hands. "Who are well trained enough never to wound others by a parade of their own advantages? and who stands so high as not at times to suffer under such a In trials like these. who was my own dearest friend. are forever hymns about the excellence of such a child. bear them together. is shaping and who will do her honor.

thoughtfully." '' " That w^as seequite proper in you. and a girl of " Ottilie 's attractiveness? at it " closer. a fever was to me. I remember the Captain observing it to me. although she is much younger . she could not bear to let me be a moment out of her sight. of an age (I am not saying this to flatter you) when a man becomes first capable of love and first deserving of it." *' We might venture it. for a short period. " if the danger were only to ourselves." Edward. what is? tain and. which have the closest claims on our affection. how you can rate Ottilie so high." said Charlotte. ishly. Let me have the Capselfish. — she has particularly the slightest pretty eyes. we are leaving exposed to pain and distress." said Charlotte. If ** So it was with my mother." said Edward. I traveled. . Attractive she is. let the trial be made. we can only put out of sight anything which troubles We can give us. while a boy and a young man. and. at once. the Captain. But do you think it prudent to bring Ottilie and the Captain into a situation where they must necessarily be so closely intimate. I scarcely seemed to belong to her. If I was out later than usual in my ride. as long as I lived with her. but to make sacrifices in little things is a demand to which we are rarely equal. I can only explain it to myself by supposing her to have inherited your affection for her mother. If we look — we are both acting very foolTwo very noble natures. ing that I was there." he continued. merely to avoid exposing ourselves to a chance of danger. some misfortune must have happened If I got wet through in a shower.16 THE GERMAN CLASSICS u We are strange creatures. I w^as absent from her altogether. but I do not know that she made impression upon me. and. no doubt. when we came back last year. If this is not to be called You take Ottilie. up much in the large and general. we fancy at once we have got rid of it. both of very culpably. smiling. inevitable. at least. a man no older than yourself. and met her I cannot conceive ' ' *' replied at your aunt's. Pretty she is.

series of incidents had appeared to have placed forever beyond liis reach. They were on the point of descending the new grounds. nevertheless." exclaimed Edward. and struck into the path across the churchyard. with a laugh on liis face. Charlotte? He must alight. of you. which he usually avoided. but the latter. the old Vol. traces of Charlotte's delicate hand. * and we were to ask whether there was need. to draw Edward's attention to her." Charlotte. there is not come at the right time. and was only happy in the feeling that it was at last \\'ithin his power to obtain for himself the one happiness which he so earnestly desired. it is one of your ways and that . He was not a little surprised to find here. she never thought at all. See his horse need. self. in order to return to the castle. at that time. when a servant came hastily to meet them. if pos- so pleasant to live \^ith For of herso desirable a match for her protegee. do you hear? ' But be quick. ' ' ' "The odd fellow. to go all of us in search into the court.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES than I. in connection with Edward. The Captain. who was clinging determinately to his early affection for Charlotte. "But has he Tell him. II We shall be with Mm —2 monuments. grievous need. Sparing. whether there is need. — taken care of. she had contrived to level .' he cried after us. was keeping back something. Take him into the saloon. 17 for you. and. opeqly as she appeared to be speaking. wliich was that at the time when Edward came first back from abroad. also. too. immediately." he said to his wife. looked neither right nor left. is one reason why you. be quick. as far as possible. called up from below. had a hint given to him sible. that the presence of your old friend had so many charms you overlooked the promise of the opening It is beauty." "Let us take the nearest way. "Will your grace be pleased to come and which a The Herr Mittler has just galloped quickly to the castle? He shouted to us. to secure. and let him have some luncheon. she had purposely thrown Ottilie in his way.

really? If there But don't keep me. he called out to his friends.18 THE GERMAN CLASSICS it. nor on foot. " I can. We ''Inside there. for the future you will be Follow me quickly. : "come I neither These here on horseback. and lay it carefully out. Come and see the variety which Charlotte has thrown over its sadness." called out the rider. Edward was through the little \sdcket singularly affected as he came in upon it he pressed Charlotte 's hand. Is it serious. ''Are you ." " You do not look as I will believe you. not making a fool of me? Is there need." The three speedily found themselves in the saloon together. or however it could be contrived . so as to make it appear a pleasant spot on which the eye and the imagination could The oldest stones had each equally repose with pleasure. in answer. . either leaning against it. They were ranged according to their dates along the wall. by the appearance of their singular visitor. from which we do not know how to extricate ourselves. I must bear that as shall be carried in feet foremost. I have a I can stay till mid-day." cried Charlotte." answered he. gentleman had declined sitting down in the castle. halting. cried ' ' ' ' you had better come through meet at a solemn spot. This to flight. If if it were so. nor in carriage. the first time in our married lives. great deal to do before night. their special honor assigned them. But these were very soon put tears started into his eyes. he had ridden straight through the village to the churchyard gate and then." to him. and the string-course of the church was thus variously ornamented. Luncheon w^as brought in. ' ' Edward the gate. is. or let into it. is. and Mittler told them shall help yourselves. and . " But you are deceiving me. One day I rest in peace with them I have nothing to do. we are in a strait and difficulty. I want to know! " " Indeed it For right serious." Since you have taken the trouble to come so far. my horse none the worse for a rest.

He let the ground to a tenant. or rather in accordance with his old customs and inclinations. no married couple was allowed to separate. he was well aware. '' Either you do not know me. and was going to do. and no help to be given. and had distinguished himself in his office by the never-resting activity with which he contrived to make up and put an end to quarrels quarrels in families. to move to the Residence. and very soon felt himself a match for the His circle of activity extended best trained advocate. He gave himself with all his might to the study of it. and quarrels between : neighbors. never to enter a house when there was no dispute to make up. While he was in the ministry. Husband and wife made a circumstantial confession but scarcely had he caught the substance of the matter. when he started angrily up from the table. and made it the centre of his operations. and afterward among whole congregations.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 19 what that day he had done. and ordered his horse to be saddled instantly. . A necessary to him. you are sorely mischievous. he bought himself a small property. and among the country gentlemen round. when he won a considerable sum of money in With this. rushed out of the saloon. and about what they imported. maintained that it was his being called Mittler which drove him to take upon himself this strange employment. where he would find opportunities of exercising in the higher circles what he had begun in the lowest. Immediately after refreshing himself he would be obliged to leave them. This eccentric person had in early life been a clergyman. first among the individuals immediately about him. was process. and people were on the point of inducing him wonderfully. with the fixed determination." he cried. Do you . People who were superstitious about names. a lottery. and the district courts were untroubled with either cause or knowledge of the law. you do not understand " or me. Luncheon was laid on the table. and the stranger then solemnly pressed his host not to wait any longer with the disclosure which he had to make.

if it go ill. I am at hand The man who desires to be rid to do what I can for him. The friends to you. undertakings . let him be happy. it is all the same. evil comes of what you settle. He had made up his mind to accept one of the situations which had been offered him. it is all one." So saying. without waiting the . you cannot be so cruel. although it was ncJt in the least up to his mark. I am your humble servant. or let them be. more confused and more uncertain than we were.20 call tills a THE GERMAN CLASSICS quarrel? Is there any want of help here? Do you suppose that I am in the world to give advice? Of all occupations which man can pursue. who depended on his ability to dissipate it. Invite your got hold of. he is plajdng blindman's-butf perhaps he gets hold of something. that is the most foolish. "the small service a third person can be." They w^ould both. and if." " That strange Mittler is right after all. ''Here you see. most prudent plans I have seen miscarry. laugh as you will. and he pictured it out in just. ." replied Char" all such lotte are ventures what will come . Edward's keen glance saw into the whole thing. If all go well. don't Till Y\'hich fret. and do what he cannot let alone. have continued hesitating . when things are off their balance between two persons closely connected we are left. if possible. in reply to to share the ennui of certain wealthy persons of rank. some time longer. probably. but the question is what he has Do as you will. yes. and you shall be helped. he sprang on his horse. arrival of the coffee. send for me. of an evil knows what he wants but the man who desires something better than he has got is stone blind. let him enjoy his wisdom and his fortune. had not a letter arrived from the CapEdward's last." said Charlotte. time. and the most Don't split your brains about it. foolish succeed. " Can we endure to think of our friend in such a posi" he " tion? cried. He was tain. Every man must be his own counsellor. one way or the other. . Charlotte. Yes. sharp lines.

pleasantly and affectionately. duced among us may be fruitful in fortune or in misfortune. which put her out of temper. and. induced Edward to join with her in the enjojTnent of a little music. and measure the speed at which he came to them by the haste in which the letter was written. and which she only made worse with her attempts to wipe it away. not give a more con\incing evidence of his gratitude. than in insisting again and again that Charlotte should at once send for Ottilie from the school. Edward laughed at her about it.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 21 New elements introof them it is impossible to foresee. some pieces well. was to signify her approbation vrith her own hand. and unite her own kind entreaties with his. to find liim some position which will satisfy him in his own way. not being quite quickly — . added a second postscript. without our having to take credit to ourselves for one or the other. Charlotte played exceedingly well on the piano. with a light. for that evening. in a postscript. He had taken a great deal of pains with it at times. consequently. his part was done unequally. Edward not quite so well on the flute.. I do not feel myself firm enough to oppose you further. The messenger was gone and Edward thought he could . Charlotte." Edward poured out the warmest expressions of gratitude. but yet with a sort of haste which was not usual with her. she disfigured the paper at last with a blot of ink. most unlike herself. to write off his proposals to his friend. which are requisite for the completely successful cultivation of such a talent. He hastened. She said she would think about it. only one thing I will entreat of you You that it be only for a short time. but he was without the patience. that his friend was to see from this symptom the impatience with which he was expected. Let us make the experiment. and. with a rapid pen. She wrote. to use all — my influence among all my connections. as there was still room. and. without the perseverance. happy heart. only perhaps too while with others he hesitated. must allow me to exert mvself more than ever.

them. who are able always to keep right on the whole. . indeed. and at the same time one easily satisfied and although he knew very well what was really valuable. almost exhausting. which he remembered having seen elsewhere. promised everything which was best and sensible letter. although particular passages will now and then fall out of order. But Charlotte knew how to manage it. Charlotte proposed a walk to the new grounds. the spot. with artificial flowers and evergreens. an understanding of his own position and the position of his friends. for any one else. he never. by requiring more than the circumstances admitted of. When they arrived at the summer-house. lively.22 THE GERMAN CLASSICS . but with some pretty bunches of natural corn-ears among them. or let herself be run away with. familiar with them difficult to been Chapter III previously written a most which had entirely quieted Charlotte's So much clearness about himself. as so many persons do. The Captain came. as is generally met for a long time. or by mentioning anything more perfect. Toward evening. so just apprehensions. tain of the first the case with friends wh^^ have not few hours. made people who were showing him things of their own uncomfortable. having happiest. and fulfilled in this way the double part of a skilful conductor and a prudent housewife. "Although his my husband does not like in general to have birthday or christening-day kept. only. so that. and other field and garden fruit. The conversation was eager. She held in. it would have have gone through a duet with him." Charlotte said. first and observed every beauty brought into sight and made enjoyable by the new walks. The Capwas delighted vnth. so as to do credit to the taste w^hich had arranged which had been . they found it dressed out for a holiday. He had a practised eye.

" she replied. " that this narrow little valley forms the whole of our domain and possessions. each for the moment withdrawing into himself. happy as he was. that this is the day on which you " were both christened? Are you not both named Otto? The tvvo friends shook hands across the little table. " Our friend must not think.ently against their Edward. " this little " You bring back to my mind. but when we came to be at school together. where he can see farther and breathe more freely. then. . it was the cause of much confusion. " for I well remember that the name of said the Captain." Wherein you were not altogether so very high-minded. person. . The pause was first broken by Edward. Let us take him up to the top of the hill. either of you.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES « 23 " he will not object today to these few ornaments being expended on a treble festival." Edward sai4. we were both link of our boyish affection." At this moment the notes of a bugle were heard across from the castle." he said to Charlotte. we are bound to keep as a festival and have you never thought. and feehng doubly happy in the fair circle of which he formed a part. here "Our friend's arrival "Yes. from its attractive sound when spoken by certain pretty lips. indeed. Edward had then begun to please you better. As children. and I readily made over him all my right to the pretty laconic name. Full of happy thoughts and feelings as the friends all were together. They listened silently. called so. the sound fell in among them vdth a strong force of answering harmony. "we must ." "For this once." They were now sitting all three round the same table where Charlotte had spoken so vehem. did guest's coming to them. who started up and walked out in front of the summer-house. to ' ' ' ' not ^\ish to remind his wdfe of that time but he could not " There is good room here for one more help saying." answered Charlotte." *' Treble? " cried Edward.

at the . with immediately from their opposite marend of the upper water. sheets of water were seen spreading out right and left. with the castle along the ridge of the hill. I myself planted them. reflected in its level surface. their And so. when I he cried. spreading out their boughs all around them. and in the middle of one summer had rooted them out. the eye. At the bottom of the valley. To these Edward called his friend's attention. and through the entire semicircle. which is not too easy. beautifully surrounded. lay a mill.24 THE GERMAN CLASSICS climb up the old footpath. a sweetly retired spot. . the early green of which promised the near approach of a luxuriant clothing of In many places particular groups of trees caught foliage." They returned to the castle in high spirits. a wall of sharp. and mutually To the guest was allotted an pleased with each other. This year you will no doubt see them show their gratitude in a fresh set of shoots. behind it. over which the view extended. but on a sloping grassy terrace. they made way to the summit. was out of sight. where a considerable brook ran into the lake. precipitous rocks directly overhanging it. close to the edge of the centre lake. most wooded hills rising gin. in fresh and luxuriant strength. where they found themselves. not on a level flat. and especially a cluster of planes and poplars directly at the spectator's feet. They were small trees which I rescued when * ' ' ' * ' was a boy. and shrubs. their huge forms In the hollow of the ravine. copse and forest. They were at their full growth. to go on with his usual occupa. and bushes. and. I hope ray walks and steps will have been carried ' ' right up. half hidden among the trees. agreeable and roomy set of apartments in the right wing of the castle and here he rapidly got his books and papers and instruments in order. running The village. and they stood there. By the next time. ran an endless variety of hills and valleys. my father was la}dng out the new part of the great castle garden. among rocks.

who. for the first few days. his o^vn. on partial and accidental impressions. and commenced immediately. him \\'ith a number of foresters and peasants." said Edward. rest. it will be easy then to find some plan to have it made. now on horseback. We must do nothing of the kind. with his instruction. N^thout any great staff of assistants. gave liira no took him about everj-^vhere. 25 But Edward. and of ways of lading it out. it will be always useful. and he embraced the opportunity of imparting to him the wishes which he had been long entertaining. and learning to manage it more profitably. It can be made. anything more exact. did not like bringing liis who those of others. The evenings and the ance. and will do. early mornings were devoted to the designing and drawing.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES tion. He had brought \nth him whatever instruments he Edward provided required. as if they now first were properly He . and one can be sure If by-and-by you come to require of getting it completed. ** " We must make my \\'ife understand this. Edward saw his possessions grow out like a new creation upon the paper and it seemed as if now for the first time he knew what they were. the Thus there came occasion to speak of the park. That is a pleasant and easy matter. to make a magnetic survey of the property. too. making him acquainted w^ith the country and with the estate. for an agreeable beginning. " The first '* is thing we have to do. at any rate. a far better disposition of things being made possible after a survey of this kind." replied the Captain. and in a short time it was all filled in and colored. than could be arrived at by experimenting on nature. now on foot. were able to render him all necessary assistThe weather was favorable. of getting at some better acquaintance with it." The Captain was exceedingly skilful at work of this kind. and if it does not admit of entire exactness." said the Captain. He had own notions in collision with learnt by experience that the .

and leave what they ought to alter. which pleases and amuses. They do not know beforehand in what their work is to result." said Edward. *' We must not do it. even on the most solid representations. "that you do new work of hers. which is * ' ' ' There is no ' ' otherwise ? ' ' * ' had only to now but an unsightly object. that she takes up after her." Would it have been easy to have done it asked Edward. and make it smooth. than that something shall be done. replied the Captain. your step is interrupted one way or another. but never satisfies. They try an experiment — — they alter. there is abundance to do . She Perfectly. They have fancies for this plan or that. it succeeds it fails. what they ought to leave alone.26 THE GERMAN CLASSICS motives and purposes by whicli men are influenced are far too various to be made to coalesce upon a single point. you cannot walk behind one another. "Acknowledge candidly. Every moment not like this . to widen it in the bad places. and so. if you must have it. But she has tormented herself to find her way up that rock and she now torments every one. made up as it is of little pieces." they alter it . and she would at once have a sweep for her walk and stone in abundance for the rough masonry work." he replied." he cried. rather that she shall do something. perhaps. the important thing is." " The idea is excellent. as with all people who employ themselves on such matters merely as amateurs. They are not bold enough to make a sacrifice. If any more money and labor is to be spent there. "if the execution were equal to it. With her. Such persons feel their way with nature. with any freedom. *' she will be only confused. there always remains but a patchwork. What is done must remain as it is. end to the mistakes which she has made. there would be no fault to find. But this I tell you in strictest confidence. Her it would only confuse and annoy. at last. they do not venture on removing obstacles. break away a corner of the rock. You cannot walk together.

but.ctions she defended her little creations she railed at men who were forever going to the broad and the great. came out with his new views. never thinking of the expense which their larger plans involved. w^ith her paths and steps. too. which we can settle our own way. she said. moreover. and gave herself time to think the thing over. and which he felt to the quick. reproduce the past. Charlotte was thoroughly disturbed. annoyed. after a few circumlocutions.. She had liked it. At the same time that she lost tliis source of active amusement. he could not contain himself any longer. and in this way.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 27 above tlie summer-house on the hill. but they must go and make a work out of it. in wliich Charlotte took her part as well. . This was especially the case since the fault-finding about the grounds. that as soon as their immediate labors were finished. They determined. when he saw his w^ife again preparing to go to work above the summer-house. the others were more and more together over . about what the Captain had said for a long time. the new she would not quite throw from her. there was no lack either of entertaining reminiscences of early times. which Edward thought so He held his tongue just. Her old plans she could not give up. when Edward and Charlotte were alone. She fought against her con\T." If the two friends found in their occupation abundance of present employment. and let it ripen by — . there were fewer matters of private interest between them than formerly. for the present she put a stop to the work. She was sensible enough to perceive at once that they were right. For the rest. They could not let a pastime. She was provoked. but at last. divided as she was. itself. and angry. they could not let an amusement alone. but there and what was the difficulty v\'ith what was already done was made was made. they would go to work upon the journal. even what was wrong had become dear to her in its details. but.

the dresses lie unworn in their place. Again. hunting. I can only repeat to your ladyship what I have already stated in my former letters. to find fault She .28 THE GERMAN CLASSICS their own business. She keeps her things very nice and verj^ clean. There is no extravagance at our table. is it others '* but with her. but this is all she seems to care about. . wholesome food. yet I cannot say that I am satisalways unassuming. POSTSCRIPT OF THE SUPERIOR Of Ottilie. I do not know *' how fied. Your ladyship little lately sent her some money. she was every day left more and more to herself. I cannot praise her excessive abstemiousness in eating and drinking. with a second from the hand of a gentleman in employment there as an Assistant. so almost servile. filled with the usual expressions of dehght at her daughter's progress. with several matters for her wardrobe. to escape the second course or the dessert and now it has to be con. a brief postscript was attached. and such matters. sometliing which the servants have neglected. Tliey took to occupying themselves. agreeable interest. buying. What is carefully pro^aded and set before them ought to be taken and to this I never can succeed in . bringing Ottilie. selling. with the flower-garden and the hot-houses. but there is nothing that I like better than to see the children eat enough of good. She devoted herself more assiduously than ever to her correspondence on account of the Captain and yet she had many lonely hours so that the information which she now received from the school became of more . breaking horses. and as they filled up the intervals ^^'ith the ordinarj^ gentle- men's amusements. riding. always finding something which she must do. . always ready to oblige is not pleasing to see her so timid. moreover. To a long-drawn letter of the superior of the establishment. both of which we here communicate. The money she has never touched. She is always making herself some occupation or other.

but it is distressing. which are of the true germinal sort. and which develop themselves sooner or later in a beautiful life. I have lately learnt. But there are also fruits which are not outward. and I at least think you no less fortunate in having had We bestowed upon you. a child who has been born for the good and happiness of others. As with a child it is necessary' to She begin everj^thing at the beginning. have to congratulate you upon a daughter who unites in herself every brilliant quality with which people distinguish themselves in the world. It is only at times. BY THE ASSISTANT " Our excellent superior commonly permits me to read the letters in which she communicates her observations upon her pupils to their parents and friends. can comprehend nothing which does not follow from what precedes it. And this I am certain is the case with your So long as she has been under ray care." So much upon this SECOND POSTSCRIPT. slowly. and assurOttilie is almost our only pupil edly also for her ot^ti. but find the intermediate links. so it is with her. I have protegee. about whom there is a difference of opinion between myself and our reverend superior. hurrv on and on. I do not complain of the very natural desire in that good lady to see outward and definite fruits arising from her labors. with capacities of quite a different kind. learn everything readilv. let a tiling be as simple and easy as possible. otherwise sweet and lovely girl.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 29 sidered (wliich I cannot help connecting \vi[]i all this) that she frequently suffers. from pain in the left side of her head. watched her mo^^ng with an even step. and may be of importance. in your step-daughter. Such of them as are addressed to your ladyship I ever read with twofold attention and pleasure. and make them clear to her. and then nothing is too difficult for her. she can " Progressing with such slow steps. steadily forward never back. connected . — make nothing of it if it is not in a recognizable connection. who. she remains behind her companions.

she was of . is singular that she knows a great deal. but somewhat hasty and impatient teachers. in the step-byIndeed. cutting short the process by which they are arrived at. It is true she writes I have examined closely into this. it with ease. it step fashion. The French language is not my department. At the same time. she learns nothing from them. this relation. and knows it well.30 THE GERMAN CLASSICS And again. and these are not of the slightest service to her. who pass from result to result. to your deep knowledge of the and of mankind. but she learns like one who is to educate not like a pupil. it seems as if or unconnected. like a " To conclude generally. stiffly. Your ladyship may think it strange that I. nothing. among others. They say she will not. which seemed greater than the insight into a pupil's excellence usually calls forth. too. but well-intended expressions. In her quiet. unprejudiced way of looking at things. but I have taught her something of it. as an educator and a teacher. . understand how to form her letters. if you like but the hand is neither timid nor without character. and yet when she is asked a question. and I beseech you to permit me to write to you again as soon as I see reason to believe that I have anything important or agreeable to communicate. — it to w^orld your own good sense. yourself that you have much happiness to promise yourfrom this child. recollect correctness. she could not help smiling at the excessive interest of the Assistant. and this she understands easily. to make the best of my most inade- You may satisfy quate. I commend myself to your ladyship." self This letter gave Charlotte great pleasure. and apply it with some of the lessons here are given by excellent. There is a complaint of her handwriting. but like a future teacher. or cannot. The contents it coincided very closely wdth the notions which she had herself conceived of Ottilie. can find no higher praise to give I may leave to any one than by a comparison ^\ith myself. slowly. she knew I should say she learns nothing person who is being educated.

as Ms day was always devoted to an immediate purpose. There was scarcely ever any one who could do with less sleep than this most laborious man. Business demands the utmost stringency and sequence in life. among the lessons of her life. "go on to what remains for us. Chapter IV topographical chart of the property and its environs was completed. every evening something had been done. he could never bring himself to arrange his papers in their proper places. is charming If you are firm in the first." In these sentiments Edward felt a slight reflection upon Though not naturally disorderly. you can afford . Everything which is properly business we must keep careBusiness requires earnestness fully separate from life. . and much else which ^^'ill naturally arise out of them. inconexactness of measurement. frequently necessary. indeed.'. *' Let us now. We shall have a good deal of work to get through at the beginning. and method. to the statistics of the estate. and by means of a trigonometrical survey the Captain had been able to arrive at a very fair He had been rapid in his work. himself. and.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES contented to pennit to lie 31 she before her as a possibility." he said to his friend. could value the interest of so sensible a man in Ottilie. and afterward we shall come to the farm estimates. the character of the particular localities was made intelligible by various colors. having learnt. Only we must have one tiling distinctly settled and adhered to. What he had to do in connection with others. was not kept Business separate from what depended only on himself. you will find the free interfering with and breaking in upon the fixed. to see how highly true regard is to be prized in a world where indifference or dislike are the common natural residents. secutiveness is and graceful. life must have a freer handling. It was executed on a considerable scale The . . yourself more liberty in the second while if you mix them.

Here they brought all the documents. they contrived a depository for what concerned the present. but which she did not know exactly how to set about. what he has already. were managed for her through the contrivance of the Captain. Her domestic medicine-chest. Charlotte. at his convenience. hitherto but poorly furnished. . introduced into the wilderness. he gets If you disturb him. Now. but found per- sonal advantages for herself. was enlarged . and a second " I " worked out the separation. useless at once. always accustomed to tunities. and the different packets were marked and registered in their several pigeon-holes. '' the man is so handy and useful. till then. in the evenings they never neglected their regular visits to Charlotte. who for the whole day and part of the night never left his desk. If there was no party from the neighborhood. Various domestic arrangements." " is because we '' give him That. with the utmost speed. he becomes through a great deal. which she had long wished to make. and so. papers. however. they read and talked. nothing fresh to do till he has finished. principally on subjects connected with the improvement of the condition and comfort of social life. it was easy for Mm. drawers. and Harmony and order were boxes. and an archive for the past. and with whom. *' I should not know him again. with the help of a friend who w^ould take the trouble upon himself. not only make the most of opporsaw her husband pleased.32 THE GERMAN CLASSICS got mixed up with amusement. They found all they wanted in greater completeness even than they had expected and here an old clerk was found of no slight service. as was often the case. and notes from their various hiding-places. as you perceive." replied the Captain." he said to his friend. rooms. and serious work with recreation. Edward had been always dissatisfied." Spending their days together in this way. In the Captain's wing. to which the '* single I " was always unequal.

with the help of good books and personal instruction. *' These preparations are all exceedingly valuable. — department the Captain took expressly into his own hands and the observation escaped Edward. that a case of this kind had made a very singular epoch in the life of his friend. In providing against accidents. and Edward and Charlotte were rejoiced to have found so good and necessary an object on which to expend so much of the money which * * — they set apart for such accidental demands upon them. but seemed to be trjdng to escape from a painful recollection. however. men accidents of this kind.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 33 and enriched. as well as he. of the Captain's knowledge and practical skill. I know an army surgeon." said the Captain. II —3 . they thought it especially necessary to have at hand whatever is required for the recovery of drowTiing from the number of the neighborhood. among other things. She commonly prepared questions to ask him. reservoirs. is the thing you often most want in the country. and Charlotte herself. one evening. who." He was written for at once. for her purposes. and has frequently done more for me. it was one of her anxieties to provide against whatVoL. in the treatment even of violent inward disorders. Now. Edward immediately stopped. He is highly distinguished in his profession. and to feel easy about any consequences which might ensue. canals. found means of making use. You might get him at this moment. w^hom I could exactly recommend for the place. than celebrated physicians. . too. which. yet only too often find us unprepared. and Charlotte. we have not a sensible man got the one thing which is most essential who understands how to manage it all. Help upon the spot. took no notice of the expression. though common. and waterworks in This being of frequent occurrence. had a general knowledge of the story. and she began to be quite reconciled to his presence. was put in the way of being able to exercise her disposition to be of practical assistance more frequently and more efficiently than before. The latter made no reply. on easy terms. Thus Charlotte.

he had been reading. this was unnecessary. deep voice. he was accustomed to place himself in such a position that no one could get behind him. and earlier had earned himself a pleasant reputation for his feeling and lively recitations of works of poetry and oraAt this time he was occupied with other subjects. With a party of only three. His old impatience was aroused. and this sort of effect w^as naturally defeated when a third person's eyes could run on before him. this had been the natural consequence of the desire which the reader feels. and the books which. and said. naturally. against poisons and such like. to excite expectation. In early life.34 THE GERMAN CLASSICS ever was prejudicial to health and comfort. etc. or stories. tory. On such occasions. and. in life natural or technical science. She got him to tell her about these. they often had to fall back on the first elements of medicine and chemistry. was given by an inclination of Edward to read He had a particularly clear. to pause. An accidental. that he could not bear to have any one looking over him when he was reading. therefore. the verdigris which formed about her copper and bronze vessels. he did not take any particular pains to protect himself. The lead-glazing on the china. or the actor.. once for all. he number of his fellow-creatures — — was. and Charlotte happened by accident to cast her eyes upon the page. by-the-by. to make surprises. and see what was coming. had long been a trouble to her. plays. for some time past. or the story-teller. when he used to read poems. like the poet. One very likely shares TN-ith a of his especial pecuUarities which. One evening he had placed himself carelessly. and as with the present subject there was no opportunity for exciting feehngs or gi\"ing the imagination a surprise. you would leave off doing a thing so out of taste and so disagreeable. but welcome occasion for entertainment of this kind. he turned to her. almost unkindlv: I do wish. were either chemical or on some other branch of aloud. When I read *' .

Permission Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt . Stuttgart EDWARD READING ALOUD TO CHARLOTTE AND THE CAPTAIN .

.

" "It was the comparison which led fused you. of my own heart. is it not the same as if I was tolling him something by word of mouth? The written. the printed word. And '* ** her good gift did not forsake her. he ." " The subject is you wrong and conis nothing but man a true Narcissus. she could set it going. himself underneath the universe. his will and his caprice. ** and the gods. large my book." said Charlotte. in whatever circle she might be. she knew how to interrupt it. I found it was not about living things at all. in which he treats evervthing external to himself." Charlotte's tact. and if the man to whom I am counting out my thoughts.ng me a great deal. and I looked over to get the thread of it right when again." Would you. you what it was this moment which came over me." continued the Captain. two of whom are just now occup}i. one by one. is in the place of my own thoughts. But delights to see his the glass. I heard you reading something about Affinities." she said. the plant. Then my attention went back to the book. this time I when it halted. His wisdom and his folly. or delivering my sentiments. and I thought directly of some relations of mine. earths and minerals. he attributes " alike to the animal. and she was able to set aside disagreeable or excited expressions without appearing to notice them. knew beforehand exactly what was to come out of me.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 35 aloud to a person. like the own image everywhere and he spreads amalgam behind *' That is the way Quite true. "if it is not taking you away too much from the immediate subject. tell me briefly what is meant here bv Affinities?" ." said Edward. the elements. If a Mdndow were broken into my brain or into my heart. am I sure you will forgive tell me my fault. TMien a conversation grew tedious. or small. should I take the trouble to put them into words? When anybody looks over I always feel as if I were being torn in two. was remarkable.

" replied the Captain. done . that we can advance to what we do not know. after a " to come most quickly to the point?" pause. as far as I have been able to observe." said Edward. promising the fullest attention. do not find it easy to agree among themselves." " We women need not be so particular. replied shortly seem a wide sweep . and to ourselves. to '' That is." Charlotte settled her work at her side. My ideas on the subject date ten years back whether the scientific world continues to think the same about it. after let thinking a little You must me make what will while. every five years. we observe immediately that they have a certain relation to themselves. want to know the meaning more ridiculous in society than to misuse a strange technical word." " Whereabouts shall we begin. if we do not wish to drop altogether out of fashion. more clear to her. . to make revolutions with them." we can make the thing I think. with examples conceive water. or quicksilver. I cannot tell. There is nothing " connection tion is I mth these things. by-the-by. ' ' ' ' " In The Captain began: ' ' . It may sound ridiculous to be asserting what is obvious to every one but it is only by coming to a clear understanding together about what we know. interrupted Edward. I wdll Charlotte had addressed herself. to speak the truth. or oil.36 THE GERMAN CLASSICS " I shall be whom very glad indeed. and I only wish 3^ou to tell me in what sense the expression is made use of in and." cried Edward. to the Captain." ''It is most disagreeable. "What its am quite contented to leave to scientific applicathe learned. ''that one cannot now-a-days learn a thing once for all. I only of the word. : we shall be on our subject almost immediately. tell YOU as well as I can. who. and have ^vitll it. Our forefathers could keep to what they were taught when they w^ere young but we have. The ' ' latter. all natural objects with which we are acquainted. ." said Charlotte. among these you wiill see a .

understand where you are bringing me. drops readily unite and form streams." " Let me " whether I can try and see." interrupted Edward. if it has time to harden before it reaches the ground. ^\dll remain as strangers side by side. and a drop of melted lead let fall. simple forms one sees people that one is acquainted "with. so it must have some relation to others. and the strangest likenesses of all with these soulless creatures are in the masses in which men stand divided one against the other. "will be different according to the natural differences of the things themselves. one has met with just such tilings in the societies amongst which one has lived. each by itself. shows itself distinctly and universally in the globular The falling water-drop is round you yourself spoke of the globules of quicksilver. a certain connection of their parts and this oneness is never lost. and when we were children. rainUnquestionably. Oil and water may be shaken up together. " let me just cursorily mention one remarkable thing I mean. Others." said the Captain. again." "And that." said Charlotte." that is plain. except through force or some other determining cause. Sometimes they will meet like friends and old acquaintances. As everything has a reference to itself. Let the cause cease to operate. and at the little globules splitting and parting and running into one another. com'' *' wonder — plete correlation of parts which the fluid state makes possible. is found at the bottom in the shape of a ball.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES . . that the full. it was our delight to play A\'ith quicksilver. and the next moment they are separate again. they will come rapidly together. and unite without either having to alter itself at all as wine mixes with water. form. in their classes and ." said Charlotte." said Charlotte." — " One can almost " that in these fancy. and at once the parts unite again." ''And here. and no amount of mechanical mixing or forcing will succeed in combining them. 37 certain oneness.

" ** " It appears to me. for instance. " as these are united under common laws and customs. or soldiers and civilians. that. we can show you a number of entertaining experiments which will give you a clearer idea than words.38 THE GERMAN CLASSICS . if you choose to call these strange creatures of yours related. so there are intermediate members in our chemical world which will combine elements that are mutually repulsive. the affinities are strikingly marked." she added. at once lay hold of each other. With the alkalis when they come and acids. turning to Edward." said the Captain." replied the Captain. we speak of as having an affinity one for the other. and for the present. modify each other's character. professions the nobility and the third estate. the affinities?" '' Are we not here are on the point of distinctness. in all their as. you remember. for instance." said Charlotte. and technical expressions. opposite peculiarities of dis- what best makes internal union possible. It is the way in which we see all really deep friendship arise position being among men. " bine with water with the of alkalis " Let me see that arrived *' " Do not go on too help fast with your lesson. As soon of acids — as our chemical chest arrives. ' ' I will promise not to disturb you any . very likely their being of opposite natures is the secret of their inter-relational effect each reaches out eagerly for its companion. we apprehending them such natures power and in contact. they lay hold They are of each other. and names. the relationship is not so much a relationship of blood as of soul or of spirit. But I will wait to see what you can really show me of these mysterious proceedings. and form in connection an entirely new substance." replied Edward. each mutually affecting the other. There is lime. Exactly. — of opposite natures. which shows the strongest inclination for all sorts a distinct desire of combining with them." '' Then again. for instance." said Charlotte." '' '' we make comOil. among I keep step with you.

tinguished was. You have taught me enough what about to enable me to attend to it. However. and appear with it in the form of g>'psum. ' ' ." " and it is " It is not so any more. nearer or more remote. It is just the most complicated cases which are the most interesting." answered Edward. give me an instance or two of what you mean. and we believe ourselves now justified in applying to it the words Electit really looks as if one relation had been ive Affinity chosen in preference to another. is perhaps merely a case of opportunity. After all. Thus.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES more it is 39 of in your reading." said Charlotte. to interest only when they bring about separations. and scarcely that." " We had better instances of which we have already been " to the same keep. I cannot see any choice in this. Now. Here is a case of separation a combination arises." *' *' now that you have once No. speaking. you shall not get off so easily. come in every province of the universe. natural necessity rather. to unite. and it is a higher An artist of union is what we should welmerit. no. In these you come first to see the degrees of the affinities." replied Charlotte. ''is that miserable word. "the title with which chemists were supposed to be most honorably dis. deliberately " as I " forgive the natural Forgive me." said the Captain. it . artists of separation. which is familiar to us in the form of a gas. if we place a piece of this stone in diluted sulphuric acid. It is a higher art. as w^e are on the subject again. well that it is not. call limestone is a more or less pure calcareous earth in combination with a delicate acid." replied Edward. I see a philosopher. Opportunity . to watch them as their power of attraction is weaker or Affinities begin really stronger." "What!" cried Charlotte. stirred the thing. the what we gaseous acid at the same time going off in vapor. this vdW take possession of the lime. which unhappily we hear so often now-a-days in the world is that to be found in nature's lessons too?" ''Most certainly.

" answered the Captain. smiling. that neither may go away empty. by the ." said Edward. and as long as the talk is only of natural substances. and so serve as a mineral fountain for the refreshing of sound or disordered mankind. and who is there that does not like playing with analogies? But man is raised very many steps above these elements and if he has been somewhat liberal with such fine words as Election and Elective Affinities. torn ! . They at once add a fourth. Confess your lotte. be not some httle arriere pensee behind this. These comparisons are pleasant and entertaining. he will do well to turn back again into himself. we know cases enough where a connection apparently indissoluble between two persons." ** '* if there I am much mistaken." *' That is very well for the gypsum to say." ' ' society." replied Charlotte. I cannot help being sorry for the poor acid gas. is a body. been utterly destroyed. and one or the other of the once happily united pair been driven out into the wilderness." ** ." said Char- The gypsum is all right. Unhappily. Once. is provided for. let them be brought together. *'is now to get connected with water.40 THE GERMAN CLASSICS relations as it makes thieves. ''I certainly need not distress myself." Then you see how much more gallant the chemists '' are. and take the opportunity of considering carefully the value and meaning of such expressions. away from your agreeable a refractory gj^sum. '' wickedness You mean me by your lime the lime is laid hold of by the Captain." ''The acid's business. The other poor. in the form of sulphuric acid. In the pres- ent case. the choice to me appears to be altogether in the hands of the chemist vrho brings the makes creatures together. which is driven out up and down infinity again. and then God have mercy on them. however. and metamorphosed into reflec- If your conscience prompts you to make such a tion. has. desolate creature may have trouble enough to go through before it can find a second home for itself." said Edward. accidental introduction of a third.

and which are yet so full of inw^ard energy and force. terest. as soon as I can show you the experiment. are brought into contact. and come forward in fresh. which seem so dead." replied the Captain." said Edward. devour." replied the Captain. seize. destroy each other. but easily. nomenclature. I can make it all intelligible and pleasant For the present.' " Give me an instance of this. forsaking and embracing. just for once. to persons who " that the strange scien- what we are speaking of. You ought yourself to see these creatures. and our reason too weak to fol" tific low them. In this . we attribute a sort of will and choice to such creatures. crush." . we believe that we are indeed observing the effects of some higher determination." have not been reconciled to it by a direct acquaintance with or understanding of its we can object. "And those are the cases which are really most important and remarkable — cases where this attraction. *' One should not spoil such things with words. must seem unpleasant. renovated. and at once forsake their first combination to form into a second. connected previously. can be exhibited. and speaking of Elective Affinities. at work before your a real personal inthey seek each other out. unexpected form. I can give you nothing but for you. this affinity." said Charlotte. horrible scientific expressions. and then suddenly reappear again out of their combinations. because how we attribute to them a sort of immortality we feel our own senses to be insufficient to observe them adequately. the two pairs severally cross- ing each other where four creatures. as two and two. You should observe them w^th Now comprehend — how we speak of them as having sense and understanding. contrive with symbols to illustrate I quite agree. thus you will eyes. this separating and combining. "As I said before.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 41 "Quite so. and feel really justified in using technical " words. which at the same time will ' give you no idea about the matter. this seeking and flying. even ridiculous. attract each other.

on depended for everything. at any rate. with our eyes. even violence. who at present is in some degree withdrawing me from you. my mind to send for whom I have hitherto Only read." answered the Captain. I depend on you. just as B does with A. I will tell you. So now . that My faithful housekeeper. C on B. ''I can put my meaning together with letters. without effect. C is obviously the Captain. Ottilie." till we see all this then.) What it is which has decided me about Ottilie. we will look upon the formula as an analogy. exactly been fortunate. we have opinion. the contents of them are already known to me. connected so closely with a B.42 '* THE GERMAN CLASSICS If you do not think it looks pedantic. Indeed. I believe. in my fit served to unite us more intimately. ^' although the example does our case. read!" With these words. have been them. (It was done at my own suggestion. is going to leave me shortly. a D should be found for you. and handed it to Edward. made use of to separate Then suppose a C in exactly the same position with respect to D. However. out of which we can devise a lesson for immediate use. Charlotte. in today for once having met all together. You stand for A. will fling himself on D." replied Charlotte. Now it is only just that if you are not to be left to solitude. and these natural or elective affinities have not. she produced a letter." '' Good. that all sorts Suppose an A of means. and I am your B really and truly I cling to you. and that is unquestionably the amiable little lady. I will not look over the pages again. without its being possible to say which had first left its first con- A nection. . You will not hesitate any longer to send and fetch her. to be married. you shall read to me. and follow you. to please me. Bring the two pairs into contact. or *' made the first move toward " the second. since this afternoon I have made up Ottilie." interposed Edward.

inclose. will surely please. partly because.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES Chapter 43 V LETTER OF THE LADY SUPERIOR letter. and the happiness which she feels in her success. because I see that there wdll soon be no more occasion to keep ^^4th us a young lady so far advanced. I was all along afraid of this public was the more uneasy. as it was to be of a kind which does not admit of any especial preparation and even if it had been conducted as usual. " Your ladj^ship will forgive the brevity of my present The pubhc examinations are but just conchuled. I send my respects to your ladyship. and I have to communicate to all the parents and guardians the progress which our pupils have made during the past year. '' what in future My good assistant w^U tell you about Ottilie. how little able the good Ottilie was to show out what lies in her. because she herself requires some excusing. in which she ^^411 detail to you the prizes which she has won. whose names have been mentioned with amongst those I . the . ways of thinking about be said it. it is the less necessary that I should say much. she would rather have done for her by me. In writing. and in a short time I shall take the liberty of offering you my opinion as to may be of most advantage to her. with her to write to you . Your ladyship's daughter has proved herself first The testimonials which I in every sense of the word. . having to say much in few words. as I did too well." LETTER OF THE ASSISTANT. The result has only too entirely justiShe has gained no prize she is not even fied my anxiety. To you I may well be brief. Ottilie never can be prepared to make a display. " Knowing. and I hope delight you. " Our reverend superior leaves it to me of Ottilie. I need not go into details. For myself. examinaof. and what she is capable tion. approbation. and her own letter. it would be painful to her to say w^iat has to which partly.

and partly because I remembered in my own younger years finding myself in the same unfortunate case. ''After the pupils were dismissed. and the execution most careful and full of spirit. the presiding examiner said to me very kindly but laconically. the care of children. they were all quicker than she and in the more difficult problems. It is what is distinctly intended by all who have ' : children themselves. we may entertain good hopes of the young lady. and I ventured it with the greater earnestness. but as soon as I into the council. the examiners consulted together. . and in history she was not ready with her names and dates. In drawing she certainly would have gained the prize her outlines were clear. This is the aim of all education. or if her name was mentioned. but their In arithmetic. had ended. unhappily. there was a want of attention to the political divisions and for what she could do in music there was neither time nor quiet enough for her few modest melodies to gain attention. . If in the coming year you can develop these into accomplishments. In French. and it is to your own credit also that you have paid so much attention to your pupil's capabihties. I very soon observed that of Ottilie either nothing would be said at all. which she does the best. if not absolute disapproval. were not so well formed. I was listened to with attention. she was outshone and out-talked by many. trial. tions.' . and it was incomplete. there was no examination. partly because I was only speaking my real convictions. it would be with indifference. she had chosen too large a subject. We presume capabilities they are to be converted into accomplishments.44 THE GERMAN CLASSICS more free. neither yourself nor your pupil shall fail to receive your due praise. and silently and indistinctly by the This also is the object of examina- where teachers and pupils are alike standing their From what we learn of you. In geography. I hoped to obtain some favor for her by a candid description of what she was. and we teachers were partially admitted letters of the other girls strokes were far .

for Ottilie no one can believe it ''Now it is true never alters the expression of her countenance. this all. while the right turns pale. and I could not prevent myself from saving someI took our Superior aside. I perceived this s\Tnptom. after the examiners were gone could not contain her displeasure. of showing it in the unequal color of her face. and it is very painful. ' angrily away. Your ladyship's daughter. and off this ' ran away. as was the case here. "No one except myself saw that Ottilie was disturbed. for heaven's sake. cried the other. She has a way when she experiences any sharp unpleasant emotion which she washes to resist. or. Our good Superior. the left cheek becomes for a moment flushed. This is not the last day of trial' But you will always remain the last. ' replied. The excellent lady acknowledged that she had been wrong. I have never even seen her move her hand to her head when she has been asleep. while the others were Tell me. I have my headache again today. quiet way.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES " this 45 all I . Ottilie replied in her calm. all — — I " Nor was testimonials. who was ' standing quite quietly by the window. and shook them in OttiUe's * face.' Kind and sjTnpathizing as she generally is. after her triumph today was overflowing wdth the violence of her She ran from room to room with her prizes and spirits. to see undistinguished. had made up my mind to what must follow upon but there was something worse that I had not anticipated.' and turned this time answered. We considered the whole affair we talked it . quite calmly. her about it. and said to Ottilie. who is at times sufficiently lively and impetuous. ' You have come badly ' morning. it who like a trusty shepherdess could not bear to have one of her flock lost. . exulting over their prizes: how can a person look so stupid if she is not so?' Ottilie Forgive me. the Superior No one can believe that. which had soon to be added to it. and spoke seriously to tiiing. my dear mother.' she cried.

too. You. position of the affair. and turns such a look upon the person who is urging her that he mil be glad enough to cease to ask or wish for anything of her. when on the other hand she has wished to decline things which have been pressed upon her. Our reasons you will yourself readily perceive. She raises her hands. She last. presses the palms together.46 THE GERMAN CLASSICS over at great length together. think of me. If your ladyship ever sees this attitude. It is becoming highly necessary for me to move over to the right wing to the Captain evenings and mornings are the time for us best to work together. or at least ask pressingly for anything. But there have been occasions. ^' One thing more. and then you. and now we can get forward with our work. '' It is really very polite in this niece to be subject to a slight pain on the left side of her head. however rare. "it is decided. I will say more to you on the manner in The young lady your daughter we may expect will soon leave us. and we shall then with pleasure welcome Ottilie back to us.hing." Charlotte made no objection. on your side. I vdW tell you at once the desire with which we concluded. Naturally. and she does it with a gesture which to those who have caught its meaning is irresistible. are provided for. and draws them against her breast. Among other things. leaning her body a little forward at the same time. my love. that you will for a while have Ottilie with yourself. I have it f re. he cried. namely. which another time I might forget to mention I have never seen Ottilie eager for an}i. If you consent." : which I think she should be treated. . there were observations made on the persons and on the '' Enough!" Edward cried at comes. not without smiles and shakes of the head. and not to weary your ladyship. as M^th your treatment of her it is not likely that you will. and spare Ottilie. will have admirable room for yourself and Ottilie. and Edward sketched out the method in which they should live. Edward read these letters aloud.

** reach higher than to your knees. *' No. I should have thought. taking Charlotte in his arms. Chapter VI carriage which brought Ottilie drove up to the door. without taking a part in it. ** What an agreeable. Charlotte went out to receive her. with a smile. without moving from the position in which she had placed her** I ain only tliinking of the time when I could not self . a little embarrassed. she has not opened her lips yet!" " Indeed!" said Edward. *' It is not meant for humility." The Captain thought that might be dangerous. — what a pretty pair of pictures we make." and he sprung up and . would have been evident resting on our hands shall — enough. " that is very strange. and endeavoring to raise her from the ground. no!" cried out Edward." OttiUe answered. She appeared attentive to the conversation." She stood up. pressed her to his breast. I leaning on my right elbow. and our heads on the opposite sides. entertaining girl she is!" "Entertaining!" answered Charlotte. take care of the D. The dear girl ran to meet her. for what will become of B. and when I had just learnt to know how you loved me. as he seemed to bethink himself. Beauty is a welcome guest everj-where. If we happen to be afflicted together. and embraced her knees. *' Only do you." . "And to his it is.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 47 quently on the right. She was introduced to the gentlemen. if poor C is taken away from it?" " That. The Why such humility?" said Charlotte. to his Edward '' he would turn back Alpha and Omega." cried A." replied Charlotte. " why. indeed. and was at once treated with especial courtesy as a visitor. threw herself at her feet. my dear friend. The next morning Edward said to Charlotte. and sit opposite one another and she on her left. and Charlotte embraced her warmly.

that we may know what to expect of them. right herself. of the school. had described was but seldom that Charlotte interfered. she at once set it . The ladies had agreed with one another when they were alone to speak nothing but French. and when any one had left anything undone. without appearing to be giving orders. In this way she often said more than she seemed to intend. For Charlotte was of opinion that we cannot too quickly become acquainted with the character of those with whom we have to live. she found. but these.48 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Charlotte had to give the new-comer but a very few hints on the management of the household. As soon as she had found how much time she would have to spare. and what for each particular member of it. She comprehended easily what was to be provided for the whole party. would be soon cut sharp and fine again. she felt them. and compare them with her in her own person. She worked at what was set before her in the to Charlotte. most complete. Everything was done with the utmost punctuality she knew how to direct. Sometimes she changed her pens for others which had been written wdth. which she gave her one day. but at the same time most charming and amiable. to teach her to make bolder strokes in her handwriting. as she found Ottilie more ready to talk in a foreign language. She soon felt her to be a delightful companion. she begged Charlotte to di\ade her hours for her. and Charlotte persisted in it the more. when she was told it was her duty to exercise herself in it. by accident. where we may hope to do anything in . and before long she hoped to find in her an attached friend. Charlotte was particularly pleased "v\'ith a description. Ottilie saw rapidly all the arrangements. and to these she adhered exactly. and what was more. wav which let the Assistant It They her alone. to refresh her recollection with the opinion which the Superior and the Assistant had formed about her. At the same time she looked over again the more early accounts which had been sent her of Ottilie.

i D.PtTiiiiss:. ' ' 1 J ' ' I I \ ' CHARI. 1 1 .OTTK RIXKIVKS U'lTlLlK . .

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but she already knew became of greater meaning and importance. it is said. Ottilie's moderation in eating and drink- much which ing. even to the minutes. arrival. its And peculiarities appear under some new from the moment of her first appear- beautiful hues. In many ways. In their conversation they seemed to consider what was best adapted to interest Ottilie. will show through all disguises. it is true. to dress herself out most tastefully. An agreeable person. This examination led her to nothing new. a beneficent influ- ence on that noble sense. evil. what was most on a level with her capacities and her general knowledge. for instance. They had both become more companionable. in less haste. II —4 . she watched them both. Ottilie's toilet. in a short time. and what we must make up our minds. The new fashionable dresses set off her figure. to leave the table. But she could not perceive any difference. and feels in harmonv \^'ith himself and with the world. and at once the clever active girl herself cut out the stuff which had been previously sent to her.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 49 the way of improvement with them. If she left the Vol. to tolerate and let alone. and exerts. to see whether one more than the other was the occasion of it. This did not escape Charlotte's observation. and Avith a very little assistance from others was able. therefore. ance. for their general meeting together. had gained by Ottilie's The Captain and Edward kept regularly to the the party hours. indeed. or for their walks and they were . but we always fancy it looks fresher and more graceful when its drapery. ladies were employed was Charlotte ^vished her to appear in clothes of a richer and more recherche sort. especially in the evenings. once for all. she became more and more a delight to the eyes of all who beheld her. so does human beauty work with far larger potency on the outward and on the inward sense whoever looks upon it is charmed against the breath of . They never kept the others waiting for them either for dinner or tea. became a real The next thing on which the distress to her. As the emerald refreshes the sight with thus.

gether wait In return for this. '^ " It is when very polite in you. however. to be so quick in people stooping and picking it up for them at the same time. however. Ottilie's anxiety to be of use increased every day. while. and in the w^orld we are expected to be careful Toward women. fetching. it was all in the most perfect repose. and older than you." replied Ottilie. caught every look and every motion. This cheerful obligingness in Ottilie gave Charlotte the greatest pleasure. Sitting. and her easy. made a deep impression upon me." *'I vdW try to forget the habit. young. any rule as to how you should conduct yourself. carr^dng. however. it is a sort of confession that they have a right to require such attention. she went about so lightly that her step was almost inaudible. the more she came to understand the house. a few little things. a constant agreeable movement. a constant change. among which was the following: — . I have not gained as much out of it as I ought. the more eagerly she entered into everj-^thing. They had grown softer and altomore united. you will in the meantime forgive me for my want of manners. she was always the same. and their circumstances. for I never knew what use I was to make of it. let anything fall from their hand. its inmates. w^hen I tell you how I came by it. You are . With her calm attentiveness. wliich she did not exactly hke.50 THE GERMAN CLASSICS room when they were reading or telling stories. To those above you. unexcited activity. rising up. they would till she returned. services of this sort are a duty toward your equals they are polite to those younger than yourself and your inferiors you may show yourself kind and good-natured by such things only it is not becoming in a young lady to do them for . coming. going. ''I think." she said one day to her. of which she had to speak to her. a sound. There was one thing. We were taught history at school. half a word. — men. was enough for her. I will not prescribe to whom we pay it. . at the same time. returning to her place again.

lage.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES When 51 Charles the First of England was standing before his so-called judges. you see. he seemed to look around and expect that this time too some one would do him this little service. The brook runs between. is built in a semicircle. . the gold top came off the stick which he had in his hand. and as I cannot." In the meantime the fine arrangements which the two friends had been led to make for themselves. No one stirred. some improve it. and do observe the way the people set about protecting themselves from them. went uninter- ruptedly forward. slopes down to that projecting angle. of course. that from that moment let I have never been able to see any a thing fall. and he stooped down for it himself. in continued. Accustomed as he had been on such occasions to have everytliing done for him." she *' tell my story every time I do it. ^^-ithout myself picking it up. village. just opposite to it. It is liable to floods. and fell down. compared to villages where the inhabitants vrere compelled by the expense of building-ground to be careful about such things. as they were walking together through the vilthey had to remark with dissatisfaction how far behind-hand it was in order and cleanliness. and how beautiful we would make it by introducing into village situated like this. " that we might have the laWng out of some country park. not the Swiss style of buildbut the Swiss order and neatness which so much ing. But. but only hurting . and a fourth tries beams and planks no one. one future I will try to contain myself. doing any good io another with his arrangement. of course." "And how The well it would answer here ! The hill on which the castle stands." said the Captain. one wdth stones. It struck me as so piteous. the next puts up a boarding. smiling. One day " You remember a wish we once expressed when we were traveling in S\\"itzerland together. Every day they found something new to think about and nndertake. as it is not always proper. regularly enough. another with stakes.

If the people would only lay their hands to the business together. take the road in behind it." ^Yhile they were standing and talking. on them to strike a balance. I have experienced too much trouble myself in life in matters of that kind. without having the other before their eyes. and they will not trouble themselves to look for the cause which produces it. making the whole place clean. it would cost them nothing but a little labor to run a semi= circular wall along here. may have unrestricted authority over them. of all their little trifling ineffectual makeshifts. there is no prevailing : . but their scope seldom reaches beyond the morrow and if it comes to a point where with some general arrangement one person will gain while another will lose. and not hesitate at the means So many people confuse means with ends they keep hanging over the first. and so give themselves a fair open space in front. once for all. in one good general work. and getting rid. as he ran his eyes over the lay of the ground. He looked more impudent than really ." returned the Captain. is so difficult to many get advice listened to. This is why it ' ' * ' ! .52 THE GERMAN CLASSICS tlie rest too. and saw quickly what was to be Mmself and — done. And then there is the road going along just in the clumsiest way possible. through the water." *' Let us try it. a man came up and begged of them. especially among the they can see clearly enough from day to day. I can undertake nothing in company with peasants and " unless I shopkeepers. raising it to the level of the houses. Every e\il is to be cured at the place where it comes to the surface." " You are not so wrong in that. How difficult it is to prevail on a man to venture boldly on making a sacrifice for an after-advantage! How hard to get him to desire an end." said the Captain. Works of pubUc advantage can be carried through only by an uncontrolled absolute authority. or the remote effect which results from it." replied Edward. up hill and down. and over the stones.

not as he comes in. or passing ments to such cases. in our charities as in all else too great liberality attracts beggars instead of helping them on their wa5^ At the same time there is no harm when one is on a journey. 53 and Edward. I have thought about it before. who goes on the roads which lead to there can be referred ** Come. he went off with short steps. and the thing was done. who was annoyed at being inter- rupted. Both houses lie the castle. spoke sharply to him. was as much under God's protection as a lord. began A The Captain. and everybody else too. The public-house is at one end of the vil- lage. said. but we do better in not giving it in person. through a strange place. and let every beggar. The fellow to grumble and mutter abusively. this as to pacify him. as they were walking " up the hill to the castle together." They went to the innkeeper. The position street in the of the village and of the castle makes it easy for us to put our charities here on a proper footing. so that any one to one or the other. that everj^thing in this " purpose. especially at home. a respectable old couple live at the other. but as he goes out. we will settle that on the spot. talking about the right of beggars. At each of these places deposit a small sum of money. " Let us make use of an occasion for extending our rural police arrangeWe are bound to give away money. world depends on distinctness of idea and firmness of Your judgment of what my wife has been doing . receive something. . It was all very well to refuse them an alms. after two or three fruitless attempts to get rid of him by a gentler refusal. We should be moderate and uniform in everything. and to the old couple." Edward said. but that was no reason why they should be insulted. It put Edward out of all patience. beggar. in appearing to a poor man in the form of a chance deity of fortune and making him some present which shall surprise him. *' I know very well.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES in want." said Edward. The exact sum can be made up another time.

which was to have an especial reference to the castle. and from it the spectator was to be able to overlook both the castle and the garden. It was to form a conspicuous object from the castle mndows. which could and should be done. However. We difficulty in passing into earnest. for our evening's amusement. Everybody was pleased. I can never rest till I see it done. The chart which the Captain had sketched was brought and spread out. From these to their own property and their own grounds. She avoids speaking of it. You have perplexed her. We are clever enough at other times in introducing what we want. We will treat it first problematically. and on this one subject she is vexed with us. an easier way up the hill was found. that they could not entirely free themselves of the plan in which Charlotte had begun. to employ and set off the natural advantages of the locality. She has never since invited us to go with her to the summer-house. a lodge was suggested to be built on the height at the edge of the cliff. The only difficulty was. drawn in its The scheme was rude." concerted.54 THE GERMAN CLASSICS in the park was entirely right. Then we can follow with your plan. I will not deny that I told her of it. '* If I am once comdnced about anything good. In each group of designs they first saw a ground-plan of the spot." replied the Captain. . There will be no . the transition was easy." must not allow ourselves to be deterred by that. with copper-plates. natural state. Then followed others. She has left off doing anything. into the general conversation suppose we have out some descriptions of English parks." answered Edward. and I could not approve of your having done so. and you have already given me a hint how it might be improved. although at odd hours she goes up there ** '' mth " Ottihe." So I have been led to suspect. sho^ving the changes which had been produced by art. and the books were opened. and as if we were only in jest. with the general character of the landscape.

" Charlotte answered. and then we can apportion it out so much work." said he. wliich in her first plans she had taken such pains in ornamenting. The Captain being always on the spot. behind it. I have not much in arbitrary matters. at least by months. and taken measurements and now he brought up again the village road and the wall by the brook. The cash-box is under my charge." said '' Edward. Out of this a mutual kindly feeling will necessarily arise. "We ought to know how much will be wanted for such a purpose. was sufiiciently proved by her allowing him to destroy ^er pretty seat. He. I pay the bills. and both will be carried out most satisfactorily and most rapidly. . ^' comes my side of the business. walk up the height. " Here *' while I make this charming you see." said Charlotte. to be raised — and I keep the accounts. and thus bring something to completeness. and it became easy for them both to work together. we women know better how to control ourselves than vou. without experiencing the slightest feeling about the matter. Let one piece of work help the other. It is with work as with dancing. I gain exactly the quantity of stone which I require for that wall. because it was in the . if not by weeks. persons who keep the same step must grow indispensable to one another.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES his 55 The Captain had thought it all carefully over." '' But now. " It was settled the dispositions were made. Charlotte was almost daily a witness to the strength and clearness of Ms understanding. and that Charlotte had a real kind feeling toward the Captain. *' AVhere it is a case of inclination. way of his own. too." " You do not appear to have overmuch confidence in us. A certain definite outlay of money will have to be made. after she came to know him better. learnt to know her better. and so much money. and the work was begun at once. and the ground which was .

and she had hid her face in Charlotte's lap not from from a childish surprise. but his self-love whispered that toward him she was particularly so. too. about . and to keep away whatever annoyed him. who could never have air enough. fear. she appeared to grow more open and conversible as — soon as they were alone together. and. Now was that Charlotte it a natural consequence that Edward should attach him- self more to Ottilie. with his wife. and when Edward w^ould question the possibility when she must have been so exceedingly young. and pensable to him he felt it keenly whenever she was absent. indeed. They liked talking of early times. but — — . he at variance. Besides all this. so that very soon she grew indis- she became like his guardian angel. when they had first seen each other and these reminiscences led them up to the first epoch of Edward's affection for Charlotte. Ottilie declared that she remembered them both as the handsomest pair about the court. too. the quantity of sugar which he liked in his tea and so on. Moreover. Independently of this. about which he was excessively sensitive. as he advanced in life. and the way in which he liked them to be prepared. indeed. fruit-gardens and flower-gardens whatever he liked. because he had made so strong an impression upon her because she had liked him so much. insisted that she recollected one particular incident as clearly as He had come into the room where her aunt was. She knew exactly what things he liked. she was particularly careful to prevent draughts. of this. for some time past he had begun to feel a silent kind of attraction toward her. She had observed his little fancies about his food. she had come to know about . She might have added. So. it was her constant effort to procure for him. Obliging and attentive she was to every one. she possible. Edward. was often which. had retained something childish about himself. which corresponded singularly well with the youthfulness of Ottihe. .66 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Chapter VII was occupied with the Captain.

as the gentlemen were thus rather slackening in their energy. to wind up his chronometer. at least to have a dim perception. while it enlarges the heart. they office. planning and erasing. And then it appeared that tlie Captain had forgotten. and they seemed. With our friends. has a tendency toward the illimitable. the feelings which were mutually arisTheir dispositions ing had the most agreeable effects. The every-day life of a famih'. For this purpose. an4 they each shared their happiness with the rest. and Edward was as unsuccessful with his first letter. Ever}^ member of the party was happy. the first design the Captain tried would not answer. for the first time for many years. and is shaped out of neces- sary circumstances. may easily receive into itself an extramay receive it ordinary affection. Such a temper elevates the spirit. asked what 'clock it was. people do and undertake. if not to feel. and soon gave the old man enough to do. that time was beginning to be indifferent to them. much of the business which the two friends had undertaken together had come to a standstill. who was getting on the worst. They set themselves to their work.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 57 Wliile tliey were occupied in this way. — individual affections. under the influence of it. and a long time may elapse before the new ingredient produces a visible effervescence. In the meanwhile. At the same time. so that they found it necessarj' to inspect how designs and get old to work up a few things were going on letters written. They fretted for a wliile. — betook themselves to their where they found their coppst at his desk. and a general goodwill arose out of the several opened out. which is composed of given persons. the activity of the ladies increased all the more. an incipient passion into itself as into a vessel. without obsers'ing that they were laying many tilings on his shoulders which at other times they had always done for themselves. and everything which. The friends could not remain any more shut up at . and runs foaming over the edge. till at last Edward.

so beautifully balancing herself. Edward would hurry on before with walks extended themselves further and furOttilie. or if she supported herself on his shoulder. however. whose hunting experience had made him thoroughly familiar vnth. she caught the hand which in some difficult spot he would offer her. they saw the strange old. that he might catch her in his . the noise of the water-wheel speedily telling them that the place which they were looking for was close at hand. to choose the path or pioneer the way. making further progress difficult. or delighting themselves with some spot they had newly discovered. The path was so little frequented. the spot. that they soon lost it. talking on some grave subject. They determined directly to cHmb down amidst the moss . which was somewhere in the middle of the rocks there. Edward led the way. and beyond these a wall of steep rocks. ther. along the sides of which they proceeded as far as it was generally thought possible to follow the water. from stone to stone. But Edward. stepping lightly. and thence over the bridge toward the ponds. quite shadowed over with precipitous crags and huge trees. if not impossible. in the direction of the hotel. or some unexpected natural beauty. and when he looked back and saw Ottilie following.58 THE GERMAN CLASSICS tlieir home. knowing well that the old mill could not be far off. He almost ^^dshed that she might shp or stumble. Stepping forward on a point of rock. as she often did. wooden building in the hollow before them. One day their walk led them down from the gate at the right wing of the castle. thickly wooded hills sloped directly up from the edge. he fancied he was looking at some celestial creature floating above him while if. dark. and the blocks of stone. and for a short time they were wandering among mossy stones and thickets it was not for long. and the Captain and Charlotte would follow quietly on the track of their more hasty precursors. pushed forward along an overgrown path 'W'ith Ottilie. . without fear or nervousness. then he was left in no doubt that it was a very exquisite human creature who touched him.

Stuttgart P. IjKUTJUllANN EDWARD AND OTTILIE .Permission Deutsche Veriags-Ansialt.

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meaning of this could be.'* Ottilie said nothing. and while he . and pressed it against her forehead. who had come out to them. and the metal frame and the glass. What When picture of your noble father. if the carriage swings violently. the presence of which seems to me. It is the the learn. This. a fall. if you are carrying anything. Edward. You make no secret (I am sure you need not make any). if we are pushing through bushes. the holiest place which you can give it only do not wear upon your breast a thing. without hesitation and \\ithout haste. You could hardly have known him but in every sense he deserves a place by your heart. For my sake do this put away the picture. He was afraid to wound her. however. dear Ottilie. the picture — . Any unforeseen blow. : so dangerous.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 59 arms and press her to his heart. for more than one reason. drew out the picture. and then reached it over to her friend. may be fatally injurious to you and I am terrified at the possibility of it. with a little embarrassment. if you will not grant it. as we were coming down these rocks cause me a thousand anxieties for you. was speaking she kept her eyes fixed straight before her then." . . is exceedingly large. not out of your room. a touch. and were seated opposite each other at a table under the trees. and when the miller's ^\dfe had gone for milk. and he was afraid to do her some bodily injuiy. let it have the brightest. we shall immediately they had got down. Only. she unclasped the chain. you will forgive me for asking it. with a look turned more toward heaven than on Edward. perhaps from an extravagant anxiety. if you take up a child in your arms. with the words " Do you keep it for me till we come home I cannot give you a better proof how deeply I thank you for your affec. or just now. not out of your affections. began to speak: *' I have a request to make. forgive me. was sent to meet Charlotte and the Captain. and the miller. : . that you wear a miniature under your dress against your breast. tionate care. he would under no circumstances have done.

. entering a grove of trees. from which the ponds were again to be seen. and they reckoned up that the circuit. perhaps. and Edward struck into a rocky path on the other side of the stream. properly laid out and gravpeople might loiter along it at their leisure. and then they took some refreshments. they had a view. They made their way along it. They came upon it rather unexpectedly. He felt as if a stone had fallen from his heart. and were looking again at the windows of their home. and then had to cross a variety of wood and copse getting glimpses. while very near them. and were of They had made the circuit of a little world they were standing on the spot where the new building was to be erected. which showed them the richness of the country to the greatest advantage and then. with their green lawns and fruit-gardens.60 THE GERMAN CLASSICS . Charlotte and the Captain came down by an easier path. and now joined them. and which. There was the meeting. on the rock opposite — . and sat all four in it for the first time together nothing was more natural course delighted. . as if a partition-wall had been thrown down between him and Ottilie. and a happy talk. and sweetly situated on a rising ground. the castle. might be traveled easily with a good road all the way round to the castle. two of the most beautiful hands which had ever been clasped together. what they thought. so that They each said . elled. over which they had taken many hours. From a gentle ascent. They were. with some effort. They went down to the summer-house. of a number of villages and manor-houses. before and behind. He did not venture to press the picture to liis lips but lie caught her hand and raised it to his eyes. they found themselves. in a single one. on the land side. had taken them much time and trouble. a farm lay in the middle of the wood. on again emerging from it. Under the miller's guidance. than that with one voice it should be proposed to have the way they had been that day. as it was. They would not return by the same way as they came.

Edward. by putting them in mind of the expense which such an undertaking w^ould involve. in the summing up at the end of the year. with all her prudence. The Captain was ready immediately with a plan for breaking up the ground into small portions among the peasantry of the forest. however. and adding a fresh beauty to the landscape. His present steward had already proposed to take it off his hands he was to pay for it by instalments and so. There had been. — — money came in. in prospect. having gained an invaluable walk. To bring it all before themselves with greater fulness of With detail. ** There are ways of meeting that too. a previous intention of selling the farm. indeed. and which brings in so little in the way of rent. So reasonable and prudent a scheme was sure of universal approbation. Their other . and already. as the a rather different direction with advantage. the help of this they went over again the w^ay that they had come.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 61 Already a plan was being suggested for making the distance shorter. below the mill." — Even Charlotte. expended capital in substantial enjoyment as now. had little to urge against this.** rephed Edward. they began to see their new walk winding along its way. where it ran into the lake. vexing and fretting ourselves over the pitiful little income which is returned for it. when Charlotte brought their inventive imagination somewhat to a standstill. and to imagine the many beautiful views and charming spots which they hoped to discover in its neighborhood. and found various places where the walk might take gradually. they would get their work forward from point to point. we have only to dispose of that farm in the forest which *' is so pleasantly situated. had a simpler and shorter way of managing it. and thus. in the evening they produced the new chart. we shall receive the interest of wellinstead of. the sum which will be set free w^ill more than cover what we shall require. by thro"s\ing a bridge across the stream.

because they would not have tasted as well at home we require change of scene and change of objects. He overlooked it. **we are ready enough to walk any distance to drink tea or eat fish. The site for the new house in the park. This is what you mean. on the contrary. which is more for pleasure parties than for a regular residence. It is true you cannot see the castle from thence." she said. had said nothing all this time. across to her. she still hesitated for a moment. \dllage and houses and all at the same time. and connected with the fresh design.62 THE GERMAN CLASSICS scheme was now once more talked through. with the conveniences of life close at hand. right. for it is sheltered from the wind. place. '' find yourself in another quite new world. which had hitherto been lying before Charlotte. At length Edward pushed the chart. Ottilie. opposite the castle. He col- lected himself. as she pointed with her finger to the highest point of the slope on the hill. after a slight expression of his " Ottilie is disapproval and went into the idea. Your ancestors showed their judgment in the spot which they chose for the castle. was a second time examined into and approved. and fixed upon for the termination of the intended Ottilie circuit." She is right. Edward cried how could we have — ' ' ' ' ' ' ." A he said. I would have the house built here. begging her to give her opinion. and the hills and mountains the distance. is it not? " took a lead pencil. went through the Captain's soul to see his carefully and clearly-drawn chart disfigured in such a way. you you lose The view in of the ponds with the mill. for it is hidden by the wood but for that very reason ' ' . Edward in his gentlest way again pressed her to let them know what she thought it was all as yet in nothing had as yet been settled — — embrvo. and drew a great black rectangular It figure on the summit of the hill. hov^-ever. is singularly beautiful I have often observed it when I have been there. may be very well yonder — i .

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her whole mode of thought was suited better to home life than to the world. Ottilie meantime was complete mistress of the household it be otherwise. the more conclusive was their judgment in favor of Ottilie and Edward could not conceal his triumph that the thought had been hers. It cost him a good deal of labor.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES there. and afterward. so that the evening meeting was looked forward to with anxiety." The more they talked it over.\pter VIII Early the follo\\'ing morning the Captain examined the spot: he first threw off a sketch of what should be done. and the business connected with the sale of the farm had to be gone into. 63 and in the fair time of year the most agreeable hours be spent there. wdth her quick methodical of working? Indeed. so that both the gentlemen now found a fresh impulse to activity. During the day they rarely saw each other. He was as proud as if he had hit upon it himself. and to a more Edward soon observed that she only walked about with them out of a desire to please. when the thing had been more completely decided on. busied herself in carefully going through the time and outlay wtiich it was calculated would be expended on it. Ch. Charlotte. he lations made a complete design. and that he could have a magnificent celebration for that. to whom all this work and what it would involve was a subject for much serious and almost anxious thought. that when she stayed out late with them in the evening it was because she . all the more — and how could ways free existence. The Captain made Edward observe that it would be proper. indeed that it would be a kind of duty. with accurate calcu- and measurements. Not much was wanted for such festivities later Ottilie 's — for he quickly recollected that a to overcome Edward's disinclination little birthday w^ould follow. may . to celebrate Charlotte's birthdav with lading the foundation-stone.

which had been partly spoilt for them by a tedious visit. " perhaps I can. you will. Charlotte and the Captain observed this. that he might not turn over before she had got to the bottom of the page. and the gentlemen on each side. his eyes sparkling with pleasure. One evening. and they were not to be found. with together. accompany me on the piano? " I think Edward. she had some hesitation. in which Ottilie 's latent feeling — — — . w^hich he had not done for many days past. its to read aloud poetry particularly such as had for subject the expression of a pure but passionate love. Charlotte looked for the sonatas which they generally played Ottilie. and Edward would then always make a move toward her. Edward proposed that they should not sepahe would take rate so early he felt inclined for music — — his flute.64 THE GERMAN CLASSICS it a sort of social duty. said that they were in her room — taken them there to copy them. for Ottilie also trusted her own eyes better than another person's lips. and were sufficiently surprised to hear how perfectly Ottilie but far more surprised were had taught herself the piece — . and he began again. "And you cried can. that they should be at home before sunset. that it might be as easy as possible for her indeed he would frequently make longer stops than necessary. and that she would often some household matter for going in again consequently he soon managed so to arrange the walks which they took together. the side where he at such times she put the candle when he was reading would draw her chair a little nearer to look over him. Ottilie 's place was on Edward's right." She brought the music Ottilie answered. and sat down to the instrument. They ordinarily sat in the evening in the same places — round a small table Charlotte on the sofa. and exchanged many a quiet smile at it but they were both taken by surprise at another sjTuptom. Ottilie on a chair opposite to her. accidentally displayed itself. The others listened. what he had long left thought — find a pretext in off.

would have been pleased to hear his work disfigured in a manner so charming. seemed to have learnt it according to the idea in which they accompanied each other she had so comhe went too Ottilie. that a kind of living from it. as well as that of the others and it was perhaps only the more perilous because they were both stronger. indeed. is not the Charlotte's skill and power enabled her. who had — pletely whole resulted made his defects her own. perhaps with a kind of envy. with the kind of feeling with wliich we often observe the actions of children unable — exactly to approve of them. the more industriously did he labor to hurry forward the preparations for keeping her rapidly-approach- — him — and Then she thought she admired him Avoiding. being alone with Charlotte. to keep up with him when Edward's style of plajing. but the effect of which was in the highest The composer himself degree pleasant and delightful. but several times heard them play the sonata together. II —5 . fast. For. right expression in order to please her husband. and yet mthout being able to find fault. and better able to restrain themselves. VoL. The first day or two Charlotte thought it was an accident she looked for him in ever>' place where — . the regard of these two for one another was growing also. — and hold in for him if he hesitated. more certain of themselves. The Captain had already begun to feel that a habit which he could not resist was threatening to bind him to Charlotte. as the Captain now did. which did not move indeed according to exact rule. He forced himself to stay away at the hour when she commonly used to be at the works by getting up very early in the morning he contrived to finish there whatever he had to do.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES they at the to 65 way in wliich she contrived to adapt herself Adapt herself. understood all the more. Charlotte and the Captain watched this strange unexpected occurrence in silence. she thought he could possibly be. and went back to the castle to his work in his own room. from the serious consequences which may follow.

had assembled for the occasion. The complete which protected the raised village road against the water. rather prevented the little party when together from being as lively as usual. passing the church. begin working at the top as well. we said Edward can enjoy ourselves together ' ' ' ' . and work down. A and so by degrees out on to the summit. and feeling. and the two who were listening to them. and so was the walk. Ottilie. as well as They do will admire them — but better than we. adjusted to cover it. They promised themselves a frequent of friendship. one evening called upon the Captain to fetch his violin Charlotte should play the The Captain was piano. Edward. and they executed together one of the most difficult pieces of music with an ease. and he had calculated his arrangements so that the two should exactly meet on the eve of the day. after a \vide sweep. "While he was bringing up the new road from below behind the village. to meet the others. and freedom. and a fair foundation-stone had been hewn. and he should accompany her. for a short time it followed the path which had been laid out by Charlotte. inclined first under the summer-house to the right. and then winding upward among all was the rocks." The birthday was wall Chapter IX come. and then. he made the men. and a flat slab tions for the mysterious purposes less they were obliged to repress. with a hollow chamber. unable to refuse the general request. and everything was ready. too. They large party . under pretence that he wanted stones.ee THE GERMAN CLASSICS ing birthday with all splendor. we further practice together. the greatest delight. This outward activity. passed back above it to the right again. The excavanew house were already done: the rock was blown away with gunpowder. these little prompted by feelings which more or — repetition ' ' of it it. who felt that there was a sort of void. which could not but afford themselves.

as these words were spoken. came forward. After service.' Ottilie were standing opposite one another. they filed out in order. At the turn of the walk. and nowhere else. the troops of men distance from the beginning to the end who had gone up before them. there is neither art nor " Edward and handicraft which must not in some way contribute. a side. But . she was touched. where the Captain made Charlotte and the visitors From here they could see over the whole stop and rest. the execution. young girls. It was lovely weather. and were now forming a circle round the spot where the future house was to stand. and she pressed the Captain's hand warmly. and women. where they found the whole congrega- tion assembled in their holiday dresses. of A which in prose we can give but an imperfect rendering. then the old. his family. and the whole effect was singularly beautiful. trowel in one hand and a hammer in the other. with their visitors and retinue. lay ready to be let down. brought up the rear. and the village maidens. so in the cpuntry ' it i . after them came the party from the castle. *' Three things. The lord of the castle. and with much grace spoke an address in verse. then the young men. " are to be looked to in a that it stand on the right spot. supported on one — well-dressed mason.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES went first to 67 church. where the foundation-stone. that it be successfully executed. the file of women following. and the principal strangers were now in\dted to descend into the vault." he began. ** To the third. and now drawing up to where they were. Charlotte was taken by surprise. here. a raised stone seat had been contrived. the right of the lord of the soil that he shall say. Here my dwelling shall stand. liis and first is the business of the master of the house his only. They followed the crowd who had slowly ascended. first the boys. but they did not venture to look up and exchange glances. As in the city the prince and the council alone — determine where a building ^lall be. that it be building — The securely founded.

with the sharpness of its molding. '' will be no more accessible — but will be closed in forever! This foundation-stone. Here within this small hollow spot. and wdth the truth of its and perpendicular. if it be not done in concealthe soil will be ment. boldly to speak it out. and here you will not refuse to be our fellow" with these words he reached the trowel to laborer. and with the walls which we rear into the daylight we in the end are seldom remembered. united far better by It is not seemly to be idle among the working. Upon which the hammer was next in Charlotte's. For as human beings who may be well inclined to each other by nature. it is the head and front of all the a solemn thing it is and our bidding you undertaking — — of meaning. the founding. and conclude. fit together. in this expresthen it " The work of the '' mason. the law cements them. — . the regularity of it. who threw mortar with it under the stone several of the others were then desired to do the same. and then in the others' hands.68 THE GERMAN CLASSICS ." went on the speaker. which with its angles typifies the just angles of the building. the wedlock of the stone with the earth. now ornamented with fair and worthy persons. you show us the honor of appearing as descend hither is full witnesses of our mysterious craft. Charlotte. the second. is the province of the mason and. and soon these earth-walls. we might now without more ado let down it would rest in its place with its own But even here there shall not fail of lime and weight. The works of the stone-cutter and sion. now under the free sky as we are. yet must pass into concealment laid smoothly in. and — was at once let fall. and thrown over this stone. You are celebrating your Festival in the deep of the earth. lines to the horizontal and equal height of — all means to bind it. Presently we shall lower down this carefully-hewn stone into its place. yet hold more firmly together when whose forms may already these binding forces. placed to strike three times with it. so are stones also. the uprightness the walls.

— plates. and then a . it shall be a pair of buttons from tliis uniform to — I don't see why they do not desers'e to go down No my posterity!" sooner said than done. and said. There is space yet remaining. tribute anything which as yet is not to be found in treasure-chamber. All this we have received through the liberality of him for whom we build. smoothed. "If I am to con. in these fair glass bottles we bury the best old have coins wine. will appear in the day and therefore we make this foundationstone at the same time a stone of memorial. in spite of himself. " Not from regard for the opinion of others. ''But as the man who commits some evil deed has to fear. that. if guest or We spectator desires to offer anything to the after-world!" After a slight pause the speaker looked round. biit for us it is not to complain when the plasterer blots out the last trace of our hands. many things are now to be buried. as a witness to some far-off world these metal cases hermetically sealed contain documents in writing. he can even all penetrate through exact and careful disguises and still recognize those adjustments to which the whole is indebted for its being and for its persistence. that it also. no one was prepared At last. but. officer set the example. is. the surface plastered over. overwrought with ornament. the mason There is none who has more need soil is all will be faithful in his calling. it will one day come to light so too must he expect who has done some — good thing in secret. in these various hollows which have been hewn into it. as is commonly they were young the case on such occasions.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 69 the carver remain under the eyes. matters of various note are engraved on these . to feel in himself the consciousness of what he when the and the outside When the house is finished. and appropriates our work to himself. too of many kinds. and smooths it. a merry-looking all taken by surprise. with ^ note of the year of its vintage. notwithstanding all precautions. but from respect for himself. from the mint of the current year. when he overlays it. Here. and colors it.

ha\ing the cover let fall. in some haste. back — — * * ' — back into the present." With these words he drained a richly cut tumbler at a draught. and out of the windows. let us on with our labor. till a kind word from Edward roused her from the abstraction in which she was watching the various things being heaped in. This time. and fastened down. after the feast. Only Ottilie hung back. look forth with a glad heart over his broad lands. But in that we bury this treasure together mth it. The young mason who had been most active through all '' We lay this. it — . and that can only be when all shall again be destroyed which as yet we have not brought into being. let no one of all those trades which are to work on our foundation. through us keep unwilling holiday. Then she unclasped from her neck the gold chain on which her father's picture had hung. with his family and mth his guests. thereby to signify the excess of pleasure by destroying the vessel which had served for such a solemn occasion. which we have this day kept together. however. may come when this cover so fast sealed shall again be lifted. for the establishing the present and the future possessors of this house. by at once. which as yet have no existence. But now now that at once it may begin to be. rather disarranged the proceedings. Let the building rise swiftly to its height. and with a Edward light gentle hand laid it down on the other jewels. the young ladies did not hesitate to throw in some of their side hair combs smelling bottles and — other trinkets were not spared. may the master of the house. with our thoughts out of the future At once. again took his place as orator. and went on: down this stone for ever. and flung it into the air. To him and to all here present here\vith be health and happiness. we do it in the rememin this most enduring of works of the perishbrance We remember that a time ableness of all human things.70 THE GERMAN CLASSICS number of persons found something of the same sort which they could do.

scaffoldings were again deserted. and for tliis purpose had reared a scaffold as high as w^as absolutely On the occasion of the festival. been laid along the top of this. and a number of spectators were allowed to stand there. who took it it as a sign of good luck for himself." the Captain said. boards had necessary. ! Ottilie. they had already thrown out the whole of the soil at the opposite corner. and the letters E and were to be seen very richly cut upon it." '* " That In might easily be effected." Only I must beseech you to spare my clump of planes and poplars that stand so prettily by the centre pond." " See " He turned to her said Edward. On the other side. and had been caught by one of them. of silver. and the country immediately about them was spread out ** like a If the three map. one of the party thought that he distinguished the spires of the capital. and indeed without a miracle. there would be ever}'i:hing here which is noblest and most excellent. indeed. The line of the river could be traced like a thread sight.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES fell 71 out otherwise. It was one of the glasses which had been executed for Edward when he was a boy. they had begun to raise the wall. bringing . person make when on some high point he ascends but a Inland many fresh villages came in single story higher. behind the wooded hill. ponds. make early times they must have formed hills ** all one lake among the here. had flown up there. In order to get forward with the buildings. It had been meant principally The glass for the advantage of the workmen themselves. He waved round without letting it out of his hand. running one into the other. The glass did not fall back to the earth. the blue peaks of the far-off mountains were seen rising. indeed. and the most active among the party climbed up to look round them. and The could not speak enough in praise of the beauty of the prosHow many new discoveries does not a pect on all sides." cried some one. *' were but thrown together to a single sheet of water.

" '•How long have they been standing there I " asked Otiilie. '' Doubtless not. allowed to stay for a night. too. is is coming tomorrow.72 THE GERMAN CLASSICS down a few steps forward. the next day they will go on *' together. At a hint from the Captain." " Edward. They were not standing in rows. They had deteraiined." The party now betook themselves back to the castle." '*We must prepare Charlotte. A little party. *' every Sunday and holiday. Yes. ** for them in time." Edward cried to Charlotte. and pointing — ** those trees I planted myself. She is coming." answered Charlotte. he " Then the Baroness. giving notice of fresh guests who were to arrive the follo^ving day. my dear child. "It is as we supposed. to have everything in its present order and cleanliness. the inhabitants had collected in front of the houses. too. from another place. Just about as long as you have been in the world. held together by such feelings as had grown up among our friends. " The Count wdll not stay away. delighted to find themselves again alone in the large drawing-room." said Edward. but this sense of home was a little disturbed by a letter which was brought to Edward. part out enjoying themselves on the new benches. as an agreeable duty which they imposed upon themselves. . I planted them when you were still lying in your cradle. After dinner was over they were invited to walk through the village to take a glance at what had been done there as well. Ottilie." said shall I desire to be What arrangement made? " Ottilie asked. is always unpleasantly interAll four were rupted by a large concourse of people. but formed in natural family groups part were occupied at their evening work. They only beg to be tomorrow. at least replied ." not far off.

she would have found it was on account of Ottilie. slightly older than Edward and Charand had been intimate with them from early times at lotte. but we want a second. On unwelcome the present occasion their coming was most to Charlotte. really I must have it early the day after tomorit is row. One copy of it I have here. of the farm. You And will never be able to finish it. but there in both of them. as " till we had finished with this business Ottilie re-entered. could be effected." cried Ottihe. and long. and though in the winter at the Resi- dence they were unable to be together. A proposed. and so did was something or other to object to " Give '* *' it to me. but their position toward each other remained unchanged. a double marriage was not to be interdivorce was fered with without attracting attention. while making tours and staging at watering-places. The connection had never been absolutely broken court. The poor innocent girl should not have been brought so early in contact vnih such an example. The deed of sa^e is complete. -and Ottilie left the The Captain inquired into the relation in wliich these two persons stood toward each other. 73 Charlotte gave a general direction. They were both off. on They were obliged seemit ingly to separate. and if she had looked closely into her reasons for feeling it so. '' It would have been more convenient if they had not come a couple of days later. They had some time before. The Captain offered his services. that of the On the Baroness's side it Count could not." Edward was saying. they indemnified themselves in the summer. and with which he was only very generally acquainted." Charlotte. both being already married." said Charlotte. . fallen violently in love with each other. and our old clerk has till fallen ill. a little hastily. although it was impossible to approve of their proceed- ings.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES room." Edward added.

particulars. with whom you have had enough to do already. but what is he " doing. happy afternoon in a house where I had established peace. Why cannot you for once go and be happy with friends who keep the peace for themselves? No sooner said than done. Edward said. after all. said I to myself: you enjoy yourself with those whose broken peace you have mended. as he approached. as I determined with myself that I would be. which I. coming riding at such a pace as that? The figure came nearer. if you can value it." said Edward. with a laugh. you owe to an observa- I was spending a right yesterday. It is Mittler. whom they intended to Who is that yonder. you will meet the Count and the Baroness. It shall be ready. Here I am. I believe. Ottilie cried and the paper was already in her hands. The next morning. How are you able to find time enough ? " asked Edward. ** I do not like your grand festivities. ." Yesterday you would have met a large party here ** today you mil find but a small one. Now tion which I made call selfish. " but I am come today to keep my friend's birthday with '< up the steps. which I can see did you not come yesterday? " Edward cried. and then I heard that a birthday was being kept here. Why you '' ' ' quietly. as they were looking out from their highest windows for their visitors." said Charlotte. They received him with warm greetings as he came slowly it is man. " Then you can see better than figure. who had all four come this is what I will only * * . and Mittler it veritably was." answered he. ' ' My visit. go some way and meet." Out of the middle of the party. agree very well with the general too. " riding slowly along the road? The Captain described accurately the figure of the horse' ' " the he.74 * * THE GERMAN CLASSICS ' ' .

I can well We are all married believe that. which can only be discharged through annoyances marriage may often have. I take care to settle myself out of his makes Marriage is the beginning and the end of all culture." he cried. the savage mild. "whoever. and there are times when w^e should be glad to be divorced from them mine gives me more annoyance than ever a man or a woman can give. had not Its . and propagates its own contagion. And what do men mean that by talking of unhappiness? Impatience it is which from time to time comes over them." he cried. Let them w^ait till the moment is gone by. to our consciences. the foundation of all moral — society. be any adequate ground for separation." *' Whoever They tried to pacify him. It at marriage. that the sum which two married people owe to each other defies calculation.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 75 down to welcome Mm. have I going out of my proper character? I ought never to have come. is like They bring nothing but mischief. Under one roof with those two I will not remain. and if I cannot his master. *' What business directly I try to rest and enjoy myself. undermines this. seizing at the same time his hat and whip. either by act. The condition of man is pitched so high. strikes word or become way. : " all eternity. It is an infinite debt. and you take care of yourselves. because it brings so much happiness what small exceptional unhappiness it may bring counts for nothing in the balance. the strange man dashed in the keenest disgust." All this he poured out with the greatest vehemence he would very likely have gone on speaking longer. soluble it must be. their nature leaven. and now I am persecuted away. in its joys and in its sorrows. and then they will bless their good fortune that what There never can has stood so long continues standing. that man has to settle ^^dth me. . but it was in vain. '' Some unkick>' star is always over me. and it is as it should be. and the most cultivated has no Indisbetter opportunity for displajdng his gentleness. and then they fancy themselves unhappy.

and apparent easy unembarrassment. This.76 THE GERMAN CLASSICS the sound of the postilions' horns given notice of the arrival of the visitors. and . communicated itself at once to the rest. in their dress. appearance which was always irresistibly Their manners too were thoroughly charming. in their equipment. They were dehghted to find themselves again in the same house and in the same rooms where in early times they had passed many happy days. If something of the first bloom had faded off them. Mittler slipped as their host away hastened to receive them. Their free their way happy humor. and in setting to work at the same time to examine the new fashions. The effect made itself felt immediately on the entrance of the new-comers. very soon disappeared in the stream of past recollection and present interests. bonnets. as was to be seen at once. Their friends too were very glad to see them. and a rapid. The Count and the Baroness had both those tall fine figures which The visitors please in middle life almost better than in vouth. as if on a concerted arrangement. After a short time they again separated. and a lighter ing observed atmosphere hung about the whole party. rode angrily off. their country style. and the vehement feelings which were at work underneath among them. and there found amuse- ment enough in the many things which they had to tell one another. who. and desiring that his horse might be brought out immediately. The ladies withdrew to their own apartments. drove into the castle-coiirt from opposite sides at the same moment. They were fresh from the fashionable . the spring dresses. but which they had not seen for a long time. yet there was an air in their attractive. without their havit stealing on them. however. lively conversation soon united them all. and in everything about them and they formed a contrast not a little striking wdth our friends. world. of taking hold of life and dealing with it. Chaptee X were welcomed and brought in.

as. They spoke in French that the attendants might not understand what they said. however. and in a style which their friends at the castle had never seen. In a comedy we see a marriage as the last aim of a desire which is hindered and crossed through a number of acts. But in the world it is very different. And here. as they are.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES siicli 77 like. and at the instant when it is reached the curtain falls. the plays which we see over and over again help to mislead us being. and as concerns tliis last point. The conversation was brilliant and well sustained." the Count answered. They did not meet again till dinner . occasioned by Charlotte asking after one of her early friends. when we believe persons very dear to us to be provided for for life. trotting out the horses. longer than was desirable. with some distress. very enduring. it appeared perfectly natural and graceful. and indeed." " Indeed. in the meantime they new newly arrived Everything they wore was new. that they have to strike into a fresh path of life. and yet. the advantage. my dear friend. of whom she had to learn. On one particular subject they It was remained. pair showed to all had changed their dress. being accustomed to it themselves. " It is a " when we melancholy thing. fancy our absent friends are finally settled. and particularly mtitrimonial connections." Charlotte said. **it is our own fault if we allow ourselves to be surprised at such We please ourselves with imagining matters of things. so untrue to the course of the world. suddenly to hear that their fortunes are cast loose once more. that she was on the point of being separated from her husband. company of such persons everything and nothing appears to interest. The play goes on . as . in the swept in happiest humor over all that was passing in the great or the middle world. and the momentary satisfaction continues to ring on in our ears. while the gentlemen were emplo}-ing themselves looking at the traveling chariots. too. this earth. and beginning at once to bargain and exchange. and very likely a most insecure one.

On one side or the other there would not fail to be a wish to have the relation continue longer. little enough of the marriage." said the Count. How happily the first part of the time would pass away Two or three years. ordinary. get reconciled again. and when the curtain rises again we see and hear. and even laudable. however. and gained over by such behavior. on Ottilie's She knew very well account. and what is best. as in pleasant company the hours pass always unobserv^ed. **We see people who have gone off the boards smiling. he said. of the theatre." may ** It cannot be so very bad. and of . and they would be delightfully surprised when. was a sacred number Such a period would be pretty and uneven.78 still THE GERMAN CLASSICS beliind the scenes. eternal duration of marriage in a world where everything is in motion. they first observed that they had unknowingly prolonged it. maintained that every marriage should be concluded only for five years. they would forget. would be perfect bhss. at least. which has any- A certain friend of mine. '* In a new character a man may readily venture on a second trial. perhaps. that nothing was more dangerous than the licentious conversation which treats culpable or semi-culpable actions as if they were common. how the time went by. after the term had run out. bring a child or two into the world." said Charlotte." '* There is nothing to say against that. Five. expressions of this kind. ready enough to undertake a part upon them again. quarrel. — long enough for people to learn each other's character." Charming and pleasant as all this sounded. whose humor displays itself principally in suggestions for new laws. were most distasteful to her. He would often exclaim. separate. and when we know the world we see clearly that it is only this positive. even the dissatisfied party. would be softened indifferent. and the amiability would * ' ! The increase the nearer they got to the parting time. and deep (Charlotte felt it to her soul) as was the moral significance which lay below it. thing unbecoming about it.

" said Edward. of thoroughly . "As things are now. it vexed her that Ottilie had managed everything so well that there was no occasion for her to leave the table. of knowing how they conducted themselves in their earlier unions whether they have any peculiarities of temper. ** has another law which on. and. And so the Count. People would then observe each other more closely. he proposes. when she found that she could not. they w^ould pay as much attention to the married as to the unmarried. and everything men off perfectly. therefore. marriage bond he was so anxiously desiring between himself and the lotte's hints. or at least one ov the other. which are a more frequent cause of separation than bad dispositions. notwithstanding. knowing themselves." he went . Such persons must be supposed to acknowledge beyond a doubt that they find marriage indispensable for themselves they have had opportunities The same friend. he — Baroness. enter into it for the third time. but this was a thing which weighed so heavilv on his heart. A marriage shall be held indissoluble only when either both parties. ject. without feeling Char- went went on giving his opinions on the same subwas little enough apt to be tedious in conversation. no one being able to *' tell how" things may turn out. ** .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 79 such undesirable kind assuredly were all wliich touched on the sacredness of marriage. In her quiet observant way a nod or a look was enough for her to signify to the head servant whatever was to be done. She endeavored. in her skilful way. Generally. when a man is married nobody cares any more either for his virtues or for his vices. to give the conversation another turn. although there were a couple of strange in livery in the way who were rather a trouble than a convenience." That would add no little to the interest of society." . and the difficulties which he found in getting separated from his wife were so great that it had made him bitter against everything which concerned the that very bond wliich.

and their word. " fice of our fairest vears. Children do not fulfil if verj^ seldom." "Alas! that in such cases. while you saw nothing but each other." persevered the Count. and the sooner we can accustom ourselves to this the better. "you two have had When I look back the enjoyment of very happy times. "when we can remember them with honor? to content themselves They were generous enough than their number of years mth less for the sake of the larger good which they could leave behind them. Nothing goes as we hope. upon the years when you and Edward w^ore the loveliest couple at the court. with a half serious * ' look." the Count answered. *' Let the dead rest. When you two used to dance together." answ^ered the Count. I see nothing now to be compared with those brilliant times. we must content ourselves with enjoying what good we are to have in fragments and pieces. third. then." said the Baroness." this arrangement." the Baroness struck in. young people with them." said the Count. In their case death has done with a good will what in others the consistorial courts do with a very bad one. as we can get it. and such magnificent figures. with a " happiness is bought only with the sacrisuppressed sigh.I- 80 THE GERMAN CLASSICS "Under laughing. if it were not the same with everything in this world." Charlotte. "Why so. "Indeed." said Charlotte. and may make themselves ready for their '' Things have gone happily with them." . fastened upon you. "and it might drive us to despair. yes. all eyes were turned upon you. the world does not keep its word they keep what they promise. delighted that the conversation had taken a turn at / replied cheerfully: "Well." " Certainly. who was last. " our good hosts have passed successfully over their two steps.

" "At any rate. than the friend of would have obtained of you.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 81 altogether gether free from what we must call prudential considerations and although she had a real. Those singular parents Count. and try to forget her. with you. and that Charlotte had more to fear from you I find it one of the highest than from any other rival. "And then I must add this." Vol. that they continue so long in their regard for a man." said the '' for not being more firm." Edward bowed to the Baroness. women. now. I have observed answered the Baroness. *' confess. and ten fair years is no trifle to gain. '' in excuse The man who was at that time suing for for Charlotte. I can bear she often tried him and it was through sorely this that he was at last unluckily prevailed upon to leave her and go abroad. I have seen you take more trouble to do things when a certain person has asked you. II this moment —6 ." *' My dear friend. that no one has more influence over you than a lady to whom you were once attached. " Charlotte was not without fault not alto- — and did in her secret soul intend witness to marry him. a little pointedly." said Char" that we can Hsten to such lotte. had for a long time given proofs of his constant attachment to her. " So much has changed since those days. was a far more lovable person than the rest of you may like to acknowledge." the Count replied." struck in the Baroness. her. pretty things about ourselves without our modesty being shocked at them. that he was not altogether indifferent to yourself. hearty love for Edward." "I often privately found fault with Edward. and seemed grateful for how . my dear Count. and. her advocacy. men possess. if she had tried. perhaps. and that absence of no duration will serve to disturb or remove it." traits in " This fine feature. when one came to know him well." she continued. . of his would certainly have given way at last." '* I must take Edward's part. even more.

I could not endure him. or be thinking of a second or third marriage. under pretence of having household matters to look to. unhappily. once brought together. the them. marriages generally." said the Count." mence. being composed almost entirely of the rich summer fruits in elegant baskets. or both. and seem only to have got themselves tied together. at least." " We must '' for what Charlotte to make — try. It is all a matter of course." said.82 THE GERMAN CLASSICS " Such a charge as that one must bear the best way one " But as to what concerns Charcan. and Charlotte afterward joined When they were at the summit of the height. "were exactly marriages of the true detestable sort. may go their own way the more . with some vehe''your marriages. and succeeded. She and her husband and the Captain were able to take a part in it. lotte's first husband. who was determined once for that she would put an end to the conversation. and the dessert was enjoyed in the happiest humor. And. because he a really predesparted so sweet a pair from each other tined pair. The Count fell into conversation with the Captain." replied the Count. have no reason to fear the five years. It was particularly beautiful. that they one or the other. up we then allowed first to slip from us. It then became At all more general. They destroy the delicacy of the relation everything is made to rest on the broad certainty out of which one side or other." to that. he continued." this moment. in reality. The new laying-out of the park came to be spoken of. it was to set to work again at the transcribing. even the best. Charlotte. with epergnes of lovely flowers arranged in exquisite taste. and immediately after dinner they went to look at what was going on. have (forgive me for using a strong expression) something awkward about them. Ottilie withdrew. Even Ottilie had to give her opinion . . who. ''Aye. made a bold effort at turning it. is too apt to make their own advantage. and you must keep easily.

however." he " I am added. she bowed and turned away. Startled with the proposal. But she was not a little startled when he continued: '^ This acquaintance falls most opportunely for me. a man of high rank. "When I have made up my mind upon a thing. and I shall write it immediately. He came up and unrolled his design before the Count. by recommending to him a person who is so exactly everything which he desires. His practical power." Charlotte listened to the Captain's praises with an in- ward She collected herself. I of a situation for shall be which he is perfectly suited. But with what changed eyes Charlotte now looked at the friend whom she was to lose. In her necessity. Before she was . and in Count said to Charlotte: an exceedingly pleasing person. even in the most extraordinary cases. Happily. quick about it. seems methodical and vigorous. though he went on speaking. the Count continued talking of his plans for the Captain. You can find me some messenger who can ride off with it this evening." Charlotte felt as if a thunder-stroke had fallen on her.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES his absence the ** 83 Captain good-naturedly ran back to fetch the plan. the desirableness of which apparent to Charlotte. I have put my letter together already in my head. AVhat he is doing here would be of great importance in is He some liigher sphere. being accustomed at all times to hold themselves in restraint. know was only too It was time that the Captain returned. posedly and clearly confirmed what the Count had said. and shocked at herself. The Count did not observe it: women. and his knowledge is always ready. are always able." Charlotte was suffering agonies. He is Yery well informed. and I doing the greatest favor to a friend of mine. too. and hurried down to the summer-house. to maintain an apparent composure. but she heard not a word more of what the Count said. she was unable to utter a word. and comdelight.

Charlotte had taken time to consider.84 half THE GERMAN CLASSICS way there. and gave herself up to an agony. full-grown passion. par. but a veritable. and she had proposed to take Ottilie with her to the residence of a friend who was just then bestowing great expense on the education of an" only daughter. in the course of the day. of the possibility of which. as common we have had to do so much violence to ourselves. she had not had the slightest conception. and she flung herself into the narrow room in the little hermitage. especially against young girls. This ready-witted lady. and who was only looking to about to find some well-disposed companion for her put her in the place of a second child. she had been already. to extend our con- . in a few conversational feelers which she threw out. the tears were streaming from her eyes. if they have no particular love for one another. Married women. that Edward was very fluent and free-spoken in praise of Ottilie. But now this glimpse of the Baroness into Edward's heart changed what had been but a suggestion at once into a settled determination. a despair. Added to this. yet are silently in league together. soon observed. ticularly being a girl of so retiring a character. Edward had gone with the Baroness in the other direction toward the ponds. a passion. talking to Charlotte about Ottilie she had disapproved of her remaining in the country. and let her share in every advantage. and to have mastered ourselves — in extraordinary cases. but a few moments before. Never was there any one more selfpossessed than this lady. who liked to be in the secret about everytlung. She contrived in the most natural way to lead him out by degrees so completely that at last she had not a doubt remaining that here was not merely an incipient fancy. the more she outwardly seemed to flatter Edward's wishes. disposes us to treat even a case with dissimulation — it makes us inclined. and the more rapidly she made up her mind about it. The consequences of such an inclination presented themselves only too quickly to her worldexperienced spirit.

the old castles. and the jubilee at the grape-gathering. Edward gave his promise. to his question whether they might bring Ottilie with them. and. Even whilst she was able to disapprove of what was really objectionable in this affection. and at came very close. At this moment they saw her approacliing. which we enjoy. The Baroness felt bitter in her heart at the sight of it. he was only exuberating in the anticipation of the impression which these scenes to make on the fresh spirit of Ottilie. and the Baroness said quickly to Edward that he had better say nothing to her of this intended autumn expedition things which we set our were — hearts upon so long before so often failing to come to pass. he ran on s^eral steps last. the vineyard. When they had collected again at the supper-table. the hills. the broad river. an entirely different temper was spread over the party. the rocks. Edward had already begun to pour out his delight at the beautiful scenery. he might interpret to his wishes. And thus was the Baroness malicious enough to invite Edward to come w^ith Charlotte and pay her a \asit at the grape-gathering. the water-parties. if he pleased. she could not bear to see what was sweet and beautiful in it thrown away on such a poor paltry girl. A heartfelt happiness expressed itself in his whole being. The . have been obliged to often joined a kind of To this feeling there is secret. but he obliged his companion to move more quickly to meet her. and hold ourselves in a degree compenwe outwardly gain for what we inwardly sacrifice. in the innocence of his heart. in all of wliich. when they in advance. spiteful pleasure in the blind.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES trol 85 sated in what over others. He Idssed her hand as he pressed into it a nosegay of wild flowers which he had gathered on his way. etc. but the thought of the surprise and exposure which is to follow.. to frame an answer which. the wine-pressing. unconscious ignorance with which the victim walks on into It is not the immediately doing as we please the snare.

and their standing about in this uneasy. found but small amusement in this nor did Edward find any more. had to try many turns before he could arrive at what he wished with so quiet. who had in the meantime written his letter and dispatched a messenger with it. and she set herself to consider in what way she could best compass her ends. it was almost impossible. and attached himself entirely to Ottilie. while Edward. and occupied as she was with Edward's passion for Ottilie. whom he had been drawing out more and more matters. and the party remained divided. listless way. next to the Captain. so little vain. whom he had made sit by him. who sat on the Count's right. Their being so silent. tions at leisure. On the other side. and he was easily prevailed upon to stay a the Count to his room. to conceal the emotion under which she was suffering. and Charlotte and the Baroness were walking backward and forward. The Count. She perceived Charlotte's uneasiness. the gentlemen to the other wing of the castle and so this day appeared to be concluded. did not spare the wine. Supper was over. . The Baroness had sufficient time to make her observa.86 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Count. whose object was to probe the Captain to the bottom. . occupied himself with the Captain. Edwaed went with . The ladies withdrew to their rooms. — spending the whole evening at his side. and then because he was excited. Tkey walked up and down together on one side of the saloon. first because he was thirsty. but so exceedingly laconic a person. excited with wine and hope. was laughing with Ottilie at a window. had its effect at last in breaking up the rest of the party. The latter. talking of serious The Baroness. Chapter XI Thev continned talking. she easily satisfied herself that her abstraction and distress were owing to her husband's behavior. on the other side. sat Charlotte for her it w^as hard. ^rithout speaking.

thinking more of propriety than of my enjoj-ment. of the lovers' meetings arts they had been obliged to devise. than bv using his shoe to drink his health out of. way " Do " an advenyou remember.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES little 87 time longer there. ." replied the Count. straggling castle? The day went in festivities and glitter of all sorts and a part of the . only to be able to tell each other that they loved. in the meantime. '' It '*A pretty foot is a great gift of nature." said Edward. was far from pleasant. had observed the back-w^ay which led to the court ladies' quarter. and came on the hindrances which at that time people had thrown in the critic." ''And you. " and so managed to effect an interview for '' me with my beloved. The Count lost himself in old times. had kept a frightful old duenna with her. my lot. as is a grace which never perishes." she." answered Edward. and were all together in that great. between looks and w^ords. while you two. what — night at least in pleasant conversation. that I was talking over the story with my wife and describing our adventure on returning. who know no better way of showing reverence for any one they love or respect." he said. I should almost have liked even to kiss she was walking. Knowing our way from thence as well as we did." continued the Count. ture in which I most unselfishly stood your friend when their High Mightinesses were on a visit to your uncle. heard that you were coming. spoke eagerly of Charlotte's beauty. So that. We missed the road. her shoe. and got into the entrance-hall from the garden. what trouble they had taken. I observed it today. "And got on extremely well together. in the meanwhile. . we supposed we could get along easily enough. as a he dwelt upon with much warmth." " It was '* when we only yesterday." The point of the foot did not remain the only subject of praise between two old acquaintances they went from the person back upon old stories and adventures. and repeat that somewhat barbarous but significant practice of the Sarmatians. which.

They mounted a winding flight of stairs. He took a candle. '' and deep midnight. and lighted the Count down a private staircase leading into a long gallery. to show me a kindness. and it wish for a confidential hour." the Count added. the thing is easy enough. or make some other mistake. just the proper time I must ask you. without disturbing a single one of the snoring children of Anak. other for a long time. and in any case. which brought them out upon a narrow landingplace." the Count that there might be an alarm given." Edward answered. The was covered over with mattresses on which the giants lay in rows stretched out and sleeping. putting the candle in the Count's hand. Do you guide me tonight. At *' this moment the castle clock struck twelve. there." had the strongest inclination to stumble. and alone. and then. which opened . What a resurrection we should have witnessed. strode quietly on over the cool outstretched boots. he pointed to a tapestried door on the right. my dear Edward. he opened a small door. We have not seen each It is . If you will there will be no boots for me to stumble over." said the Count." I shall be " "Well. We have had no opportunity of any private talk together the whole day." very glad to show you such a piece of hospitality. then. in the way young men do things. I promised the Baroness that I would see her before going to bed. I will is only natural that we should manage to show me the way get back again. She is sure by this time to be in her own room. which may have a strange appearance?" "Do not be afraid. as I guided you then." answered Edward. "the Baroness expects me. Who knows whether we shall not find them still with one another. The single sentinel at his post looked wonderingly at us. laughing. but we.88 THE GERMAN CLASSICS floor But you remember our surprise on opening the door." I '' *' said. "only the three ladies are together in the same vdng. At the end of this.

leaving outside in the dark. she even anticipated. *' and do whatever I may want else myself. *' You may not want she is sitting writing in the room below. you any more." It was a delight to Edward to hear that Ottihe was writing still. At last she burst into tears. He heard her voice. But. there was no way to the apartments which she occupied. from where he was."was the answer. He tried the handle. — ings. The Captain seemed to stand before her. Through the darkness." said Charlotte. I can put out the candle. . Another door on the left led into Charlotte's sleepingroom. thev were the more welcome. She repeated whatever wise things one can say to oneself. door. which he could not resist. and everywhere. And now he was to go and it was all to be desolate again. He felt a longing. he had become her all in all. Is Ottilie in bed?" she asked. He knocked g'ently. over what. Charlotte did not hear self feeling She was walking rapidly up and down in the large She was repeating over and dressing-room adjoining. her. immediately at his wife's door. sitting all alone at her desk. . and how she would turn to receive him. he thought triumphantly. as people so often do. A singular change of came over him. could not take himself from the He knocked again. meanwhile.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES Edward 89 readily at the first trial." " I shall light the night-lamp. but the bolts were shot. She is working for me. She was speaking '* to her maid. he fancied he could see her He thought he would go to and see her. It is late. since tears with her were rare. Edward. and listened. to be near her once more. since the Count's unexpected proposal. she had often enough had to say to herself. He now found him-. *'No. At home. cold time when they would be lightened. and gave herself up unreservedly to her sufferhim. and then she cursed the time which would have to pass before it could lighten her sufferings she cursed the dead. She flung herself on the sofa. and admitted the Count. and a third time rather louder. the wretched comfort that time would come at last to her relief.

and she feared to have heard it. to prevent him from seeing the slightness of her dress. reason why I am come is. She thought she saw the heard the w^ord " Edward!" She drew back the He greeted her bolt. continue in marriage. She blamed herself for her fears. he caught her foot and pressed it tenderly against his breast. the real Well. with some light jest. She thought she must have been deceived. " and so much the " So much the worse. rally was one of those women who. She went into her sleeping-room." he said at last." tone. she rather shrank from any warm demonstration on his part. her second. But surely she had heard it and she wished. ' ' — answered. " " I will confess. In a rather louder He complicated the mysterious visit by his mysterious explanation of it. being of natucalm temperaments." "It is long since you thought of such a thing as that." "Who?" returned Charlotte. in the stillness of the night. better/' She had thrown herself back in an armchair. that it was impossible. indeed. she Captain's figure standing at the door. and she called out " A Is anybody there ? quietly and calmly." he answered. Her first thought was it can only be. generally. and she could not prevent him from giving her shoe a kiss. distinctly heard it. It was not that she was cold. And when the shoe came off in his hand. the air and character of lovers. then. light voice . that I have made a vow to kiss your shoe this evening. or at all hard and Charlotte . She was unable to reply in the same tone.90 THE GERMAN CLASSICS so that Charlotte. it must be. without any purpose or any effort. He flung himself down before her. and her husband Sitood before her. said Charlotte. She was never expressive toward her husband." she said to herself. and walked lightly up to the bolted tapestry-door. ''It is I. not being able to make out the voice. the Captain. and started up in fright. '' Possibly it may be the Baroness wanting something.

and tears. There were visible traces of emotion about her. add immeasurably to the attractiveness of those whom we know commonly as strong and selfpossessed. And yet the present would not let itself be robbed of right. so pressing. They spent a part of the night talking and laughing at all sorts of things. awful look. But what should have had the effect of driving Edward away only attracted him the more. He did not demand it. when she awoke. How sorely did she not long that her hus- band would go the figure of his friend seemed to hover in the air and reproach her. In the dim lamplight. he never thought of his rights. but half in fun. who draws back with a kind of shyness even from what is permitted. hovered before Charlotte's soul. it was Ottilie so agreeable. the more freely as the heart ha*'d no part in it. he tried to persuade her. She had been crjing. in a double sense. he with her. maintained their rights over the real. At last. but she remained always like a loving bride. the absent and the present its flowed in a sweet enchantment one into the other. But when Edward awoke in the own unlovely morning. the imagination. so gentle. so. with strange enough feelings. the inward affection. now now clearly. And so Edward found her this evening. . And strangely intermingled. an attenobserver might have read in the behavior of its various members the different things which were passing in their inner thoughts and feelings. Chapter XII When tive the party assembled again at breakfast. and the Captain. he blew out the candle. He stole lightly from her side. half in earnest. to stay Edward was begged to be allowed that faintly. on his \\ife's breast. was resting in Edward's arms. which with weak persons detract from their graces. and she found herself.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 91 repulsive. the day seemed to stare in with a sad. as if in mischief. and the sun to be shining in upon a crime. alone. The Count and the .

For such is it the nature of love that believes in no rights except its own. and Ottilie did not like them either. distance. have mutually assured each other of their un- altered affection. and all other rights vanish was in child-like spirits. all she wished for being to be taken out of herself. before the latter got into their carriage. A boat had come. and immediately that they were gone she hurried oif longing to devote himself to Ottilie to her room. Hardly had their guests departed. The Captain away before it. the copy which had to be finished the next morning early being still incomplete. not far from some old ash trees on which they calculated to make an effect in their future improvements. had made him only too keenly conscious that here he was not fulfilling his work. at no little which Edward had had fetched from a expense. and to have her — attention dissipated. Charlotte and Edward equally came into the presence of the Captain and Ottilie wdth a sense of shame and remorse. Charlotte. who. There was to be a landing-place made there. and they decided that they would try whether it was easy to manage. It was made fast on the bank of the middle pond. Edward.92 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Baroness met with the air of happiness which a pair of lovers feel. They staid a long time. For her might be called open. and the Captain had accompanied the strangers some little way on foot. They annoyed Edward. and under the trees a seat was to be raised. and at bottom was but squandering himself in a half -activity of idleness. On the other hand. and previous to returning home they agreed to take a walk along the waterside. which had roused in him feelings that for some time past had been at rest and dormant. It was now evening. Ottilie she was almost what — appeared serious. His conversation with the Count. when fresh visitors were announced to Charlotte most welcomely. after having been forced to endure a long separation. with some wonderful architecture about it it was to be the : . who was .

She put down the original and her transcript on the table before Edward. and reaching the other oar to the Captain. — — — — was doing sometliing for him. and could not fix his attention upon any. Arriving there he learnt that Ottilie had shut herself she was writing. 93 make when they wont across other side?" said Edward. ''And where had we better have the landing-place on the " I should think under my plane trees. we must think about it. before Charlotte came back with the Captain. His impatience increased every moment. and boat. In spite of the agreeable feeling up . It was dark>by this time. and the candles w^ere lighted." — . ^' Shall we collate them?" she said. ELECTIVE AFFINITIES point for which jjeople were to the water. At last she came in beaming with loveliness: the sense that she had done something for her friend had lifted all her being above itself. but as he was — on the point of pushing off." said the " You are nearer the castle if Captain. and had taken up an oar. He was longing to see her alone. to become more — but who can describe his surprise as he ran light and free his eyes over the concluding page? '* For heaven's sake." '' They stand a little too far to the right.THE. it was the keenest him not to be able to see her. he thought of Ottilie he recollected that this water-party would keep him out late. He walked up and down the large drawing-room. he tried a thousand things. Edward \vith her he took the other oar. However. hurried home making excuses to himself as he ran. with a smile. He looked at her he looked at the transcript. Edward did not know what to answer." The Captain was already standing in the stern of the Charlotte got in. you land further down. The first few sheets were that she mortification to written with the greatest carefulness in a delicate woman 's hand then the strokes appeared to alter. who could tell when he would get back? He made up his mind shortly and promptly sprang back to the bank.

and the whole world at once looks lovelv!" Ottilie dropped her eyes on the ground. The Captain took up the word. Charlotte. Oh how far too soon you have returned. . They parted he he cried. when we find occasion to entertain such sentiments toward a particular object. Edward stretched out his arms. often altogether of his opin- remarked it about him. was this evening so gentle and tolerant. temper — he who had always the sharpestjested thing with him to say on departed visitors. full of love and ecstasy. Ottilie said nothing. Ottilie.94 THE GERMAN CLASSICS '' what is this? this is my hand!" He looked at and again at the paper. Edward. *' You " he cried love me Thev fell on Ottilie. He was no longer what he had been. and Charlotte looked straight before her. this who was not in sparing. Edward cried. They talked about the people who had been there that day." Charlotte made an excuse to retire early to her room where she could give herself up to thinking over what had passed in the course of the evening between herself and the Captain. Charlotte entered with the Captain. but she looked at him with her eyes full of the warmest delight. ' ' ' ' ! : — ! — held her hands. was exactly as if he had written it himself. They sat down to supper. he said to himself. the conclusion. especially. Edward inwardly smiled at their excuses for having stayed out so long. "With fervor and heartfelt conviction. " It is the same with deep feelings of respect and reverence we first learn to recognize what there is that is to be valued in the world. " One has only to love a single creature with all one's heart. spoke well of every one ! — always and approving. tou love me each other's breast which had been the first to catch the other it would have been impossible to distinguish. and the world was no longer what it had been. they gazed in each other's eyes. . From that moment the world was all changed for Edward. and said. They were on the point of embracing each other again. ion.

he said. sitting in the twilight before her. improvements should be continued. he did not know accurately the particular Dusk was coming on. pushing off the boat. the faint breeze playing over the watery mirror. strange emotions were passing through her. Does he know it yet? Does he susin his opinion. The Captain was describing to her the manner in which. pair of oars. and leave her there alone. the long flight of the birds. the . place where he thought it would be easy to get on shore. the splash of the oars. there was often a delicious feeling in floating along alone upon the w^ater. pect it or is it only accident? fate? And is he unconsciously fore- telling A weary. weighing on her spirits. there was something the fitful twinkling of the first stars spectral about it all in the universal stillness. though generally he had acquainted himself with its depth. and. The undulating movement of the boat. very rare with her. because one person could so easily manage it \\dth a She should herself learn how to do this. impatient heaviness took hold of her. he directed his course to a spots. He praised the construction of the boat it was so convenient. the sighing of the reeds. She fancied her friend was bearing her away to set her on some far-off shore. she begged him to make for land as soon as possible and return with her to the castle. and from which he knew the footpath which led to the me my . had himself committed his wife and his friend to the uncertain element. She felt a depth of sadness. Charlotte found herself face to face with the man on whose account she had been already secretly suffering so bitterly. and sweeping along the boat with the sculls in easy motion. The parting which was impending sank on Charlotte's heart as he was speaking. one's own ferryman and steersman. and.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 95 When Edward sprang on shore. It was the first time that the Captain had been upon the water. and she could not give way to them — and weep. Is he sajing this on purpose? she thought t& herself.

96 castle THE GERMAN CLASSICS was not far distant. no alternative but to and all his efforts to done? There was get into the water and carry his fast. I did not mean to speak of — I am glad. not without emotion and confusion * * * she still lay upon his neck * * * he caught her up once more in his arms. brought Charlotte to herself she pressed his hand but she did not attempt to again raise him up. however. He was strong with her. will you forgive me?" The Mss which he had ventured to give. Charlotte. Unhappily the water was shallow. or give her any cause for anxiety. and the place which he thought of being at a short distance. and held it to his mouth. — : Charlotte. and laid her hand upon his shoulder and said: '' We cannot now prevent this moment from forming an and cried: " — — epoch in our lives but it depends on us to bear ourselves in a manner which shall be worthy of us. I can only forgive myself. You must go away. I can only forgive you. She bent down over him. and pressed a warm kiss upon her lips. . repeated her to get to land quickly. and you are going. to give you better prospects sorry. He held her fast. What was to be companion ashore. but in her agitation she had thrown her arms about his neck. and I am it till it was certain: * * * but this moment obliges me to tell you my secret Since it does not depend on ourselves to alter our feelings. and which she had all but returned to him. made straight for the bank. and pressed her to himself and at last laid her down upon a grassy bank. The Count has plans . From the rate at which wish he was going the boat was fixed move it were in vain. and exerting himself as much as he possibly could. and he ran aground some way off from it. The next moment he was at her feet he took her hand. for you." She raised him up. he gave it up. if we have the courage to alter our situation. my dear friend. It was done without enough not to totter difficulty or danger.

Friendship. images before her. although disfigured by a third name subscribed to it. was in a very different temper. Her strength and the various discipline in which through life she had trained herself. The waning moon rose up over the wood. She could almost smile when she rememhad was bered the strange visit of the night before. renunciation. came to her assistance in the conAccustomed as she had always been to look steadily flict. where she to feel and to know that she was Edward's wife. quiet sleep. a thrill of fearful delight which changed into holy hope and longing. the end he scarcely dared to kiss. he felt it was the sweetest assurrance that his highest wish would be fulfilled. sank into a calm. but it was the beginning of it. and Edwaed. happy She felt restored to health and to her- A sweet weariness came over her. floated in glad. II — He strayed through the gardens 7 . Suddenly she seized with a wonderful instinctive feeling. self. that it were and^her document he whispered to himself. A thousand times he kissed the transcript of the document. She knelt earnestly down. The warmth of the night drew Edward out into the free air. Vol. on his part. and. in Ottilie's childish. to come to the resolution which she desired. she did not now find it difficult. thus he continued to press it to his heart.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES took his 97 to arm to support herself. Oh. He wandered this way and that way. Thus it remained in his hands. he was at once the most restless and ! the happiest of mortals. with an earnest effort. as it was. and repeated the oath which she had taken to Edward before the altar. Chapter XIII She lay down. affection. into herself and to control herself. and they walked back But now she was standing in her own room. So little he thought of sleeping that it did not once occur to him even to undress himself. timid hand. the castle without speaking. for he thought it was his own hand which he saw.

He found himself the first person awake on his domain. but our hearts are not di\dded. and in the course of the day they came. he stood under Ottilie's window. at last he fell asleep. and the work set out ." he said to himself. and their decorations was in his own house any more. and what can one desire but that sweet certainty!" All was stillness round him. so still it was. seats should be made at every spot and corner that Ottilie might rest on them. and did not wake till the sun with his royal beams was mounting up in the sky — and scattering the early mists. This imloose. ! . for Ottilie's birthday. He abandoned himself to his deli= cious dreams. In all he thought and all he did. . . *' Walls and bolts. petuosity of passion did not escape the Captain. He was drawn back toward the castle. But these. may still di\dde us. The sense of loving and How of being loved. If she were here before me. who . too. changed was now to him the look of all the rooms. He inquired for more workmen they were promised. . he hurried out into the park. He threw himself down on the steps of the terrace below. It should be finished for the day too slight for his desires. not a breath was moving. into my arms she would fall. And for whom? The paths should be gravelled that Ottilie might walk presently upon them. The laborers seemed to be staj^ing away too long: they came he thought they were too few. .98 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS — they seemed too narrow for ' ' liim. that he could hear the unresting creatures underground at their work. Ottilie's presence absorbed everything. The new park house was hurried forward. their He did not feel as if he furniture. were not enough for him to carry his plans out as rapidly as he wished. and I into hers. to whom day or night are alike. there was no more moderation. To do the work gave him no pleasure any longer it should all be done. urged him out into the unlimited. He was utterly lost in her no other thought ever rose before him no conscience disturbed him every restraint which had been laid upon his nature burst His whole being centered upon Ottilie. and it was too wide.

quiet. she found it more than usually necessary to exercise patience and resolution. manfully. They spoke openly to each other of Edward's pasCharlotte sion. . if he could. and arrive swiftly and surely at their aim. This very circumstance. desired to take her entirely to . There were laborers enough at hand. and consulted what had better be done. How They consulted could the Captain leave Charlotte in such a situation? together. But the very first w^eek after. as soon as she heard of it. The sale of the farm had been completed the first instalment had been paid. the money which had been set apart for the purpose would not go far. however. and the more she understood her own heart. Edward gladly gave his consent to a plan which so entirely coincided with his own views. During this tifne Charlotte persisted with all her heart in what she had determined for herself. easy execution. and for this purpose employ money which could be made good again at the period fixed for the discharge of the second instalment of what was to be paid for the farm. Everything would progress simultaneously. had taken possession of it. and much yet remained to bo done. All those plans which were now being hurried on with this immoderate speed. according to the arrangement. and agreed that it would be better that they themselves should hurry on the works.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 99 longed. She saw no help for it. They w^ould have a freer hand. to prevent its evil consequences. the deeper she was able to penetrate into the heart of the poor girl. and they could get more accomplished at once. It now appeared a happy thing to her that Luciana had gained such high honors at the school for her great aunt. produced a greater intimacy between them. except in sending her away. and her friend stood by her with a like purpose. kept Ottilie more about herself. hasty style of proceeding. watching her narrowly. had been drawn out and calculated for a long. . and In the present to keep her eye on what was being done. Much had been begun. Charlotte. It could be done almost without loss.

' it You may imagine how hurt me. because in the execution of the work they were not keeping to the first agreement. He found bitter fault with them. that they made it difficult for him to speak with her alone. indeed. In the meantime Edward felt very deeply the hindrances which were thrown in his way. Ottilie could.100 THE GERMAN CLASSICS herself. and everything would be as it had been a few months before. and it is eternal flute of his ' : ! too disagreeable to listen to him. she answered '* I have once or twice had a painful feeling unthinkingly. and bring her out into the world. under the circumstances. as if it were possible for them to return within as if a bond which had been violently their old limits — broken could again be joined together as before. And while he was angry about this. to keep her with her. return thither. saying that he was not treating him like a friend. The Cap- tain would leave them well provided for. Charlotte thought. he was angry at many things besides. he was not quite honest with you. she could soon recover. and laid it all out before herself so sensibly that she only strengthened herself more completely in her delusion. and yet he had been himself a consenting party to the second." . or. except in the presence of others. when I like accompanying you so much. As Edward was complaining one day to Ottilie of the latter. indeed. it was not only to assure her of his love. He soon observed that they were keeping him and Ottilie separate. He never felt that with his own irrational haste he was on the way to exhaust the cash-box. but love is even more so. but to complain of his wife and of the Captain. acting quite uprightly. or even to approach her. and she settled it all. Hatred is a partisan. Her own position in Edward's affection. in many respects better. therefore. If he caught an opportunity for a few hasty words with Ottilie. Ottilie also estranged herself from Charlotte and the Captain. it was he who had occasioned it and made it necessary. I heard him say that If Edward would but spare us that once to Charlotte He can make nothing of it.

The strip of paper on which he had. made his request. However. he second time sat it Mmself down would not run to write it over again. and after giving a hasty glance reached it to at it. and did not hold short in the fashion of the time. It gave him a little uneasiness. he followed it like a child. whispering to her. it as it ought. He felt himself discharged from all obligations. said. he lying about. Here is something in your handwriting. Edward's features worked ^Tolently. picked it up." she " which you may be sorry to lose. lay on his writing-table. snatched out of his hand. he hesitated. but he got over it. The necessity of being with Ottilie. exchanging his confidence with her. of seeing her. The so readily off his pen.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 101 She had scarcely uttered the words when her conscience whispered to her that she had much better have been silent. laconically enough. He never made the slightest pretensions. He put the note unread in his waistcoat pocket. lotte shallow. He was touched on his tenderest point. and was swept off by a draught of wind as his valet entered to dress his hair. He never thought how intolerable it is for a third person to have his ears lacerated by an unsuccessful talent. what gave him pleasure should be treated with forbearance by his friends. He squeezed the paper into Ottilie 's hand the first moment he was able to approach her. being made was out. he was hurt in a way which he could not forgive. Edward observing After the the mistake. and it it was burnt. It worked and fell without his observing it on the ground. He was indignant. '' him." . which. He determined to write to her. twisted it up hastily. increased vdih every day. It was his amusement. the thing was said. The latter was in the habit of trj-ing the heat of the iron by picking up any scraps of paper which might be This time his hand fell on the billet. man was gone. Ottilie answered him immediately. and ask her to carry on a secret correspondence with him. Charsaw it. Never had anything stung liim more.

— doubly warned. she knew well. His pleasure in their society was gone. Her own affection. She thought she could talk generally to her about the sort of " the sort of thing. and by this gained nothing. The silent reproaches which he was forced to make to him- He tried to help self about it were disagreeable to him. with silently keeping the lovers more apart. himself with a kind of humor which. obliged to feel that she might herself still be in need of heal so deep a wound. and though he was obliged to endure their society. openly about it to Ottilie herself. The slight hints which frequently escaped her had no effect upon Ottilie for Ottilie had been assured by Edward that Char. he felt the restraint under which his friend and his wife seemed to be holding him the more intolerable. but He he those strange accidents. She contented herself. The recollection of her own weakness stood in her way. being without love. through which a higher intelligence seems to be speaking to us. He was himself.102 THE GERMAN CLASSICS confounded. Over all such trials Charlotte found assistance to rise in her own inward feelings." thing. as he went further and further on. his passion was not able to interpret. Does she know what Is she dissembling? he thought to is in the note. therefore. His heart was closed against them. she would utterly renounce. But general expressions about fitted her own case equally well. or is she deceived by the resemblance of the hand? believed the latter. Separation. and she was recoiled on her own heart. would not alone suffice to She resolved that she would speak But she could not do it. he could not succeed in re-discovering or in re-animating within his heart anything of his old affection for them. fair and noble as it was. He was warned hoped. however. and she could not bear to touch it. was also without its usual grace. She knew her own determination. Eather. Every hint which she would give Ottilie She would warn. And sorely she longed to go to the assistance of the other two. . warning.

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
lotte

103

was devoted to the Captain, that Charlotte herself wished for a separation, and that he was at this moment considering the readiest means by which it could be brought
about.

by the sense of her own innocence along the happiness for which she longed, lived only for Edward. Strengthened by her love for him in all good, more light and happy in her work for his sake, and more frank and open toward others, she found herself in a
Ottilie, led

road

to the

heaven upon earth. So all together, each in his or her own fashion, reflecting or unreflecting, they continued on the routine of their lives. All seemed to go its ordinary way, as, in monstrous cases,

when everything
were
all

is

at stake,

men

will still live on, as if it

nothing.

In the meantime a

Captain ing out fair, excellent prospects in the distance the other containing a distinct offer of an immediate situation, a
;

Chapter XIV letter came from the Count to the one which he might produce, holdtwo, indeed

place of high importance and responsibility at the Court, his rank as Major, a very considerable salary, and other

advantages.

A number of circumstances, however, made it
moment he should not speak
of
it,

desirable that for the

and consequently he only informed his friends of his distant expectations, and concealed what was so nearly
impending.

He went warmly on, at the same time, with his present occupation, and quietly made arrangements to insure the continuance of the works without interruption after his departure. He was now himself desirous that as much as
possible should be finished off at once, and was ready to hasten things forward to prepare for Ottilie 's birthday.

And

so,

though without having come

to

any express under-

standing, the two friends worked side by side together. Edward was now well pleased that the cash-box was filled

104

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

by their having taken up money. The whole affair went forward at fullest speed. The Captain had done his best to oppose the plan of throwing the three ponds together into a single sheet of water. The lower embankment would have to be made much stronger, the two intermediate embankments to be taken away, and altogether, in more than one sense, it seemed a very questionable proceeding. However, both these schemes had been already undertaken the soil which was removed above being carried at once down to where it was w^anted. And here there came opportunely on the scene a young architect, an old pupil of the Captain, who partly by introducing workmen who understood work of this nature, and partly by himself, whenever it was possible, contracting for the work itself, advanced things not a little, while at the same time they could feel more confidence in their being securely and lastingly executed. In secret this
;

He could to the Captain. confident that his absence would not be so severely
was a great pleasure

now be
felt.

It

was one of the points on which he was most resolute with himself, never to leave anything which he had taken in hand
supplied.
to

uncompleted, unless he could see his place satisfactorily And he could not but hold in small respect,

persons who introduce confusion around themselves only make their absence felt and are ready to disturb in wanton selfishness what they will not be at hand to restore.

So they labored
Ottilie's

on, straining every nerve to make birthday splendid, without any open acknowledgthis

ment that
without

was what they were aiming

at, or,

indeed,

directly acknowledging it to themselves. Charlotte, wholly free from jealousy as she was, could not think it right to keep it as a real festival. Ottilie's youth,
their

the circumstances of her fortune, and her relationship to their family, were not at all such as made it fit that she

not have

should appear as the queen of the day and Edward would it talked about, because everything was to spring
;

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
out,

105

as

it

were, of

itself,

with a natural and delightful

surprise.

They, therefore, came all of them to a sort of tacit understanding that on this day, without further circumstance, the new house in the park was to be opened, and they might take the occasion to invite the neighborhood and give a holiday to their own people. Edward's passion, however, knew no bounds. Longing as he did to give himself to Ottilie, his presents and his promises must be infinite. The birthday gifts which on the great occasion he was to offer to her seemed, as Charlotte had arranged them, far too insignificant. He spoke to his valet, who had the care of his wardrobe, and who consequently had extensive acquaintance among the tailors and mercers and fashionable milliners; and he, who not only understood himself

way

what valuable presents were, but also the most graceful in which they should be offered, immediately ordered an elegant box, covered vnih red morocco and studded with
steel nails, to

be

filled w^ith

presents worthy of such a

shell.

Another

thing, too, he suggested to Edward. Among the stores at the castle was a small show of fireworks which

had never been let off. It w^ould be easy to get some more, and have something really fine. Edward caught the idea, and his servant pron^sed to see to its being executed. This matter was to remain a secret. While this was going on, the Captain, as the day drew nearer, had been making arrangements for a body of police to be present a precaution which he always thought desirable when large numbers of men are to be brought And, indeed, against beggars, and against all together. other inconveniences by which the pleasure of a festival can be disturbed, he had made effectual provision. Edward and his confidante, on the contrary, w^ere mainly occupied with their fireworks. They were to be let off on

the side of the middle w^ater in front of the great ash-tree. The party were to be collected on the opposite side, under

the planes, that at a sufficient distance

from the

scene, in

106

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

ease and safety, they might see them to the best effect, with the reflections on the water, the water-rockets, and floatinglights, and all the other designs. Under some other pretext, Edward had the ground under-

neath the plane-trees cleared of bushes and grass and moss. And now first could be seen the beauty of their fonns, together with their full height and spread, right up from the earth. He was delighted mth them. It was just this very time of the year that he had planted them. How long ago could it have been? he asked himself. As soon as he got home he turned over the old diary books, which his
father, especially when in the country, was very careful in keeping. He might not find an entry of this particular planting, but another important domestic matter, which Edward well remembered, and which had occurred on the same day, would surely be mentioned. He turned over a

few volumes.
there.

The circumstances he was looking for was amazed, how overjoyed he was, when he discovered the strangest coincidence! The day and the year on which he had planted those trees, was the very day, the very year, when Ottilie was born.

How

Chapter

XV
;

long-wished-f or morning dawned at last on Edward and very soon a number of guests arrived. They had sent out a large number of invitations, and many who had missed

The

the laying of the foundation-stone, which was reported to have been so charming, were the more careful not to be absent on the second festivity. Before dinner the carpenter's people appeared, with music, in the court of the castle. Thev bore an immense

garland of flowers, composed of a number of single wreaths, ^vinding in and out, one above the other saluting the com;

pany, they made request, according to custom, for silk handkerchiefs and ribands, at the hands of the fair sex, with which to dress themselves out. When the castle party

went into the

dining-hall, they

marched

off

singing and

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
village,

107

shouting, and after amusing themselves a while in the and coaxing many a riband out of the women there,

old and young, they came at last, with crowds behind them and crowds expecting them, out upon the height where the

park-house was now standing. After dinner, Charlotte rather held back her guests. She did not wish that there should be any solemn or formal procession, and they found their way in little parties, broken up, as they pleased, vnihout rule or order, to the scene of action. Charlotte staid behind with Ottilie, and did not improve matters by doing
being really the last that appeared, it the trumpets and the clarionets had only been waiting for her, and as if the gaieties had been ordered to commence directlv on her arrival.
so.

For

Ottilie
if

seemed as

To take off the rough appearance of the house, it had been hung with green boughs and flowers. They had dressed it out in an architectural fashion, according to a design of the Captain's; only that, without his knowledge,
work in the date upon and this was necessarily permitted The Captain had arrived on the scene just in to remain. time to prevent Ottilie 's name from figuring in splendor on the gable. The beginning, which had been made for this, he contrived to l^rn skilfully to some other use, and to get rid of such of the letters as had been already finished. The garland was set up, and was to be seen far and wide about the country. The flags and the ribands fluttered gaily in the air; and a short oration was, the greater part of it, The solemnitv w^as at an end. dispersed bv the wind. There was now to be a dance on the smooth lawn in front of the building, which had been inclosed with boughs and
desired the Architect to
the cornice in flowers,

Edward had

branches.

A

gaily-dressed working

mason took Edward
and
called him-

up
self

to a smart-looking girl of the village,

upon

Ottilie,

who stood

out with him.

These two

couples speedily found others to follow them, and Edward contrived pretty soon to change partners, catching Ottilie,

and making the round with

her.

The younger part of

the

108

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

company joined merrily in the dance with the people, while among them stood and looked on. Then, before they broke up and walked about, an order was given that they should all collect again at sunset under the plane-trees. Edward was the first upon the spot, ordering everything, and making his arrangements with his valet, who was to be on the other side, in company with the firework-maker, managing his exhibition of the spectacle. The Captain was far from satisfied at some of the preparations which he saw made; and he endeavored to get a word with Edward about the crush of spectators which was to be expected. But the latter, somewhat hastily, begged that he might be allowed to manage this part of the day's amusements himself. The upper end of the embankment having been recently raised, was still far from compact. It had been staked, but there was no grass upon it, and the earth was uneven and insecure. The crowd pressed on, however, in great numbers. The sun v/ent down, and the castle party was served
the elder

with refreshments under the plane-trees, to pass the time till it should have become sufficiently dark. The place was approved of beyond measure, and they looked forward to a frequent enjoyment of the view over so lovely a sheet of water, on future occasions. A calm evening, a perfect absence of wind, promised everything in favor of the spectacle, when suddenly loud and violent shrieks were heard. Large masses of the earth had given way on the edge of the embankment, and a number of people were precipitated into the water. The pressure from the throng had gone on increasing till at last it had become more than the newly laid soil would bear,

and the bank had fallen in. Everybody wanted to obtain the best place, and now there was no getting either back-

ward or

forvrard.

People ran tliis and that way, more to see what was going on than to render assistance. What could be done when no one could reach the place?

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES

109

The Captain, with a few determined persons, hurried down and drove the crowd off the embankment back upon the shore, in order that those who were really of service might have free room to move. One way or another they
contrived to seize hold of such as were sinking; and with or without assistance all who had been in the water were

got out safe upon the bank, with the exception of one boy, whose struggles in his fright, instead of bringing him nearer to the embankment, had only carried him further now only a from it. His strength seemed to be failing

surface, and now a foot. By an unlucky chance the boat was on the opposite shore filled with fireworks it was a long business to unload it, and

hand was seen above the

help was slow

eyes were directed toward him, and his sturdy vigorous figure gave every one hope and confidence but a cry of surprise rose out of the crowd as they saw him fling himself into the water every eye
all
:

in coming. taken; he flung off his coat;

The Captain's

resolution

was

watched him as the strong swimmer swiftly reached the boy, and bore him, although to appearance dead, to the embankment. Now came up the boat. The Captain stepped in and examined whether there were any still missing, or whether they were all safe. Tke surgeon was speedily on the spot, and took charge of the inanimate boy. Charlotte joined them, and entreated the Captain to go now and take care of himself, to hurry back to the castle and change his He would not go, however, till persons on whose clothes. sense he could rely, who had been close to the spot at the time of the accident, and who had assisted in saving those who had fallen in, assured him that all were safe. Charbtte saw him on his way to the house, and then she remembered that the wine and the tea, and everything else which he could want, had been locked up, for fear any of
the servants should take advantage of the disorder of the She holiday, as on such occasions they are too apt to do. hurried through the scattered groups of her company,

110

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

which were loitering about the plane-trees. Edward was there, talking to every one beseeching every one to stay. He would give the signal directly, and the fireworks should Charlotte went up to him, and entreated him to put begin. off an amusement which was no longer in place, and which at the present moment no one could enjoy. She reminded him of what ought to be done for the boy who had been saved, and for his preserver. *' The surgeon will do whatever is right, no doubt," ^' He is provided with everything which replied Edward. he can want, and we should only be in the way if we crowded about him with our anxieties." Charlotte persisted in her opinion, and made a sign to

Ottilie,

who

at once prepared to retire ^vith her.
' '

Edward
day in
"With-

will not end this seized her hand, and cried, a lazaretto. She is too good for a sister of mercy.

We

out us, I should think, the half-dead living dry themselves. Charlotte did not answer, but went.
' '

may

wake, and the

— others

Some followed her followed these: in the end, no one wished to be

" he " cried; Xo, Ottilie! go back with her to the castle. ** the extraordinary is not brought to pass in the smooth common way the wonderful accident of this evening I have brings us more speedily together. You are mine often said it to you, and sworn it to you. We will not say we will make it be." it and swear it any more The boat came over from the other side. The valet was he asked, with some embarrassment, what his in it master wished to have done wdth the fireworks? '' ^' let them off! Let them off! " Edward cried to him:

the last, and all followed. Edward and Ottilie found themHe insisted that stay selves alone under the plane-trees. he would, earnestly, passionately, as she entreated him to

It

was only for you that they were pro\^ded,
shall be the only

Ottihe,

and

one to see them! Let me sit beside you, and enjoy them with you." Tenderly, timidly, he sat down at her side, without touching her.

you

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
Rockets went hissing up
darted
all at

111

candles shot out their blazing balls

— wheels spun round,
and

— cannon thundered — Roman — squibs flashed and

once, faster

first singly, then in pairs, then faster, one after the other, and more

and more together. Edward, whose bosom was on fire, watched the blazing spectacle with eyes gleaming with delight but Ottilie, with her delicate and nervous feelings, in all this noise and fitful blazing and flashing, found more to distress her than to please. She leant shrinking against Edward, and he, as she drew to him and clung to him,
;

felt the delightful sense that

she belonged entirely to him.

The night had scarcely reassumed its rights, when the moon rose and lighted their path as they w^alked back.

A figure, with his hat in his hand, stepped across their way,
in the general holiday he and begged an alms of them said that he had been forgotten. The moon shone upon his face, and Edward recognized the features of the importunate beggar but, happy as he then was, it was impossible He could not recollect for him to be angry with any one. that, especially for that particular day, begging had been forbidden under the heaviest penalties he thrust his hand into his pocket, took the first coin which he found, and gave the fellow a piece of gold. His own happiness was so unbounded that he TS'buld have liked to share it with
;

every one. In the meantime
skill

all

had gone well at the

castle.

The

of the surgeon, everytliing which was required being all had worked ready at hand, Charlotte's assistance

The guests dispersed, ^^^shing to catch a glimpse or two of what was to be seen of the fireworks from the distance; and, after a scene of such confusion, were glad to get back to their
together,
to life again.

and the boy was brought

own quiet homes. The Captain also, after having rapidly changed his dress, had taken an active part in what required to be done. It was now all quiet again, and he found himself alone with Charlotte gently and affectionately he now told her that

112

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

Ms time for leaving them approached. She had gone through so much that evening, that this discovery made she had seen how her but a slight impression upon her friend could sacrifice himself; how he had saved another, and had himself been saved. These strange incidents but not an seemed to foretell an important future to her

unhappy one. Edward, who now entered with

Ottilie,

was informed

at

once of the impending departure of the Captain. He suspected that Charlotte had known longer how near it was; but he was far too much occupied with himself, and with his own plans, to take it amiss, or care about it. On the contrary, he listened attentively, and with signs of pleasure, to the account of the excellent and honorable position in which the Captain was to be placed. The course of the future was hurried impetuously forward by his own secret wishes. Already he saw the Captain married to It would have Charlotte, and himself married to Ottilie. been the richest present w^hich any one could have made
him, on the occasion of the day's festival!

But how surprised was Ottilie, when, on going to her Instantly room, she found upon her table the beautiful box she opened it; inside, all the things were so nicely packed and arranged that she did not venture to take them out; she scarcely even ventured to lift them. There were muslin, cambric, silk, shawls and lace, all rivalling one another nor were ornaments in delicacy, beauty, and costliness
!

The intention had been, as she saw well, to furnish her with more than one complete suit of clothes: but it was all so costly, so little like what she had been
forgotten.

accustomed
believe
it

to, that she scarcely dared, even in thought, to could be really for her.

Chapter

XVI

next morning the Captain had disappeared, having left a grateful, feeling letter addressed to his friends upon He and Charlotte had already taken a half leave his table.

The

.

gs-Anslalt, Slii.:„..:

:

i

OTTILIE EXAMINES EDWARD'S PRESENTS

.

With this feeling she began the conversation with her husband. although he had paid no attention to it at all. who heard nothing except what flattered his own passion. so long with us here. in these words. was making a suggestion for a separation so that he " answered. she accepted it for as good as certain.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 113 was for she felt tliat the parting of each other the evening before ever. TI now." Edward. as my daughter has left it and is wdth her greataunt or she can be received into a desirable family. with a tolerably successful effort at command'' Ottilie has been so much spoilt." she said. either Either she can return to the of which will do very well. therefore." —8 . which the Captain had at last shown — to her. sorely enough undeceived. once for all. and it depends upon ourmore together as we were selves whether we choose to return altogether into our old — position. believed that Charlotte. school. she had exercised herself: it had not been impossible to and it ought not to be impossible to them. replied. Why not? all we want is to come " But he found himself to an understanding. was alluding to her pre^dous widowed state. she thought that she had a right to require of others the same control over themselves which her. and she resigned herself to it. " Our friend has left *' we are now once us. by ing himself. from a sense that the question must now. in a roundabout way. for in the Count's second letter. and she entered upon it the more openly and easily. Now. and gave liim up firmly and fully. there was a hint of a prospect of an advantageous marriage. as Charlotte continued. and. that she will scarcely like to living leave us Vol." Edward. as the companion of an only child. she will enjoy all the . with a laugh. "And we have now a choice of opportunities for placing Ottilie in another situation. where. be decisively set at rest. and. . Two openings have offered themselves for her. advantages of a solid education.

" Ottilie? "What is before us is sufficiently clear. ''At any rate I cannot see that it is right that Ottilie " and that should be made a sacrifice. " Can you find . A every day you are becoming more attached to her." but so much may be replied Edward." Charlotte answered. w^e can feel happy. with some emotion. sought him out here at seeing him leave us but who can tell what may be before There is no occasion for haste." rephed Edward." answered Charlotte. : . unable How to reply to his wife's clear. warning to us to consider what is really for the good of all and we ourselves must the members of our little circle not be afraid of making sacrifices. we may resign ourselves to wait and see what the future may tell us about it. our else to take care of us own managers. would be the case if we were now to allow her to be sent away among strangers." said Char" and This is an epoch which yourself not least. open words. collecting himself said. she went on lotte-. and feeding reciprocal feeling itself in the same way. Why should w^e not acknowledge in words what every hour makes ob^dous? and are we not to have the common prudence to ask ourselves in what it " is to end? " We may not be able to find an answer on the moment. No one expects us to commit ourselves in an outrage upon decency: no one expects that we are going — to expose ourselves to censure or to ridicule.114 *' / THE GERMAN CLASSICS We have all of us been too mucli spoilt." " said " can you so mistake me? Edward. " and. — ' ' — . The Captain's good genius has we can feel easy. is rising on her side as well." ' ' . W "No great wisdom is required to prophesy here. It is a solemn requires us seriously to bethink ourselves. There is no one we must be our own friends. that if we cannot exactly tell what will come of it. at any rate. we ought to feel that you and I are past the age when people may walk blindly where they should not or ought not to go. and as she was determined " You love Ottilie to have it all out at once.

with some embarsays rassment." . spoken out. tliis time it is I. torn away from us." returned Charlotte. mitting to itself in secret. can you propose to me dearest Edward listen to me that now at onc^ I shall renounce my happiness renounce " my fairest rights! renounce you! " " Who that? replied Edward. at least.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES it 115 am anxious about Ottilie's happiness? future happiness no one can count on that but what is present. "It is not yet clear to me what you able much Edward want. consider frankly Ottilie's case. For the first time she felt how far Her voice shook a he had estranged himself from her. in words. adding. yourself." answered Charlotte. and sent to live among strangers. am not cruel enough to propose such a change Charlotte saw too clearly into her husband's intentions. were srifficiently provided for. if I I do not — mean — " for her! I. "Will ' ' Ottilie be happy if she divides us?" she asked. *' If she deprives me of a father! " of a husband. a fault in me. ! — — ! — longer to deceive yourself. and immediate. I should have thought. with a cold smile." said Edward. what the heart has gone on long perTo escape only for a moment. "but why at once expect the very worst? " '' The very worst is too sure to follow this passion of yours." It is fearful to hear felt how right she was. through this disguise. little. "do not refuse good advice while there is yet time do not throw away the means which In troubled cases those must work I propose to save us. are you not acknowledging everything which must arise out of it? I will urge nothing on you but if you cannot conquer yourself. rather more kindly. Consider. palpable. don't deceive yourself. to keep Ottilie here. Edward answered. and his children children. at least you will not be Our . and help who see the clearest Dear. " " in determining You.

but particularly because I should not like the affection. — . and mder. to his real reason.116 <( THE GERMAN CLASSICS My intention. He ordered his horse. and concluded wdth the words. to put off the immediate intolerable misery of Ottilie 's being sent away. — To gain time to breathe. who believed that she had gained her point. gave his valet the necessary directions what to pack up. the love indeed. He appeared to leave the thing entirely to her. Edward shuddered he thought he was betrayed. approved most cordially. to increase. by telling her that he would not be present at Ottilie 's departure. he would see her no more. for which she had already privately made all preparations. but in his heart his resolution was already taken." slie replied. which has befallen us. for the next day. . ' ' own part I should prefer the lady's house to the school. : " Edwaed to Chaelotte *' The misfortune. seized the opportunity. She then detailed to her husband circumstantially what would lie before Ottilie '' For my in each position. which Ottilie has gained. of the young there. and where he should follow him and then. as Edward made no immediate opposition. Charlotte. to settle Ottilie 's departure. indeed. I must find some means . he sat down and wrote . His wife's affectionate speech he fancied was an artfully con= trived trick to separate him for ever from his happiness. on the point of departure. and promises more. for more reasons than one. but it was only to find some means of delay. that if I am not at once to be driven to despair. my love. that. He told Charlotte he was going but he had blinded her ." man Edward appeared to approve. he determined to leave his house. when I think what she may become. as she now is but the other situation is larger. Charlotte. ''was to talk over with each of them has its advantages. you these two proposals The school would be best suited to her. who desired to commit him to a definite step. may or may not admit of remedy only this I feel. from that moment.

If she belongs to me. with all my heart and soul. make no attempt to send Ottilie away. : . or to introduce her into any other situation. Even when he saw it upon the paper. session of it know that she with you. I have a right to make a request. and sprang upon his horse. I will not resist. as long a time as you please. and I will take possession of her! my you have any regard for my affection. more kindly. Leave me. and for all of us. ing my home." This last sentence ran off his pen not out of his heart. — but with "VVliile I am away. ujider any circumstances. at any rate. without kno^ving anything about nor need you you. that. more tenderly! I promise that I will not attempt any secret intercourse with her. he began bitterly to weep. I will not allow myself to be anxious be uneasy about me: only. and then his whole purpose would He collected himself he remembered go to the winds. every moment he was afraid he might see Ottilie somewhere. and not among strangers. That he. he would be able to return at any moment he pleased and that by his absence he would have advanced nearer to his wishes on the other side. he pictured Ottilie to himself forced to leave the house if he stayed. and I return to it only under happier and more peaceful auspices. Take care of her. ran down the steps. itself to — — — — — — — . placed in the hands of strangers. me. I beseech you. I am leavthe sacrifice.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 117 In making myself of delay for myself. should renounce the happiness even the wretchedness of lo\TLng He only now began to feel what he was doing Ottilie! he was going away without knowing what was to be the mth result. At any rate he was not to see her again now what certainty could he promise himself that he would ever see her again? But the letter was written the horses were at the door. Beyond the circle Ottilie. you keep pos- I choose to is — — of the castle and the park. for my wishes. you will leave me alone to my madness and if any hope of recovery from it should ever hereafter offer . treat her as you have treated her only more lovingly. for sufferings. He sealed the letter.

was on his arm. returned she found the table laid with only two covers. and talked of various other things but not once. sat at the head of the table herself Ottilie as if she was deposed. " Happy " he wretch cried. they saw Edward's eling carriage under the Avindow. mentioning her husband. The first time. that he should have left the house without seeing her. and it seemed to The two ladies sat oppo- — site each other. In serious things such a loss becomes miserably painfuL Edward and the Captain were not there. and appaWhen they rently on purpose. Charlotte . without having even wished her good She grew uncomfortable. The feeling of what he was leaving behind was intolerable. stood up. to accom- pany him a part of his journey. of the Captain and his appointment. you can still feed upon the abns of and I cannot any more on the happiness of yesterday " when ' ' ! — yesterday! Chapter XVII Ottilie heard some one ride away. now it only served as a bitter reminiscence of the happiest hour of his life. the man was busy enjoying his dinner. The only comfort Ottilie could find for herself was in the idea that Edward had ridden after his friend. On rising from table. without the least embarrassment. He looked again at the beggar. she thought. he saw the beggar to As he rode had given so whom he much money the night before. and.118 THE GERMAN CLASSICS past the hotel. however. That figure had appeared to him yesterday. sitting under the trees. It is unpleasant to miss even the most trifling thing to which we have been accustomed. trav- Charlotte. and made him the humblest Ottilie obeisance. and went to the window in time just to catch a sight of Edward's back. His grief redoubled. and her anxiety did morning. for a long while. as Edward passed. not diminish when Charlotte took her out for a long walk. Charlotte talked. and of the little hope there was of seeing him again for a long time. It was strange. a little as .

Her anxiety. nothing — comprehended nothing. she might be sent away too. which had secured her remaining with. Charher situation. she was still alive. never. She she felt herself a changed being. Yet Charlotte's manner served The latter exerted herself to partially to reassure her. dry answer. now that the gentlemen were gone. will not attempt to^ describe what she went through. She was told It it who had had it brought round was the valet. and a number of other things. her aunt. a pair of silver spoons. after returning to consciousness. and on some pretence or other to get her out of the room he made some clever excuse. but after having lost what she had lost. and conceal her — . and when she came to herself again She was not resigned. was at once lest. and asked if they would be so good as to let him have a drinking cup of his master's. who had some things all Ottilie's there to pack up. . She prayed that God would help her only over this one day. if she could help it. The valet came in. asked there. She understood She could only feel that Edward had been parted from her lotte felt for We or for a long time. She had not grown composed. persisted in his request so far that Ottilie asked if she should go to look for the things for him? But Charlotte The valet had to quietly said that she had better not. required self-command to wonder and her distress. and the night. and the carriage rolled away. and there was still something for her to fear. find employment for the poor girl. What the man wanted was to speak a word to Ottilie.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES if 119 she was put out. Charlotte gave him a very cold. never guessed at Edward's threats. and left her to herself. which seemed to Ottilie to imply that he was gone some distance. and would be away for a long time. depart. and hardly ever. It was a dreadful moment for Ottilie. She suffered infinitely. how she wept. — — left her out of her sight and although . The day passed. She did not know what he meant he had everything belonging to his master under his own care.

considerateness. clearness of understanding. little comfort to Ottilie when one day Charan opportunity of making (she did it on purpose) the wise observation. but she did not go on with the subShe saw only too clearly that it was Edward of whom ject. judgment. will be utterly gone. I cannot help It was no lotte took : saying how I am struck with the intemperance of men. and our temperate proceedings will have carried through and executed what their impatient natures would have spoilt. most disagreeable things sometimes threaten. and whatever is most amiable about them. she was all the more struck and startled when her aunt began to speak of the impending marriage of the Captain as of a thing quite settled and Ottilie was thinking. and instead of the good which they might have done if they had been themselves. and therefore missed no opportunity of inducing Ottilie to talk with her on every variety of subject. It but he allowed himself much more acknowledged. tressed me. This gave a totally different aspect to . my dear aunt. yet she knew. for hours together. when I have observed how. If what Charlotte had just said had set Ottilie thinking again about men. How often may not wrong. too. frequently than was at all desirable to stimulate his enjojTuent and his power of talking and acting by such indulgence. par- It has often pained and disticularly in respect of wine." she said. ' ' ! was not exactly habitual with him. '' How keenly grateful people were to us when we were able by stilhng and calming them to Let us help them out of the entanglements of passion! set cheerfully to work. the sure though slow influence of thought and reflection. " at what the men have left incomplete we shall be preparing the most charming surprise for them when they return to us. rash determinations have arisen entirely from that one cause Charlotte assented. and particularly about Edward." '' Speaking of temperance.120 THE GERMAN CLASSICS she knew well how little words can do against the power of passion.

She was only for ever watching. ceptibly into extravagance and from a w^ant of seasonable reflection. its new shores turfed and planted with the most discriminating and excellent judgment. Charlotte with her clear glance looked through the whole circumstances of their situation. Ottilie had become every hint. indeed. She contracted her household. not parsimoniously. Everything which was necessary to protect it from the weather she took care to see provided. But here. which had been in excellent condition. their fine fortune. For in the style full in which they had been going on. for symptoms which might show her whether Edward would be soon returning: and this one thought was the only one in which she felt any interest. without knowing it. from the rate at which they had been living.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES affairs tain. in all that was said and done. among other advantages. Meanwhile. In a short time the lake lay stretched out under her eyes. In all this work she could liot sufficiently value the assistance of the young architect. they had fallen imper. Her husband on his too. every step. return should still find abundance to amuse himself with. if not seriously injured. • . sharp-eyed. The rough work at the new house was all finished. and suspicious. she assigned herself a limit. The improvements which were going on in the park she did not interfere with. emplojTnent for Ottilie. jealous. and. Ottihe only seemed to have done so. but into narrower dimensions. she rather sought to advance whatever might form a basis for future operations. in one point of view. and from the variety of schemes into which they had been launching out. every action. and there for the present she allowed it to rest in a condition in which w^iat remained to be done could hereafter be readily commenced Thus hour by hour she recovered her spirits and again. It 121 from what Edward had previously led her to entermade her watch every expression of Charlotte's. and made arrangements which would provide. had been shaken. these moral aberrations might be taken for a not unfortunate accident. her cheerfulness.

and sweeping-brooms.122 THE GERMAN CLASSICS very welcome proposal to her when was suggested that they should get together the boys of the peasants. observed in it a beautiful series of situations and occupa- — tions to ornament the frieze of a garden-house. traihng along the heavy iron roller it was a The Architect thoroughly pretty. and spinning. Architect acting as chief director. therefore. with their garden shears. without being exactly conscious of it. As they marched along. delightful procession. pleasant-looking sort of uniform was made for them. on the other hand. as oppor- tunity or inclination prompted her. It was found easy to mold them into what was desired. their little spades and hoes. last of all. could see nothing in it but a kind of parade. and they went through their work not without a sort of manoeuvre. her efforts were solely directed toward connecting every . Ottilie had given what assistance in her power. They had before endeavored to encourage the girls of the village in knitting. but she had given it at random. and others. as easily as out of a number of boys. to salute the master of the house on his near return. But a company is not to be formed out of a number of girls. their longhandled pruning-knives. and whatever else women could do and since what had been done for the improvement of the village itself. and. was descriptions of industry. The wardrobe was kept in the castle. the more sensible and ready of the boys themselves were intrusted with the management of it the It was. and employ them in keeping the park clean Edward had long entertained the idea. She followed her own good sense. which they were to put on in the evenings after they had been properly cleaned and washed. and sewing. others following after these with baskets to carry off the stones and rubbish. And this stimulated her and made her wish to begin something of the sort herself. there had been a perceptible advance in these . the children acquired a kind of character. A and neat. a it — In a very short time. Ottilie. now she thought she would go to work more satisfactorily and methodically. their rakes.

they never parted at all. At first. whenever the faithful old servant logue. complained of as showdng no capacity for work. went little thing was especially attached after her. I think the fruit- budded in the spring gardeners there are now don't succeed as well as the Carthusians used to do. for to herself the she clung to her. . If he were here this autumn. his honored father. The latter 's footsteps were often bent toward the garden. and Nanny attended her mistress wherever she went. We find many fine names in the cata- and then we bud from them. he would see what beautiful sorts there are in the old castle garden. then she herself began to feel a sort of affection for her. when they come to bear. and. Ottilie could listen to the good old man for ever! He thoroughly understood his business. which the late lord. it is not worth while to have such trees standing in our garden. It appeared to be a necessity of the child's nature to hang about a beautiful mistress. brothers and sisters and she succeeded with many One lively little creature only was incessantly of them. On the other trees there was a promise of a magnificent bearing for the autumn. Ottilie allowed her to be her companion. where she liked to watch the beautiful show of fruit. and ran about with her. put there." Over and over again. " I only wish.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES : 123 girl as closely as possible each with her own home. whenever she was perand then she would be active and cheerful and mitted never likely to do anything Ottilie could not be if — — never tire." the gardener answered. and as she were left at home. the few remains of which were no little delight to Nanny. and. It was just the end of the raspberry and cherry" season. her own parents. and the gardener talked of nothing but his master and how he wished that he might be at home to enjoy it. at last. angry with the girl. *'my good master may come to enjoy them. at last. and Edward Edward Edward was for ever the theme of his praise! Ottilie observed how well all the grafts w^hich had been — — — had taken. and bring up the shoots.

change into uneasy impatience which is accustomed to waiting and to enduring. A heart which seeks. its yearning and its longing feels that something is gone and a woman's spirit. opened before her. life On all. ordered life. the position of these two ladies was very different. the other hand. he would look vexed. how could she? Ottihe had not given up Edward tion. and when Ottilie had nothing to tell him. there was no more a chance of her being able to return. the holiday to which she had looked forward with such eagerness. for indeed. and yet she could never be absent from these beds and borders. requiring no further care from her. and doubt and anxiety never ceased to haunt the : soul of the poor girl. which were just beginning to show. in her present posian infinite and dreary chasm of which before she could have formed no conception. if it were posIf things could remain in their old state sible that they could return again into the smooth. Charlotte gained everything she gained happiness for the present. and a happy future . she felt what — — — — . even — w^ay of calm. and which were to be in the bloom of their beauty on Edward's birthday.124 THE GERMAN CLASSICS saw Ottilie. hearty understanding with Charlotte. he asked when his master might be expected home. must now pass out from its proper sphere. What she and Edward had sown and planted together were now in full flower. must become active and attempt and do something to make its own happiness. and let her see in his manner that he thought she did not care to tell him the sense of uncertainty w^hich was thus forced upon her became painful beyond measure. for Ottilie all was for she had first found in Edward and happiness meant. except that Nanny should be at hand with the watering-pot. a heart which has lost. and who shall say with what sensations she watched the later flowers. lost — one may say. and. Into real open. feels well that it wants something. wdien these flowers were to have expressed her affection and her gratitude to him! But the hopes which she had formed of that festival were dead now.

Even on the solid earth she could not bear to stay. How often. pretty already lighted. drawing out some book of travels. than of the uncultivated. on whose traces he had His road led him to a pleasant. and he hastened to seek out Edward. therefore. the sunrise did the poor girl hurry out of the house. she would spring into the boat. into the country which then her. did not Ottilie remain at nights. valley. how. sweetly-wooded meadows. in spite of her conviction to the contrary. He thought it advisable. — Chapter XVIII — Mittler — as soon as he received information of the disorder which man. though neither side had as vet called on him for assistance. to fulfil them in a friend's part toward them. for some time to themselves. away had had no charms for into the free air. and do what he could to help their misfortune. whose acquaintance we have already made It may easily be supposed that the strange. and there. felt desirous. lie rocked bv the motion of the waves. with a range of green. gazing at the birthday presents. on her knees before the open box. but at last he could withhold no longer. ever. assumed it as a thing of course.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 125 although Charlotte. down the centre of which ran a never-failing stream. after bolting herself into her room. that it was more difficult to come to the aid of cultivated persons in their moral perplexities. of which as yet she had not cut out or made up a single not touched a single thing — dress often with. He left them. and resolutely took it as decided that a quiet rational regard was possible between her husband and Ottilie. reading and dreaming that she was far away. and he to hers. where she would never fail to find her friend she remaining ever nearest to his heart. wisely enough. to wait first a little while knowing too well. busy gentle- had broken out among his friends. as he did. row out into the middle of the lake. however. sometimes 'Winding slowly along. then tumbling and rushing . in which she once had found all her hap! How piness.

He conjectured that this was Edward's present abode. He had prepared himself with all manner of excuses and delays. at least for life. situated in the middle of a garden. he might hope to learn something of Ottilie and then he would be as dear to him as a messenger from — . among The hills sloped gently up on either side. sometimes pendently. covered with rich corn-fields and well-kept The villages were at proper distances from orchards. modest dwellinghouse. and the detached scenes seemed designed expressly. and despair. and he was not mistaken. . silently. to tempt her there. The whole had a peaceful character about it. down. preparations. she should be happy in that spot be happy his self-torturing mood would lead him further — — in it. Of this our friend in his solitude we have only thus much that in his seclusion he was resigning himself to say — utterly to the feeling of his passion. Then his imagination wandered up and unpermitted. and if these would not serve. one another. fell under his eye. and whatever else (putting. At last a neatly kept farm. . he would secure to her the possession of the property for her There she should live for herself. whether permitted or plan. no check upon his thoughts) pleased to suggest itself. thinking out plan after He and feeding himself with innumerable hopes. He believed that he had been sent by Charlotte. The sight of Mittler did not surprise him he had long expected that he would come and now that he did. as he now did. perhaps. he was partly welcome to him. indeown. if not for painting. — heaven. could not deny that he longed to see Ottilie there that he would like to carry her off there. . with decided refusals or else.126 THE GERMAN CLASSICS rocks and stones. If he could not have her there. with a clean. between tears and happiness purposes. with another. . picturing every sort of possibility. So days flowed away in increasing oscillation between between hope and suffering. perhaps. if he could not lawfully possess her.

I think what Ottilie should do to come to me I write sweet. not to write to me. knew verj^ well that a heart that is occu- pied with love has an urgent necessity to express itself to pour out to a friend what is passing within it. therefore. up. He had been finding fault in a good-natured way with Edward for burying himself in that lonely place. I have promised that I will take no steps to seek her. when he understood that Mittler had not come from the His heart closed castle at all. therefore. Alas! because the possible is . to exact an oath from her. however. think where Ottilie is at each moment where she is going. I am always close ably. for how can I be happy away from her? And then my fancy begins to work. not to send me a word. loving letters in her name to myself. . but of his own free accord. after a few speeches backward and forward. why does she not venture to fly to me. for this once to go out of his character and — play the confidant in place of the mediator. and yet to If she loves me monstrous. and then I answer them. does she not resolve. upon which Edward replied *' I do not know how I could spend my time more agreeI am always occupied with her. ever doing or : — designing something wliich this will not is to give me pleasure. where she is reposing. But always answer. I see her moving and acting before me as usual. and that promise I will keep. I look toward the door. a hint. and he allowed himself. and keep the sheets together. Has Charlotte had the barbarity to exact a promise.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 127 Not a little vexed and annoyed was Edward. — as I think. where she is standing. about herself? Very likely she has. But what binds her that she should make no advances to me? . He had calculated justly. she is comIt must be her hall. and at first the conversation would not open itself. — to see her. — I look up ing and throw herself into my arms? I often think she ought If I ever hear a noise in the to do it and she could do it. I have the inestimable comfort of being able to to her. Mittler. It is only natural. as I know that she does — why me it is it is horrible.

Only one pleasure remains to me. unlike herself. and thev move one into the other. There is her hand. At night. . till I loved her People have often said of entirely and only loved her. as if she would say to me. Now we to me with her. that she is mine. since I have made the acquaintance of . I let myself imagine spirit. for I I was but a botcher and a bungler. round. It is but for a moment. and the lamp flings an uncertain light about the room. but behind my back. ' . Again. . her form. we are woven in and in together. what I have called life was nothing but its prelude amusement.128 THE GERMAN CLASSICS tliat the impossible must become possible. Till now. heavenly at once the figure changes face draws out it is not she. Sometimes she does something which injures the idea which I have of her and then I feel how intensely pure I love her. for the first time her figure appears to me in my dreams. know what to love means. approaches me. and. a sense of her presence. and there is mine. she will rally and vex me and then her sweet. her impossible. of this sion. when I lie awake. dissatisfied and wretched. had not then found in what I could show myself a master. seizes me. or laugh on as you wall. sweeps over me. full of anguish and tears of love. Look on them. dear Mittler. and there is mine. — . it is that I may have an assurance that she is thinking of me. that in most things me. Laugh not. I should like to see the man who outdoes me in the talent A miserable life it is.' In whatever happens is present in every dream I have. it is another but I lie vexed. I am not ashamed of this attachment. by the indescribable anguish which it causes me. It may be so. other attractive persons in this neighborhood. frantic pas- — It is only now that I No. more lovely than I. — if you please to call it so — foolish. — . You will And so she find none more beautiful. oddly enough. and on me. there is her name. . are subscribing a contract together. not to my face. I never lived till I knew her. When I was with her I never dreamt of her now when I am far away. sport to kill the time mth. I never loved before. and seem to devour each other.

He should not forget that the highest honor was to command ourselves in misfortune to bear pain. because by this violent outbreak of passion on Edward's part he saw himself driven far from the purpose of his coming. II —9 . which flowed all the more freely as his heart had been made weak by telling it all. '' It is well. when in their anguish he lets those heroes weep. what could he know of an infinite agony I There are cases." relieved himself slightly Edward had by this violent unloading of his heart. all you with dry heart and dry eye. he burst into tears. who was the less disposed to put a check on his inexorable good sense and strong." all he cried. if it must be so. Edward decided marks of his disapprobation. to whom the wretched ser\'e but for a spectacle. Curses on the happy. But in doing so every feature of his strange condition had been brought out so clearly before his eyes that.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES but it is it 129 so natural. ** for the man who is happy. vigorous feehng. if we wished to be valued and looked up to as examples of what was right. *' yes. who well knows how to delineate heroes. That w^as what "we should do.' Leave me. self-collectedness. but he would be ashamed he could see how intolerable it was to the sufferer. there are. that I could hardly change for another. worthless sound. Men who can weep are good. He has even a proverb. and despair is a duty. words like these could but have a hollow. who has of it if that he desires. When body and soul are torn in pieces with ' Vol. to talk. heap your scorn upon the noble Greek. where comfort is a lie. Mittler. overpowered by the pain of the struggle. Go. showed sufficiently should act as a man. w^ith equanimity and . he said what he owed to himself as a man. he should remember ." he continued. and easy and contented as he was. Stirred and penetrated as Edyard was with the bitterest feelings. Nothing short of an infinite endurance would be enough. so dear to me.

and give us all peace. — — . We will if — meet again. and now I drink out of it to con\dnce myself that the connection between us daily cannot be broken. '' this thinking and arguing Indeed. bring about the separation which must take place. I have to choose only between misery and happiness. backward and forward leads to nothing. Mittler hesitated. my best friend." "Alas! alas! " cried Mittler. Edward. Like the gladiators. was quite ready to go on with it. A gay reveller flung it into the air. of all the plagues of mankind. they are to be allowed to go off the scene with applause. . '* what must I not endure with my friends? Here comes superstition. I have first felt decided as to what I must make up my mind to do. which of all the most mischievous and accursed things I hate the worse We trifle with prophecies. my dear friend. My present and my future life I see before me. You. that destiny has decided. continued: cannot be divided. that no one should drink of it more. in fact. " like Tou. which. At a high price I bought it back. if you would go out and look about you in the garden. they are to bear it yes. and become more Mittler w^as unwilling to let a conversation drop which might be difficult to begin again. " . it I will try to compose myself. to be noble and bear it. Go. It was to fall on the rock and be dashed to pieces but it did not fall it was caught. is already made gain CharI will not enter upon the reasons lotte 's consent for me. but really you would oblige me much. I believe there will be the less difficulty in prevailing why upon her. besides that it was tending toward the issue which he desired. In this very conversation I myself have first come to understand myself." said the latter. I thank you for your visit. My dear Mittler. " Mv fate and Ottilie's be shipwrecked. our initials are en- Edward graved upon it." of itself. . Do you. too.130 THE GERMAN CLASSICS agony. and shall not Look at this glass. make us all happy. and still persevered. they must die gracefully before the eyes of the multitude. must go.

finding himself carried off into the shadowy regions. and it would be very well. She told him readily of everything which had occurred. but when the seriousness of life itself begins to show. when Charlotte. what was there further which at that moment he could urge on Edward? To gain time. " it be otherwise as soon as I become a mother? all work How can . leave the poor heart its It may gaze toward it. He hastened to Charlotte." Yes. that things will round again. when everything around us is heaving and rolling. I must hope. he felt his way with the utmost caution. if he stayed. and that Edward will return to me. but from his point of view an unspeakably delightful one. then come in these spectres to make the storm more terrible. Indeed. calm and in good spirits. indeed. if it cannot steer guiding-star. was the best thing which even he himself could suggest as at present possible." " In this " uncertainty of life. Man cares for nothing except what flatters him and promises him fair.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 131 with forebodings. finished with saying: " I must beheve. On his own side. It was a surprise. for from what Edward had said he had only been able to gather the effects. at the end of a number of unpleasant things. He could not prevail upon himself even cursorily to mention the word separation. to him. to inquire in what state things were'^with the ladies. in which the longer he remained the more uncomfortable he always felt. and his faith is alive exclusively for the sunny side. I might leave it. whom he found as usual." replied Mittler. and give a seriousness to our everj^-day life with them. poised as it is between hope and fear." Mittler. toward " it." cried Edward. ''it there were but one consequence to expect. and dreams. was the more ready to assent to Edward's eager wish that he should go to Charlotte. but I have always found that nobody will attend to symptoms of warning.

Such a good hope as this is worth more than a thousand words. **A thousand times blessed be this news!" he cried. In this case I can see clearly no selflove of mine will be flattered. after all my talking and trying had proved fruitless. and then see what should be done. and stood petrified at the following passage. ing this. No one was more dependent than he on she frethe impressions which he formed on the moment." Charlotte answered. though. to open it. but his over-haste was the occasion of many a failure. and restored again when broken. He did not venture. At last he tore off the cover. on the mind of a man. who received him half in terror. '' I have all reason to be vexed about it. Here. with which it concluded : ' ' Remember the night-adventure when you \dsited your . and it — with him — as to the christening! " might as well contain No as Yes. For myself." he continued. I will come For this refusal she was vexed His eager. but can seldom do anything for the rich who will pay him. Many a marriage have argument ** by it. But he declined undertak'' do you write your ''All is done. about much good. impetuous character brought quently was. The letter was to decide his fate. Now indeed it is the best hope which we can have. Perfectly. for a long time. Charlotte's messenger came to Edward." he cried. *' I know the strength of this clasping his hands together.132 *' THE GERMAN CLASSICS Do I understand you right? " returned Mittler." Charlotte now asked him if he would carry the news to Edward: if he would take a letter to him from her. thank God. the thing cures itself. who succeeds in all cures which I seen first cemented he undertakes with the poor for the love of God. I shall earn no thanks from you by my services. I will come will do as well as I letter any messenger — back to wish you joy. I am in the same case as a certain medical friend of mine.

and that was the reason why he had left the service. his wishes secret was made known to her. at the moment when the happiness of our lives was threatening to fall asunder and to — vanish. Now it gave him a fine exhilarating feeling to be able to rejoin it under a commander of whom it could be said that. Edward. as a counter- balance to the storm ^^thin him. which had again broken out. and wish she dared not. It comforted him to think that he would soon cease to be.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES wife as a lover 133 how you drew her to you. favored : he had disliked exceedingly the half-soldiering which had fallen to him in his youth. He craved for death. and for the servants." What passed from would be to kill the difficult to that describe moment in Edward's Under the weight ! soul it of such a stroke. death was likely and victory was sure. In tliis strange accident let us revere the providence of heaven. retired into herself she had nothing further to say: hope she could not. fighting are an ever-ready resource of this kind for a noblelonged for some outward peril. which has woven a new link to bind us. Hunting and man Edward . for the unborn child. . A glimpse into what was passing in her we can gather from her Diary. because the burden of life threatened to become too heavy for him to bear. and clasped her as a well-beloved bride in your anus. like sages of which we think to communicate. gave Mm a very sweet feeling secure fortune — provision was made for Charsecret. and more than he. and so would make those whom he loved his departure. when Charlotte's bewildered by — it. old habits time and fill and fancies come out again to assist up the chasms of life. some pasOttilie. The war. under his conduct. difficulty in his happy by purposed — because he kept his intention a doing He made his with due formalities. for the Captain. all No one made any what he will It to Ottilie's lotte.

modest without being timid. Thus. namely. come forward and their places. who had been sent by a neighboring nobleman to speak about a matter which. and easy without being obtrusive. and find outward air and appearance were of the kind which win confidence and awake affection. other ways he was able also to the ladies. yet touched Charlotte to the quick. and he was skilful either at declining unexpected visits. at once fix our attention and sympathy on themselves. we other or others. and he proved himself thoroughly understanding and businesslike in the style in which he went to work while in a number of . appeared every day a more important person. of whom we have spoken. The ordering and executing of a number of undertakings depended entirely upon him. some There often happens poem. well-formed. His A perhaps a little too stout. or at least so far preparing the ladies for them as to spare them any disagreeableness. Any stranger who came he was commonly set to entertain.134 THE GERMAN CLASSICS PART ' n I Chapter to us in common life what. whom fill hitherto we have scarcely observed. that when the chief figures go off the scene. although of no particular have to moment. and everywhere his of the word. We mention this incident because it gave occasion for a . youth in the full sense make himself of assistance to amusement for their weary hours. after the Captain and Edward were gone. and earn our praise and admiration. conceal themselves or retire into inactivity. And these putting out all their force. Among others. the Architect. there was no work and no trouble which he was not delighted to take upon himself. the whole economy of the household soon was no secret to him. salutary influence made itself felt. tall. in an are accustomed to praise as a stroke of art in epic the poet. he had one day no little trouble with a young lawj^er. and as he could keep accounts with great facility.

At the same time the clergyman. moreover. they buried. which had shot up and jflowered most beautifully. and past it to the opposite gate. all the more because when he under the old linden sat out like Pliilemon wdth his Bauci^ trees at his back door. No one could deny that on Sundays and holidays when the people went to church the change had given it a most cheerful and pleasant appearance. Charlotte having secured the use of the spot to the Parsonage. but not where he had been buried. leaning against the The remaining space had been levelled. was could onlv show who had been everything. many was a family in the neighborhood. had become made thoroughly delighted with it. string-course. However well preserved the monuments might be. We remember certain alterations which Charlotte had in the churchyard. The entire body of the monuments had been removed from their places. and it had been all sown with various kinds of trefoil. was no little convenience to his household. except a broad walk which led up to the church. who for years had been in possession of a considerable vault for a general resting-place of themselves and their relations. an old man and clinging to old customs. and in consequence had settled a small annual sum for the Of this opinion . and had been ranged along the walls of the church. but the spot on each occasion was to be carefully smoothed over and again sown. many members of the congregation had been displeased that the means of marking the spots where their forefathers rested had been removed.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES number 135 of things which otherwise might perhaps have remained long untouched. as many maintained. and all memorials of them thereby obliterated. Notwithstanding this. instead of the humps and mounds he had a beautiful clean lawn to look out upon. who at first had not been especially pleased with the alteration. and the where. however. The new graves were to follow one after another in a regular order from the end. and which.

see. . finds it some consolation to plant a light wooden cross upon the grave. shall gather in again and the li\dng shall ." he said. as around a central . Avho buries a child. far more closely. Yet this stone it is not which attracts us it is that which is contained beneath it. the husband. at least as long as the sorrow remains. the friend. as of the person himself. and no regard had been paid to objection and remonstrance. like the mourning. and gave occasion he said for much serious reflection. not intend to pay sent to cancel this settlement. but around it. laid down the grounds on which his in what " You client proceeded. and hang a garland upon it. w^here it stands. to keep alive the memorial. to the earth. it is but little. after their departure. in which '* he sought to justify his peremptoriness. the kinsman. and to young lawyer had been show that his client did it any more. In itself. indeed. although such a mark. Charlotte. after a slight introduction. Far better. Those better off change the cross of wood into iron. The poorest peasant. the wife. you see. . because the conditions under had been hitherto made had not been observed by the other party.136 THE GERMAN CLASSICS And now this use of the clmrcli. not of what once was. which is intrusted. who in a decided though not a violent manner. and which can be restored and made fresh again by posterity. can I embrace some dear departed one in the mound which rises over his bed. will pass away with time. those who are able to bear the expense see nothing fitter than to raise a stone which shall promise to endure for generations. who was the originator of which it the alteration herself. but of what is. than in a monumental writing which only tells us that once he was. and fix it down and guard it in various ways and here we have endurance for many j^ears. But because this too will sink at last. and become invisible. it is right for the lowest as well as for the highest to mark the spot which holds those who are dearest to him. It is not the memorial so much of which we speak. mark. chose to speak to the young man.

What do j'ou say to it?" she to added. your arguments have not con\dnced me. however. but too reasonable that he should do it. I can find nothing more natural or more desirable than that duced. my gracious lady. or to me. Let me venture. therefore. and among their kindred and. and are banished out into the open air. I think. I hold it quite fair and fitting that my principal shall withdraw his grant to you." replied he. It is. the mounds. Since we are no longer so happy as to be able to press to our breasts the in-urned remains of those we have loved since we are neither wealthy enough nor of to . which. They are deprived of the sad sweet feelings of laying offerings on the remains of their dead. have introIf the members of a common congregation are laid out side by side. attempt to judge in such a case. the vexation of a lawsuit. ought to approve the method which you. since. for the members of his family are injured in a way for which no compensation could be even proposed. after death. say what my own art and my own habits of tliinking suggest to me. . they are resting by the side of. "And. " It is not for *' either to argue. and of the one comfort in their sorrow of one day lying *' down at their side. we all. indeed.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 137 have the right to keep far off all strangers and evil-^\^shers from the side of the dear one who is sleeping there. indeed. are sure to sink . if they are thrown up." Charlotte ** that we should disquiet ourselves about it with answered. that I will gladly myself indemnify the church for it loses through you. if the earth be once to receive us all. cheerful heart enough to preserve them undecayed in large elaborate sarcophagi. I regret so little what I have what done. Only I must confess candidly to you. turning to the Architect. the pure feeling of an universal equality at last. seems me more composing than this hard determined persistence in our personalities and in the conditions and circumstances of our lives. we cannot even find place any more for ourselves and ours in the churches." The matter is not of that importance.

w^ell- down by themselves at random. is it all to pass away. I should w^lsh to see designed. I have collected numbers of them. will give a notion of what he was it is the best text for many or for . and very likely the right taste and the proper application of it may be a peculiar art. either monuments or monumental writings. the sculptor. should be smoothed off at once. erect there or in some fair hall near the burying thouplace. ** then tell how it is that they are never able to escape from little dwarf pillars. As regards designs for monuments and : kinds. I have never seen anything but a thousand repetitions. will press lighter upon each." ** me If the artists are so rich. " mthout one token of remembrance." asked Ottilie. from place that men should be The architect. and urns for ashes? Instead of your thousand forms of which you boast. Inasmuch as even the good and the great are contented to surrender the privilege of resting in person in the churches. are highly interested that men should look to their art to their hand. which all bear alike. for a continuance — of their being. *' it is not from set free. A sand forms might be suggested for them. remembrance." returned the Architect. at least.138 THE GERMAN CLASSICS slowly in again together." *' It is very generally so with us." replied Charlotte." continued it is the Architect. take some opportunity of showing them to you of all I will all but at times the fairest memorial of a man remains some likeness of himself. and a thousand ornaments with which they might be decorated. that the monument must be something cheerful and yet commemorate a solemn subject while its matter is melancholy. *' but it is not universal. In this case especially we have this great difficulty. without anything to " call back the past? '' By no means. This better than anything else. well-executed monuments not sown up and . but erected all in a single spot. and the covering. it must not obelisks. . where they can promise themselves endurance." ''And is it all. . itself be melancholy. we may. and. therefore.

because from the former we have nothing any more to fear. even to likenesses I have a kind of disinclination. It should be answered.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES few age. while of the living it is never without some exception. ever}'where that it stands. . ''-without perit or wishing it. Whenever I see them they seem to be silently reproaching me. it is no very pleasant reflection. and that is what is called a bust. I nmst acknowledge to you to having a strange feeling. — — — kindness. meetings. fall in our way. into such things as these!" You have haps knowing altogether in contrived. They point to something far away from us gone from us and they remind me how difficult it is to pay right honor to the present. is at his and that is generally neglected no one thinks of preserving forms while they are alive. it stands for itself. seldom is the artist in a position to put any real life . notes. and then comes death upon How ** a cast is taken swiftly of the face this mask is set a block of stone. unhappily. The likeness man is quite inde- pendent. only it 139 best ought to be made when he . and consider how little we have been to them and how little they have been to us. towns toward their worthiest citizens." said Charlotte. it is done carelessly and incompletely. If we think how many people we have seen and known. But — . and if it is done at all. while the latter may still. people toward their most admirable princes. to lead the conversation of a my favor. and we do not require it to mark the site of a particular grave. nations toward their most distinguished men. "And. So unreal is our anxiety to preserve the memory of others — generally no . here or there. We have met a man of genius without having a learned man without having enjoyed much with him learnt from him a traveler mthout having been ina man to love without having sho^^^l him any structed. *' I have heard it asked why we heard nothing but good spoken of the dead. Societies this is not the case only with accidental and families behave in the same w^ay toward their dearest members.

with all its environs. a little side chapel." Chapter II the stimulus of this accident. and displajdng still greater care and pains in its decoration. w^hich nobody had thought of. thus. the proportions good. in the original spirit.140 THE GERMAN CLASSICS selfish more than a mere amusement. until this pious work too should be completed. therefore. and one might easily gather that the architect of the neighboring monastery had left the stamp of his art and of his love on this smaller building also. and whatever was attached to it. to the greatest surprise and delight of the Architect. for the ornamenting of which and relieving it in some degree of its sombre look. beautifully and delicately proportioned. The building itself. to bring it into harmony with the resurrection-field which lay in front of it. and then show^ed itself. earnest feeling would be what should prompt us to be more diligent and assiduous in our attentions toward those who still are left to us. German ate style. He had himself restore and much practical skill. was now carefully and thoroughly examined. they went the following day to Under look over the burying-place. The Architect found no great difficulty in prevailing on Charlotte to give him a considerable sum of money to it externally and internally. holy. It had been standing for many centuries. the Architect made many a happy proposal. the decorating elabor- and excellent. as he thought. and of the conversations w^hich arose out of it. It contained at the same time many rem- . although the change in its internal arrangements for the Protestant service had taken from it something of its repose and majesty. it worked on the beholder with a solemnity and a sweetness. built in old . His interest too had to extend itself to the church as well a building w^hich had caught his attention from the moment of his arrival. and the real. and a few laborers who were still busy at the lodge might easily be kept together.

and the earliest copperplate engra\'ing. every day. when the different festivals were distinguished by a variety of pictures and ceremonies. he made . had a smart dressy appearance. Having once begun to show his curiosities. in the way he treated them. like to He saw exactly how he would have the vacant surfaces of the walls ornamented. as a memorial of old times and of their taste. and other such things which he had made. and designs from. of exercising his talent for painting upon them but of this. they had almost to ask themselves whether they really were living in a modern time. more and more in form and color like the past. seals.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 141 nants. He had got them exceedingly nicely and conveniently arranged in drawers and compartments. laid on boards cut to fit them. in the same spirit. and when they came to speak of the simple collection of barrow-sepulchres of the northern nations. old coins. and each was celebrated in its own peculiar style. old monuments. and it was like looking into the box of a trinket merchant. every evening he would produce one or other of his treasures. and delighted himself with the prospect. was growing out. and covered over with cloth so that these solemn old things. It was impossible for him not at once to take this chapel into his plan. They were most of them of German origin pieces of metal. . woodcuts. he fulfilled his promise of showing the ladies the various imitations of. Before doing anything else. and such like. whether — . at first. and he determined to bestow especial pains on the restoring of this little spot. All these things directed the imagination back upon old times. of the implements used iu the old services. and when the church. vases. carved and painted. and when at last they came to amuse themselves with the first specimens of printing. a secret to the rest of the party. and finding them prove serviceable to entertain our friends in their loneliness. he brought a weapons and implements which had been found in them.

cheerful composure. a great portfolio. the earnest man. ready recognition of One above us.142 it THE GERMAN CLASSICS were not a dream. every one. all seemed happy in an innocent. to whom all reverence is due silent . that manners. yet therefore occasion for serious entertainment. on every gesture. indeed. was expressed on every face. in the spoke state in which things were. Toward such a region most of them gazed as toward a vanished golden age. customs. and most captivating indeed All the figures this character was to the spectators. which at last he produced. at any rate was good. that his sojourn in such delightful society could not last forever. these days were not rich in incidents. they retained perfectly their ancient character. for he could see. The commonest object had a trait of celestial life. that perhaps it at a place where He would now soon be ended. For full of the rest. employed upon it. had the best possible effect. the curly-pated boy. We take the opportunity of communicating something of the remarks which Ottilie noted down among her manuscripts. the glorified saint. and every nature seemed adapted to the service of God. and to be. devotion. modes of life. After such preparation. Who could offer any proposition when the Architect asked to be allowed to paint the spaces between the arches and the walls of the chapel in the style of these old pictures and thereby leave his own distinct memorial life had gone so pleasantly with him? of it with some sadness. in some way or other. or on some lost paradise only perhaps Ottilie had a chance of finding herself among beings of her . but as these had been traced upon original pictures. It contained indeed principally only outlines and figures. and convictions were all really so changed. satisfied. the angel hovering in the air. breathed only the purest feeling. to which we cannot find a fitter transition than through a . the light-hearted youth. own nature. pious expectation. if not noble. in love and tranquil expectation. The old bald-headed man.

are so twisted that a red thread runs through them from end to end. entertain ourselves often with a present person as He need not speak to us. such relation can even grow without his doing anything toward it. To sit and talk to a beloved picture. ' ' : at us. and characterizes the whole. we feel the . were. a curious contrivance in the service of the English marine. The ropes in use in the royal navy. of pecuHar meaning. to the writer. we are told. or take any notice of us relation in which we stand to we look at him." — ** We with a picture. which cannot be extracted without undoing the whole. he need not look . these extracted sentences. What a sweet expression is that — * He was gathered to his fathers 1' " " Of the various memorials and tokens which bring none is so nearer to us the distant and the separated satisfactory as a picture. Just so is there drawn through Ottilie's diary. And thus these remarks.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 143 simile wliich suggested itself to us on contemplating her exquisite pages. like the charm which there sometimes is in quarrelhng with a friend. There is. him. the few separate pieces which we select scribe will sufficiently explain our meaning. and whatever else it may contain. that we are divided and yet cannot separate. a thread of attachment and affection which connects it all together. Even and tran- FROM *' ottilie's DIARY 4 To rest hereafter at the side of those whom we love is the most delightful thought which man can have when once he looks out beyond the boundary of life. without his ha\ing any feeling of it he is to us exactly as a picture. in a strange sweet way. has a charm in it. even though it be unlike. from the largest to the smallest. these observations. "We feel. and by which the smallest pieces may be recognized as belonging to the crown.

they must gather up into their picture the relation of every body to its subject. ** It is too true. indifferent. though it were we do. but as every one else sees him. or the picture.144 THE GERMAN CLASSICS " One is never satisfied with a portrait of a person that one knows." " But after Is all that all why should we take it so much to heart! done for eternity? Do we not put on our dress in the morning." . covered in with great hills of earth and rock. into which in. to throw it off again at night? Do we not go abroad to return home again? And why should we not wish to rest by the side of our friends. the Architect's collection of weapons and old implements. Time second existence. but for a century ? ' ' see the many gravestones which have fallen which have been defaced by the footsteps of the congregation. and of but one idea and indeed it would not matter what came of it. It does not surprise me if such artists become by degrees stunted." . sooner will not allow himself to be cheated of his of rights with the monuments men or with themselves. or the inscription. which lie buried under the ruins of the churches. proves to us how useless is man's so great anxiety to pre- serve his personality after he is dead. this or later. if it were not that in consequence we have to go without the pictures of so many persons near and dear to us. dies out too. they must not only paint a man as they see him. that have themselves crumbled together over them. I have always felt for the portrait-painter on One so seldom requires of people what is this account. and yet goes on occupj'ing himself with memorials for posterity. But this figure also. and so inconsistent people are. we may fancy the life after death to be as a second life. " When we a man and enters in the figure. and of them we do really require what is impossible. impossible. all their likings and all dislikings. which were found with the bodies of their owners. lives longer there than when he was really alive. the Architect confesses to have himself opened these barrows of his forefathers.

The colors were got ready. left them both in the chapel. and Ottilie had scarcely observed how easily and regularly the work was being done when the power which had been fostered in her by her early education at once appeared to develop. the measurements taken. while their still and holy air calmed and composed the spirit. The scaffoldings were erected. who was always glad when Ottilie would occupy or amuse herself with anything. II — 10 . with as much delicacy as skill. Ottilie how he was getting on. When ordinary men allow themselves to be worked up by common every-day difficulties into fever-fits of passion. and wdth a few words of direction. painted a richly folding robe.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES Chapter III 145 It causes us so agreeable a sensation to occupy ourselves with what we can only half do. their robes waving against the blue sky-ground. With such . He had made no attempt at originality. complacency of feeling we regard the preparation of the Architect for painting the chapel. that no person ought to find fault with the dilettante. so as tastefully to ornament his space with them. and went to follow the train of her own thoughts. The ladies ascended the scaffolding to him. his only care was to make a proper distribution of the sitting and floating figures. The work went forward and as soon as anything had been done on which the eye could rest. but kept close to his outlines. Charlotte. faces of the angels. when he is spending his time over an art which he can never learn nor blame the artist if he chooses to pass out over the border of his own art. But we Vol. and procoming to see The life-like duced the most delicate effect. we can give them notliing but a compassionate smile. and amuse liimself in some neighboring field. he could have no objection ^o Charlotte and . and work her way for herself through her cares and anxieties which she was unable to communicate to a creature. delighted the eye. the cartoons designed. She took a brush.

Edward had sent an answer by Charlotte's messenger. had taken to the work in the chapel with the greatest interest. too. withheld from any extremity. which had been all left to the Architect to paint. there was no light in which she could look at it that would give her comfort. that by degrees.146 THE GERMAN CLASSICS look mth a kind of awe on a spirit in which the seed of a great destiny has been sown. It was written with kindness and interest. which must abide the unfolding of the germ. she perceived that he had escaped from great danger only she was convinced at the same time that he would seek out greater. and the azure heaven was soon peopled with worthy inhabitants. She had to bear about this perpetual anxiety in her thoughts. By continual practice both Ottilie and the Architect had gained more freedom with the last figures they became perceptibly better. either the happiness or the misery. He had vanished almost immediately after. which is to arise out of it. Enough. and neither dare nor can do anything to precipitate either the good or the ill. The neighborhood of the beautiful girl had made so strong an impression on the soul of the young man. one of the last faces . method which he had taken. who had come to him in his solitude. . and turn which way she would. Ottilie. So now all went swiftly forward. and both worked in exact harmony together. and she had easily obtained Charlotte's permission to go on w^th it regularly. showed by degrees a very singular peculiarity. where he was mentioned with honor among those who had most distinguished themselves in a She now understood the late important engagement. The faces. . on the way from the eye to the hand. who had no variety of faces preconceived in his mind. nothing was lost. never dreaming of anything of this. and it was all too clear to her that in every sense he would hardly be . and Charlotte could learn no news about him till at last she accidentally found his name in the newspaper. They began all of them to resemble Ottilie. but it was rather composed and serious than warm and affectionate.

and although the wreaths were as rich as they could make them. he came to them. which she found open. unite Here Ottilie was in her element. and at once took his leave. was nowhere to be seen and must have concealed himself somewhere. The delicate pillars and the quaintly molded ornaments were to be distinguished from them by a dark shade. now go down there. The walls they proposed to leave plain. the most perfect patterns. No doubt he has been doing something which we shall like. ** Whatever surprise he may have designed for us. and begged them both to go and see it. however. heaven and earth. and particularly disliked to be surprised. It was still looking rough and disorderly. He did not wish to accompany them. so that it 147 herself seemed as if Ottilie was looking down out of the spaces of They had finished with the arching the sky. as it were. and afterwill be the more charming in the reality. and only to cover them over with a bright brown color. which should. The Architect begged that the ladies would give him a week to himself. But as in such things one thing ever leads on to another. he said. who. She walked into the church. The scaffolding poles had been run together. of the ceiling. one fine evening. and service had been performed in it. they determined at least on having festoons of flowers and fruit.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES succeeded perfectly. wards it I will enjoy it first in your description. at the end of it. the uneven pavement w^as yet more disfigured by the parti-colored stains of the/ paint which had The gardens pro\^ded been spilt over it. it was all finished sooner than they had supposed possible." Ottilie. This had been finished before. and during that time would not enter the chapel. it had been cleaned up. . the planks thrown one on the top of the other. You can go by yourself." said ** I cannot myself just Charlotte. as soon as he was gone. set off down the walk by herself and looked round involuntarily for the Architect. and tell me all about it. who knew well that in many cases Charlotte took care to avoid everything which could produce emotion.

and it seemed. at last she seated herself in one of the chairs. fastened together with gypsum. that she awoke to possession of herself and has- — — tened back to the castle. and a peculiar genius was thrown over it. ! Those sunflowers still turned their faces to the sky. Edward's birthday. Among the relics of the some finely carved chancel chairs had been discovered. It was filled with stained glass. yielded easily to her touch. and a short time was sufficient to have it put in its A place.148 THE GERMAN CLASSICS . Slie went on to the chapel door its heavy mass. modest eye and whatever of them all had been wound into wreaths had served as patterns for the decorating a spot . beautiful light streamed in through the one tall window. and it was only when the sun left the window. The parts which she knew so well now meeting her as an unfamiliar whole. solemn. The beauty of the vaulted ceiling and the walls was set off by the elegance of the pavement. delighted Ottilie. and she found an unexpected sight in a familiar spot. She did not hide from herself the strange epoch at which It was the evening of this surprise had occurred to her. Very differently she had hoped to keep it. which now were standing about at convenient old church places along the walls. all overlaid with iron. walked up and down. which was composed of peculiarly shaped tiles. How was not everything to be dressed out for this festival and now all the splendor of the autumn flowers remained ungathered . as she gazed up as if she felt and and dowm. looked and looked again. gracefully put together. The entire chapel had thus received a strange tone. as if she was. She stood still. those asters still looked out with quiet. Seats had been provided as well. on which before it had been shining full. and yet was not did not feel as if all this would vanish from before her. This and the colored glass for the windows the Architect had prepared without their knowledge. and forming exquisite patterns as they lay. and she would vanish from herself.

as the goldsmith may only adore from far off the monstrance whose enamel and whose jewels he has himself set together. ** The way. In the temple he draws a partition line between himself and the Holy of Holies he may never more set his foot upon the steps which he has laid down for the heart-thrilling ceremonial.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES which. And then she had to remember the impetuous eagerness with which Edward had kept her birthday-feast. FROM OTTILIE's DIARY " I have been struck with an observation of the young architect. His works forsake him as the birds forsake the nest in which they were hatched. like a child who is provided for. all pleasure and all right there. the more keenly her imagination brought it all before her. step by step. The builder surrenders to the rich man. She no longer leant upon his arm. with the key of his palace. it is clear that man is least pertnitted to appro- priate to himself what is most entirely his own. And must the artist. to produce buildings into which he himself may never enter. not art in this way. has no more to fall back upon its father? And what a power there must be in art itself for its own self-advancing. more alone. But she felt herself only the . was only adapted as a general mausoleum. The halls of kings owe their magnificence to him. . She thought of the newly erected lodge. draw off from when the work. but he has no enjoyment of them in their splendor. if it 149 was not to remain a mere artist's fancy. The fireworks flashed and hissed again before her eyes and ears the more lonely she was. ** In the case of the creative artist. his whole heart and passion. How fate of the Architect is the strangest of all in this often he expends his whole soul. . and she had no hope ever any more to rest herself upon it. as in that of the artisan. under the roof of which they had promised themselves so much enjoyment. and never shares with him in the enjoyment of it.

when a new comer entered. day. and may almost seem terrible. long. Why cannot you stay sitting here? I said to myself. that they may not cease to see. and inclined their heads to welcome him. perhaps. and vnih a gentle inclination direct them to their places." '* We may imagine ourselves in what situation we always dream conceive ourselves as seeing. " The year dies away. till at last your friends come. in silent converse. long. stay here sitting meditating with yourself long. as I was like that in sitting in the chapel. and there is nothing left to stir under its touch. the thought of this came over me with a soft. the inner light mil come out from within and we not any more require another. after all this. wdth the sense so vividly impressed on her of mutability and perishableness. men only shall Some us.150 THE GERMAN CLASSICS it when of has been obliged to shape itself almost solely out what was open to all. and you rise up to them. only out of what was the property of every one. if he were worthy enough. Yesterday. I believe we please. The colored window panes convert the day into a solemn twilight. that Edward had . and some one should set up for us an ever-burning lamp. pleasant feeling. and other carved chairs stood round which I was. and the stroke of the thrasher's flail awakes the thought how much of nourishment and life lie buried in the sickled ear. in enormous caverns. They pictured their forefathers to themselves sitting round on thrones." Chapter IV strangely. that the night might not be utter darkness. must Ottilie have been affected by the news which could not any How longer be kept concealed from her. and therefore also of the artist 1" "There is a conception among old nations which is awful. the mnd sweeps over the stubble. they rose up. But the red berries on yonder tall tree seem as if they would still remind us of brighter things.

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES

151

exposed himself to the uncertain chances of war! Unhappily, none of the observations which she had occasion to
it escaped her. But it is well for us that man can only endure a certain degree of unhappiness; what is beyond that either annihilates liim, or passes by him, and leaves him apathetic. There are situations in which hope and fear run together, in which they mutually destroy one another, and lose themselves in a dull indifference. If it were not so, how could we bear to know of those who are most dear to us being in hourly peril, and yet go on as usual "with our ordinary everyday life?

make upon

some good genius was caring for which she seemed to be sinking from loneliness and want of occupation, was suddenly invaded by a wild army, which, while it gave her externally abundance of employment, and so took her out of herself, at the same time awoke in her the consciousness
It
if

was therefore as

Ottilie, that, all at once, this stillness, in

of her

own power.

daughter, Luciana, had scarcely left the school and gone out into the great world; scarcely had she found herself at her aunt's house in the midst of a large
Charlotte's
society,

than her anxiety to please produced

its effect

in

really pleasing; and a young, very wealthy man, soon experienced a passionate desire to make her his own. His

large property gave him a right to have the best of everything for his use, and nothing seemed to be wanting to him except a perfect wiie, for whom, as for the rest of his good fortune, he should be the envy of the world.

pWng

This incident in her family had been for some time occuCharlotte. It had engaged all her attention, and taken up her whole correspondence, except so far as this
to the obtaining

was directed

latterly Ottilie

had been

left

self. She knew, indeed, of She had been making various changes and arrangements in the house in preparation for it; but she had no notion that it was so near. Letters, she supposed, would first have to

news of Edward; so that more than was usual to heran intended visit from Luciana.

152

THE GERMAN CLASSICS
:

pass, settling the time, and unsettling it; and at last a final fixing when the storm broke suddenly over the castle

and over

herself.

Up drove, first, lady's maids and men-servants, their carriage loaded with trunks and boxes. The household was already swelled to double or to treble its size, and then
appeared the visitors themselves. There was the great aunt, with Luciana and some of her friends and then the bridegroom with some of his friends. The entrance-hall was full of things bags, portmanteaus, and leather articles of every sort. The boxes had to be got out of their covers, and that was infinite trouble; and of luggage and of rummage there was no end. At intervals, moreover, there were violent showers, giving rise to much inconvenience. Ottilie encountered all this confusion with the easiest equanimity, and her happy talent L:howed in its fairest light. In a very little time she had brought things to order, and disposed of them. Every one found his room every one hand his things exactly as they wished, and all thought themselves well attended to, because they were not prevented from attending on themselves. The journey had been long and fatiguing, and they would all have been glad of a little rest after it. The bridegroom would have liked to pay his respects to his mother-in-law, express his pleasure, his gratitude, and so on. But Luciana could not rest. She had now arrived at the happiness of being able to mount a horse. The bridegroom had beautiful horses, and mount they must on the spot. Clouds and wind, rain and storm, they were nothing to Luciana, and now it was as if they only lived to get wet through, and to dry
;

themselves again. If she took a fancy to go out walking, she never thought what sort of dress she had on, or what her shoes were like; she must go and see the grounds of which she had heard so much what could not be done on horseback, she ran through on foot. In a little while she had seen everything, and given her opinion about everything and with such rapidity of character it was not easy
;

;

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
to contradict

153

much

to suffer,

or oppose her. The whole household had but most particularly the lady's maids, who

were at work from morning to night, washing, and ironing, and stitching. As soon as she had exhausted the house and the park, she thought it was her duty to pay visits all around the neighborhood. Although they rode and drove fast, " all around the neighborhood " was a goodly distance. The castle was flooded with return visits, and that they might not miss one another, it soon came to days being fixed for them. Charlotte, in the meantime, with her aunt, and the man of business of the bridegroom, were occupied in determining about the settlements, and it was left to Ottilie, with those under her, to take care that all this crowd of people were properly pro\'ided for. Gamekeepers and gardeners, fishermen and shopdealers, were set in motion, Luciana always sho\\ing herself like the blazing nucleus of a comet with its long tail trailing behind it. The ordinary amusements of the parties soon became too insipid for her taste. Hardly would she leave the old people in peace at the cardtable.

who

could resist the

Whoever could by any means be set moving (and charm of being pressed by her into

ser\ice?) must up, if not to dance, then to play at forfeits, or some other game, where they were to be victimized and tormented. Notwithstanding all that, however, and al-

though afterward the redemption of the forfeits had to be settled viith. herself, yet of those who played with her, never any one, especially never any man, let him be of what sort he would, went quite empty-handed away. Indeed, some old people of rank who were there she succeeded in completely winning over to herself, by having contrived to find out their birthdays or christening days, and marking them^

with some particular celebration. In all this she showed a skill not a little remarkable. Every one saw himself favored, and each considered himself to be the one most favored, a weakness of which the oldest person of the party

was

the

most notably

guilty.

154
It

THE GERMAN CLASSICS
seemed
to

— — she must and would gain for herself. fame
anything remarkable
seriousness she

be a sort of pride wdth her that men who had about them rank, character, or

Gravity and

give way to her, and, wild, strange creature as she was, she found favor even with discretion itself. Not that the young were at all cut short in consequence. Everj'body had his share, his day, his hour, in which she contrived to charm and to enchain him. It was therefore natural enough that before long she should have had the Architect in her eye, looking out so unconsciously as he did from under his long black hair, and standing so calm and quiet in the background. To all her questions she received short, sensible answers; but he did not seem inchned to allow himself to be carried away further, and
at last, half provoked, half in malice, she resolved that she

made

would make him the hero of a day, and so gain him for her
court.

was not for nothing that she had brought that quantity Much, indeed, had followed her afterward. She had provided herself with an endless variety of dresses. When it took her fancy she would change her
It

of luggage with her.

dress three or four times a day, usually wearing something of an ordinary kind, but making her appearance suddenly at intervals in a thorough masquerade dress, as a peasant
girl or a fish-maiden, as a fairy or a flower-girl;

and this would go on from morning till night. Sometimes she would even disguise herself as an old woman, that her young face might peep out the fresher from under the cap; and so utterly in this way did she confuse and mix together the actual and the fantastic, that people thought they were
living with a sort of drawing-room witch. But the principal use which she had for these disguises were pantomimic tableaux and dances, in which she was

cavalier in skilful in expressing a variety of character. her suite had taught himself to accompany her action on the piano with the little music which was required they needed
;

A

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES

155

only to exchange a few words and they at once understood each other.

upon suddenly

pause of a brilUant ball, they were called extemporize (it was on a private hint from themselves) one of these exhibitions. Luciana seemed embarrassed, taken by surprise, and contrary to her custom She could not decide let herself be asked more than once. upon her character, desired the party to choose, and asked, At last her pianolike an improvisatore, for a subject. playing companion, with whom it had been all previously arranged, sat down at the instrument, and began to play a mourning march, calling on her to give them the Artemisia which she had been studying so admirably. She consented; and after a short absence reappeared, to the sad tender music of the dead march, in the form of the royal widow, with measured step, carrj-ing an urn of ashes before her. A large black tablet was borne in after her, and a carefully cut piece of chalk in a gold pencil case. One of her adorers and adjutants, into whose ear she whispered something, went directly to call the Architect, to desire him, and, if he would not come, to drag him up, as
in a
to
^

One day,

master-builder, to
to tell
statist,

him

at the

draw the grave for the mausoleum, and same time that he was not to play the

but enter earnestly into his part as one of the

performers.
in his black, close-fitting,

Embarrassed as the Architect outwardly appeared (for modern civilian's dress, he formed

tassels,

a wonderful contrast with the gauze crape fringes, tinsel and crown), he very soon composed himself inter-

nally,

and the scene became

all

the

more strange. "With

the

greatest gravity he placed himself in front of the tablet, which was supported by a couple of pages, and drew carefullv an elaborate tomb, which indeed would have suited better a Lombard than a Carian prince; but it was in such beautiful proportions, so solemn in its parts, so full of

genius in

its

decoration, that the spectators watched

it

156

THE GERMAN CLASSICS
delight,

growing with
finished.

and wondered

at

it

when

it

was

All this time he had not once turned toward the queen, but had given his whole attention to what he was doing. At last he inclined his head before her, and signified that he

believed he had now fulfilled her commands. She held the urn out to him, expressing her desire to see it represented on the top of the monument. He complied, although unwillingly, as it w^ould not suit the character of the rest of his
last released from her imhad been by no means to get a scientific drawing out of him. If he had only made a few strokes, sketched out something which should have looked like a monument, and devoted the rest of his time to her, it would have been far more what she had washed, and would have pleased her a great deal better. His manner of proceeding had thrown her into the greatest embarrassment. For although in her sorrow, in her directions, in her gestures, in her approbation of the work as it slowly rose before her, she had tried to manage some sort of change of expression, and although she had hung about close to him, only to place herself into some sort of relation to him, yet he had kept himself throughout too stiff, so that too often she had been driven to take refuge with her urn she had to press it to her heart and look up to heaven, and at last, a situation

design.

Luciana was now at

patience.

Her

intention

;

of that kind having a necessary tendency to intensify, she made herself more like a widow of Ephesus than a Queen of Caria. The representation had to lengthen itself out

and became tedious. The pianoforte player, who had usually patience enough, did not know into what tune he could escape. He thanked God when he saw the urn standing on the pyramid, and fell involuntarily as the queen was going to express her gratitude, into a merry air; by which the whole thing lost its character, the company, however, being thoroughly cheered up by it, who forthwith divided,

some going up

to express their delight

and admiration of

Permission Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart

P.

Grotjohank

LUCIANA POSING AS QUEEN ARTEMISIA

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES

157

the lady for her excellent performance, and some praising the Architect for his most artistlike and beautiful drawing. The bridegroom especially paid marked attention to the
Architect.

"I am

vexed," he said,

'*

that the drawing

should be so perishable; you will permit me, however, to have it taken to my room, where I should much like to talk to vou about it."

them.

would give you any pleasure," said the Architect, you a number of highly finished designs for buildings and monuments of this kind, of which this is but a mere hasty sketch." Ottilie w^as standing at no great distance, and w^ent up to " to take " Do not she said to the
If it

"

"

I can lay before

forget,"

Architect,

an opportunity of letting the Baron see youV collection. He I should like you to is a friend of art and of antiquity. become better acquainted." Luciana was passing at the moment. ** What are they speaking of?" she asked. ** Of a collection of works of art," replied the Baron, ** which this gentleman possesses, and which he is good enough to say that he will show us." " Oh, let him bring them immediately," cried Luciana. ** You ^^^ll bring them, will you not? " she added, in a soft and sweet tone, taking both his hands in hers.

The present answered.
will not

**

is

scarcely a fitting time," the Architect

" What!" Luciana

cried, in a tone of authority; **you obey the command of your queen!" and then she

begged him again Avith some piece of absurdity, " Do not be obstinate," said Ottilie, in a scarcely audible
voice.

The Architect left them with a bow, which said neither yes nor no.
hardly gone, when Luciana was flying up and Alas " she exclaimed, " am I not an as she ran accidentally against her mothor, creature? I have not brought my monkey with unfortunate

He was

down

the saloon with a greyhound.

' '

!

158

THE GERMAN CLASSICS
;

They told me I had better not but I am sure it was nothing but the laziness of my people, and it is such a delight to me. But I will have it brought after me somebody shall go and fetch it. If I could only see a picture of
me.
;

the dear creature,
will

it would be a comfort to me I certainly have his picture taken, and it shall never be out of my
;

sight."
replied Charlotte. a whole volume full of the most wonderful ape faces in the library, which you can have fetched if you like. Luciana shrieked for joy. The great folio was produced instantly. The sight of these hideous creatures, so Uke to

" There

"Perhaps I can comfort you,"
is

' *

men, and with the resemblance even more caricatured by the artist, gave Luciana the greatest delight. Her amusement with each of the animals, was to find some one of her
*' Is that not like my acquaintance whom it resembled. uncle?" she remorselessly exclaimed; ''and here, look, here is my milliner M., and here is Parson S., and here the After all, these bodily! image of that creature monkeys are the real incroyahles, and it is inconceivable

why

they are not admitted into the best society." was in the best society that she said this, and yet no one took it ill of her. People had become accustomed to allow her so many liberties in her prettinesses, that at last
It

they came to allow them in what was unpretty.

During this time, Ottilie was talking to the bridegroom she was looking anxiously for the return of the Architect, whose serious and tasteful collection was to deliver the party from the apes and in the expectation of it, she had made it the subject of her conversation with the Baron, and
; ;

But

directed his attention on various things which he was to see. the Architect stayed away, and when at last he made
his appearance, he lost himself in the crowd, without having brought anything with him, and without seeming as if he

had been asked for anything. For a moment Ottilie became
annoyed, put out, perplexed.

— what shall we

call it?-

She had been saying so

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
much about

159

Mm she had promised the bridegroom an hour of enjoyment after his own heart; and with all the depth of his love for Luciana, he was e\^dently suffering from her present behavior. The monkeys had to give place to a collation. Eound games followed, and then more dancing; at last, a general
uneasy vacancy, with fruitless attempts at resuscitating exhausted amusements, which lasted this time, as indeed It had already they usually did, far beyond midnight. become a habit with Luciana to be never able to get out of bed in the morning or into it at night.

About this time, the incidents noticed in Ottilie's diary become more rare, while we find a larger nun^ber of maxims and sentences drawn from life and relating to life. It is
not conceivable that the larger proportion of these could have arisen from her own reflection, and most likely some one had shown her varieties of them, and she had written out what took her fancy. Many, however, with an internal bearing, can be easily recognized by the red thread.

FROM
*'

ottilie's DIAEY

We
we

mined
as if
**

in

because the undeterbe affected this or that way, we feel could guide by our silent wishes in our own favor,"
like to iook into the future,
it,

which

may

find ourselves in a large party without the accident which brings so many here together, thinking; should bring our friends to us as well."
**

We

seldom

Let us

live in as small a circle as

either debtors or creditors before

we will, we are we have had time to look

round."
** If we meet a person who is under an obligation to us, we remember it immediately. But how often may we meet people to whom we are, ourselves, under obligation, with-

out
**

its

even occurring to us! "

It is

nature to communicate one's-self
is

;

it is

culture to

receive

what

communicated as

it is

given."

" ** One alters so it." *' Every word a man utters provokes the opposite opinion." comes " The man of understanding ridiculous." ** The ridiculous arises out of a moral contrast." "People will they will let *' Certain defects are necessary for the existence of indi- should not be pleased.160 * ' THE GERMAN CLASSICS No one would talk much in society. and every* ' bodv likes to do that." " The foolish man often laughs where there is nothing to laugh at. the finds almost everything man of thought scarcely anything. without flattering his listeners. of keeping one's-self young." We were ." " Whoever indulges long in monologue in the presence of others. his inner nature to the surface. themselves be punished for them. in repeating much what one has heard from others only because one has not understood it. they only become impatient when they have to lay them aside.' he replied." *' There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they find to laugh at. if old friends viduality. they will patiently endure many things because of them. means." ''Argument and flattery are but poor elements out of which to form a conversation.' " allow their faults to be shown them." " Some one found fault with an elderly man for conIt is the only tinuing to pay attention to young ladies. provokes ill-will." '' The pleasantest society is when the members of it have an easy and natural respect for one another. Whatever touches him. to lay aside certain peculiarities. if he only knew how often he misunderstands others. in which two things are brought together before the mind in an innocent way.

but she seemed as if nothing which she had was her own. were the middle way more desirable than in knowing what to say and what not to say to those we Passion is love. to inquire there for the most aged and most helpless persons. her aunt's affection for her. In nothing. with orders. * He will die soon.' when man acts unlike himself. partly because her impetuosity roused and attracted so many. the new straight rise up out of the ashes. and her bridegroom's love. of life along before her. partly because she knew how to attach the rest to her bv kindness and attention. at the same time. perhaps. in such a humorous." * ' ' ' '* "Violent passions are incurable diseases. Generous she was in the highest degree. whatever place they passed through. and give them relief." ** What kind of defects may we bear with and even cultivate in ourselves? Such as rather give pleasure to others than injure them.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES '* 161 a There is a saj^ng. driving the Her court multiplied daily. n — 11 . and she did not hesitate a moment to take off a rich shawl which she was wearing and hang it over her doing it. had heaped her with beautiful and costly presents. grace- — ful way One that no one could refuse such a present so given. the means which will cure them are what first make them thoroughly dangerous. and as if she did not know the value of the things which had streamed in upon her. of her courtiers always carried about a purse." Chaptee So swept on Luciana rush V in the social whirlpool. In this way she Vol." ** ^ both raised and softened by confession. ' ' The passions are defects or excellencies only in excess. at least for the moment. One day she saw a young lady looking rather poorly dressed by the side of the rest of the party. Our passions are true phoenixes: as the old burn out.

If people older or of higher rank prevented her from being close to him. she would lost in laboring herself to supply it. address to her and thus. devoting himself to reading and pursuits. attracting about her far too many troublesome sufferers. Nothing. as she had certain features in .162 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS gained for herself all round the country a reputation for charitableness which caused her not a little inconvenience. whether far or near. But. she would stretch her attention across the entire table. nothing She heard of the state of this young man. and then out into the world with her. make him sit next to her. however. that he chose rather to shut himself up altogether. it was so annoying to him. first to small parties. in action. so much added to her popularity as her steady and consistent kindness toward an unhappy young man. that other studious . and the servants were hurried off to make up to him what distance threatened to deprive him of. The young man know what had happened to him. by the services which she pressed upon him. he might have to use only his fork. to make him sensible of what he had At dinner. then to greater. At once she contrived to prevail upon him to come to her. was quite the reverse. weighed so heavily upon his spirits. and once for all would have more to do with society. He admired her exceedingly for her exertions. This mutilation although with high honor. At last she encouraged him All his attempts he was to to write with his left hand. he had lost his right hand. and from that moment a new life opened out before him. and he had the more reason for feeling entirely satisfied about her. She showed more attention to him than to any other person particularly she endeavored. who shrank from society because. that every new acquaintance he made had to be told the story of his misfortune. while otherwise handsome and well-formed. in fact. she cut up his food for him. she always kept herself in correspondence with him. One may perhaps suppose that such behavior must have did not it caused some uneasiness to her bridegroom.

no person dared to touch her. in her own behavior.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 163 her character almost in excess. If in many ways she took pains to gain people. travel housekeeping did not sit w^ell upon them. in the remotest degree. not a single piece of hospitality was ever shown to herself and her party among the surrounding castles or mansions. because there were no children there at all. every step one took one stumbled over a child another. any liberty which she had taken herself. that such a thing as a laugh might be heard again in the house. which kept anything in the She slightest degree dangerous utterly at a distance. On the whole. There were three brothers who. by an ill tongue. would run about with anybody. her excessive recklessness let it appear that all . to regard or to dislike. or return. just as she fancied no one was free from danger of a push or a pull. she commonly herself spoiled all the good she had done. but what. She kept every one within the strictest barriers of propriety in their beha\dor to herself. which spared no one. Young married people should . one might have supposed it hdd been a maxim with her to expose herself indifferently to praise or blame. never would seem full. was every moment overleaping them. unwieldy giantess. or of being made the object of some sort of freak. on her return. was a dapper little man and an . men and all human things she was only inclined to see on the ridiculous side. purely out of compliment to one another. on the other hand. while she. And as she treated the persons. so she treated what belonged to : . In one house. had been overtaken by old age before they had got the question settled here was a little young wife with a great old husband there. Not a visit was ever paid in the neighborhood. kept up a good-natured and urbane controversy as to which should marry first. But no person ever ventured to do the same to her. . however many people were crammed into it. Old husbands (supposing the estate was not entailed) should get themselves buried as quickly as possible.

every day and squandered on ornamenting the rooms and and Ottilie and the gardener were not a little distressed to see their hopes for the next year. As little would she be content to leave Ottilie to her quiet work at home. in which she could live with so much comOttilie must go with them on their pleasure-parties and sledging-parties she must be at the balls which were being got up all about the neighborhood. A soft attractfort. one had to wonder how. their houses. and when something was said of the care which Ottilie took of the garden and of the hot-houses. for twenty miles round. or the storm. For although Ottilie went about very simply dressed. in affecting to be surprised. other people did not die of such things. She looked down with disdain on the calm. anything continued to exist. or the cold. exactly malice which produced all this destructiveness wilfulness and selfishness were what . . indeed. or the night-air. so that. at there being neither flowers nor fruit to be seen. and why should she? The delicate girl suffered not a little from it all.164 THE GERMAN CLASSICS them. every bud which showed. perhaps. . she chose to tables. not caring to consider that they were living in the depth of winter. she was always. the most beautiful person present. as the other had It was not. if were so. uninterrupted activity of the sweet girl. she not ordinarily set her off it only spoke scornfully of it. their dinner-services The ornaments of the walls of the rooms most evervthinsr. From the oldest tapestry to the most modern printed paper. from the noblest family pictures to the most frivolous new copperone as well plate: one as well as the other had to suffer — — to be pulled in pieces by her satirical tongue. particularly provoked her saucy remarks. and perhaps for a longer time. their furniture. upon it: but a genuine bitterness grew up in her feelings toward Ottilie. which every one had observed and admired. destroyed in this wanton recklessness. at least so the men thought. but every faintest scrap of green. She was not to mind the snow. but Luciana gained nothing. every have picked leaf.

than because she thought of applying his talents to any purpose. and was infinitely delighted with But it was more. when a birthday. it was Even Luciana's bridegroom was conalways the same. the more so. His love for the arts ciate his talent. On cultivated the acquaintance of the Architect. indeed. his knowledge small. perhaps. . and as her inventive genius was usually somewhat common. ance there was more than one aim at which he could arrive at once. and had suggested various resources for this thing and that. Ottilie was able to give the Baron the most satisfactory answer to his inquiries as to the relation of the Architect with their family. stantly occupied with her. seeing his collection of works of art. In the Architect he thought that he had found the man he wanted that with his assist. But she always thought she understood better than he what should be done. first or last. been exerting herself to find some situation for him .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 165 iveness gathered them all about her. her extemporized her designs could be as well executed with the help of a tolerablv handv domestic as with that of the most finished artist. that she might carry off this young man from Ottilie (for whom she fancied she saw in him a kind of inclination). Charlotte had already. whether of a living head or of one of plaster of paris. indeed. no matter whereabouts in the great rooms she was. as she was aware. he wished to build. or to a crowning. had shown himself. He the proposal. He was a collector. he had taken occasion to talk much with him on history and on other matters. very ready to help at any of festivities. or other such occasion. He had and especially from seeing the chapel had learnt to appreThe Baron was young and w^ea^thy. He had spoken to his bride of what he wished. the force of her imagination could not ascend. made her wish to pay some one an especial compliment. She praised him for it. Further than to an altar on which something was to be offered. because he desired her advice and assistance in a matter with which he was just then engaged. was keen.

the roads more impracticable. Their presence gave the castle the air of a thorough The men of rank and character formed a circle about the Baron. and his industrious nature. renunciation. who interpenetrates all things. could share with . . and in Baroness. was not allowed to be of long continuance. the crowd from time to time flooded up over the house. as the presence of an elder brother might. for more it was filled to overflowing with love for Edward only God. had charmed and entertained Her feelher. ings for him remained at the calm unimpassioned level of For in her heart there was no room blood relationship. disappointment. and the ladies yielded precedence to the The surprise at seeing both together. him the possession of that heart. and it was. Well did Ottilie remember their first visit. . and therefore it seemed all the pleasanter to spend the waning days in agreeable society. the weather grew wilder. the winter ha^dng brought all building operations to a standstill. It came out that the Count's wife was dead. binding and dividing. allow it. Meanwhile the Avinter sank deeper. the young man would have left them immediately on the completion of the chapel. the ruder the inconvenience of every one. With short intervals of ebb. His agreeable presence. most fortunate if a new patron could be found to assist him. and to make use of his talents. . Officers found their way there from distant garrison towns the cultivated among them being a most welcome addition. expectation.166 THE GERMAN CLASSICS had it not been indeed for the arrival of the party. hope. at that . Here were these two persons. Ottilie's own personal position with the Architect was as pure and unconscious as possible. therefore. such high spirits. and every word which was then uttered about marriage and separation. and the new marriage was to take place as soon as ever decency would court. Of civilians too there was no lack and one day the Count and the Baroness quite unexpectedly came driving up together.

her voice was agreeable: as for the words one understood about as little of them as one commonly does when a German beauty sings to the guitar. and an involuntary sigh escaped out of her heart. She did not conceal her desire to have something of his which should be written for herself. out of that. ''My poems?" he replied. however. he might have handed her the alphabet.th amazement. However. She herself would sing and accompany herself It was done. unable to bear it any longer. going as near the subject as she dared. to escape . so near their \\dshod-for happiness. I heard nothing but the vowels. the other endeavored to get himself out of the scrape by a few welltimed compliments. my dear sir. to imagine for herself. on this occasion. but nothing further could she get. At last. and set it to the first melody that came to hand but she was not . every one assured her that she ha(^ sung with exquisite expression. she produced scarcely anything except songs of his composing. and not all of those.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 167 time \vithout prospect for the future. A\T. The instrument she did not play without skill. she sent one of her train to him. Among the party there happened on the guitar. " *' pray excuse me. however. now standing before her. than at once she must get up something of a concert. and address them to her. to be a poet. therefore. Like the rest of the party he was perfectly courteous to She spoke to him sevher. eral times. self." The dandy said nothing and kept his secret." he added. to sound him and find out whether he had not been delighted to hear his beautiful poems so beautifully executed. whom she hoped particularly to attach to her- wishing to induce him to write a song or two. No sooner did Luciana hear that the Count was an amateur of music. I am in duty bound to express all gratitude for so amiable an intention. This evening. and she found quite enough approbation to satisfy her. If it would not have been too ill-natured. such laudatory poem as would please her. but she had looked for more. A singular misfortune befell her.

her long neck ran them all over in her mind. At the same time she had contracted an unhappy habit of accompanying what she delivered with gestures. if the truth must be told. now determined to try her fortune in recitHer memory was good. who would effect. if the thing is new to them. and whatever else is usually delivered in declamation. labor in arrangement. the regularity and yet expressiveness of her she features. to represent some real and well-known An imitation of this kind. has an inconceivably charming I see here. A short time after. their inclinations. and she was vehement without being passionate. she had to learn that the very same evening he had written. wishes. surely tions and postures. a most lovely poem. a keen-sighted man. and by some means or other contrived to bring Luciana *' to a new kind of exhibition. Her fine shape. Luciana. She recited ballad stories. ing. Avho never can disshow to advantage and where to disadvantage." Luciana was quick enough in perceiving that here she was on her own ground entirely. which *' was perfectly suited to her. if it requires some picture. what is purely epic and lyric is more confused than connected with the dramatic. dispositions.168 THE GERMAN CLASSICS out of this business without mortification. she would have entered . in a disagreeable way. and if she had only known that her beauty showed to more advantage when she was still than when — she was in motion. but. like tinguish between where they party. and capabihties." he said. which was something more than com- persons of her sort. Suppose they were to try. her light-brown braided hair. soon saw through the all plimentary. her well- rounded form. because in the last case certain ungrace- fulness continually escaped her. by which. her execution was spiritless. The Count. and calculated on their pictorial effects. a number of persons with fine be able to imitate pictorial emofigures. at the foot of one of Ottilie's favorite melodies.

to supply the various cos- tumes which the original artist had arbitrarily selected. The curtain fell. in the middle of winter. all necessary pains being taken for the proper lighting of it. the colors were so happily distributed. A . and the exliibition was carried out in the presence of a large assemblage. counting out some large alms into the palm of his hand. while an old woman beside her is trying to prevent her. Architect was to be the affectionate soldier standing sorro\\'ing before him. and that in the country. that they might really have fancied themselves in another world. and the lighting managed so skilfully. was not forgotten. half from modesty. They had some good music to excite expectation. consequently. had chosen the part of the young woman in the background. somewhat advanced in The years. Luciana. and the performance opened with the BeUsarius. and was more than once raised again musical interlude kept the assembly by general desire. A which they chose was Van Dyk's Belisarius. The Count gave the Architect a few hints as to the best style of arrangement. before they observed how large an outlay what they were undertaking would require. to prevent a stoppage. The appointed evening came. They were already deep in the midst of their preparations. blind general. was to represent the seated. Luciana had nearly her whole wardrobe cut in pieces. there really being some resemblance between them. who is in the act of gi"ving him something. and to the universal satisfaction. 169 even more eagerly than she did into this natural picture- They looked out and the first the engra\'ings of celebrated pictures. Into this and other pictures they threw themselves with all earnestness. large well-proportioned man. The figures were so successful.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES making. only that the presence of the real instead of the apparent produced a kind of uncomfortable sensation. and repreAnother woman senting that she is gi^'ing too much. and he at once set up a kind of theatre. many things which they required it would be difficult to procure .

without any question whatever. in a folding drapery of white satin. this . is to be gathered air and attitude of the father. dispose the rich folds of the white satin with the most exquisite nature. his daughter stands before Mm. had the slightest pretension to be com- pared with herself. which in the modern antique of the ordinary — dresses of young ladies is hardly visible. As the fainting.170 THE GERMAN CLASSICS amused while preparation was going forward. as from all the rest. and for the attendant maidens w^ho were supporting her. neck. so that tliis picture "Father's Admonition " of Terburg. To sit on the golden throne and represent the Zeus-like monarch. showed to the greatest advantage in all its graceful. it was the wellknown design of Poussin. That the admonition is not too severe. She. and shoulders. a fine striking figure. This time Luciana had done better for herself. Ahasuerus and Esther. From this picture. is only to be seen from behind. Luciana had picked out the finest and handsomest man of the party. which she is on the point of drinking. to whose conscience he seems to be addressing himself. Ottilie remained excluded. the form of her head. well-shaped figures. were beyond all conception beautiful. and who does not know Wille's admirable engraving of this picture? One foot thrown over the other. to surprise them with a picture of a higher stamp. she had cunningly selected pretty. however. For was really of inimitable perfection. not one among whom. and. slender elegance in The Architect had contrived to the really old costume. and the waist. sinking queen she had put out all her charms. a third they had taken the so-called from the that she is not being utterly put to shame. highest splendor. sits a noble knightly-looking father. but her whole bearing appears to signify that she is collecting herself. while the mother seems as if she were trying to conceal some slight embarrassment she is looking into a glass of wine. Here was an opportunity for Luciana to appear in her Her back hair.

Charlotte now had hopes. for the bridegroom consid- ered himself the most fortunate person in the world. ^'Tournez. in which. and nose or eyes out of the transparent glass. s'il vous plait. however. 171 and pro- duced universal delight. We need not describe the number of smaller after-pieces for which had been chosen Flemish public-house scenes and father continued to the mother did not sit lift fair and market days. She was assured of her daughter's happiness. as soon as the first tumult of youth and betrothal should have subsided in her. of ridding herself of the rest of the party at the same time. without favoring the spectators ^\'ith the expression of her face. The in his attitude of admonition. His income was large. The daughter remained standing in her shame. and the very natural wish to see the face and front of so lovely a creature. and only to himself through her. understood their ^advantage too well. The spectators could never be satisfied with demanding a repetition of the performance. and had mastered too completely the idea of these works of art to >'ield to the most general clamor. when they had done looking at her from behind." which w^as echoed all round the room. after having endured two weary months of it. although she seemed to be drinking. that it gave him an unpleasant feeling when any newly-arrived person did not devote himself . promising to return And in the first happy weeks of their approaching union. and now he found himself further wonderfully favored in the happiness of becoming the possessor of a young lady with whom all the world must be charmed.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES living imitation far exceeded the original picture. the wine did not diminish. at last became so decided that a merry impatient young wit cried out aloud the words one is accustomed to write at the bottom of a page. He had so peculiar a way of referring everything to her. The Count and the Baroness departed. his disposition moderate and rational. The performers.

On New Year's day he was to follow him and spend the Carnival at his house where Luciana was promising herself infinite happiness from a repetition of her charmingly successful pictures. sledging and shouting. hunting and riding. and there the news of the day and the scandals and what else forms the amusement of people at courts and cities gave the imagination another direction. Out of this arose many contretemps. carried away by Luciana 's charms to which he had been so long devoting himself. Everything was settled about the Arcliitect. and was far from flattered if. . till at last in the city. declaring that they would soon have eaten out her winter stores. they approached the residence. room enough. And now they were to break up. and then we will go on round the circle.172 THE GERMAN CLASSICS heart and soul to her. but few conveniences and no preparations to receive them. being fortunately a man of some wealth. The next day they all packed up and the swarm There indeed they found alighted on a new property. as well as from a hundred other things. when the nobleman who had represented Belisarius. But this could not be managed in an ordinary way. he neglected her for a close intimacy with himself. and Luciana with her train of attendants (her aunt had gone on some time before) swept at once into a new sphere of life. Luciana willed that it should be so. which entirely enchanted Luciana. particularly with elderly men. ** Why not manage then in the Polish fashion! You come now and eat up me. as occasionally happened. from one place to another. cried out unthinkingly. Huge hunting-parties were set on foot in the deep snow. They were one day making fun of Charlotte aloud. ' ' . all the more as her aunt and her bridegroom seemed to make so light of the expense which was required for her amusements. and so they trooped on. attended with ever^^ sort of disagreeableness women were not allowed to excuse themselves any more than men. their life became ever wilder and wilder. No sooner said than done.

the individuality.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES FROM " OTTILIE's DIARY 173 accept every person in the world as that for which he gives himself out. Every one likes what has something in it. "When. " How can the character. " never learn to to we must go ** them to find out know people when they come to us: how things stand with them. worse. cautious. That which we call politeness and good breeding effects what other\\'ise can only be obtained by ^^olence. We can put up with the unpleasant more easily than we can endure the insignificant. when we have seen how they affect those about them. I find it almost natural that we should see Aany faults in visitors. we are staying at the houses of others. a right to measure them by our own standard. For we have. only he must give himself out for something. only it must not be a disagreeable something. on the contrary. . or not even by that. and how they adapt themit is ill-will. " Intercourse with women is the element of good ' ' manners. sensible men can scarcely keep themselves in such cases from being sharp censors. find ridiculous what in more than one sense has a claim on our respect. so to Even say. to selves to their circumstances. and that directly they are gone we should judge them not in the most amiable manner. it is ignorance nay. ' ' We We We venture upon anything in society except only what involves a consequence. of a man co-exist with polish of manner? " The individuality can only be properly made prominent through good manners. when we have seen them in the midst of all their habits and environments among those necessary conditions from which they cannot escape.

as he has no rough work to do. ** The rudest fighting people at least do not go out of their character. and generally behind the roughness there is a certain latent good humor. where there ought to be respect. ** No tacles on his nose. It is akin to love. " Behavior a mirror in which every one displays his own image. so that in difficulties it is possible to get on. The proper education would be that which communicated the sign and the foundais There rest on a deep it tion of at the is same time. No one would put his hat down when he had scarcely paid the ordinary compliments if he knew ** how *' comical it looks. Free-and-easiness. Out arises the purest courtesy in the is outward behavior. even with them.174 '* THE GERMAN CLASSICS In life generally. when a person is tipping his chair. no one has such high advantages as a well-cultivated soldier. the most beautiful of And how were that possible without love? **We are never further from our wishes than when we imagine that we possess what we have desired. is always ridiculous. if he did but lose all pleasure in looking at one would ever come into a mixed party with specknow that at once we women him or listening to what he has to say. No one is more intolerable than an underbred civilian. ** "When we sense of propriety. and in society. no outward sign of courtesy that does not moral foundation. She cannot endure it. . ** There of it is a courtesy of the heart. all **A freely offered homage relations. are living with people who have a delicate we are in misery on their account when So I always feel for anything unbecoming is committed. and with Charlotte. From him one has a right to look for a delicacy.

gives us the feeling " " Difficulties increase the nearer we are to our end. Let is him venture to declare that he he will feel that he is free.' the proverb says. ** There is no better deliverance from the world than through art. No man is a hero to his valet. is " The business of art " To see the difiBcult of the impossible. It is Fools and modest people are alike innocuous. "Alike in the moment of our highest fortune and our deepest necessity. easily handled. as reaping. and the next he feels the conditions to which he is subject." Sowing is not so difficult .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES ** 175 No one is more a slave than the man who thinks himself free while he is not. '•^ One is apt to regard people as more dangerous than they are. " There gifted is man something terrible in the sight of a highly^ Ijing under obligations to a fool. * " Mediocrity has no greater consolation than in the thought that genius is not immortal. only your half-fools and your half-wise w'ho are really and '* truly dangerous. under conditions. and then "Against great advantages in another. The valet will probably know how to value the valet-hero. with the difficult and the good. ** " The greatest men are connected with their own century always through some weakness. and a man can form no surer bond with it than through art. there are no means of defending ourselves except love. "A man moment has only to declare that he is free. we require the artist. But that is only because it requires a hero to recognize a hero.

she had left an ill report of herself behind her. however. pened to direct. or at least not to have their taste offended.176 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Chaptek VI serious discomfort which this visit had caused some w^ay compensated to her through the fuller insight which it had enabled her to gain into her daughter 's character. either succeeding or failing as chance hap. . and been in intercourse with older people. she inquired after such members of it as were ill or infirm. and unable to appear in society. The very to Charlotte was in . not so much through what there really was objectionable in her beha\^or. and the sad. she had to be pained in a singular and unlooked-for manner. after having felt the discipline of life. after having gone through something of it. from a sense that where strangers only desire to enjoy. whom she came. as may be supposed. Luciana seemed to have prescribed it as a rule to herself not only to be merry with the merry. as through what was good and praiseworthy in it. enact the physician. Charlotte was able to itself. took with her in her carriage her attempted cures. After her daughter's departure. but miserable with the miserable and in order to give full swing to the spirit of contradiction in her. She would go to see them in their rooms. It was not the first time that so singular a character had come across her. as a mother. which she constantly . the business of parents is rather to hope. endure the appearance of symptoms v/hich for others might perhaps have been unpleasing. her knowledge of the world was of no slight service to her. although she had never seen any in which the unusual features were so largely developed and she had had experience enough to show her that such persons. in finding that. the selfishness may soften and eager restless activity find a definite direction for And therefore. uncomIn every family among fortable. and insist on prescribing powerful doses for them out of her own traveling medicine-chest. In this. often to make the happy. may come out at last really charming and amiable. cheerful.

who had made one of the party present at the time. and restore the young lady to society. because she was convinced that she was managing admirably. She lived in her own room. had to give her a circumstantial astrously. and. and talk freely for an hour at a time. as soon as she got into the house. one evening she suddenly introduced the beautiful pale creature into the midst of the brilliant. had wound her way into her confidence through music. and listen to nothing that was said to her. occup^dng herself and keeping quiet. as far as people could understand. She conducted herself in the matter more prudently than usual. At last came her fatal mistake. and fanc^-ing that she had sufficiently prepared her for it. One never been properly herself since. between curiosity and apprehension. Ottilie. first gathering about the invalid. the attempt might not have so utterly failed. and upon her condition. account of it. managed to introduce herself alone to the poor sick-souled girl. II — 12 . and then Vol.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES would 177 In this sort of benevolence she was thoroughly cruel. conducted themselves so unwisely. that she would forthwith work a miracle. and she could only bear to see the members of her own family when they came one by one. of several daughters of a family of rank nad the misfortune to have caused the death of one of her younger sisters it had destroyed her peace of mind. She never had heard of the story till Luciana was gone. and had secretly determined with herself. and she had . If there were several together. Luciana had heard of this. To each of them singly she would speak rationally enough. One of these attempts of hers on the moral side failed very dis- and this it was which gave Charlotte so much inasmuch as it involved consequences and every one was talking about it. had not the crowd themselves. wishing to make a scene. she sus- pected at once that they were making reflections upon her. trouble. glittering assembly. and perhaps. even then.

and without letting herself be deterred by this and other failures. and Ottilie had been one of those who had carried back the sufferer utterly insensible to her room. by the delicacy of her own attention to the family. and shaking their heads together. The state of the invalid herself had since that time become more and more serious. she fainted. had been reading an angry lecture to the rest of the party. Her feehngs about the she herself could not tell why. except. what a young lady like Ottilie could desire. from going on with her experimentalizing. when he did not choose to produce his collection that evening. more for the unhappy girl. So there came. and had been forced to confide her to the care of a public institution. confusing and agitating her. She felt the Ottilie. she did not attempt to deny it to Charlotte. which had led Ottilie to a wrong judgment of the Architect. Luciana meanwhile. as it often happens. hanging about her heart. without reflecting for a moment that she herself was entirely to blame. a young man like the Architect ought The latter.178 THE GERMAN CLASSICS shrinking from her again. and with their whispers. although she had so eagerly begged him to produce it. His practical refusal had remained. . the disorder had increased to such a degree that the poor thing's parents were unable to keep her any longer at home. Her deUcate sensibility could not endure it. that we dwell more on past disagreeables than on past agreeables. as it seemed. indeed. as she was convinced. ever since. which expressed. a slight misunderstanding to be spoken of. crowd fell back in terror on every side. however. in some degree to alleviate On the pain which had been occasioned by her daughter. the thing made a deep impression. just like herself. Nothing remained for Charlotte. when she took not to have refused. too. that by a careful treatment the disorder might have been unquestionably removed. matter were undoubtedly just. With a dreadful shriek. a horror at some The monster that was rushing upon her.

" said the Architect. and assured her again and again that he would gladly produce everj'thing . Nobody cares to recollect that if twenty people. through my carelessness. telling how to behave among works of art and in museums. In you the right thing is innate. by the rim. the one-andtwentieth will not find much to see there. a good circumstantial chapter were inserted." answered the Architect. . had a very " how roughly even cultivated people allow themselves to handle the most valuable works of art. \vith one. and passing judgment by anticipation." Ottilie had long." ** " In any case. like a conceited politician laying hold of a newspaper. it would not be a bad plan. and the smoothest surfaces they will take the rarest coins between the thumb and forefinger. as he is cutting the pages." replied ** Ottilie. as if they were testing the execution with the touch. For you it would be impossible." he said. Have not I. treat a work of art in this way. "and then curi- osity-collectors and amateurs would be better contented to show their valuable treasures to the world. ** 179 it. "never." *' Have not I often vexed you in this way? "asked Ottilie. many times injured " your treasures? "Never once. you would forgive me for not producing mine among No one \\dll take the trouble to hold a medal the crowd. Without remembering that a large sheet of paper ought to be held in two hands. one after the other. of an invaluable proof-engraving of some drawing which If you knew. after the chapters which tell us how we ought to eat and drink in company. cannot be replaced. . on the occurrences of the world." "Undoubtedly. and rub them up and down. if in the next edition of the book of good manners. long forgiven him but as he seemed to have taken her reproof sorely to heart. They will finger the most beautiful impressions.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES occasion to give him a gentle reproof for valid excuse to offer for himself. they will lay hold.

180 THE GERMAN CLASSICS — that he was delighted to do anything for his friends she felt that she had wounded his feelings. under the calm. although when she called her heart into counsel about it. lovely child was found. sweet. The circumstances of the matter were these: Ottilie's exclusion from the picture-exhibition by Luciana's jealousy had irritated him in the highest degree. she did not see how she could allow herself to do what he wished. A fair. another secret motive was working on him. in her seeming lowliness. He had thoroughly brought before himself how such a picture should be contrived. too. Perhaps. and at the same time he had observed with regret. unknown to himself. The Christmas holidays were approaching. and there would be no lack of shepherds and shepherdesses. therefore. that at this. ill health had prevented Charlotte from being more than rarely present. gentle glance of which the latter part of the time he had been living almost entirely alone. But \\'ithout Ottilie the thing could not be done. and that she owed him some compensation. and it became him that the very thing which he wanted was a representation with real figures of one of those picat once clear to tures of the scene in the stable —a sacred exhibition such as at this holy season good Christians delight to offer to the divine Mother and her Child. It was so hard for him to leave the house. . should take the thoughtful and attractive form of preparing a far more beautiful exliibition than any of those which had preceded it. It was not easy for her. and to leave the family. It seemed impossible to him to go away from Ottilie's eyes. was honored first by the shepherds and afterward by kings. and now he did not wish to go away without some additional proof of his gratitude. The young man had exalted her in his design to be the mother of God. which. to give an absolute refusal to a request which he — made her in the conclusion of this conversation. for the honor of one and the entertainment of the other. of the manner in which she. the most brilliant part of all the amusements at the castle.

by the hour of the evening solemnity. Charlotte was taken completely by surprise. By good fortune the infant had fallen asleep in the loveliest attitude. But when the curtain rose. The picture which presented her had been repeated so often in the world. there was no question but the underfall to the ground. whose ethereal bodies showed dim and dense. At all times man who had but few necessities. he was a Day and night. it was as if he required no her. The w^hole space was the color rather of night than of twilight. and girls the presence of the body of the divine humanity. Ottilie. When he was working for her. anci Ottilie 's presence seemed to be to him in the place of all delicacies. their fresh faces sharply lighted from below. that one could scarcely have expected any new impression to be produced. and needing other light in foreground. that by Christmas-eve everything might be latter gladly The ready. when he was busy about out food. The Architect worked day and night. the artist had contrived to carry out by an ingenious method of illumination which was concealed by the figures in the who were all in shadow. The inimitable idea that all the light should proceed from the child. and there were angels too. and lent her assistance in overcoming and overpersuading Ottilie 's hesitation in assuming so sacred a personality. introduction. all was completed. referred him and his request to Charlotte. indeed. so that nothing disturbed the contemplation when .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES and if 181 taking must she refused. half embarrassed at the proposal. gave her permission. But here. and produce the desired temper of thought and feeling. the reaUty as representing the picture itself to had its especial advantages. Bright looking boys were standing around. as if he could do withAccordingly. He had found the means of collecting some well-toned wind instruments to form an sleep . and there was nothing even of the details of the scene which was obscure. whose own brilliancy grew pale before the di\dne. in the literal sense.

the most fullest pleasure. and had seen this spectacle. and her imagination presented to her in the liveliest colors the hope that she might soon have such another darling creature on her own lap. much please him again. had true knowledge of art. who. but what had most effect on her was the child. expressing as much her own personal emotion as that of the character which she was endeavoring to was delighted with the beautiful figures. Physically dazzled. Charlotte They had hibitors exhibition. the And who can describe the mien of the new-made queen of heaven? The purest humility. although he was not in the best position for seeing. who with infinite grace had lifted off a veil to reveal her hidden treasure. as a tall. let down some little The artist had proposed to himself to transmute the first scene of night and lowliness into a picture of the curtain. expression. But Ottilie's figure. there was no one present who could comprehend the whole of this effect. Her eyes filled with tears. Unluckily. vrith indescribable and immeasurable happiness. at the great honor which had undeservedly been bestowed upon her. attitude. was displayed upon her features. exquisite feeling of modesty. partly to give the exrest. enjoyed. partly to make an alteration in the . The Architect alone. slender shepherd. represent. and to be showdng more wonder and pleasure than awe and reverence although these emotions were not forgotten.182 THE GERMAN CLASSICS the eye rested on the seeming mother. was looking in from the side over those who w^ere kneeling. excelled man who all which any painter has ever represented. men- tally surprised. At this moment the picture seemed to have been caught. and there to have remained fixed. glance. the people round appeared to have just moved to turn away their half-blinded eyes. and were to — be traced upon the features of some of the older spectators. to be glancing again toward the child with curious delight. would have been in fear lest any portion of it should move he would have doubted whether anything could ever so A .

felt had hitherto play. She therefore made up her mind not to produce a disturbance. and it was a relief. and to go on with her character. therefore. . feeling and reflection began to clash and Her eyes filled with tears. A emotion came over her. with the exception of Charlotte and a few members of the household. She was. her kind instructor. in the semi-theatrical position in which she found perfectly at her ease. Ottilie. because. The whole picture was one blaze of light. The curtain rose.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 183 splendor and glory. and the question rose in her heart: Dare you confess. and for this purpose had prepared a blaze of light to fall in from every side. singular . self to see you now under this disguise? swift as thought. Looking out under her long eyelashes. Who was no one was able to tell her. no one had \N'itnessed tliis devout piece of artistic disherself. while she gain within her. How many things had happened since she last heard the voice of him. Ottilie perceived the figure of a man sitting by Charlotte. from the skill with which they had been selected. how little can you deserve to appear it all to him ? before him under this sainted form and how strange must it not seem to him who has only known you as your natural In an instant. and had been warmly received by Charlotte. and instead of the full depth of shadow. She did not recognize him but the voice she fancied was that of the Assistant at the school. it produced a gentle softening of tone. forced herself to continue to appear as a motionless figure. . which this interval was required to kindle. to her when the child began to stir — and the artist saw himself compelled to give the sign that the curtain should fall again. which. dare you acknowledge If not. in some degree annoyed when in the interval she learnt that a stranger had come into the saloon. and she was surrounded by splendor perfectly infinite. It was a sight to startle the spectators. Candles and lamps blazed out. indeed. Like a flash of forked lightning the stream of her joys and her sorrow rushed s^Wftly before her soul. there now were only the colors left remaining.

visitor. He had lingered and now he forced himself away. for whom they felt a real regard. completely supplied. during the last few moments. . At the same time. to know that he w^as leaving them in good society with the estimable Assistant. after he was gone. he cannot help flattering himself that in so long-sustained a labor the feeling could not have remained utterly without an interest in its accomplishment. with a silent envy of the fortunate unknown. at least he could not stay to witness with his own eyes. what. which he had watched them both for some time past at work. Was had she better change her dress ? She did not hesitate she did the last and in the interval she endeavored to collect and to compose herself. so well. so lingered. he must endure as he could. and as it seemed to his modesty. she was now in still greater embarrassment. nor did she properly recover her self-possession until at last. when he thought of their goodness in its relation to himself. but To upon ladies at his departure the great rehef of this half-melancholy feeling. and whose stay with them it would be their endeavor to make as agreeable as they could. Such a present is the most which a true-hearted man can receive for while agreeable he thinks of the unwearied play of the beautiful fingers at the making of it. There is in all women a peculiar circle of inward interests. he could not help feeling it a little painful to see his place so soon. to whom it was by-and-by to belong. now that at last he was obliged to go. Chapter VII In so far as the Architect desired the happiness of his kind patronesses.184 THE GERMAN CLASSICS If the painful feeling of being unable to meet a valued friend had. however. she had welcomed the new this strange disguise? or Mm in she to present herself to — . . in her ordinary costume. The ladies had now a new visitor to entertain. the made him a present of a waistcoat. been distressing Ottilie in addition to her other emotions. it was a pleasure to him.

No ornaments. quite another sort of life was commenced. expecting to please him as much as they were pleased themselves. they continue to keep the government to themselves. and directed to the ends which most suited his taste. he never said a single word. on the other hand. . while he was ^^'ith them. In outward social intercourse. and man in the cultivated world can ever take it from them. I cannot like said. the life which Thus arose a very perceptible contrast to had been going on hitherto. consecrate them. . had been exerting himself and putting out his talents for their gratification and for the pur- no poses of his friends and business and amusement. Of the impersonated picture which received him on his arrival. and deck them out. all the more as the Assistant could not entirely approve of their having interested themselves in such subjects so exclusively. following at the same time his own fancy and his own inclination. But now in a short time. The Architect. that by so doing they may nourish in themselves a temper of piety.'* he *' is anything but pleasing to my taste. and can consecrate every spot into a temple. particularly in reference to the cultivation of young people. and to treat in his conversation of men and human relations. he did not hesitate to express a very contrary opinion about it. they ^\'ill gladly and easily allow themselves to take their tone from the person with whom at the moment they are occupied and thus by a mixture of impassiveness and susceptibility. What pleases me is to see a home-service of God held in the saloon where . On the other hand. not even the very simplest. His great gift was to . should disturb in us that sense of the Divine Being which accompanies us wherever we are. and from which nothing in the world can divorce them. through the presence of the Assistant. talk well. had been conducted in tliis spirit. " This mixing up of the holy with the sensuous. men to set apart certain special places. when they took him to see the church and the chapel with their new decorations. by persisting and by yielding.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 185 which remain always the same.

found something which he might do for her in his own department and she had her garden-children. with the help of which you may do this. . and by the turns which he gave them. clean uniforms. The answers to your questions may be as unsatisfactory as they will. the most excellent in men. and amuse themselves with games and dances. and a great deal more than this. care that your counter-question shall draw their thoughts .186 . and. to find out.** ** '* Perhaps. '* I listened with all my attention. marshalled up into the great saloon. if you only take . with all this questioning and answering. in the space of less than one hour he had really given them important instruction and assistance. has no form. where they have their parties. In their bright." replied the Assistant. The Assistant examined them in his own way. with their regular orderly movement. and one should be cautious how one gives it any form except noble action. had already probed it more deeply. and yet I cannot tell the least how I should begin to bring them to be discussed in so short a time so methodically. what to be directlv communicated. However. I will not hide from you one very simple maxim. they may wander wide of the mark. and their own natural vivacity. and then it will be easy for you. The highest. whatever you like. in conversation. and by a variety of questions. they looked exceedingly well. Take any subject. make yourself thoroughly acquainted with it in all its parts. THE GERMAN CLASSICS people come together to eat. how much about it has already developed itself in them what requires to be stimulated. an idea. with a mass of children. a substance. whom the Architect had reviewed shortly before his departure. in the short time he had been at the castle. as the . we ought to make a secret of the tricks of our own handicraft." mode also Charlotte. children keep fast hold of it. Nothing was brought forward except things which were quite familiar. soon brought to light the capacities and dispositions of the children and without its seeming so. ^^ How did you manage that! " asked Charlotte. who was already generally acquainted with his of thinking. marched away.

" said the Assistant. Every kind of uniacross the court. The greatest mistake which he can make is to allow himself to be run from the subject." *' " WoI approve of that. " wards. expressed Ms satisat seeing them wearing a uniform. generates a military habit of thought. without dissipation. if this desirable equipoise were easy to be preserved. Do you try this on your own account the next time the children come vou will find vou will be greatlv entertained bv it vourself. "Men.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 187 and senses inwards again. and a smart." he should wear a uniform from their childhood upThey have to accustom themselves to w^ork toto lose themselves among their equals. not to know how to keep fast with which he is engaged. whatever you do vat\\ them. to obey in and to work on a large scale. learn only what the teacher desires them to learn. comprehend. entirely. When I introduce them to you." said Charlotte. I see. when Charlotte called out to him to look again at the children. All boys are born You have only to soldiers. men should go about in every sort of variety of dress. and the subject will be presented to them in the light in which he wishes them to see it. He form. my girls on such unity of costume. I hope to gratify you by a parti-colored mixture. masses. if you do not allow yourself to be driven from your own position the children will at last — reflect. of what we must do in life. of teaching is the reverse. moreover. and he w^as going on further with the subject. '* whose merry troop were at the moment mo\'ing faction said. gether. their storming parties and scaling parties." replied the other. each . and in instruction the first commandment is to permit no away ^vith to the point : dissipation of it. straight-forward carriage." Variety." replied " if I do not insist with Ottilie. you will not blame me. watch them at their mock fights and games. were the best motto for both teaching and life." " On the other hand.'' " That is *' The right method very good. In society we must keep the attention long upon nothing.

She always stands isolated. true. Indeed. With much care. because of each one of them is required everything which the entire sex have to do." In other ways he found. that each may learn to feel w^hat sits well upon her and becomes her. But a woman might live to an eternity. to his great satisfaction. and work alone. Cleanliness. as a mother. And for a more weighty reason as well because it is appointed for them to stand alone all their lives. It is her nature to do so. for instance." to say the truth in a strange way." answered Char^ never anji. yes!" replied the Assistant. that nothing had been done for outward display.hing for ourselves?" '* '' In respect of other 0. not to give the other sex too great an advantage over us. Charlotte. '' That seems ''Are me to be a we then to be much as thinking '' One has only '' of producing a duplicate of herself. women assuredly. He would make a second man if there were none. and will be alone.188 THE GERMAN CLASSICS style and her own likings. and at We will accept what is ' ' "in directing these children only to what they can immediately and usefully put in practice. this wise. and expressed his marked approbation of it. and do common work with them too. will accustom them to wear their clothes with pleasure to themselves and everything is are entirely right. but all was . if in future we come to feel a little malicious satisfaction when our lords and masters do not get on in the very best way together. and yet as women w^e will hold together with women." he said. as a housewife. gained if they can be induced to enter into what they do with cheerfulness and self-reflection. But observe a young lady as a lover. you must not take it ill of us. . Each one of them excludes all others. With a man it is altogether different. sensible person went on to examine more closely how Ottilie proceeded with her little '* You pupils. Even the most empty-headed woman is in the same case. She is always alone. as a bride. without even so to lotte." follo^ng her own — paradox." said last the strangest thing will seem to be good for us out of your observations.

and everything is as it should be. and stitch together a few petticoats for them." said the Assistant. more delicate relations especially for such as arise out of society. is a sorely finer. "only you must not betray me. and one member of it help the others. would scarcely think that sufficient. it. " Womei. We in are. if we do not overstep the proper measure Onlj^ it is so easy. " But among the higher ranks the problem We have to provide for higher. intricate one. It is indispensable. the further step into life will not then be great. and the whole household know how to supply its own wants. without being mothers. One can see easily. "Indeed I \\'ill. obliged to give our pupils an outward cultivation. while one is proposing to cultivate . in every one of them. smiling. which do not concern us here.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 189 inward. life but life flatters not us." "To be mothers'?" replied Ottilie. and the girls to be mothers. if the elder sisters will then take care of the younger. " I consider you very fortunate in having been able to go so methodically to work mth your pupils. therefore. If your very little ones run about with their dolls." he cried. and it may be really valuable. that he holds himself far fitter to be a master." answered he. to going out into service. "might the whole business of education be summed up. How many men would like to . "In how few words. our young men tliink themselves a great deal too good for servants. And. what at the end they must acknowledge whether they like it or not? But let us leave these considerations. They have to look forward. and designed to supply what was indispensably necessary." "And for that reason we should say nothing about it to " We flatter ourselves on into them. it is necessary. . indeed. acknowledge at the outset. and such a girl will find in her husband what she has lost in her parents. if people had but ears to hear!" " Will you try whether I have any ears?" said Ottilie. Educate the boys to be servants.

" How true Ottilie felt were these words What had not a — ! passion. I may succeed in cultivating purely in my pupils that.190 THE GERMAN CLASSICS indefinite. since I have devoted myself to this occupation. and that only. Here lies the problem which more or less must be either solved or blundered over by educators. that I able to say to myself. The Lady Superior of the school was advanced in years. how much at once committed to oblivion. ' ' all Many things. male and female. which was now so near It was not without a purpose that the young man had of a wife for with all his diffidence. is me of how How much in a little while stripped off. which they will require when they pass out into ! may be the field of independent activity and self-reliance. for some person whom she could take into partnership with herself. in this sense is their education completed. with the companionship of some faithful helpmate. combined to induce him on this visit to approach a few steps of before. She had been already for some time looking about among her fellow-laborers. A toward his aim. spoken of a helpmate he could not refrain from thus remotely hinting at his own wishes. Another education there is indeed which will again speedily recommence. do not please me because experience tells little service they are likely to be in after-life. I cannot but entertain a devout hope that one day. and at last . as soon as the young lady finds herself in the position of a housewife or a mother " In the meantime. done to educate her in the trials did she not see hovering before her — ! — . indeed. if we do not give it to ourselves. the children for a wider circle. to drive them out into the without keeping before our eyes the real requisites of the inner nature. number of circumstances and accidents. with which we furnish our scholars at the . and work on well nigh through all the years of our life the education which circumstances will give us. school. little ! dreamed What past year if she looked forward only to the next to the very next.

had not an unexat. perhaps. such things do. and yet again there were favorable circumstances on the other side to counterbalance them. Accidentally the school was mentioned. Several modes of escape from the difficulty were suggested. The appearance of remarkable people. in any and every circle. as a matter of indifference. to enter upon it as sole proprietor. and under their present circumstances. as many circumstance might make the castle. before his eyes and before his heart. had found it desirable to make themselves particularly acquainted with this one. passed. She had insisted again and again that Ottilie must be sent away. Ottilie was secretly . He was to work with her in it. Luciana had left the school. pected visit given a special impulse to his hesitation. culties A number of diffi- suggested themselves. no decision would have been no step would have been taken. in whom she had the highest ground for feehng confidence. The Count and the Baroness. she had talked over with Charlotte the whole affair of Edward and Ottilie. however. It the affair with Edw^ard. She tried every means to encourage Charlotte to do it. and the Assistant well. as to the value of the various schools. and this very it desirable that she should leave And yet. as if it was his own and after her death. Ottilie could therefore return w^th the less difficulty. however. He was to conduct the business of the school with herself. can never be without its effects. they were more easily able to carry on these inquiries in arrived company. . that he should find a wife who would cooperate w^th him. The Baroness. Of some little had transpired. almost every one being in difficulty about the education of their children. The principal thing now seemed to be. which was generally so well spoken of. as her heir. and to keep her from being frightened by Edward's threats. had something else in view as While she was last at the castle. who often found themselves asked for their opinion.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 191 had made proposals to the Assistant.

in a delicate. substantial conversation. something to which hitherto she had been an entire stranger. Moreover. he w^ould have been glad to have had her for a daughter. wliicli made the Baroness more resolved than ever to pay her intended visit there. he might . the Baroness had made liim perceive clearly that Ottilie must always remain a poor. The Count conceived a liking for Ottilie.192 THE GERMAN CLASSICS and his incipient passion. yet distinctions of this kind were fast disappearing in the temper of the time. this lady might not have devised against her? As things were. She went. She therefore artfully urged the Assistant. having in his recent visit learnt to know her better. and render her more innocuous for the future to the peace of mind of married women. Thus a second time. where his plans and his wishes. those who. the world appeared first worth regarding. it was enough if she could get her married. The Count also spoke with much interest of her. believing that she could see. to set out on a little excursion to the castle. the world had been utterly forgotten in the presence of the Count. To be related to a wealthy family. For even with the largest property. of rank between them. could be of service to nobody. it was said. she made acquaintance with the Assistant. She had been drawn toward him. and spoke of Ottilie. looked over the establishment. she had felt attracted by him. and worse than the first Who knows time. as standing in a nearer degree of relationship. that she could perceive in his solid. of which he made no secret to the lady. In her intercourse with Edward. she was in the way of the Baroness. portionless maiden. and in his heart he nourished good hopes of success. indeed. With the fullest consent of the Superior he started off on his expedition. appear to . forthwith take steps to realize. The attraction was mutual. He knew that Ottilie was not ill-disposed toward him and although it was true there was some disproportion . men have a feeling that it is not right to deprive of any considerable sum. in times when passions ran hotter than they do nowa-days. what. but effective manner.

which showed itself more in actions than in words. and. however. of a higher insight into the things of the world. in respect of a freer carriage. A favorable reception raised his hopes." Hereupon the Assistant signified. she would be taken. 193 to possession and really it is a strange thing. He did not wish to be prolix about it. In Ottilie 's presence she said to him. supposing he made no will at all. Ottilie herself knew best how much method and connection there was in the style of instruction out of which. 11 — 13 . a certain inward shyness always held him back. with a clear perception and composed expression. more developed. Charlotte gave him an opportunity for saj^ng something. in order methodically and thoroughly to make her own forever what to the world was only imparting her in fragments and pieces. in that case. generally more conversible than he had known her. How do you find Ottilie? You had better say while she is here. he found Ottilie altered much for the better. that the immense privilege which a man has of disposing of his property after his death. of an easier manner in speaking.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES have a fuller right . " Well now. he grew to feel himself enon a level with Ottilie. you have looked closely enough into everything which is going forward in my circle. if you please. but when he attempted to approach his proper object. He found Ottilie indeed not altogether so open tirely with him as usual. Vol. how that. but that he still believed it might be of serious advantage to her if she would go back for some little time to the school. he so very seldom uses for the benefit of those whom he loves. but she was considerably matured. and often too late to be of service. Thus. Once. She was ready to give him the fullest insight into many things which were in any way connected with his profession. while on his journey. rather perplexing her than satisfying her. only out of re- gard to established usage appearing to consider those who would inherit his estate from him.

Ottihe. It seemed to her as if nothing in the world was disconnected so long as she thought of the one person whom she loved and she could not conceive how. the pres- ence of so dear a companion and helper had become indispensable to herself. She hoped that find himself a happy would go right and one way or another they would be able to settle something for Edward would soon come back and . if Ottilie continued to wish it. be connected at all. thought only how to gain time. there commonly follows a sort of pause. which gave occasion to a find traces in Ottilie 's diary. After an important conversation which has furnished matter for after-reflection to all who have taken part in it. had long desired her return to the school. As soon as he saw that it it contained nothing but apes. She said that she herself. Ottilie did not venture to say anything against it. he shut up It again. may have been however. she could not acknowledge what it was which these words made her feel. without him. At that time. as well as Ottilie. anything could . this. The Assistant listened with delight to this qualified assent. which in appearance is like a general embarrassment. conversation of which we . Charlotte. still she would offer no obstacle at some future period. however. on her side. and to make entirely her own what had been interrupted. and came at last on the folio of engravings which had remained lying there since Luciana's time. father then she was convinced all . Charlotte replied to the proposal with a wise kindness. although the very thought made her shudder. The Assistant turned over the leaves of various books. to her going back there for such a time as would enable her to complete what she had begun. They walked up and down the saloon. because she was hardly able to explain it to herself.194 Ottilie THE GERMAN CLASSICS had nothing to say against this.

wdth every shrub which we pass bj'.' he said. everyday connecBut he. One lowers one's-self sufficiently when one looks at them merely as animals. must have become another man. too. and black people. we stand in a real relation. They are our genuine compatriots. dissipated sort of life. torn out of its natural environment. about one's-self. and pigmies. The birds which hop up and down among our branches. '' tigers are at home. that it was the same with him." and monstrous ** Just now he acknowledged to me. which sing among our leaves. with every blade of grass on which we tread. But let a man ask himself whether or not every strange creature. to be able to endure monkeys. belong to us they speak to us from our childhood upward. . Palm-trees vdW not allow a man to wander among them with impunity and doubtless his tone of thinking becomes very different in a land where elephants and tion with other marvels." Many times when a certain longing curiosity about these strange objects has come over me. With the trees which blossom and put out leaves and bear fruit in except what our own neighborhood." '' It is a sure mark of a certain obliquity. we ought to know nothing ' ' is actually alive immediately around us. It is a mark of a motley. Of nature." . but it is really wicked to give way to the inclination to look for people whom we know behind such It is masks. which is only deadened by custom. does not at first sight make a sort of painful impression upon : him. I could never make myself at home with worms and beetles. I have to thank our kind Assistant that I have never been vexed with natural history. I have envied the traveler who sees such marvels in living.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES FROM ** 195 OTTILIE's DIARY strange how men can have the heart to take such pains with the pictures of those hideous monkeys. to take pleasure in caricatures faces. and parrots. and we learn to understand their language.

for one single Individuals may be left to occupy themselves with whatever amuses them. and more valuable. Even in great and wealthy families who are under large obligations to their find men thinking more of their than their fathers. a feeling for one single good good poem. grandfathers Such reflections as these suggested themselves to our Assistant. Either we are forcibly bound up in the present. we commonly . where the various plant gods and animal gods stand about embalmed. and seek back for what is utterly lost.' " ' '' . Chaptek VIII Theee are but few men who care to occupy themselves with the immediate past. For what is the result of all these. It may be well enough for a priest-caste to busy itself with such things in a twilight of mystery. may be so easily thrust aside by them. or we lose ourselves in the long gone-by. Humboldt talk!" "A cabinet of natural curiosities we may regard like an Egyptian burying-place. except what we know as well without them. because what is nearer to us. and rehabilitate it. that the human figure preeminently and peculiarly is made in the image and likeness of God?" "A teacher who can arouse action. are such as know how to describe and to represent to us the strange wonderful things which they have seen in their proper locality. as. with whatever gives them pleasure.196 '' THE GERMAN CLASSICS The only inquirers into nature whom we care to respect. they have no place or business and we must beware of them all the more. But in general instruction. each in its How I should enjoy once hearing own especial element. as if it were possible to summon it up again. classified with name and form." . accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows on rows of natural objects. whatever they think useful but the proper study of mankind is man. on one of those beautiful days in which the ancestors.

the son will at once seek to extend himself. no one ever spoke of them. Hardly any one even went near them.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 197 departing ^vinter is accustomed to imitate the spring. ** While life is sweeping us forward. w^e are scarcely able to form a state of things conception. and to base one's enjoyment in separation from the world. Of the its when every little town was obliged to have walls and moats." said the Assistant. to spread liimself over a wide surface. He remarked upon it to Charlotte on his return she did not take it unkindly. do." replied Charlotte. If the youth of the son falls in the era of we may feel assured that he will have nothing in with his father. the largest cities take down their walls. if we look at it our actions are no more than the plans and the desires of the time which we are compelled to cany out. If the father lived at a time when the desire was to accumulate property. The trees had thriven admirably. and open revolution." '' Entire periods. In our days. cities . he had been walking up and down the great old castle garden. to communicate himself to others. and the interest and the outlay was now directed to the other * side. " resemble this father and son whom you have been describing. opinions. to narrow^ and to gather one's-self in. according to the design of him who had planted them. on. and admiring the tall avenues of the lindens." ** No doubt. and the smallest manor-houses were only accessible by a draw-bridge. Time passes and interests. to secure the possession of it. prejudices. and in it. common out his closed stores. ''And who is strong enough to withstand the stream of w^hat is around him? closely. out into the free and the open. and the formal walks and flower-beds wliich had been laid out by Edward's father. "we fancy that we are acting out our own impulses we believe that we choose ourselves what we wall . and now when they ought to have begun to be valued and enjoyed. the moats of the princes' castles are £lled in. and what we will enjoy. ." she replied. w^hen the castle of the nobleman was built in a swamp. But in fact. thoughts.

No one feels himself easy in a garden which does not look like the open country. we choose to be entirely free. and draw in again behind the solemn walls and lindens of his grandfather. She therefore answered '' You and I are not old enough without any discomposure to have lived through very much of these contradicyet tions. to be things? . and the golden age was before the door. and when I think at the same time of what the country and the town then were. and the spirit of moderation is at once with us again. as well as the most constrained. Men who are obliged to make use of their space and their soil. There must be nothing to remind him of form and constraint. \\'ill speedily enough raise walls be sure of their crops and plants. Do you conceive it possible. Believe me. and yet when I look back into my own early youth. and to draw our breath mthout sense of confinement. it is quite possible that your son may become indifferent to all which you have been doing in the the park. my friend. and when one travels and sees all this. parents and children. that we can ever return again out of this into another." secret pleasure which it gave Charlotte to have a son foretold to her. Let want re-appear. condition has its own burden along with it. and even the man of large possessions will feel at last that he must make the most of all which belongs to him.198 are no THE GEEMAN CLASSICS more than great places. I have But is there nothing to advance against what you say. up round their gardens to Out of this will arise by degrees a new phase of things: the useful will again gain the upper hand. beautiful park. the most relaxed The first presupposes abundance. of notliing which one can do to remedy this natural course Are father and son. made her forgive the Assistant his somewhat unfriendly prophecy of how it might one day fare tall The with her lovely. into our former condition?" '* '' Every Why should we not?" replied the Assistant. when I remember the style of complaints which I used then : to hear from older people. one might fancy that universal peace was just established. and leads to extravagance.

it is But and allow him the same innocent liberty which One form of activity may be woven into another. instead of completing^ '* it. and thus mak- He had been already too long absent from home. at and to build ." replied the Assist- one which will be but seldom put in pracThe father should raise his son to a joint tice by men. for Edward. ing himself a new link to secure her favor. however. and returned with these prospects and hopes to the Superior. for the child. the while. but it cannot be pieced on to it. instead of following on upon the same idea. domestic matters. she kept own room. to think She had indeed utterly resigned herself she desired to continue to exert herself to the extent of her power for Charlotte. and is elevating it? There ' ' a rational remedy for it. and yet he could not make up his mind to return there until after a full conviction that he must allow the approaching epoch of Charlotte's confinement first to pass by before he could look for any decision from her in respect to Ottilie. The ladies who had gathered about her were her closest companions. He should permit him t8 plant ant. Is it necessary that he must stand in contradiction to his father? Must he destroy what his parents have erected.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 199 always thus unable to understand each other? You have been so kind as to prophesy a boy to me. Nothing could save her from utter distraction. Ottilie managed all Charlotte's confinement in her more what she was doing. was now approaching. he allows to himself. the moment when he saw himself of sajing something agreeable to Charlotte." The Assistant was glad to have had the opportunity. hardly able. to which no grown branch admits of being fastened. . except patiently to do the duty which each day brought with it. ownership with himself. He therefore accommodated himself to the circumstances. obliged to take his leave. . But she could not see how it would be possible for her. A young shoot may be readily and easily grafted with an old stem.

. we inevitably go wrong on one side or the other. and relations were all undertaken and they were to be written and sent off at once. should leave his bles. it was the very image of its father. and set aside all immediate difficulThe baptism should not be delayed a day longer than ties. and in wishing to spare all sides. was unable to see the likeness. and backward and forward. to bind together the past and the future. Once already Charlotte had felt most painfully the absence of her husband. should be known as widely as possible through the ill-natured and letters to friends The by Mittler. which every friend volunteered.sing. with one voice. and that person knew better . in the grave. The first among all Charlotte's friends who came to wish her joy was Mittler. . as she wished the new mother joy. when she had to make preparations for her A daughter's marriage. the opinions. that the good fortune which he considered so important for the family. It was highly necessary. to remove all anxieties. arguments. The child should be called Otto what name would he bear father's friend? It required the so fitly as that of his father this and of his peremptory resolution of man to set aside the innumerable considerations. and the ladies declared. He was admitted to see her. He could not have the choosing of the name by which the child was hereafter to be called.200 THE GERMAN CLASSICS son was brought happily into the world. Only Ottilie. It always happens on such occasions that when one inconvenience is removed. scarcely able to conceal his triumph even before Ottilie. difficulties. a fresh inconvenience seems to arise. and. and kissed the child with all her heart. who had one foot already necessary. hesitations. The old clergyman. up and down. he thought. when alone with Charlotte he broke fairly out with it and was at once ready with means . what this person knew. And now the father could not be present at the birth of his son. He had placed expresses ready to bring him news the instant the event took place.

and to dwell all the longer on the subject. he fancjdng he saw in the little He had features a most striking likeness to the Captain. recollected his old performances when he had been in the ministry. on every sort of occasion. which at all times has a con\iction that. the prayers were offered. The child lay in Ottilie 's arms.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES misinterpreting world. as in the midst of a circle consisting entirely of He began. and indeed it was one of his peculiarities that. never seen a resemblance so marked. started as well. whatever happens. express. toward the conclusion of the service. Mittler. and how he would express himself about At this time he was now well-known friends. The likeness would have surprised any one. It altogether escaped the eagerness of the orator. good old man would gladly have sat down still less did . that . however. who was full of his subject. came in with slo\>j^ steps. who next had to receive the child. to put himself quietly into the place of the clerg\Tnan to make cheerful speeches aloud. 201 entangle- For indeed these late ments and perplexities liad got abroad among the public. and as she was looking affectionately down at it. happens only in order that it may have something to talk about. supported to hold the child as sponsors. therefore. The ceremony of the baptism was to be observed with all it was to be as brief and as private as possible. as he thought he saw in Charlotte's gratified manner that she was pleased with his doing the so. The infirmity of the good old clerg}^man had not permitted him to accompany the ceremony with more than the usual liturgy. ive of his duty and his hopes as godfather. by the servants of the church. The people came together Ottilie and Mittler were The old pastor. due honor. he was the less able to contain himself. it opened its eyes and she was not a little startled when she seemed to see her own eyes looking at her. he always thought what he would like to say. it. but . Mittler.

Ottilie alone stood contemplating the slumberer. whose features still retained their gentle sweet exThe life of her soul was pression. but with the bodily eye. he turned at last to the old man with the words. say with Simeon. why should the bodily life any longer drag on in weariness? . and thus strengthened her. the coffin and the cradle. you may now well Lord. for mine eyes have seen the savior of this " He was now in full swing toward a brilliant peroration. and gave her life for her own. and not in the dress in which she had been accustomed to see him. she seemed to be looking into a clear but In this she would see Edward softly illuminated space. But though Ottilie was frequently led by melancholy incidents which occurred in the day to thoughts of the past. which assured her of the existence of her beloved.202 THE GERMAN CLASSICS he think that he was on the way to occasion a more serious evil. to see them and to realize them. with the greatest distinctness. After he had described with all his power of impressiveness the relation in which every person present stood toward the child. with a kind of envy. the more utterly it had taken them by surprise. now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. was a hard trial to the spectators the harder. "And you. when he perceived the old man to whom he held out the toward it. he was found to be dead. of separation and of loss. Hardly prevented from falling. killed. thereby putting Ottilie's composure sorely to the proof. to comprehend child. notwithstanding the instant assistance which was rendered. When she laid herself down at night to rest. but in military uni- . at night she had strange visions given her to comfort her.' my ' worthy father. To see thus side by side birth and death. at one moment these fearful opposites. and immeand sink backward. and was floating among sweet sensations between sleep and waking. house. first appear a little to incline diately after to totter not with the eye of imagination. he was lifted to a seat. but.

at last. but always in a natural one. The now found in the garden the fruits of her carefulEverything shot up and came out in leaf and flower at its proper time. she felt refreshed and comforted she could say to herself.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 203 form. for which she had to console the gardener. but it therefore burst out more rapidly and more exhilaratingly than usual. Little as the gardener allowed himself to have Ottilie ness. either standing or w^alking. she men. and the symmetrj^ of many a leafy coronet was destroyed. which was painted with the utmost minuteness. and she could scarcely distinguish them — sometimes they were like horses. The figure. but brought its reward in immediate and substantial enjoyment. never in the same position. She tried to encourage him to hope that it would all be soon restored again. which was darker than the bright ground. and not the least with anj'thing fantastic about him. for such grounds of comfort to be of much scr^dce to him. among the finest shoots produced by Luciana's wild ways. the advances of nature and whatever there w^as to do. There was many a chasm. Chapter IX spring was come it was late. and when. like . but he had too deep a feeling. Edward still lives. A number of plants which she had been training up under glass frames and in hotbeds. . and too pure an idea of the nature of liis business. he . sometimes the^ were mountains. and to take care of. woke again in the morning. or Ijing down or riding. She usually the midst of the apparition. but the figures were shadowy. his attention dissipated by other tastes and inclinations. Frequently she saw him surrounded with something in motion. however. . and she herself was still remaining in the closest relation toward him. with- out her ^villing it or exerting her imagination to produce it. or like trees. now burst forward at once to meet. moved readilv before her without anv effort of hers. or like went to sleep in after a quiet night. it did not remain the mere labor of hope which it had been.

after a number of attempts. to do exactly what has then to be done. which had been lately opening itself. he had formed a sort of a plan. had not been serving him honestly. is required of no one perhaps more than of a These qualities the good man possessed in an gardener.204 THE GERMAN CLASSICS could the less bear to have the peaceful course interrupted which the plant follows toward its enduring or its transient A plant is like a self-willed man. and it was on that account that Ottilie liked so well to work with him. Consequently. another in another. he considered so much useless waste and extravaall the more. but for some time past he had not found himself able to exercise his peculiar talent with any pleasure to himself. that the plants were ever striking new roots. as well as whatever had in time past been required in the ornamental gardens. he succeeded in these. eminent degree. The orders for flowers which had been made by his lord and lady in the course of the past year. in which Ottilie encouraged him the more readily because its first essential condition was the return of Edward. — every day had to be felt more and more seriously. who. and at every hour. He had a kind of shyness of the endless field of botany. One man succeeds in one thing. we can obtain all which we desire. ornamental shrubs and fashionable flowers remained in a measure strange to him. out of whom perfection. Ottilie felt herself even more Now . as in many other matters. in all seasons of the year. and putting out their shoots. as he saw many valuable plants disgance appear. he fancied. In his manage- ment shoots of the orangery. and the strange names humming about his ears made him cross and ill-tempered. A calm eye. a silent method. in budding and growing cuttings from the carnations and But the new auriculas. he might challenge nature herself. if we will only treat him his own way. and as he had ceased to stand on the best possible terms with the nursery gardeners. he understood perfectly. of the bulbous flowers. whose absence in this. Whatever concerned the fruit-gardening or kitchen-gardening.

as a mere insignificant creature. and renew and strengthen the union between them! Ottilie saw all this so clearly that she represented it to herself as conclusively decided. that it should grow up under the eyes of its father and its mother. and never so poor. and for herself. That everything which she knew to be dear to Edward received especial care from her may be supposed. as they had determined not to put selves into the hands of a nurse. whose immediate attendant it was all the easier for her to be. How desirable. to carry the uncon- scious sleeping infant among the flowers and blossoms which should one day smile so brightly on its childhood among the young shrubs and plants. she had undertaken the principal charge of the child. how necessary it must therefore be. and it Ottilie liked best to take it out herself. and that. all would one day to seemed designed grow up with When belong to Mm. again! The feelings of her loss and of her gain alternated momen! ! tarily one with another. It was just a year since she had come there as a stranger. he would show himself grateful for all the care and pains which she had taken for him in liis absence! But there was also a far different employment which she took upon herself in his service. alas how much had she not also since that time lost Never had she been so rich. chasing each other through her heart. except always to set to work again at what lay nearest to her. enjojing the free air. wherever the eye could see. season it was much out of doors. by their youth. And why should she not hope that he himself would now soon come back again. and she could find no other means to help herself. but to bring it up themIn the beautiful bv hand with milk and water. as con- . — after-stature. she did not hide from herself to what a high position that child was born: far and wide. with such interest and eagerness as she could coinmand. when present. How much had she not gained for herself since that time but. which. the young lord to their she looked about her.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 205 fettered to this spot.

" So. She fancied herself able to resign him. at once it belong to another. we should then be rich indeed. once more repeated over again. again The violets and the mayto its most charming chapter. and so disappears the most beautiful. which we might find in them. and all the other plants which are never tired of blossoming in autumn. became clear to her. makes a pleasant impression on us when we open always again at these pages in the book of life. the hasty words so pregnant in meaning. She only desired the well-being of her friend. It flowers are as its superscriptions and its vignettes. Under this fair heaven. and never to see Mm any more. and at last we destroy them out of discretion. We lay aside letters never to read them again. and there were many moments in which she believed it was an elevation which she had already attained. We the old story of the year is being are come now. then.206 THE GERMAN CLASSICS it. and scat- tered about in the earth. asters especially were sown in the greatest abundance. anything striking which we have heard. The one only determination which she formed for herself was never to by this bright sunshine." . all directions to form a starry heaven upon FROM OTTILIE's DIARY "Any good thought which we have read. to copy out of our friends' letters the remarkable observations. thank God. the most immediate breath of hfe. at the same time. They had taken care that the autumn should be no less brilliant than the spring. we commonly enter in our diary but if we would take the trouble. the original ideas. irrecovI intend to make erablv for ourselves and for others. cerned with she never felt at all. amends " in future for such neglect. and continue boldly on into the cold. Sun-flowers were there. must become altogether unselfish. if she could only know that he was happy. . that her love if it would perfect itself.

they have each a nosegay to offer you. but they conspectral. for the landscape to put on its body. than the children are at once upon her track to open out a calling for themselves. I feel how the perishing and the enduijing work one upon the other. something in its ' ' own likeness. ceal notliing." We fancy that we can extend ourselves more freely when the trees are so are able to tolerate the winter. . and sometimes is so long? How is it that it is so short when is it How we look back over it? When past (and it never comes so powerfully over me as in the garden). and so long as I think of the trace of itself." . then we become impatient for the full foliage to come out. they were out and gathering it before you had awakened out of your sleep. tiroir. We They are nothing. and the tre^ to stand before us as a form.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES *' 207 We find fault with the poor. In many of its tones the nightingale is only a bird then it rises up above its class. *' **A is life without love. so transparent. and there is nothing whose endurance is so brief as not to leave behind it some it is passing. None of them begs any more." that the year sometimes seems so short. as soon as ever there is anything for them to do? Hardly has nature unfolded her smiling treasures. when they loiter about the streets and Do we not observe that they begin to work again. and seems as if it would teach every feathered creature what singing really is. among them. but when once the germs and buds begin to show. and the suppli- cating face looks as sweetly at you as the present which the hand is holding out." Everything which is perfect in its kind must pass out beyond and transcend its kind. without the presence of the beloved. No person ever looks miserable who " feels that he has a right to make a demand upon you. It must be an inimitable something of another and a liigher nature. but poor comedie a We draw out slide after slide. particularly with the little ones beg.

In him she found a new link to connect her with the world and with her property. carrying whether they would like to have him for a husband. look timidly or that Charlotte. and fresh hopes rose out before her for herself and for Ottilie. which had been proplans moment with posed to the Captain. whose fair promising little form every hour was a delight to both her eyes and heart.208 THE GERMAN CLASSICS swiftly tiring of each. Charlotte went on up the cliff. and every step is a fresh beginning. young man. wise conduct is to recover ourselves. hangs but wearily together every step . Enlivened by the strength of these feel- ings. Look which way she would. and saw the two seat^ still vacant. And so it fared at this Young ladies. A the firm land there are frequent enough shipwrecks. and refit our vessel at fast as possible. >) Chapter X. and Ottilie carried the number of reflections crowded upon the former. a union did not seem impossible between the Captain and Ottilie. and the true. to whom. is an end. Is life to be calcuWho has not made lated only by its gains and losses? Even on . round them at this on a silent examination. child. perhaps. She was happy in her beautiful boy. Her old activity began anew to stir in her again. as she thought of how they had once sat side by side in that summer-house. and as she laid the latter down on the little table. and it was a pleasure to her to contemplate it. she thought of gone-by times. that the for the advantageous marriage. Charlotte meanwhile was well and in good spirits. and pushing it back to make haste to Even what we know to be good and important the next. It had not remained unknown to her. but whoever has a daughter or a female ward to care for. she saw how much had been done in the year that was past. as on the altar of her house. takes a wider circle in her survey. had come to nothing. she climbed up to the summer-house with Ottilie and the child.

which had been made fill up a few openings. From this resi. own way. beautiful than could have been supposed. The longer you looked round you. to his greatest annoyance. in order to give us something beyond all his life. breaks a wheel upon his journey. What magnificent effects would not be produced here at the different hours of day by sunlight and by moonlight? Nothing could be more delightful than to come and live there. and a little gilding. and now that she found all the rough — An work finished. and has not seen them How often does not a man strike into broken in pieces? How often are we not turned a road and lose it again! aside from one point wliich we had sharply before our eye. Destiny grants us our wishes. were all which were required. discovered. 11 — 14 . VoL. Kitchen and cellar stores were quickly laid in. The traveler. it was necessary to have all essentials provided and the two ladies with the child went up and settled there. where they intended to establish themselves for the summer. every all the loveliness of the landscape. Charlotte longed to be busy again. the more beauties you . The view all round them was Among more little obstruction had been removed. a painter. and to form an agreeable connecting link between parts which to before stood separate. came out in its beauty before the eye. and through this unpleasant accident makes some charming acquaintance. new far these and similar reflections they reached the building on the hill. and in a short time the building was completed. and forms some new connection. and these were soon found. and already the young plantations. were of the richest variety. whatever nature. upholsterer. larly The house itself was nearly habitable the views. particufrom the upper rooms. a tapestry-hanger. who could lay on the colors with patterns. which has an influence on but in its our wishes. whatever the season of the year had done for it. being so far from the castle.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 209 arrangement on arrangement. but only to reach some higher stage. were beginning to look green.

often with his friend. fresh air and the beautiful weather were thoroughly delightful. and he found all the more pleasure in place. and in these high regions the free. as Charlotte was a little uneasy about it. as from a new centre point. having met him more than once. He went about seeing everything. . however. this beautiful season. was down below. Charlotte At receive a visit or contribute anything to its importance. the ladies came first properly to enjoy what was around them.210 THE GERMAN CLASSICS dence. Ottilie's favorite walk. enjojing the free air. His practised eye received every effect in its freshness. that he had himself probably executed many such. Although he was now advanced in life. He brought with him a letter of introduction from the Count. and going to look with him at his show of greenhouse plants. who had made acquaintance with Edward abroad. pacing a daily visit to the castle garden and the gardener. and now and then alone. and understood them well. unknown walks opened out to them. sometimes with Charlotte and Ottilie. he entered warmly into everything which could serve for an ornament to life. was much pleased to from an English nobleman. which he had heard so much admired. only without the child. and introduced at the same time a quiet but most agreeable man as his traveling companion. as he had not previously known the and was scarcely able to distinguish what man Jiad done there from what nature had presented to him ready made. She never missed. In his presence. along a pleasant footpath leading directly to the point where one of the boats was kept chained in which people used to go across the water. and they could perceive clearly from his observations that he took an interest in such matters. and who was now curious to see the laying out of his park. indeed. sometimes with the child. which were all out now. She often indulged herself in an expedition on the water. sometimes alone. what was before him. toward the plane-trees. sometimes with the gardeners and the foresters.

castles. towering the owners joy that so much was still remaining for them to do. but what he observed it. he had been in the habit of doing this in all remarkable places which he visited. and a view w^uld be seat. In one place he pointed to a fountain which. a spot where there was any effect which could be either heightened or produced. and rivers. if it was cleaned out. and see sweep past them. and he besought them not to be in a hurry about it. the ladies a large portfolio which he had brought with him. He wished rock. to travel so pleasantly over the world. opened from it of some grand masses of magnificently against the sky. mountains. and a hundred other localities which have a name in history. in order to secure some desirable fruits from For many years past his travels for himself and others. and drawing from them. At the hours which the ladies usually spent alone he was never in the way. and had provided himself by it with He showed a most charming and interesting collection. he was able to anticipate in their There fulfilment the promises of the growing plantations.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES We may was not grew and enriched 211 even say that through his remarks the park itself. cities. lakes. promised to be the most beautiful spot for a picnic party. and entertained them with the pictures and with descripAnd it was a real delight to them. to a cave which had only to be enlarged and swept clear of rubbish to form a desirable A few trees might be cut down. shores and havens. Each of the two ladies had an especial interest in it Charlotte the more general interest in whatever was historically remarkable Ottilie dwelling in preference on the where he liked scenes of which Edward used most to talk best to stay. in a portable camera obscura. solitude. — . and which he would most often revisit. in another. but to keep for themselves for years to come the pleasures of shaping and improving. for he was occupied the greatest part of the day in catching such views in the park as would make good paintings. here in their tions. Every — .

with what had happened him there to make him love and value it and the peculiar accentuated French in which he spoke made it most pleasant to listen to him. either from first impressions. Who is there now to enjoy my mansion. pleased him best. of all these places. he fancies he can make a higher use of his life. or from habit. To the further question. . by-and-by. She. and keep house for me. only to make ourselves more and more uncomfortable. where. restless travelers. "Assuredly we spend far too much labor and outlay in preparation for life. to . — — He is more likely to squander it. for whose sake alone it was any pleasure to me to remain and work there who will. my gardens? Not I. therefore. where he would like to settle. — " Even with large means. like many other foolish fellows. nor any of mine strangers. Instead of beginning at once to make ourselves happy in a moderate condition. we are ever but half and half where we miss many The to which we have become accustomed in town. visitors. which was his ordinary residence that he properly considered his home. but principally because my son. that it is much more agreeable to allow others to plant. I have no desire to return to my own possessions. partly on political grounds. according to his character. without any hesitation. my park. far or near. but has gone out to India. after all. in a manner quite unexpected by the ladies : " I have accustomed myself by this time to be at home everywhere. lovely spot which he pointed out. his peculiar localities which attract him scenes which. or from particular associations. things at home. have a charm for him beyond all .212 THE GERMAN CLASSICS man has somewhere. we spread ourselves out wider and wider. others. and I find. especially in the country. and with whom I hoped to enjoy it took no interest in the place at all. if he might choose. and live for There was more than one himself. he replied. or curious. and build. inherit it. asked the Earl which.

but on this occasion she sat on in the most painful condition which. for park and garden. were nothing new to Charlotte." Little did the Earl imagine how deeply his friend would be touched by these random observations. circumstances. indeed. accidents. and it seemed to her as if evervthing whicli had been done all this time for house and court. had been driven out to wander up and down in the world and. She was accustomed to listen in silence. steadily as a traveler. thoroughly knew and understood the world. because he to whom it all belonged could not enjoy it because he. only again to go out of ourselves. and we most wanted is forgotten. if we do not go astray of our own will and caprice. even from well-meaning. manage it for us. At her half-conscious age. rudely tore away the pleasant veil from before her eyes. were utterly in vain. for all their wide environs. who renounces many things in order : . and one does not know what besides. Ottilie was thrown by this It melancholy conversation into the most pitiable state. humorous . gravitv *' I look upon myself I think I am now on the right way. passions. — — . kindly-disposed She so clearly. was made rather worse than better by what the stranger went on to say. indeed was obliged.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES just the thin<? which 213 book for which we are most anxious is not to be had. and at which she was disposed. necessity. like their present ^'isitor. in the most perilous paths of it by those who were nearest and dearest to him. indeed. Such casual wounds. We take to being domestic. at which she rather felt than saw. that it gave her no particular pain if it did happen that through somebody's thoughtlessness or imprudence she had her attention forced into this or that unpleasant direction. as he continued with his peculiar. But it was very different with Ottilie. to turn her eyes away from what she should not or would not see. so people. It is a danger to which we are all of us exposed when we venture on general remarks in a society the circumstances of wkich we might have supposed were well enough known to us.

as men people usually do. or entirely on the caprices of accident. because this thing is mislaid. to make still clearer to herself). I have never had to vex myself now. and we pass away out in search of other quarters. indeed. lying out in the fields in danger and want. No weight of sorrow had ever pressed so heavily upon her as this clear perception (which she tried." In this description Ottilie saw nothing but Edward before her how he too was now amidst discomfort and hardship. would. a necessity to me. And considering all these advantages. and I must have it repaired because somebody has broken my favorite cup. and in the end it comes to much the same thing whether we depend for our enjoyment entirely on the regular order worst. it . when I reckon carefully. Ottilie Fortunately. I have not sacrificed more than would have cost me to be at home. I calculate town by the end of the year. and in all this insecurity and hazard growing accustomed to be homeless and friendless. I am accustomed to change . and what from the It may be as good or it may be as bad as it will. people are always looking out for new and newer decorations. my people quietly pack my tilings of the up. The state in which Edward was came before her in a it light so piteous. of custom. it has become. because I there have already been so many. marching along untrodden roads. and for a long time nothing tastes well out of any other. or that thing is lost. that love to dally with and exaggerate the evils wliich circumstances have once begun to inflict upon them. that she let it cost her what made up her mind. All tliis I am happily raised above. learning to fling away everything that he might have nothing to that. that she would do everything . . because the room in which I live is uninhabitable. where she could give way to her tears. the party separated for a short time. I know very well what am to expect from the best hotels. but I nowhere find anything to which I am accustomed. so miserable. lose.214 to enjoy THE GERMAN CLASSICS more. just as in the opera. If the house catches fire about my ears. escaped to her room.

sensible man and a keen observer. of course. with the best intentions.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES in her self 215 power to unite him again with Charlotte. was very sorry. succeed any better in gratifying their friends with unalloyed entertainment. for not only remarks with meaning in them. '' We will set things right this evening. some terrible roused their attention and strained their interest to the highest tension. '* and escape from any general conversation. a quiet. The Earl. the strangers did not. had remarked the new trend in the conThe latter versation. knew nothing of the circumstances of the family. which were produced by the conflict of the restraint of law with the violence of the will. some with which he had amusing. on this next occasion." However. exactly altogether in society if he is never to find himself in such a position." said he. may happen to clash in an inharmonious key with the interest of somebody present. and spoke to his friend about it. of the understanding with the reason. The Earl's friend told a number of singular stories some serious. you shall let them hear one of the many charming anecdotes with which your portfolio and your memory have enriched themselves while we have been abroad. made himself acquainted with the outline of the and since he had been in the family had learnt all that had taken place. some touching. and the present position in which things were standing. and beguile the time mth such employment as she could find. of passion with prejudice had some time — before story. but it was not a A man must hold his tongue thing to make him uneasy. but the most trivial expressions. and she herwould go and liide her sorrow and her love in some silent scene. and he thought to conclude ^\'ith a strange — — . Meanwhile the Earl's companion. but the other being one of those persons whose principal interest in traveling lay in gathering up the strange occurrences which arose out of the natural or artificial relations of society.

and firm in their purposes. touch his listeners. looked forward with pleasure to their future union. The boys used to play at soldiers. divide into parties. the dispositions of both children promised everything which was good. dreaming how nearly it would THE TWO STRANGE CHILDEEN" children of neighboring families. were brought up together Avith this agreeable prospect. who were people of some position in the world. a boy and a girl. Forming separate plans for themselves. except for the desperate bravery of her own particular rival. but there was an unaccountable antipathy between them. but whenever they were together they were always antagonists. and give each other battle. This singular relation first showed itself in their childish games. of an age which would suit well for them at some future ' ' Two time to marry. ** It was too soon observed. however. and even then she defended herself with so much fury that to save his eyes from being torn out. and the fierce haughty young lady set herself at once at the head of one of the armies. they were spiteful and even malicious whenever they came *' in contact. Good-natured and amiable everywhere else.216 THE GERMAN CLASSICS little but softer incident. that the purpose seemed likely to fail. they only met mutually to cross and thwart each other. he had been obliged to . Each separately was beloved and respected by his or her companions. never emulating each other in pursuit of one aim. and at the same time not to injure his enemy. Perhaps they were too much like each other. and it continued with their advancing years. and fought against the other with such animosity and bitterness that the latter would have been put to a shameful flight. but always fighting for a single object. Both were thoughtful. and the parents on both sides. who at last disarmed his antagonist and took her prisoner. clear in their wills.

and he himself. and she had never found any one whom she could think worthv of her love. on the other hand. and much sought after by women. but which. " The boy shot rapidly forward in the new situation in which he was placed. property. Her lover. became at once an altered gro\\dng age. The preference which he showed for her above others who w^ere older. His friends and his owm inclination chose army for his profession. beloved in society. as she was still very young. and sacrifice their favorite hopes. He mastered every subjeQ. who had been long watching these singular passions. his quiet suit. " Tliis she never forgave hira: she made so many attempts. and consequence.t which he was taught. let him be where he would. His disposition seemed formed to labor for the well-being and the pleasure of others. of rank. Altogether she seemed to want something. she laid so many plans to injure him. which was declared indeed to her parents. bestowed his girl. above all. faithfully through a number of unpleasant incidents. had displayed any interest in her. came to a mutual understanding and resolved to separate these two hostile creatures. was in himself happy at having got rid of the only antagonist which nature had assigned to him. drew her away from the boisterous games wdth boys in which she had hitherto delighted. there was nothing anj^vhere about her w^iich could deserve to excite her hatred.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 217 take off bis silk handkerchief and tie her hands with it behind her back. was naturally gratifpng. that the parents. and of more brilliant pretensions than herself. he w^as looked up to and beloved. *'A young man. more cultivated. he did not press. and everywhere. which was never obtrusive. only . her own inward feelings. tbe progress of her education. somewhat older than her previous neighbor-antagonist. his standing by her affections upon her. without being the clearly conscious of it. the constancy of his attention. or servant It was the first time that friend. " The creature.

she had become incapable of It was not to be hated — Indeed the childish hatred. to amuse them as looked back. half unwilling. in ready acknowledgments. even their old childish foolishness hatred. and neither she nor any one else ever thought any further trial could be necessary before she exchanged rings with the person who for so long a time had passed for her bridegroom. in a half willing. in pleasure at meeting.218 THE GERMAN CLASSICS all this engaged him to her. and yet irresistible attraction and all this was mutual. Their long separation gave occasion for longer conversations. she in harmony vnib. now that they had grown wiser. everything about her. expressed itself now in a happy astonishment. She had asking to be allowed to hope — so often been called his bride that at last she began to con- sider herself so. and they felt as if at least they were they bound to make good their petulant hatred by friendliness served. and came home on leave Toward his fair neighbor he found to visit his family. they were happy in being together. and custom and the assumption in the world that the thing was already settled carried her along with it. and in a certain sense she was so. and they could enjoy to the end the fair season of the year as the spring of their future more serious life. Things were allowed to go on both sides just as they were. himself again in a natural but singular position. and attention to each other — as if their first violent . deserved rank in his profession. . The absent youth had meanwhile grown up into everyHe had obtained a wellthing which w^as most admirable. which had in fact been nothing more than an obscure recognition of inward worth. Now for a long time something again stood in her way. she believed that she first was happy. For some time past she had been nourishing in herself such affection' ' was ate family feelings as suited her position as a bride. " The peaceful course which the affair had all along followed was not at all precipitated by the betrothal.

the other excited the fullest trust and confidence. but if any one could have divined them and shared them with her. even so much as thinking of her in connection with himself. his ambition. therefore. presented itself to her as only an innocent means of attracting his attention. She bewailed She execrated the sleepy state into which she had fallen. or entertaining the slightest jealousy of the bridegroom. the other as soon as they were : If a sort of regard to the one could not be seen together. She kept her feelings entirely to herself. first She could rememsho\\ing under the form of opposition. •^ upon the delight of her feelings She imagined that it had given her the greatest happiness when he bound her: and whatever she had done afterward to injure him. he could not have blamed her for indeed the bridegroom could not sustain a comparison with. his efforts. but without. ber nothing else than that she had always loved him. " On his side moderation. forward or backward. however. " With She her. it was altogether different. found him so abundant an occupation. formed doubly transformed. in extraordinary cases. She cursed their separation. which- in her hand. his circumstances. and this violent antagonism was no more than an equally violent innate passion for him. refused. where . desirable His position. Her fightings with her young neighbor had been the beginnings of an affection. the other we should desire for a companion and . She laughed over her martial encounter with him with weapons acknowledgment. she dwelt when he disarmed her. with whom he stood on the best possible terms. If one made an agreeable acquaintance. seemed to herself as if she had awakened out of a dream. that the friendliness of this pretty bride he received as a very thank-worthy present. or to vex him.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES injustice to each other ought not to be left without 219 open it all remained in a sensible. the insidious lazy routine which had betrayed her into She was transaccepting so insignificant a bridegroom. — ever '' way we like to take it.

the less opportunity there was for any one to speak a word which could tell in favor of her bridegroom. She kept it concealed under all sorts of forms and although people thought her very odd. and by her own promise on the other. what an unalterable necessity seemed now irrevocably to require. He should never cease to reproach himself for not having understood. and he should never be free from it. ** This singular insanity accompanied her wherever she went. and now it seemed as if her early childish spirit woke up again in her wdth all its spleen and \^olence. . . '' On one side she was bound inextricably to the bridegroom by the world. by her family.220 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS higher demands might have to be made on them. the ambitious young man made no secret of what he was thinking and planning for himself. reason. and was preparing itself in its distemper. youth for his want of interest in her. and as she could not possess himself. while the other would give the feeling of perfect security. conducting himself toward her no more than a kind but not at all a tender brother. " There is a peculiar innate tact in women which discovers to them differences of this kind and they have cause as well as occasion to cultivate it. at least she would wed herself for ever to his imagination and to his repentance. the bridegroom was a person to be utterly despaired of. and now so passionately loved. to '* remind her of what her duty and their relative position advised and commanded indeed. The more the fair bride was nourishing all these feelings in secret. . not examined. and speaking of his departure as immediately impending. the — poor heart gave itself up entirely to its passion. on this higher stage of life. not valued her feelings toward him. Her dead image should cling to him. once hated. no one was observant enough or clever enough to discover the real inward . to work more effectively and destrucShe determined that she w^ould die to punish the tively.

There was hardly a pretty spot in the country round which had not been decked out and prepared for the reception of some merry party. he dangerous. It was a moment when the steerer required all his circumspectness. as he caught the I require all my powers and all my attention wreath. but he felt confident in himself. friends. you rushed to the forward part of the vessel. as the vessel was nearing a spot — where two islands narrowed the channel of the river.' she never see me again.' he answered quickly. * * ' now. acquaintances had exhausted themselves in contrivances for pleasure parties. The party had collected in the cabin. she sprang into the water. she cried out. and from thence Voice upon voice called out. before departing. *' They set out upon the broad river ^vith music placing. and he thought he would venture and make straight for the narrows.' As she spoke. At tliis moment his fair enemy appeared upon deck wdth a wreath Take this to remember me by. thought for a moment that it would be better to wake the master.' of flowers in her hair. They went on board a large beautiful vessel dressed out in all its colore one of the vachts which had a small saloon and a cabin or two besides. and were amusing themselves with games. circle. wliile shallow banks of shingle stretcliing off. and the latter had lain down and was fast asleep. with a small family an expedition on the water. Their young host. below deck. first on one side and then on the other. Scarcely a day passed but something new and unexpected set on foot. to and inWted the young couple. made the navigation difficult and Prudent and sharp-sighted as he was. wished to do his part as was well. during the heat of the day. relations. had taken charge of the helm to relieve the old master of the vessel. and are intended to carry with them upon the water the comfort and conveniences of land. Don't disturb me.' never be disturbed by me any more. She took it off and threw it at the steerer.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 221 '' In the meantime. And now our young visitor. ' You will * \vill . she cried. who could never remain without doing something.

and presently reached a solitary cottage. for fast as possible. were heaped over her as — . the present. before her. he sprang into the water and swam toward his beautiful enemy. Again sight of a trodden path leading among the he caught her up in his arms. naked It succeeded she opened her eyes her friend was body. and both of them were carried violently down by the current. good people fortunes and the dangers explained themselves instantly. . raised her and supported her. ically w^ithout time to think . skins. began He now the river w^as again open and running smoothly. cloaks. and acknow^ledged the strong s^^mmer as its master. counterpane. In this position she remained for a time and then a stream ! . save her. to collect himself. who had been sw^ept away before him he caught hold of her. which the young man bade him take. she is sinking! In the confusion the old shipmaster terrible difficulty. they had passed the first immediate danger. she threw her heavenly arms about his neck. hurried for- ward. There he a young married couple the misfound kind. when he caught bushes. till the shoals and islands were left far behind. and who knows how to deal with it. in w^hich he . flinging off the hea^dest of his upper garments.222 THE GERMAN CLASSICS ' ' He was in the most Save her. every remedy he could think of was instantly applied. a bright fire blazed up. woolen blankets were spread on a bed. half -torpid. whatever there was at hand w^hich would serve for warmth. He soon overtook the beautiful girl. the stream. The vessel stranded and at the same moment. The water is a friendlv element to a man who is at home in it. woke. had been obliged to act mechanhe raised his head as high as he could to look about him and then sw^am with all his might to a low bushy point which ran out conveniently into There he brought his fair burden to dry land. it buoyed him up. But there was no time to change hands. and . The desire to save life overpowered. and tried to catch the rudder. but he could find no signs of life in her he was in despair. . . every other consideration. Nothing was left undone to bring back to life the beautiful.

indeed.' she added. the dresses in which they had been married. from despair into rapture. *' To have found themselves brought from the w^ater on dry land. . for the clothes which he still wore were wet and dripping. but she gladly allowed him to go. half laughing at the same time at the ' ' quaintness of their appearance. inside and out.' ' ' * ' ' " She now began to collect herself. when they met. in a . ** fell into each other's The power of youth and the quickening spirit of love few moments completely restored them and there was nothing wanting but music to have set them both off dancing. "Will you forsake me. Only consider yourself. take care of yourself. : or go distracted or if so distressing an alternative were to be escaped. In a short time our pair of adventurers were not only equipped.' hardly knowing what he said or did.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES ' ' 223 of tears burst out and completed her recovery. The husband offered the young man.' he answered. Their young hosts considered what could be done. * Shall we run aw^ay? shall we hide ourselves? ' . never. but in full costume. and sufficient for a complete suit. with admiration. and the wife offered the fair lady. from indifference to affection and to love. ^^'ithout alarm and anxiety. and then with infinite affection. now when I find you again thus? Never. for your sake and for mine. she could not be ashamed before her darling.' she cried. it was long before they recollected the alarm and anxiety of those who had been left behind. recollected the state in and for the first time which she was. for two people. they arms. could not well think. it must either burst. gazed at each other. They looked most charming. the heart must put out all its efforts. that he might take care of himself. from death into life. how they were again to encounter them. and they themselves. all in a moment the head w^as not strong enough to bear it. " Lost wholly in each other. before her preserver. which were hanging up in full perfection. from the circle of their families into a wilderness.

' cried the young man. The parents of the two betrothed first pressed on the banks the poor loaning bridegroom had almost lost his senses. . and at last caught the attention of those on board. Give us Give us your blessing your blessing! they cried both. It . as all the world stood still in wonder. '' The peasant ha\^ng heard them say that a party was aground on the shoal.' themselves on the ground before them. had hurried down. which Charlotte had been thrown by it. there. uttered some sort of an apology. had really taken place with the Captain and a neighbor of her related it. not exactly. They had scarcely learnt that their dear children had been saved. ^ ' ' ' ' * ' ' ! ' ' ' ! ' ' ' ! . Your blessing was repeated the third time and who would have been able to refuse it? " . Forgive us they called out. and they were now going on in uncertainty.' she said. indeed. Chapter XI The narrator made a pause. to the shore. he saw the vessel coming safely down the stream. and left the room. as the Englishman had But the main features of it were the same.224 THE GERMAN CLASSICS ' We mil remain together. The peasant shouted and made signs to them. hoping to find their lost ones again somewhere. as she clung about his neck. own. asked the young man. before he observed the emotion into She got up. What quite close. To her The principal incident in it it was a well-known history. Whom do I see? cried the mothers. The preserved ones flung do I see? cried the fathers. when in their strange disguise the latter came forward out of the bushes No one recognized them till they were come to meet them. After much labor it had been got off. or rather he had already finished his story. a pair. and went on signalling and shouting till the vessel's head was turned toward the shore and what a scene there was for them when they landed. \Aithout stopping When he arrived to ask another question. Your children. cried the maiden. then he ran to a spot where there was a convenient place for landing.

bring little good to our entertainers for all the kindness and hospitality wliich they have shown us we will make some excuse for ourselves.' she answered. who was with us. w^hich I should to do. where the young ladies so often fill the place of the boatmen. you remember.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES had only been more finished 225 off and elaborated in its details. Ottilie. or was in sors^e way '* connected with. not at all offended. and then through the fancy of a clever and imaginative narrator. that perhaps they had made a second mistake. as stories of that kind always are when they have passed first through the lips of the multitude. be very sorry to leave the house without seeing cleared up or in some way explained. got up to follow and then proposed that she and I should find our way to you in the boat. had I been so pleasantly ferried over the At the same time I could not help asking her why she had shown such an objection to going the way which you had gone. is something else which still holds me here. and then take our leave." he that we do no more mischief here we seem to added. * ' Vol. . along the little by-path. and was delighted with the skill of my fair conductress. If you wdll promise not to laugh at me. the result of the process being usually to leave everything and nothing as it w^as. and that the subject of the story had been well known to. We must take care. Well. and went to a sequestered There was a fine view of the place on the side of the lake. You left the broad walk. I assured her that never since I had been in . ' ' Ottilie followed Charlotte. S^sitzerland. the family. I will tell you as much as I know about water. You were too busy yourself yesterday w^hen we were in the park with the camera. 11 — 15 . two friends begged her and then it was the Earl's turn to remark." " I must ** that there confess. as the . in looking for spots where you could make your sketches. opposite shore which you wished to take. to have obsers'ed anything else which was passing. I got in with her. I had observed her She was shrink from it v\'ith a sort of painful uneasiness." answered his companion.

and his friend endured them all quietly and patiently. and I took the opportunity of examining the spot. . because it is followed immediately after by a pain on the left side of my head." The Earl. and which I cannot But I shrink from exposing myself the least understand. They should be examined into all the more earnestly and scrupulously and there was no doubt that the result would be the discovery of a number of affinities of inorganic creatures for one another. it is impossible for tiful me to leave this place without trying on that beaucreature an experiment with the pendulum. which I do not remember ever feeling anj^where else. and of organic creatures for them. and other metallic substances. THE GERMAN CLASSICS but to myself it is a mystery which I cannot explain. a pretty little box of which he always carried about with himself and he suspended a piece of metal by a string over another piece. that they should give them up. is a particular spot in that path which I never pass without a strange shiver passing over me. to the sensation. too. nevertheless. We landed. . However. again repeated was no reason. each other. because the experiment did not succeed with every one. as if there was nothing in them but fancy. He. . remaining firm. to his own opinion. and that it is only your sense and your kindness which enable j^ou to tolerate me. I was not a little surprised to find there distinct traces of coal in sufficient quantities to convince me that at a short distance below the surface there must be a considerable There ' bed of * * it. and holding to his own wishes. He had already spread out his apparatus of gold rings. which at present were unknown to us. whenever these matters came to be spoken of. from which at other times I suffer severely. marcasites.226 it. Pardon me. never failed to repeat the same objections to them over and over again. and again for that there . my Lord I see you smile and I know very well that you have no faith in these things about which I am so eager. which she pointed out to me as we went by on the water. Ottilie was engaged with you. .

but the other could never be satisfied. my Lord. But my operation is no more than a pretense when the ladies come back. they vnW be curious to know what strange work we are about. Ottilie was then called upon to try. she held it steady." The ladies returned. not liking to have introduced and practised about her a tiling of which she had always had the strongest apprehensions. declined his well-meant offer. . and turned as they moved the position of the plate. producing anything. or for me. doing all the Earl's friend could expect. . " Now. and notwithstanding their having been the inadvertent cause of strange and painful . tion and even rapture. from dehght and curiosity.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES ** 227 which he placed upon the table. all his expectations. however. The strangers were gone. Not the slightest motion." he said. *' I have heard much of these things. and as she was perfectly serious. and without any agitation. you may take what pleasure you please (I can see in your face what you are feeling). but Charlotte. indeed. now in ellipses or else describing a series of straight lines. first to one side and then to the other now in circles. She held the pendulum still more quietly and unconsciously over the plate on the table." She took the thread in her hand. who comprehended of variations. and far exceeding. For a moment they did not know what he meant. if she would only trust herself to his remedies. The Earl himself was a little staggered. at perceiving that notliing will set itself in motion ^vdth me. Charlotte understood at once what was going on. was good-natured enough to gratify was obliged to desire to be allowed to In further admirago. and begged for the experiment again and again with all sorts . till at last she immediately after. Ottilie him ." she said but I never saw the effect myself. he assured her with enthusiasm that he would cure her forever of her disorder. could be detected. ' ' . You have ever\'Let me try whether I can succeed in thing ready there. But in a moment the swinging piece of metal began to stir with a distinct rotary action. as her headache had come on again.

left the wish behind them.228 THE GERMAN CLASSICS emotions. Ottilie would carry the child about in the open air. well-proportioned body. and gone back to her mother. sunwonderful. seeing that the whole country round. was honorably dismissed. some merely from custom. gave her work enough to do. on . the brightest. with crosses and decorations. Charlotte now made use of the beautiful weather to return visits in the neighborhood. too. and Edward. and so with the child in her arms. Ottilie remained alone with the Nanny had for some time past been for monopolizing the entire affections of fit of crossness. she was a second mother of another kind. People saw in it a indeed a miraculous child. Ottilie herself. figure and in the features of the face. If Charlotte from this remarkable affinity. absent. Generally. where he The found exact accounts of his family waiting for him. that this meeting might not be the last. niest little face a fine. had been most attentive in calUng to inquire after her. she took a book with her. reading and wandering. Chapter XII object of the campaign was attained. was as good as a mother to the little creature as it grew. and by degrees took longer and longer walks with it. the double resemblance. even by another. partly haps still feeling affection the offspring. of the man they love. which became more and more conspicuous. the eyes every day it was less easy to distinguish from the eyes of Ottilie. jealous of the boy her mistress she had left her in a . and what surprised them more. it was like the Captain . and really it well deserved all love and interest. she made a very pretty Penserosa. carrying a bottle of milk to give the child its food when it wanted any. In . permore under the influence of that sweet woman's which makes them regard with the most tender was child and the nurse. or rather. strong and healthy. which. At home her delight was the sight of the child. He betook himself at once to the same little estate. indeed. some from a real interest.

that mistakes and misunderstandings never produce irreparable injury. and learnt that fortune had favored him exactly as he most could have wished. denial. This pleasure in meeting again was very great to both of them. that Ottilie one day be mine. which I cannot explain. so infinitely charming. First of all. which was thrown into the air when the foundation-stone will . I acknowledge that I could never bring myself utterly to despair. like relationship of blood. and what was wanting to the establishment in extent. Edward. in the assurance. was compensated by its internal comforts and conveniences. His quiet residence looked most sweet and pleasant when In accordance with his orders. He then half-seriously asked whether there was not something going forward about a marriage to which he received a most decided and positive . Feelings. cannot and will not have any reserve with you. would be of no further value to me. and a number of happy omens. have combined to I ' * ** proceeded. Edward began with inquiring about the situation of his friend. improvements had been made in his absence." he I will tell you at once what my own feelings are. that it was not possible for me entirely to renounce it. determined to execute a project wliich he had had time to think over. The prospect of happiness with her was so beautiful. and the old regard after a time will sufficient Major to come always reestablish itself. without her. this time. too. The friendships of boyhood. and what I intend to do. The glass with our initials cut upon it. various he reached it. .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES whom all 229 without their having observed it or a sharp watch had been kept under his orders. accustomed by his more active habits of life to take decided steps. I do not deny that I desire to be rid of a life which. strengthen me in the belief. You know ray passion for Ottilie you must long have comprehended that it was this which drove me into the campaign. known of it. he invited i^e to him. At the same time. however. possess this important advantage.

that you are bound. however. I said to myself. in . and comes to a timely knowl- edge that he must accommodate himself to others. I shall hope to find her. After many miserable hours of uncertainty. and yet they must be repeated. they have stood by me through all dangers and now I find myself like one who has arrived at his goal." replied the Major. I will go. for this little creature's sake. that united you may educate it and provide for its future welfare?" ** It is no more than the blindness of parents." answered Edward. was did not go to pieces . Whatever lives. not to close your eyes to it. in being trained sooner for the world. for that very reason. .230 THE GERMAN CLASSICS laid. I will seek for death not like a madman. who has overcame every difficulty and who has nothing more left in his way. not to lose her. I can only regard as unimportant. I must leave it to yourself " all '' to recall the full value of your relation wdth your wife but you owe it to her. a thing sooner or later we are all forced to learn. I will put myself in the place of this glass. every intrenchment. ** when they imagine their existence to be of so much importance to their children. the objections that we can or ought to urge upon you. spent in this place. Here. that you two belong to each other forever. Ottilie shall be behind the ranks of the enemy. and if the son who has early lost his father does not spend so easy. I will do wonders. so favored a youth. and to win her. in every beleaguered fortress. without acknowledging at once . and it shall be an omen whether our union be possible or not. How can I so much as recollect that you have had a son given to you. he profits. and you owe it to yourself. perhaps. is mine." With a few strokes you blot out. with the wish to survive them. with the hope to gain Ottilie. it was caught. Ottilie shall be the prize for which I fight. finds nourishment and finds assistance.' These feehngs have led me on. to live united. and whatever lies between the thought and the execution of it. but like a man who still hopes that he may live. and I have ' it again in my possession. Ottilie .

my hat pierced with floated before me by the still watch-fire under the starry vault of the sky. attempts to realize the wishes and hopes of his early youth. and to his own position. conunitted our- "We selves to a foolish thing. my friend. its own hopes. what was due to his family. and Edward's long-standing attachment to her. either by circumstances or by his ov/n infatuation. is induced to grasp at anytliing before him or behind him. Are we to abide by it all our lives? Are we. that I see all too clearly. but of everything. with my comrades falling right before horse shot under me. where the question is not of this thing or of that. and now At such moments why should I not acknowledge . I have weighed them. and my bullets. ''AH these questions. and it is neither right nor kind to accumulate so large a property on a single head. an<l I myself about them again and again. E^ch ten^years of a man's life has its own fortunes. from some respect of prudence. They have passed me in the storm of battle." he returned. felt them have satisfied forever. here. not of our single condition of life.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES . We have done a foolish thing. Woe to him who. *' I have considered already again and again. to the world. when the earth was shaking with the thunder of the cannon. and shall it not be allowed to them here. but the latter hastily interrupted Mm. but he could not succeed in producing the slightest impression. invariably deceives liimself. Whoever. all through. They have through. in middle age. its own desires. to refuse to ourselves what the customs of the age do not forbid? In how many matters do men recall their intentions and their actions." The Major attempted to say something of Charlotte's worth. with the balls singing and whistling around me. but of the whole complex life itself?" Edward Again the Major powerfully and impressively urged on to consider what he owed to his wife. I have thought them all left. 23i even these considerations are irrelevant we are sufficiently well off to be able to pro\ide for more children than one.

I feel entitled now to do something for myself. if you like it. if you have been in mine you have now the means to make it good to me. I know that you are not indifferent to her. and she deserves it." to my circle as. to call it now by no harsher name. and why should she not feel your worth? Take her at my hand and give Ottilie to me. I know that you love Charlotte. makes an action honorable which might appear ambiguous in others." replied '* Edward. hitherto unsullied with a breath. the honor of two men. A man who has borne himself honorably through a whole life. will be exposed to hazard by so strange a proceeding. the more reason for me in this proposal to make it attractive to me. after the difficult and dangerous actions which I have accomplished for others. For you and Charlotte. indeed. some extremity or other is sure to follow. The fortunes. As concerns myself. that part of the business may. and we shall appear before the world " Our very characters being what they are. If I '* If you choose *' to assign it is me so high a character. you too belonged I have long belonged to have ever been in your debt I am now in a position to repay it with interest." reto be firm plied the Major. The question is and prudent. after these last trials which I have take«i upon myself. If I may look for help and furtherance. be given up but neither you nor any one s-hall keep me from doing what I have determined. of his attack .232 it to THE GERMAN CLASSICS you? You . instead of simphf}dng the problem. give us a right to take this single liberty. Whatever there may be of me as well as of you. and we shall be the happiest beings upon the earth. the good name. you and each other. He seemed to and only spoke of the form of what they would give way. too were in my thoughts." . . or if obstacles are to be thrown in my way. in a highly questionable light. it only increases the difficulty of it." The Major thought it his duty to combat Edward's purposes as long as it was possible. and now he changed the mode and tried a diversion. I shall be ready to do everything which can be wished but if I am to be left to myself.

while Edward treated the now conclusively settled. and much having to give way which would be glad enough to continue. days' wonder.will forget us as it forgets everything else. I who have been the innocent cause of it all. I keep clearly before my own eyes what I demand. "VVe have already given the world sometliing to say about us.I must have. and tie them up again. for me and for yourself. undesirable matters. it. but we have/ .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES have 233 to do to bring about tliis separation. to act." The Major had nothing further to say. or reestabour peace again. and then he went on again seriously and thoughtfully: " If we think to leave ourselves to the affair as all itself.. and these new unions. In such a way it lish would be impossible for us to save ourselves. I know very well. It will talk about us once more and when we have ceased to be a nine ." he cried at last. which threw Edward into the worst of tempers. and so mentioned a number of ugly. We shall come to no conclusion by thinking about it. and allow us to follow our own way without further concern with us. my friend. and I will seize it promptly and surely. can only be carried by storm. Disen- tangle and untie the knots. All rights are alike to the understanding. . whether it be from our enemies or from our friends. what. and pictured the future in every most cheerful color. and it is always easy to throw extra weight into the ascending scale. hope. Do not be deterred from it by nice respects. and was at last obliged to sit silent. talked through in detail that had to be done. '* " that what we desire I see plainly. cannot be broken up and reconstructed again without much being thrown down which is standing. one way or anotlier. to the expectation. Connections like ours. it will be a most culpable self-deception. and act promptly. Do you make up your mind. We have had no more control over what ensued out of this. how ant I ever to console myself? By my own importunity I prevailed on Charlotte to write to you to stay ^vith us and Ottilie followed in consequence. and take care of us. that all will go right again of that accident vdW lead us straight.

and bear what is laid upon us. like other of the world. factory answer to . on a wretched renunciation of them? Do you think it possible? Will there be no vexations. our outward and inward condition being what it is. could be happy. which it : . without me. be any pleasure to you. no bitterness. any happiness whatever. But the last and most important point O'f all which I have to urge is this supposing that we.234 the THE GERMAN CLASSICS power to stances to our make it innocuous. it would not be anything but Charlotte and I. can you insist to us all. if we resolve to fall back into our old state? and will any good. arise out of it? Will your own rank. nothing how grave and serious. And if. I will at and see how what you have This problem was not so easy to solve. you can persuade yourself that years and separation will eradicate our feelings. if you are to be prevented from visiting me. no inconvenience to overcome." all my own hopes. then the question is of men . and you will then have employed an argument which will be stronger than every other and if I will not promise to yield to it. she is to become of Ottilie? must go into society where we shall not be to care for her. would be better to spend in happiness and comfort than in pain and misery. without us. to guide the new circumown happiness. Is it possible? only find ourselves in a melancholy state. and was left to him except to insist again and again. cold world. will the high position which you have earned. will obliterate impressions so deeply engraved w^hy. Describe to me any situation in which Ottilie. would painful. what She must leave our family. or from living with me? And after what has passed. undertake at once to give up least reconsider the question. at least. and in many senses how dangerous. if I vv^ill not these very years. and she will be driven wretchedly to and fro in a hard. Can you turn away your eyes from the fair and beautiful prospects which I open to us? Can you insist to me. could nevertheless make up our minds to wait at all hazards. said will affect it. no satisit suggested itself to his friend. with all our property.

the marriages should follow as soon after as possible. new world. all parties had only to resolve on what they all wished. They went over again the earlier stages of their and the Major confessed to Edward that Charlotte had intended Ottilie for him at the time at which he returned from abroad. he spoke \\ithout reserve of the mutual affection of Charlotte and the Major. discovery. there would be no difficulty in obtaining a separation. and Edward could travel ^^'ith Ottilie. now that they were again under the same roof together. and consented to wait before he took any steps but only under the condition that his friend should not leave him until they had come to a perfect understanding about it. are sure both of them to expose something of their inner nature. and hoped that some time or other Edward was in ecstasies at this he might marry her. he painted in at the very lively colors. Chapter XIII are complete strangers. and until the first measures had been . to himself not as possible. and wholly indifferent to one another. the own washes. which. because it happened to history. Edward agreed to this. fall in so conveniently with his altogether. But Edward only He had pictured the whole thing in-sisted on it the more. Of all the pleasant things which imagination pictures to us. if they live a long time together. Deny it Major could not . perhaps there is none more charming than when lovers and young married people look forward to enjoying their new relation to each other in a fresh. he could not altogether acknowledge it. and thus a kind of intimacy will arise between them. and at least that they ought maturely to consider how they had better enter upon it. same time. but as already concluded. All the Men who more was it to be expected that there would soon be no secrets between our two friends. and in daily and hourly intercourse. taken.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 235 the whole undertaking was. and test .

in the distance. It was not for nothing that he had received in his baptism the name of Otto. rode on further together. The Major was to urge the business on Charlotte with all his power. What Edward dwelt the most upon. with its red tiles shining in the sun. he would have it all settled that very evening. . where Edward had a house. They were both on horseback. prevail upon himself to alight there at once. and develop what capacities there might be in him. however. the Major would charge himself with the education of it he would train the boy according to his own views. the new house on the height. what he seemed to promise himself the most as the child would have to advantage from was this: remain wdth the mother. and falling into some interesting conversation. to stay to await the return of the Major. Joyfully he saw the prosperous issue before his eyes and that it might be communicated to him as swiftly as pos. that he could not wait another day to carry it into On their way to the castle. to have unrestricted powers to settle all quesmoney. and other such important worldly matters and to do whatever was right and proper for the satisfaction of all parties.236 THE GERMAN CLASSICS them in so many changThe Major and Charlotte were in the the endurance of the bond between ing circumstances. On a sudden they saw. and he looked for an immediate consent from her. they arrived at a small town. because he himself could think of nothing else. and where he was He could not. meantime tions of . self. property. and accompanied his friend through the place. Edward had so completely arranged everything for him- — . sistible An irre- longing came over Edward. he would take her prudence by surprise. he felt certain that he was only meeting her half-way. and oblige her by the unexpectedness of his proposal to make a free acknowledgment of her feelings. which belonged to them both. and that her inclinations were as decided as his own. he would remain concealed in a village close by. however. Edward had transferred his own mshes to her. execution.

silent her. tinging with gold her cheek and shoulder. he explained in a few words why and how he had come Ottilie shore. and continued reading. but she sat lost in her book and in herself. she was pa\4ng a visit in the neighborhood. Edward. had gone out that afternoon for a walk along the She had the child with her. to which he had pre%dously sent his horse. Edward. He walked back to the hotel. finding his park desolate. . the broad mirror of which he now for the first time saw spread out in its perfectness before him. and afterward will not let them go again. She had gone as far as the oaktree by the ferry. a rudd}-" streak of light fell upon her from behind. The sun was sinking. pause. there . forgot the time and the hours. and threw himself at her feet. He flew to After a long. a 237 if it few cannon shots were to be fired off. The book was one of those which attract persons of delicate She feeling. in the meantime. . and he found himself toward evening in the lessness copse close to the lake. and was He did not find Charlotte he learnt that for the present she was staying at the new house at that particular time. into his park. a rocket or two sent up. At the same moment she saw him. The Major rode to the castle. unable to sit still from restand impatience. . stole away out of his concealment along solitary paths known only to foresters and fishermen. went on and on. who had made his way to the lake without being seen. she never thought what a long way round it was by land to the new house. and she probably would not have returned till late that evening.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES sible. and saw her. however. and to have had eyes given them to gaze upon her and admire her. At last he broke through the copse behind the oak-tree. dark. . so beautiful to look at. and read as she usually did while she went along. in which they both endeavored to collect themselves. and no trace of human creature to be seen anywhere. that the trees and the bushes round her ought to have been alive. The boy had fallen asleep she sat down laid it on the ground at her side.

that my fault. THE GERMAN CLASSICS He had sent the their to Charlotte. that man and wife who are estranged from each other. Ottilie. my wife and myself but ! crime. he cried let * * . Let these fair eyes say to yours. cried if I had cause to doubt *' Indeed!" replied Is it '* Ottilie. ." "Hark!" he called out. and the child opened its eyes two large. piercing eyes. Edward threw himself down beside the child. can yet press each other to their heart. '* . oh you must feel." * * ! pointed down to the child. and that it was the . and she assuredly had Major at that moment common never doubted his. but let me look into yours. and throw his arms around her. Shall I shock your pure spirit with the fearful thought. me throw the eyes are yours ah. I can only expiate in your arms." ** possible?" Edward answered. He begged for her consent. this my face w^ould witness fearfully against them. and then knelt a second time before Ottilie. she hesitated he implored her. deep and full of love. as my connection with Charlotte ! must now be severed. and me from my her. and perhaps destiny was being decided. already the little face was full of He seemed as if he knew both the figures intelligence. Is not this the very image of the Major? I never saw such a likeness. as you will be mine. and was amazed. why should I not speak out the words to you? This cliild is the offspring of a double adultery. Let it witness. "It is ' ' you. that in the arms of another I belonged to you. He thought that he had heard a shot. . a veil over that ! ill-starred hour which gave its being to this little creature.238 there. Edward looked at it. then. against me. as he sprang up and listened. and embrace her she . You must feel. He offered to resume his old privilege. and profane the bonds by which the law unites them by other eager wishes? Oh yes As I have said so much. all the world say it is like at the me. — moment which he saw standing before him. Great God " he wife and my friend. black. Never had he doubted her affection. It should it have been a tie between severs her from me.

go. where the Major supposes you to be. She must decide our fate. "go back and wait for the It . It was twilight. I beseech. she is expecting me there with the baby. Go back to the village. For the first time they exchanged free. beloved. It was the forester on the adjoining hill. . How many things may have happened! Leave me! she must be Ottilie bilities. me. 239 gun of a Edward grew impatient. He may have gone to meet her. He gazed at her for a moment with rapturous love. He will not have Ottilie first . for they knew at the castle where she was." cried Edward." she cried out. Long yet remember wliat we both owe to Charlotte. she called together all the possiwas too delightful to be with Edward but she ** that he must now leave her. let us wait." ** I obey your commands. Is it likely that a rude cannon-shot will inform you of the results of such an interview? Perhaps at this moment he is seeking for you. observed that the sun was down behind rays were shining on the windows of " Leave " the house above. they believed. and then caught her close in his arms. She wound her own about him. She looked across to the house on the hill. like a star shooting in the sky. Major. above their heads. do not let us anticipate her judgment. now the mountains its last found Charlotte at home." felt my spoke hurriedly. as we have been parted. Ottilie stood confused and agitated. Hope streamed away.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES sign which the Major was to give. If she will not^ I must renounce you. Notliing followed. They thought then. genu- ine kisses. at home by this time. The sun had gone down. I implore you. much as we have borne. As you think it is now so near an issue. Edward. of that I am certain. and a damp mist was rising about the lake. and pressed him tenderly to her breast. and separated with pain and effort. that they did indeed belong to each other. and she thought she saw Charlotte 's white dress on the balcony. I am yours if she will permit it to be so." she cried.

With the child in her left arm. tangled as she was herself. and as she tried to recover herself. indeed. that her feet were tottering. in. laying . the child and the book slipped on the other. and only a narrow interval of water divided her from the path which led straight up to the house. The boat shot off. Alas! and it was not a The cold limbs of the ill-starred little creature living being it the child's clothes. She saw the plane-trees just opposite her. it would have been of no service to her. if she had. She caught the floating dress. naked breast. she had often heard of the recovery of the drowned she had herself witnessed an instance of it on the evening of her birthday. She had to use force she pushed again. she recovered all her self-possession but so the greater was her agony the boat was drifting fast into the middle of the lake the oar was swimming far away . and dried threw open her bosom. she was unable to rise. For the first time she pressed a living being to her pure. seized the oar. much from In a moment. She sought for help from herself. Her nervousness about ven- turing on the water with the cliild vanished in her present embarrassment. unstable her. she was floating on the faithless. She saw no one on the shore and. swaying and rocking into the open water. and pushed off. . she took off . . element. and she knew how impatiently Charlotte would be waiting for the child. she lost her footing. Her right hand was free. all into the water. were threatening to fail her. with her muslin dress. and it had ceased to breathe. and glided. . She hastened to the boat she did not feel that her heart was beating. but lying enthat her senses She sprang . . the book in her left hand. Cut off from all assistance. but she could not reach round to help herself up with it.240 THE GERMAN CLASSICS It was a long way round by the end of the lake. at last she succeeded. . She drew the child out of the water but its eyes were closed. and fell over the seat. the oar slipped from her on one side. she it bare for the first time to the free heaven. and the oar in her right.

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cut off as she was. for the height of misfortune. alters the aspect of every object. he submitted the tender body to the usual process. Cool and collected from a wide experience. she fetched everything. and wafted the boat under the planetrees. too. alas. and lent a find. with her face upon the carpet. She persevered with her efforts. and to her questions. It was all in vain. 241 Streams of tears gushed from her show of life and warmth to the outside of the torpid limbs. the child lay motionless in her arms. II — 16 Charlotte was heard driving up. she turned to them and not in vain. She turned to the Power above. She sank down upon her knees in the boat. when she fell fainting. the good man shook his head. The . and called the surgeon and his hands. And it was only when. Ottilie stood by him through it all. like marble. unable to reach the sofa. At that moment Vol. But even here her beautiful spirit did not leave her forsaken. She hurried to the gave the child into Chapter XIV new house. She prepared everything. stroked it. breathed upon it. she wrapped it in her shawl. like the height of happiness. and had ! scarcely entered the sitting-room. after every resource had been ex- moving hausted. she was unable to eyes.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES chilled her to the heart. and ^ith both arms raised the unmo\dng child above her innocent breast. ^ith moist eyes she looked up and cried for its help. but as if she were in another world. and then answered with a gentle No that she left the apartment. whether there was hope. and with tears and kisses labored to supply the help which. motionless the boat floated on the glassy water. all where a tender heart hopes other help has failed. like marble in its whiteness. to find it in fulness w^hen The stars were beginning one by one to glimmer down upon her. first was silent. It was carried at once to Charlotte's sleeping-room. a soft air stole over the surface. she drew it close to herself. cold.

and the story reached the hotel. and she sat down upon the sofa. . The Major hurried up the well-known road. The kind medical man went backward and forward. He then went in. She desired to see it now. And it was brought down as it was. Charlotte raised her. and allow him go to meet her and prepare her. every one was aroused. . The surgeon entered at the same moment. He told him exactly what had happened. however. He went himself. till at last he brought it to rest upon her friend. But he was too late. and the depth of feeling and of sympathy which would surely be called out in He learnt from him in what him to tell the . The latter came out. The report of the accident soon spread through the village.242 THE GERMAN CLASSICS surgeon implored the servants to keep back. state things were. It had been wrapped up in warm woolen coverings. began some conversation to distract her attention. he went round and round the house at last he met a servant who was going to one of the out-buildings to fetch something. and desired surgeon that he was there. Charlotte did not try to conceal from herself any longer that her child would never return to life again. and led her imagination from one object to another. She could not at once. She found Ottilie on the ground. . and one of the girls of the house came running and screaming to her open-mouthed. She was flj^ng up stairs to the child. but the physician besought her to remain w^here she was. his real care was for the ladies and so came on midnight. and she was informed of everything. Ottilie was still Ijdng on the ground. he appeared to be busy about the child. and supported her against herself. to give up all hope. and the stillness grew more and more deathly. not a little surprised at the appearance of his old patron. and her beautiful head sank down upon her knee. and undertook to prepare Charlotte to see him. The little face was uncovered and there it lay in its calm sweet beauty. while he was speaking she had entered the drawing-room. to deceive her with a show of fresh exertions. which was placed at her side on the sofa. Mng in its cot.

Ho stood before her she lifted off the green covering under which the body was Ipng. deUcately but uprightly. through the night. in a voice so light that to catch her words he was obUged to draw his ** In such a case as this I have never chair closer to her: before found myself. how vdW it be tomorrow? clearly that the fate of many persons is now in my hands. I am here loses its importance by the side of it. find you is so fearful that even the earnest matter on which * ' . and by the dim light of a taper. 243 the imaginative she was brought at once to Enough! she was informed that he w^as at the door. the lights went out the two friends appeared to awake out of a heavy dream. and showed neither surprise nor unwill- ingness. for this is not a time. pointed to a chair. Charlotte looked " Tell me toward the Major." *' The present is not a time. to take . not without a Charlotte secret shudder. Charlotte received him with a mis- From the real." He then informed her. Charlotte listened quietly. that he knew everytliing and desired to be admitted. in the same low tone as that in which Charlotte had spoken.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES him. The Major entered. in so far as he was the ambassador of of the object of his coming. part in this mourning scene. silk . of the object of his mission. own He laid both before her. without speaking. The morning dawned. in so far as his free will and his own interests were concerned in it. erable smile. and there they sat opposite each Ottilie other. and said quietly: through what circumstances you have been brought liither. and fear lest she might disturb Ottilie The condition in which I this is not a place for reserve. and what I have to do is soon said wdthout scruple or hesi- . and slept or seemed to sleep. Edward. she replied. the stiffened image of himself." the Major answered. he saw before him. she breathed softly. but in similar cases I have always I feel very said to myself. ^was still lying motionless on Charlotte's knee. As soon as the Major had finished. quite calmly and simply.

as the instrument of the most wonderful destiny. it is able to do yet more things. for the moment when I tremble she will recover out of this half death- How How can she endure to live? sleep into consciousness. if she may not hope to make good that to Edward. say Edward that I consent to the separation that I leave it . shall she ever console herself. indeed. to to Do you go quietly away. why. In vain may reason. may duty. what desire. it can restore all things . him. advice. of myself at such a '^ moment I may not think. she has deprived him? And she can make it all good again by the passion. I ought to have made up unwillingness and reluctance I have destroyed my child. I have no anxiety for my own future condition. '^ . may all holy feelings place themselves in its way. against which I acted so unthinkDid I ingly. and which to us seems not good and it forces own way through at last. and to Mittler. my mind by my may virtue. . my own And now. and when another could have made him happy as a wife? *'And. There are certain things on which destiny obstinately insists. . Why. in my thoughts. my dear Major. . by the devoIf love be able to bear all tion with which she loves him. to settle whatever is to be done. I will subscribe whatever paper is submitted to me.244 tation. look here on this unhappy slumberer. only he must not require me to I cannot have to think about it. we will. let us conduct ourselves as . or give join actively. THE GERMAN CLASSICS I consent to the separation to it before. it may be what it will it is nothing to me. could I not distinguish mere man's obstinacy from real love? Why did I accept his hand. design Edward and Ottilie Did I not myself labor to bring them for each other? And you. Something shall be done which to it its seems good. of which. am I saying? It is but my own purpose. to you. which destiny is again bringing in my way? not long ago. you yourself were an together? accomplice in my plot. my friend. when I could have made him happy as a friend.

He pressed it to his lips. He pictured Ottilie their general happiness. him than With such flattering hopes and fancies passing through his mind. and looked . He pictured himself w^th his own son on his to him for to himself knee. . instead of being sorry for the poor creature. After the Major had left her. you another time. Charlotte sat on. where they would consider what was next to be done. through which the only impediment in the way of his happiness was at once removed. Ottilie suddenly raised herself from her lap. regarded what had befallen it. he returned to the hotel. and whispered " gently: "And for myself. feeling for Charlotte to the bottom of his heart. She stretched out her hand to him across Ottilie. may I hope anything? " I will tell " Do not ask me now! " replied Charlotte. undertaking. and went. The Major at once informed him of his wife's resolution. who should have better right to resemble the one which was departed. and make their arrangements. without being exactly ready to confess it to himself.THE ELECTR^E AFFINITIES 245 The Major rose to go. We have not deserved to be miserable but neither can we say that we have deserved to be happy together. with a child of her own in her arms. as the most perfect compensation for the one of which she had deprived Edward. buried in her own reflections but it was only for a few minutes. . and on his way back he met Edward. who had been waiting for him the whole night through in the open air. and he too." The Major left her. but not being able to be sorry for the Such an offering seemed necesfeary fate of the poor child. and from thence to go for a while to the little town. and he therefore easily allowed himself to be prevailed upon to return again \\qth him to the village. as a convenient accident. since neither rocket nor report of cannon would bring liim news of the successful issue of his He had already heard of the misfortune.

perI understood well what you said. Then she got off the ground. it is always I now find that what you said is at important moments. but again. haps too clearly. regulated whatever I did and whatever I left undone. and what you thought I ought to do. I future over me. heard every syllable which you uttered. you have again made clear to me my situation. I made rules to myself. wiih an *' this is the second time irresistible solemnity of manner. left as I was a poor orphan in the world. On that occasion you were speaking one of your friends you were commiserating my fate. I could not speak and if I had wished it. and by these I have long lived. AVliile \jing in a half torpor on your lap. and my head rested on your knees. by these. You once said that the same thing has happened to me. when I was a very little child. at the time when you so kindly took charge of me. I have to make a confession to you." began the noble girl. and stood upright before her. '' Tliis is the second time. knew everything which was passing heard every word which was said with the I greatest distinctness. I have again. now. I could not have given a hint . to me that similar things often befall people more than once up from in their lives in a similar way. I have broken rules I have lost the very power of feeling them. And my . and how unfortunate a that I was conscious. as if out of another world. " But I have wandered out of my course. as you are at this moment. what you appeared to hope of me. I was not awake true. I know from you how all is with me. were on a sofa. I shudder at the thought of myself. and if they do. You I was sitting one day on a footstool close to you. about me to . and had me with you in your house.246 full THE GERMAN CLASSICS with her large eyes in her friend's face. Shortly mother's death. as I did . which is more pitiable than the first. according to such limited insight as I had. and after my : I was in a trance. You described my dependent position. after a dreadful occurrence. and yet I could not stir. was before me. I w^as not asleep. I about me. unless some very happy star watched I saw.

and she felt for it. as I was before. and what I have determined I must tell you at once. even more than is right or necessary. '* do not endeavor to move me. with vehemence. my dearest. Write to him that no steps must be taken. and when there might be better room for hope. and. but she hoped that by time and persuasion she might be able On her uttering a few words. do not seek to deceive me. or what they are going to do. from seem men most all require the assistance and support of others. every one to work in his own fashion. they singly within themselves. They talk to each other of their plans and their occupations. I will never be Edward's ^vife. At the moment at which I learn that you have consented to I tried to cry out. kindest friend. It is It made me miserable that I could not stir or speak Oh. he went. But this is far being the case in serious moments just when it would ." Chapter XV Friends and relatives. and all persons living in the same house together. are apt. and let no one think to move me from my purpose. In a terrible manner God has opened my eyes to see the sin in which I was entangled. that you must Send for the Major to come govern your own conduct. which pointed to a future ings would be alleviated. every one to act for himself. in my half sleep of death. a subject of constant conversation.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 247 then. why did you let him leave you with such unlawful hopes! " Charlotte saw Ottilie's condition. to a time when her sufferever. to make what they are doing. howto prevail upon her. I will atone for it. back to you. without exactly taking one another's advice. I tried to rise — when — the separation. they conceal draw . when life is going smoothly and peacefully with them. by this. " No! " Ottiiie cried. consider and discuss together the entire progress of their lives. ** I am determined. I have marked out my new path for myself. in that same lake I will expiate my errors and my crimes.

Charlotte. and lake and rocks and trees. In the bottom of her heart she had forgiven herself solely under condition of the fullest renunciation. the thing which they realize. She had discovered by degrees the scene which had preceded the accident. and Charlotte now felt how deeply house and park. made Charlotte's immediate life much more easy for her.248 THE GERMAN CLASSICS from one another the particular means whicli they employ. and now it all came to the surface. the object. on her side. After so many strange and unfortunate incidents. She was open. So passed away some time. partly from Ottilie herself. She had disclosed the secret of the course of her life to her friend. They wanted change of scene. turned back to life and occupation. is again made common property. She had been a close and thoughtful observer. She had no more violence to do to herself. She knew much. full of ominous foreshadowings. She occupied herself almost She knew entirely vAth her. and she showed no more of her previous restraint and submissiveness. a sort of silent seriousness had passed over the two ladies. and only the result. Ottilie. and it was a condition which would remain binding for all time to come. served to keep ahve in them all their most painful reminiscences. But something very different was passing in Ottihe. but she never spoke of the present. she amused Charlotte. or of what had lately passed. mthout letting it be observed. By her repentance and her resolution she felt herself freed from the burden of her fault and her misfortune. and the latter still nourished a hope in secret to see her married to Edward after all. It rested there as the first offering to a destiny chapel. She entertained. partly from the letters of the Major. it . and even talkative. which showed itself in a sweet mutual effort to spare each other's The child had been buried privately in the feelings. how deeply the noble girl loved Edward. and here she first found Ottilie standing in need of her assistance. both of them. and had gathered every circumstance of it. as soon as ever she could.

'* Do not think me foolish or self-willed. trust having hitherto proved ineffectual. 249 it was to be effected was not so easy to decide. and at the same time (at any rate for a while) to part. my dear aunt. although in any other case it would be into my duty to be silent. with all their good will. if preted. a desirable companion for their their attempts to find a person whom they could daughter. A person who has fallen misfortunes. carries a frightful mark upon him. but Ottilie expressly declined going anywhere. and this more often. however guiltless he may be. at any rate by their They were afraid to give pain to each other. the old question came up again: family. time proposed it. with all their sense.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES was plain enough but how . very fear itself produced the evil which they w^ere seeking to avoid. where she would be thrown into what is called the great world. and he is the object of a diseased and . rich Baroness had been at the castle. feelings. Where was Ottilie who still wanted to go? There was the grand. In their conversation there was a constant endeavor to avoid doubtful subjects. with all their efforts to conceal it. could not avoid finding themselves in a painful situation toward each other. she had urged Charlotte and she had been lately pressing it Charlotte now a second again and again in her letters." she said. The last time the to send Ottilie there. excites a kind of horror. People see in him the terrible fate which has uncommon been laid upon him. expressions were misinternot by their understandings. for fear you should judge hardly of me. They were often obliged only half to understand — . *' I had better tell you what I feel. some allusion. If they were to try change of scene. Were the two ladies to remain together? Edward's prehis declaraviously expressed will appeared to enjoin it tions and his threats appeared to make it necessary' only it could not be now mistaken that Charlotte and Ottilie. in every one who sees him and is aware of his history. His presence.

and the stars seem '* to lose their lustre. if it be determined to persecute us. and the party came all crowding round in terror and curiosity little did I think. and with such mistaken good nature tried to force into society and amusement." *'But." answered Ottilie. then. where I can go steadily and unweariedly on doing my duty. but how extreme is the indiscretion vdth.250 THE GERMAN CLASSICS It is so with a house. it is so with a town. with your present feelings. and I shall be able to bear the eyes of men. . Let me sit still in idleness and serve as a spectacle for the world. and it will overpower me and crush me. would be your resource. which people behave toward such unfortunates. Perhaps we ought to excuse it. there. : . *'you will never be able to withdraw yourself where no one can see you we have no cloisters now otherwise." answered Charlotte. but that poor girl whom Luciana tempted out of her retirement. ." *' '' your . But find me some peaceful employment. where any terrible action has been done people enter them with awe. when I need not shrink under the eyes of God. with their foolish importunities and awkward kindness You must forgive me for speaking in this way. and I caught her in my arms." " Solitude would not give me the resource for which I '' The one true wash. But mv feelinor for her is as deep and warm and fresh as ever it was and now I may direct my compassion upon myself. and valuable resource is to be looked for where we can be active and useful all the self-denials and all the penances on earth will fail to deliver us from an evil-omened destiny. and secure myself from being the object of any similar exposure. my dear child." ! ! — . that the same fate was in store for me. has haunted me and made me mislerable. Unless I am much mistaken. nervous curiosity. inclination is to return to the school." replied Charlotte. and then sank and swooned away. the light of day shines less brightly there. my dear aunt. The poor creature. when she was so frightened and tried to escape.

I shall remember the many trials which I *' Most warmly I : went through myself.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES " it 251 it. '' for giving me leave at least to try. and who are fitter for such a service. only I hope it will be but for ever. and who can better fulfil that command than those who have no more misfortunes to fear " upon earth? You are selecting an uncommon profession for your*'I shall not oppose you. to cheer them in their childish sorrows. than those who have been initiated into the labyrinths of life? They are commanded to be the support of the unfortunate. It will be my happiness to watch the embarrassments of the little creatures as they grow. ." Ottilie answered. I am sure I shall succeed wherever I am. Let it be as you wish. has himself recovered. howself. ** I do not deny I think a happy destination to train up others in the beaten way." '' I have but one objection to make to what you propose. the more he has received. do we not see the same great fact in history? some moral calamity drives men out into the wilderness. And after ha\dng been trained in the strangest myself. the feeling that every moderate good ought to be enjoyed with rapture. The fortunate is not the person to be of help to the unfortunate it is in the nature of man to require ever more and more of himself and The unfortunate who others. although that one seems to me of great importance. in himself and them. and how small. They are summoned back into the world. to make the experiment. If I am not flattering myself too highly." said Ottilie. and guide them back wdth a light hand out of their little aberrations. how infinitely small they were compared to those which I afterward had to undergo." replied Charlotte. to lead the wanderers into the right way. but they are not allowed to remain as they had hoped in their concealment there. after some thought." '' said Charlotte. knows best how to nourish. I am not thinking of you. *' a short time." thank you. but of another person: you are aware of the feelings . Yes.

and hereafter. lying under the shadow of an awful calamity. and alone is able to shield us from the dark powers which threaten to overwhelm us. the least suspicion. she had hinted at the up against it is invisibly . when he has become accustomed to have you to work with him. Already he himself believes that he can never live happily without you. *' t in remaining in a simple relation with me he will learn to see me a consecrated person. clear to us. But how soon. At a distance from the object of our love. then you had better Charlotte. " If your resolution to renounce Edward. the warmer our affection. ." All this. and only able to support herself and bear . the faintest hope. by devoting herself to that Holy Being w^ho around us. the stronger is the control which we fancy that we can exercise *' on ourselves. In the way in which you desire to proceed.252 THE GERMAN CLASSICS toward you of that good. avoid the danger of seeing him again. that I hope he will be able to reconcile himself to . Charlotte privately reflected over on many different occasions. Destiny has not dealt with me with too gentle a hand. right-minded. you will become every day more valuable and more indispensable to him. excellent Assistant. how swiftly is our mistake made when the thing which we thought that we could renounce. she expressed herself to Charlotte clearly and peremptorily on the subject. because the whole force of the passion. seemed to wound Ottilie to the quick. which the dear girl poured out so warmly." . One day when she could not evade it. possibihty of Ottilie 's being brought again in contact with Edward but the slightest mention of it. stands again before our eyes as indispensable to us You must now do what you consider best suited to ! ." returned is so firm and unalterable. although only in the gentlest manner. he will be unable to carry on his business if he loses you you will have assisted him at the beginning only to injure him in the end. much better to expect." ^' and whoever loves me has perhaps not replied Ottilie. Our friend is so good and so sensible. diverted from its outward objects. turns inward on ourselves.

you can renounce Edward for If you have faithfully made up the whole time to come. indeed. Charlotte began to be haunted with Edward's threat. as long as she was not parted from Charlotte. she gave Charlotte made to herself. But ever. Since that time. and inquire what. which "svill lead vou no one knows in what direction. as things were. change. that you will never admit him into your presence. with a free consenting heart. consider once more whether really. circumstances were so altered. so many things had happened. and if he seeks you out and forces himself " upon you. and enter upon a new life. before you take this step. indeed. although only for a few moments at a time. Look well into yourself. But do it of yourself. and Mittler therefore to find Edward. in the remotest sense to venture anything or to under- take anything which might displease him. which she had already moment. Do not allow yourself to be drawn in by an accident.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 253 your circumstances. that he would only consent to renounce Ottilie. then will you enter into your an engagement ^^'ith me. Now. as his nature was. Ottilie did not hesitate a the promise. her husband in the highest degree improbhad produced a most painful effect upon him. he "washed to be done. Mittler had often been at the castle to see Charlotte. he rejoiced secretly at the resolution of Ottilie. the resolution which you have just expressed. She was um\dlling. He trusted to the still be possible to hoped that it might keep the husband and the wife from . The unhappy accident which had made her reconciliation viith able. softening influence of passing time he . before you remove from me. however. do not It will let yourself be surprised into your former position. however. that you \\i\\ not exchange words with him? you. place you at issue with yourself and will be intolerable to As I said. mind that you will do this. if you prefer it. that an engagement which was wrung from him in a moment of excitement might well be supposed to have been cancelled. hoping and striving. was now Since the death of the cliild.

well knowing that men can be brought more easily to submit to what is already done. the present. ing Edward for an alteration in her situation. and see would recover. . and she took no The day of the departure came notice. pany her. persuaded Charlotte that it would be better to send Ottilie off at once to the school. to prevail on Edward to take no further steps for earnestly quiet and wait. and lie tried to regard these convulsions of passion only as trials of wedded love and fidelity. and of seeing strange places. and remain as her attendant. but let her alone. She was quite beside herself now for joy at the thought of traveling with her. Charlotte's carriage was to take Ottilie the first day as far as a place where they were well known. and henceforth devote herself entirely to Ottilie's service. at the very first. and now hung about her as warmly and passionately as ever. And now Mittler had to undertake the really difficult commission of preparMittler. had informed the Major by She had entreated him most letter of Ottilie's declaration. and to take leave. where she was to pass the night. was to go with her. . than to give their consent to what is yet to be done. This capricious little creature had found her way back to her mistress after the death of the child. preparations were at once made for the journey. and on the second she would go on in it It was settled that Nanny was to accomto the school. as if she wished to make good her past neglect. nor anything out of it. Charlotte. Ottilie put her things together and Charlotte observed that neither the beautiful Ottilie box. with her loquacity and attentiveness. however. She had let whatever was necessary of him know from what had more lately fallen from her.254 THE GERMAN CLASSICS separating. They should keep girl's spirits time to time whether the poor . when she had hitherto never been away from the scene of her birth and she ran from the castle to the village to carry the news of her good fortune to her parents and her relations. . had said notliing to her on the subject. indeed she seemed. as soon as Mittler was gone. Consequently.

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES

255

Unluckily for herself, she went, among other places, into a room where a person was who had the measles, and caught the infection, which came out upon her at once. The journey could not be postponed. Ottilie herself was urgent to go. She had traveled once already the same road. She knew the people of the hotel where she was to sleep. The coachman from the castle was going with her. There could

be nothing to fear. Charlotte made no opposition. She, too, in thought, was making haste to be clear of present embarrassments. The

rooms which Ottilie had occupied at the castle she would have prepared for Edward as soon as possible, and restored to the old state in which thev had been before the The hope of bringing back old arrival of the Captain. happy days burns up again and again in us, as if it never

And Charlotte was quite right; could be extinguished. there was nothing else for her except to hope as she did.
Chapter XVI was come to talk the matter over with Edward, he found him sitting by himself, with his head

When

Mittler

supported on his right hand, and his arm resting on the He appeared in great suffering. " asked Mittler. ** Is your headache troubling you again? ** '* and yet I cannot It is troubling me," answered he; wish it were not so, for it reminds me of OttiUe. She too,
table.

same way at this same moment, and suffering more perhaps than I; and why cannot I bear it as well as she? These pains are good for me. I might almost say that they were welcome for they
I say to myself, is also suffering in the
;

serve to bring out before me with the greater vividness her patience and all her other graces. It is only when we suffer ourselves, that we feel really the true nature of all
the high quahties which are required to bear suffering." Mittler, finding his friend so far resigned, did not hesitate to
sent.

He

communicate the message with which he had been brought it out piecemeal, however; in order of

256

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

time, as the idea had itself arisen between the ladies, and had gradually ripened into a purpose. Edward scarcely

made an objection. From the little which he said, it appeared as if he was willing to leave everything to them; the pain which he was suffering at the moment making him
indifferent to all besides.

Scarcely, however, was he again alone, than he got up, and walked rapidly up and down the room; he forgot his pain, his attention now turning to what was external to himself. Mittler's story had stirred the embers of his love, and awakened his imagination in all its vividness. He
Ottilie by herself, or as good as by herself, traveling on a road which was well known to him in a hotel with every room of which he was familiar. He thought, he considered, or rather he neither thought nor considered; he he only desired. He would see her; he only wished would speak to her. Why, or for what good end that was to come of it, he did not care to ask himself; but he made up his mind at once. He must do it. He summoned his valet into Ms council, and through him he made himself acquainted wdth the day and hour when Ottilie was to set out. The morning broke. Without taking any person with him, Edward mounted liis horse, and rode off to the place where she was to pass the night. He

saw

was there too soon. The hostess was overjoyed at the sight of him she was under heavy obligations to him for a service which he had been able to do for her. Her son had been in the army, where he had conducted himself with remarkable gallantry. He had performed one particular action of which no one had been a witness but Edward and the latter had spoken of it to the commander-in-chief in
; ;

terms of such high praise that, notwithstanding the opposition of various ill-wishers, he had obtained a decoration for him. The mother, therefore, could never do enough for Edward. She got ready her best room for him, which indeed was her own wardrobe and store-room, mth all possible speed. He informed her, however, that a young lady

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
was coming

257

to pass the iiight there, and he ordered an apartment for her at the back, at the end of the gallery. It sounded a mysterious sort of affair but the hostess was ready to do anything to please her patron, who appeared And he, what were his so interested and so busy about it. sensations as he watched through the long, weary hours He examined the room round and round in till evening? which he was to see her with all its strangeness and homeHe liness it seemed to him to be an abode for angels. thought over and over what he had better do; whether he should take her by surprise, or whether he should prepare her for meeting him. At last the second course seemed the preferable one. He sat down and wrote a letter, which she
;

;

was

to read:

EDWARD TO OTTILIE
to you.

my best beloved, I am close not agitate yourself; do not be alarmed; you have nothing to fear from me. I \\'i\\ not force myself
this letter,

" While you read

Do

upon you. choose.

I wall see

you or

not, as

you yourself

shall

" Consider, oh! consider your condition and mine. How must I not thank you, that you have taken no decisive step But the step which you have taken is significant enough.
!

not persist in it. Here, as it were, at a jDarting of the will you be ways, reflect once again. Can you be mine? mine? Oh, you will be showing mercy on us all if you

Do

and on me, infinite mercy. " Let me see j^ou again! happily, joyfully see you once more Let me make my request to you with my own lips and do you give me your answer your own beautiful self, on my breast, Ottilie! where you have so often rested, and which belongs to you for ever! " As he was writing, the feeling rushed over liim that what he was longing for was coming was close would be there almost immediately. By that door she would come in she would read that letter she in her own person would stand there before him as she used to stand; she for whose
will;

!

;

;

;

Vol. II

— 17

258

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

Would she be the appearance he had thirsted so long. was her form, were her feelings same as she was? changed? He still held the pen in his hand; he was going to write as he thought, when the carriage rolled into the With a few hurried strokes he added: ** I hear court.

you coming.

For a moment, farewell! " He folded the letter, and directed it. He had no time for He darted into the room through which there was sealing. a second outlet into the gallery, when the next moment he recollected that he had left his watch and seals lying on She must not see these first. He ran back and the table. At the same instant he brought them away with him.

heard the hostess in the antechamber showing Ottilie the way to her apartments. He sprang to the bedroom door. In bis haste, as he had come back for his It was shut. watch, he had forgotten to take out the key, which had The door had closed fallen out, and lay the other side. with a spring, and he could not open it. He pushed at it with all his might, but it would not yield. Oh, how gladly would he have been a spirit, to escape through its cracks
!

Ottilie hid his face against the panels. and the hostess, seeing him, retired. From Ottilie entered, herself, too, he could not remain concealed for a moment. He turned toward her; and there stood the lovers once

In vain.

He

more, in such strange fashion, in each other's presence. She looked at him calmly and earnestly, without advancing

He made a movement to approach her, and or retiring. He stepped she withdrew a few steps toward the table. '' " he cried '* Ottilie! let me Ottilie! back again. aloud, Are we shadows, that we break this frightful silence!
Only listen to me listen an accident that you find me here There is a letter on the table, at your side there, thus. which was to have prepared you. Read it, I implore you read it and then determine as you will She looked down at the letter and after thinking a few seconds, she took it up, opened it, and read it: she finished
stand thus gazing at each other ?
It is
;

to this at least.

' '

!

;

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
it

259

without a change of expression; and she laid it lightly the palms of her hands together, turning them upward, and drawing them against her breast, she leant her body a little forward, and regarded Edward with such a look, that, eager as he was, he was compelled to Such renounce everything he wished or desired of her. an attitude cut him to the heart; he could not bear it. It seemed exactly as if she would fall upon her knees before He hurried in despair out of the him, if he persisted. room, and leaving her alone, sent the hostess in to her.

down then joining
;

come

the antechamber. Night had and there was no sound in the room. At last the hostess came out and drew the key out of the lock. The good woman was embarrassed and agitated, not knowing what it would be proper for her to do. At last as she
on,

He walked up and down

it;

turned to go, she offered the key to Edward, w^ho refused and putting down the candle, she went away. In misery and wretchedness, Edward flung himself down from Ottilie, on the threshold of the door wliich divided moistening it with his tears as he lay. A more unhappy/ night had been seldom passed by two lovers in such close

Mm

tv>

neighborhood

!

Day came
carriage,
Ottilie

The coachman brought round the and the hostess unlocked the door and went in. was asleep in her clothes; she went back and beckat last.

oned

to

Edward with

a

significant

smile.

They both

entered and stood before her as she lay; but the sight was too much for Edward. He could not bear it. She was sleeping so quietly that the hostess did not like to disturb her, but sat down opposite her, waiting till she woke. At last Ottilie opened her beautiful eyes, and raised herself on her feet. She declined taking any breakfast, and then
in again and stood before her. He entreated her to speak but one word to him; to tell liim what she desired. He would do it, be it what it would, he swore to He asked her once more, her; but she remained silent. passionately and tenderly, whether she would be his. With

Edward went

260

THE GEKMAN CLASSICS

downcast eyes, and with the deepest tenderness of manner she shook her head in a gentle No. He asked if she still Without any show of feeling desired to go to the school. she declined. Would she then go back to Charlotte ? She inclined her head in token of assent, with* a look of comfort and relief. He went to the window to give directions to the coachman, and when his back w^as turned she darted Hke lightning out of the room, and was dow^n the stairs and The coachman drove back in the carriage in an instant. the road which he had come the day before, and along Edward followed at some distance on horseback.

Chapter XVII
It was with the utmost surprise that Charlotte saw the carriage drive up with Ottilie, and Edward at the same moment ride into the court-yard of the castle. She ran down to the hall. Ottilie alighted, and approached her and Edward. Violently and eagerly she caught the hands of the wife and husband, pressed them together, and hur^ ried off to her own room. Edward threw himself on CharHe could not give her lotte's neck and burst into tears. any explanation; he besought her to have patience with

Charlotte followed him, and to go at once to see Ottilie. her to her room, and she could not enter it without a shudThere was nothing to It had been all cleared out. der. be seen but the empty walls, which stood there looking Everything had been cheerless, vacant, and miserable. carried away except the little box, which from an uncertainty what was to be done with it, had been left in the

middle of the room. Ottilie was lying stretched upon the ground, her arm and head leaning across the cover. Charlotte bent anxiously over her, and asked what had happened; but she received no answer.

Her maid had come
her
^vith
Ottilie,

vn.th.

restoratives.

Charlotte left
to

and herself hastened back
tell

Edward.

She found him in the saloon, but he could

her nothing.

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES

261

He threw himself down before her; he bathed her hands with tears he flew to his own room, and she was going to
;

follow him thither, man she gathered as

she put together in and then at once set herself resolutely to do what the Ottilie's room was exigencies of the moment required.
his, to the last

when she met his valet. From this much as he was able to tell. The rest her own thoughts as well as she could,

put to rights again as quickly as possible; Edward found paper, exactly as he had left it. The three appeared again to fall into some sort of relation ^Wth one another. But Ottilie persevered in her silence, and Edward could do nothing except entreat his ^vife to exert a patience which seemed wanting to himself. Charfirst

messengers to Mittler and to the Major. The was absent from home and could not be found. The latter came. To him Edward poured out all his heart, confessing every most trifling circumstance to him, and thus Charlotte learnt fully what had passed; what it had been which had produced such violent excitement, and how so strange an alteration of their mutual position had been
lotte sent

brought about. She spoke with the utmost tenderness to her husband. She had nothing to ask of him, except that for the present he would leave the poor girl to herself. Edward was not
;

.

insensible to the worth, the affection, the strong sense of/ his wife but liis passion absorbed him exclusively. Charlotte tried to

1

cheer him with hopes.

She promised that

about the separation; but it had small effect with him. He was so much shaken that hope and faith alternately forsook him. A species of He insanity appeared to have taken possession of him. urged Charlotte to promise to give her hand to the Major. To satisfy him and to humor him, she did what he required.
difficulties

she herself would

make no

She engaged

to

become herself the

"vvife

of the Major, in the
;

event of Ottilie consenting to the marriage with Edward with this express condition, however, that for the present the two gentlemen should go abroad together. The Major

262

THE GERMAN CLASSICS
a foreign

had

appointment from the Court, and
should accompany him.

tled that
it all

Edward

it was setThey arranged

together, and in doing so found a sort of comfort for themselves in the sense that at least sometliing was being

done.

In the meantime they had to remark that Ottilie took

She still persisted in scarcely anything to eat or drink. They at first used to talk to her, but refusing to speak.
are not, it appeared to distress her, and they left it off. universally at least, so weak as to persist in torturing Charlotte thought over what could people for their good. At last she fancied it might be well to possibly be done.

We

ask the Assistant of the school to come to them. He had influence with Ottilie, and had been writing with anxiety to inquire the cause of her not having arrived at the time he had been expecting her; but as yet she had not sent him any answer. In order not to take Ottilie by surprise, they spoke of their intention of sending tliis in\dtation in her presence. It did not seem to please her; she thought for some little

much much

appeared to have formed some resolution. own room, and before the evening sent the following letter to the assembled party:
time
;

at last she

She retired

to her

OTTILIE TO

HER FRIENDS

my dear friends, what is in itself so plain? I have stepped out of my course, and I cannot recover it again. malignant spirit which has gained power over me seems to hinder me from Avithout, even if mthin I could again become at peace with myself.

"

Why need I express

in words,

A

*'My purpose was
and
to separate

entirely firm to renounce

Edward,

myself from him for ever. I had hoped that we might never meet again; it has turned out otherToo wise. Against his own will he stood before me. literally, perhaps, I have observed my promise never to admit him into conversation mth me. My conscience and the feelings of the moment kept me silent toward him at

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
the time, and

263

now I have nothing more to say. I have taken upon myself, under the accidental impulse of the moment, a difficult vow, which if it had been formed delibLet me erately, might perhaps be painful and distressing.

now

it so long as my heart not call in any one to mediate; my speaking; do not urge me to eat or Bear with me and to drink more than I absolutely must.

persist in the observance of

shall enjoin it to me. do not insist upon

Do

alone, and so help me on through the time; I am and youth has many unexpected means of restoring young, Endure my presence among you; cheer me with itself. your love; make me wiser and better with what you say to one another: but leave me to my own inward self." The two friends had made all preparation for their jourlet

me

ney, but their departure was still delayed by the formalities of the foreign appointment of the Major, a delay most

welcome to Edward. Ottilie's letter had roused all his eagerness again; he had gathered hope and comfort from her words, and now felt himself encouraged and justified in remaining and waiting. He declared, therefore, that he would not go it would be folly, indeed, he cried, of his own accord, to throw away, by over precipitateness, what was most valuable and most necessary to him, when although there was a danger of losing it, there was never'' theless a chance that it might be preserved. What is the " he said. '' It is only right name of conduct such as that?
;

that

we

desire to
I myself,

choose.

show that we are able to will and to under the influences of the same ridicu^

lous folly, have torn myself away, days before there was any necessity for it, from my friends, merely that I might

not be forced to go by the definite expiration of my term. This time I will stay: what reason is there for my going; is she not already removed far enough from me? I am not likely now to catch her hand or press her to my heart; I could not even think of it without a shudder. She has not separated herself from me; she has raised herself far above me."

264

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

And so lie remained as he desired, as he was obUged; but he was never easy except when he found himself with Ottihe. She, too, had the same feeling -with him; she could not tear herself away from the same happy necessity. On
power
sides they exerted an indescribable, almost magical of attraction over each other. Living, as they under one roof, ^^thout even so much as thinking of were,
all

each other, although they might be occupied with other things, or diverted this way or that way by the other members of the party, they always drew together. If they were in the same room, in a short time thev were sure to be either standing or sitting near each other they were only easy when as close together as they could be, but they were then completely happy. To be near was enough there was no need for them either to look or to speak they did not
;
;
:

seek to touch one another, or make sign or gesture, but merely to be together. Then there were not two persons, there was but one person in unconscious and perfect conSo it was tent, at peace with itself and with the world. that, if either of them had been imprisoned at the further end of the house, the other would by degrees, -without intending it, have moved forward like a bird toward its mate life to them was a riddle, the solution of which they
;

could find onlv in union.
Ottilie was throughout so cheerful and quiet that they were able to feel perfectly easy about her; she was seldom absent from the society of her friends: all that she had

desired

was that she might be allowed to eat alone, with no one to attend upon her but Nanny.

What habitually befalls any person repeats itself more often than one is apt to suppose, because his own nature
gives the immediate occasion for
ality,
it.

Character, individu-

circumstance, and form together a whole, in which every man moves habits, as in an atmosphere, and where only he feels himself at
inclination,

tendency,

locality,

ease in his proper element.

THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
And
so

265

we

find

complaints are made, after

unchanged, and in inward, unchangeable.

men, of whose cliangeableness so many many years, to our sni*])rise, all their infinite tendencies, outward and

Thus in the daily life of our friends, almost everything OttiUe still disglided on again in its old smooth track. played by many silent attentions her obliging nature, and
the others, like her, continued each themselves and then the domestic circle exhibited an image of their former life,
;

so like

it

dreamt that

that they might be pardoned if at times they it might all be again as it was.

The autumn days, which were of the same length with those old spring days, brought the party back into the house out of the air about the same hour. The gay fruits
and flowers which belonged to the season might have made them fancy it was now the autumn of that first spring, and the interval dropped out and forgotten; for the flowers which now were blooming were the same as those wliich then they had sown, and the fruits which were now ripening on the trees were those w^hich at that time they had seen in
blossom.

The Major went backward and forward, and Mittler came frequently. The evenings were generally spent in Edward usually read aloud, with exactly the same way. more life and feeling than before; much better, and even, It appeared as if it may be said, with more cheerfulness. he was endeavoring, by light-heartedness as much as by devotion, to quicken Ottilie's torpor into life, and dissolve her silence. He seated himself in the same position as he used to do, that she might look over his book; he was uneasy and distracted unless she was doing so, unless he was sure that she was following his words with her eyes. Every trace had vanished of the unpleasant, ungracious No one had any secret feelings of the intervening time. there were no cross purposes, complaint against another; no bitterness. The Major accompanied Charlotte's playing -with his violin, and Edward's flute sounded again, as

and various other things were left. and told the girl to out. to show it off and display her good take what she liked. give her one or two of them. Chapter XVIII feature. which was observed about Ottilie was that. especially as she found provision made there for every article of dress which could be wanted. She was to be seen often in the garden examining the flowers she had signified : to the gardener that he was to save as many as he could of every sort. and which were intended The rest. half from a tacit agreement. garters with devices on them. and she begged Ottilie just to Ottilie refused to do that. she had now unpacked the box. Thus they were now approacMng Edward's birthday. self The latter hastily and awkwardly dashed in her hand and seized what she could. and she had been hardly able to get it done. At last Ottilie succeeded in packing everything carefully into its place. She then opened a secret compartment . and had selected a variety of things out of it. however. which she had cut up. became more noticeable in Ottilie's manner. which the year before they had missed celebrating. in THE GERMAN CLASSICS harmony with Ottilie's piano. They had so settled it together. which had hitherto been more felt than observed. although a portion had been taken The most remarkable The covetous httle Nanny could never satisfy herwith looking at all the pretty things. gloves. Nanny's assistance. running off at once with her booty. and she had been especially occupied with the asters. the space being over full. but opened a drawer in her wardrobe. Numbers of shoes and stockings. As they approached nearer to this epoch. fortune among the rest of the servants. an anxiety about it. evidently to make one complete suit for her. half expressly. even the smallest. for the first time. This time they were to keep it without any outward festivities.266 formerly. however. with. she had endeavored to replace again. in quiet enjoyment among themselves. which tliis year were blooming in beautiful profusion.

No one knew that she spent many hours in extreme exhaustion. — He lived much \\ithin himself. and various other little matters. his tongue broke fairly loose. and hung the delicate key by a gold chain about her neck. OttiHe's silence and reserve he inter- preted according to his own wishes. his only relation to them generally was in active emplo>Tnent on their behalf. and great importance. is This strong-willed. She now added one more to them. He hoped to be able to determine the fortunes of the poor He listened he allowed girl in some not undesirable way. he was discreet and unobtrusive. as . himself to seem convinced. when among friends. and that only at rare intervals. In the meantime. her friends had now in their hearts begun to entertain the best hopes for her. where she kept a number of notes and letters from Edward. a smile like that which hangs about the face of persons delightful who have something pleasant and which they are keeping concealed from those they love. a look of cheerful self-satisfaction. She had latterly seen signs about her which implied that she was engaged in secret about something. the mementos of their early walks together. whom came he Mittler had latterly been a frequent visitor. when he found an opportunity for formly forgot himself gi\dng his opinion upon subjects to which he attached a .THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 267 which was contrived in the lid. resolute person was only too well aware that there a certain moment in wliich alone it will answer j to smite the iron. no steps had as yet been taken toward a separation of the husband and wife. she was able to rouse herself. but if once. her father's portrait. and then locked it all up. many dried flowers. against her heart. and conducted himself in his own way with sufficient There was but one occasion on which he uniprudence. when she appeared in public through the power of her will. and when he staid longer than he usually did at other times. when he was with others. Charlotte was con\dnced that she would one day begin to speak again. a lock of his hair.

The fifth ' is a thoroughly Thou shalt honor beautiful. as well as in the conduct of was notliing more worthless and barbarous than laws and commandments forbidding this and that action. and making signs to her maid about a number of things. *'Man is naturally active. he does it because he must have something to do. Thou shalt do no murder.' as if can we say to that? that well them to ' . am far better pleased to endure faults and mistakes. and keep straight in the direction in which you set him. the Major and Char. they have the whole day before But the sixth now? What put it in practice. The evening before lotte the birthday. rational. till I know what the opposite virtue is that I am to enjoin. I cannot tell you how it annoys me to hear people going over and over those Ten Commandnations.268 THE GERMAN CLASSICS on more than one occasion we have already seen. whether they did evil or whether they did good." he said. "wherever he is and if you know how to tell him what to do. I myself. if he only knows how to get at it. who had gone out for a ride Mittler was walking up and down the saloon were . he will do it immediately.' If the children will inscribe upon their hearts. which the girl. Mittler had fallen exactly on his favorite subject. A ments in teaching children. It is no such great sible. sitting together expecting Edward. there . he rolled out his words in utter recklessness. One of the points on which he used most to insist was. who perfectly understood her silent language. that in the education of children. thy father and thy mother. and he thinks no more about it afterward than he does of the silliest freaks which he engaged in out of the purest idleness. than to be rid of the faults and to have nothing good to put in their man is really glad to do what is right and senplace. preceptive precept. in my own circle. was in her own room. whether they wounded or whether they pleased. matter with him. lading out the dress which she was to wear on the morrow. arranged as she was Ottilie ordered.

'' Thou slialt not commit adultery. if you let it run. Thou shalt hold in reverence the bond this * At — ' of marriage. Thou shalt not tliink of thyself. consider that you are to yourself peril that is the form which should be in injuring yourself. but what a barbarous precaution ' it is to tell children that they are not to kill or murder! If the commandment ran. Thou shalt labor to pacify them. When there is thou seest a husband and a wife be- true love. If there arise anything to make division tween whom ( between them. Men will hate to a murder. and make them feel what a happiness is that which arises out of all duty done and especially out of that duty which . they will fly into passions and forget themselves.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES any man ever felt the slightest 269 general inclination to strike sometimes. reasonable people. to show each of them the excellencies of the other. and their happiness shall gladden thee like the cheerful light of a beautiful day. to stimulate the precocious curiosity of children to pry into dangerous mysteries. but purely and disinterestedly thou shalt seek to further the well-being of others. it may easily come now and then another man dead. Have a regard for the life of another save him though with put away whatever can do him hurt if you injure him. I holds man and wife indissolubly bound together. And in our Catechism teaching we have only an awkw^ard clumsy way of sliding into it. than prated " openly of before church and congregation — — moment Ottilie entered the room. through a w^hat do you mean by that?' ' "And What! as for the seventh. thou shalt rejoice in it. ideas and notions which beyond all things you should wish to keep from them! It were far better if such actions as that commandment speaks of were dealt ^^'ith arbitrarily by some secret tribunal. to obtrude violently upon their imaginations. and as a consequence of this or other feelings. that is utterly detestable.' " .' — — — — use among educated. thou shalt use thy best endeavor to clear it away. and to soothe them.' " Mittler went on '* How coarse! how brutal! What a different sound it has.

come. The was the more distressing. acknowledged that Ottilie had taken nothing. Charlotte constrained herself to seem unembarrassed. **if I may only insist on the foundation of the whole of them. and she then girl hesitated. dearest madam. come to her. There was a nervousness of manner about Nanny which made him suspicious." she said. The beautiful things which she was to wear the next day were laid out on a number of chairs and the girl. The medical friend was on the spot in a moment.270 THE GERMAN CLASSICS if she was sitting on hot coals. who had been running from one to the other. and sank upon the sofa. first ''All the rest. when they put the cup to her lips. the young lady is dying. rise and leave the room. fall back. *' Look. worthy of you." : At this moment Nanny rushed in. Nanny saw her mistress turn pale. called out in her ecstasy. and the girl threw herself on her knees. and faint. at her mistress's . and before she was able to interrupt him. she saw Ottilie. as she was convinced that Mittler was not thinking the least where he was or what he was sajing. Charlotte felt as situation with a faint smile. screaming and crying " She is djing. only look! There is a bridal dress . "You will leave us the eighth commandment. A light seemed to break on the physician: he asked hastily and anxiously what Ottilie had taken that day. who came. Charlotte followed. He carried her with him into the adjoining room." replied Mittler. He ordered some strong soup to be brought. She ran for Charlotte." Ottilie heard the word." Ottilie had found her way back with extreme difficulty to her own room. and confessed that for a long time past Ottilie had taken as good as nothing. staring at them and admiring them. The little He repeated his question. Ottilie refused it with an expression of loathing: it almost threw her into convulsions. after changing color painfully for a few seconds. He thought it was nothing but exhaustion.

half recumbent position. His when he was in any degree recovered from despair. . single word? yonder. because Ottilie had by signs alternately begged her not to tell any one. The Major and Mittler now came up as well. They had begged her to lie down. placed herself in an easy. assisted her. was expressing to all about her this." and then fell back immediately. very well. In tliis position he remained a long time. as she innocently '* because it was so nice. was. the care of providing for the loved remains fell upon Charlotte. then. and it. At last he called out: "And am I never more to hear your voice? "Will you not turn back toward life. with a tender effort of affection she ''Promise me to live. should not be carried out of the castle. but he cried only after her she was already gone. love." added. to give me one I will follow you Well. They found The pale. and there we will speak in another language. and for a little while moving her . and seizing her hand. the tenderest affection. in the corner of the sofa. " I promise. entreaties for forgiveness. lips inarticulately. She seemed to be ^v^shing to take leave and by her gestures. was informed of what had happened he rushed to the room threw himself down at her side." She pressed his hand with all the strength she had she gazed at him wdth a glance full of life and full of love and dra^\'ing a long breath. . gratitude. first his Edward's condition was utterly pitiable. that Ottilie thought. beautiful girl was sitting.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 271 urgent request. After a miserable night. called out. she should be kept . and able to collect liimself. she had herself eaten the food which had been brought for her she had said nothing about it. and. . on alighting from his horse. . deluged it with silent tears. The Major and Mittler . and threatened her if she did. she had declined to do Charlotte busy with the physician. but she made resting her feet upon . Edward. signs to have her box brought. I promise!" he cried to her. apparently conscious. and the most heartfelt farewell.

peaceful home for her. which she had herself prepared. It was arranged that this should be done. so far as that they did not do what he had forbidden. should be only covered mth glass. and attended upon as if she were alive for she was not dead it was impossible that she should be dead.272 THE GERMAN CLASSICS . who had been spoken to sharply by the . the gardens were robbed of their beauty. He now saw^ clearly. and There it would be a calm. Her parents took her home. that the vault in which she was laid. and after her confession had been overwhelmed with reproaches. They succeeded by degrees in recovering Edward from the extreme agony of despair. he would only give it under condition that she should be taken there in an open coffin. It was suggested to him that if Ottilie was placed in the chapel. There was now a second alarm. if covered at all. and a lamp should be kept always burning there. Nanny. and she had to be locked up for fear she would run away again. and a further cause for anxiety. had now disappeared. that the happiness of his life was gone from him for ever. there. After a long search she was found. The mourners crowded about her as she was being taken along. quiet. they lay desolate. but only to make him more really wretched. None would go before. which shone sadly there like melancholy stars. was much difficulty in obtaining his consent. but she appeared to be out of her mind. every one would be . He did not ask to see her. They clothed the delicate body in the festal dress. he could not doubt how. she would still remain among the living. had been compelled by threats to confess. and the heavenly features were once more reddened vnth. but the gentlest treatment had no effect upon her. none would follow. the rising sun. They did what he desired. open coffin out of the castle. and then he seemed resigned. A garland of asters was wreathed about her head. To decorate the bier and the church and chapel. physician. as if a premature winter had blighted all their In the earliest morning she was borne in an loveliness. at least.

. and cried with a voice of ecstasy: '* Yes. and her attendant having left her out of curiosity — . which had been all freshly strewed "wdth leaves. it had been thought better not to allow it. more plainly. swayed herself for a moment on the edge.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 273 where she was. from off the ground. Men and women and little boys one unmoved least of all to be consoled were the girls. she escaped out of the window into a passage. she appeared. every one would enjoy her presence for the there was not last time. and by accident or providentially she was allowed to cry of horror. she appeared to be lifted above the earth. she knew too well what they meant. flung herself down upon her knees before the coffin. to see the funeral. : . however. with what remained to her of life. and gazed with passionate devotion at her mistress. and they had kept secret from her the day and the hour of the funeral. Vol. to be endeavoring. finding all the doors locked. in a room looking toward the garden. Nanny saw her mistress plainly close below her. as if inspired. her lips. indeed. Nanny was not present. Scarcely. who felt most immediately what they had lost. she has forgiven me what no man. and fell to the ground. God forgives me through her look. than the girl started up. and the powerless finger rested on the folded hands. her motion. They lifted her up. and from thence. At last she sprang. more entirely. and the girl fancied she was making signs to her her senses swam. In the tumult and confusion. closely watched. 11 — 18 . lean over the body. into an upper open loft. and first raising her arms and eyes toward heaven. she tottered. At tliis moment the funeral was pass- ing through the village. The crowd drew asunder on all sides with a . had the loosely hanging limbs touched Ottilie's robe. She was at her parents' house. than any one in the procession underneath. to reach her beloved mistress. borne as it were on clouds or waves. But when she heard the bells tolling. what I myself could never have forgiven. the bearers were obliged to set down the coflfin the girl lay close by it it seemed as if every limb was broken.

to prevent any greater evil that might ensue. They were amazed they listened and looked this way and that. You all heard. and his hands clasped piteously together. As night was falling. motionless. I can witness that she said to me am not a murderess any more. and unfolded her hands and blessed me. Nanny now following it and thus they reached the church and the chapel.' " The people stood crowding around her. " Bear her on to her *' She has done her part. watch the body for the first part of the time. and her box at her feet. than he was prepared to see them. God has forgiven me. and attend to the lamp which was now kindled for the first time. . the door opened and the Archi' tect entered the chapel. verance. you Now You are forgiven. and how kindly she looked at me.274 THE GERMAN CLASSICS she is lying again so still and quiet. She has forgiven me. in the vigor of youth and of grace. So now stood the coffin of Ottihe. She recognized him imme- diately. ^\ith his arms drooping. as it lay there so beautiful beneath its glass covering. but she pointed in silence to the pale form of her mistress. and cannot now remain any more amongst us. The bier moved on. . with the child's coffin at her head. and she begged to be allowed to do it with so much eagerness and perse." said the girl. She would remain alone without a companion. and no one may now say anything more ' ' : against me. And there stood he on the other side. inclosed in a restingA woman had been provided to place of massive oak." suffered. she has rest. Nanny was sitting on one side of the coffin. more antique. that they let her have her way. more awful. But Nanny would not permit this duty to be taken from herself. and no one knew" what should next be done. with head and eye inclined over the inanimate body. But she did not long remain alone. but you saw how she raised herself up. and the hanging lamp began to exercise its full right and shed abroad a larger lustre. The chastely ornamented walls in the mild light looked more strange.

when the moment was passed. single man. which had been summoned but a httle time before by nature out of the depths of her treasures. remained all night in the church and when he went in the morning to see her. with gladness and joy. and now swept rare. But she was natural. and with a warm pressure of the hand of Nanny.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 275 Once already he bad stood thus before in the Belisarius be had now involuntarily fallen into the same attitude. without the girl being aware of it. and he appeared to be sinking under the burden of his sorrow. She remembered accurately what had happened in her previous life. prudence. but flung aside and neglected. his sorrow grew lighter: on his knees he took leave of Ottilie. were no more valued. and now was sorro^^^ng for them in unavailing desire. sweet. power. whose peaceful workings the thirsty world had welcomed. with such kindness and such confidence. There were courage. he found her cheerful and tranquil. and wealth in one . The surgeon had. But when she saw the tears streaming fast down his cheeks. he rode away from the spot into the night without having seen a single — other person. that. he was able to recover liimself. in decisive moments. rapidly away again by her careless hand lovely \4rtues. while it had them. Both the youth and the girl were silent for a long time. His tears ceased flowing. lost irrevocably. too. and cared for no longer. rank. astonished at the flow of her words. . and perfectly self-possessed. had been of indispensable service to the nation and the prince. there were qualities which. quiet. was something of inestimable worth thrown down from its high estate. she spoke to him with so much truthfulness and power. and of other such apparitions. she could describe the circum- . He was prepared for wild aberrations. And here were many other silent virtues. And this time how naturally! Here. He thought that she would be sure to speak to him of conversations which she had held in the night with Ottilie. and he saw his beautiful friend floating before him in the new life of a higher world. but which.

his appetite gradually failed. Ottilie remained so long in her beautiful state. The concourse became so great. his power of taking interest in what was going on diminished every day. circumstance combines to favor the fortunate. he seemed to have no tears left. incapable of any further suffering. and some few were found who were able to believe. Edward did not venture to look at her again he lived on mechanically. Before the eyes of all the world. and to be . compel us to faith. and thereby set her at rest for ever. had blessed her. had forgiven her. for which no real satisfaction is attainable. and the earnest cheerfulness of his expression seemed to signify that he And as every little still hoped to be united with her at last. that they were obliged. to keep the church and chapel closed. and never in anywhich she said stepped out of the course of what was thing real and natural.276 stances of THE GERMAN CLASSICS it witli the greatest exactness. indeed. which to him. that a number of persons were attracted there to look at her. Difficulties. except at the hours of divine service. and every . except in her account of what had passed with the body. The neighbors and the villagers wished to see her again. and by touching the sacred body she had been restored to strength again. most doubted. Many laughed at it. and they believed that they could trace an immediate improvement. The only refreshment which did him any good was what he drank out of the glass. how Ottilie had raised herself up. He continued to gaze at the intertwining initials. which she delighted to repeat again and again. Nanny's limbs had been broken. which more resembled sleep than death. The confidence of the people increased. had been but an untrue prophet. and every one desired to hear Nanny's incredible story from her own mouth. and at last there was no one so old or so weak as not to have come to seek fresh life and health and strength at this place. Why should not others find similar good fortune? Delicate mothers first privately brought their ciiildren who were suffering from obstinate disorders.

His destiny had spoken out with sufficient clearness in the fact. his physician. But my nature and my promise hold me . indeed. and accused herself and accused others of unpardonable carelessness. Edward could not be angry. and would begin again to speak. The valet was questioned. I feel clearly. he called the physician. I must go after her. who now seldom left his side. follow her by the same road. Charlotte rushed in to them. incessantly labored to do something for him. and thenceforward purposely to abstain from food and from speaking. and examined closely. so do the most trifling occurrences love to unite to crush and overwhelm the un- happy. she was afraid that he had committed suicide. my dear friend. as Edward raised the beloved glass to his lips. he would desire to eat and drink something. But the physician on shall : What . Mittler was the first to make the melancholy discovery. how unhappy I am that all my efforts are but imitations ever. back.THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES 277 accident contributes to elate him. He seemed now to dislike drinking. and that one like it belonging to the same set had been substituted in its place. w^ith his usual presence of mind. One day. is pain to me and yet for the sake of this blessedness I am forced to take this pain upon myself. to imitate the is inimitable. But from time to time a sort of restlessness came over him. one day to '' the Major. he put it down and thrust it from him with a shudder. What was blessedness to her. and false and fruitless. private mark upon it. the circumstances under which he had been found. for martrydom as well as the rest. and how should he be affected by the shadow? and yet it touched him deeply. his friends. that genius required for everything. He missed a little It was the same and not the same. and had to confess that the real glass had not long since been broken." less condition we say of the endeavors which in this hopewere made for him ? His wife. **Ah!" he said. But it was all in vain at last they found him dead. It is a terrible difficulty.

as he did. it a condition under which she settled considerable sums of them money on the church and the school. But so lay the heart. It was impossible that he would intentionally have exposed these to the danger of being seen by the first person who might happen to discover him. she made in the same vault. Peace hovers above their resting-place. were soon able to It was quite clear that her of the contrary. and had spread them out before him — hair. flowers which had been gathered in some happy hour. satisfy THE GERMAN CLASSICS and Mittler on moral grounds. which but a short time before had been so smft and eager. Charlotte gave him his place at Ottilie 's side. sleeping side by side. In a quiet moment he had taken out of his pocketbook and out of a casket everything which remained to him as memorials of a lock of Ottilie. and every letter which she had written to liim from the first and which his wife had ominously happened to give him. at rest now. and what a happy moment that will be when one day they wake again together ! . Edward's end had taken him by surprise. with his thoughts on one so saintly.278 natural. he might well be called blessed. Fair angel faces gaze down upon them from the vaulted ceiling. and falling asleep. where it could never be disturbed. and arranged that thenceforth no other person should be placed with In order to secure this. So lie the lovers.

[2791 . too. It becomes thoroughly transparent : • Morgenhlatt 1815. only he does not develop it for immediate mundane ends. Nr. is born with such an endowment.SHAKESPEARE AND AGAIN SHAKESPEARE * Translated by Julia Franklin [0 much has already been written that it would seem as it is if of Shakespeare nothing remained to be said. in a higher sense. If we rate Shakespeare as one of the greatest poets. as a strictly dramatic poet. take up the first point. The poet. to give the reader a more realizing sense of it. Mai. yet the peculiarity of a great mind ever to stimulate other minds. and I shall endeavor to finally. in expressing their inward feelings of the world. but shall express my dissent positively and briefly. Let us. from the world and affairs. without involving myself in a conflict of opinions. This time I propose to consider Shakespeare from more than one point of \dew first as a poet in general. we acknowledge at the same time that it has been vouchsafed to few to discern the world as he did to few. but for a more exalted. Thence springs the ability to conquer something. agreement with what has already been said by repeating it upon occasion. universal purpose. then as compared \vith poets ancient and modern. There are people who are by nature endowed with such a gift and by experience develop it to practical uses. 113 Den. — show what effect the imitation of his art it is has produced upon us and what effect I shall voice my capable of producing in general. and a knowledge of himself which prepares him to fathom alien natures as well. SHAKESPEARE AS A POET IN GENERAL The highest that man can attain is the consciousness of his own thoughts and feelings. 12. then.

not declaimed. that through which transmissions are most readily made. form a from their . through it the realm of fancy created by the imagination is quickened into life and thus a world of impressions is produced for which we can not account. and that may be best transmitted by recitation the listener is not distracted by either good or inadequate representation. for that is indeed fructifying. Shakespeare produces his effects by the living word. We it is true. we find that they contain far less of sensuous acts than of spiritual expressions. There is no greater or purer delight than to listen with . He allows events to happen which may be readily imagined. THE GERMAN CLASSICS we find ourselves vice. Hamlet's ghost. endeavor to explain myself. that it is better to imagine than to see. and more. But our inward sense is still clearer and its highest and I shall quickest impressions are conveyed through the medium of the word. of suddenly the confidants of virtue greatness and insignificance. many deeds of horror. even as repellent elements. of nobility and all this. while what we apprehend through our eyes may means as potent in its effects. absolutely. through the simplest means. But if we examine Shakespeare's dramas carefully. depravity If we seek to discover what those means are. the witches in Macbeth. and the abundant short interludes are addressed solely to that faculty. but we are deceived. it appears as if he wrought for our eyes. All such things pass before us fittingly and easily in reading. Sight may well be termed the clearest of our senses. correct voice. produce their effect through the imagination. be alien to us and by no Now.280 to US. since the basis of the illusion consists in the fact that everything seems to take place before our eyes. whereas they are a drag in representation and appear as disturbing. Shakespeare addresses our inward sense. closed eyes to a Shakespearean play recited. certain conception of the characters. nay. One follows the simple thread which runs through events of the drama. in a natural. and — Shakespeare's creations are not for the eyes of the body.

im .

' I .

Shakespeare mates himself Tvdth the world-spirit. all that is hidden in the human soul in moments of supreme experience. or at least during its occurrence. often apparently in parables. the phenomena of the heavens. . but always acting as accessories. In short. must render up its treasures and professions. enthusiast. in any particular. the secret must out. its misculture even. is everywhere. indeed often after. wild beasts. sea-girt. indeed. all sub- every one is inclined to talk. often contrary to all likelihood be loquacious. but if it is the function of the world-spirit to maintain secrecy before. to neither is anything concealed. it is the poet's aim to divulge the secret and make us confidants before man The vicious the deed. thunder and lightning. The poet lived at a notable and momentous time. like freely it he pervades the world. veiled in mist and clouds. sciences. we learn the meaning of life and know not how. raise their voices. 281 but actually we have to learn from the course words and speeches what goes on \v'ithin. of power. the passionate . . masters and slaves. and here all the characters seem to have agreed not to leave us To this end all in the dark. and for and depicted its culture. ci\Tlized world. Even inanimate objects contribute their share. England. earth and sea. heroes and mercenaries. arts But the and gifts. the subordinate figures. in doubt. too. is given expression what the spirit anxiously locks up and screens ones. trades this richness he is indebted to his native land. in the merriest .SHAKESPEAKE AND AGAIN SHAKESPEARE desif^^nation . animated fair. the calmly reflective character. to ordinate things chime in. turning its active interest toward every quarter of the globe. being often more effective in this respect than the superior of the — Everything mysteriously brewing in the air at the time of some great world-event. should the stones have to proclaim it. conspire kings and messengers. all offer their Shakespeare's creations are a great. is and unreservedly exposed. the elements. all wear their hearts upon their sleeves. the event. well-meaning mediocrity.

which do not by any means exhaust Shakespeare's merits. fits them. and it is this very disregard of the outer raiment that renders his . too. When we have seized this point of view. watches and sorcerers.282 THE GERMAN CLASSICS vein. for though prophecy and madness. No one had a greater contempt for the mere material. creations so vivid. mistakenly. dreams. Yet one remark more It would be difficult to name another poet each of whose works has a different underlying conception exerting such : a dominating influence as we find in Shakespeare's. n SHAKESPEARE COMPARED WITH THE ANCIENT AND THE MOST MODERN POETS The interest that animates Shakespeare 's great spirit lies within the limits of the world. he understands full well that which is within. ghosts. Thus Coriolanus is pervaded throughout by anger that the masses will not acknowledge the preeminence of their superiors. outward garb of man than he. and here all are on the same footing. portents. that they can work in unison. I do not find it so they are all true-blue Englishmen. he would not affect ns so powerfully had he not identified himself with the age in which he lived. to be sure. In Julius Ccesar everything turns upon the conception that the better people do not wish any one placed in supreme authority because they imagine. suffice. indeed. and the Roman toga. yet those . men through and through. Let these few words. they are men. presentiments. we find his anachronisms highly laudable. His friends and worshipers would find much that might be added. but. calls out and action afe incompatible. Anthony and Cleo- patra with a thousand tongues that self-indulgence And further investigation will rouse our admiration of this variety again and again. It is thought that he represented the Romans admirably. fairies and goblins. form a magic element which color his creations at the fitting moment.

rather not so much to add a new contrast to those already familiar. my attempt is. offers us the tragic elements. and then only at the outermost edge. fusion. The slightest con. he is a decidedly poet. The greatest torments. We perceive. by no means my as to point out that are: Antique Naive it is included in them. insoluble or unsolved. as well as the most frequent. that he belongs not so much to the modern world. The greatest confusion. touches the borders of longing. . which is not to be conall. since. as to a naive world. not as sidered here at regards outward form. These contrasts Modern Sentimental Christian Pagan Heroic Real Romantic Idealistic Necessity Hollen (Duty. should). he scarcely. modern Nevertheless. it is the verities and experiences of liis life that are the great basis upon which they rest. protect it is myself by saying that intention to adduce the following terminology as exhaustive or final. arising from a trivial error which may be cleared up unexpectedly and without injury. I shall.SHAKESPEAKE AND AGAIN SHAKESPEARE 283 phantasms are by no means the chief components of his productions. must. and that is why everything that proceeds from him appears so genuine and pithy. though his significance really rests upon the present. on the contrary. therefore. in the first place. but as regards the inmost. would). Freedom Wollen (Desire. between duty and performance {Vollbeset hringen) and it is these discordances that so often embarrass man during his earthly course. that man spring from the discordances in us all between duty and desire. the pro- foundest significance of his work. gives rise to ridiculous situations. which has been termed the romantic one. more intimately examined. even in his tenderest moments. inclination. shall. divided from the ancients by a tremendous gulf.

" Ancient tragedy is based upon an unavoidable should. that between desire and performance. The form of this game restricts chance. Sollen . the region where (Edipus reigns supreme. now that side predominates. consider this decisive difference among the other contrasts. can appeal from the decree of chance. too. " should " as the ancients recognized it under the name of combined with the ability of the fate the would. I can revoke the cards that fall to my share. a persistent ity . even though the one should be predominant and the other subordinate. provided with partners and * * ' ' fying. for the present. guide a long series of chances which there is no way of controlling. nay. Now this. man's own will {das Wollen) A persistent " should " is irksome. Looked at in this way. in the modern. and thus this class of games exactly resembles the modern method in thought and in poetic art. player. opposes it. man imposes upon himself. I must. can make them count in various ways. Duty is '' must " is a hard taskmaster. '* would " is gratito perform is terrible. combined with chance. opponents. nay. desire imposed upon man. the will itself. and see what can be done with it in both cases. In the case of ombre and other like games. inabilis his heaven. takes the place of the . Here a great many doors are left open to mil and daring. . Let us. We may look at games of cards as a sort of poetic creation they." This is the point of all that is terrible in the oracles. The form of the game. and the possession of a firm will may yield solace even in case of incapacity to perform. as I have remarked but since duty and desire cannot be radically separated in man. I should call the game of whist ancient." which is intensified and accelerated only by a counteracting '* would. with the cards dealt out to me.284 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Predominant in the ancient dramas is the discordance between duty and desire. the contrary takes place. can discard half or all of them. consist of these two elements. both motives must be found simultaneously. by an inverted course can reap the greatest advantage from the worst hand.

without reflecting that it is intended for the genrt-al good. is free. Wollen and Sollen seek by every means. Through Sollen. and favors the individual. . from the point of view of his character. and that of the ancients. . as well as our mode of thought. weak and petty. But all is despotic. combining the old and the new in incomparable fashion. dissolution. which often becomes acute through the pressure of circumstances. and Shakespeare puts it in the forefront. in which the awful power of Fate was dissolved by the will but precisely because this comes to the aid of our weakness do we find ourselves moved if. we finally receive but scant comfort. I turn to Shakespeare. Wollen. But then an outer conflict supervenes. we have a dread of its opposite. he wills. Wollen. in the face of which a deficiency of will may rise to the rank of an inexorable fate. but always in a way that leaves the Wollen at a disadvantage. A person. If now. or to that of Nature. after . in his plays. painful expectation. after these preliminary reflections. This idea I have pointed out before in the case of . No one. should: he is restricted. of life and death. At once there arises an inner conflict. therefore. I can not forbear \\-ishing that my readers should themselves make the comparison and the application. whether it belongs to the domain of reason. We shudder at all this. has represented more splendidly the great primal connection between Wollen and Sollen in the character of the individual. Here Shakespeare stands out unique.SHAKESPEAEE AND AGAIN SHAKESPEAKE Sollen 285 appears in a milder light as duty in Antigone. He is unlimited and demands freedom of choice. as the laws of creation. through Wollen. and that is why there is an impassable gulf between our art. appears free. they struggle violently with each other. Thus has arisen the socalled drama. and perforce took possession of men as soon as they learned to know it. perhaps. as ethical and municipal laws. It is the god of the new time devoted to it. growth. to reach an equilibrium. is flattering. on the contrary. tragedy becomes great and forceful. destined to some definite course but as a man.

sure or contempt unduly and exclusively. imbued with a natural so that a piety. — and. Fate. the advantage of li\dng at the proper harvest-time. which may not deserve cenof exalting our romanticism links. Brutus by his friends. solid. even where we admire it. the ancient with If anything can be learned from him. . of expending his acti\dty in a Protestant country teeming with life. necessity which.286 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Hamlet. develop his real self religiously without regard to any definite creed. so is Macbeth by T\"itches. precludes all freedom. or completely. in making necessity ethical. and by the arch-witch. and thence arises that fine balance between will. and clinging to it in a partisan spirit. for as Hamlet is driven by the ghost into straits which he cannot pass through. But as Shakespeare represents this trouble of the vAW as arising not from ^\^thin but — through outside circumstances. we should strive to unite — — within ourselves those great and apparently irreconcilable all the more that this has already been opposites achieved by the unique master whom we prize so highly. for. but it occurs repeatedly in Shakespeare. does not comport with the ideas of our time. to possess the of attraction. and performance. power A he our gratified astonishment. more or less. extol above every one. it becomes a sort of Fate and approaches the antique. efficient side is misjudged and impaired. in short. whereby its strong. had. even in Coriolanus. yet their Fate appears always as too forbidding. it is Instead this point that we should study in his school. to the modem. nay. his wife. man like was left free to Shakespeare. often without knowing why. where the madness of bigotry He was silent for a time. to be sure. we find a similar thing the conception of a ^411 transcending the capacity of the individual is modern. but Shakespeare approaches these in his own way. by Hecate. For all the heroes of poetic antiquity strive only for what lies within man's power.

on the other hand. who wishes to discuss such productions theoretically. tion of To a person. Because we can admire him unqualifiedly in the first. we must in the latter take into consideration the conditions to which he submitted and not extol those conditions as either virtues or models. to assert something about them. stage play. person of universally acknowledged talent may make a doubtful use of his endo\vments. be listeners drama. are permeated by the unity with which the artist has endowed it.SHAKESPEAKE AND AGMN SHAKESPEARE III 287 SHAKESPEARE AS A DRAMATIST If lovers and friends of art wish fully to enjoy a crea- any kind. sented only to the together. inasmuch as imagination. drama. Not everything proway. to be sure. where the multitude may. An epic requires oral delivery to the many by a single indi\'idual. and therefore. and then comparing him with the ancient and the most modern poets. speech in private company. Shakespeare's name and worth belong to the history of poetry. A duced by such a superior mind is done in the most perfect Thus Shakespeare belongs essentially to the history of poetry. stage play. all three it engages the sense of vision and . discrimination becomes a duty. which. conversation in actions. And now we T\dsh to complete our design by con- sidering liim as a dramatist. even though perhaps pre. but it is doing an injustice to all the dramatists of earlier and later ages to present his entire merit as belonging to the history of the theatre. in a vivid treatment often merge into each other: the epic. they delight in it as a whole. dialogue. however. in the history of the theatre he figures only accidentally. may be differentiated. We believed we were fulfilling that duty in considering Shakespeare first as a poet in general. to inform and instruct. dialogue. "We distinguish closely allied forms of poetic creation.

Part II. for we are more familiar "UTith the '' world itself. ticular materials for particular works.) . boards that mean the world " than with the and we may read and hear the most singular . in an intellectual sense. Act 4. Shakespeare's whole mode of procedure finds something unaccommodating in the actual stage his great talent is that of an epitomist. and since poets are. scattered jewels separated by much that is undramatic. our imagination supplies all the intermediate actions that he omits.288 THE GERMAN CLASSICS be grasped under certain conditions of local and per- may sonal presence. Shakespeare's great merit. which causes him to restrict But he does not. of disclosing man's innermost life. we are grateful to him for arousing our spiritual faculties in so worthy a fashion. however. select parhimself. Scene 4. of Nature. the demands of the stage appear unessential to him. and struts off with it. he facilitates the activity of the imagination. on . We transport ourselves with him from one locality to another. at acknowledge the whole. he makes an idea (*King Henry IV. nothing is dramatic except an important that which strikes the eye as symbolic — action which betokens one still more important. that the stage was It is precisely this limita- tion of the stage. places it on his own head. we must here. Strictly speaking. nay. to his credit. however. and. By producing everything in theatrical form. too. only we deny. we serenely follow him. and that a worthy sphere for his genius.* But these are only episodes. That Shakespeare could attain this height too is evidenced in the scene where the son and heir takes the crown from the side of the father slumbering on his deathbed. and thus he takes an easy course. like other poets. epitomists the same time. It is in this sense that Shakespeare's productions are most dramatic. he wins the reader by his mode of treatment. things and yet feel that they might actually take place before our eyes on the stage hence the frequent failure of dramatizations of popular novels.

came and went. comparison in the case of King John and Lear. in order to make somewhat more of an impression. But Shakespeare is most marvelous when he adapts and can institute a recasts plays already in existence. But in these instances. If we examine the structure of the play very closely. appear only as farcical interludes. II — 19 masked as the occasion demanded. who. in conclusion. proceed to the solution of the We The imperfection of the English stage has been There is not represented to us by well-informed men. Mercutio and the the nurse. yet he almost destroys its tragic content by the two comic figures. and from which it difficult to lead us back into the infancy of those little was seen. is more faithful to tradition. as Hamlet attests. and many like things. Not so conscientiously does he proRomeo and Juliet ceed with the tales. we notice that these two — figures and the elements touching them. But let us. the wardrobe. must strike us as intolerable. can utiUze the material of every chronicle. probably presented by two popular actors nurse undoubtedly acted by a man. the trumpeter who sounded the trumpet always at a certain spot. wliich. but left it to the spectator's . were beginnings. a trace of those requirements of realism to which we have gradually become used through improvements in machinery. riddle. where the public was satisfied to assume the chamber of the king lying behind a green curtain. would be the art of perspective. Vol. he is again rather a poet than a dramatist. where everything was only indicated. for the older dramas are still extant. likewise. to the days of a stage upon which characteristically moved about. he to it. Who at Under those present would permit such assumptions? conditions Shakespeare's plays were highly interesting tales. only they were recited by a number of persons. and often adheres to it literally.SHAKESPEAKE xVND AGAIN SHAKESPEARE 289 the central point and refers the earth and the universe As he condenses ancient and modern history. with our love of the logical and harmonious.

have no sympathy for him. in representThe works referred to are the nine volumes of A. though unnatural. but we his daughters. but he was right. are not absolutely is Shakespeare's source. for in that scene Lear appears so ridiculous that one can not wholly blame The old man awakens our pity. in disguise. exact translation. indeed. reprehensible. comparison of spirit these dramas affords ever renewed pleasure to the lover A of art. he discarded everything else. . plemented by the missing dramas. when it seemed to him that the effect upon his nation. of the most pleasproductive. ting the first scene of Kmg Lear he changed the character of the piece. upon his time. after honest and If efforts. W. who. and encounter the old man. and were subsequently (since 1826) sup- lation. even much that was essential. Lear flees to France daughter and son-in-law. the notion has crept into Gerthat Shakespeare must be presented on the German word for word. ing effects. would Thus it is true. after all. translated under . Schlegel's transwhich appeared 1797-1810. however. but the dogma that. who does not Here all that Shakespeare's lofty. make a pilgrimage. repeated we wish to see a Shakespearean play. this scene in the course of the play. How. indeed. has embittered is made sweet. for example. even if actors and audience should stage The attempts. that by omitbe impaired. and it is sympathy that Schroder wished to arouse as well as abhorrence of the two daughters. tragic recognize them. did Schroder achieve the great credit of putting Shakespeare's plays upon the German stage but by epitomizing the epitomizer? Schroder confined himself entirely to what was effective. In the old play which is to the seashore. we must return to Schroder's adaptation. induced by an fairly choke in the process.290 THE GERMAN CLASSICS imagination to fancy at will paradise and palaces on the empty stage. can give unexceptionable testimony. —a * excellent. many In recent years.* would not succeed anjn^vhere fact to which the Weimar stage. Tieck's direction. in some romantic caprice.

Similar efforts are now in progress. or the reader in company ^\'ith others. would stage. Shakespeare would in a few j^ears be entirely driven from the German This. not a jot or tittle may be omitted. in the other direction. indeed. even though such undertakings frequently fail at the first trial.SHAKESPEAKE AND AGAIN SHAKESPEARE 291 ing Shakespeare. was made in the arrangement of Romeo and Juliet for the Weimar stage. . senseless as it is. and perhaps some result is in store for the future. and it will perhaps then be recognized why that arrangement the representation of which is by no means difficult. The principles upon which this was based. we shall set forth at the first opportunity. would be no misfortune for the solitary reader. If the advocates of this view should retain the upper hand. on which we have dilated above. — . The attempt. is constantly being reechoed. experience so much the purer delight. however. but must be carried out artistically and — with precision had no success on the German stage.

Eighty years. in be offered to the inward. venerable customs. would be a living testimony that he who lived amid such glad surroundings. how much how few syllables! Who of us dares hastily to run through so many years and to picture to himself the significance of them when well employed? Who of us would may dare assert that he could in an instant measure and appraise the value of a life that was complete from every point of view? [292] . Then your eyes. Brother. not with lamentation. would be attracted by the creations of his luxuriant imagination. I should in an instant transform all these sad surroundings into those of joy. [To the Memory of the noble Poet. Wieland. and Friend. and who also departed from us in the spirit of that gladness. Olympus with its gods. introduced by the Muses and adorned by the Graces. joyous and serene as our friend's own life.] Most serene protector! Right worshipful master I Very honorable assembly I [LTHOUGH come under no circumstances does it be- the individual to set himself in opposition to ancient. your spirit. and should be interred. D. should be counted among the most fortunate of mankind. or of his own will to alter what our ancestors in their wisdom have deemed right and have ordained. Gray. had I really at my bidding the magician's wand which the muses in spirit intrusted to our departed friend. and before you there would appear a hall decked for a feast.ORATION ON WIELAND Translated by Louis H. Ph. with varied tapestries and garlands of gaiety. And yet. This darkness would straightway grow radiant before your eyes. nevertheless. but with expressions of joy and of exultation. what I cannot present to the outward senses.

Berlin E. T.Permission E. Hader MARTIN WIELAND .inde & Co..

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a small imperial His father. if the aged to adorn his exalted sensuahty ^vith the rose's light twigs. the more gladly since they may be fleeting precursors of what in the future the world and'our brotherhood shall do for him. we were the nearest to him. so sacred to us Wieland was born in 1733 free-town in Swabia. and if his fatherland as well as foreign nations celebrate his memory. and before this honorable assembly I speak a few words in his memory. for the sake of which I venture to entreat a gracious hearing. . we accompany our friend step by step through all his if we regard him as a boy and as a youth. so ! precious. to the theme so dear. dared to disobey the mandates of our masters. Only a few weeks have elapsed since this excellent man was still with us. only the contents and. and even in desultory fashion may seem — — worthy neither of him who is honored nor of them who honor. then. Only a few months have passed since for him the brethren of our lodge crowTied their mysterious sphinx \dth roses. also.ORATION ON WIELAND If 293 days. even at the last. and. for even old age has its bloom. and if what I shall say from an affection tested for almost forty years rather than for mere rhetorical effect by no means well composed. And thus. the tem- Anacreon undertook pered joy of life and wit which animated our noble friend also merited a rich and abundant garland. you so will. the ethical sensuousness. was vouchsafed him. not merely present but active at our gatherings. we find that to his lot fell the unusual fortune of plucking the bloom of each of these seasons. indeed. in his prime and in his old age. and this the purpose. therefore. yes. a Lutheran clergyman. This is the sentiment. near Biberach. without more delay. and the happiest enjoyment of this. where ought this to be done earUer and more emphatically than by us? I have not. a sketch. but rather in brief sentences. the marginal notes of a future work. then I must remark that here you may expect only a if preliminary outhne. to show that. It was through the midst of our intimate circle that he passed from things earthly.

Soon. In consequence. and henceforth became his own teacher and trainer. from the beginning of the century. might be called the midwife of genius in South Germany. he did not remain unknown to the Prince Elector of Mainz. thus exemplifying the tolerant sentiments which. like Gleim at a later date in North Germany. where the truly pious Abbot Steinmetz presided over an educational institution of good Thence he went to the University of Tiibingen. and since the University of Erfurt was to be re^dved under Emmerich Joseph. In this illustrious and well-appointed house the atmosphere of the world and of the court was for the first time wafted to him. however. There he gave himself over entirely to the joy that arises from youth's self-creation. gained a patron for all his life. when talents develop under friendly guidance without being hampered by the higher requirements of criticism. have spread among men who are akin through the Christian faith. returned to his native town. He was then sent to the monastery of Bergen on the Elbe. whose estates lay in the vicinity. he became no stranger to domestic and foreign affairs of state and in the count he . so active in every form of good work. while with ceaseless activity he pursued his inclination toward literature and poetry. he outgrew this stage.294 THE GERMAN CLASSICS to liim the first gave him a careful training and imparted elements of education. repute. of time. and then lived for some time as a private tutor in Bern. and who was a minister of the Prince Elector of Mainz. but he was soon attracted to Bodmer. and that his spirit might not be dwarfed amid such narrow surroundings. it is true. he fortunately became acquainted with Count Stadion. and have even permeated humanity as a whole. who. . our friend was summoned thither. His mechanical official duties as the chief of the chancery robbed him. though they could not deprive him of joy and courage. at whose court Count von Dalberg. He could not labor long at Erfurt without becoming known to the Duchess Regent of Weimar. at Zurich.

and if a pious reverence pays homage to many an author by seeking to gain possession of the quill with. at the same time. Eschenburg. so that judging he wrote and writing he judged. and even portrayed. He upon him. the quill of which Wioland availed himself. Wieland on the public was uninterrupted educated his generation up to himself. so that his merits have already been sufficiently recognized. and lived the poet's life. for our weal. In many a work on German literature he is discussed as honorably as judiciously. pen here it is valid in the strictest sense. and for the weal of all. In him man and author had completely interpenetrated he wrote poetry as a living soul. An adequate education of her princely sons was the cliief object of a tender mother.ORATION ON WIELAND did not 295 fail to introduce hira. In verse and prose he never hid what was at the instant in his mind and what each time he felt. and Eichhorn have bestowed influence of The and permanent. For the fact that he wrote everytliing with liis own hand beautifully. Manso. giving to the taste and to the judgment of his contemporaries a decided trend. a life of complete conformity to his disposition and to his wishes. appraised. " as a rhetorical *' I do not employ the term phrase. and. And whence came the profound influence which he exercised on the Germans? It was a result of the excellence and of the openness of his nature. for nearly forty years. would surely be worthy of this distinction above many another. which he formed his works. herself highly cultured. From the fertility of his mind sprang the fertility of his . The retirement promised him after the completion of his educational duties was given him at once. he led. and thus he was called thither to employ his literary talents and his moral endo^v^nents for the best interests of the princely house. with freedom and most and with . pen. I need only recall the laudations which Kiittner. and since he received a more than promised alle\dation of his domestic circumstances.

not by attention. Our friend was capable of enthusiasm in highest measure. be it attainable or not. and in youth he surrendered himself wholly to it. dominated him to a high degree. he dwelt longer than others. when impatience at production had in some measure subsided. but an acquired rather than an innate moderation kept them in equilibrium. the gracefulness. In that pure and happy field of the golden age. still monastic in its essential form. improving. Tiibingen. the ancient. those simple Swiss dwellings about which the brooks murmured. the accompaniments of poetical and of rhetorical talents. There he was power- — . but by unruffled. carefully examining. Since. and when the desire to present a perfected result to the public had become more decidedly and more obviously active. the natural elegance weary — gave this even to his productions the delicacy. in that paradise of innocence. for several years that happy period was prolonged when within himself the youth feels the worth and the dignity of the most excellent. in his case. then. we shall also portray the latter when we speak of the former. which the lakes laved. in him the man and the poet were a single individuality. The house where he was born. linden-embowered monastery of Bergen on the Elbe. where a pious teacher kept up his patriarchal activity. never of repeatedly transcribing voluminous works ness.296 thoughtfulness THE GERMAN CLASSICS . changing. inspired in a This careful preparation of his writings had its origin happy conviction which apparently came to him toward the end of his residence in Switzerland. and which the chffs surrounded everyw^here he found another Delphi. that he ever had before him what he had written. in which a cultivated clergyman ruled as father. inde- fatigably fashioning and refashioning. the clear- which can be bestowed on a work effort. Irritability and versatility. everywhere the groves in which as a mature and cultivated youth he continued to revel even yet. already completed. the more actively and assiduously since.

Araspes. He content of his . therefore. and what had even been the inmost life yet he does not consume himself in idle lamentations. and forms of equal loftiness revived in him. despite so strong a joy of li"ving. after a long struggle. or that high desire with the demands of the day. but he resolves upon counter-action. Panthea. he works . and since. despite noble inward talents and honorable spiritual desires and purposes. Yet even here the individuality and the energj^ of his spirit reveals itself to be worthy of admiration. to create a of the Greeks which have been left us. on Platonic love. — moral influence for actual beings. Yet the very fact that ho had the good fortune to dwell so protractedly in these loftier realms. Despite all the fulness of his life. he feels himself wounded by the world and defrauded of his greatest treasures. dreamed. he succeeds not in uniting these august figures with those of the vulgar world. this very fact embittered imagined. he felt the spirit of Plato weaving -within him. and declares that what has thus far seemed real to him is phantasy. Who can escape the conflict with the outer world? Even our friend is drawn into tliis strife reluctantly he submits . and fancied for him the fruit which he was obliged at last to pluck from — the tree of knowledge. rather. felt.ORATION ON WIELAND fully attracted 297 by the monuments of the manly innocence Cyrus. to contradiction by experience and by life . and that he could long regard as the most perfect verity all that he thought. first and foremost. he felt that he needed that spirit to reproduce those pictures for himself and for others so much the more since he desired not so keenly to evoke poetic phantoms as. then on all dogmatizing pliilosophy. he resolves to let the actual pass current as the necessary. of which we know so many in the prose and verse of others. Henceforth he can in experience nowhere find what had constituted liis joy for so many years. especially its two extremes of Stoicism and Pythagoreanism. Furthermore. proclaims war on all that cannot be demonstrated in reality.

This was the main thing.298 THE GERMAN CLASSICS implacably against religious fanaticism. was cheerfulness in his opinion. provincial- — ism. even the most serious. as he must advise moderation to control or to unite the two. and by their influence in the moral sphere. Shaftesbury. hury lived at a time when much disturbance reigned in the religion of his native land. Spirit. he must hold himself in check. criticism. He opposes everything which we are accustomed to understand under the name Philistinism musty pedantry. petty etiquette. whom I need only mention to recall a great . since he wishes to be just. narrow Shaf testhinker to the mind of every well-informed man. and whatever names may be applied to all these unclean spirits. clarity and freedom if they were not bedizened with a . and humor were. only what was regarded with serenity would be rightly seen. and from it sprang all other good. lest he himself act fantastically. w^hen the dominant church sought by force to subdue men of other modes of thought. and must be manysided. State and morals were also threatened by much that must arouse the anxiety of the intelligent and right-thinking. whose name is Legion. and against all that to reason appears eccentric. smug complacency. He had long been attracted by the pure. arrogant dignity. by a Steele but now in their society he finds a man whose type of thought is far more agreeable to him. by an Addison. and now he simultaneously begins battle against commonplace reality. But he is at once overwhelmed with anxiety lest he go too far. he believed.e in contact ^vith the world. The best counter-action to all this. He stands before the dilemma of the conceivable and the real. he held. He who could look serenely into his own bosom must be a good man. and. Herein he proceeds in an absolutely natural manner. the real agencies by which such a All disposition should com. without preconceived purpose or self-consciousness. rational uprightness of noble Englishmen. — . wit. must be capable of such objects. false prudery.

is made the judge of their aesthetic value. and in- sight are concerned. not a predecessor whom he was to follow. accomplished through persistent activity and through ceaseless toil. even as it could not be said of the Menaechmi which was more favored with worldly advantages. born in the original. and taste over the manner. suitable to him. and which the copy. This philosophy. by poems and by scholarly works. and cosmopolitan knowledge. in company with countless sympathizers. precisely tliis our friend. even by life itself. and thus human reason was sot as judge over the content. but contained within themselves a true value which did not fear the test. if we have found Shaftesbury and Wieland perahke so far as point of view. the French mode of treat- ment was necessarily most spirit. proceeding from a point at first extremely limited. What Shaftesbury. nevertheless. In this elaboration. however. the latter was far superior to the former in -talent. without being formed in his likeness. office. a brief but generally intelligible term . prepared in England and fostered by conditions in Germany. nor a colleague wdth whom he was to work. and more experienced by travel. In tliis spirited endeavor to become master of things it was impossible to avoid casting about for deciding authorities. temperament. and And fectly yet. — — that popular philosophy whereby a practically trained intelligence is set in decision over the moral worth of tilings. . of presentation. was thus spread far and wide by our friend. in our by hills and dales and the result was condensed address. did in a wider circle and at a more serious period in sea-girt England. wit. at Serenity. surrounded on every side to employ. but a true elder twin brother in the spirit. for what the Englishman rationally taught and desired. a higher station.ORATION ON WIELAND 299 merely arrogant dignity. in his native land. the German knew how to elaborate poetically and rhetorically in verse and prose. In such a man our Wieland now found. whom he perfectly resembled. his and elegance are already hand in France.

in the Arabian Nights and in the Bibliotheque universelle des romans. and to his generation an insight into the lofty culture of by-gone centuries. everytliing which can possibly adorn noble above. It is precisely these poems which have most widely spread and most firmly established Wieland's fame. and thus he gave to his nation a general idea of the most magnificent works of another people. fertile spirit found its best stimulus not only in the adaptation of material that was already well known. translated freely. was the translation of Shakespeare. he was convinced at an early date that a lively. and even the serious Germans deigned to be pleased with them. but also in the translation of extant works. for even trained litterateurs denied the posWieland sibility of the success of such an undertaking. and omitted what appeared to liim untranslatable. though not the earliest Wieland did of all. In those days the translation of Shakespeare was a daring thought.300 THE GERMAN CLASSICS luxuriant imagination. Frequently the artistic task of giving rials by revising them . Earlier than most of these w^orks. grasped the sense of his author. again. which now desires to be occupied only with light and joyous themes. yet we must also grant that. while the ancient treasures of this sort. . in its proper place. Here. on the contrary. for all these works appeared indeed at a happy and favorable time. which grant it the greatest freedom. souls gains supremacy. and at other times allows sensuality to prevail over the moral qualities.mediocre mateand though it cannot be denied that he sometimes permits reason to triumph over the higher powers. France offered him materials halfprepared and adapted. not fear impairment of his originality by study. still remained crude and unavailable. turns to tales of fairies and knights. Their lightheartedness gained them access to everyone. They were all written in the spirit which we have developed fortunate poet undertook the a high value to verj'. which Germany possesses.

a Lais. and in exalting their practical wisdom above the scholastic wisdom of the philosophers. He feels himself allied with them in taste. and neither the nation nor the nations are any more compatible than politicians and soldiers. tolerant. he takes delight in presenting problematical characters. cultivated. in which the French type of thought is evident. convictions are through wise moderation so united in worldly pleasure — serene and welcome fashion that the wish arises to be a contemporary in so fair a land. of repeatedly inculcating his equitable. and since neither the gods nor the philosophers. in emphasizing the lovable qualities of a Musarion. and in such goodly company. same time. customs. In these circles our friend maintained himself by careful experiments. which necessarily presented the Greek to us the more . and clarity. and he finds pleasure. amid his apparent doubts and jests. as is sufficiently obvious was too thoroughly antagonistic to liis from the passages omitted and passed over. right-thinking. and still more from the appended notes. and it even seems that may walk with them in thought. But among these he also finds a man whom he can develop and set forth as the representative of his own Here philosophy and I mean Aristippus. one's mind and one will tliink as they. for example. On and the other hand. and thus arose the German Lucian. with their moderation him most precious models. Union with these educated.ORATION ON WIELAND 301 it Great as was the effect of this translation in Germany. human At doctrines. he everywhere finds the desired opportunity. himself. religion. joyous so long as one men is so welcome. the and a Phryne without regard to womanly chastity. appears to have exercised little influence upon Wieland lie author. the Greeks. will be as theirs. are to legislation all give him opportunity to exercise his versatility. which are still more necessary to the translator than to the poet.

in a sense. though he toned them down 'with his own innate grace. For all these presentations an insight into the higher plastic art was also obviously necessary. extraordinary Aristophanes. in sentiment he was still more closely allied to the Romans not that he would have allowed himself to be carried away by republican or by patriotic zeal. he intelligently esti- — mates life and art. philosopher. was far too cautious. Moreover. Wieland indulged this impulse when he sought to assimilate himself to the daring. but he really finds his peers among the Romans. and especially the art of the ancients. and how could he have been expected to make in this single instance an exception from his general rule of Hfe? cessful if his laudable caution If. so that them before his eyes by the power of we cannot fail to be amazed to see how talent is able to is form for itself a conception even of what far away. since from time immemorial genius has reckoned such escapades among its prerogatives. he will. for art in general. and since our friend was never vouchsafed the sight of those ancient masterpieces which still sur\ave. to bring imagination . he would have been entirely suc- had not restrained him from taking decisive steps. Cicero. Our friend. however. only Horace has fictitiously assimilated himself to the Greeks. much similarity to him. he sought to rise to them in thought. can neither be grasped nor comprehended without enthusiasm. statesman. orator. he was near akin to the Greeks in taste. as audacious as they were witty. however. He who will not commence with amazement and with admiration finds no entrance into the holy of holies. sometimes feel himself tempted to transgress the boundaries of propriety and decorum. But however much a man of such talents preaches decency. whereas he has. nevertheless. . and when he was able to translate his jests. and himself a man of the court and of the world. himself an artist.302 THE GERMAN CLASSICS vividly since the author and the translator could be regarded as true kindred spirits.

lays upon us the obligation that we should transfer ourselves to the stranger and accommodate ourselves to his conditions. and be offensive. more s}mipathy might be desired for the men — with whom he is concerned. as a man of taste and feeling. and then he also takes the most praiseworthy pains to put us in a position in which his insight can be communicated to us. Perhaps. and he succeeds amazingly. on the contrary. There are two maxims of translation. on the whole. in liis annotations. in his introductions. finally. who here also sought the middle way. how gladly would he transport himself back into their centurj' and their surroundings. While our friend occupies himself \vith the works of both these men. and to his peculiarities. Our friend. to his diction. and transfer himself to their epoch.ORATION ON WIELAND 303 and active citizen. in doubtful cases he gave tured how complicated deeply was he convinced that not the letter but the spirit giveth life Consider how. also closely resembles hinj and both arose from inconsiderable beginnings to great dignities and honors. endeavored to combine both. yet. The one demands that the author of an alien nation be brought over to us so that w^e may regard him as our own. The advantages of both are sufficiently well known to all cul- men by masterly examples. Through this triple endeavor one can see clearly that he first has mastered his subject. the preference to the first maxim. the other. Perhaps no one has so keenly felt as he How I ear. and how. akin to our own thought and familiar to our a task translation is. that we also may share the enjojTuent with him. he seeks to explain and to obviate many a detail which might remain cbscure. but such is his fear of partisanship that he prefers to take sides against them rather than on their behalf. rouse doubt. how he then makes his author speak in a way which we already know. in order to transmit to us a clear picture of that past. he first endeavors to shift us to the period and to make us acquainted with the personages. .

down to this very day. rather than to make an unpatriotic submission. so little shall we be contradicted when we assert that the language of the Greeks and of the Romans has transmitted to us. and since they were composed at a time when the power of absolute monarch}^ was not yet it became his main purpose insistently to set their obligations before the rulers and to point them to the shaken. as the chief of the chancery of one of the smallest imperial free-towns. herein resembled the Since the tiniest. . which includes so many small states within itself. The organization of the German Empire. its youth were early roused and summoned to reflect upon affairs of state. was in a position calculated to make of him a patriot and. in the best sense of the term. priceless gifts which in content are equal to the best. he took such interest in the realities of life that all his occupations and all his predilections ultimately failed to He particuprevent him from thinking about the same.304 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Although he was equally master of many tongues. His Agathon itself teaches us that within this sphere as well he gave preference to sound principles. nevertheless. the neighboring Count Stadion. and in form are superior to every other. against its neighbors. he resolved to bring down upon himself the temporary dis. In all the works of this type which he wrote a cosmopolitan spirit is manifest. in one such instance. yet he clung to the two in which the value and the dignity of the ancient world have most purely been transmitted to us. Accordingly. and even in\isible city had its special interests it was constrained to cherish and to maintain them. larly felt himself summoned anew to this when he dared promise himself a weighty influence on the training of princes from whom much might be expected. most unimportant. too. a demagogue as when later. and to defend them Greek. favor of his patron. And thus Wieland. For little as we would deny that many a treasure has been drawn and is still to be drawn from the mines of other ancient literatures.

If. but during. however. On poems — Vol. as it were. men of worth quickly gjjthered about him. it be remembered in this connection that our friend wrote concerning these matters not. and how shrewdly he conducted himself throughout as a German and as a thinking. which he clothed under a variety of forms. he was the first once more to counsel absolutism and to designate the man to work the miracle of reestablishment. The name of its editor imme- diately created great confidence in it. he declared himself modesty. not without amazement. and by rational presentations. the tumult of anarchy became more and more furious. and that an author to whom such magnificent works were due would himself pass judgment and publicly express his opinion this aroused the greatest hopes. after. however. likewise. and that. and seemed to summon the spirits of all the dwellers upon earth to a universal tore legislation. sympathetic man. for the fact that a man who was himself a poet also promised to introduce the of others into the world. Now. he sought to produce some measure of equilibrium in the excited masses. how attentively he followed the s\\dft events of the day. was not the first of its kind. now. events. as the editor of a and was even ^v^dely-read periodical he had occasion compelled — on — to express his views each month. the Deutscher Merkur. and this alliance of preeminent litterateurs was so active that the Merkur during a period of several years may be employed as a textbook of our literary history. And here is the place to recall the periodical which was so This important for Germany. and since a voluntary union of the masses cautious appeared inconceivable. "wdth On this matter. Since. yet at that time undertaking the spur of the moment it was new and significant. 11 — 20 . then he who is called to trace chronologically the course of his life \\dll perceive.ORATION ON WIELAND 305 happiness which they should find in the happiness of their subjects. the epoch came when an aroused nation down all that had thus far stood. Moreover.

our friend had been forced to endure full many an attack on account of major or minor writings so much the less as the editor of a periodical could he escape literary controversies. first monthly. strictly speaking. springs from the fact that everyone wishes to talk. and actually estranged. on the one hand. he who recognizes moderation as the chief maxim leader. More was sent to the editor than he expected and desired. reading and criticism became the possession of a greater multitude. his success awakened imitators. he was accustomed frequently to attack them in his notes. Yet here. by his disapproving annotations. he gives his opponent the last word and goes his .306 THE GERMAN CLASSICS the public generally its influence was profound and significant. and as. excited Ms active spirit he sought to equalize within himself through taste and common sense. The quality which maintained the value and the dignity of the Deutscher Merkur for manj^ years was its editor's Wieland was not created to be a party innate liberality. the desire to give instant expression to his thoughts became active in every- one who had anytliing to give. then weekly and daily. one can tell from his writings the man who is developing himself. he shows himself ever the same. Such a paper war can never last long for him. Whatever cannot make himself guilty of one-sidedness. valued and even favorite contributors. so. and the man who seeks . Foreigners have sagaciously observed that German authors regard the public less than the writers of other nations. and thus he also treated his collaborators. wonted path. similar periodicals arose which crowded upon the public. he often vexed. for if. and which. and which finally produced that confusion of Babel of which we were and are witnesses. too. therefore. and if it threatens to be in any degree protracted. and that. while translating the ancient authors whom he so highly esteemed. but no one is willing to listen. for none of whom he felt very much enthusiasm. Even before this.

the attempt has been made to cast suspicion on our friend's character from these very writings. Only in that which a man does and continues to do. since they fancy that the man of many sides must be indifferent. does he reveal his character. contemporaries as witnesses And thus he won for himself many friends. The blessings of sweet peace had long ruled over Germany. the character of these two types soon becomes This quahty we have already ascribed to Wieobvious. they were dispensed with and there was a yearning after rustic Hfe. cosmopolitan views of existence. friendly.ORATION ON WIELAND 307 to create something to his own satisfaction. civic. than Wieland. and kept them. consequently. and social surroundings. The security of landed property gave confidence to ful . and in an unfore- seen manner to begin a new life. In the enjoyment of liis poetic works he lived for many years in — — municipal. But even in the autumn of his years he was destined to feel the influence of the spirit of the age. human. land in particular and it will be so much the more inter. and. it is forgotten that character is concerned simply and solely with the practical. A large number of men are even yet in error regarding liim. That he had any decided enemy is not known to me. . a new youth. but never with his convictions. If he surrendered himself to the multiplicity of his emotions. since. and gained the distinction of a complete edition of his carefully revised works. no man constantly more true to lumself. formerlj^ and latterly. and even of an edition de luxe of them. general outward safety and repose coincided most happily with the inward. and if he permitted no single impression to gain dominion over him. and the versatile man must be wavering. in this very way he proved the firmness and the sureness of his mind. and in this sense there has been no more steadfast man. — esting to arrange and to follow his writings and his life in this sense. This witty man I can summon all played gladly with liis opinions. and to the versatility of his thoughts. and in that to which he is constant. The peace- townsman seemed no longer to require his walls.

And here they who have often visited him. I may merely note. and as man. and as husband. can often fancy to himself the sweet deceit that he lives better. it only too keenly how much He could not forego association with her. easier. woman how this rural joy was troubled by the passing away of a dear friend who resided wdth them. for his devotion to his great patroness. and when he found opportunity and strength to obtain an estate in the very \icinity of Weimar. as friend. He laid these dear remains in his own property. seemed to look about him for an abode more quiet in which to cultivate the Muses. born a social being. And there. and especially how. and thus have they fulfilled his lovely and pleasant wish that posterity might visit and reverence his tomb within a living grove. yea. which had become too intricate for him. then. had more than once given him sad hours in his rural retirement. the Duchess Dowager. happier in isolation. he retained for himself the place and the space between his two dear ones that there he. and who have lived with him. and to dispense with the estate which for some years he had enjoyed. briefly and sympathetically. While inviting younger friends to elaborate this idyllic portrayal. too. and yet he could enjoy it only with inconfelt He cost him to be far from her. and then by the death of his esteemed and careful consort.308 THE GERMAN CLASSICS . may tell in detail how it was precisely here that he appeared in all his charm as head of the house and of the family. who had already been vouchsafed the highest literary leisure. everyone the untrammelled life of nature attracted everyone. he formed the resolution there to pass the remainder of his life. so Wieland also. the honorable brethren have accompanied him. brought him. since he could indeed withdraw from men but men could not dispense with him. . and although he resolved to give up agricultural cares. Yet not without a higher reason did our friend return to the city. might find his resting place. he most delightfully developed his social virtues as a hospitable host.

occupies a house very close to the princely residence. now gathered together and now scattered. so that I have not readily become acquainted with anyone who more gladly received and more spiritedly responded to whatever happy idea others might bring forward. but gladly sought to take part in everytliing. Kant gave merely the preludes of his greater theories in his minor writings. seen his household now expanded and now contracted. and even the highest would have been his proper element. For his poetic and his literarj'^ aspirations were alike addressed immediately to life. yet he ever had a practical aim before his eyes. and in a lighter style seemed to express him. ^^'ith his extensive knowledge. In very peculiar measure Wieland was born for the higher circles of society. and since. he can scarcely be reproached for feeling an antagonism toward the more modem philo- sophical schools. . after he had venience and with discomfort. followed it. his conversation also was diversified and stimulating throughout. the exalted princess draws him into her own immediate circle. for since he nowhere wished to stand supreme. When. and though he did not seek a practical end with absolute invariability. Therefore his thought was always clear.ORATION ON WIELAND 309 And thus. shares in the summer sojourn in Tiefurt. at an earher period. he must inevitably appear an agreeable companion. his phraseology was lucid and readily intelligible. whether it was near or far. and in still higher degree he would have been such in a more light-hearted nation which did not take too seriously every form of recreation. his mode of entertaining himself and others. and was inclined to express himself with moderation regarding everything. He returns. Bearing in mind his type of thought. now augmented and now diminished. he continually held to the interest of the day. and intelligently occupied himself with it. and his honorable purpose of influencing his generation. and now regards himself as a member of the household and of the court.

and since a friend who desires to value Wieland's . Yet not merely the philosophers. then stood close enough to our friend but when the huge system was erected. however. that taste also would soon be referred to such principles. developed from the depths of humanity it was readily obvious. chance culture. and in poetry a new epoch emerged which was necessarily as antagonistic to our friend as he was to it. yet without being very deeply influenced by them and I here expressly mention this circumstance. and then toward the theory of morals and its immediately subsidiary subjects. more coherent judgment. merits and sturdily to uphold his memory must be perfectly conversant with the situation of affairs. with the rise and with the sequence of opinions. I repeat. and. everything. . It would at first appear as though its purpose was mainly directed toward knowledge. if it was intended to establish. and. were forced to see in Kant's monumental work a menacing citadel which would limit their serene excursions over the way field of experience. and popular peculiarities. From this time on he experienced many unfavorable judgments. and with the character and with the talents of the cooperators he must know well . moreover. since the consequent struggle in German literature is as yet by no means allayed and adjusted. This was. all those who had thus far gone their self problematically still . more firmly than had hitherto been the case. and to evoke a more general law as a — deciding factor. poetizing and philosophizing in full freedom. but also the poets. those weighty affairs of higher knowledge and of moral conduct. so soon as large numbers should allow themselves to be attracted by it. indeed. and if there the demand was made for a sterner. the attempt would be made absolutely to set aside individual fancies. actually realized. therefore.310 THE GERMAN CLASSICS he upon the most weighty themes. to fear from the new intellectual tendency. that. It was readily obvious. had much.

and thus he exemplified the superiority of delicate natures. and had not even expected. he must. and it might well have seemed pleasing to the gods . and a member of their own friend. and soon afterward he was favored Mm by two emperors ^\•ith insignia of honor. and. for many years had blissfully dwelt amid our mountains and hills. had long been. to The peace which When the eventful threatened. work impartially. and he comforted his friends rather than himself by the declaration that he had never met with a like misfortune. Yet from those minor or major controversies which arose from his intellectual attitude I am drawn by a serious con- which we must now turn. even in those terrible hours toward which our friend's carefree life flowed on. he was very severely injured by the overturning of his carriage. fortune did not desert him. together with a beloved daughter. for he w^as saved first through the precaution of a young and resolute and then through the attention of the French conwho honored in him both the meritorious author. since the fate of the world was decided in our walks.ORATION ON WIELAND the 311 to powers and the services of both sides. and in our delightfully watered valleys. day dawned which filled us with amazement and alarm. so bitter to us all. famed throughout the w^orld. at least sideration. after the bitter calamity which befell him in such advanced years when. whose equanimity knows how to meet with moderation good and evil fortune ahke. throughout his long life. Soon afterward he had to bear the loss of Amelia. But he appeared most remarkable of all. great literary institute. considered in body and in spirit. in a sense. The painful results of the accident and the tedium of convalescence he bore mth the utmost equanimity. the like of which he had not sought. belong to both factions. by military expeditions. if not disturbed. Yet in the day of joy as in the day of sorrow he remained constant to liimself. querors. Court and city endeavored to extend every compensation.

in conformity with his serene. much his eye — . and on the understanding and utilization of them yet. own way. moreover. became evident in a remarkable degree for though he appeared to reject everything which lay outside the bounds of general knowledge. the acti\ities of the brethren of our lodge. Single traits of his writings afford manifold examples of this but I may especially recall his Agathoddmon and his in his . As. yet he . Now. in tentative fashion. brethren had developed within him. which we have deemed it our duty to portray in detail above. he could never refrain. only a short while since.312 THE GERMAN CLASSICS that in this way he discharge the debt of humanity. and beyond the sphere of what may be exemplified from experience. lucid mode of thought. then. to express openly and frankly before For a confiding love toward our lodge of this assembly. from peeping over them. and also those beautiful declarations. while he did not transgress the lines so sharply drawn. and with true affection and with constant endeavor shared in But however seemed always fixed on things earthly. was quickly restored. his philosophy of life remained firm even under this test. and thus he became a proof for us of the way in which great physical strength may be combined mth delicacy and clean li^-ing. as rational as they were sincere. such an accident produced no change in his convictions or in his mode of life. a state concerning which all the innate powers of our soul can give us no information. he took part in the customary recreations of the social life of the court and of the city. as a man of exceptional gifts. he speedily recovered. as it were. those dark secrets. he could in no wise dispense vnth the extramundane and the supersensual. Acquainted even as a youth with the historical traditions regarding the mysteries of the ancients. an extramundane world. he indeed shunned. like that of a youth. and from constructing and representing. since his constitution. Here also that conflict. which he was permitted. none the less. Companionable after his recovery as before. Euthanasie.

so gladly recognized to be the realization of his \\dshes as a man and as a — social being. benevolent. often reestabgratitude. we have recognized it wiih. if this ancient lodge. rejoiced in the reception of excellent young men. Although summoned by our masters to speak a few words concerning the departed. had been introduced. and moderate. \T. experienced. and feeling himself in many respects alone. but whole years. he drew near to our dear lodge. required any testimony here. that. through awe-inspiring s>Tnbols. higher conceptions had 'first been brought to barbar- ous and sensual men. cautious. how constantly he attended our gatherings.rtue had been represented more desirably. circumspect. and even several well weighed and well ordered volumes are requisite worthily to celebrate his memory in consideration of the monument wliich he has worthily erected for himself This delightful duty I in his works and in his influence. vouchsafed his attention to our affairs. powerful. before this so distinguished and highly esteemed assembly. in the conviction that not a fleeting hour.ORATION ON WIELAND 313 veils. I might surely have ventured to decline to do so. undertook only in the conviction that what I have here said . and hope for the continuance of our existence had been purified both from the false terrors of a dark superstition and from the equally demands of an Epicurean sensuality. was present at our false honorable banquets. the most perfect would be ready at hand. and did not refrain from expressof this ing his thoughts upon many a weighty matter we are all witnesses. Then. the belief in one God. ITow gladly he entered it. accustomed to the best. lished after many a change of time. intelligent. perhaps uncouth. did not deny that precisely under these. not loose notes superficially jotted down. as an aged man left behind on earth bj' so many valued friends and contemporaries. ruling over all. since a talented man. and that with us he was in a company which he. friendly Indeed. felt that with us he found kindred spirits. illuminating ideas had been awakened.

then through this w^ould be collected a treasure of facts. still more. and from which our posterity might draw. what our whom he most greatly and most peculiarly influenced and who enjoyed an uninterrupted and a closer association with him. in after times. and to hallow for evermore so worthy a memory with love unwavering. and. may confidentially express and com- municate. to maintain. all that shall publicly brethren. in order to protect. together with this essay. . of information. and of valuations which might well be unique of its kind. honored masters to deposit in their ark. appear concerning our friend.314 THE GERMAN CLASSICS serve as an introduction to what should in future be by others at the repeated celebration of his If it shall please our may better done memory.

and even region. who was just preparing to mount his horse. which gave a He peculiar aspect to the whole of the little community. stopped their work. It was shortly before the harvest. the intermediate ones held their arms behind them. [315] . They explained their object. Felix's frank bearing seemed to please him. all the children. They greeted now one. they referred the inquirers to an over^ seer. when another strange sight was displayed to him. and looked cheerfully toward the sky. but only boys and youths busy getting ready for a prosperous harvest. and now another. the gentle slopes of which . was just on the point of asking his companion about this. of whose whereabouts no one could give an account. its higher mountains to sheep-feeding. however.THE PEDAGOGIC PROVINCE Translated by Edward Bell From WiLHELM Meister's Travels TFR pilgrims had performed the journey accord- ing to program. The address of their letter was: To the Master or to the Three. The youngest folded their arms crosswise on the breast. and prosperously reached were the frontier of the province in wliich they to learn so many wonderful tilings. with peculiar yet various gestures. was that they saw neither women nor men. and everj'thing was in the greatest abundance still. and it was easy to infer that their object was the overseer. what surprised them from the outset. and so they rode together along the road. howsoever they might be occupied. and this too the boys could not explain. On making friendly preparations for a joyous harvest-home. their first entrj' they beheld a most fertile were favorable to agriculture. and inquired about the master. Wilhelm had soon observ^ed that a great diversity prevailed in the cut and color of the clothing. and its broad valleys to the rearing of cattle. and turned. toward the party riding past.

gestures. is easy * ' ' ' ' * to see. and placed themselves in a row. arms across the breast. the children forsook their attitudes. '* What position Felix interposed. ever he soon exclaimed: '' just as they mingle w^ith each other. ' ' . like the others. resumed their occupations or went on playing as before. Wilhelm asked the meaning of these gestures. with which they welcome you. that tell me at once at what stage of cultivation each of these boys stands." But could you. we impart to the children. does it last long? yes." he exclaimed joyfully. where they were first seen. me that which causes my w^onder! I suppose that these. Accordingly. . "I see two havrks " flying from west to east. Wilhelm added. they turned the head to the right. and can you. when they halted and dismounted. greetings. are greetings.316 THE GERMAN CLASSICS and looked smiling upon the ground." answered but I can assure you of tliis much. indeed. that they are no empty grimaces. just where several children had ranged themselves in various attitudes and were being inspected by the overseer. and looking seriously and gladly He obeyed howupward. without turning your glance." rejoined the former. and said cheerfully: " have I to take. with arms at the side. self. explain to me the meaning of the graduation? For that it is such." Wilhelm now asked. on the contrary." " Just '' so. how you behave your'' now go and mingle with them. This does not please me parBut ticularly. and that." answered the intendant. the third sort stood erect and boldly. these positions. then? '* at first the **In any case. to " " Will explain you." answered the other. instead of remaining alone." He made a sign." part of better people than me. that must be a good omen! '' It depends on how you take to it. I see notliing overhead. but still a is the '* " That the other. not indeed the highest.

" their companion replied. Besides this the secrecy has very great advantages. and yet I do not see all kinds of color. they were for ever singing. yet I shall be much mistaken it you depart hence without being enlightened about all that you may wish to know. cut and color of their clothes. Whatsoever the boys set about. and in similar cases always the same. and in fact it seemed that the songs were specially adapted to each particular occupation. what is so necessary in bodily matters! But perhaps in another respect you can satisfy I I am surprised at the great variety in the curiosity. for this tends understand you. they would accompany each other in turns. for if we tell people immediately and perpetually the reason To of everything. too. the more they were met by a harmonious sound of singing. from my the brightest to the darkest. and thus the teaching is modified in a hundred ways. . *' Why should we not also apply spiritually. but a few only. they think that there is nothing beliind." "As concerns this. and these in all their shades. If several children were in any place. we have to to show deference by concealment and modesty and good morals. certain secrets. since the smallest and biggest boys mingled together. nor amongst themselves. but at the same time we command each to keep and cherish for liimself what we may have chosen to impart for the information of each: they may not chat about it with strangers." They were now going in search of the master." *' silence. may be alike in cut and color. that in this there cannot be meant any indication of degrees of either age or merit. but now a stranger could not but be struck by the fact that the deeper they got into the country. even if they may be known. whilst those who are alike in gestures do not agree mth one another in dress.THE PEDAGOGIC PROVINCE 317 guiding and intelligible explanation." said Wilhelm. Still I observe. in whatever work they were found engaged. *' I cannot explain any further. whom they thought that they had found.

and even what we teach in matters of religion and morals by the method of song." Wilhelm sought to inform himself further. horse chimed in with his voice. in reproducing them in their throats. whilst we practise the children in writing down by symbols on the slate the notes which they produce. they learn to understand much sooner than in other ways the high value of measure and computation. "but we practise it in a special place. ear." he observed to his companion. and then. according to the indication of these signs. On this account. Wilhelm was delighted with this entertainment. " with us the art of singing forms the first step in education. and attain orthography and calligraphy quicker than you would believe. and then again we take care that the different instruments are taught in places lying far apart. of all imaginable means. everything else is subservient to it. for. they exercise at the same time the hand. for you will yourself confess." ** Just so. which made " I the neighborhood so lively. With us the simplest enjojTuent. we have chosen music as the first element of our education. ''you devote a great deal of care to this kind of instruction. Especially are the discordant notes of beginners banished to certain solitary spots. and moreover in adding the text. for otherwise this ability would not be so "widely diffused.318 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Toward evening they came upon some dancing. where they can drive no one crazy . and. and. and did not hide his astonishment at hearing no instrumental music. is enlivened and impressed by singing. finally. inclosed in the most charming mountain-valley. not badly. for from this equally easy roads radiate in every direction." replied the other. their steps Felix from his being animated and guided by choruses. as well as the simplest instruction. ''We do not neglect it. is communicated Other advantages for independent ends are directly allied. since all this must be practised and copied according to pure metre and accurately fixed time. and eye. suppose. or so perfectly developed. in truth." replied the other. and attained by means of it. that in well-regulated .

and make trial of his surroundings. by a touch of his baton. that he did not feel particularly . by suspending with a signal the chorus-singing. a few who failed in the performance willinglj^ paid their forfeit. which because in these. from their own laudable notion of wisliing to be an annoyance to none. vie with one another in attaining the merit of being allowed to draw nearer to the inhabited world. Most of them already showed considerable ability. son has got a good voice the rest will be effected all your time. we venture actually to develop and encourage I am sincerely glad that a sense of shame and diffidence." They had now reached a place where Felix was to remain. until they were disposed to grant a formal admission. allowed to seldom fails. the kind reception. of greeting w^as conceded to him. obeying the directions of the superintendent. however. often took the singers by surprise. They already heard from afar a cheerful singing. and came Thereupon the first style tolerably well out of the trial. all pleased the boy so well. as in our other modes of education. . looked upward. go voluntarily for a longer or shorter period into the wilds. and. A general the chorus resounded. The latter. that it was quite plain that no hidden meaning in it had as yet occurred to him. Our beginners. The pleasant spot. on which account they are. Felix was still child enough to mix at once among them. in which each member of a large circle joined heartily. it was a game. and vigorously in his part. to adapt alone some suitable song to the expiring tune and the passing idea.THE PEDAGOGIC PROVINCE civil society 319 scarcely any more miserable miisaiice is to be endured than when the neighborhood inflicts upon us a beginner on the flute or on the violin. more easily. and bidding some one or other single performer. clearly. the merry games. from time to make an attempt at drawing nearer. and with such a droll expression withal. without exactly being made a laughing-stock. he forthwith folded his arms on his breast. isolated there. which the boys were now enjoying in their play-hour.

yet he had no difficulty in understanding. who preside over holy things your letter is also addressed to them. which I have called holy things. to pursue my own avocations. in order that they may be instructed historically and through their senses. so that he could scarcely see some stately walls and fine buildings through the dense and lofty natural growth his friendly reception by the Three. He found liimself within a large and beautifully verdant inclosure. . and together : they stand in place of the Superior. at all events an equally lively and well-trained one when he did not expect it. enough for them to feed upon for a long time in the exercise of their dutv.320 THE GERMAN CLASSICS lie sad when saw his father depart. inclosed by lofty walls on a given signal a small door was opened. for the confidence with which you have left your son with us. are included within a particular boundary." ' Wilhelm now stood at the entrance of a forest-valley. only at certain times of the year. to which . are admitted to them. for in this way they carry off with them an impression. will certainly. who came up by-and-by. The visible objects of veneration. when he was informed that he could not keep it in the present locality. according to the stages of their education. they promised him that he should find. and a serious. As " I the superior could not be found. but the other replied. he looked almost more wistfully at the horse as it was led away. of which each contributed something of liis own. are not mingled with anything. the overseer said: must now leave you. in accordance with wisdom and justice. On the other hand. shaded with trees and bushes of every kind." Wilhelm would have liked to learn beforehand about the ** The Three in return holy things. respectable-looking man received our friend. ultimately concluded in a conversation. if not the same. but still I will take you to the Three. the pupils. but the substance we shall put together in brief. or disturbed by anything. . reveal to you all that is most necessary.

11 — 21 . The first is veneration for that which is above us. the significance of which I should like to learn. and yet it is that upon which depends everything through which a man becomes a man on every side. and then After a suitable pause. the lowered. of these do you most wdsh to have explained? ** I have remarked certain seemly yet strange gestures and obeisances. you no doubt what is external has reference and vice versa. and we teach a threefold veneration. our duty to let you see more deeply into our methods You have seen many external things. that is precisely what we prescribe to our untutored children." Well-bred and healthy children possess a great deal. let me understand this relation. smiling glance. which when combined to form a whole. . do not carry their significance with them all at once which it is ." You have seen three kinds of gestures. Nature has given to each everything that he needs for time and continuance: our duty is to develop this. a cheerful glance toward the sky. only then attains to its highest power and effect. it gives us an opportunity to maintain ourselves it affords unspeakable joys but it If one hurts oneself brings disproportionate sufferings. The hands folded on the back as if tied together. the arms folded on the breast. bespeak that we have to regard the earth well and cheerfully. ''Veneration. *' shook his head. . tutors and superiors. If you can find it out yourself. But one thing no one brings into the world." they said. often it is better developed by itself. they exclaimed: startled. at the same time requiring witness of them that there is a God up above who reflects and reveals Himself in our parents. and perhaps in yourself. speak out." they repeated. to \\'ith " what '' is within.THE PEDAGOGIC PRO\ INCE ** ** 321 Since you have intrusted your son to us. Vol. veneration for that which is below us. The second. That gesture. Veneration! " Wilhelm was "It is wanting in all." Wilhelm bethought himself for a short time. that of proceeding.

but not reverence. is the germ from which a higher feeling. yet not selfishly isolated. but unpleasant to entertain reverence is difficult but Man determines himself unwillingly to reverpleasing. when their nature in some measure has regained its freedom and independence. from fear he strives after liberty. The natural man repeats this operation a million times during his life. is consonant with nature.322 bodily. if others hurt one." Wilhelm went '* on. Now he stands erect and bold. soon becomes indifferent to God. from liberty he is driven back into To fear is fear. and feel happy when in a short space they have conquered it. and guide himself with reference to them. it is probably on this replied Wilhelm account that the multitude is so inured to vice. no doubt." I see it all. but the true. he who indulges in this. only in a union with his equals does he present a front toward the world. intentionally or accidentally. for such danger any harm — accompanies us all our life long. the strong one tries to grapple with it. : . and other inexplicable foreboding events. THE GERMAN CLASSICS whether faultily or innocently. and a hater of his fellows. We are unable to add sufficient man. nevertheless. a purer disposition. to make Has it not ever been held that the fear one objection: evinced by savage nations in the presence of mighty natural phenomena. the weak to avoid it both wish to get rid of it. if earthly chance does one let these be well thought of." * * ' ' ' * . indispensable feeling of self-respect is ruined in conceit and presumption. " should gradually be developed? " To this the other replied Fear. But from this condition we deliver our pupil as soon as possible. . contemptuous toward the world. but then we bid him be a to his companions. and does not advance one step further. genuine. . because it takes pleasure only in the element of ill-will and evil speech. look anything further. directly we are convinced that the teachings of this stage have made a impression upon him. "Allow me. easy. people fear a known or unknown powerful being.

because this disposition of mind is chiefly revealed in it. must draw downward to himself all that is higher. But we must now speak of the tliird religion. The second religion. Wilhelm remained silent for a while in thought as he did not feel himself equal to pointing these strange words. based on reverence for that which is below us. and claim a higher it! not merely to leave origin. With the reverence which a man allows himself to entertain. he begged the worthy men to continue their remarks. we call it the Christian one. all so-called heathen religions are of this kind. which too they at once consented to do. *' No religion. it is 323 a loftier is and which self-developed only in the most exceptionally gifted ones. *' which is based on fear. and only in this central position does he deserve the name of the sage. in the cosmical sense he lives only in the truth. he is not at discord with himThe religion which rests on self. all of . of which also there exist only three.THE PEDAGOGIC PR0\'1NCE ence. one. reverence for that which is above us. Yet what was not demanded for earth below. In tliis consists the dignity. is esteemed among us. sense which must be imparted to his nature. which is founded on that reverence which we have for what is like ourselves. let them have what names they will. and therefore to the whole of humanity. he may preserve his own honor. whilst he accords honor." The men paused. whilst he penetrates his relations to his fellows. we call the Philosophic. according to the objects toward which they direct their worship. whom therefore from all time we have regarded as saints. it is the last one which humanity could and was bound to attain. in this the function genuine religions." they said. but to recognize . or rather never determines himself to it. as in the other case. it is the religion of nations. for the philosopher. necessary or accidental. and the first happy redemption from a base fear. we call the ethnical as gods. Now. and his relations to all other earthly surroundings. who places himself in the middle. and upward to himself all that is lower.

from these three reverences outsprings the highest reverence. scorn and contempt. suffering and death nay. reverence for oneself. cannot again be dis. so that man reaching. developed in such a manner. of those in the highest degree good and wise ought not therefore in fairness : the three divine Persons. humanity cannot turn backward. all nations: the second is Christian." replied Wilhelm. How '' for the first article is ethnical. loudly. particularly? ''All three. in order that he attains to the highest he is capable of may consider himself the best that God and nature have produced. not as hindrances but as furtherances of holiness! Of this there are indeed as divine even humility . they together present the true religion. shame and misery. '* it agrees with does not estrange me. that severs the others. and it may be maintained. can never disappear again. " for." Such a profession of faith. under whose likeness and name . nay. and where? In the Creed! " exclaimed the others. solved." To this the others replied: ** This confession is * * already adhered sciously. that the Christian religion having once appeared. only that the very thing unites you. all that one learns here and there in life. that he may be able to remain on this height without being drawn through conceit or egoism into what is base. to wit. and this having once been reached. ' ' " Which of these religions do you then profess more " said Wilhelm.324 THE GERMAN CLASSICS and poverty. for those struggling against sufferings and glorified in sufferings the third finally teaches a spiritual communion of saints. though uncon- " asked Wilhelm. '' ** to ' ' by a large part of the world. and the former again develop themselves from the latter." answered the others. to revere and make lovable even sin and crime. in point of fact. found traces throughout all time but a track is not a goal. so. having once been divinely embodied. and belongs to .

contented and humanly complete." replied the other. truths." still and finally develop in them the highest must needs highly approve of it. so that. you may accompany us farther into the interior tomorrow. rest and refresh yourself. you must learn something more. and I " — when first I recall. I *' " but now Exactly so. However. the three dispositions of mind are not new. pretation. as a fullgrown man. ** for having so clearly and coherently explained this to me to whom. to pass also for " thank you. let this matter rest for the morning hours. in order that you may be convinced that your son is in the best hands. that you teach the children these high s}Tiibols. inter- through material then through a certain sym- bolic analogy." replied the former.THE PEDAGOGIC PROVINCE the highest Unity! 325 such convictions and promises are uttered." .

Ph. when so many gratifying things that actually took place lie before us? Your Highness has. One may without vainglory recall the good that for us and for others has been accomplished in our limited circle. and directed it more happily for the future. Had these pages come to the attention of Your Highness in those days. established and supported much that is useful and promotive of happiness. and soon afterward of They are addressed to a man who happiness of counting himself among your servmann. But who indeed ought to think of what might have happened. since that time. To Her Most Seeene Highness the Duchess Anna Amalia OF Saxe-Weimar and Eisenach Most Serene Princess.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE TransliAted by George Kriehn. Most Gracious Lady. while our gracious and sympathetic Prince adds constantly to the great number of his benefactions. changed the fate of a most excellent man. the dictates of your noble and charitable heart would have immediately put an end to such distress. self in the at the time when Winckelmann found him- most embarrassing circumstances. the straightforward and touching narration of which one cannot read without sympathy. [NOTHEE benefaction has been added to the art and science the many which Highness by owe to Your most gracious permission Winckel- to publish the following letters of had the ants. living in- close relation with Your Highness. the least significant aspects of which cannot but excite the [326] . D.

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since much formerly existed and flourished of which all visible traces have now disappeared. May Your Highness. tions that. a hale and hearty old age. th-ey willingly confess that they have much from diverse expression of opinion.WINCKELMANN AND if HIS AGE 327 observer's admiration. all the more so as they now learn with pleasure that their efforts On learned in behalf of culture are constantly becoming more closely allied to the general progress of higher education in Germanv. with respectful devotion. they have obstinately maintained a single point of view. W. servant. in which wo hope that all that has been accomplished wdll be further increased. in the consciousness of having been the prime mover and constant participant in these enterprizes. limited to certain the contrary-. VON Goethe. and long continue to enjoy the brilliant period now opening for our circle. which would be greatly increased a well informed writer should take the trouble to describe origin its and growth. unified and strengthened. I am. but was always directed toward the good to be accompUshed. attain that peculiar domestic happiness. The higher culture of this land all the more deserves an annalist. Your Most Serene Highness' obedient J. Preface The friends of art who have for several years been associated at Weimar are surely privileged to speak of their relation to the general public. Not modes of apprehending matters. and thus handed down to posterity. . The intention of the benefactors was never selfish. Cherishing the flattering hope that I shall continue to rejoice in that inestimable favor with which Your Highnesses have deigned to adorn my life. because (and this is the final test) they have always expressed similar convic- and have been guided by well tried principles.

he is inclined to champion far too quickly this or that maxim. all been written in the same spirit. as we are learning slowly. . and to the published translation of the Life of Benvenuto Cellini. and open or secret opposition. . they have. his own history and realize how much further a constant development in accordance with well tested principles might have led him. he changes just as violently. especially if he be a man of capacity. its contents we mention here only Plan foe a History of Art During the Eighteenth Century The historical conception of related conditions promotes the more rapid development of the artist as well as of the man. Trusting in his independent power. so that there is no longer occasion to remember ingratitude often experienced.328 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Propyno less gratification they call attention to the to the critical and descriptive programs of Icea. but not without gratification. in the Although these writings have not been printed and bound same volumes and do not form parts of a single work. and clings to prinNot until late in life does he ciples equally faulty. at first seems far too important to liimself. to the many expressions of opinion in the Jenaisische Litteraturzeihing. They have proved a leaven to the whole. for the young artist the history of art is of the greatest importance. he strives and labors with energy along the path he has himself chosen and when at length he becomes conscious of his one-sidedness and his error. Every individual. The present publication is an immediate sequel to the foregoing works. and of the most important. nevertheless. become aware of If the connoisseur owes his insight to history alone. enters upon another perhaps equally erroneous course. With much than six exhibitions of painting and statuary. which embodies the ideas which give rise to art.

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the presence of a distant friend. ensnare ns. even the immediate past is seldom instructive to man. Winckelis Whatever mann's letters sometimes have this desirable character. As lasting evidences of an existence or a condition. it is hoped. For wliile we are learning to understand the mistakes of our predecessors. But unfortunately. he was free Although this excellent . the more the writer lives in the moment and the less he is concerned with the future. often picture to themselves.WINCIvELMANN AND HIS AGE He to be 329 should not. and in the same manner a letter is a kind of soliloquy. w^ith its limitations. search in it for indistinct models. WiNCKELMANN 'S LeTTEKS Letters are TO BeEENDIS among the most important monuments which Imaginative persons the individual leaves behind him. through no fault of his own. and the account of which is left to the future historian with just as little advantage to his own generation. But who would indulge in such mournful observations. was reticent in society. serious and discreet in his personal life and conduct toward others. rejoices or pains. oppresses or occupies us. man. will point out its deficiencies and correct its imperfections. is poured forth from the heart. who. time is itself producing new errors which. For often the friend to whom we write rather the occasion than the subject of the letter. who educated himself in soHtude. to whom they impart their most private opinions. thereby making a satisfactory future work possible. even in solitary musings. but for the means of realizing himself and his point of view. the difficulty of which will be seen by connoisseurs. and not rather endeavor to promote the greatest possible clearness of view in his own branch of study? This is the duty assumed by the writer of the present sketch. however. such papers are the more important for posterity. unobserved. pursued passionately.

in which he often reveals felt. as much gratitude as attachment. which characterize the this collection letters to liis Swiss friends. without hesitation. daring. The first letters to Count Biinau. and unrestrained to the degree of cynicism. having the general characteristics of rectitude and directness. although Winckelmann's letters cannot on the whole be termed instructive. Charming also is his frankness. differ according to the persons to whom they are addressed. combined with a genuine appreciation of others. which would have been more interesting if they could have been printed entire and unmutilated. but also cheerful. letters) seem us fine testimonials of honest cooperation with a friend for a definite purpose a proof of his great endurance in a difficult task. see him and unconstrained himself. bold. even in passionate disapproval of a friend for whom the writer was never tired of testifying as much respect as love. wliich is always the case when a clever correspondent imagines those present with whom he is speaking at a distance. usually chose the best way. which . just as he We worried. however. Thus the letters addressed to Stosch (to mention only a few of the larger groups of Winckelmann's to .330 THE GERMAN CLASSICS in his letters. as a man of tempered character and confident in himself who. His letters. confused. but courageously and happily concluded they sparkle with the liveliest literary. in the valuable Dassdorf collection. The consciousness of his own superiority and dignity. the expression of friendship. political. doubting and dilatory. playfulness and pleasantry. troubled. from. altogether. reveal an oppressed. although the outer conditions offered to his imagination so much to choose . cordiality. self-absorbed spirit. make extremely interesting and lovable as well as exceedingly instructive. and form a charming picture of life. and society . news. alert. and therefore no more neglects what is proper and suitable than he would in their presence. except when he took the last impatient step which cost him his life. thoughtlessly undertaken without proper preparation.

WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE 331 hardly ventures to look up to such an exalted patron. They were written partly at Nothenitz. He conducted his pupil to Bruns\^dck where the latter studied at the Karolinum. compared with other contemporary letters that are already known. whose intimate friend he became. immediately intelligible. in accordance '\\'ith our available information. but above them hovers the joyfulness of the southern sky. earnestly sought. we leave to receptive hearts and judicious minds. and are directed to an intimate and trusted friend and comrade. but at the time named after their Commander von Ruesch. usually called the Black Hussars from their uniform. partly at Dresden. and through whose recommendation he was after- ward engaged as tutor of the youngest Count Biinau. When the Count afterward entered the . a more complete view of his position. and was for some years after his student days auditor of the Royal Prussian Regiment of Hussars. After leaving that rude life. That remarkable letter in which Winckelmann announces his change of religion is a real galimatias. an unfortunate and confused document. The pleasure of appreciating and passing judgment upon the importance of this collection. and they are inspired with an exuberant delight in the goal which he has attained. During a sojourn at Seehausen he made the acquaintance of Winckelmann. The writer stands revealed in all liis distress. irresistible desires. unrestrained character. with his pressing. studied law in the University of Halle. They preserve their direct. We shall add onlv a few words about the man to whom thev were written. The other half of our letters are written from Italy. HieronjTnus Dieterich Berendis was born at Seehausen in the Altmark in the year 1720. The first half of our own collection serves to make this period comprehensible. he continued his studies in Berlin. they give. Besides this. but on the road to a new and distant happiness. which is perhaps greater from the psychological than from the literary point of view. yea.

xhaustible mental benefactions upon us From this point of view the sUght tribute which citizen. whose opmions on art in general. In the same sense we have every cause to offer from time to time a well meaning tnbute to the memory of the men who have bestowed me. undertaking encounters all kinds of obstacles. his father. not as an account of his The feast at which it is offered will be participated in by all appreciative minds on the occasion of the recently discovered letters of Winekelmann. Sketches fob an Essay ok Winckelmann PREFACE .332 THE GERMAN CLASSICS service. French of state at the Duke. and to furnish the materials for a work which should have at once the merit ot diversity and of unity. coincide. conducted Berendis into the service of m which he first became military counsellor Winckelmann no matter how great his service may have been to his country and his city in a «-ider or narrower field. entenng afterward the service of the Dowager Duchess as' Financial Councillor and Keeper of the Privy Purse He died on the 26th of October. receives but one funeral. as well as on the services of Winekelmann. however have so distinguished themselves by worthy benefactions that they are honored by a public celebration of the anniversary of their death. But as in Kfe many an . on which occasion the lasting influence of their beneiicenee is praised. now for the first ser^^ees. at Weimar Desceiptios of who was at that time minister Weimar. which hardly allow the requisite material to The follo^vdng essays. were intended as a basis for a more extended essay on this remarkable man. time published. Others. The most deserving friends hmonial of their appreciation. 1783. written by three friends.

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and yet w^e are always flection attempting to make them more comprehensible by our reand our words. the reader may to a greater extent be stimulated and incited to form an individual conception of the significant life and character of Winckelmann. even though it be not complete. we freely offer. only that which is already prepared. In the present instance. the former by reason of their deeds and fame. One is especially impelled to this when something new relating to such subjects is discovered and made known. the half may be prized more than the whole. We therefore hope to merit gratitude if. the latter actually preserved as indefinable realities. in order that it may after its own fashion exert a timely influence in the great world of life and culture. to say nothing of giving it the desired form. which can now be easily accomplished by the aid of the earlier and more recently published materials. however. awaken from time to time a spirit of contemplation. so here only half of the whole as planned appears. in Winckelmann's owti refreshing manner. trust therefore that the public will find our renewed We on Winckelmann. by the stndy of three individual opinions on the same subject. Both stand before us as legacies of each succeeding generation. INTRODUCTION The memory of noteworthy men and the presence of important works of art.WINCKELMANN ^VND HIS AGE 333 be collected. since. observations . since the letters which are now published throw a more vivid light upon his mode of thought and the conditions under which he labored. Every judicious observer knows full well that only the contemplation of these men and monuments in their entirety would be of real value. his character and his achievements a timely contribution. instead of waiting for a later opportunity and promising a future achievement.

often have the peculiarity of feeling a kind of aversion to actual life. and create in themselves a world of their own. Furthermore. A few attempts to see strange lands. Even in these unhappy days we find the trace of that impulse to know for himself with his own eyes the condi- — tions of the world. yet in him were planted the germs of an enviable happiness. in this wise achieving the highest inner development. we may be assured of the development of a character in which both the present and the future world Avill rejoice. to enter into relation with it. disjointed and scattered studies in early manhood. he devoted his entire life to the search for that which is harmonious and worthy in man and in art. on — the other hand. but expressed wdth sufficient decision. appears the need world a cor- responding realization for all the gifts with which Nature has endowed them. to learn to know it. He had reached the age of thirty without having enjoyed a single favor at the hands of fate. and to form with it a complete whole. Nature had placed in him whatever makes and adorns the true man. very possible to realize. he set . He dreamed of a journey to Egypt. the pressure of a school position. An obscure childhood. Winckelmann was a man of this kind. withdraw into themselves. which is primarily concerned with man. to take hold of the external world. thereby raising their inner being to a self-rehdng whole. insufficient instruction in his youth.834 THE GERMAN CLASSICS ENTER WINCKELMANN Even to ordinary mortals Nature has not denied a very I refer to that lively impulse felt precious endowment from earliest childhood. gloomy and disjointed traces it is true. common to all of us of seeking in the external in especially gifted men. and all the worry and all these annoyance that are experienced in such a career he had suffered as many others have. were unsuccessful. undertaken without sufficient reflection. Certain chosen spirits. But when.

he at last seized upon the idea of forcing his way to Rome. the despair of rivals. in almost every act of contemplation. he can only achieve when all capabilities are evenly united in him. THE ANTIQUE can accomplish much by the opportune use of individual powers. He felt how very profitable a sojourn in the Eternal City would be for him. ^\^thout following a long. This last was the happy lot of the ancients.WINCIvELMANN AND HIS AGE out by back. This was no whim. projects himself into the if he is happy enough infinite. to the other two alternatives we moderns are unfortunately Man limited by fate. if it be not that a happy man whole. he can even accomplish extraordinar>" things by the combination of several powers. of worlds existing and arising. the ancients. the modern thinker. Here they were placed. unless it be because the its field. it was a decided plan. — unconsciously rejoice in his own existence? While. especially of the Greeks in their best period. round-about path. here their activity . of stars and milky ways. its end attained. planets and moons. wliich he undertook to realize with cleverness and decision. to return only in the end may in succeeding therein to a limited proposition. if it had the power of self-realization. found to this end they had been their passion its object and nourishment. the startling. called. but the unique. no mere thought. 335 way of France. For to what purpose is the array of suns. the healthy nature of man acts as a unit. when he realizes his place in the world as part of a great and worthy When when a harmonious well-being accords him a pure and free happiness then the universe. found their exclusive happiness within the lovely confines of this — — world. Why are their poets and historians the wonder of the judicious. as we have just done. of comets and nebulae. would rejoice and admire tliis culmination of its own genesis and existence. but unforeseen obstacles turned liim More w-isely guided by liis genius.

just as for us only the actual. and sorrow. joy and suffering. As soon as he attained a worthy freedom. they worked in and for the present? Under such conditions it could not be difficult for a writer of their opinion to immortalize such a present. Man. he appears well rounded and complete. All held fast to the nearest. inclination. He was to live a enjoyment and self denial. quite in the antique sense. In a certain sense the poet lived in his imagination. was reincarnated Winckelmann. was conall his inner and external were represented with the same great intelligence with which they were observed. Feeling and observation had not been separated that almost incurable breach in the healthy power of man had not yet occurred. and whatever was human. and relations to the world . what is thought or felt seems of greatest worth. Not only in enjoying happiness. exaltation and debasement such a strange medley he was always satisfied with the beautiful world in which such a variable fate befalls us. For as a healthy tissue resists illness and is speedily restored after every attack. in so far as one can make this in statement of any of our contemporaries. life of action. At the very beginning it endured its mighty probation. Such an antique nature. in the actors introduced their by them were narrow so deeply concerned in circle of the fatherland. and because with all their mind. so the wholesome mind of such natures quickly and easily recovers from internal and external misfortune. yet in possession and loss. and was not tamed by thirty years of humility. nor blunted by adversity.336 THE GERMAN CLASSICS own selves. but in enduring unhappiness also. the true. discomfort. — . What was actually occurring was for them the only thing of value. and even the pictures of their fantasy have bone and marrow. just as the historian lived in the political. within the circumscribed path of their own life as well as that of their fellow citizens. sidered of the highest value. these natures were remarkably gifted. it could neither be diverted from its path. and the investigator in the natural world. and power.

where he is still wearing himself out in the conVOL. 11 — 22 . resignation to an all-powerful fate. so in he possessed a really antique faithful to the In the treatment of science in general the ancients were in a rather unfortunate position. especially to Greek antiquity. a disintegration of unity (so to speak) is almost unavoidable. we are always conscious of an indestructible well-being. PAGANISM The description of the ancient point of view. guided partly by pleasure and inclination. as w^ell as in the deepest of sacrifice. the — moment of happiness. because in the detailed investigation of manifold subjects. without supplementing the incomplete. leads us directly to the observation that such advantages are conceivable only in a pagan mind. In a like case the modem scholar encounters an even greater danger. even of destruction.WINCKELMANN ^VND HIS AGE Just as in life 337 spirit. itself dependent upon activities in this world these belonging necessarily together. he always came back sooner or later to antiquity. However much Winckelmann wandered about of possible in the fields and profitable knowledge. This pagan point of view pervades Winckelmann 's deeds and writings. the yearning for future all fame. concerned only with this world and its assets. and is expressed especially in his early letters. as the ancients succeeded in doing. by the completeness of his own personality. he runs the risk of scattering his energies and of losing liimself in disconnected knowledge. In the highest in the present. constitute such an inseparable whole that they form a condition of human existence planned by Nature herself. his studies he was same bihties. partly by necessity. since for the comprehension of the varied objects of nature a division of powers and capaideal. with which he felt himself most closely related. That confidence in oneself. that acti\dty pure worship of the gods as ancestors and the admiration of them quasi as artistic creations only. and with which he was destined so happily to be united in his best days.

indeed his repugnance of it. Winckelmann felt himself born not only capable of it. with them took the place of all other sentiments. and the duly of sharing One death itself. Here also a remarkable difference between ancient and modern times is revealed. . events. their avowed allegiance during life. must be remembered in judgThe churches into ing his co-called change of religion. they must. fill us with astonishment. FRIENDSHIP Since the ancients. historians. were really entire men. the joy of inseparability. if necessary. The relation of parents to children seems to have been of a somewhat more tender character. they could not therefore be lacking in that delight which arises from the attachment of similar natures. all of the same tenor and purport. The friendship of persons of the male sex for one another. thought. but requiring it to — He realized himself only in the relathe highest degree. as we boast. philosophers and orators overwhelm one with amazing stories. as they found all happiness in themselves and the world. . even In Hades. which the Christian religion is divided were a matter of complete indifference to him. even feels ashamed of one's own generation when poets. although they pictured the maidens Chloris and Thyia as inseparable friends. which with us has become so tender and spiritual.338 flict THE GERMAN CLASSICS This mode of with more modern religious opinions. hardly rose above the limits of the lowest satisfaction. The passionate fulfilment of loving duties. this remoteness from the Christian point of view. the devotion of one for the other. For a friendship of this character. tion of friendship he recognized himself only in that image of the whole which requires a third for its completion. have learned to know the relations of human beings in the widest sense. sentiments and opinions. because in his inmost nature he never belonged to any of them. The relation to woman.

Although fine of these attachments easily and quickly vanish. little. to be exact. and in whom he has. . It is true that Nature can but seldom produce him. and perpetuate the beauty it has produced. an ever evolving nature is the beautiful man. and even her almighty power cannot tarry long with the perfect. many BEAUTY Although such a deep need of friendship really creates and idealizes the object of antiquity would. It is in this relation render his existence. as the highest sacrifice. similar need and a satisfyw^e ing object of this need did not fortunately appear refer to the demand for the sensuously beautiful. the sentiment underhdng them won for him the heart of many an excellent man. for whom he vowed himself to live and to suffer for whom he found even in his poverty the means of being rich. as re- along with — For the supreme product of vealed in a tangible object. to excuse even ingratitude. for. generous and happy. if The it the lover of its. to fit this ideal of f riendsliip. this ideal to a probably unworthy object to whom he consecrated himself. even in the midst of poverty and need. of giving and of sacrificing. affection. achieve only a one-sided external world would offer him a related. through it moral excellence.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE Even at 339 an early period he applied . alone. feels rich. that Winckelmann. However the times and circumstances might alter. Winckelmann re-shaped every object of worth with which he came in contact. his very life. because he is able to do something for him whom he loves above everything else. is we may say it is only for a moment that the beautiful man remains beautiful. and brought him the happiness of living in the most beautiful relation with the best men of his age and environment. because the ideal opposed by many existing conditions. indeed he would not have hesitated to sur.

though often only flitting. . however. For in its spiritual development from all of man's powers. mth profoundest conviction.340 THE GERMAN CLASSICS lists. in which both past and future are included. through which he at length rises to the production of a work of art. which must now produce another consummation. In this sense we can only acknowledge that the ancients were right when they said. For the appreciation of this beauty "Winckelmann was by nature fitted. the happi- ness and gratitude of man seem to pass all bounds. He first learned of it in the writings of the ancients. summit of nature. Against this mutability art now enters the For. in friendship with beauti- ful youths. it produces a lasting and supreme effect. that he possesses he would gladly give as a feeble All testi- mony of his attachment and his So we often find Winckelmann devotion. but encountered it personified in the works of art. it adopts all that is noble and lovable and by spiritualizing the human form and raising man above himself. it closes the circle of his life and activity. One beheld supreme dignity and was inspired by supreme beauty. When. harmony and significance. and never does he appear more animated and lovable than in such. God had become man in order to raise man to God. He attains this end by striving for virtue and perfection. which achieves a brilliant place among his other works and actions. out having seen this great work. Once achieved and standing in its ideal reality before the world. the requirements of friendship and of beauty both find inspiration in the same object. arrangement. moments. that it was a misfortune to die withby being placed at the . by appealing to selection. man views himself as a complete nature. By such emotions were those overwhelmed who saw the Olympian Jupiter. that we may recognize and treasure it in nature's living creations. in which we all first learn to know it. as we gather from the descriptions and testimony of the ancients. and deifies him in the present.

with such needs and longings. in his capacity of a private gentleman. in accordance \v-ith our . vortex. he could not have attained his end without this early deci- which was made much easier for him by the fact that. and incites with secret power every citizen to like actions in private life. as a thorough heathen by nature. The example of a Prince is a mighty influence in his country. needed only to buy one valuable book less in order to open for Winckelmann the road to Rome as a minister of state he had influence enough to have helped this excellent man out of every difficulty. from encouraging a gifted man. he had never become Christianized by his Protestant baptism. and the Roman faith. and accommodate himself to their usages. in order to identify himself with association. The final result actually shows that sion.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE CATHOLICISM 341 With such opinions. like a whirlpool. and there was scarcely any other way to attain favor and consideration than through confessors and other members of the clergy. professed the Roman faith. draws the quietly passing waves to itself and into its . Nowhere about him did he see the least hope of help and assistance. man. Yet this out a bitter struggle. and to enjoy confidential must necessarily profess the religion of his associates. but he was probably unwilling to lose so capable a servant. or else he had no appreciation of the great service he would have rendered the world by The Court at Dresden. change in his condition was not achieved withWe may. The religion of a Prince always remains in a certain sense the ruling religion. which Winckelmann might eventually hope for adequate support. Count Biinau. the life there. In addition to this Winckelmann must have felt that a in order to be a Roman in Rome. Winckelmann for a long time served objects aUen to his own desires. especially to moral actions. must yield to their faith.

one city. which we in no aspect. To desert them is hatefor their sake — ful inconstancy is contemptible. certain moral blemishes in others. want and suffer everything this is estimable. If the comparison be permitted. to the cultivated palate. so that we decision are in perfect accord with ourselves. seemed anxious. fearful. sincere and upright are his confidential expressions upon this point! How For every man who changes his religion is marked by a certain stigma from which it seems impossible to free him. This is indeed the harsh. which. constantly have their own safety and stability in mind. the very serious side of the question. But such a may contradict the prevailing opinion and the con- Then a new struggle begins. desires and needs.342 convictions. sense approve of. THE GERMAN CLASSICS final decision and for reasons sufficiently weighty. while it may cause no uncertainty. This is not a matter of feeling or conviction. make a which is in perfect harmony with our vohtion. one friend. an especial charm for the imagination. have . especially upon his first patron. to labor. yet may occasion discomfort. beautiful. From this it is evident that men cherish a steadfast purpose above all else. one woman. Count Biinau. divided into factions. A divorced woman . but it may also be viewed from another point of view from which it has a more pleasing and less serious Certain conditions of society. one Prince. to trace back everything to them. sorrowful and swayed by deep emotion when he thought of its probable effect. To remain faithful to one people. all the more so because they. we might say that it is in this matter as it is better slightly tainted than with game which. We should be steadfast precisely there where fate rather than choice places us. impatience and annoyance. because we discover occasional inconsistencies in our actions while we suspect the existence of many more in ourselves. victions of many people. And so Winckelmann. tastes far when fresh. which indeed seems unavoidable for the maintenance and continuance of our very existence. before his intended step.

however correctly the final aim of art is already defined in them. indeed almost impossible. However much Winckelmann appears. Through the joy of appreciation he . But to Winckelmann himself the Catholic religion presented nothing attractive. He saw in it only the masquerade dress which he threw around him. even from the highest things that have been expressed in w^ord and language. and expressed himself Even at a later period he does bitterly enough about it. not seem to have sufficiently observed its usages. . KEALIZATIOX OF GREEK ART from literature. Persons who would otherwise appear to be merely interestIt cannot be ing and agreeable. now appear admirable. In this manner originated his treatise Concerning the Imitation of Greek Masterpieces in Painting and Sculpture. over which only a We have now a specially adapted nature can help us.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE 343 or a renegade make an especially interesting impression. they are nevertheless. sufficiently large number of documents lying before us to enable us to judge how far "Winckelmann succeeded in doing this. revise. even here. The transition between the two a tremendous chasm. published while he was still in Dresden. with two appendices. and express. he required artists as intermediaries. . from poetrj' and rhetoric. whose more or less authoritative opinions he was able to comprehend. fundamental passages these writings contain. was first attracted to the treasures of art but in order to use and judge them. and by loose speech he perhaps made himself suspicious to devout here and there at least a slight fear of the believers — Inquisition is perceptible. to the plastic and graphic arts For there lies is difficult. to be upon the right path however many delightful. denied that Winckelmann's change of religion considerably heightens in our imagination the romantic side of his life and being.

inclinaand whims. very often. freely he lifts his eyes to these wonderful works as to the at last in ! . that one would in vain seek their meaning. their maxims were tions one-sided. Dietrich.344 THE GERMAN CLASSICS both as regards form and subject. freakish. so baroque and curious. should soon decide either to w^rite or cause to be written a description of the then existing conditions. yet with some practical experience. Heinecken and Oesterreich loved. proved powerful as a firm bond of union between most different natures. which he himself very soon found unsatisfactory. unless he had definite information concerning the personality of the connoisseurs and judges of art at that time assembled in Saxony. and reached that country where for the receptive mind the time that culture which permeates the of real culture begins entire being. his happiness established. unless w^ell informed connoisseurs of art. Hagedorn. and finds expression in creations which must — be as real as they are harmonious. They circulated stories and anecdotes. These writings will therefore remain a sealed book to posterity. EOME Winckelmann was Rome. as indeed he did not conceal from his friends. each in his own way. his hopes more than satisfied. w^ho lived nearer those times. His ideals stand embodied about him. From such elements arose the earliest treatises of Winckel- mann. Oeser. because they have. practised and promoted art. in so far as this is still possible. he at length began his journey. the greatest that art has produced. the varied application of w^hich was intended not only to entertain but also to instruct society. Lippert. as a matter of fact. Although not sufficiently prepared. Their purposes were restricted. yea. He wanders astonished through the ruins of a gigantic age. and who could be worthier to feel the influence which that great privilege is He sees able to produce upon a truly perceptive nature his wish fulfilled. opinions. under the open sky. and concerning their abilities.

the newcomer creeps for a small gift. **Eome is a place where all antiquity is concentrated What we have felt with into a unity for our inspection. about unobserved. it is true. he approaches the most sublime and holy treasures in an unseemly garment. concerning ancient forms of government. and not to the subject but it is not only the sentimental thought of standing w^here this or that great man has stood. the precision of the outlines in the clear air and the beauty of the colors in their transparency — so . in which one is more than happy to take part. the richness of the . no other participation is conceivable) as the senses too are charmed by the beauty of form. through a necessary deception a power which even he who wished to cannot resist. as a friend has clearly and s^nnpathetically described it. in Rome. he examines everything. it is an irresistible attraction toward what we regard as although it may be a noble and sublime past. even to see. As Homer cannot be compared with other poets. the Roman country Most of this impression is no with no other landscape. vegetation (though not luxuriant like that of a more southern region). to ourselves. and he already feels the harmony which finally must arise for him out of these infinitely diversified eleHe gazes upon. the whole affects him with endless variety. In heu of further observations. we submit to our readers the overpowering influence of the situation. because . he is taken for an artist. make his happiness complete. if only with the imagina- and tion (indeed. we believe more than ever to feel. As yet he permits no detail to distract him. doubt due. — — the desolation in w^hich the present inhabitants leave the land and the incredible masses of ruins themselves attract and convince the eye. so Eome can be compared with no other city.WINCKELMANN AND IHS AGE 345 stars of the firmament. and to ments. and every locked treasure is opened Like a pilgrim. the ancient poets. the grandeur and simplicity of the figures. And as this past appears to the mind in a grandeur which excludes all envy. as every one in his heart would gladly be.

is excavated. things which inspire me with an equal horror: that the Campagna di Roma should be built up. to the most excellent Here Winckelmann learned to recognize beauty of form and its treatment. The latter. Tivoli ille To Horace.' proved by but it is only an illusion to imagine that we ourselves would like to be inhabitants of Athens or Rome. at least. in which no man any longer carried a knife. Only in the distance.' move away. one of which is worth more than the whole present race. immediately introduced his friend a fact worthy of our attention. and was immediately inspired to under- — take a treatise. in regard to the ruins we are always incensed when a half sunken ruin . But one cannot go about studying works of art for any . It is true that these sentiments exist only for us. Should such an order-loving Pope appear I shall — which may the seventy-two cardinals prevent — J } Only if such divine anarchy and such a heavenly wilderness remain in Rome. for this can only be a gain for scholarship There are only two at the expense of the imagination. separated from everything common. and that Rome should become a well policed city. Everywhere else the ideas of contrast appear and the enjoyment of nature is elegiac or satiric. if good fortune had not immediately brought him into contact with Mengs. as is qui procul negotiis. must antiquity appear to us. Tibur seemed more modern than does to us. Concerning the Taste of the Greek Artists. free from everything distracting. only as a his ' Beatus thing of the past. whose own great talent was enthralled by the ancient works of art and especially by such as were beautiful.346 THE GERMAN CLASSICS is the enjoyment of nature here a purely artistic one. This is the sentiment of a friend and myself. EAFAEL MENGS But Winckelmann might have groped a long time among the multitudes of antique survivals in search of the most valuable objects and those most worthy of his observation. is there place for the shadows.

mankind came into such a state that all true and pure culture was for a long time retarded in its development. we — might say. science that we may contemplate. their age. became and remained a secret which . We are impelled to this observation by certain pascations. Winckelmann. that had formerly been known and forgotten. with his unerring perception. hinted at and discussed yea. of which mankind happily makes use without asking questions as to whence it comes and whither it leads. the coincidence in the rise and fall of all the arts. even indiand necessary history of art appear. a land long surmised. their individual merit must be undertaken together. in which anticipations. of a possible sages of ancient authors. because the general progress of higher culture in modern times is but slow. and the confusion arising in consequence. a land. during the barbarism which followed. which he intended to present in a treatise. Concerning the Style of Sculpture in the Age of Phidias. and through the barbaric manner of escaping from barbarism. . Velleius Paterculus observes with great interest. and that all investigations concerning the place of their origin. he was especially concerned with the observation that they could be maintained only for a short time at the highest point which it was possible for them to reach. This remark to does not apply to technical progress. It is sad to observe how at first through the Romans.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE 347 length of time without discovering that they are the productions not only of different artists but of different epochs. indeed was almost made In any field of art and impossible for the entire future. but he soon rose above these details to the idea of a history of art. He confined himself at first to the most sublime works. and discovered a new Columbus. a direct and unerring perception had already revealed much to the ancient investigator which. it will long continue be for the masses. soon found that this was the axis on which the entire knowledge of art revolves. afterward through the invasion of northern peoples. As a man of the world.

but hardly satisfy his own great sagacity. It is difficult to remain in a state of perfection. but when we despair of surpassing or even approaching them. and there admiration. with- every art of time. '* That the grammarians. it seems to me. except that it is manifested in a number of individuals. we seek another goal for our efforts. Among out discovering any cause that I might present as true. also deserves to be pointed out as an important document in this domain. And so in the beginning our models. arises the greatest obstacle to the to attain we endeavor production of perfect works of art. because he probably feels that a necessity here exists which cannot be compounded out of detached elements. the highest development of is invariably circumscribed by a very short space Just why a number of similarly endowed.348 THE GERMAN CLASSICS his standpoint he could not regard all arts as a which must necessarily reveal an imperceptible beginning. — every other organic being. every one will find who examines the testimony of the ages. painters and sculptors fared as did also the orators. incite to imitation. We cease to strive after the possession already obtained by another. In his conver- . and what we fail to attain. containing a concise outline of the history of ancient art. here envj. and a gradual decline like living From entity ( v''9^"i' ) . From this inconstancy. Relinquishing that in which we cannot shine. and what does not advance retrogrades. the most probable causes the following seem to me the most important: Rivalry nourishes the talents. is a matter upon which I have often reflected. a short and brilliant period of perfection. capable men make their appearance within a certain cycle of years and devote themselves to the same art and its advancement. diligence and hope grow old." A passage of Quintilian. which certainly must be included as contributory. He therefore assigns only moral causes. and search for something new. and the art promoted with so much diligence quickly reaches its culmination. is no longer pursued. a slow growth.

but with great Protogenes surpassed all in exactitude. to the greatest masters of the following epoch as it seems to me in accordance with a point of view peculiar to themselves. who delights in the most powerful forms. Antiphilus in facility. the latter to have devoted himself to a careful investigation of lines. has — — — such a determinative influence that he is called the lawgiver of painting. Theon the Samian in invention of strange apparitions called fantasies. is believed. character of the art is each time associated ^\ith that of the age. as painted them fuller and more portly. They say that the first celebrated painters whose works are visited not by reason of their antiquity alone. diversity of talent. even in women. Afterward Zeuxis and Parrhasiiis. Their simple color still finds eager admirers. because the types of gods and heroes which he created were followed and adopted by others as norms. Furthermore. to present a history of art. he followed Homer. and then have sought to gain more exact information from connoisseurs and artIn his comparative presentation. in wliich the lovers. Apelles in spirit and charm. Pamphilius and Melanthius in thoughtfulness. ** who prefer such crude productions and the beginnings of an art just evolving. were Polygnotus and Aglaophon. . who lived at about the same period at the time of the Peloponnesian war The former is said to have disgreatly promoted art. Zeuxis gave more content to the limbs and In this regard. however. *' to Thus painting flourished from about the time of Philip that of the successors of Alexander. and excelled at the same time in painting and sculpture. Euphranor is admired because he must be counted among the best in all the requirements of art. s\dthout knowing or wishing it. Parrhasius. he is compelled. covered the laws of light and shadow.WINCKELMANN AND inS AGE 349 sations with Roman art lovers. Quintilian must also have noticed a striking resemblance between the character of Greek artists and Roman orators.

like that of the Etruscans. more readily is Man Thus it was literary still. Myron more delicate '' still. more graceful than nature reveals have been able was said that he the human form he does not seem to to present the dignity of the gods. and never to have ventured beyond unfurrowed cheeks.350 ' ' THE GERMAN CLASSICS The same difference is also found in sculpture. and to have far surpassed his rivals. especially in ivory. but that some fault might be ascribed to him. and he was even more so at a time when the pleasure of col- . or." LITEKARY PROFESSIO^ST rarely fortunate enough to secure the aids for Even his higher education from quite unselfish patrons. Indeed. For while he has made it. Kalon and Hegesias worked in a severe style. Kalamis was less austere. and bibliographical accomplishments which recommended Winckelmann formerly to Count Biinau and later to Cardinal Passione. according to the universal opinion. is blamed because he went too far in this direction. to the established religion. what is of advantage to them. in that he preferred mere resemblance to beauty. the beauty of which was of great advantage. Demetrius. those who believe that they have the best intentions only promote that which they love and know. " But what Polyclitus lacked is ascribed to Phidias and Phidias is said to have formed the images Alcamenes. By many the palm is assigned to him. as has been said. so closely does the the majesty of the god himself. it lacked dignity. The connoisseur of books is everywhere welcome. he is said in his art to have avoided representing mature age. ** work approach Lysippus and Praxiteles have. on the other hand. Polyclitus possessed diligence and elegance above all others. most nearly approached truth. of gods and men most perfectly. One would form this judgment even if he had designed nothing else than the Minerva of Athens or the OljTnpian Jupiter at Elis.

The private life of the to critical investigation. is. has. as now. He mentions particularly among them Giacomelli and Baldani. this isolation. instead of being. So that a librarian has cause. and only as long as it was necessary to secure a moderate means of support. and a German librarian has to possess attainments which would be lost in other countries. were to be found men who. and immediately found himLibraries were real treasure-houses. extended also to literature. This secrecy. did Winckelmann remain true to his original literary occupaHe soon lost interest also in everything that related tion. with diverse attainments and great insight. and speaks with pleasure of his increasing acquaintances and his growing influence. self at home there. for many reasons. could not be moved to make them known. Here also. and was willing neither to comnor to give information to German pare manuscripts scholars who wished to question him upon many subjects. w^th the rapid progress of the sciences and the useful and useless accumulation of printed matter nothing more than useful store-rooms and useless — lumber-rooms. especially of the Eomans. But only for a short time. A great German library resembled a great Koman library. The librarian of a German count was a desirable member of a cardinal's household. they could vie with each other in the possession of books.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE 351 lecting notable and rare books was livelier than it now and the profession of librarian was more restricted. ^^thout either desiring or being able to have it published. more than in any other land. if you wdll. now far more than before. Many a scholar devoted his life in secret to an important work. Italians. The way to the society of such men Winckelmann soon found opened. something of a secret character. . to be informed of the progress of science and of the value and worthlessness of writings. But even before this his attainments had served him as an advantageous introduction. either in written or printed form.

corridor upon corridor fountains and obelisks. hall upon hall. galleries and cabinets contained the choicest art specimens of all times. so overloaded their capital that it seems impossible that The everything recorded could have found place there. Fortunately the actual results of excavated cities come to our assistance. Via Sacra. . caryatides and basreliefs. in accordance with the manner of the ancients. In luck in collecting which verged upon the miraculous. But sessed of a large fortune and wielding a powerful influshowed from his very youth a great love of art. This remark is true even of the Villa of Hadrian. so to speak. the Palatine were so overloaded with buildings and monuments that the imagination can hardly conceive of a crowd of people finding room in any of them. Building crowded upon building. posof the household of Cardinal Albani. and we can see with our own eyes We manner how narrow. in fact. how small. in the construction of which there were space and wealth enough for something extensive. how. in this wise rivaling those Eoman famihes who had at an earlier period been cognizant of the value of such treasures. like architectural models rather than real buildings these structures are. he had also the best opportunity of satisfying it and a ence.352 THE GERMAN CLASSICS CAEDINAL ALBANI his greatest good fortune was to become a member This prelate. statues and vases were lacking neither in courtyard nor in garden. while the greater or smaller rooms. . the Forum. ilar observed in passing that the ancients had in a simThe Eomans filled their palaces and gardens. In such an overloaded condition was the villa of his lord and friend when Winckelmann departed this scene of his So also it rehighest and most gratifying education. later years he found his greatest pleasure in the task of placing this collection in worthy surroundings. It was. his chief pleasure to overload the assigned spaces.

in art as in life. Winckelmann might have witnessed the first sad fate of this elysium of art and its extraordinary return. GOOD FORTUNE encountered many a good fortune upon Not only did the excavations of antiquities proceed energetically and fortunately at Rome. all-dispersing time. In a short time they were returned to the possessor. it was robbed of its entire adornment. nothing is completed leries but is constantly changing. passed before his eyes. Winckelmann f o und himself in a fortunate position. commerce in art many ancient possessions came to The active light. except a few jewels. galexisting as accomplished and completed. 11 — 23 . One becomes accustomed to regard such collections as completed. or had remained partly unknown through envy. but the discoveries at Herculaneum and Pompeii were at that time partly new. and through a constant. and museums to which nothing is added have something funereal and ghostly about them. statues were removed from their niches and pedestals. the bas-reliefs were torn from the walls.WINCKELMANN AND lUS AGE mained wonder 353 after the death of the cardinal. instead of being reminded of the necessity of constant acquisition and of the fact that. but happily for him. the mind is restricted in such a limited field of art. still remain in the old location. until in the course of all-changing. Through The an extraordinary change of affairs these treasures were conducted only as far as the Tiber. challenged his judgment. to the joy and of the world. It is a sad thing when one is compelled to consider the Armories. earth gave up her treasures. and the greatest part of them. also life's But he journey. death spared him this earthly suffering for which the joy of the restoration would hardly have made sufficient amends. He thus reaped a harvest which fursecrecy and delay. and increased his knowledge. nished work enough for his mind and his activities. aroused his enthusiasm. Vol. and the whole enormous collection was packed for transportation.

He had already formed a style. What he learned from Mengs. either for collection or dispersal. he listened to his masters. in the nobler world revealed to him at Rome. he was fully developed as a writer. It is true that all parts of this exceedingly valuable collection were not treated with equal care the whole . its hasty but always of it able treatment. and began immediately to use and to adapt to his purposes everything that he learned. he did not keep long to himself. concerning which undertaking.354 THE GERMAN CLASSICS small advantage accrued to him through his rela- No tions with the heir of the large Stosch collection. increased the treasure with which he was storing his mind. He easily acquired their special attain- in his previous humble condition he felt antiquity. appearing in this branch as a beginner. Not until after the death of the collector did he become acquainted Tvdth this little world of art. He had a comprehensive view of ancient history first art and learned to Even when Winckelmann know the artists in and.accordance with his best judgment and convictions. Winckelmann undertook in conjunction with the heir of Stosch to write a catalogue. not only as a docile pupil but as a learned disciple. Much was squandered. and everything which passed through his hands. Our friend was thus intently occupied with the Stosch possessions before their dispersal and with the ever increasing Albani collection. what he was taught by his surroundings. in sciences. he remained the same. approached the study of Dresden. as well as what was worthy in the life ments. the surviving correspondence furnishes remarkable testimony. In the new school which he entered. Even of the development of the various and knew and in the character of the present. over which he presided in . In a higher sphere of action than was his at Dresden. deserved a catalogue for the delectation and the use of later amateurs and collectors. many ways. he . but in order to make the excellent gems which it contained better known and more marketable.

more correct in con- A in form. is due to many often unimportant circumstances. therefore. more precise different. was written as something li\dng for the living. This attitude of mind should be remembered in forming an estimate of his works. how many subjects has he not mentioned upon which a work was to follow! Like this beginning was liis entire antiquarian career. because he would have constantly rewritten his works and enriched them with the attainments tent. How many a title has he left us. . are the story of a life. single month later and we should have had works. for wishes. he sees that ho might himself. PHILOSOPHY the progress of civiUzation. Like the life of most people. not for those who are dead in the letter. one necessarily surpasses the . printed directly from Winckelmann's manuscript notes. so he learned while planning and writing. upon a higher plane of knowledge. but rather as we say that one learns from teaching. of the (ever) later phases of his life. His works. for premonitions. — That they ultimately received their present form. for limitation is ever\^where our lot. they resemble rather a preparation for a work than the latter in its accomplishment.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE did not let the 355 new wine ferment and clarify . which he seizes and holds fast as if it only could be complete and satisfactory. If one tries to correct them he sees that he must first correct himself. and even so he let himself be instructed by the following moment. be subjected to the same criticism. We find him always active occupied with the moment. They give cause for hopes. Everything that he has left us. flourish With equally rather in accordance with the favorable character of persons and conditions. not all parts of human labor and activity in which culture is revealed. if he wishes to criticize them. combined with his correspondence. perhaps something quite Just for this reason we so deeply regret his premature death. they are a life itself.

among jealous displeasure often arises members of a family so varied in its branches. for an able master has only to appear in order to concentrate attention we upon himself. life nor with the momentary she is despised by those who cannot find the handle by else she may have which she might easily be grasped. should bestow upon him a superabundance of honor and riches. worldly objects as included in and subordinated Nor are these pretentious demands specifically denied. to appro- priate whatever But as phimust make use of losophy. her own vocabulary of unfamiliar combinations and diffithe cult explanations. An able master arouses excellent pupils and their activities extend their ramifications into the infinite. which are in harmony neither with needs of men of the world. to make use of her maxims. THE GERMAN CLASSICS and thus arouses a more general interest. when this or that adept in science and art complains that just his branch is being neglected by contemporaries. if. on the other hand. the earliest times philosophers especially have incurred the hatred. a right to take part every man rather believes that he has in her discoveries. It is for the most part a baseless complaint. but of men of the world and bons vivants. she must regard to herself. thereby diminisliing their own credit in the no lack of examples might be found eyes of the world — to verify such accusations. who often are the less able to endure one another. one because they do not know how to translate doclosophers trine into life. If Raphael should reappear today. the more closely they are related. not only of their fellow scientists. and to offer. perhaps more by the For as their own fault. .356 other. in order to become universal. and because they make the most mistakes should be converted exactly where all their convictions into action. A certain in consequence. position they assume than by in accordance with her nature must make de- From philosophy mands upon the universal and the highest. \vished to accuse the phiYet.

fullness. on the contrary. in view of recent events that no scholar can afford to reject. their attaincultured. their taste such consistency. in indeed he was greatly assisted by the influence of the arts own circle most wonderfully. but I think one can escape from every influence his own by limiting oneself to line of work. ^v^thout troubling himself about a single philosopher in existence.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE 357 Winckelmann often complains bitterly of the pliilosophers of his day and their ^Wdespread influence. that they appear within their which fine POETRY in reading the ancient authors paid great attention to the poets. ested The works him at of the poets of past ages appear to have interfirst as documents of ancient languages and . For since they are occupied with the best that the world has produced and only examine the trivial and the inferior seem to be especially ments reach such m their relation to the most excellent. Winckelmann also attained this good fortune. not attend the University at Leipsic. ho might. oppose. except the — who by the peculiaritv of favored above all other men. their judgment such certainty. under the direction of Johann Friedrich Christ. or scorn the great pliilosophical movement begun by Kant. where. but not the friend of poetry. accustomed Lutheran church hjTnns and his desire to possess an uncensored song book of this kind in Rome reveals the t}-pical and sturdy German. even astonishingly. It is strange that Winckelmann did have made much more comfortable progress in his favorite study. an exact examination of his studies and of the course of his life reveals no particular inclination to poetrj^. their study This is perhaps the proper place for an observation which we should like to make. true investigators of antiquity. an aversion Although Winckelmann His preference for the old and occasionally appears. and of life itself.

later as witnesses for the fine arts. the more conspicuous did his own mistakes seem to him. unmistakable one. as one would expect from a man of his progressive nature. he wishes to impart to the hearer or the reader. As soon as he had convinced himself of them by new data. and honesty. dogmatically and didactically. He is compelled to be a poet. whether he wishes or not. corrections and additions were Of all this penance he made no secret to his friends. but rather was the first to observe them. to the printer. straightforwardness. Reviewing the array of his in him aptitudes. he grasps with his mind. and yet he feels an irresistible impulse to master them by the spoken and the written w^ord. works indescribable. If the manuscript was at hand. He sees with his eyes. the idea in which was awakened it had its origin. he was nevertheless in no wise blind to its faults. as much to elevate it as he endeavored to present his work in the best form and by a certain dignified style. . it was rewritten if it had . more wonderful and gratifying when he himself appears as a poet. whatever he may think. as an able. this or that explanation or application of a passage. The perfect master- work. as much as he desired a literary reputation. The more he had labored upon a subject. for his character was based upon truth. had maintained and established this or that interpretation of a monument. always seizing upon and working over new materials. the emotion that in beholding it. in his description of statues and in almost all of his later writings.358 THE GERMAN CLASSICS It is all the literature. he finds himself compelled to seize upon the most powerful and dignified expression at his command. the more quickly w^as he inclined to correct them in any way possible. frankness. been sent appendeH. ATTAINED INSIGHT As much value as Winckelmann placed upon the world's esteem.

to explain them in a happy manner and to enlarge the study of antiquity to the greatest possible extent. benefits Rome without remembering who had. and so the different positions which Winckelmann filled ma}' have come to him rather through the favor of his exalted friends than through the appreciation of his ser\'ices by the Pope. at least indirectly. most cleverly using their insight and judgment. purify. he wrote a work in the Italian language. who preferred letting others rule to ruling. and perhaps even partly supplant. but he also selected friendly connoisseurs with whom he carefully went over the work. quietly to correct. as a poor layman. . and thus created a work which will go down as a heritage for all ages.WINCKELMANN x\J^D HIS AGE 359 LATER WORKS became clear to him. added to this was the interest of testing the method once set forth in his history of art. or to academies of large means. Not only did he devote to it the greatest attention. For he had finally developed the felicitous resolve. not suddenly but happy thought we mean his Monumenti Inediti. Conscious of former mistakes which people who were not inhabitants of Rome could scarcely have reproached him with. Not only did he write it. wliich he intended should be appreciated in Rome itself. a gay and easy-going man. his already completed work on the history of art. compress. conferred many. in this A — preliminary treatise. that which would do honor to a well established publisher. Lambertini. THE POPE Should so much be said of the Pope. achieving. himself. by means of objects which he laid before the eyes of the reader. as the work progressed It is quite evident that he was at first tempted by his desire to make new subjects known. many upon Winckelmann? Winckelmann's sojourn in Rome fell for the most part under the government of Benedict XIV. but he undertook its publication.

we find him on one important occasion in the presence of the Head of the Church he was honored by being allowed to read several passages of the Monumenti . the more detailed account deserves a place here. his mind is occupied with what he has before him. At the same time he remains a complete riddle to himself. Winckelmann was in all respects a character who was honest with himself and with others. We. the more independent and unhampered he felt. and in these their character finds little expression. Inediti to the Pope. thus achieving also. and he cherishes the belief that his friends are likewise interested therein. Paganism. indeed he directly states that he preferred to be entertained with personal trifles rather than with important affairs. not about himself. therefore. The Antique. especially in consideration of . their achievements seem the important thing. in its entire compass. along this line. until he finally considered the pohte indulgence of errors traditional in life and in literature to be a crime. from the highest moral to the most common physical need. he is interested in his whole being. near the end of our essay. but without really observing himself. the highest honor which an author could receive. and even expresses astonish- ment over Ms own being. Friendship. especially in the case of scholars. With Winckelmann the reverse was the case. He thinks only of himself.360 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS Nevertheless. CHAEACTER In the case of very many men. His native love of truth constantly developed. As we have already ex- pressed certain generalities concerning his character under the headings. All that he produced is principally important and valuable because his character is always revealed in it. Such a nature could comfortably withdraw into itself. find everything mentioned in his letters. yet even here we discover in him the ancient characteristic of always being occupied with himself. and Beauty.

even defiant. he could not pears.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE what he was and what he had become. but a feeling of dignity soon took the place of education and custom. in which God appears as the ultimate source of the beautiful and hardly as a being having any other relation to man. but always instinctively and passionately. for which reason errors are in all cases involving unavoidable. He never works after a fixed plan. have found himself in a better place than Rome. which. in his rapid progress are corrected as quickly as he sees them. Nor do we find in him any pronounced principles. and not the same at all times. SOCIETY prepared by his early did not at first feel at ease in Little mode of life. and at the same time clever and persevering. while others easily decipher the whole word. His conduct was most beautiful duty and gratitude. The gratification felt in association with distinguished. however. straightforward. His means are noble. He always labored most diligently to secure a competence for his old age. the uncertainty of the aim to be reached. of which he himself can spell only a few. and he learned very rapidly to conduct himself in accordance with his surroundings. wealthy and celebrated people and the pleasure of being esteemed by them everj^where apAs regards facility of intercourse. . Here also he always maintains an antique principle. 361 But every man may thus be regarded as a charade of many syllables. His pleasure in every discovery is intense. His unerring feeling and cultured mind served him as a guide in morals as well as in aesthetics. Winckelmann company. His ideal was a kind of natural reUgion. the certainty of the point of departure. as well as the incomplete and imperfect character of the treatment as soon as it becomes extensive. in his efforts to attain every end he shows himself honest. His provision for himself was moderate.

even dragging them to the summit of Mt. or dependents with us this servant. man of real Roman sentiment. toward their superiors. Yet.362 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS He himself observes. however. he suffered all the more annoyance and tribulation from strangers. appeared in public. but he did not observe that intimacy concealed the oriental relation of lord and All southern nations would find it intolerably tiresome to have to maintain the constant mutual tension in association with their dependents which the northerners are accustomed to. Travelers have observed that the slaves in Turkey behave toward their masters with more ease than northern courtiers toward their princes. The southerner. that however ceremonious the Roman grandees. STKANGERS Although Winckelmann was very happy in his association with the natives. these marks of consideration have been really introduced for the benefit of the dependents. It is true that nothing can be more exasperating than the usual stranger in Rome. with great relish they lighten whatever dependence he may feel. In every other place the traveler can better look out for himself and find something suitable to his needs is does not accommodate himself to to the Rome but whoever an abomination . who by these means always remind their superior what is due them. in which its citizens on their travels brew a bundle of dried herbs brought along from home? . ^tna. their tea- The English are reproached because they take kettles everywhere along with them. . examined closely. craves for hours in which to take his ease. especially the clerical. and nourish his sense of freedom which was averse to every fetter that might restrain him. and this accrues to the advantage of his Such scenes are described by Winckelmann household. But has not every nation its own tea-kettle. at home they were pleasant and intimate with the members of their household.

"We mention only the Prince of Dessau. and made him known far and wide. never looking about them. indeed he sought after. and yet finally allows himself to be persuaded to do it. but he wished to achieve them through real merit. and maintained such connections in a clever. a man who showed himself quite worthy of our friend in his attitude toward art and antiquity. The real value of such a work is perhaps best appreciated immediately after its publication: its efficiency is recognized. while a colder posterity nibbles disgustedly at the works of its masters and teachers. to teach and to convince. It was immediately translated into the French language. and judging everything in accordance \^dth their own narrow limitations.WINCKELMANN AND HIS AGE 363 Such hurrying and arrogant strangers. But he achieved greatest prominence by that great document of his merits. effective manner. He always insists upon thoroughness of subject. the Crown Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Brunswick. and indeed many advantages accrued to him through the association with persons important by reason of their rank and ser\dces. and makes demands . the new matter is quickly adopted. over which he silently labored with great diligence — I refer to his History of Ancient Art. He jests over his inclination to play the schoolmaster. were denounced by Winckelmann more than once. of means. He was pleased with. and is therefore very hostile toward French superficiality. and Baron von Riedesel. The con- temporaries are astonished at the sudden assistance they obtained. He found in Rome opportunities to associate with strangers of all nations. honorary degrees of academies and learned societies. and of treatment. THE WORLD Winckelmann constantly sought after esteem and con- sideration. he vows never to show them about.

then there. In the est needs. Hke Winckelmann. in the Vatican or elsewhere. he always limited himself to the smallhe might not become dependent or at least not more dependent than absolutely necessary. now in the house position with small advantage to himself of a cardinal. Ionia. the very men And so Winckelmann was recognized by the cultured nations of Europe at a time when he was sufficiently established at Rome to be honored with the important position of Director of Antiquities. This is increased by the great numall about him. his recognized and often vaunted haprestlessness Winckelmann was always tortured by a which. when he saw some other prospect. while looking about for something else an ear to many a proposition. criticised had not accomphshed so much. Dalmatia. and the lands most interesting to the investigator of antiquity lie close them are. as its foundations lay deep in his nature. Peloponnesus.364 THE GERMAN CLASSICS if which would never have occurred to it. one who lives in Rome is constantly exposed to the passion for traveling to all parts of the world. magnanimously to give up his place. He finds himself in the centre of the ancient world. Magna Graecia. During the times of his early poverty and his later dependence upon the bounty of a court and the favor of many a wellwisher. and Egj^pt — Sicily. and awaken an inexpressible longing in one w^ho. so to say. own But these uncertain conditions accustomed him for his subsistence to look now here. offered to the inhabitants of Rome. for which at length the successful illustrated edition of his Moniimenti Inediti offered the fairest hope. — to accept a and lending Further. assumed various forms. the of . RESTLESSNESS Notwithstanding piness. then. that meantime he was always strenuously occupied by his in gaining exertions a livelihood for the present and for the future. was born with the desire to see.

and who on their return never tire of describing distant wonders and exhibiting specimens of them. to pay his respects to the Duke of Brunswick. were awakened anew by the Peace of Hubertusbury (Feb. Mm These wishes.WINCKELMANN xVND HIS AGE 365 ber of strangers on their passage through Rome making sensible or useless preparations to travel in these lands. reposeful nature he regarded as a gift of God to the earth. on his return to the fatherland. Another cause of this inner restlessness and discomfort the irresistible longing for absent does honor to his heart friends. And so Winckelmann planned to travel everyw^here. 1763). to praise in person Minister of State von Miinchausen. he converses with them through letters. the cliffs and mountains of Tyrol had interested. he felt terrified. partly on his own responsibility. whose exalted. partly in company with such wealthy travelers as would recognize the value of a scholarly and talented comrade. to see again the Prince of Dessau. as if he were being . to rejoice again in the lively and intimate intercourse with his Swiss friends such allurements filled his heart and his imagination. It w^ould have been his pride to present himself before the great king who had already honored with an offer to enter his service. and wishes to repeat the days formerly lived — .. especially directed toward his friends in the North. with such images was his mind so long occupied that he unfortunately followed this impulse and so went to his — death. delighted him. together. and now. On his former journey. yea. he longs for their embraces. He was devoted body and soul to his Italian lot to such an extent that every other one seemed insufferable to him. whose great capacities he well knew how to prize. who had done so much for science. and to admire his immortal foundation at Gottingen. Upon this the ardent desire of a man that otherwise lived so much in the present seems to have been peculiarly concentrated he sees his friends before him.

which he valued so highly. that from the summit of human existence he ascended to the blessed. all the expressions of love which he so And deeply needed. did not occur before his eyes. awaited his appearance. lived as a man and departed hence as a complete man. desire alwavs to continue with zeal and awakens in us the intense and love the work that he has begun.366 THE GERMAN CLASSICS dragged through the Cimmerian portal and convinced of the impossibihty of continuing his journey. works of his That Winckelmann departed so early. also to our advantage. he did not experience. although in another sense. And in this sense we may count him happy. he departed this earth. the dispersal of the treasures of art. the diminution of mental power. his friends stretched their arms toward him. . which he had foretold. DEPARTURE thus upon the highest pinnacle of happiness that he could himself have wished for. stri^dng youth. The infirmities of old age. that a momentary shock. From his grave the breath power strengthens us. to be heaped upon him. quick pain removed him from the living. Now he enjoys in the memory of posterity the advantage of appearing only as one eternally vigorous and powerful for in the image in which a man leaves the earth he wanders among the shadows. all testimonials of public honor. His fatherland awaited him. a sudden. and so Achilles remains for us an ever- He .

J. SCIIMELLER GOETHE AND HIS SECRETARY . AVw York J.Permission Franz HanfstnengI.

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to their actions It is a great error to take oneself for more than one or for less than one is worth. but follow the direction of his own insight. They are those whose despoilt. Try to do your duty. and doing just the opposite of what he wants to do and then. If I am to listen to expressed positively. the more it grieves me to see man. only I am sorry to see how often his nature makes liim quite ready to s^\'inl with the stream of the time and it is on this that I would always insist. From time to time I meet with a youth in whom I can wish for no alteration or improvement. but by doing. and just in the same way it can be said there are men who are incomplete and imperfect. can a man come to know himself t Never by thinking. The longer I live. because the whole bent of his mind is bungling miserably over everything. it must be Of things problematical I have [367] enough in myself. In the works of mankind. placed in his hand. it is really the motive which is chiefly w^orth attention. as in those of nature.MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE Translated by Bailey Saunders HERE is nothing worth thinking but it has been thought before. In Botany there is a species of plants called Incompletoe. sires and struggles are out of proportion and achievements. another man's opinion. we must only try to think it again. and freeing himself and his from How an outrageous necessity . and you will know at once what you are worth. just that he may not be at the mercy of the waves. — to see him taken up with some false notion. is. that man in his fragile boat has the rudder . . who occupies his supreme place for the very purpose of imposing his will upon nature. But what is your duty? The claims of the day.

" Le sens commun est le genie de I'humanite. If they are : not satisfied. common-sense is no longer sufficient. which is here put forward as the genius of humanity. The normal man moves between his these two states. he is successful. law superintends and orders. . must be examined first of all in the way it shows itself. no piece of wisdom but it can miscarry by lack of intelligence or by accident. it likes to pour over the mill wheels. his task is to fill up the waste — — spaces of indifference. But if they rise and pass beyond the sphere of ordinary wants. . Justice weighs and decides. too. you will have to take and when you it when you demand it. Justice insists on obHgation. when you desire a thing. it seems not to affect them. if his needs are confined to what is nearest and most necessary. stealing through the valley in apathy? Theorj^ is in itself of no use. you will not get it are experienced. Hence it may be observed that those who set up piety as an end and object are mostly hypocrites. law to society.'' Commonsense. believing ought to mean comprehending. it is a genius no more. . what is the good of it . law on decorum. and if they are. If we inquire the purpose to which humanity puts it.368 THE GERMAN CLASSICS : Piety is not an end. Here. There is no piece of foolishness but it can be corrected by intelligence or accident. Eeading ought to mean understanding writing ought to mean knowing something. and humanity enters on the region of error. men become impatient. When his needs are satisfied. but a means a means of attaining the highest culture by the purest tranquility of soul. Justice refers to the individual. The stream is friendly to the miller whom it serves. you ought to be useful to others. The history of knowledge is a great fugue in which the voices of the nations one after the other emerge. and he applies his understanding so-called common sense to the satisfaction of his needs. we find as follows Humanity is conditioned by needs. except in so far as it makes us beheve in the connection of phenomena.

only in truth. Before the storm breaks. into a cul-de-sac. That may be so. the dust rises violently for the the dust that is soon to be laid for ever. And then ill-will comes lies Wisdom When I err. but at any given moment to be cleverer than the man who stands before you. You can prove this at every fair and from every charlatan. but where you have frogs. as it were. she cannot make her way through. we willingly put up with it. but not every one serves this title. — in and distorts everything. but for the kind of smell wliich comes from unjust blame by others the public has no nose at all. not to know men. even with the best will and the best purpose. Not everywhere where there is water. but not when I lie. he must is. there you will find water. Those who oppose intellectual truths do but stir up the and the cinders fly about and burn what they had else Those from not touched. In the formation of species Nature gets. Hence the stubbornness of national character. whom we called our masters. hits the right nail on the head every fire. every one can see it. There are problematical natures which are equal to no given to what Vol. and as long as he does not carry it to an absurd length. last time Men do not come to know one another easily. II — 24 . a man and believes that he knocks about on the wall with his hammer. and is disinclined to turn back. Many time. It is ^vith : are always learning are rightly who teaches us de- you as wdth the sea the most varied names are is in the end only salt water. People whip curds to see if they cannot make cream of them. are there frogs.MAXIMS AND KEFLECTIONS OF GOETHE If a 369 man is to achieve all take himself for more than he that is asked of him. It is said that vain self-praise stinks in the nostrils. In the world the point is.

also. There are public savings-banks and loan-offices. I came upon this thought: In the web of the world the one may well be regarded as the warp. It is the little men. kept in one's own house. error to his age. make a solemn vow to eat To venture an opinion is like moving a piece at chess: may won. lasts a quarter of an hour is looked at Faith is private capital. . but it forms the beginning of a game that is Truth belongs to the man. and to that all the rest must join in submitting itself. He is the happiest man who can set the end of his connection with the beginning. and the great men firmness and solidity. Dirt glitters as long as the sun shines. the force of his soul made him emerge from the make much ado about the transitory things and are lost in the contemplation of earthly vanity: are we not here to make the transitory permanent? This we can do only if we know how to value nature of all error with glory. and which no position satisfies. tern. be taken. of the Desert The Hindoos fish. the other as the woof. who give breadth to the web. During a prolonged study of the lives of various men both great and small. perhaps. while the misfortune of the age caused his error. This is why it has been said that.370 THE GERMAN CLASSICS position in which they find themselves. A rainbow which no more. This it is that causes that hideous conflict which wastes life and deprives it of all pleasure. I pity those who both. life in A no it state of things in is which every day brings some new trouble not the right one. which supply individuals in their day of need. after all. but here the creditor quietly takes his interest for liimself. the addition of some sort of patBut the scissors of the Fates determine its length.

for error lies on the surface and mav be overcome. and knowledge pursued mechanically. but Patrons help the master that does not always mean that Art is helped. old to I see no fault become gentler in one's judgcommitted which I could not have Why should those who are happy expect one who is miserable to die before them in a graceful attitude. The most foolish of all errors is for clever young men to believe that they forfeit their originality in recognizing — a truth which has already been recognized by others.MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE 371 Truth is a torch. upon the right way of saying ments. when he does not exactly it. but a huge one. No one should desire to live in irregular circumstances. that is right and proper. Dilettantism treated seriously. It is much easier to recognize error than to find truth. he must act in spite of gradually yield to him. but it is not given to every one. end by becoming pedantry. truth lies in the depths. One need only grow committed myself. Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself. like the gladiator before the Roman mob? By as force of habit we look at a clock that has run down if it were still going. thev test his character and show of how much determination he is capable. but if bv chance a man falls into them. and so it is only with bUnking eyes that we all of us try to get past it. and then criticism will . and to search for An honorable man -with limited ideas often sees through the rascality of the most cunning jobber. The really foolish thing in ligent is that they fail to men who hit are otherwise intel- understand what another person says. No one but the master can promote the cause of Art. and we gaze at the face of a beauty as though she still loved. in actual terror of being burnt. it.

372 THE GERMAN CLASSICS of ability. man cannot live for every one. What is to be the end of it? . Word and picture are correlatives which are continually in quest of each other. Clever people are the best encyclopaedia. And so in childish days we see word and picture in continual balance . which are doubly an evil. in the Bible and in the spelling-book. The errors of a make him really lovable. . You act wrongly.will. So from all time what was said to or sung inwardly to the ear had to be presented equally the eye. and thence arose those monsters of symbolical mysticism. A If a clever I man commits a folly. and a word was used instead of a picture. least of all for those with whom he would not care to live. There are people who make no mistakes because they never wish to do anything w^orth doing. all went w^ell but mistakes were often made. went on troubling myself about general ideas until I man are what learnt to understand the particular achievements of the best men. as is sufficiently evident in the case of metaphors and similes. it is not a small one. and something pictured which could not be spoken. mthout our falling out but it will not do. you win no adherents and lose your friends. As in Rome there is. People have to become really bad before they care for nothing but mischief. and fall between two stools. The masses cannot dispense with men such and are always a burden to them. in the book of the law and in the w^ay of salvation. When something was spoken which could not be pictured. for as they grow old they become the truest w^orshippers of Art and the Master. but not to be impartial. If you lay duties upon people and give them no rights. and delight in it. The importunity of young dilettanti must be borne with good. a popula- . men you must pay them w^ell. I should like to be honest with you. I can promise to be sincere. apart from the Romans.

MAXIMS AND KEFLECTIONS OF GOETHE

373

tion of statues, so apart from this real world there is a world of illusion, almost more potent, in which most

men
the

live.
;

is like the Red Sea the staff has scarcely parted waves asunder before they flow together again. Thoughts come back; beliefs persist; facts pass by never

Mankind

to return.

Of

all

peoples, the Greeks have dreamt the

dream

of life

the best.

We readily bow to antiquity, but not to posterity. It is only a father that does not grudge talent to his son. The whole art of living consists in giving up existence
in order to exist.

Well

All our pursuits and actions are a wearying process. is it for him who wearies not.

Hope is the second soul of the unhappy. At all times it has not been the age, but individuals alone, who have worked for knowledge. It was the age which
put Socrates to death by poison, the age which burnt Huss. The ages have always remained alike. If a man knows where to get good advice, it is as though he could supply it himself. man must pay dear for his errors if he wishes to get rid of them, and even then he is lucky. Enthusiasm is of the greatest value, so long as we are

A

not carried

away by

it.

related to truth as sleep to waking. I have obserA'ed that on awakening from error a man turns again
is

Error

with new vigor. Every one suffers who does not work for himself. A man works for others to have them share in his joy. Common-sense is born pure in the healthy man, is selfdeveloped, and is revealed by a resolute perception and Practical recognition of what is necessary and useful. men and women avail themselves of it with confidence.
to truth as

Where it when they

is absent, both sexes find anything necessary desire it, and useful when it gives them pleasure.

374

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

All men, as they attain freedom, give play to their errors.

The strong do too much, and the weak too little. The conflict of the old, the existing, the continuing, with development, improvement and reform, is always the same.
Order of every kind turns at last to pedantry, and to get rid of the one, people destroy the other; and so it goes on for a while, until people perceive that order must be estabClassicism and Romanticism; close corporaand freedom of trade; the maintenance of large estates and the division of the land it is always the same conflict which ends by producing a new one. The best policy of those in power would be so to moderate this conlished anew.
tions

flict

as to let

it

right itself without the destruction of either
to

element.

this has not been granted seems not to be the will of God.

But

men, and

it

it

great work limits us for the moment, because we feel above our powers; and only in so far as we afterward incorporate it with our culture, and make it part of our mind and heart, does it become a dear and worthy object. There are many things in the world that are at once good and excellent, but they do not come into contact. "When men have to do with women, they get spun off
like a distaff.

A

It

may

well be that a

man

is at

times horribly threshed
flail

by misfortunes, public and private: but the reckless
of Fate,

beats the rich sheaves, crushes only the straw; and the corn feels nothing of it and dances merrily on the floor, careless whether its way is to the mill or the
it

when

furrow.

In the matter of knowledge, it has happened to me as to one who rises early and in the dark impatiently awaits the dawn and then the sun, but is blinded when it appears. People often say to themselves in life that they should avoid a variety of occupation, and, more 'particularly, be
the less willing to enter

grow.

But

it is

easy to

and

others.

To

the older they easy to give advice to oneself grow old is itself to enter upon a new
talk,

upon new work

MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE
business;
all

375

the circumstances change, and a

either cease acting altogether, or willingly take over the new role.

man must and consciously

To live in a great idea means to treat the impossible as though it were possible. It is just the same with a strong character; and when an idea and a character meet, things arise which fill the world with wonder for thousands of vears.
was unable After utterly disavowing all ideals and denying them any reality, he zealously strove to realize them. His clear, incorruptible intellect could not, however, tolerate such a perpetual conflict within; and there is much value in the thoughts which he was comNapoleon lived wholly
in a great idea, but he
it.

to take conscious hold of

pelled, as it were, to utter,

and wliich are expressed very

peculiarly and with much charm. Man is placed as a real being in the midst of a real

world, and endowed with such organs that he can perceive

and produce the real and also the possible. All healthy men have the conviction of their own existence and of an existence around them. However, even the brain contains a hollow spot, that is to say, a place in which no object is mirrored just as in the eye itself there is a little
;

spot that does not see.
to this spot

and

is

If a man pays particular attention absorbed in it, he falls into a state of
'

mental sickness, has presentiments of things of another world,' which are, in reality, no things at all, possessing neither form nor limit, but alarming him like dark, empty tracts of night, and pursuing him as something more than phantoms, if he does not tear himself free from them. To the several perversities of the day a man should always oppose only the great masses of universal history. That we have many criticisms to make on those who visit us, and that, as soon as they depart, we pass no very amiable judgment upon them, seems to me almost natural; for we have, so to speak, a right to measure them by our

376

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

own standard. Even intelligent and fair-minded men hardly refrain from sharp censure on such occasions. But if, on the contrary, we have been in their homes, and have seen them in their surroundings and habits and the circumstances which are necessary and inevitable for them; if we have seen the kind of influence they exert on those
around them, or how they behave,
ill-will
it is

only ignorance and

what must appear more than one sense worthy of respect. Women's society is the element of good manners. The most privileged position, in life as in society, is that of an educated soldier. Rough warriors, at any rate, remain true to their character, and as great strength is usually the cover for good nature, we get on with them
that can find food for ridicule in
to us in

at need.

No one would come into a room with spectacles on his nose, if he knew that women at once lose any inclination to look at or talk to him.
is no outward sign of politeness that mil be found some deep moral foundation. The right kind of education would be that which conveyed the sign and the foundation at the same time. A man's manners are the mirror in which he shows his

There

to lack

portrait.

Against the great superiority of another there

is

no

remedy but
in

love.

It is a terrible thing for by fools.

an eminent

man

to be gloried

That is It is said that no man is a hero to his valet. only because a hero can be recognized only by a hero. The valet will probably know how to appreciate his like
his fellow-valet.

Fools and wise folk are alike harmless.
wise,

It is the half-

are the most dangerous. To see a difficult thing lightly handled gives us the impression of the impossible. Difficulties increase the nearer we come to our aim.

and the

half-foolish,

who

MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE
If
it

377

Sowing is not so painful as reaping. any one meets us who owes us a debt of

gratitude,

immediately crosses our mind. How often can we meet some one to whom we owe gratitude, without thinking of it! To communicate oneself is Nature; to receive a communication as it is given is Culture. Contradiction and flattery make, both of them, bad conversation.

By An
wise

nothing do
intelligent

men show
at.

their character

more than by

the things they laugh

man

finds

almost everything ridiculous, a

in years was reproved for still troubling '* It is the only means," himself about young women. he replied, '' of regaining one's youth; and that is some-

A

man hardly man well on

anything.

thing every one "wishes to do." man does not mind being blamed for his faults, and being punished for them, and he patiently suffers much for the sake of them; but he becomes impatient if he is

A

required to give them up.

Passion is enhanced and tempered by avowal. In nothing, is the middle course more desirable than in confidence and reticence toward those we love. To sit in judgment on the departed is never likely to be We all suffer from life; w^ho, except God, can equitable. Let not their faults and sufferings, call us to account? but what they have accomplished and done, occupy the
perhaps,
survivors.
It is failings that show human nature, and merits that distinguish the individual; faults and misfortunes we all have in common; virtues belong to each one separately.

It

the

wisdom The true
it

would not be worth while to see seventy years if all of this world w^ere foolishness with God. is Godlike; we do not see it itself; we must
through
its

guess at

manifestations.

The

real scholar learns

how

to evolve the

unknown from

the known, and draws near the master.

378

THE GERMAN CLASSICS

In the smithy the iron is softened by blo^^ng up the fire, and taking the dross from the bar. As soon as it is purified, it is beaten and pressed, and becomes firm again by the addition of fresh water. The same thing happens to a man at the hands of his teacher.

What belongs to a he throws it away.
nizes

man

he cannot get rid
:

of,

even though

Of true religions there are only two one of them recogand worships the Holy that, mthout form or shape, dwells in and around us; and the other recognizes and
Everything that lies worships it in its fairest form. between these two is idolatry. The Saints were all at once driven from heaven; and senses, thought and heart were turned from a divine mother with a tender child, to the grown man doing good and suffering evil, who was later transfigured into a being half-di^'ine in its nature, and then recognized and honored as God himself. He stood against a background where the Creator had opened out the universe; a spiritual influence went out from him; his sufferings were adopted as an
example, and his transfiguration was the pledge of everlastingness. As a coal is revived

by incense, so prayer revives the

hopes of the heart.

From

a strict point of view

we must have

a reformation

of ourselves every day, and protest against others, even though it be in no religious sense.
It should be our earnest endeavor to use words coinciding as closely as possible with what we feel, see, think, experiIt is an endeavor which we ence, imagine and reason.
*

* * cannot evade, and which is daily to be renewed. Let every man examine himself, and he will find this a much harder task than he might suppose; for, unhappily, a man usually takes words as mere make-shifts his knowledge and his thought are in most cases better than his
;

method of expression.

MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE
and others, or

379

False, irrelevant, and futile ideas may arise in ourselves Let find their way into us from without.

us persist in the effort to remove them as far as we can, by plain and honest purpose. Where I cannot be moral, my power is gone. A man is not deceived by others he deceives himself. Laws are all made by old people and by men. Youths
;

and women want the exceptions, old people the rules. Chinese, Indian and Eg>T)tian antiquities are never more than curiosities; it is well to make acquaintance with them; but in point of moral and aesthetic culture they can help
us
little.

The German runs no greater danger than

to advance

with and by the example of his neighbors. There is perhaps no nation that is fitter for the process of self-development; so that it has proved of the greatest advantage to Germany to have obtained the notice of the world so late. The greatest difficulties lie where we do not look for them. The mind endowed with active powers and keeping with a practical object to the task that lies nearest, is the worthiest there is on earth.

Perfection is the measure of heaven, and the wish to be perfect the measure of man. When a great idea enters the world as a Gospel, it becomes an offense to the multitude, which stagnates in pedantry; and to those who have much learning, but little
depth,
it is folly.

recognize the utility of an idea, and yet not how to make a perfect use of it. Credo Denm! That is a fine, a worthy thing to say; but to recognize God where and as he reveals himself, is
quite understand the only true bliss on earth. wish is that I Kepler said:
*

You may

My

may

perceive the

God whom I manner also

find everyrv^here in the external world, in like The good man was ^vithin and inside me.'

not aware that, in that very moment, the divine in him stood in the closest connection with the divine in the Universe.

380

THE GERMAN CLASSICS
is

It is this: God is mightier predestination? than "we are, and so he does with us as he pleases. Toleration should, strictly speaking, be only a passing mood; it ought to lead to acknowledgment and appreciaTo tolerate a person is to affront him. tion. Faith, Love and Hope once felt, in a quiet sociable hour, a plastic impulse in their nature; they worked together and created a lovely image, a Pandora in the higher sense,

What

and

^\dser

Patience.
It

I stumbled over the roots of the tree which I planted.' must have been an old forester who said that. Does the sparrow know how the stork feels? Lamps make oil spots, and candles want snuffing; it is only the light of heaven that shines pure and leaves no
'

stain.

If

you miss the

first

button-hole, you will not succeed in

buttoning up your coat. burnt child dreads the fire; an old man who has often been singed is afraid of warming himself. It is not worth while to do anything for the world that we have with us, as the existing order may in a moment pass away. It is for the past and the future that we must

A

work: for the past,

to

acknowledge

its

merits; for the

future, to try to increase its value. Let no one think that people have waited for

him as for

the Savior.

Character in matters great and small consists in a
capable.

man

steadily pursuing the tilings of which he feels himself

Can a nation become ripe? That is a strange question. would answer, Yes! if all the men could be born thirty But as youth will always be too forward years of age. and old age too backward, the really mature man is always hemmed in between them, and has to resort to strange
I

devices to

as of reason, of experience as of reflection, should be treated of only by

make his way through. The most important matters of feeling

MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE
word
of mouth.

381

The spoken word at once dies if it is not some other word following on it and suited Observe wiiat happens in social converse. If the word is not dead when it reaches the hearer, he murders it at once bv a contradiction, a stipulation, a condition, a digression, an interruption, and all the thousand tricks With the written word the case is still of conversation. worse. No one cares to read anything to which he is not already to some extent accustomed he demands the known and the familiar under an altered form. Still, the written word has this advantage, that it lasts and can await the
kept alive by to the hearer.
;

time when

it is

allowed to take

effect.

Opponents fancy they refute us when they repeat their own opinion and pay no attention to ours. It is with history as with nature and with everj'-thing of
any depth,
it

may

we

seriously pursue that appear.

be past, present or future: the further it, the more difficult are the problems

Every phenomenon is within our reach if we treat it as an inclined plane, which is of easy ascent, though the thick end of the wedge may be steep and inaccessible.
If a man would enter upon some course of knowledge, he must either be deceived or deceive himself, unless external necessity irresistibly determines him. Who would become a physician if, at one and the same time, he saw before him all the horrible sights that await him? Literature is a fragment of fragments: the least of what happened and was spoken, has been written; and of the things that have been written, very few have been

preserved.

And
we
is

yet,

find

with all the fragmentary nature of literature, thousandfold repetition; which shows how limited

man's mind and destiny. must remember that there are manv men who, without being productive, are anxious to say something important, and the results are most curious. Some books seem to have been written, not to teach us

We

382

THE GERMAN CLASSICS
know
that the author has

anything, but to let us

known

something. An author can show no greater respect for his public than by never bringing it what it expects, but what he
himself thinks right and proper in that stage of his own and others' culture in which for the time he finds himself. That glorious hjTun, Veni Creator Spiritus, is really an

That is why it speaks so powerfully to and power. Translators are like busy match-makers; they sing the praises of some half-veiled beauty, and extol her charms, and arouse an irresistible longing for the original.
appeal to genius.
of intellect

men

My

relations with Schiller rested on the decided tendency

of both of us toward a single aim, and our common activity rested on the diversity of the means by which we endeav-

ored to attain that aim.

The best that history gives us
arouses.

is

the

enthusiasm

it

from those books which we cannot The author of a book which we could criticise would have to learn from us. That is the reason why the Bible will never lose its
really learn only
criticise.

We

up and say:

power; because, as long as the world lasts, no one can stand I grasp it as a whole and understand all the But we say humbly as a whole it is worthy parts of it. of respect, and in all its parts it is applicable. There is and will be much discussions as to the use and
:

harm of circulating the Bible. One thing is clear to me mischief will result, as heretofore, by using it fantastically as a system of dogma; benefit, as heretofore, by a loving
:

acceptance of its teachings. I am convinced that the Bible will always be more beautiful the more it is understood; the more, that is, we see and observe that every word which we take in a general
sense and apply specially to ourselves, had, under certain circumstances of time and place, a peculiar, special and
directly individual reference.

MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETIIE

383

If oue has not read the newspapers for some months and then reads them altogether, one sees, as one never saw before, how much time is wasted with this kind of literature. Shakespeare's Henry IV. If everything were lost that

has ever been preserved to us of this kind of writing, the arts of poetry and rhetoric could be completely restored out of this one play. Shakespeare's finest dramas are wanting here and there in facilitj^: they are sometliing more than they should be, and for that very reason indicate the great poet.
in

The dignity of Art appears perhaps most conspicuously Music for in Music there is no material to be deducted. It is wholly form and intrinsic value, and it raises and
;

all that it expresses. only by Art, and especially by Poetry, that the imagination is regulated. Nothing is more frightful than imagination without taste.

ennobles
It
is

Art

rests

upon

ineradicably in earnest.

a kind of religious sense Thus it is that

;

it is deeply and Art so willingly

goes hand in hand with Religion. noble philosopher spoke of architecture as frozen music and it was inevitable that many people should shake their heads over his remark. We believe that no better repetition of this fine thought can be given than by calling architecture a speechless music. In every artist there is a germ of daring, without which

A

;

no talent

is

conceivable.
if

Higher aims are in themselves more valuable, even
unfulfilled,

than lower ones quite attained. In every Italian school the butterfly breaks loose from

the chrysalis.
best

Let us be many-sided! Turnips are good, but they are mixed with chestnuts. And these two noble products

of the earth

grow far
;

apart.

In the presence of Nature even moderate talent is always possessed of insight hence drawings from Nature that are at all carefully done always give pleasure.

because if he does not find rest there. and so he is glad to join a party. ing of every one speaking of toleration. nay. without troubling themselves further about one another. In It is difficult to If a man oppose . Ignorant people raise questions which were answered by the wise thousands of years ago. and trjing to pre- vent others from thinking and expressing themselves after their own fashion? We more readily confess to errors. so that the very thing which was obstinately denied appears at last as something quite natural. before all things. Every investigator must. and refuse to be overawed by authority. There are some hundred Christian sects. whether it be that his opinion coincides with that of the foreman or not. he at any rate finds quiet and safety.384 THE GERMAN CLASSICS • A man cannot well stand by himself. of science. but that that always . hampered by prevalent opinion. He has how far the statement of the case is comand clearly set forth by the evidence. and if forced to recant is driven to despair. things must of For what is the meannecessity come to the same pass. mistakes and short* * * And comings in our conduct than in our thought. them. all shows that opinions spread in masses. the study of nature. in every study. know how to treat the errors of the age. the reason of it is that the conscience is humble and even takes a pleasure in being ashamed. This also explains how it is that truths which have been recognized are at first tacitly admitted. Our advice is that every man should remain in the path he has struck out for himself. The history of philosophy. Then he draws one who is and gives his vote. every one of them acknowledging God and the Lord in its own way. But the intellect is * * * proud. they bring him neither joy nor credit. look upon himself as only to consider plete his conclusion summoned to sei*ve on a jury. of religion. he stands alone if he surrender to them. or carried away by fashion. and then gradually spread.

that is most suited and agreeable to the human mind in its ordinary condition. Nay. The thoughtful and honest observer is always learning more and more of his limitations. It is a synthesis of World and Mind. and lets a man feel that he is made in the image of God. is in comparison ^dth the musician's ear? May we not also what are the elementary phenomena of nature itself compared with man. What wonderful eyes the Greeks had for many things Only they committed the mistake of being overhasty. to say. which. and all its mechanical division. It is a revelation working from within on the outer world. in our own day. "What is a musical string. who must control and modify them all before he can in any way assimilate them to himself? say.MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE comes to the front 385 which is more easily grasped. Everytliing that we call Invention or Discovery in the higher sense of the w^ord is the serious exercise and activity of an original feeling for truth. is the belief that the incomprehensible comprehensible otherwise he would not try to fathom it. A man does not need to have seen or experienced everything himself. But if he is to commit himself to another's experiences and his way of putting them. 11—25 ! . . suddenly flashes out into fruitful knowledge. he Vol. and thereby produced certain theories that are quite inadeBut this is the mistake of all times. he who has practised selfculture in the higher sense may always reckon upon meeting an adverse majority. and still made quate. of passing straightway from the phenomenon to the explanation of it. after a long course of silent cultivation. let him consider that he has to do with three things the object in question and two subjects. A man must cling to — If we look at the problems raised by Aristotle. giving the most blessed assurance of the eternal harmony of things. we are astonished at his gift of observation. H^-potheses are cradle-songs by which the teacher lulls his scholars to sleep.

"We praise the eighteenth century for concerning itself The task remaining to the ninechiefly with analysis. and to analyze their contents anew. it consists of a few powerful men to lead the way of accommodating rascals and submissive weaklings. the world would have been quite different. unable to bear the splendor he had awaited with so much desire. ordinary pleasure in his own being. teenth is to discover the false syntheses which prevail. looking forward with longing to the advent of the full and final light. When I observe the luminous progress and expansion of natural science in modern times. There is nothing more odious than the majority. I seem to myself like a traveler going eastward at dawn. the more numerous are the problems that make their appearance. everything that we call evil and unfortunate is so because Nature cannot provide room for everything that comes into existence. but also with impatience. because he has said did not feel obliged to repeat what is it once. and of a mass of men who trot after them. however foolish and silly it may be. but.386 THE GERMAN CLASSICS sees that the further knowledge spreads. and quietly to revere the unfathomable. and still less endow it with permanence. . nevertheless. If we observe merely our own earth. and to In science develop them further. without in the least knowing their own mind. and takes an extra. If many a man untrue. Nature fills all space with her limitless productivity. and gazing at the growing light with joy. A school may be regarded as a single individual who talks to himself for a hundred years. having to turn away his eyes when the sun appeared. The finest achievement for a man of thought is to have fathomed what may be fathomed. it is a service of the highest merit to seek out those fragmentary truths attained by the ancients.

We live in the midst of her and are strangers. most of all the man who thinks and reflects in his it is He has a comfortable feeling that old age. The others. of which no one can rob him. A man cannot live with every one. "What friends do with us and for us is a real part of our life. the more consoling is it to have satisfied others. and not to hate or persecute one's enemies. Every one knows how to value what he has attained in the merits of his opponents Hfe. and outweigh in our imagination what attained. storm. We look back upon our life only as on a thing of broken pieces. : it gives him a decided ascendency over them. it is only part of our experience. ! to come closer Unasked and unwarned she takes us up into the whirl of her dance. we have done and Nature clasp to her. we throw it off and guard . hail or any other of the external evils which may be expected to happen. if he confines himself to his own line of thought.MAXIMS AND KEFLECTIONS OF GOETHE 387 There are hvo things of which a man cannot be careful enough: of obstinacy. She speaks to us unceasingly and betrays not her secret. Nay. if he can. by — powerless to leave her. because our misses and failures are always the first to strike us. if he goes beyond it. there is hardly any greater advantage for a man to gain than to find out. ourselves against it as against frost. The assault of our enemies is not part of our life. To see this truth aright is to place a high value upon one's friends. and powerless We are surrounded her and locked in her . and therefore he can- not live for every one. rain. and hurries on with us till we are weary and fall from her arms. The century advances but every individual begins anew. It is something best metempsychosis is for us to appear again in all very seldom that we satisfy ourselves . for it strengthens and advances our personality. of incompetency.

the closest precision. way off.388 THE GERMAN CLASSICS are always influencing her and yet can do her no We violence. If a man destroys this in himself and others. where is she ? She is the sole artist out of the simplest materials the greatest diversity. on whom she lavishes much. To no one of them is she altogether niggardly. How . because she is tion. because she loves movement. and for whom she makes many a sacrifice. She has thought. and always rouses him up afresh. but she has her favorites. and her work-shop is not to be approached. . She is always building and always destroying. heavy and sluggish. with no trace of — effort. Individuality seems to be all her aim. attaining. softly veiled. She plays a drama whether she sees it herself. she knows the path. and the mother. She rejoices in illusion. and yet she plays it for us who stand but a little . and no one can learn it of her. and she ponders unceasingly. Nature lives in her children only. Over the great she has spread the shield of her protection. she punishes him like the hardest tyrant. She creates wants. Her children are numberless. the finest perfection. she presses him to her heart as if it were her child. She envelops man in darkness. She makes him dependent on the earth. not as a man. If he follows her in confidence. and urges him constantly to the light. They have only to go their way. own every shape that she takes is in idea utterly isolated and yet all forms one. and tells them not whence they come and whither they go. and she cares naught for individuals. The drama she plays is always new. Life is her fairest invenand Death is her device for having life in abundance. always bringing new spectators. we know not. The meaning of the whole she keeps to herself. Each of her always works has an essence of its . but as Nature. She spurts forth her creatures out of nothing.

No one can force her to explain herself. soon satisfied. and in herself rejoices and is distressed.MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS OF GOETHE 389 marvelous that she gains it all so easily! Every want is a benefit. ! . She is crafty. she will also lead me out of it. she has spoken it all. I trust myself to her. She is kind. With a few draughts from the cup of Love she repays for a life full of trouble. She lets every child work at her. Past or almighty. She isolates everything. Her crown is Love. and thousands pass her by and see nothing. Ever}i. No what is true and what is false. it is a new source of desire but the balance quickly . Only through Love can we come near her. I did not speak of her. loving and terrible. and all things strive to be interfused. and she has her joy in them all. powerless and In her everything is always present. soon growing again. The present is her Eternity. She is wise and still. She will not hate her work. She is whole. If she gives more. She is all things. he works with her even when he wants to work against her.hing is her fault. but for a good end. She may do wdth me as she pleases. and it is best not to notice her cunning. rough and gentle. She has placed me in this world. and yet never finished. As she works now. but she creates tongues and hearts through which she feels and speaks. everything is her merit. so can she work forever. rights itself. Future she knows not. and in them all finds her account. I praise her with all her works. She rewards herself and punishes She is herself. every fool judge of her. Speech or language she has none. or frighten her into a gift that she does not give willingly. that she may draw everything together. Man obeys her laws even in opposing them. She puts gulfs between all things.

I from life. with propriety. Bell & Sons.) Translated by John Oxenford 'HIS to collection of Conversations with Goetlie took its rise chiefly from an impulse. this is my Goethe. will be especially serviceable in comthe portrait which each reader may have formed pleting of Goethe from his manifold works. and G. that might possess them for the rest of my life. I think that these conversations not only contain many valuable explanations and instructions on science. taken ********** Still. I felt constantly the need of instruction. and to note it down.. finds that the greater part of it runs through his fingers. not only when I first met with that extraordinary man. under different circumstances a different hue. New [390] York. can only say. I seem to myself like a child who. and I loved to on the import of his words. Permission The Macmillan Co. . When I think how rich and full were the communications by which he made me so happy for a period of nine years. and now observe how small a part I have retained in writseize I ing. Moreover. which in each direction shines with And as.ECKERMANN'S CONVERSATIONS WITH GOETHE* (Extracts from the Author's Preface. but that these sketches of Goethe. We may. directly am far from imagining that the whole internal Goethe is here adequately portrayed. he became another being. and with too. endeavoring to catch the refreshing spring shower with open hands. in a very modest sense. and practical life. so I. to appropriate to myself by writing any part of my experience which strikes me as valuable or remarkable. natural my mind. London. different persons. but also after I had lived with him for years. art. compare this extraordinary mind and man to a mam'-'Sided diamond.

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and the heart expanded at his words. seemed with him to be engaged in a perpetual strife and change. Then it was a pleasure to hear him. those autumnal and wintry days I have indicated were only rare exceptions. it was admirable in him. of the into his poor in culture to the rich in culture. when from seventy to eighty years old. age and youth. of the son He drew me to the father.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN My kind: relation to it 391 him was was that peculiar. was always the same. He pany. when him in the evening. nay. and giving his single works that artistical finish Avhich we admire in them. and let me participate in the mental and bodily enjopnents of a higher state of existence. Now he was occupied by some great idea. and his words flowed forth rich and inexhaustible. and w^here one is so dazzled I Wsited by the general brilliancy that one does not think of gathering a nosegay. he was taciturn and laconic. there were days when it seemed as if he were filled with icy coldness. when I had the happiness to dine with him either alone or in comHis conversation was as varied as his works. they were often like a garden in spring where all is in blossom. nevertheless. At other times. Through the same quality he was often concise and circum- . and always different. and of a very intimate of the scholar to the master. on the contrary. Sometimes I saw him but once a week. and the brook ripples through flowery meadows. when all the warblers of the wood joyously greet us from hedges and bushes. When one saw him again he was again like a smiling summer's day. His self-control was great nay. own circle. sometimes every day. as if a cloud pressed upon his soul. when the cuckoo's voice resounds through the blue sky. deliberation {Besonnenheit) through which he always suc- ceeded in mastering his material. that youth always recovered the ascendancy. and a keen wind was sweeping over plains of frost and snow. it formed a prominent — It was akin to that lofty peculiarity in his character. Winter and summer. his presence then had a beneficial influence.

He received me with great cordiality. and irresistibly carried his hearers along. The interior of the house made a very pleasant impression upon me. when I called to inquire. 1823 Weimar. in happy moments. but also in his oral spect. I went at the appointed time. did not see Goethe Yesterday. He with the very talkative servant. * It is almost needless to observe that the word " demon " Trans. and the first time in — is here used in which he speaks in this book. Thus Marmontel said of Diderot. and looked fixedly in my face. that his spoken words were better than those which he wrote and printed. that I consider this day as one of the happiest in my life. without being showy. f — I arrived here a few days ago. who came familiarly up to me. like a mountain cataract. and for Grecian antiquity. as distinguished from Soret. f This is the first day in Eckermann's first book. however. . his discourse rolled forth with In such youthful impetuosity. but till today. that whoever knew him from his writings only knew him but half. everything was ex- tremely simple and noble. and such moments are to be understood when his earlier friends say of him. and the impression he made on me was such.392 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS many of his writings. he fixed today at twelve 'clock as the time when he would be glad to see me. I ascended the stairs. indicated Goethe's especial I saw partiality for plastic art. reference to its Greek origin. control abandoned him. After I had cast a glance around. even the casts from antique statues. and one of Ottilie's beautiful boys. June 10. and that selfexpressions. and found a servant waiting for me. to the first floor. preparing to conduct me to him. but that as soon as he became animated in actual conversation he was incomparable. several ladies moving busily about in the lower part of the house. not only in When. and implies nothing evil. moments he expressed what was best and greatest in his abundant nature. placed upon the stairs. — Trans. a more powerful demon* was active wdthin him.

and with shoes.considered. and could say little or nothing. indeed. and there await Herr von Cotta's answer. I replied that I hoped to come in contact with Herr von Knebel. also hung with pictures. where I intended to stay at a suitable place. through his look and sofa. one looked into a farther room. ' ' ' ' that my design was to go into the Rhineland. while he went to announce me to his master. " I — ' ' said he soon forward it. it needs no recommendation He praised the clearness of the style. somewhat more spacious. and send him the parcel tomorrow. on the floor was spread a carpet. and the peculiarity that all rested on a solid basis and had been thoroughlj'. impression upon me was surprising. which gave a cheerful aspect. ''I have been reading your it writing all the morning. on which he promised insure me a letter which would me a more favorable reception. He led me through this apartment and opened another. the room was furnished with a crimson sofa and chairs. We then talked of my proposed excursion. Goethe asked whether I had acquaintance in Jena. the flow of the thought. I felt in a happy perplexity. through which the servant had gone to announce me. on the threshold of which the motto Salve was stepped over as a good omen of a friendly welcome. dressed in a blue frock-coat. "And. recommends itself. What a sublime form! The . his presence.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 393 opened a room. First. But he soon dispelled We sat down on the all uneasiness by the kindest words. The air here was most cool and refreshing. and write something new. today I shall write to Cotto by post. however. He began by speaking of my manuscript. on one side stood a piano and the walls were adorned with many pictures and drawings. I told him will . It was not long before Goethe came in." I thanked him with words and looks. " I have just come from you. Through an open door opposite.^' said he. where he requested me to wait. of various sorts and sizes. I would go to Jena." .

that he has the art to win from a common subject an interesting side. " Let no one say that reality wants poetical interest. at sat a long while together. All for in this the poet proves his vocation.394 said he. The reader must conceive the word in the limited sense. You know Fiirnstein. that you can never want rich. as he himself explains.. duced on some special event. monarch. etc. we shall be near neighbors. His face is so powerful and brown! full of wrinkles." " " is not very happy. tion. such as birthdays. You perceive by his air that he reposes upon himself. I was extremely happy near him. and having therein a firm foundalife. and can see or write to one another as often as we please. such repose and greatness such as you would expect from an aged composed manner. reahty must give both impulse and material for their production. called the Poet of Nature. as I may say but to work out of it a beautiful. after many toils and tedious expectations. I forgot to speak for looking him I could not look enough. belongs to the poet. weddings. real my poems are occasional poems. and is only used for want the phrase occasional poem of a better. * ' THE GERMAN CLASSICS while you are in Jena. in a tranquil." " — . the kernel. but Goethe here extends the meaning. . and is elevated far above both praise and blame. proTrans. finally sees ! ! — his dearest wishes gratified. *********** — treated by a poet. firmness. A particular case becomes universal and poetic by the very circumstance that it is . and life so full of variety.'* We mood. September 18. the points to be expressed. As the English " word " occasional " often implies no more than occurrence now and then. suggested by I attach no value to poems snatched out of the air. I felt becalmed like one who. affectionate I was close to him. animated whole. But they must all be occasional* occasions for poems. Reality must give the motive. he has written the prettiest * The word " Gelegenheitsgedicht (occasional poem) properly applies to poems written for special occasions. and each wrinkle full of And everywhere there is such nobleness and expression He spoke in a slow. poems that is to say. '' The world is so great and Thursday.

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and you of something good. and I am sure he will do it well. this cannot be: no part can be evaded. all goes easier and better. internal arrangement. and if you fail anywhere. Give have not duly investigated. thanks us. on the other hand. finally. and the huntsman ill. '' you may succeed in many parts. Facts and characters being provided. ever. on the cultivation of hops." I told Goethe that I had contemplated writing a great poem upon the seasons. however good single parts may be. even supposing our work plished." replied Goethe. and is interwoven into the In youth. Further. ** Here is the very case in point. and you have not produced a perfect work. how^ much time is lost in invention. for which nobody ductions. He . the poet has only the task of animating the whole. That is exactly the advantage of small works you need only choose those "With a great poem. I especially warn you against great inventions of your own. I have now proposed to him to make songs for the different crafts of working-men. and deprive liim of the fulness requisite for future pro- And. and for that purpose youth is seldom ripe. in which I might interweave the employments and amusements of all classes. make sure ** separately the single parts to which you are equal. and on that rock the A great young author splits. and combination. particularly a weaver's song. all which belongs to the animation of the whole. . must be represented with precision. w^ork requires many-sidedness. but fail in others which refer to what you Perhaps you would do the fisherman well. for he has lived among such people from his youth. he understands the subject thoroughly. the Avhole is a failure. and is therefore master of his material. is happily accom- " With a given material. the knowledge of things is only one-sided. subjects of which you are master. howplan. character and ^dews detach themselves as sides from the poet's mind. for then you would try to give a view of things.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN poem 395 possible.

young English people. and other topics of the day." ^F "tF "tP "tP '' ^f *ff *JF Wr ^r ^F I dined for the first time Sunday. October 19. but found none with a thoroughly good pronunciation. and little Walter. We had much lively chat about the theatre. and not forgetting between whiles to fill the glasses. Fraulein Ulrica was especially lively and entertainGoethe was generally silent. it is time undertakings. with Goethe. I would advise the choice of subjects which have been worked before. of the different teachers here. now and then reading us some passages. Fraulein Ulrica. But. for the present. coming out only now and then with some pertinent remark. They then talked about the necessity of my learning English. and Goethe earnestly advised me to do so. namely. From time to time he glanced at the newspaper. you had better lay aside all great You have striven long enough. particularly on account of Lord Byron. that a character of such eminence had never existed before. of a family. for he needs to part with but of himself. however. helping to all the dishes. Goethe appeared now solely as father — Today. saying. No one was present except Frau von Goethe. the working out of small subjects is the best expedient. carving the roast fowls with great dexterity. it better to go to some young Englishman. After dinner. ing to his theory of colors. Goethe showed me some experiments relatThe subject was. since he has only the trouble of execution. How many Iphigenias have been written yet they are all different. and for the attainment of this. that you should enter into the cheerful period of life. after his own fashion.396 preserves his little THE GERMAN CLASSICS own fulness. and there is much less loss of time and power. and thus we were all very comfortable. deemed . especially about the progress of the Greeks. for each writer considers and ! arranges the subject differently. Indeed. on which account they ing. and probThey discussed the merits ably would never come again.

an opulent citizen. I went there. whom I supposed. to be AVe had not talked together long. the guard said he had seen nothing. he bade me run to the guardhouse. ** he might have some delight. The duke often visited him in the evening. and then they often talked on learned topics till late at night.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN new to 397 me. but never when they passed a certain limit. and was lying there. here. and he gladly consented to gratify me. and I I entered his ' ' . science. I begged to hear something of Goethe's youth. in that early part of his life " Certainly. he was thin. and when room I found he had rolled his iron bed to the window. as I was walkafternoon towards Erfurt. *' When I first lived with him. so that I got extremely tired. a little into this science. " " He been about twenty-seven years old. his mind always grave. and wondered when the Even then he w^as interested in natural duke would go. had not been very gay. from his appearance. my I asked . I was joined by an elderly man." replied he. and ask the man on duty if he had seen nothing. and elegant in his person. in that case he usually became Always working and seeking. bent on art and science that was generally the way with my master. I could easily have carried him in arms." said he. nimble. '* he was always gay mth the gay. Some days ago. nor what Nevertheless." whether Goethe. I neither understood the phenomena. " One time he rang in the middle of the night. November fine — ing one I was his valet almost twenty years! then launched into the praises of his former master. 13. I hoped that the future would afford me leisure and opportunity to initiate myself he said about them. Have you seen nothing in the sky ? asked he and when I answered in the negative. '* Know him? " said he. I asked liim before the conversation turned upon Goethe. Thursday. looking out upon the heavens. . wdth whether he knew Goethe.

had been destroyed by an earthquake. versation to Marienbad. " he said. I asked if he at once believed there was an earthquake on Goethe's word. * returned with this answer to the sky." he replied. an invitation to call upon him. and carried on a light conversaus. Goethe is dreaming. own expression." said he. — . soon came also. for things always hapYes. November 14. is ' moment. stirring. and this appeared to awaken Arrangements were pleasant reminiscences in Goethe. he found Goethe's pulse quite lively and easy. and joked with *' If I could only get rid of the Goethe on the subject. Only listen. Humboldt. when a lady whispered to her neighbor. and Goethe consented to it.398 THE GERMAN CLASSICS mv master. ' ** ." then he '* asked the good old man '* what sort of weather it was. and the correctness of his observations was soon confirmed for. observations at court. I found him. and gazing upon the this is an important Listen. sitting in his armchair he gave me a friendly shake of the hand. believed Goethe. Next day he related his pened as he said they would. in a few weeks. At this we were liighly pleased." " no air It was very cloudy. lying in his bed. was at court. ' ' *' I believed it. . made to go there again.' But the duke. that he might only have to listen. The physician. The chancellor soon joined We sat near Goethe. who was still in same * position. and showed me by wh^t signs he knew this. tion. the news came that a part of Messina. now an earthquake. it was said that the great duke . and therefore I should be all the more welcome. he said." Towards evening Goethe sent me Friday. and spoke to me with heavenly mildness. there to take place I . as I did some days ago. his To use Counsellor {Hofrath) Rehbein. on that night.' said he to me. very still and sultry. Rehbein prescribed a pain in my left side! there we talked on the good effect of such a remplaster Rehbein turned the conedy. or one is just going made me sit down on the bed. and all the men present.

and Goethe. talked to me about the Marienbad Elegy. and I was going." said ** Some . in the meanwhile. to reflect on all he did. he was forced. This lenstein gave occasion to talk about Schiller. something which I " have. and the fact that *' "VVal" was to be done to-morrow. conversation turned on the stage. When Rehbein was gone. and this brought him into unspeakable perplexity. poetry exist at all without the naive ground in which. I. thus to annihilate nature. and I can go no further. and I sat down. smiling. Hence it was that he never could leave off ** from naive poetry. the chancellor went. *' to go work with a certain unconsciousness." he. At eight o'clock." to see how so highly gifted himself with philosophical disquisitions which could in no way profit him. They also talked about Madame SzjTaanowska. and all the men were solicitous for her favor. whether it were in conformity with nature or not.CONVERSATIOXS WITH ECKEin/ANN 399 would join the party. \iolates the truth of nature. and these prospects put Goethe in the most cheerful mood. because this led him to consider the idea far higher than all nature. and mentioned the time when she was here." said Goethe. It was not Schiller's plan. The too. For the former he could find no proper soil. the chancellor read the Indian poems. a peculiar feeling towards Schiller. What he could conceive must happen. '' a man tormented me letters which Schiller wrote to him in those unblest There we see how he plagued himdays of speculation. Humboldt has shown It ** was sad. self "with the design of perfectly separating sentimental if.' I cannot but think ' that Schiller's turn for philosophy injured his poetry. and as it were instinctively. I feel this even in reading Wallenstein. scenes of his great dramas I read uith genuine love and admiration but presently I meet with. as it were. but Goethe bade me stop a little. it has its root. " sentimental "As continued could to . indeed." continued Goethe. on the contrary.

and stirred my inmost soul. November 15. The actors. and by sho%ving and talking about these seemed to entertain Goethe very pleasantly. and usually nothing was known to any one till the whole was completed. and seemed rather weak. On this account the piece had an extraordinary effect upon me. he was astonished. When I showed Schiller my Hermann and Dorothea finished." I gave him an account of the impression the piece had made upon me as represented on the stage. led in by Frau von Goethe." In the evening I was in the Saturday. Soret came in. In the evening at Goethe's. *' But I am curious to hear what you will say of Wallenstein to morrow." theatre. *' Wallenstein. His first question was about " "Wallenstein. Soret went to court. He brought from the duke some gold medals. and remained about an hour. where I for the first time saw Goethe had not said too much. who had almost all belonged to the time when they were under the personal influence of Schiller and Goethe. again his MarienGoethe arose. it On over my poetic plans with — * ' * ' — presented to my imagination Tiith all their indi\'iduality. and I was left alone with Goethe. the impression was great. for I had said not a syllable to him of any such plan. such as on a mere reading were not the other hand. Frau von Goethe and M. November 16. was contrary to my nature to talk even mth Schiller. anybody I carried everything about with me in silence. was still sitting in his elbow-chair. M. and he heard me with visible — satisfaction.400 THE GERMAN CLASSICS with ** talking about his poetical projects. gave an ensemble of significant personages. he Sunday. and I could not get it out of my head the whole night. scene after scene. and the piece will make an impression on you such as you probably do not dream of. his Remembering bad Elegy at a promise to show me fitting opportunity. You well see noble forms. put a . and thus he discussed me all his late pieces.

while the feeling of all I had experienced there was At eight in the morning. quite peculiar be. I therefore used the favorable moment. I wrote down the first strophe and thus I went on composing in the carriage. have been ^dthout sideration fall into *' and now again." ** " That. when we stopped at the fresh. The most youthful glow of love." I. and imputed this which Goethe did not deny. no other poem of yours. as I may say. and writing down at every stage what I had just composed in my head." These words struck me as very important. 11 — 26 . and left me to an undisturbed perusal of the piece. tempered by the moral elevation of the mind." *' "While I was in it I would not for the world it. and read the poem again and again with a rare delight. see the product of a highly impassioned mood." said he. to the influence of Byron — ** You said he. directness. first stage. is. may present because I staked upon the moment as a man stakes a considerable sum upon as I could a card. I was delighted have it once more before me." '' " It in its and recalls said . kind. inasmuch as they threw a light on Goethe's method so as to explain that many-sidedness which has excitqd so much admiration. and sought to enhance its value as much without exaggeration. which may be an advantage to it as a whole. and gave me the poem. I turned to say something to him. poured out at once. After I had been reading a while. I would not for any con- it I wrote that poem immediately after lea\'ing Marien- bad. but he seemed to be asleep. seemed to me its feelings Then I thought that the pervading characteristic.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN light 401 to on the table. and is. He quietly seated himself again. Vol. so that by the Thence it has a certain evening the whole was on paper. were more strongly expressed than we are accustomed to find in Goethe's other poems.

And how could one get courage only to put pen to paper. at Goethe's. laughing. The things that we love in a young lady are something very different from the understanding. nay. and God knows what ^je ne sals quoi besides. could not forbear to study them. although her understanding could not exactly be called brilliant. in fact. when one of the guests remarked that he was on the point of falling in love with her. but the understanding is not that which is capable of firing our thing to ' and awakening a passion. he must be aware that Shakespeare has already exhausted *' the w^hole of human nature in all its tendencies. and that. We poetical giant. We love in her beauty.402 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 2. After dinner. and were very willing to consider the subject in that light. Having studied them. January —Dined 1824 beauty belonging to the Weimar society. and conversed with him on various interesting topics. on the greatness of Shakespeare. that such . youthfulness. playfulness. **A dramatic talent of any importance. and w^hen the rest of the party had departed. trustingness." said Goethe. could not forbear to notice Shakespeare's works. in all its heights and depths. nothing more to do. We respect her understanding when it is brilliant. appreciating spirit. *' Pshaw. I remained sitting with Goethe. We discoursed upon English literature. her caprices." said Goethe. serve to fix our aifections when we already love. if one were conscious in an earnest. and enjoyed some cheerful conversation. '' as if love had any- do with the understanding. her faults. but we do not love her understanding. her character. and on the unfavorable position held by all English dramatic authors w^ho had appeared after that hearts. there remains for him." found much that was true and convincing in Goethe's words. and by it the worth of a girl can be Understanding may also infinitely enhanced in our eyes. the aftercomer. Mention was made of a young Friday.

but should have had to bethink myself. one cannot fail to look upon his gigantic greatness But if one seeks him in his home. and the study of So it. if one studies his contemporaries. and Beaumont and Fletcher. Marlowe. . plants oneself to the soil of his country. to find some new one. appears a being of the most exalted magnitude. disengages him from English litera" and considers him transformed into a Gerture. accessible. with Shakespeare as with the mountains of Switzerland. I could not have gone on with such fresh light-heartedness. I soon left behind me German literature. to outlet." said I. but still." I turned the conversation back to Shakespeare. and to the atmosphere of the century in which he lived. or occupy my attention. my standard of excellence was not much higher than what at such step I was able to attain. and on ** It Germany. at every step of life and development. further. and his immediate successors.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN in existence! 403 unfathomable and unattainable excellences were already fared better with me fifty years ago in my own dear I could soon come to an end with all that then existed it could not long awe me." It is are perfectly right. and that much is due to the powerfully productive atmos- phere of his age and time. at those numerous masterpieces been brought my first dawn of youthful consciousness. and on I fasliioned the productions of epoch after epoch. indeed. man. Shakespeare still. and look about for a long time. and inhales the force wafted to us from Ben Jonson. transas a miracle. Massinger. and turned my thoughts to life and to production. '* You ** Transplant Mont Blanc at once into the large plain of . and I should not have known what to do. one arrives at the conviction that many of the wonders of his genius are. in some measure. And and had before all me in all their power. on and on I went in my own natural development. they would have overpowered me." returned Goethe. " When some degree. But had I been born an Englishman.

chiefly negative. he who does not keep aloof from all this. Where do we now meet an original nature? and where is the man who has the strength to be true. is no longer possible. daily criticisms which appear in fifty different places. in these evil days of criticising and hair-splitting journals? *' " That undisturbed. fed with the blood of my own heart. Through the bad. the Eiger. the Wetterhorn. and isolate himself by main force. Gothard. prevent the appearance of any sound production. Mont Blanc will. by which alone anything great can thrive. Seek it. which destroj^s the tree of creative power. however." said Goethe. and we should find no words to express our wonder at its magnitude. innocent. only ask himself the question. somnambulatory production." continued " that much of Goethe." '' That. a noxious mist. while he is left in the lurch The conversation now turned on " Werther. in its gigantic home. The and the gossip that is caused by them amongst the public. whether a phenomenon so astounding would be possible in the present England of 1824." '' by all without. SQsthetical and critical tone of the journals. Shakespeare's greatness appertains to his great vigorous time. however. Our talents at present lie before the public. It contains so much from the innermost recesses of my breast — so much feeling and . who must find all within liimself. to the deepest pith and the most hid- productive talent it is den fibres. but it will no longer produce in us such amazement. still remain a giant. affects the poet. from the ornamental green leaves. In the present day. the Finsteraarhorn. let him who Avill not believe.404 THE GERMAN CLASSICS Liineburg Heath. and Monte Rosa." Besides. and to show himself as he is? This. a dropping poison. ''And then how tame and weak has life itself become during the last two shabby centuries. go to it over its immense neighbors. is a creation which I. indeed. the Jungfrau. like the pelican. St. is lost. a sort of half culture finds its way into the masses but to .

though it is so extensively spread.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 405 thought." ** Guess! " said Goethe. 1 have only read the book once since its appearance. However. ** reconcile to myself this view. and. '' I cannot. that . There is in every so much secret disperiod so much unexpressed sorrow * ' — — content and disgust for life. Besides." I asked the question. but it does not yourself great trouble to appear to hold life good against the urgent necessity where the friend ** of the is really not bad. It is a mass of congreveuncomfortable when I look at it. in single individuals." said I." said I. without saying a word to him her misgivings and apprehensions. whether the great effect produced " Werther " w^as by the appearance of really to be attributed to the period. ** " I almost think it is where Charlotte Now. You have given find a motive for this silence.' which. and have taken good care not rockets. of which I kn(nv by the sketch amongst his unpublished papers. and I I should once more experience the peculiar to am "Napoleon. was at stake. it Albert." * said " I. that it might easily be spread into a novel of ten such volumes. would not stand a strict examination. not beWerther made an epoch because it appeared cause it appeared at a certain time. so many there are so many disagreements with the world — conflicts between their natures and civil regulations. Werther. ** your observation is quite as correct as his." Your remark. with a mysterious smile." returned Goethe. I should much like to know what passage he meant. I dread lest mental state from wliich it was produced. but I do not think it right to reveal whether Napoleon meant this passage or another. pointed out to you a passage in appeared to him. as 1 have often said. which I had repeatedly urged him to give more in detail. read it again. be that as it may. and this you allowed. and \\'ithout imparting to sends the pistols to Werther." I reminded him of liis conversation with Napoleon.

had lived. restrained acti\ity." said Goethe. and it would be every one had not. but those of every indi\ddual bad. loved. to the narrow limits of an anti- Obstructed fortune. but to the career of life in considering ' ' *' On Werther every individual. are not the calamities of any particular time.406 * THE GERMAN CLASSICS ' Wertlier *' would make an epoch even time." one of the twelve divi" des Unmuths (The Book of Ill- . who." ' man. unfulfilled wishes. and suffered much ' ' — more closely the much-talked-of period. and from the reading of a few You English authors. Goethe went through a portfolio.th me. *' it is on that account that the book to this day influences vouth of a certain age. Goethe's of ) . which entitled "Das Buch (west-eastern) Divan. At the same time. it gives him pleasure to introduce — me to such things. and keep up to accustom himself to muse upon the thoughts of a great man. and indeed brought me into that frame of mind which produced Werther. January 4. after dinner. once in his life. "\\i." in which much is poured '* — forth that he carried in his heart against his enemies. " West-ostliche is sions Humor — Trans. We * afterwards spoke about the '' about the Divan " * especially book of ill-humor. containing some works of Raphael. Today. Eather was it owing to individual and immediate circumstances which touched me to the quick. as it did formerly. must accommodate himself quated world. and gave me a great deal of trouble. we discover that it does not belong to the course of universal culture. time when him alone. It was scarcely necessary for me to deduce my own youthful dejection from the general influence of my time. I that was it. He often busies himself with Raphael. in order to a constant intercourse with that which is best. indeed." if it appeared today for the first are quite right. with an innate free natural instinct. known a Werther seemed as if it had been written for if ' Sunday.

and I should have been a miserable hypocrite. very moderate if I had uttered all that vexed me or gave me trouble. They were also seldom contented with my productions.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN *' 407 " been however. the result of shade. besides. and political matters. humbly setting forth the total unworthiness of my person and my work. but always wished me otherwise than it has pleased God to make me. : self-congratulation. It sounds absurd when I express it. and in the triumphs of good over evil but this was not enough for pious souls I was also required to believe other points. and am considered so to the present day. if I had so tried Since I was strong enough to show to lie and dissemble. I generally brought trouble upon myself. I discovered duty light in its purity and truth. The opposite party. and that I had the courage to contradict the universal creed. in If I have. and I considered it to fight for it. just as I felt. scientific. the few pages would soon have swelled to a volume. opposed to the feeling of my soul for truth. or. "When I had long exerted my whole soul to favor the world with a new work. . I did not see that these would be of the slightest service to me. which are shadow and ." continued he. did their my utmost to darken the is light for they maintained that shade a part of light. '* In religious. it still desired that I should thank it into the bargain for considering the work endurable. myself in my whole truth. are light itself. however. my nature opposed this. I was deemed proud. However. but people expected from me some modest expression. If any one praised me. to receive it as a well-merited tribute. *' People were never thoroughly contented w^th me. I believed in God and in Nature. I was not allowed. which amounts to . and had the courage to express what I felt. which were ' ' . *' It was also prejudicial to me that I discovered Newton's theory of light and color to be an error. because I was no hypocrite. but so it is: for they said that colors.

for She has convinced herself that herself." " answered " to dis" One need only read Egmont. for the first time. ' '' it was mine at that time.' says she. even though I should be cried down as a democrat. now in another. — is an unfinished . whilst an ironical smile spread over his expressive countenance. both in society and at court. and has drawn. and table." returned I. ' * express my opinion concerning such actions in In no case of injustice will I be silent. I will for quence of the injustice of the higher classes. but as a reward for it. Do you know my 'Aufgeregten? " * '' I read the Yesterday. I have taken the countess as a type of the nobility. He continued — ' **And now for political matters. in consequence of the new edition of your works. it is so still." continued Goethe. but not oppressed. Goethe was silent. But. on that account. The countess has just returned from Paris she has there been an eye-witness of the revolutionary events. the future. even as it is.408 the same THE GEKMAN CLASSICS tiling. are the heams of light." continued Goethe. " Die Aufgeregten (the Agitated. and that the revolutionary outbreaks of the lower classes are the conse. as my political confession of faith at that time. strenuously avoid every action that appears to me unjust. I have expressed how the nobility really ought to think. in a political sense) Trans. in some measure. and will." ** I wrote it at the time of the French Revolution. the people may be ruled. therefore. piece. and what I have suffered. '' and I regret from my heart that it remains unfinished. and. every right-thinking person must coincide with vour sentiments. broken now in one ^^ way. I know no German piece in which the freedom of the people is more advocated than in this. cover what you think. " I should have thought tliis sentiment perfectly respecloudly others. which I do not care to repeat. I was endowed with sorts of titles.' I. with the words which I put into her mouth. I cannot tell you. '* and it may be regarded. What trouble I have taken. no bad doctrine." all ' * " drama by Goethe.

and console myself Avdth the thought that others before me had fared no better. people do notlike to look on me as I am. on the who." said Goethe. I give it up to liim with all my heart. since with much that is good there is also much that is bad. the consequence of a great necessity. good. If the pov/ers that be were all that is excellent. ' ' obsolete and bad. and imperfect. as were. I was perfectly convinced that a great revolution is never a fault of the people. a very ambiguous title.* • The German phrase " Freund des Bestehenden. I should have no objection to the * ' ' ' title but. artificially. whilst its beneficial results were not then to be discovered. unjust." and was used by the detractors literally means of Goethe to denote the '" enemy of the progressive. for want of a better expression. a friend of the powers that be means often little less than the friend of the . and not hold out until they are forced to yield by the pressure from stantly just beneath. but of the government." — Trans. Revolutions are utterly impossible as long as governments are con- and constantly vigilant. however. Neither could I be indifferent to Revolution the fact that the Germans were endeavoring. so that they may anticipate them by improvements at the right time. between ourselves. but who considered what he said more than I had the wonderful fortune to be looked upon — — as a particular friend of the people. which I would beg to decline. has been rendered above " friend of the powers that be. ** Because I hated the Revolution. Indeed. that I could be no friend to the French for its horrors were too near me. to bring about such scenes here. Scliiller. and shocked me daily and hourly. " But I was as little a friend to arbitrary rule. in France. but turn their glances from everything which could show me in my true light. . was much more of an contrary aristocrat than I am. the name of the Friend of the powers that he was bestowed upon me." " friend of the permanent. and just." which. ** It is true .CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 409 ** " Sometimes. That is.

adherents . are therefore foolish. — Trans. so that an arrangement which. furthermore. Neither of the great powers whom I have named was. January — Goethe talked with me about the '' continuation of his memoirs. and all premeditated revolutions of the kind are unsuccessful. be a defect." the title of Goethe'a autobiography. was perfection. the most important part of an individual's that of development. in the year 1800."* I must. for they are without God. Luther. "And. '' treat more in the fashion of annals: my outward actions must appear rather than my inward life. in the year 1850. and it prospers. a friend of the permanent. He observed that this later period of his life would not be narrated with such minuteness as the youthful epoch of '' Dichtung und Wahrheit. and human affairs wear every fifty years a different aspect. with which he is now busy. nothing is good for a nation but that which arises from its own core and its own general wants." Afterthis later period * " Poetry aud Truth. Tuesday." said he. was a necessity for the appearance of the new doctrine of love He was also visibly with to the people. the necessity for which is not rooted in the core of the nation itself. of a certain age. . If. there exists an actual necessity for a great reform amongst a people. is a wholesome nutriment. All endeavors to introduce any foreign innovation. unjust. may. life Altogether. may perhaps prove a poison for another. for the purification of the doctrine corrupted by the priests was no less a necessity.410 THE GERMAN CLASSICS " But time is constantly progressing. God is with He was visibly with Christ and his first it. without apish imitation of another since what to one race ." 27. and defective way. of people. perhaps. and mine is concluded in the is '' detailed volumes of Dichtung und Wahrheit. however. much more were both of them con\4nced that the old leaven must be got rid of. however. and that it would be impossible to go on and remain in the untrue. ivho keeps aloof from such bungling.

and I may say that. there has been nothing but and care. soon after my Goetz and WerIf you ther. toil . and now in my old age think how few are left of those who were young with me. which comes just as we are going away. were too numerous. " My real happiness was my poetic meditation and production. Yet. it will take good care that vou shall not do it a second time. limited. both from within and without. "And then the life of a learned German what is it? — may have been really good in my case cannot be communicated. My annals will render clear what I now say. But this goes also. you make acquaintance and friends of those who have already been there some time. It has been the perpetual rolling of a stone. who leave in a few weeks. and become most intimate.COXVERSATIOXS WITH ECKERMANN wards begins the 411 conflict with the world. truly. I have never had a month of genuine comfort. I should have been happier. Besides. and hindered Had I been able to abstain more by my external position from public business. which I have always had to raise anew. and leaves us alone with the third. The claims upon my activity. notliing to do. When you arrive.' that saying of a sage was verified for me my life has taken. where are the hearers whom one could entertain with any satisfaction? '* When I look back to the earlier and middle periods of my life. and with which we have. and what can be communicated is not worth the trouble. But. ! * ' ' — * do anything for the sake of the world. and to live more in solitude. " I have ever been esteemed one of Fortune's chief est favorites nor will I complain or find fault with the course . properly. The loss Then you turn to the second generation.' . and that is interesting only in its results. and should have accomplished much more as a poet. I always think of a summer "Wliat residence at a bathing-place. and is painful. in all my seventy-five years. But how was this disturbed. with which you live a good while.

but in their several motives so unreservedly natural and true. say things which were permitted to the ancient Greeks and the Englishmen of 1820 cannot endure what suited the vigorous contemporaries of Shakespeare so that. being in the style and metre of Messer Ariosto. But. an elevated position in life. ** become the property of all. if by this means I had not the advantage of learning the thoughts of others without their being able to learn mine. that they are of the kind which the world styles immoral. that we seem to hear a strong ancient. Today. one of these two poems. Then Time is a strange thing. are good things. would be far less offensive than the other. must remember that his will fall into the hands of a mixed society and must. as it is. the poet would have fair play he could be always thoroughly true." said I. it is found necessary to have a Family Shakespeare. Goethe showed me two very remarkable poems. . and does not intend to publish them. ^\'ith propriety. both highly moral in their tendency." said he. February 25. It relates an event of our day. *' Could intellect and high cultivation. for all my rank and celebrity. This would be but poor sport. The Then. therefore.412 THE GERMAN CLASSICS <( 'A \iide-spread celebrity. On this account he keeps them to himself. But the other. " . at the present day. in the language of our day. and to be carried back to the age of the Greek heroes. take care lest by over-great openness he may give offense to the majority of good men. Isolated parts would displease. that I may not give offense. Wednesday. which in every centurv has a different face for all that one savs and does. It is a whimsical tyrant. he must always keep on a certain level." ********** — ." works . I am still obliged to be silent as to the opinion of others. but the treatment throws so much grandeur and dignity over the whole. which is composed in the style and metre of the ancients. . But. We cannot. '' there is much in the form also. and would not be compelled to fear uttering his best thoughts. is far more hazardous.

had great interest for Goethe. which was just ended. of the French Revolution. ** of being born at a time when the greatest events which agitated the world occurred. If the import of elegies were put into the measure and style of Byron's Don Juan. of the separation of America from England. it lost many battles from over-confidence. and talked much of the Prussian army in the Seven Years' "War. The army in itself. in after days. The campaign of the French in Spain under the Duke d'Angouleme.WITH ECKERMANN 413 and as it thus comes quite unveiled into our presence. the great are not such that ." said he. and shown that it is brave and can conquer without Napoleon. " I must " praise the Bourbons for this measure. had the great advantage. have attained results and insight impossible to those who are born now and must learn all these things from books which they vdW not understand. but I fear we shall not soon have repose. It is not given to ^' lent I ." Goethe then turned his thoughts backward into history." said he. and the events which followed. with the downThus I fall of that hero. and I had reason to admire his excel- memory." *' You are right." The French newspapers were brought. and ' my Romish the discomfitures of the many-headed Spanish host. " What the next years m^U bring I cannot predict. to his king. from his own victories.' the whole would be found infamous. and such have continued to occur during my long life so that I am a living \\'itness of the Seven Years' War." said he. the world to be contented. learned the difference between obej-ing one and many. The soldier returns with loyalty. so that. grew careless. and that is now accomplished. its ancient fame. All the minutest details were present to his mind. " mysterious and great effects are produced by different poetical forms. which. and of the whole Napoleon era. for he has. they had not really gained the throne till they had gained the army. the particular features of boldness seem far more audacious. accustomed by Frederic the Great to constant has sustained victory.CONVERSATIONS.

. I have let others babble. and let the king know how to govern. talking comes amiss they should act. for among liberals — — many there are many opinions." '' The Returning to the French papers. A place had been left open for him for two years. and behead and hang that is all right. for when they are reasonable we like to hear them. He showed me Fran von Spiegel's album. I could make it good again. They may march troops. ** The most reasonable way is for every one to follow his own vocation to which he has been born." I turned over the leaves of the book. but attacking opinions. we might also expect a perfect state of things but. and knew my own object. they might talk. en\^ and egotism will be always at work like bad demons. who have the executive power in their hands. and have done as I saw fit. '' For myself. it would be impossible to make it good. there will always be a wavering liither and thither. but if I committed it jointly with three or four others. After I had read the " Poem to Frau von Spiegel. Could we perfect human nature." Goethe was in excellent spirits to-day. and he rejoiced at ha\'ing been able to perform at last an old promise. one part must suffer while the other is at ease. the masses not such that. which must be learned. On the very . in hope of gradual improvement. in which he had written some very beautiful verses. and with which no one should meddle who does not understand it. and justifying their measures in public prints." he continued. in which I found many distinguished names. '' I have always been a royalist. the peasant by his plough. If there were a public of kings. Let the shoemaker abide by his last. I understood my course. as it is. for. Goethe said: this is also a business may speak.414 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS there will be no abuse of power. If I committed a fault as a single individual. but with the royalists. and to avoid hindering others from follomng theirs. and party strife will be without end. they will be contented with a moderate condition. and which he has learned. does not become them.

even in the other world. and must toil and struggle and produce day by day. leaves the future world to itself. L^rania like nobility. you found Urania on the table. Let him who believes in immortality enjoy his happiness in silence. written in the very spirit '* Urania. after the close of tliis life. and. For how should I be tormented! The pious would throng around me. indeed. who has something regular to do here. *' '* I have had to endure However. I met stupid women. with Tiedge. the from Tiedge 's Urania. It would not have been and first time that. but I am glad I did not. TMierever you went. point of writing some verses beneath those." continued Goethe. Thoughts about immortality are . The occasion of Tiedge 's led me to observe that piety. for. people of rank." said style of liis " I was on the Goetlie. " This occupation with the ideas of immortality. and I was forced to bear much dark examination on this point. nothing was snng and nothing was declaimed but this same Urania. and is active and useful in this. say. we were blessed with another. has its aristocracy. by rash expressions. in immortality." " In a saucy mood. and say. I would by no means dispense with the not a * little * ' ' * ' * ' would happiness of belie\dng in a future existence. Were we not right? Did we not predict it? Has not it And so there would be ennui happened just as we said? ' ' ' ' ^^•ithout end. But an able man." he " is for continued. who plumed themselves on believing. he has no reason to give himself airs about it. I had repelled good people.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN next page was a 415 poem by Tiedge. Urania and immortality were the topics of every conversation. that those are dead even for this life who hope for no other. and spoiled the effect of my best works. They were vexed by my sa}dng I should be well pleased if. at one time. But such incomprehensible matters lie too far off to be a theme of daily meditation and thought-distracting speculation. and especially ladies. only I hoped I should hereafter meet none of those who had believed in it here. ^\'ith Lorenzo de' Medici. who have nothing to do.

416 also THE GERMAN CLASSICS . literature could not have become what it now is. or for drawing characters and that he there. and they who were once so necessary and important have now ceased to be means to an end. "Without those " our powerful precursors. '* " I venerated Avith the devotion him. as it were. which was peculiar to me I looked upon him as my uncle. or finding fault mth it. they were before their age. touching on their merits and their defects. fore wanted the qualities most essential to the epic and dramatic poet. and I liked to listen to him." We talked over Klopstock 's '' Messiah " and his Odes. as he explained to me the merits of those '' We men." . one must assume that the good Klopstock did not really have before his eyes such pictures as he wrote. where the two girls run one against the other. to the poet generally. to drag it after them but now the age has far outrun them. when one thinks what a picture it is. good for those who have not been very successful here and I would wager that." I asked how he had felt towards Klopstock in his youth." Tuesday. German Muse run a race with the British and." said Goethe. We agreed that he had no faculty for observing and apprehending the ^dsible world." said Goethe. throwing about their legs and kicking up the dust. "An the ode occurs to me. 9. perhaps it might be said. if the good Tiedge had enjoyed a better lot. indeed. I revered whatever he had done. else he could not possibly have made such mistakes. I went I let his fine my own way. reflecting qualities upon it. November Goethe. and never thought of . work upon me. and were obliged. they appeared. young man who would take Klopstock and Herder for his teachers nowadays would be far behindhand. for the rest. —I passed this evening with talked of Klopstock and Herder." said Goethe. *' where he makes . he would also have had better thoughts. or. When A .

especially at that period of German literature. VOL. with vivacity. but not better." said I." * ' . and Goethe men who expressed himself as follows: *' us.' ' *' On '' I must praise Merck. nay." the other hand. " His Ideas for the EisMankind " zur Geschichte der ** rephed Goethe. Doolan a German translation of Plutarch. said he. it would not understand of its merits. " Wednesday. ''if his spirit were present at this conversation.' quoth he." replied *' Goethe." said Goethe. Neither are we The Roman history.' He did not wish me to make any alteration in it. utterly us. Herder was unfortunate in this respect." said I." We much charmed by the history of Greece. " urged you to print Goetz.COXVERSATIOXS AVTTII ECKERMANN 417 We his tory of came back to Herder. {Ideen are undoubtedly the best. great and glorious but the division of the states. and found him very well and cheerful. and their eternal wars -w-ith one another. and I asked Goethe which of works he thought the best. In after days. before going to the theatre. " is no longer suited to have become too humane for the triumphs of Caesar not to be repugnant to our feelings. and with taunting remarks. he took the negative side. it is. cannot understand how he had so little judgment on some subjects. I told him that I proposed reading with Mr. —I went to see Goethe this evening. where Greek fights against Greek. Menschheit). For instance. and he was right for it would have been different." *' '' I Considering the great weight of Herder. but print it." added he." " Yes. He inquired about the young English- are here. " Print the tiling. II — 27 . and was not so agreeable. it is worth nothing. When this people turns against a foreign foe. This led the conversation to Roman and Grecian history. indeed. I cannot forgive him. who He was indeed an odd but important man. November 24. are insuffer. for sending back the manuscript of Goetz von Berlichingen without any praise He must have wanted organs to perceive some objects.

Hence they praise us.418 THE GERMAN CLASSICS able. Neither are our individual heroes inferior to theirs. they only find a material. the French Marshals. no fault but this. the history of our own time is thoroughlygreat and important. never from an acknowledgment of our merits. then talked of the late French literature. and the daily increasing interest in German works manifested by the French. our philosophical Ideality is welcome to them for every Ideal is serviceable to revolutionary aims." We then talked about our own literature. formed by great studies and situations in life. '' Still. such a thing is never thought of. they can only look without for means. vie with any of the heroes of ' ' antiquity." said Goethe. it . and that they cannot find matter in the objective. what ductions of Kotzebue and that they may . especially. Besides. helps his party. What serves the moment. if we only had important personages. seems right to the Frenchman. But. the battles of Leipsic and Waterloo stand out with such prominence that that of Marathon and others like it are gradually eclipsed. and motives. but only w^hen they can strengthen their party by our \T. We Germans may be reproached for a certain formlessness. but neither a solid basis nor piety." translate our writers said Goethe. but in matter we are their superiors. At best. but as for taking the material on its own account. and Wellington. that their subjectivitj'. " The French have understanding and esprit. as I have said. ''do well to study and for. limited as they are both in form . merely because it is poetical. Blucher. *' We The French. and of the obstacles in the way of some of our latest young poets. The theatrical proIflfland are so rich in motives pluck them a long time before all is used up.ews. " have " The majority of our young poets. which corresponds to their own subjectivity. when it is repugnant to the subjectivity. which is similar to themselves.is not important.

If I went over to England." said Goethe. '* to come hither to learn German. Monday. IL. mode of life. and constitution." now no stranger there. ." 1825 consistently with his interest for the English. for here you will quickly and easily acquire. H. language and literature so that I am well acquainted \\'ith your writers. Mr. and I presume I may greeted us cordially. and carry it away with you to England. your ways of living. as I said before. — Goethe." said he. it is the language of conversation. '* But. *' have. not only does our literature m. good-humoredly." Mr. has desired me to introduce great to him the young Englishmen who are here at present. is *' The interest taken in the German language now great. so that there is Englishman of good family who *' We Germans. I should be . but no one can deny that he who now knows German well can dispense with man}' other languages.'s manners and appearance must have made a good impression on Goethe for his sweetness and mild serenity were manifested towards the stranger in their real beauty. January 10. however.erit attention on its own account. H. replied. . been half a century before your nation in this For fifty years I have been busy with the English respect. and Goethe requested us to be seated. Of the French. and is indispensable in . I do not speak. scarcely a young does not learn German. address you in German. and the administration of your country. manners. our soil. He said to Mr. Goethe came *' in. answered with a few polite words. social habits. your young men do well to come to us and learn our language for. not only a " You knowledge of the language. at least as far as our young concerned. climate. After we had waited a few minutes. H. did well. but also of the elements on which it rests. as I hear you are already well versed in our language." Mr.CONVERSxVTIONS WITH ECKERMANN might still 419 lyric poets are go well with us.

that. Frederick the Great did not know Latin." Then. turning the conversation on the theatre. after its kind. when an incorrect expression is made use of in But when I speak. Latin. *' the truth of that remark. we need not spend much time upon the toilsome study of those languages. towards the understanding of the language. and to accommodate itself to foreign peculiarities. makes German translations thoroughly faithful and complete. whether he went frequently thither. gets the start of speaking.' replied. and generally the understanding." said Goethe. with the great flexibility of our language. I succeed pretty well. And it is not to be denied that. because everybody understands it. nothing -will flow. H. jests mth the ladies. we can read the best works of those nations in such excellent translations.420 THE GERMA1>[ CLASSICS traveling. to try to express an opinion on say anything peculiar or luminous. he asked " Mr. a chat at balls." *' '* It is remarkable. unless w^e have German some particular object in view. everything produced by other nations. if I *' I cannot get on. since it is hard enough to express such uncommon matters in one's own mother tongue. and in all countries we can get on with it instead of a good interpreter. But as for Greek. ' . This. " he " and found so much ** I have read Egmont. and I can- not express myself as I wish. any important *' topic." he replied. but by no means express ** it all. and Spanish. But. H. Every ** and find that I thus gain much evening. I understand very well whatever I hear or read . so that a man may very soon comprehend all he hears. It is in the German nature duly to honor." said Goethe. read in German literature." He then asked what Mr. you get on very far with a good translation. that the ear. but he read Cicero in the French translation with as much profit as we who read him in the original.. in general." said Mr. H." I experience daily. and the like. I even feel German. In light conversation at court." Be not discouraged by that. Italian.

^ith * was reading " What is is it. '* ' I ** needed for Tasso. young man of good family. I read in the newspapers that the revolutionary scenes in the Netherlands there described were exactly repeated. ^' I I adhered wrote 'Egmont' in 1775 fifty years ago." said he. ' nearer the tion of its common form is feelings of mankind. also very difficult. on account of his irony. " I would not have advised you to undertake Faust. and goes quite beyond all ordinary feeling. and also because he is a living result of an extensive acquaintance with the world. you will see how you will get through. without * asking my is adv-ice. "will accomplished difficult. and strove Ten years afterwards." he said.' replied Goethe.' It is mad stuff." " Tasso is Yet." said Mr. and that my picture must have some life in it.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN * 421 pleasure in the perusal that I returned to it three times.' too. his internal condition. of Mephistopheles is. 11.. '* Really. and should have been in good society. I saw from this that the world remains ever the same.' but find that it is somewhat ' difficult. — closely to history." men be produced by intercourse with of the higher class. lies far and the elabora- favorable to an easy comprehension ' of it.' on the other hand. Faust so strange an individual that only few can symThen the character pathize vdih. Now I am reading Faust. has afforded me much enjoyment." Amid this and similar conversation. Tasso. thought difficult in and people have wondered to hear me say that Germany. But you will see what lights open upon you. will not find Tasso The conversation turning upon ** Egmont. that one should be no longer a child." " cliiefly A sufficient mind and such as delicacy. Torquato Tasso. But since you have done it of your own accord. was in Rome. the hour for the ." Goethe laughed at these last words. and also with enough outward ^ ' culture. when I to be as accurate as possible.

''makes us all able to appreciate the poetry of other nations." " '' I am. a friendly manner." said he. for instance. where." said I. therefore. had so much native dignity. . and the youth who will lead her home as his bride. He got this here. the parents are congratulated who call her daughter. loves. They are always sajdng. Riemer was acquainted with the topic. H. ** The world. '' seen a pleased with Goethe. and Riemer sat down with us. not only could poems be made. one people lives. they say he must have taken them from the ancients. should those of " poems be unlike? " This in life and said . and feels hke another. Thus there is a situation in Shakespeare." very similarity Riemer. without any knowledge that He mentioned some they had been treated in Servia. If this were not the case. he is always the great man. And ' of his own. and I mentioned some poems by Goethe. according to the table of contents given above. he got that there. but that the same inotives had been already used by the Germans. *' remains always the same.422 THE GERMAN CLASSICS theatre had come.' If. why should not one poet write like another? The situations of life are alike why. situations are repeated. who seem to suppose that poetizing proceeds not from life to the poem. and made the remark that. poems w^hich sensation. We arose. man w^ho. on the sight of a beautiful girl. how he was '* I have never." said Goethe. always surprised at the learned. then. and Goethe dismissed us in As we went homeward. I asked Mr. had occurred to me during the reading. we should never know what foreign poems were about. However he may condescend." Professor Riemer was announced. with all his attractive gentleness. Rehbein took leave. they find passages in Shakespeare which are also to be found in the ancients. The conversation still turned on the motives of the Servian love-poems. but from the book to the poem.

is of no consequence the only point is. much less Byron. a song from Shakespeare. too. — Trans. What is there is mine.' Walter Scott used a scene from my Egmont. * because he did it well. * He ought * to have expressed himself more strongly against them. feel them and utter them every day." and the fact that January. doubtless." * " it is **Ah. when I was writing Faust. he is a child. the own." said Goethe. '' is no wiser. and why should he not? Why should I give myself the trouble of inventing one of my If. too." The greater part of those fine things cited by Lord *' I have never even read. my Mephistopheles sings tainly have fared worse. very ridiculous. Goethe had not actually seen sion. and whether I got it from a book or from life. and did not have them before one's eyes.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 423 because the same thing occurs in Homer. 1824. yes. has taken it from Homer. had to go so far for such things.' he should have said. whether I have made a right use of it.' But Lord Byron is great only as a poet as soon as he reflects. . and I am rather to be praised than censured. that is again quite right. he would cerThus. Shakespeare." Faust to pieces. Mephistopheles. prologue to my Faust is something like the beginning of Job. and quite right too. and . when he takes Byron. rendering it probable that accounts for the inaccuracy of the expres- this poem was not published till it." " Lord said I. *' his own countr\Tnen. from the whim of originality. means the " Deformed Transformed. Lord Byron's transformed Devil* is a continuation of . ' the other there. He has also copied the character of my Mignon in one of his romances but whether ^^'ith equal judgment. forHow odd! As if one sooth." ' ' • This. is another question. he deserves praise. he had departed from the model. did I tliink of them. If.' and he had a right to do so. when this said just what was wanted." said Goethe. He knows not how to help himself against the stupid attacks of the same kind made upon him by ' . and thinks you found one thing here.

who was so interwoven with this The theatre had been the from 1795 to 1800.424 THE GERMAN CLASSICS wine. But now to hear them read aloud in Goethe's presence. and his affluence of words and But in Goethe's mind the epoch of life described phrases. and on the mention of single persons and events. commencing with the . filled out the written That was a narrative by the details he orally gave us." every day brought with it points of contact. '^ " said is almost the he. Riemer paid especial mode of expression and I had occasion to ." said Goethe which words I was very glad to hear. admire his great dexterity. was revived. he himself drank Marienbad water. perhaps in order " Let improve it here and there. and Goethe had full opportunity for the most period. I love it best in the . *' ' Hermann und only one of my never read it without strong interest. of their united efforts. had the pleasure of repeatedly reading and reflecting on the still unpublished record of those years. year 1795. Of all this we talked this evening. and Goethe's best works object " Wilhelm Meister " was combelong to this time. '* Hermann und Dorothea " planned and written. I had already. and he then laid the manuscript before Riemer. — interesting communications.' . He seemed to have appointed this evening for looking over. he revelled in recollections." the '* written by both for Schiller's Musenalmanach. the manuscript of to the continuation of his autobiography. afforded quite a attention to the new enjojTuent. larger poems which still satisfies me I can Dorothea. and Goethe was in the best humor. " Xenien " " Cellini " translated for the " Horen. in point of expression. pleted. who began to read. Eckermann stay and hear it too. but the conversation always poraries came back to Schiller. with Riemer. The most distinguished of his contemprecious evening! were talked over. down to the latest time. in the course of the summer. He sent for a bottle of filled for Riemer and me.

In his letters to me. It has learned much from him. brought close to our eyes. without any express tend* ' . I should think a rich. being led by a higher hand. and at the end of the last century had played a part indeed. it will perhaps be found in the words which Frederic. when he says Thou seem'st to me like Saul. because he was so inferior to his great predecessor. and that is hard. and only one equally great could truly learn of him. the son of Kish. at the end. manifold life. " Schiller blamed me for interwea\dng tragic elements which do not belong to the novel. as we all know." " Wilholni Meister " was often a subject of discourse. despite all his follies and errors. is only for the intellect. reaches some happy goal at last. and as if had returned to its original form.' Keep only to this." said he. in fact. *'is indebted to Wie- its style. but far from a noble one. " He mentioned a journalist who had formed himself on Lessing." We then talked of the high degree of culture which. But if ency. who went out to seek his father's asses. and Goethe ascribed the merit of this not so much to Lessing as to Herder and Wieland. there are most important views and opinions T\ith respect to Wilhelm Meister. Yet he was wrong. To a half faculty he was dai. "All Upper Germany. would be enough in itself. " " was of the Lessing. there it seems to me nobler. which. for. very highest understanding. anything of the sort is insisted upon. and not even right.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN it 425 Latin translation. and the capabiUty of expressing itself correctly is not the . the ' — whole work seems to say nothing more than that man. addresses to the hero.igerous. But this work is one of the most incalculable productions I myself can scarcely be said to have the key to it." said land for least. during the last fifty years. after all. ' ' he. had become general among the middle classes of Germany. and found a kingdom. People seek a central point.

his eyes only were soft." '' Yes. Riemer spoke of " The build of his limbs. snuffed the candles. while he called his own innocent and tri\'ial. interrupted by these and innumerable other observations from Goethe. only in the outside a quiet development from its interior was not within his province. all his motions. ''I of Schiller was latter part of the evening so lively." Many persons against whom the '' Xenien " were directed. it this way and that. After we had read and talked over the manuscript to the end of the year 1800. in ' Tell. and had a little supper placed at one end of the table at which we were sitting. but their names have escaped my memory. I have never seen him eat in the evening. ** were proud. he did not take sufficient pains about motives. that the conversation during the was devoted to him alone. great subject.426 THE GERMAN CLASSICS On mentioning the "Xenien. We partook of it. and intellectually regaled us with the most agreeable conversation. — . when he wanted * to make Gessler. he put aside the papers." said The good effects always read mth admiration. proud He seized boldly on a talent was like his outward form. Trans. filled our glasses. He could never have done. His remembrance he. *'And. his gait in the street." said Goethe. He sat down with us. as he went so boldly to work. but Goethe did not touch a morsel. I recollect what trouble I had with him. which the Xenien had upon the German literature of their time are beyond calculation. indeed. ^' The * Thierkreis * ' ' (Zodiac). which is by Schiller."* he especially praised those of Schiller. Schiller's personal appearance. His talent was desultory. — often changed a part just before a rehearsal. Thus he was never decided ** .' a collec- It need scarcely be mentioned that this is the nani^ given to tion of sarcastic epigrams by Goethe and Schiller. and handled But he saw his object. and turned it this way and that." said he. as it were. everything else about him was And his and majestic. only the eyes were soft. which he called sharp and biting. were mentioned on this occasion.

enjo}dng the effect which the sentence would produce on Egmont. It '* Rameau's contained an opinion of Goethe's notes to exhibit French literature at that time. I. and I urged him to give at least some motive to tliis barbarity. My Eugenie is nothing but a chain of motives. on the other hand. odd man. *' Schiller's genius was really made for the theatre. kept my pieces from the * theatre. tion." which •"Die XatEirliche Tochter " (the Natural Daughter ). among my treasures.' which never quite * left him even in his prime. would have nothing of the sort: but at last he yielded to my arguments and intentions. His letters are the fairest memorials of him wliich I possess. " You see. Thus Alva was malice. and say that he could shoot an apple from a tree at a hundred paces. . and did as I advised him. "With every piece he progressed. and prevented the appari- He was a great. It was a very fine letter. See and read it. by making the boy boast to Gessler of his father's dexterity. at first. to show himself insatiable in revenge and however. by too great attention to motives." said Goethe. I read the letter " how aloud to Riemer. that in the prison scene in my Egmont. and this cannot succeed on the stage. giving to me. ' ' but. and which he had given Schiller to look over.— TroTj^. and they are also among the most excellent of his writings.' whore the sentence is read to him. strange to say. and have it shot from the boy's head. This was quite against my nature. " Everv week he became different and more finished: each time that I saw him." said he. written in a bold hand. and became more finished. I still recollect perfectly well." He rose and fetched it it. masked and muffled in a cloak. I. protested. a certain love for the horrible adhered to him from the time of the Robbers.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 427 abruptly break an apple from the tree. he seemed to me to have advanced in learning and judgment. His last letter I preserve as a sacred ** relic. Scliiller. Schiller would have made Alva appear ' in the background. apt and Nephew.

enough enough '' Till lately. — I found Goethe in a very ele- mood this evening. divined by the great mind of the Romans. He was a splendid man. when Goethe expressed himself as follows: Deficiency of character in individual investigators and writers is. us of something great. Schiller died on the 9th of May. to be — of latelv. until it was nearly eleven o'clock. when the Emperor Frederic the Second was at variance with the Pope. this defect produces mischief to the world. Goethe bestowed several other words of affectionate reminiscence Tliis letter is upon his friend. but are to be regarded as fables and fictions. " the source of all the evils of our * ' newest literature. and had the pleasure of hearing from him many significant remarks. We talked about the state of the newest literature. when the . But now comes your historical criticism. October vated 15. and went from us in all the fulness of his strength. and that the handwriting nowhere betrays any trace of weakness. or that *' by a would be pitiful truth deprives better. dated the 24th of April." We looked at the letter by turns. for it either diffuses the false instead of the true. and the north of Germany was open to all sorts of hostile attacks. and were pleased both with the clear style and the fine handwriting. Asiatic hordes had actually penetrated as far as Silesia. Wednesday.428 consistent THE GEEMAN CLASSICS is his judgment. What are we to do with Lucretia a this belief." he said. *^ In criticism. especially. by Mucins ScaBvola warmed and inspired. we should at least be great to believe them. Till and suffered itself. I was always pleased with a great fact in the thirteenth century. the world believed in the heroism of a — so pitiful a truth? If the Romans w^ere great to invent such stories. and says that those persons never lived. and we departed. 1805.

Such are the masses and the prominent individuals are not better.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN Duke 429 of Liegnitz terrified them by one great defeat." After these remarks on historical critics. Goethe spoke of another class of seekers and literarv men. but were here defeated bv Count These vaUant men had on this account been Sternberg. if I had not tested them by my scientific researches. and that they may shine as wits before the short-sighted multitude. but they are also full of vanity. so that only such as they might be of importance in it. They then turned to Moravia. For how was he great. they would fain drive it from the world. in firmness? There are many men except in character as clever and as cultivated. " 's great talents and world-embracing learning might have done much for his countrv." said he. and tolerates another. — — nothing is sacred to them. *' ** have known so well how I could never. There. . they have no shame or delicacy In belles lettres it is . because he is by him cherished and True greatness is hateful to them. But his want of character has deprived the world of such great results. high aims and genuine love for the true and sound. Thus I saw that most men care for science only so far as they get a li^dng by it. and himself of the esteem of the countrv. Thus is a great national crippled and destroyed. but where is such character? " Many are full of esprit and knowledge. and that they worship even error when *' it affords them a subsistence. tolerated in return. and says that these heroes sacrificed themselves quite uselessly. fact paltry men are. as the Asiatic array was already recalled. too. living in my heart as the great saviors of the Ger- man nation. which seems to me most abominable. are very rare phenomena. '* We want a man like Lessing. and would have returned of its own accord. But now comes historical criticism. and how little they care for really high aims. no better. and for their One man cherishes diffusion.

they have been of the greatest injury. ''After all. how little we know. ********** — Some time since. and was sorry that I But now circumstances have so altered. but to find out where the problem begins. what do we know. which I will impart to you. and then to restrain himself mthin the limits of the comprehensible. . and how far can we go Tsith all ' ' our wit? is born not to solve the problems of the universe. by reason endeavor. if I had done so. '' If we grant freedom to man. that. and hence we see . . but a vain man and the reason of the Deity are two very different things. and to show that it is not good to meddle with divine mysteries. Clever as they all may be. I should have made a greater one. I must act so perforce. *' His faculties are not sufficient to measure the actions of the universe and an attempt to explain the outer world Man . we should only utter higher maxims so far The rest we should keep as they can benefit the world. is. . nor the right contrary to what is bad frequently the reverse takes place. "within ourselves. and they will diffuse over our actions a lustre like the mild radiance of a hidden sun. ^^ith his The reason of narrow point of view. the world has derived no profit from them they afford a foundation for nothing. Nay." " I have of late made an obserSunday. " Moreover. " But that ^vhich is Everything w^e do has a result. since they have confused men and robbed them of their needful support. and prudent does not always lead to good. there is an end to the omniscience of God for if the Divinity knows how I shall I give this merely as a sign act. had not made Such that very mistake.430 ' ' THE GERMAN CLASSICS Madame de Genlis was therefore perfectly right when she declaimed against the freedoms and profanities of Voltaire. I made a mistake in one of these trans- actions with booksellers. vation. instances occur frequently in Ufe. December 25.

" '* In this poem. and then mentioned the peculiar situations in this elegy. some give Alexis a servant to carry his bundle. *' imagination may be cultivated. that poem would be incomplete if it were not introduced at I mvself knew a voung man who. you have ' appears as true as if you had worked from actual experience. is so manifestly an ingredient of the affair. never thinking that all that was poetic and idyllic in the situation would thus have been destroyed. and by which their described. would have had me ** Alexis and Dora. and would have liked the elegy to end gently and peacefully. cried out. in this elegy. however. *' people have blamed the strong. oddly enough. without that outbreak of jealousy. who know this. as they wholly want the poetic spirit. in the midst of his * impassioned love for an easily-won maiden. then turned the conversation to some of his works. and. going to work with great freedom and boldness." '* There are odd critics in this said Goethe. few men who have imagination for the truth of reality." hero of this novel live so much in bad company. of which they know nothing." the conversation then turned " Wilhelm Meister.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN men I I 431 of the world. where. passionate conclusion." in their requisitions." said I." " I am " There glad it seems so to you. Jealousy the all. all is so w^ell delineated that we think we see the whole life and domestic environment of " What the persons engaged in the action. are. But would she not act to another as she has acted to me? " I agreed entirely with Goethe. but I could not see that they were right. ** they blamed me for letting the world." said Goethe. " Then there are others who cling altogether to reality. are too severe For instance. but by this very circumstance that I considered this so-called bad com- From to . with so few strokes and in so narrow a space." said Goethe. which was new to me. most prefer strange countries and circumstances. and we came to the elegy "Alexis and Dora." was struck by this remark.

' but that is not sapng much.432 THE GERMAN CLASSICS pany as a vase into wMch I could put everything I had to say about good society.' there ' is always something higher at bottom. There is no motive in human life wliich he has not exhibited and And all with what ease and freedom expressed But we cannot talk about Shakespeare everything I have touched upon the subject in my is inadequate. as applied to p. Each page embraced. and a Had I. Wilhelm Meister. t These plays were intended to be in the Shakesperian style. nobody would have read the book. knowledge of the world. just as by " Trans. Egmont. let it suffice to receive the picture of life as real life. Werther " he freed himself from thoughts of suicide. I gained a poetical body."t and get rid of him by writing Goetz. the whole visible ! ! ' ' . dies thus passed before the mind like processions of masks. in six small designs. world was too narrow. A productive nature* ought not to read more than one of his dramas in I did well to a vear if it would not be wrecked entirelv. writing — — . '' In the seeming trivialities of Wilhelm Meister. and power For of comprehension to perceive the great in the small. those who are without such qualities." Goethe then showed me a very interesting English work. a person. on the contrary. where a remark is made on Trans. . these little pictures. 185. varied one into the bargain. '' '' to look through It is even terrifjdng. so that the leading idea and the most important situations of each work were brought All these immortal tragedies and comebefore the eyes. "He is even too rich and too powerful. and nothing is required but eyes. Thus are we first made to feel the infinite wealth and grandeur of Shakespeare. He is not a theatrical poet he never thought of the stage it was far too narrow for liis great mind: nay. one piece mth some verses written beneath." said Goethe. which illustrated all Shakespeare in copper plates.' and ' ' * Tide the word nature. delineated good society by the so-called good society. ' . and Goethe means that by writing them he freed himself from Shakespeare.

We get.' and think this would be no bad name for them. ** ** had had an opporIf Lord Byron. the one in which he shows most understanding with play. unfortunately. but going his *' 433 much respect and admiraown way. " We * Vol. piece. and was delighted with this admirable simile." said Goethe. he kept "within himself all his feelings against his nation.' said Goethe. the silver dishes by studying his works. call a great part of Byron's — works of negation suppressed parliamentary speeches. describing a representation of Macbeth at Berlin.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN Byron did well by not having too tion for hira. read materials of the * Iliad in his own fasliion. the letter gained its full effect. But. Goethe then read me a letter from Zelter. therefore. he would have been much more pure as a poet. By Goethe's reading. of working off all the opposition in his character." We then mentioned one of our most modern German poets. *' ** is Shakespeare's best acting Macbeth. II — 28 . and to free himself from them. where the music could not keep pace with the grand spirit and character of the as Zelter set forth by various intimations. ' But would you see his mind unfetrespect to the stage. we have only potatoes to put into them. but. How many excellent ! Germans have been ruined bv him and Calderon Shakespeare gives us golden apples in silver dishes. I could. indeed. and the frequent and generally not unjust blame wliich he drew upon himself by his manifold works of negation. and he often paused to admire ^ith me the point of some single passage." I laughed.' where he treats the tered. he had no other means than to express them in poetical form. Platen. who had lately gained a great ilame. Troilus and Cressida. as he scarcely ever spoke in parliament. and whose negative tendency was likewise disapproved. tunity by a number of strong parliamentary speeches." * ' in The conversation turned upon Byron the disadvantage which he appears when placed beside the innocent cheerfulness of Shakespeare.

in his later life it Freedom is an odd thing. and thus we may apply to him the maxim of the apostle Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels. Conversations Lexicon. Platen. making many hasty remarks as he proceeded. : — Schiller's life! " Goethe took down the I could not say with certainty. and it may be said he has not his equal in German or any He has almost everything that Lord other literature. and every man has enough . readers and his fellow-poets as little as he loves himself. I am become as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. he is deficient in love. and wonder what he would have said to Did Byron publish anything during so congenial a mind. January 18. I wish Schiller had lived to know Lord Bvron's works. In his youth it was physical freedom which was *' occupied him. and read the article on Byron.434 THE GERMAN CLASSICS '' that he has many brilliant cannot deny. and will be the effect which he ought. and that therefore Schiller could have seen nothing of his. and influenced his poems ideal freedom. The conversation now turned wholly on Schiller. as I said. though this idea assumed a new shape as Schiller advanced in his culture and became another man. — — * idol of those who would like to be as negative as himself. and have not love (charity). It appeared that Byron had published nothing before 1807.'* said Goethe. but Lord Byron is his superior in knowledge of the world. Byron has. . lie loves his but he is wanting in love. and cannot deny his great talent. " Through all Schiller's works." continued Goethe." 1827 Thursday evening. qualities. but have not his talent." I have lately read the poems of But. and Goethe proceeded thus " Schiller's proper productive talent lay in the ideal. and thus he will never produce the He mil be feared. ** goes the idea of freedom.

and work at his craft. through the open door. when he restrains himself within the limits which man The nobleplacing him in that rank. he may feel himself his equal. when he had enough physical freedom. is God appointed by consists not in refusing to recognize anything above us. if 435 fluity he can only satisfy himself. What have I done with my spacious house. . and works of art. as free as the prince. in which. That this physical freedom gave Schiller so much trouble in his youthful years. nobleman. and they are rendered still narrower by necessary furniture. but they would have been so if thev had known how to value and treat me. and by our very acknowledgment make manifest that we bear within ourselves what is higher. I have lived in them all the winter. but they are enough for me. and are worthy to be on a level with it. and the liberty of going from one room to another. was caused partly by the nature of his mind. he passed over to the ideal. which we must fulfil. for. In later days. books. Then all of us are only free under certain conThe citizen is as free as the ditions. scarcely entering my front rooms. who fancied they were my equals. and I would almost say that this idea killed him. w^hen I have not found it requisite to make use of them? '' If a man has freedom enough to live healthy. we raise ourselves to it. my journeys. but still more by the restraint which he endured at the military school. by this method. if they rudely seated themselves next me at table. since it led him to make demands on his physical nature " which were too much for his strength. you see my bed. nothing of the kind. often north of Germany. " I on met merchants from the Freedom have. but in respecting something which is above us. he has enough. for. and so much all can easily obtain. by respecting it. if he will but observe a few ceremonies at court. They were.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN of it. What avails a superof freedom which we cannot use? Look at this chamber and the next. Neither of them is large. manuscripts.

of Alexander von Humboldt. in such hours of bodily weakness. produced something. he was obliged. and never availed himself of it. for he. and to accomplish this." said Goethe. " has. and similar discourse on Lord Byron and the celebrated German authors. know how much good may proceed from it. that I might study it quietly at home. Schiller declined tins last offer. at any rate. for he wrote them on those days when he had not strength to find the right and true motives. w^hose work on Cuba and Colombia he had begun to read and whose views as to the project for making a passage through the Isthmus of Panama appeared to have a '* Humboldt.436 *' THE GEEMAN CLASSICS The Grand Duke fixed on Schiller. .V paired his health. and was like\NT. I I have every respect for the categorical imperative. but one must not carry it too far.' But as his family enlarged of late years. works I deduce from this source. This habit im. the hours of evening passed swiftly along. I would call pathological passages. Wednesday. he forced himself to write days and weeks when he was not well." Amid these interesting remarks. * . powers by the use of spirituous liquors. for then this idea of ideal freedom certainly leads to no good. of whom Schiller had said that he liked Kotzebue best.se injurious to his proThe faults which some wiseacres find in his ductions. I have talent. February 21. to write two dramas annually. Dined with Goethe. when he was estab- lished here.' ' and must help myself. with a great knowledge of his subject. He spoke much. He would have his talent obey him at any hour. and Goethe gave me the novel. and "uith admiration. he was obliged to stimulate his said he. He never drank much he was very temperate but. All the passages which they say are not what they ought to be. and offered to give him twice as much in case he should be hindred by sickness from working. an income of one thousand dollars yearly. given other — . for a livelihood. particular interest for him.

will. be foreseen that along the whole coast of the Pacific Ocean. where nature has already formed the most capacious and secure harbors. repeat. civilized and unci\'ilized. I should Avish to see England ! in possession of a canal Would I could live to see through the Isthmus of Suez. both by merchant-ships and men-of-war. but almost necessary. in thirty or forty years. decided predilection to the West. and expensive voyage round Cape Horn. And thirdly. for the furtherance of a great intercourse between China and the East Indies and the United States.MANN points where. they succeed in cutting such a canal that ships of any burden and size can be navigated through it from the Mexican Gulf to the Pacific Ocean. it would not only be desirable. But this undertaking is so gigantic *' Would — — consider our that I have doubts of its completion. that. with its ally arise. spirit. that a more rapid communication should be maintained between the eastern and western shores of North America. by 437 making use of some streams which flow into the Gulf of Mexico. and for an enterprising would result to the whole human race. In such a case. It mav. . innumerable future. and lastly. that it is absolutely indispensable for the United States to effect a passage from the Mexican Gulf to the Pacific Ocean and I am certain that they wall do it. I should like to see another thing a junction of the Danube and the Rhine. have occupied and peopled the large tract of land bevond the Rockv Mountains. particularly when I German resources. these three great works it would be well wortli the trouble to last some fifty years more for the very purpose. that I might live to see it! but I shall not. is certain. however. But I should wonder if the United States were to let an opportunity escape of getting such work into benefits It may be foreseen that this young state. important commercial towns will gradu- their own hands. furthermore. disagreeI therefore able. than has hitherto been possible vrith the tedious.COXVERSATIOXS WITH ECKER. the end may be perhaps better All this is reserved for the attained than at Panama. if So much." .

during the first ten years of my official and court life at Weimar. while for other people it is far more obscure than the work upon which they intended to throw a light. " He has studied most profoundly the changing course of my earthly career. Ampere in the *' Parisian Globe " of last year. seized upon the history of Tasso. from and in the consideration and discussion of a philosophy. thoroughly. and what. from the painful and troublesome He impressions and recollections of my life at Weimar. as part of myself. *' Then. Thursday. shows himself quite Like one who knows his profession practical and popular. poetical production proceed in a manner that what they intend as an elucidation is only intelligible to philosophers of their own school. and this affected Goethe so agreeably that he very often recurred to it. in a manner no less excellent. Goethe often spoke of M. — The highly successful translation of Goethe's dramatic works." said he. How truly has he remarked that. on the contrary. We took a decided interest in . I scarcely did anything. and that I there. and of the condition of my mind. so to speak. and a similar spirit of acknowledgment. concerning Faust. with new delight in producing. by Stapfer. M. was noticed by Monsieur J. discontented striving of the principal character. he shows the relation between the production and the producer. by the treatment of this agreeable subject. J. Ampere. the gloomy. that despair drove me to Italy. and judges the different poetical prosimilar occasions start "Ampere's point of view When German critics on is a very high one. therefore very happily calls Tasso an elevated Werther." In this. Ampere. ductions as different fruits of different epochs of the poet's life. since he not only notes. his remarks are no less clever. could only be read between the lines. but also the scorn and the bitter irony of Mephistopheles. in order to free myself. and has had the faculty of seeing what I have not expressed.438 THE GERMAN CLASSICS May 3. and expressed his great obligations to '' it.

properly so called. * . extremely surprised when M. another in Konigsberg. who wrote excellent pieces in his twentieth year but that any one at so early an age should have at his command such a comprehensive view. and proved to be a least some twenty years old. for instance. were only young people like liiraself. as to attain such mature judgment as the gentlemen of the Globe. moderation. *' I can well comprehend. we derive very little culture. But now conceive a city like Paris. so that personal contact and personal exchange of thought may be considered as rarities. — Trans. where the highest talents of a great kingdom are all assembled in a single * This doubtless born. in your Heath. in Central Germany. therefore. we endeavored to picture to ourselves his personal appearance. and high degree of cultivation often admired. we at agreed that he must be a man of middle age to understand the reciprocal action of life and poetry on each other.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 439 him. whose wdsdom." said I. another in Berlin. " that a person may be young and may still produce something of importance like Merimee. and we were no less surprised when. and. Our talents and men of brains are scattered over the whole of From Germany. have been forced to buy our little \\'isdom dearly enough. and such deep insight." '' To you. "We were. I feel what tliis must be. another in Bonn or Diisseldorf all about a hundred miles apart from one another.' is to me something entirely new. when such men as Alexander von Humboldt come here. in the course of further intercourse. refers to the Heath country in which Eckermann was . if we could not succeed in this. " it has not been so easy and we others also. he told us that the whole of the contributors to the *' Globe. Ampere arrived in Weimar a few days ago. One is in Vienna. we had — ."* returned Goethe." lively youth. Then we all lead a very isolated miserable sort of life ! the people. and in one — single day lead me nearer to what I am seeking and what I require to know than I should have done for years in my own '* solitary way.

at one time a poor printer's apprentice.' his Schiller was very young when he wrote his RobLove and Intrigue.' his Fiesco. of intellect as cannot be found twice in a single spot in the whole world. and where some historical event is connected vnth every corner of a street. Voltaire. in a youthful man. He is the son of poor parents. and the great difficulty which we all experience in assisting ourselves on our solitary way. mutually instruct and advance each other. on the whole. when so young as Merimee. are open to daily inspection. where every walk over a bridge or across a square recalls some mighty past. '* that you could well understand how any one in his twentieth year could write pieces as good as those of Merimee. all this. and the like. strife. then placed in some office with a small salary. can easily be something in his four-and-twentieth year. who has grown up amid such abundance. but the Paris of the nineteenth century. conceive not the Paris of a dull. both of nature and art. all three pieces are rather the utterances of an extraordinary talent than signs of mature cultivation in the author." said Goethe. to speak ' ' ' the truth. where the best works. This. such men as Moliere. the descendant of a poor tailor. during three generations. But. I say. one had better not. from all the kingdoms of the conceive this metropearth. '' You said just now. but rather the result of the state of culture of his nation. Diderot. olis of the world. in Germany. THE GERMAN CLASSICS and by daily intercourse.440 spot. however. I have nothing to oppose to this and I am. and yet his songs are so full of mature . in which. attempt to produce anything Clara Gazul. he has never been to a classical school or university. take up Beranger. is not Scliiller's fault. bers.' so mature as he has done in his pieces of * It is true.' but. and emulation. have kept up such a current — In addition to spiritless time. and you will comprehend that a man of talent like Ampere. quite of your opinion that good productiveness is easier than good judgment . *' On the other hand.

How is he great. not only of France. the orators. we ought rather to admire the period and the nation in which their production was possible than the indi\ddual authors for though each of these pieces differs a little from every other. and brought up in this metropolis of the world the son of a poor tailor in Jena or Weimar. but. and though one of these poets appears somewhat greater and more finished than the other. so full of wit and the most refined ironv. Now. fitness. But imagine this same Beranger instead of being born in Paris. pure. view of the case. ** — — — good friend. to be speedily ** my current in a nation. but of all civilized Europe. only one decided character runs through the whole. still. in an equally miserable manner. soundness. " This is the character of grandeur. and is such artistic perfection and masterly handling of the ian2:uag'e that ho is the admiration. we must feel convinced that such qualities did not merely belong to individuals. not only in the dramatic works that have come down to us but also in lyrical and epic works. sublime thought. the great point is that a great deal of intellect and sound culture should be Therefore. if a talent is and happily developed. except through the circumstance that the whole songs of his predecessors " . strong intuition. I repeat that. but were the current property of the nation and the whole period. to take a correct .CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN there 441 cultivation. elevated wisdom. take up Burns. taking all things together. and let him commence his career. then ask yourself what fruit w^ould in such small places have been produced by this same tree grown in such a soil and in such an atmosphere. and the historians. and whatever other qualities one might enumerate. But when we find all these qualities. and in an equally high degree in the works of plastic art that have come down to us. admire the tragedies of the ancient Greeks. in the philosophers. " We human perfection.

and that it " long since they were barbarians. sung at his cradle. ! of Scotland of — — how many lived among the people in the days Herder and his successors first began to them and rescue them from oblivion. how many live? Pergirl haps one or another of them may be sung by a pretty to the piano . more lately. that his own songs at once found susceptible ears amongst his compatriots that. and that his boon-companions sang them to welcome him at the alehouse? Something was certainly to be done in this way.442 lived in the THE GERMAN CLASSICS mouth of the people that they were. quite in accordance with the general fate poets. that * will appreciate beauty by a beautiful song. sung by reapers and sheafbinders. then they were at least printed in the libraries. . of German Of my own songs. they With what sensations must I remember to when passages from Tasso were sung ! me by Italian fishermen We Germans are of yesterday. that. but from this. as a boy. why is he great. and they remain in the my youth? collect libraries. and the high excellence of these models so — pervaded him that he had therein a living basis on which he could proceed further? Again. the time *' among the people. what songs have not Biirger and Voss composed! "Who can say that they are more insignificant or less popular than those of the excellent Burns? but which of them so lives among us that it greets us from the mouth of the people? They are written and printed.' they T\dll be inspired will be said of them it is . but have no sound. so to speak. they at once greeted him in the field. '* On the other hand. Then. We have indeed been properly cultivated for a century but a few centuries more must still elapse before so much mind and elevated culture will become universal amongst our people that they like the Greeks. properly so called. he grew up amongst them. what a pitiful figure is made by us Germans Of our old songs no less important than those .

from which we appropriate to ourselves what we can. which he has eaten. and swine. . and receives it wherever it finds it. and seek to trace out the sources from whence he obtained his cultivation. I owe much to the Greeks and '* French. years. to attach the slight- est importance to the solution of such questions. and Goldsmith. and which have given him '* " That is strength. They are now squabbling about some verses. well question a strong man about the oxen. December 16." said I. which are printed both in Schiller's works and mine. doubt the originaUty of this or that celebrated man." *' we might as very ridiculous." said Goethe. sheep." often happens in the Sometliing similar. and under reciprocal obligations. AVe talked on various literary alone. What matters the mine and thine? One must be *' a thorough Phihstine. *' have made many distiches together. and Schiller made the verse sometimes We . the contrary was the case. said he. sometimes I gave the thought.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 443 I dinod to-day with Goethe Tuesday. cannot cease to be Philistines. topics. and what is suitable to us. indeed. in habits of daily inter- tigation — as . What is important is to have a soul which loves truth. and fancy it is important to ascertain which really belong to Schiller and which to me as if anything could be gained by such inves* ' * * ' ' if the existence of such things were not Friends. but we owe our development to a thousand influences of the great world. — The Germans. in his work-room. Sterne. . literary world. with the same interests. intimate for enough. live so completely in each other that it is hardly possible to decide to which of the two the particular thoughts belong. when people. but in saving this I do not show the sources of my culture that would be an endless as well as an unnecessary task. such as Schiller and I. and I the other. course. I am infinitely indebted to Shakespeare. We are indeed born \\\i\\ faculties. for instance. sometimes he made one line.

the world is now so old. coupled with remarks that this was to be adhered to because it was the view generally adopted. Plato. nor do I see what use or pleasure is to be derived from a doctrine in which all thought stands still. but then followed. First came the correct view of Leonardo da Vinci. in and easy in the feeling that has a decided majority on its side. a short time ago. What the Newtonians mean when they say that the air has the property of absorbing other colors. In periodicals and cyclopaedias. in schools fact. I could not help laughing with surprise when I heard '* " every illuminated Every wax-taper. because error is repeatedly preached among us. is quite everyv\diere. it and universities. They are satisfied if *' '' they have only words wMch they can pass . that I have said it again. any many other excellent men. not only by individuals. that has anything dark behind it. these people do not care a jot about thoughts and observations. but by the masses. and of repelling blue alone. too. I cannot at all understand. Leonardo da Vinci. I read in an " English cyclopaedia the doctrine of the origin of Blue. every morning mist. and that I have striven to bring the truth once more into a con- fused world." this. as quietly as possible. and all sound observation completely vanishes." said Goethe. Even my theory of colors is not entirely new." My good innocent friend. Often. that there is little new to be discovered or expressed. that I have found it also. and makes me comprehend the blueness of the sky. and stick to the latter. have before me found and expressed the same thing in a detached form: my merit is. cloud of smoke from the kitchen. so many eminent men have lived and thought for thousands of years. error prevails. the error of Newton. ** The truth must be repeated over and over again. daily convinces me of the origin of blue color.444 i ( THE GERMAN CLASSICS Besides. when it lies before a steady spot. people teach truth and error together." I said. Thus.

and I shall go on printing as long as I have anything to say against false doctrine. On the whole. and those who disseminate it. and collect an infinite number. . and had dwelt especially upon two of them. Goethe recited tliis passage laughing. by means of all sorts of poetical forms and artifices. and master the particulars that make their appearance. " I myself set some value on these two poems. " We have now excellent men rising up in natural '* and I am glad to science. and seemed alto*' It is a good thing. by which notliing is proved." A short visit interrupted our discourse. above all. among which I especially praise the expedient of * making the " old man tell " the childu This poem is simply entitled Guter! du Alter herein!" Trans.. again. predominating subjectivity leads them astray." he continued. '' a very copious subject is brought into a very limited compass. public although been able to make much out of them." I said. Thus through the safe gate you will go Into the fane of certainty. For wlion ideas begin to fail A word will aptly serve your turn. you stick to words. — Ballade. their * ' Others. Others begin well. but afterwards fall off. gether in the best humor. see them. there is a want of originating mind to penetrate back to the original phenomena. that all is already in print. but when we were again alone the conversation returned to poetry. and I told Goethe that I had of late been once more studying his little poems. set too much value on facts." and begins Herein." said he." '' In the ballad. after a pause.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN as current. * about the children and the old man." said " the German have hitherto not Goethe. the ballad the ** Happy Couple " {die glilchlichen Gatten). and viz." etc. as 445 was well shown and not : ill-expressed by my own Mepliistoplieles " Mind.

I." " before I wrote it down. pretty enough." '* '' " continued Goethe. an actual presence. It was. . and nothing could be more perfect." said Goethe." said I. and had been so admirably studied that the dialogue moved along as glibly as possible." " '' then came to the (citizengenBiirgergeneral had been lately eral) with respect to which I said that I reading this piece with an Englishman. both said felt the stage. I should not think there were many better or more thankful parts in the repertoire.446 THE GERMAN CLASSICS down to the point is dren's past history moment comes eyes. years of reflection are comprised in it. strongest desire to see it represented on the *'As far as the spirit of the work is concerned." in. to the utmost extent that can be desired The scene where he comes in with the for a theatre. We ." said Goethe. a clearness.' ing I think. is likewise rich in motives. which is diffused over the whole. ^' The part of Schnaps. The ending of the whole pleasantry mth a double christen- The poem of the ' Happy Couple. *' seems to me no less felicitous. where knapsack. as in the whole piece. and produces the things one after another. whole landscapes and passages of human hfe appear in it. There is in this personage. indeed." not It was a very good piece in its time. there a touch that does not seem designed for the stage. am glad that you have regarded it ^^dth particular interest. and that we had is. and I made three or four trials before I could reduce it to its present shape. warmed by the sunlight of a charming spring sky. Whole said Goethe." " and I *' I have always liked that poem. and the rest where the present developed before our *' I carried the ballad a long time about in my head." '* there is nothing antiquated about it. excellently cast. and caused us many a pleasant evening. and with is respect to the details of dramatic development. Indeed. Malcolmi played Marten.

" The question whether the *' Blirgergeneral " could still be played with any interest or profit. to the no small delight of our actors." moment." " " he bore himself like a man of Yes. it I found it. and which I cannot lay aside. and we never find that any majesty can embarrass his free mind even for a graceful. uniform. over again. on their flight." said Goethe." said Goethe. *' used always to be very Then the knapsack. " his relations to all the great and mighty of the world. and remark with pleasure the distinguished position taken by himself. and ''And we see." said I." ** *' all is good which is written Indeed. clear. and I told him that I still took up A'oltaire from time to time. and sword. But you are right to give so much time to those little poems addressed to persons." *' This scene. The articles it contained were just the same as in the piece. and decks himself with the cap of liberty. when the emigrants. which I read over and persons. had articles in my passed through. and the knapsack. and one of them might have lost it or thrown it away. bright. was for a while the subject of our conversation. was always introduced. There is not a line which is not full of thought. in the time of the Revolution. on travels along the French border. . with all its appurtenances. he ever rank. had really an historical existence. Goethe then asked about my progress in French literature.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 447 he puts the moustache on Marten." said I. And with all his freedom and audacity. I still short know but little poems addressed to '' I keep to his of him. is among the best. ** and that the great talent of this man gave me the purest delight. they are unquestionably among the most charming of his w^orks." said Goethe. with the successful on our stage. by so great a genius as Voltaire. I wrote the scene upon it. though I cannot excuse all his profanity. inasmuch as he seems to feel himself equal to the highest.

et j'osais vous le dire. standing. when he had been for some time on a visit to Madame du Chatelet. Les Dienx e mon reveil ne m'ont pas tout ote." '' How pretty that is! And never did poet have his talent so completely at command every moment as Voltaire. finished. for a refusal so Voltaire at once called for and wrote the piece. upon the mantle- poem of perhaps twenty lines. ' * from which I perceived with delight that even Byron had .448 THE GERMAN CLASSICS kept within the limits of strict propriety." said I. which is." am very desirous to read it. It is a The case was too delicate pen and paper. I remember an anecdote.^^ Does your excellency. *' " I indeed. saying still more. It has only lately come to light. princesse. and he recited the " Je vous aimais. perfectly suited to the occasion. afterwards Queen of Sweden. perhaps. that in those poems of Voltaire's." said I. " whether I doubt." said Goethe. Just as he was going away. them a prologue. she has repeatedly assured me. who wished to play the Death of Julius Caesar on the birth-day of their abbess. thoroughly digested. and. I may cite the Empress of Austria as an authority in such matters. of which many may still be scattered about among private persons. by saying that he dreamed of being elevated to the royal " dignity? '' '^ It is lines — one of his best. of the very best class. he received a letter from a great number of young girls in a neighboring convent. a pretty declaration of love. '* remember the short poem in which he makes to the Princess of Prussia. and begged ' ' him to write . he wrote hundreds of such poems. in short. you will find it in your collection. and. and the carriage was standing at the door." said I." said Goethe. Je n'ai perdu que mon empire. there is no trace of crossing the line of convenance." " I found of late a passage in Lord Byron. desired prologue.

set up in golden letters. We should take care not to be always looking for it in the decidedly pure and moral. study. I very much doubt whether a decided gain for pure human culture is to be derived from his writings. '' knew too well where anything Byron." 12. Vol." said I. *' the audacity and grandeur of Byron must certainly tend towards culture. ' ' " To all I agree that your excellency says of Byron. in contradiction to my * Denn Wenn (' es muss zu nichts zerfallen im Seyn beharren will. to my annoyance." '' There I must contradict you. Lagrange. and remarkable that poet may be as a genius." The conversation then turned entirely upon Byron and several of his works. (No being can dissolve to nothing). and Goethe found occasion to repeat many of liis former expressions of admiration for that great genius.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 449 an extraordinary esteem for Voltaire. was to be got. and make use of Voltaire. " Kein Wesen kann zu nichts zerf alien " noble poem. 11 — 29 ." The conversation turned on the great mathematician. Everything that is great promotes cultivation as soon as we are aware of it." said alles he. whose excellent character Goethe highly extolled. and was too clever not to draw from this '' universal source of light. from the bottom of my heart but. which he had lately written. We may see in his works how much he liked to read. and which my Berlin friends. to nothing For all it must melt away continue still Would to be') — which are stupid. on the occasion of the late assembly of natural philosophers." said Goethe. '^ Thursday.' etc." said Goethe. however great . February — Goethe read me the thoroughly ** I Unes — wrote this poem.

who sang an aria too weakly and sentimentally. at first.' "The awful and said Goethe. a consequence of the efforts made in Germany to get Painters. but he has now fought through it all and enjoys the entire confidence and favor of the court. natural pliilosophers. ''of seeing " suitable music composed for Faust. and even to make dra\vings of entablatures. He has adhered to me and I to him. musicians." said Goethe. My h\T)othesis is. all are weak." '' Yet I do not give up the hope. I had a certain advantage over the professional people. but. he always works morally for the salvation of the world. as poet. complains that the performance of the oratorio of the Messiah was spoiled for him by one of his female scholars. and the general mass is no better. that it is rid of the French. but liim fifty years ago then talked about Goethe's own architectural knowlI remarked that he must have acquired much in edge. philosopher. sculp- tors. He had. here among ourselves. a great man. Coudray is one of the most skilful architects of our time. If I had '* may be. The building of the castle here in Weimar advanced me more than anything. Italy gave me an idea of earnestness and greatness. " but no practical skill. I was obliged to assist." said he." We '' '' in which he I have a letter from him." continued Goethe. He says little in general society. I am glad. poets. For when a good man is gifted with account. you have seen what an excellent mind and character reside in the man." said I." said he. artist. Weakness is a characteristic of our age. because I was superior to talked of Zelter. ''Quite impossible!" ' . them in intention. or in whatever way it " that you had an opportunity yesterday of knowing Coudray better. ! known We '' Italy. with but few exceptions. and this has been of ser\^ce to us both. talent. much opposition to encounter.450 '' THE GEEMAN CLASSICS He was a good *' and on that very man.

who has It In answer to inquiries he gives news now become a celebrated man. ' ' Sunday. published entire the second act of the second part of " Faust. whom he does not recognize." which till after Goethe's death. * he is too much engaged with the Italian theatres. that the doors spring open and the walls tremble. and finds in Faust's seat Mepliistopheles. Today. He pulls the bell. must be borne le in " Robert t Diable. and a thousand moths and insects flutter out from it. 1831. while Faust lies beliind a curtain in a state of paralysis. the locality is brought very clearly before our eyes. and gave me a high satisfaction. Goethe read the first scene of the second act of " Faust. be capable.' Meyerbeer would. It is not to be imagined that reason can ever be popular." which mind that this was was first produced in Paris. of Wagner. — was not . where Mephistopheles finds all just as he had left it. The servant rushes in. December me 6. and have carried out their great plans alone. We are once more transported into Faust's study." Don Juan. By the directions of Mepliistopheles as to where those are to settle down. He puts on the gown. but he would not touch anything of the kind. He takes from the hook Faust's old study-gown. Trans. in — Trans. which gives such an awful tone among the old solitary convent halls. Passions and feelings may become popular. after dinner. perhaps. but for whom * he has respect. Afterwards I do not recollect in connection to what Goethe made the following important remark *'A11 that is great and skilful exists with the minority.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMxVNN in the stj'le of the time. That is. There have been ministers who have had both king and people against them. 451 repulsive passages which must occasioiialh' occur. are not The music should be like that of * Mozart should have composed for Faust. and is said before the appearance of November. effect intending to play the doctor's part once more. "t Tlie — was great. but reason always remains the sole property of a few eminent : — — individuals.

every one believes in his youth that the world really began with him. but moves his chair further and further. when my knowledge of the world is so much clearer. is personified in him." Goethe remained a while absorbed in silent thought. He is now become a man. I was pleased with his youthful productive strength. and at last addresses the pit. at this moment deeply occupied in his laboratory. He is. '*As the conception. was wise enough not to speak his command till the sun of its own accord was really on the point of appearing. We " not meant. when Mephistopheles (in Faust's gown) made game of him. that the difficult operation is to separate and reject. and is so — full of conceit that even Mepliistopheles can do nothing with him.452 THE GERMAN CLASSICS hoping for the return of his master. Indeed. '' Thus. and would not go But he to work till he had comm." " Is he spoke about the character of the Bachelor. which in the course of I am silver his life he con- stantly changes for the better. in the East. and that all merely exists for his sake. to represent a certain class of ideal " No. The invention of " — — the whole second part is really as old as I say." said '' philosophers? " I. the arrogance which is peculiar to and of which we had such striking examples after youth. like one who in his youth has a great deal of small and copper money." said Goethe. our war for freedom. seeking to produce a Homunculus. but it may be an advantage that I have not written it down till now." said Goethe. there was actually a man who every morning collected his people about him. the for I have had it in my mind for fifty years so old materials have accumulated to such a degree. we hear. Goethe read the scene quite to the end. : then he began as follows . so that at last the property of his youth stands before him in pieces of pure gold.anded the sun to rise. and with the closeis ness of the whole. The servant retires. and the bachelor the same whom we knew some years before as a enters shy young student.

and begins with our hero. to Much was — .CONVERSATIONS AVITH ECKERMANN 453 ** When one is old one thinks of worldly matters otherwise than when one is young." . Thus. and thus Shakespeare in poetry. Faust. by describing this dream. but we find a similar trait in Napoleon. who. who. beholds Leda visited by swans. Thus I cannot but tliink that the demons. and so great that nobody Raffael. Wednesday. Thus. inasmuch as he is a form too alluring not to be striven after. . December 16. associated w^ith this copious theme I thought myself in silence that the demons had intended something of the kind with Goethe. a most charming picture before our eyes. to teaze and make sport with men. questions upon incomprehensible subjects. while she is bathing in a pleasant The Homunculus. have placed among them single figures. as a shinlie repels AVagner's ing being. they set up Mozart as something unattain- reaches them. but I only mean natural character." where Mephistopheles \dsits Wagner. which are so alluring that every one strives after them. the great innate qualities. who is on the point of making a human being by chemical means. Napoleon is unattainable. with whom thought and act were equally perfect. for he had the moderation not to go to Rome. needs a higher aid. after dinner. and is at once active. he -svdshes to act. the Homunculus sees into the soul of the sleeping Faust. Goethe read me the second scene of the second act of '* Faust. As a being to whom the present is perfectly clear and transparent. too. and the Homunculus taunts him with his northern nature. enraptured by a lovely dream. That the Russians were so moderate as not to go to Constantinople is indeed very great . Mephistopheles sees nothing of it. and too great to be reached. Thus they set up T know able in music. in his paralyzed condition. what you can say against this thought. reasoning is not his business. some distinguished followers have approached him. too. Today. The work succeeds the Homunculus appears in the phial. brings spot. but none have equalled him.

would do no harm. the demons. He styles him cousin." said I. and thus there is a sort of relationship between the two. subordinate situation." said Goethe. and *' will not easily be penetrated to their full extent.454 THE GERMAN CLASSICS ** you will perceive that Generally." ' ' But. Thus he again elevates himself with regard to the whole. not yet saddened and limited by a thorough assumption of humanity. so that Ms cooperation may be expressed and rendered plain to the reader. that would be almost enough for the attentive. ^' Yet tMs is intimated by the words with wMch MepMstopheles closes the It " scene — Am Von Ende hangen wir doch ab Creaturen die wir machtea.' " We On are dependent after all. creatures that we make. and so much superior to him in his tendency to the beautiful and to a useful acti\^ty." " I have I think. those concluding words are very great. let Mm do ." ** '' MepMstopheles appears here in a Certainly. given them a bone to pick. A father who has six sons is a lost man. were classed with culus. and the Homunculus is still in a state of formation. and in his lofty repose he can well afford to put up with a little in particulars. "We have known him in this way before and. indeed. but I will think about some additional verses. ' ' said ' * I. ^' " True." " Your feeling of the position is very correct. for such spiritual beings as this Homunculus. * ' goes to Wagner. Helena he always appears as a being secretly in the working." said Goethe." said I. I have doubted whether I ought not to put some verses into the mouth of MepMstopheles as he . MepMstopheles appears to disadvantage beside the Homun- " who is like him in clearness of intellect." said *' Goethe. yet I cannot help thinking that he has had a secret influence on the production of the Homunculus." said Goethe. indeed.

There we have a constant allusion to swans and the child of a swan but here we have the act itself. The only point is to use these they. I think. say justly of these matters." said J. from the unpacking of ago. " It is wonderful to *' me. and when we come afterwards to Helena. and to be capable of excellence. Helena gains its proper foundation. we *' mav ascend to * Helena. who have raised persons to high places. how much more clear and perfect By this * ' . he had laid in order side by ." said he. and then one is as worthless as the other. ** that in these earlier acts the chords of the classic and romantic are constantly struck. and may content us for a while. 455 Kings and ministers. cipal v\'hich I from David. begin to think Both classic and romantic. too." 1830. This. March 14. how the several parts of such a work bear upon. with the profiles of the prinyoung poets of France. ' " The " now French. and sustain one another many ! dream of Leda. Sunday." Faust's dream about Leda again came into my head. ' does all appear! " Goethe said I was right. so that. and with the had found him occupied some days The plaster medallions." continued Goethe. and I regarded this as a most important feature in the composition. may have something to tliink about from their own experience. forms with judgment. You can be absurd in both. are equally good. — This evening at Goethe's. Thus you will see. perfect.' with the sensible impression of such a situation. and was pleased that I remarked this. chest which he had received all showed me now put in order. is rational enough.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN what be may. He the treasures. where both forms of poetry are brought out. as on a rising ground. and in some sort balance each other.

as beautiful dreams. Corinth. homage the heartiest then read something from the Studies." this One could see from Goethe's manner that from the young poets of France afforded him delight." ** The Bride of Corinth '' " induced Goethe to speak of the to rest of his ballads." said he. he spoke once more of the extraordinary talent of David. I saw works by St. He also showed me a number of the newest works. always wanted something new already carried them in my head for many years. by embodying them in poor. and by playing with which my fancy to them. they occupied my mind as pleasant images. I felt as if I were about to be separated for ever from a beloved friend. which had so long been my solace. inadequate words. w^hich gives the original. because he ' Horen. Alfred de Vigny. which had been presented to him. " who impelled me owe them. '' " has prepared happy days for me by David. and very successful. Veuve. Victor Hugo.' I had for his made me happy. He " " the I possess. the whole week. On this occasion." by Emile He praised the translation of the " Bride of Deschamps. I regarded them with a mixture of sadness." as faithful." said he. I shall make a separate catalogue of these much esteemed portraits and books. . as gifts from the most distinguished men of the romantic school. in a great measure. and shall give them both a special place in my collection of works of art and my library. and others. Ballanche. and afford me new life by the fresh impressions which I receive from them. manuscript of an Italian translation of this poem. even to *' the rhymes. The young poets have already occupied me this present. Balzac. When I saw them on paper. through the medium of David. I unwillingly resolved to bid farewell to these brilliant visions. I Schiller. which was as great in conception as in execution. Jules Janin." said he. which came and went.456 THE GERMAN CLASSICS side upon tables.

" continued Goethe. but very prejudicial to the individual authors ** who effect it. so that I have felt an instinctive and dreamy impulse to write them down on the spot. In such a somnambulistic condition.COxNVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN **At other times. who would produce an effect and be acknowledged." In a political one. they will not stop there. w^ould be very favorable to literature. Instead of the beautiful subjects from Grecian mythology. but they have been lost one after another. ** . and that stronger. and vampires. witches. Goethe was of opinion that this poetic revolution. and who is tasted this highly seasoned food. I have possessed many such sheets written crossways. Extremes are never to be avoided in ! ! A young man of talent. they are deep in bloodshed and horror. different with 437 " it has been totallyhave been preceded by no my poems. and I regret that I can no longer show any proofs of such poetic abstraction. and the modern ultra-romantic tendency of some not unimportant men of genius. there are devils. and attempt to treat of all sorts of abominations. . any revolution. but have come suddenly upon me. it has often happened that I have had a sheet of paper lying before me all on one side. This is This is effective But after the public has once piquant said he. nothing is generally desired in the beginning but the abolition of abuses. it will always long for more. They begin to declare the representation of noble sentiments and deeds as tedious. great enough to go his own way. and I have not discovered it till all has been written.11 reject the traditional contents together with the form. desired nothing at first but a freer form however. and the lofty heroes of antiquity must give place to jugglers and galley slaves. or I have found no room to write any more. and have insisted on being composed immediately. Thus the French. and has become accustomed to it. but v\t. They impressions or forebodings. but before people are aware." The conversation then returned to the French literature. in their present literary revolution. wliich was still in its infancy.

richer and more diversified subjects will have been attained. but scribed." remarked is Guzla. as it were. will in future only appear as an useful expedient. He has. all profound study. will soon be resought with additional ardor. nightly crossways. one of your favorites. with irony. objective distance. must seek to outdo his predecessors in the horrible and frightful. has entered upon this ultra-romantic path. I compare the present literary epoch to a state of violent fever. *' *' how can an attempt which destroys But. That abomination which now often constitutes the whole subject — — of a poetical work. although literature in general will gain by this tendency of the moment. which is now abandoned for the moment. the pure and the noble. and no object of the broadest world and the most manifold life will be any longer excluded as unpoetical. to whom it is an amusement to try anything of the sort. . These poems certainly are not deficient in various horrible motives. which is not in itself good and desirable.' " '' Merimee. And this is the greatest injury which can befall a talent. is entirely neglected. has treated these things very differently from his fellow-authors. indi\ddual talents be favorable to literature in general? " " The extremes and excrescences which I have de'^ will gradually disappear. at last this great advantage will remain besides a freer form." returned Goethe. ghosts and vampires but the repulsive themes do not touch the intrinsic merit of the On the contrary. he treats them from a certain poet." Merimee. and." returned Goethe. such as churchyards. But in this chase after outward means of effect. as I have said before." added I.458 THE GERMAN CLASSICS must accommodate himself to the taste of the day nay. who his *' ' '' that even I. through the horrible subjects of ''It is surprising to me. He goes to work with them like an artist. but of which improved health is the happy consequence. aye. . and all gradual and thorough development of the talent and the man from witliin.

' We entirely in the time in which the action takes place. He has never asked what would suit the times? what produces an effect? what pleases? what are — . dramatic works borne the personal coloring of the author." continued Goethe. *' whose power of representation and whose interior are worth something. generally." said Goethe. Beranger a nature most happily endowed.CONVERSATIONS WITH ECKERMANN 459 quite renounced liimself." " ** has only Bc'ranger also.' In this piece one