The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Invisible Lodge, by Jean Paul

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Title: The Invisible Lodge

Author: Jean Paul

Translator: Charles T. Brooks

Release Date: June 8, 2011 [EBook #36353]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Charles Bowen, from page scans provided by the Web Archive

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* * * *






Copyright, 1883
Henry Holt & Co.




This work was the forerunner (and, according to its Author's nephew and biographer, the cradle), of some of his principal subsequent Romances, especially Hesperus and Titan. "The Invisible Lodge," says Spazier, "is, in more than one sense, the Genesis of Jean Paul's poetic world and its inhabitants--the birth history of his first Romances." It is peculiarly interesting as containing, both in spirit and in incident, a good deal of Richter's own biography. It was written in 1792, when the Author was 29 years old, and is the work which decided, if not his reputation, at least his determination to make his countrymen appreciate his work and his worth. It was the first of his productions which, he felt, was somewhat munificently paid for, as it gave him the joy of bursting in upon his poor old mother and pouring some 250 dollars into her lap.

The date of this work is the transition period in the Author's life, when (in his own words) he came out of the "vinegar manufactory," where he had concocted his "Greenland Law-suits," and "Papers of the Devil," and passed through the "honey-sour" interval which gave birth to the Idyl of the "Contented Little Schoolmaster, Wutz," into the happier and more harmonious period which began with the "Invisible Lodge."

In this Romance, says Mrs. Lee, "the different epochs in the history of his soul are embodied." "To Ottomar he has given his dreams and aspirations; to Fenk his satire and comic humor; and in Gustavus the events of his autobiography are clothed in a poetic garment."

A few weeks before his death, which took place in November 1825, (and of which he seems to have had a singular presentiment not long before this book was written), referring to its abrupt ending he says: "What life in the world do we see that is not interrupted and incomplete? And if we complain that a Romance is left unfinished--that it does not even inform us what came of Kunz's second courtship and Elsie's despair on the occasion--how Hans escaped the claws of the sheriff, and Faust those of Mephistopheles--still let us console ourselves with the reflection that man, in his present existence, sees nothing on any side but knots, that only beyond his grave lie the solutions, and that all History is to him an unfinished Romance.

"Baireuth, Oct. 1825."

On the 14th of the month following, the hand that penned these lines was cold in death.    C. T. B.

Newport, Oct. 1882.


Courting by Chess.--Graduated Recruit.--Copulative Cat

In my opinion, what made the Head-forester Von Knör so incredibly sharp-set upon chess was, that from one year's end to the other, he had nothing to do but to be, once during that time, the guest, the Santa Hermandad or Holy Brotherhood and the Dispenser of Bulls to the rangers.

The reader can surely never have heard of an amateur with so extravagant a passion as his. The least he could do was to send for all his servants to the village of Strehpcnik, (where one gains as much immunity from taxation by chess as a nobleman does by a Saxon Diet,) in order that he might (though in a different sense from that of Cato) have as many opponents as servants. For another instance, he and a nobleman of Upper Yssel in Zwoll spent more postal money in writing than in riding, inasmuch as they played chess at a distance of 250 miles, not with fingers, but with pens. Still another fact may satisfy the reader, viz., that he and Kempele's Automaton Chess-player corresponded with each other, and that the fellow-lodger and adjutant of the wooden Moslem, Herr von Kempele, once in my presence wrote back to him from Hay street in Leipsic, in the name of the Mussulman, that the latter castled. The reader will have his own reflections on the subject, when told that the man, within two years, traveled away to Paris, to go to the Palais Royal and to the Société du Salon des Echecs, and to sit down there as chess-combatant, and jump up again as chess-conqueror, although he was afterward cudgeled much too severely in a democratic street, for having cried out in sleep: Gardez la Reine! It may simply seem striking to one and another that his daughter never could win a new hat from him or a new dressing-maid (soubrette) to put it on for her, except by winning at the same time a game of chess. But one thing will astonish and vex all who read me, of either sex and of every age, namely, that the Head-forester had sworn he would give his daughter to no other beast in the whole knightly circle but the one who should win not only her heart but at the same time the victory over her in a game of chess--and that in seven weeks.

The ground he took, and his chain of reasoning, was this: "A good mathematician is a good chess-player; therefore, vice-versâ--a good mathematician knows the Differential Calculus ten times better than a poor one,--and a good master of Differentiation understands himself as well as any one in the matter of wheeling and deploying,[2] and consequently can command his company (and his wife, in fact,) at any hour--and why then should not one give so accomplished, so experienced an officer, his only daughter?" My reader would certainly have seated himself forthwith at the chess-board and thought to himself: the drawing of such a quaternion[3] from the board as the daughter of a Head-forester, is an extraordinarily easy matter; but it is confoundedly hard when the father himself watches behind her chair, and prompts the daughter in every move whereby she is to guard her king and the maiden-queen (herself) from my reader.

No one who had heard of it could comprehend why the Forester's Lady, who had long been the Maid of Honor to a Countess von Ebersdorf, with her fine feelings and her piety, could tolerate such a hunter's-whim; but the truth is, she had a Moravian fancy of her own to carry out, namely, that the first child of her daughter Ernestina should be trained for Heaven; that is to say eight years under the earth--"eighty years for all me!" said the old man.

Now, although in any case one has a plaguey hard time with a daughter, whether one would draw subscribers (i. e. suitors) to her or drive them away, nevertheless Knör found in this case his true heaven upon earth--among so many Knights of Chess, all fighting for his Ernestina and losing her and the game. For she, with a head into which her father had poured light, and a heart into which her mother had infused virtue, could conquer more easily than be conquered; hence a whole brigade of youthful suitors vexed and played themselves almost to death. And yet there were some among them who in all castles round about claimed the name of sweet gentlemen because they had not sailors' manners, as, in comparison with briny and bitter sea-water, we call our flat, fresh water sweet.

But the reader and I will jump over the whole company of players, and place ourselves beside the Cavalry Captain, von Falkenberg, who is standing by the father and who is also bent upon marriage. This officer--a man of courage and good nature, without any principles, except that of honor; who, in order not to "write any thing behind his ears" as the phrase is, i. e., not to lay up any grudge against another (the ears, especially when of some length, being generally the black-board and tally-stick of received offences), would rather box those of other Christians; who acted more finely than he spoke, and whose full-length portrait[4] I have not room enough to spread out between these two dashes--had continued enlisting recruits in this part of the country so long that at last his affections were enlisted by Ernestina. There was nothing he hated so much as chess and Moravianism; meanwhile Knör said to him: At twelve o'clock tonight the seven tournament-weeks of the game were to begin, and if at twelve o'clock, seven weeks hence, he had not sent his antagonist from the battle-field to the bridal chamber he should be heartily sorry, and all the eight years' education would then go for nothing.

For the first fourteen days the playing and--loving went on in fact too negligently. But at that time neither I nor other clever people had written those ardent romances, wherewith--a serious thing for us to answer for--we transform young people into crackling, roaring, rotatory stoves of love, which burst with the heat and become calcined, and after marriage can no more be heated. Ernestina was one of those daughters who are on hand when one gives the order: "Next Sunday, God willing, at four o'clock, when Herr A. or Z. comes, you are to fall in love with him." The Captain, in the article of love, bit neither into the fermenting pumpernickel or rye-bread of the physical sensation, nor into the white, weak flour-bread of the Parisian sentiment, nor into the quiddany (the quince marmalade) and heaven's bread of the Platonic, but into a fine slice of the home-made brown-bread of conjugal affection; he was thirty-seven years old. Sixteen years before he had cut off a bit of the aforesaid pumpernickel: his mistress and his and her son were afterward married by the respectable commercial agent, Röper.

We Belletrists, on the contrary, can make it of great practical use in our romances, that it agrees right well with our maw and the coat of our stomach, when in the same afternoon we cut for ourselves from those four sorts of bread at once; for we must ourselves be old Harrys to depict old Harrys; how could we manage it otherwise, when, in the self-same month, out of the self-same heart, as well as the self-same bookstore (I shall be vexing Herr Adelung[5] here by the word "self-same"--nämlich), we have to issue satires and eulogies--night-thoughts--night-scenes--war-songs--idyls--bawdy ditties and solemn dirges, so that behind and before us people stand astonished to see Pantheon and Pandemonium under one roof--more than they were over the postmortem stomach of the galley-slave Bazile, in which was found a household property of thirty-five effects, such as pipe-heads, leather, and bits of glass.

When the two young people sat down at the chessboard, which was to be either their partition-wall or their bridge, the father stood by all the time as marker; it was, however, quite unnecessary--not merely because the Captain played so miserably and his antagonist so Philidorically; but for the additional reason, that the female laws of etiquette forbade her to be mated or to fall in love (for women and oarsmen always turn their backs to the shore toward which they are seeking to propel themselves)--but for a still more remarkable reason the auxiliary forester might have been dispensed with, namely, that Ernestina wanted above all things to be checkmated, and for that very reason she played so well. For out of spite against dilatory fate, one sets himself on purpose to work against the very things that depend upon him, and desires them nevertheless. The two warring powers grew, indeed, more and more fond of each other, even in proportion as they were afraid of forfeiting each other; nevertheless it was not in the power of the female party to omit a single move which contravened her two-fold desire: in five weeks the recruiting officer could not once say: Check to the queen! Besides, women play this king's game admirably well (as they do other games of kings).... But as this seems to be a digression of nature, though it is none; still an authorial one can be made out of it, only not until the Twentieth Sector; because I must first have written two or three months, till I have so spun up the reader into my web, that I can pluck or pull him just as I please.

Had the Captain's love been of the modern gigantic sort, which, not like a gently unfolding zephyr, but like a shaking tempest, grasps the green, thin flowrets, that cannot at all adapt themselves to the belletrical hurricane, then the least he could have done would have been to be at once a very devil; but as it was he was merely angry, not with the father, but with the daughter; and that not because she did not make the chess-board a presentation-dish of her hand and heart, or because she played well against him, but because she played so very well. Such is man! and I beseech fellow-men not to laugh at my Captain. To be sure, if I had had the female charms of Ernestina, and had looked into his puzzled face, as he meditated his counter-approaches, and seen how on its rounded mouth stood that pain at undeserved affliction which wears such a touching aspect in men of spirit, where it is not distorted by the arthritic knots and cutaneous eruptions of revenge, I should have grown red and should verily have plunged with my queen, (and myself too), into check: for what could I have loved in that case but a stern self-sacrifice?

By the 16th of June, Ernestina could herself almost have delighted in such sacrifice, as will presently be seen from a letter of hers. For a woman is certainly capable of maintaining for twice 24 hours one and the same sentiment towards a man (though not towards any other object), provided she has nothing of this man before her but his image in her fair little head; but, let the man himself, uncopied, stand, five feet high, before her, she can no longer achieve it; her feelings, playing like a column of gnats in a sunbeam, the merest trifle about the aforesaid man will chase them away from each other, and against each other, in among each other, e. g., a thimble-full too much or too little of powder upon him, a stoop of the upper part of his body, a finger-nail cut to the quick, a scurfy, self-peeling under-lip, the powder-margin and play-ground of the queue on the back of his coat, long side-whiskers--in fact anything. I have a hundred reasons for breaking open here before the eyes of the indiscreet reader Ernestina's letter to a retired court-lady in the residence-city of Scheerau; she had to write to her every week, because there was an expectation of inheriting in that quarter, and because Ernestina herself had once been with her and in the city long enough to be well able to bring away with her eleven thousand city notions--that is, three weeks.

"Last week I had really nothing to write you but the old song. Our playing is infinitely tedious to me and I only pity the Captain; but no talking avails anything with my father, so long as he can have any one to see play. Were it not better, the good Captain should wake up his coachman, who sits snoring all day long in the servants' room, and harness up and drive off? Ever since Sunday we have been in one round of torment over a single game, and I have already leaned one elbow sore--to night must end it.

"Twelve o'clock at night.--He loses his knights every time and by my queen. When he has once married, I will show him his mistakes and my strokes of art, I am bored to death, gracious Aunt.

"June 16th.--In four days I am free from my player and chess-board, and I will not seal this, till I can write you how he behaved towards his tired and innocent basket-maker. To-day we played up in the little Chinese pavilion. As the ruddy evening-twilight, which fell directly into his face, threw confused shadows among the pieces, and as I looked with pity at his right fore-finger, which had a red line left by a sabre-stroke and which lay on the rim of the chess-board; in my absence of mind I actually lost my queen, and the abominable baptismal tolling of the Chinese chime almost deprived me of the power of forming a plan--fortunately my father came back and helped me a little. Afterward I took him round through the improvements in our grove and he told me, I fancy, the history of his marked finger; he is very wild towards his equals, but withal uncommonly obliging to ladies.

"June 18th.--Since yesterday we have all been somewhat merrier. In the evening two under-officers brought five recruits, and as we were told that there was a man among them who could set a whole defeated army to laughing, we all went down in a body. Down below there the man was just whispering half aloud into another recruit's ear that he had a row of false teeth set in his jaw and they all fell out except a corner tooth when he bit off a cartridge; but all he wanted was to secure the bounty money. At our request he screwed the hat off of his head, but a white cap, which reached down so as to cover the eyebrows, he pulled down still lower. If he should take that off, he said, he should never in his life get to the command of a regiment. One of the subalterns began to laugh, and said, he does it merely because he has, underneath, three abominable birthmarks, nothing more--and a comrade stepped up behind him and slyly whisked off the cap from his head. Hardly had there sprung forth, to our astonishment, a head which showed on both temples two flaming birthmarks, a silhouette with a natural queue, and, opposite, two pole-cats' tails, when to our still greater astonishment the Captain clasped the figured head and kissed it as passionately as if it were his own bodily brother, and seemed as if he would laugh himself to death for joy. 'Thou art forever Dr. Fenk and nobody else!' said he. He must be very intimate with the Captain and comes direct from Upper-Scheerau. Don't you know him? The Prince has him travel to Switzerland and Italy as botanist and companion to his natural son, Captain Von Ottomar, as you will have already known. He perpetrates crazy jokes, if it is true, as he swears, that this is his 21st disguise and that he is just so many years old. He looks badly; he says himself, his broad chin turns up like a beaver's tail and that the barber really shaves the half wilderness for him gratis, equal to two beards--his lips are slit away to the wisdom teeth and his little eyes sparkle all day long. For people, too, who are not his equals, his jokes are much too free."

Ernestina here cuts a silhouette of the Doctor's outer man, which, like many Indian trees, under external spines and thorny foliage concealed the soft and precious fruit of the most humane heart. I, however, shall be able to draw him quite as well as our correspondent can. As humorists like him are seldom handsome--female humorists still less so--and as the spirit travesties itself and the face, of course (he said) the finest dress could be of no service to any man--to himself and the handsome ones least of all--but only to the drapers. Hence his pieces of uniform were divided into two departments,--the splendid ones (that people might see he did not wear the poor ones from poverty) and these same poor ones, which he generally had on at the same time with the others. Were not the sail-flaps of the handsomest embroidered waistcoat all the time sticking out from under a fox-brown overcoat, which was almost lost at the top in his hair-bag? Had he not, under a 1½ Louis d'or hat, hung on a disgraceful queue, for which he had given no more than six farthings of our present money? To be sure, it was half out of exasperation against this so tasteless crab's-tail of the head, against this telescope-like shortening and elongating spinal pendent to the fourth, thought-full cerebral chamber. His writing-set had to be much more elegant than his dinner-set and his paper whiter than his linen; he could never tolerate poor little pens or pen-feathers anywhere except on his hat, which his bed--and the disorder, natural to him as a bachelor--improved, so to speak, into a nobleman's plumed hat; meanwhile, to keep the bed feathers in his hair company he placed behind his ears good sea-quills--the chief commissary might have worn them behind his at the Diet with honor.

But not to make himself a mere oddity in dress, a separatist in his attire, he had a counterfeit presentment of himself taken from year to year after the best styles of the Journal of Follies, and pretended that he must, after all, show the people that he or his knee-piece knew how to keep up side by side perhaps with the latest exquisites. The lower rim of his overcoat, like man himself, was often made out of earth; but he insisted upon it, that one should tell him what harm it would do if he should, in his own person, carry things to the extent that a stocking maker did--whose history I will at once relate, in order not to write without any moral. The man referred to had the good and droll habit when he brought his stockings to town on his back to deliver them, of never brushing or rubbing off the border of dirt with which his surtout fringed itself. He simpler took a large pair of shears and carefully cut off each time the newly formed miry margin and filthy horizon. Now, the longer it rained the shorter the dimensions to which his frock shrunk up, and on the shortest day the epitomizer, by reason of the unprecedented weather, went round in the shortest surtout--in a neat 16mo edition of the former folio edition. The moral I would draw from this is the following question: Should not a wise State, which is certainly seventy times shrewder than all stocking weavers put together, who are themselves, indeed, only members of it, take the best course to imitate the fringed stocking weaver; namely, instead of wasting the time rubbing and scrubbing its filthy members (thieves, adulterers, etc.), to cut them off with the sword, or otherwise make short work with them?

Doctor Fenk diverted and dissipated by whimsical consolation the solitary curses which his friend the Captain vented instead of sighs. He said he had remarked in Ernestina more than once, at some specially good move of his making, no other start than one of pleasure. He would stake his traveling money upon it that she, as she loved him, was nursing some trick in her head which would pave his way or frame his staircase to the bridal chamber. He advised him to appear distrait and inattentive, so as not to detect and disturb her in the hatching of her secret plan. He asked him: "Do you understand perfectly the minor offices of love?" No German comprehended metaphors less than the Captain. "I mean," he continued, "can you not, then, be out and out the most crafty vocativus? Can you not retain hold for a long time of the piece you mean to move, so as to keep your hand a long time over your chess-militia, and with your hand make the Generalissima fall into agitation and love? Can you not change every minute your attitudes towards this fair foe, and especially contrive to lift yourself up, because a man standing seems better looking to a woman who is sitting than to one who stands? I and she should see you now leaning back in your chair, now stretching forward, now to the left, now to the right, now in the shade, now with your eyes fixed on her hand, now on her lips, during the game. Nay, you should knock three or four pawns over on to the floor merely that you may have to stoop over to pick them up, so that your swelling facial veins might make an impression on her heart, and that you might drive the blood up into your own head and hers at the same time. Let your queue be buckled an eighth of an ell nearer the occiput or farther from it, in case such buckling and such distance has hitherto counteracted your marriage prospects." The poor Captain neither understood nor performed a single iota of the whole service-regulation, and the Doctor was quite as well satisfied, for it was a part of his humor that he loved no party to talk to better than the wind.

Ernestina goes on with her letter:

"To-morrow, thank God, my Passion weeks come to an end; and it is fortunate for the Captain, who grows daily more sensitive, that no one is present but the Doctor, who has a pat joke for every move that is made. His wit, he says, proves he himself is a miserable player, because good players never make a bonmot upon or during their play.

"June 20, 3 o'clock.--This evening at 12 o'clock I shall be unlocked from the foot-block of the chess-board. He will play all day at the rubber, the Definitive match--Fenk calls it--but at night, as he guesses from his day's campaign the result of the nightly one, he has ordered his coachman to drive up with his carriage, so that, like a corpse, he may mournfully depart. Only he should not expect me to play as badly as he does. But he is in all things so hasty, and stops his ears against all remonstrances.

"12 o'clock at night.--I am beside myself. Who would have believed it of my father? My game could hardly have stood better--by my father's second-hand watch, which lay near the chess-board, it was already considerably more than half-past eleven--he had only two officers and I still had all mine; one flying streak of red after another darted across his whole face. It grew at last really oppressive, and even the Doctor no longer spoke a playful word--only my white pussy marched round purring on the table. Naturally no human being is thinking of the cat, and for the first time in the game he gives me check. Just then he (or was it I, for I sometimes beat such little trills on the table) might have made some such slight drumming with his fingers on the edge of the board. Like lightning the creature flew at it, thinking probably it was a mouse, and knocked our whole game into pi and there we sat. Imagine the scene:--I half glad that this middle person had relieved him of the shame of the formal basket; he with a face full of disconsolateness and wrath; my father with one full of wrath and confusion; and the Doctor looking round the room and snapping his fingers and swearing: 'The Captain would have beaten as sure as Amen!' Not a foot budged from the spot; the Doctor did not stay a minute on his, and finally in a fit of enthusiasm which our embarrassed silence more and more intensified, threw himself on his knees before a white bust of Cupid, before a miniature of my father, and before his own image in the looking-glass, and prayed: 'Holy Herr von Knör! holy Cupid! holy Fenk! pray for the Captain, and strike the cat dead! Ah! were you three images alive, then would Cupid surely assume the form of Dr. Fenk, and Cupid who had thus come to life would grasp the hand of the now animated Knör, and place in it that of the female player; then would his give hers to still a third. Ye saints! pray, I beseech you, for the Captain, who would have won the game!' But that is not true; only, unfortunately, the interval was too short to begin a new one."

Now, as at this point the pole-cat-Doctor (I, as author, resume my narrative) rose up and actually laid Knör's hand in that of Ernestina and said he was Cupid--and inasmuch as, after all, by the assurances of the Doctor and by the uncertainty of the game, the player, teased by men and cats, had quite as much to lose in the matter of honor as in that of love; and as I show in a whole Sector that Falkenberg was of the oldest nobility in the whole land; and as, luckily, in the Head-forester (as with many of the rural nobility) the manners of his rude breeding lay half-hid under the varnish of those derived from his more refined intercourse, just as his old furniture was under that of the new fashion; thus the electric enthusiasm of the Doctor passed over in great sparks into the bosom of the father, and Knör in transport laid the hand of Ernestina, who feigned astonishment, in that of the Captain, who really felt it; and the bridegroom rushed and threw himself in a tempest of gratitude upon the neck of the new-born father-in-law, even before--inasmuch as his honor triumphed more than his love--he somewhat more coldly kissed the clever hand which had hitherto snatched from him this double triumph.

For this the fair possessor of the hand blamed him; but I again impute the blame to her; with what reason can she expect it of the man who never divined a soul, hardly his own, and never that of a woman, that he should have had his wisdom-teeth and his philosophic beard grown as long as the indulgent reader has both, who, of course, does not need to learn for the first time, and to have it printed here beforehand--for he has already remarked it these three good hours--that behind the copulative cat there lay (or lied)[6] something, viz., Ernestina herself.

This is how it was. But I need hardly inform the reader of what he has long since known, that Ernestina had, privatissime, each of four evenings previous, placed the glue-and-stitch cat on the table, and instructed her to dart at the fingers when she heard them drumming; and I am glad the acuteness of the reader is as much above the ordinary as it is, because now he can go on and surmise still more: for she also on the final evening, made the paste-eel of a cat creep after her as a lime-rod, kept her till half-past eleven o'clock down in her lap, and at last with a movement of her knee threw up this feline terminus medius out of her lap on to the table, and the terminus after that did her part. Poor Captain!

But it is a matter for serious reflection. For if, in this way, women can transmute design into accident, and vice versâ--if, even before betrothal (consequently still more afterwards), they know how to place in the front rank against men (as Cambyses did against the Egyptians)[7], confederate cats, who, like inferior interposing Deities ex-machinâ upset the male game and set up the female--if in a hundred human beings there are only five men who can tolerate bestial cats or, in fact, human ones, and only ten women who can not--if, most manifestly, the best women carry under their arms terrible bundles of man-traps, hares'-nets, lark springes, night-nets, and draw-nets; what shall the uniped or one-leg[8] do who, on the very same day when he has begun writing a romance, begins at the same time to play one, and so would fain carry through both simultaneously as on a double harpsichord? The most remarkable thing for me to do, I see, is to let my wife stand all day by me bear-trap, and throw twigs on it, that I may stumble into it, but absolutely place no bear there, though no ape either. No! ye pliable, oppressed creatures! I once more propose to myself the undertaking, and publicly make the vow to one of you here, in print. Should it happen, nevertheless, that I wanted after the honeymoon to plague the one, then I merely read out aloud this Sector, and move my heart with the coming picture of your connubial Pilatus; which, for that reason, I here bring forward--namely, how the stupidest man accounts himself shrewder than the shrewdest wife; how before him, who, perhaps, out of the house lies on his knee, to be blest, before a goddess or idol, she must sink down on hers, like the camel, to be loaded; how he sweetens his Imperial Chancery decrees, and his Plebiscita, (after the mildest remonstrances have been ventured only in a doubtful and desperate voice of resignation, as if of a lost cause), with nothing better than a "but if I choose to have it so;" how the very tear which fascinated him in the free eye of the bride, now disenchants and makes him quite frantic, when it drops from that of the wedded wife, just as in the "Arabian Nights" all enchantments and disenchantments are effected by sprinkling with water--verily, the only good thing about it after all is just this, that you do really delude him. Ah! and when I once bring it home to myself, how far such a married Bruin must have gone before you went so far as, in order not to be devoured by him, actually to make believe fall in a swoon (as one does with the actual bears in the forest) and Bruin stalked with his idle paws round the seeming corpse! ...

"In my old age the one-leg shall whistle a different tune!" says the married reader; but I am myself already nine years older than he, and still single into the bargain.


Price-Current of the Wholesale Pedigree-Merchant.--The Stallion and the Patent of Nobility

There is not in the whole known world a more pestilent job than that of writing a first section; and if I were not in all my life to write any other sections, a second, a tenth, a thousandth, I would rather make logarithms or publicistic reports of Circles than a book with æsthetic ones. On the contrary, in the second chapter and sector an author comes to himself again, and knows full well in the most distinguished circle, perhaps, that exists (in mine are nothing but snobs) what he is to set about with his writing-fingers, and with his hat, head, wit, penetration, and everything.

As the wedded pair, from whose betrothal through chess and cat we have just returned in a body, are to deliver over to me in nine months the hero of this book, I must show beforehand that I do not buy at random, but (to speak commercially) select my goods (i. e., my hero) from a very good house, or, to speak heraldically, from a very old one. For it must, for the benefit of the free knighthood, the feudal landlords and the patricians, be stated and proved here or nowhere, that the purveyor of my hero, Herr von Falkenberg, is of an older nobility than any of them; and, in fact, of an illegitimate one.

Namely, in the year 1625 occurred the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on which occasion his great-grandfather was unusually intoxicated and nevertheless drew out from the pot of fortune a handful of something extraordinary, a second diploma of nobility. For there sat drinking with him, but seven times deeper, a clever horse jockey from Westphalia, who was also a Herr von Falkenberg, but only a namesake; their two family-trees did not graze nor anastomose with each other, either in roots, fibres, or in leaves. Although, now, the genealogical tree of the Westphalian was so old and had stood so long in the wind and weather of life, that it seemed to have shot up out of the earth simultaneously with many a veteran on Lebanon or Ætna; in short, although the horse-dealer was a man of sixty-four-fold scutcheon, whereas the great-grandfather, to his great shame and that of him who takes him into his romance, really counted as many teeth as ancestors, namely, thirty-two; still the thing could be brought about. That is to say, the old Westphalian was the sole support and concluding vignette and Hogarthian tail-piece of his whole historical picture-gallery; not even in the two Indies, where we all have and inherit our cousins, had he a single one. Upon this the great-grandfather planted himself, and sought to extort from him by curses and prayers his patent of nobility, in order to give it out as his own; "for who the devil will be the wiser?" said he; "it is of no use to you and I can tack it on to mine." Nay, the compiler of ancestors, the great-grandfather, offered to act as a Christian, and to give the dealer in horses and ancestors in exchange for the diploma an unnaturally beautiful stallion, such a grand sultan and connubial master of a neighboring equine harem as one had hardly seen matched. But the last of his line turned his head slowly to and fro, and said coldly, "I would rather not," and drank his Zerbot bottle-beer. When he had merely tried a couple of glasses of Quedlinburg Gose (a light colored beer), he began already to storm and curse at the very supposition, which began to look promising. When he had put down on the top of that some Calktuff from Konigsbutter, I think it was (for Falkenberg had a whole Meibomium de cerevisiis, [Meibom or malt liquors] namely, his beers, in his cellar), then he actually came out with some grounds for his refusal, and things grew very hopeful.

When at last he found how finely the Breslau Scheps foamed in the glass, or in his head, then he ordered the carcass of a miserable stallion to be led into the courtyard, and when he had seen him jump, it may have been two or three times, he gave the great-grandfather his hand and in it the 128 ancestors. Now, when great-grandfather Falkenberg had taken the purchased patent, which had been almost chewed to pieces by some ancestral generation of moths that had a thousand-fold scutcheon each, and, as it was porous as a butterfly's wing, had spread and stuck it with a plaster-knife on new parchment, first of all, however, covering it with bookbinders paste; then, as may easily be imagined, the parchment rendered his whole noble ancestry the same service of ennoblement which the stallion in Westphalia did to the equine posterity, and over a hundred buried men, in whom not a drop of blood was any longer to be ennobled, acquired at least noble bones. Therefore neither I nor any Canoness needs be ashamed of having as much intercourse with the future young Falkenberg as will hereafter occur. For the rest I should be glad if the anecdote went no further, and, in fact, to a reading-public of intelligence this needs hardly to be said.

The nuptial lupercalia, with their longest day and their shortest night, I have never undertaken to reproduce; but the introduction thereto I should be glad to describe. Only, as I unfortunately went to bed last night with the purpose this morning of transporting the nuptial and chess-playing couple with three strokes of the pen from the bridal to the marriage bed, which is nineteen leagues distant from it, namely in the knightly seat of the Falkenbergs in Auenthal--and as I quite naturally proposed to picture merely with three slight hints the little amount of ceremony, the little fifing, prancing, and powder, wherewith the good Auenthalers received their newly-married graces; accordingly all night the dream went up and down in my head that I was myself a home-returning Imperial Count and the Imperial Hereditary Casperl, and that my subjects, as they had not laid eyes on me for 15 years, almost shot me dead with joy. In my country there were naturally a thousand times more shouts of welcome and honneurs sent up than in the Falkenberg feudality; I will therefore omit the honors paid the Cavalry Captain and present merely my own.


Manifestations of Honor Which Were Made to me by my County on my Return Home from the Grand Tour.

If a Count's subjects take from him his six nonnatural things[9] I know not how they can give him a better reception. Now mine left me not a single non-natural thing.

First of all, they took away from me the most important unnatural thing, sleep. Having traveled or waded, as if I were big with child, from Chalons to Strasburg, only to thunder down from there at such a rate that I rather hopped than sate, so furiously as to knock down my runner--I would for the life of me have gladly flown round Flörzhübel (the first market town in my country) sleeping (and was not that easy to do in dream?); but just at the boundary and bridge, as I opened my eyes in going down hill and closed them in going up, I was fallen upon, not murderously, but musically, by a body of militia sixteen drunken men strong, who had been lying in wait here since seven in the morning with their musical trumpets and ear-breaking tools, in order at the right time to wound me and my horses in the ears with fife and drum. Fortunately the storming-artists had drummed all day long for fun and ennui more vigorously than they did afterwards in earnest and for love. During the whole march, while orchestra and barracks went along beside my horses, I was scolding myself for having, seventeen years before, qualified and graduated Flörzhübel to a city--"I don't mean merely" (I said to myself) "because afterward a Sovereign Rescript stripped Flörzhübel again of city-rights and its Gens d'Armurie of its accoutrements, or merely because we proposed to sell the superfluous equipments at auction in Cassel--but because they will not now let me sleep, which is surely the first non-natural thing."

Eating they absolutely denied me, because that is the second unnatural thing of a reigning lord. Did not the Restaurateur of Flörzhübel, who had set on the fire for me the whole boiled and roasted widow's half of my country, summon me on the very carriage-step to take a bite, and when--for we grandees do not like to excite the populace to a hungry astonishment by despising envied fare--I begged with my own mouth only for a beer-soup, did not the Restaurateur make a sour face and say: "He had none in the whole hotel; and if he had, future hosts should never have it to say of him, that among so many jus and bouillons, he had presented to his most gracious master nothing but a bowl of beer-soup."

The third thing, combining both motion and rest, I came within a hair of losing through the triumphal arch of my place of burial, because it and the musical gallery upon it tumbled down close at the heels of my last servant, but to the joy of the country, harmed nothing belonging to any man, except the barber's cupping-glasses, which he had attached to the triumphal gate, projecting in such a manner as to have something hung upon them wherein was to be stuck the not bad illumination. I was going to be properly mad about the satirical cupping-vessels, which I was fain to take for satirical types and emblems of my Countly cupping of the full veins of my tenants and vassals, and I asked the Mayor whether he thought I was utterly devoid of wit; but they all in a body swore that in the whole getting up of the triumphal arch wit had not been once thought of.

Air, the fourth non-natural thing of an Imperial Hereditary Casperl, I might by this time have had; for not merely on account of the short misuse which the instruments and lungs of my vassals made of so glorious an element, should I have shut myself up and the sector of air around me so closely as I in fact did, into my carriage--that I must say expressly, so that the good Kelzheim Chorister may not imagine I was displeased because his musical fire-arm, his trumpet, from the double sound-hole of his belfry and his body, stuck out towards me to such an extent that the melodious air-waves from the two came to meet me four acres off, while below in the steeple his wife also milked the bells, as if I were being buried and receiving not so much a reception as a requiem--I say, not on account of the musical married pair would I have shut the carriage, but it was on account of the danger of life; for a joyous picket of peasants discharged at me out of seventeen fowling-pieces and two or three pocket-pistols, not only salvos, but a few ramrods into the bargain.

Now, when a Count sits there deprived of four nonnatural things, he may not venture to think of the fifth, of evacuation. The sphincter of every, even the greatest, pore remains closed, as well as the coach-door; no wonder then, that, as I could not say to a single pore--Ephphatha: be opened!--I started up crying "Deil a bit do I gain by my sitting on the bench of Counts at Ratisbon, if here I must squat on the coach-cushion and not be able to do anything, even."

Genuine Passion, which is the sixth non-natural thing of man, is stifled by nothing so easily as by a satin dog's-pillow, on which the parsons, schoolmasters and magistrates, whom an Imperial Hereditary Casperl has under him, deliver to him the Carmina which they have caused to be composed in his honor; for they can neither be laughed at nor wept over, nor scolded at nor spoken of.

My tenants and vassals, after filching from me so much of my six non-natural things, gave me back in the very act half of the first, namely, wakefulness; but they had worked themselves into such a sweat on my account, that I was thrown into one on theirs. When I woke up, I thought at first I had been dreaming; but upon becoming more wide awake I observed that, with the exception of names, it was the stolen history of my own neighborhood. To be sure it vexes me just as much as if the illuminations and the musical uproar had been arranged expressly on my account, that the subjects make both merely with the malicious intention of driving their great or little Regent from disgust and torture to betake himself to his tour again; which they have evidently learned from the Oriental caravans, which, in like manner, by drumming and lighting fires keep off wild beasts from their bodies.


Underground Education.--The Best of Moravians and the Best of Poodles

Here my story properly begins; the scene lies in Auenthal, or rather at the mountain-castle of the Falkenbergs, which stood some acres distant from it. The first child of the Chess-Amazon and the Dying Gladiator and Captain in Check was Gustavus--not the illustrious Swedish hero, but mine. My greeting to thee, little darling! here on the scene of this rag-paper and this ragged life! I know thy whole life beforehand, therefore it is that the wailing voice of thy first minute moves me so sorely: I see on so many a year of thy life tear-drops hanging, that is why I am so touched with compassion, as I look at thy eye, which is as yet tearless because it is merely thy body that pains thee;--man comes without a smile, without a smile he goes, for a space of three fleeting minutes he was happy. I have therefore with wise forethought, dear Gustavus, saved up the fresh May of thy youth, of which I am to print a landscape-piece upon poor blotting-paper, against the May of the natural year, in order now, when every day is a creation day of nature, to make each day of mine such; in order that now, when every breath one draws is a steel-cure, every step four inches longer and the eye less curtained by the overhanging eyelid, I may write with a flying hand and with an elastic bosom full of breath and blood.

Fortunately, from the 2d to the 27th of May, (and that is all my description covers) we have a steady spell of fine weather; for I am something of a meteorological clairvoyant and my short leg and my long face are the best weather cards and hygrometers in this part of the country.

Since education has far less effect upon the inner man (and far more on the outer) than tutors imagine, one will be surprised that with Gustavus exactly the opposite occurred; for his whole life echoed the choral tone of his superterrestrial, i. e., subterranean training. For the reader must still remember being told in the 1st Section, that the Moravianly disposed wife of the Head-forester von Knör refused to let her daughter Ernestina play herself away at chess except on consideration that the winning bridegroom should promise in the marriage contract to educate and conceal their first child for eight years under the earth, in order to save him from being hardened at once to the beauties of Nature and the distortions of humanity. In vain did the Captain protest to Ernestina, that "in this way his mother-in-law would reduce the soldier to a mere lady's night-cap, and they should rather wait until a girl came." He, too, like many other men vented his vexation with the mother-in-law wholly upon his wife. But the old lady had already, before the baptism, bespoken a young man of heavenly beauty from Barby. The Captain, like all energetic people, could not endure the Moravian Diminuendo; he talked most about their talking so little; it even annoyed him that the Moravian inn-keepers did not overreach him far enough.

But our Genius--this fine name he shall keep for the present on every page--did not succumb and sicken under those heart-cramping spasms of Moravianism; he took from it only its softness and simplicity. Above his dreamy, enthusiastic eye rose a smooth, peaceful, guiltless forehead, which the fortieth year left as unruled[10] and unmarked as the fourteenth. He bore a heart which vices, as poisons do precious stones, would have crumbled to pieces; even another's face ploughed or sowed with sins oppressed and stifled his breast, and his inner man turned pale in the presence of filthy souls, as the sapphire on the finger of an unchaste man is said to lose its azure glow.

Still a sacrifice of so many years' duration for a child must have weighed hard and heavily even upon so fair a soul as the Moravian's; but he said: "O what heavenly opportunities it also afforded him, which, however, he promised only in the future to his Gustavus, who, surely, with God's help, would bloom up as he hoped, and no one ought certainly to wonder at his seeming self-sacrifice to a true and profound earthly life." And I hope, in fact, my more refined readers, whose thought is far-reaching, will not wonder, but rather will act as if they counted such an educational heroism simply quite natural. To be sure, meanwhile the virtue of most men is rather only an extra leaf and occasional poem in their common-place, newspaper life; only there are still two, three or more geniuses surely extant, in whose epic life Virtue is the heroine, and all else only by-play and episode, and whose upward course the people cannot so much wonder at as gaze upon with admiration.

The first dark years Gustavus spent as yet with his guardian-angel in a chamber above ground, merely keeping him away from those unwholesome coin-clippers of childhood, whom we have to thank for as many lame limbs as lame hearts--maids and nurses. I would rather these (dis-)Graces should educate us in the second decade than in the second year.

After that the Genius repaired with his Gustavus down into an old walled-up cavern in the castle garden, which the Captain only regretted he had not long ago had demolished. A cellar stairway led down, on the left hand, into the rocky cellar, and on the right into this vault, where stood a Carthusian Monastery with three chambers, which, on account of an old tradition, they called the Monastery of the Three Brothers; on its floor lay three stone monks, with their hewn hands crossed forever on their breasts; and perhaps under the effiges the mute originals themselves lay sleeping with their long-sunk and smothered sighs over a fleeting world. Here the fair Genius alone governed his little charge and bent every budding twig upward to the lofty stature of manhood.

Such miserable circumstantialities as, e. g., the purveying of the wash and matters of bed and board, my female readers will gladly spare me; but they will be more curious to know how the Genius educated. Very well--I say; he did not command, but simply accustomed and narrated. He never contradicted either himself or the child; nay, he had the greatest arcanum for making him good--he was so himself. Without this arcanum one might as well hire the Devil for a preceptor as be one himself, as the daughters of bad mothers prove. For the rest, the Genius was convinced the education of the heart began at the first sacrament (Baptism), that of the head at the second (Communion).

To hear of good men is as much as to live among them, and Plutarch's Lives make a deeper impression than the best text-books of moral philosophy for the use of academic teachers. For children especially there is no other moral teaching than example, related or witnessed; and it is an educational folly to think that in giving children reasons, one gives them anything more than these reasons, namely, the will and the power to follow these reasons. Oh! a thousand times happier than I beside my Tertius and Conrector wast thou, Gustavus, lying in the bosom, in the arms and under the lips of thy precious Genius, like a thirsty Alpine flower under its trickling cloud, drinking in nourishment to thy heart from the stories of good men, whom the Genius called uniformly Gustavuses and Blessed ones, of whom we shall soon see why this designation of them is printed in Italic type! As he was a good draughtsman, he gave him, as Chodowiecky does the romance writer, a drawing of every piece of history, and built around the little one this Orbis Pictus of good men, as the Almighty Genius builds around us the world of great Nature. Only he never gave him the drawing before, but only after the description, because hearing attracts children to seeing more strongly than seeing does to hearing. Another would have taken for this pedagogic lever, instead of the drawing-pen, the fiddle-bow or the piano-key; but not so the Genius; the feeling for painting develops itself, like the taste, very late, and needs, therefore, the help of education. It deserves the earliest unfolding, because it takes away the grating which sunders us from Nature, because it drives the phantasying soul out again among external things, and because it turns the German eye to the difficult art of apprehending beautiful forms. Music, on the contrary, finds already in the youngest hearts (as with the rudest peoples) responsive chords: nay, its omnipotence is impaired rather by practice and years. Gustavus learned, therefore, as a deaf mute in his deaf and dumb cavern, to draw so well that even in his 13th year, his tutor sat to him, a beautiful man, who must make his appearance further on in this book.

And so, with both, did life glide softly along in the catacomb like a rill. The little one was happy; for his wishes did not reach out beyond his acquisitions of knowledge, and neither a fear nor a murmur distracted his peaceful soul. The Genius was happy; for the execution of this ten years' building plan was easier for him than the resolving upon it; the resolution conjures up at once all difficulties and deprivations before the soul. But the execution puts them far asunder and gives us the first real interest in it through the peculiar pleasure without which, in a thousand things, one's patience would be exhausted--that of seeing something daily growing under one's hands.

For both of them it was a good thing that down below there in this moral forcing-house dwelt also a schoolmate of Gustavus's, who was at the same time a half collaborator and adjutant of the Genius, who, however, by reason of certain defects of his heart derived from the whole education but a slim advantage, although he, as well as Gustavus, belonged to the class of animals with two heart-chambers and with warm blood. If I say that the greatest fault of the fellow-laborer was, that he would not drink brandy, one sees plainly that he had to be, not like Gustavus, trained up, but trained down,[11] because he was the neatest, blackest of--poodles that ever sprang round over the earth with a white breast. This intelligent dog and assistant teacher often relieved and released the head-master in play hours; besides, most of the virtues could be less well practised by him than by Gustavus upon him, and he kept for that purpose the necessary heteronymous vices ready:--in sleep the school-colleague easily snapped about him at living legs, in his waking hours at those which had been plucked off.

In this subterranean America, the three Antipodes had their day, i. e., a lamp lighted, when with us overhead it was night--their night, i. e., sleep, they had when with us the sun shone. The fair Genius had so arranged it on account of external noises and for the sake of his daily excursions. At that time, while his teacher enjoyed air and society, the little one lay down there in his monastery, with bandaged eyes, for chance and the cellar-door were not to be trusted. Sometimes he carried the sleeping veiled angel up into the fresh air and into the inspiring sunshine, as ants submit their larvæ to the brooding wings of the sun. Verily, were I a second or third Chodowiecky, I would at this moment stand up and engrave the scene for my own book in Swedish copper, not merely to depict how our pale red darling brought out into the open air slumbers under his bandage in a latticed rose-shadow, and like a dead angel lies before us in the infinite Temple of Nature, peacefully reposing with little dreams of his little cavern--there is something still more beautiful--thou still hast thy parents, Gustavus, and dost not see them; thy father, who stands beside thee, his eye bedimmed with love, and rejoices over the pure breathing that heaves thy little breast, and forgets in his joy at that how thou art being educated--and thy mother, who presses to thy face, on which lies the two-fold innocence of solitude and childhood, the love-hungering eyes which remain unsatisfied because they must not speak nor fondle. But she is pressing thee out of thy slumber, and thou must after a short time go down again to thy Plato's Cave.

The Genius had long been preparing him for the resurrection from his holy sepulchre. He said to him: "If thou art very good and not impatient, and lovest me and the poodle right well, then thou mayest die. When thou hast died, then I will die too, and we will go to heaven" (by which he meant the surface of the earth); "there it is right beautiful and magnificent. There they kindle no light in the day time, but one as large as my head stands in the air above thee and moves all day around thee beautifully--the roof of the great room is blue, and so high that no man can reach it with a thousand ladders--and the floor is soft and green, and, what is finer still, the poodles are there as large as our chamber. In heaven all is full of blessed ones, and there are all the good people, of whom I have so often told thee, and thy parents" (whose likenesses he had long since given him), "to whom thou art as dear as thou art to me, and who will give thee everything. But thou must be very good." "Ah! when, then, are we going, at last, to die?" said the little one, and his glowing fancy labored within him, and at every such description he ran up to a landscape painting and touched and interrogated every spear of grass.

Nothing acts so feebly upon children as a threat or a hope which is not fulfilled before evening. Only so long as one talks to them beforehand of a future examination or of their mature age, is it of any avail; hence many repeat this prefatory talk so often that it no longer leaves even a momentary impression. The Genius therefore constructed the long way to the greatest reward out of lesser ones, all which strengthened the impression and the certainty of the great one, and which will be found in the following section.

Apropos! I must repeat, that of all evils as regards education and children, in comparison with which the so much decried spelling-and-whipping-system is golden, there is none more poisonous, no more unwholesome mispickel, (or arsenical pyrite), and no more consuming pedagogical tape-worm than a French nurse.


Lilies--Mountain Bugles--and an Outlook--are Signs of Death

In all the fibres of my memory (those reminder-threads and leaf-skeletons of so much miserable stuff), there rests no lovelier legend than this from the cloister of Corbey--that when the Angel of Death had to take away therefrom a spiritual brother, he laid, as a sign of his coming, a white lily in his pew. Would that I had this superstition! Our gentle Genius imitated the Death-angel and said to the little one: "When we find a lily we shall die soon after." How, after that, did the heaven-longing child, who had never seen a lily, seek everywhere to find one! Once, when his Genius had pictured to him the Genius of the Universe, not as a metaphysical Robinet's puzzle-image, but as the greatest and best man on earth; a fragrance never before present floated around it. The little child feels, but does not see; he stepped out into the cloister and--there lay three lilies. He does not know them, these white June-children; but the Genius, enraptured, takes them from him and says: "Those are lilies, they come from heaven; now we shall soon die." Long years after, the sight of a lily always revived the old thrill of emotion in Gustavus's heart, and surely one day in his actual death hour a lily will hover before him as the last gleaming quarter of the waning moon-earth.

The Genius proposed to himself to let him, on the first of June, his birthday, come up out of the earth. But by way of stimulating his soul to a higher (perhaps too high a) degree, he let him in the last week experience still two holy vigils of death. That is to say, as he had already pictured to him beforehand the blisses of heaven, i. e., of the earth, with voice and face, especially the glories of the heavenly and spheral music, so now he ended with the intelligence, that often even to dying men, who were not yet gone up, this echo of the human heart sounded down, and that they then died the sooner because those tones dissolved the tender heart. Into the ear of the little one, music, that poesy of the air, had never yet entered. His teacher had long since made a so-called death-song; in this Gustavus naturally referred everything it said of the second life to the first, and they read it often without singing it. But in the last week all at once for the first time the Genius began to transfigure his mild didactic voice into the still softer singing-voice of the Moravian choral music, and to deliver the yearning death-song to the accompaniment of a mountain-bugle--that flute of longing--which he had arranged to have blown overhead; and the long-drawn adagio wails penetrated to their ears and hearts through the muffling earth like a warm rain....

In Gustavus's eye stood the first tear of joy--his heart turned over--he believed, even now he was dying of the tones.

O music! Lingering echo from a remote world of harmony! Sigh of the angel within us! When the word is speechless, and the embrace and the eye, even the weeping one, and when our dumb hearts lie solitary behind the grating of the breast; O, then it is through thee alone they cry to each other in their prisons, and their distant sighs meet and mingle and cheer them in their wilderness!

As at a real death, so in this mimetic one, the Genius led his pupil's approach toward heaven on the step-ladder of the five senses. He invested the semblance of death, to the advantage of the reality, with all possible charms, and Gustavus will certainly die one day more rapturously than one of us. While others bring us to see hell open, he promised him, that, like a Stephen, on his dying day he should see heaven open already, even before he ascended into it. And this actually occurred. Their subterranean valley of Jehoshaphat had beside the afore-mentioned cellar stairs a long, horizontal cross-passage, opening at the foot of the mountain out into the valley and the village which lay therein, and barred up at certain intervals by two doors. In the night before the first of June, when only the white sickle of the moon hung in the horizon, and like an old visage gray with age, turned in the blue night toward the hidden sun, he had arranged that in the midst of a prayer these doors should imperceptibly be thrown open--and now, Gustavus, for the first time in thy life, and on thy knees, thou lookest out into the broad theatre, nine million square miles broad, of human doings and sufferings; but only just as we in the nightly years of childhood and under the veil wherewith a mother guarded us from the flies, so dost thou glance out into the sea of night which spreads out before thee into immensity with swinging blossoms and shooting fire-flies, that seem to move among the stars, and with the whole multitudinous movement of creation! O, thou happy Gustavus! this night-piece shall remain long years after in thy soul, as a green island that has gone down in the sea, it shall lie encamped behind deep shadows and look yearningly at thee as a long past joyous eternity.... But after a few minutes the Genius folded him in his arms and veiled the eager eyes in his bosom; imperceptibly the heavenly gates swung to again and snatched his spring-time away.

In twelve hours he will be standing in the midst of it; but I am already oppressed with suspense as I draw nearer and nearer to this mild resurrection. It moves me, not merely because only one single time in my life can I have such a birthday, worthy of heaven, as Gustavus's, rise and set in my soul, a day whose fire I feel in my pulse, and of which only a faint reflection falls upon this paper--nor yet merely for the reason that presently the Genius withdraws, unknown both to author and to reader; but chiefly on this account, that I am to cast my Gustavus out of the still diamond mine, where the diamond of his heart formed itself so transparent and so brilliant, and so without spot or flaw, into the hot world which will soon hold up to it its concave mirror and crumble it to pieces; from his dead calm of the passions out into the so-called heaven, where by the side of the saints walk fully as many of the reprobate. But as he will then be at liberty also to gaze upon the face of great nature, it is not, after all, his fate alone that makes me anxious, but mine and that of others, for I reflect through how much rubbish our teachers drag our inner man as a malefactor before he is permitted to stand upright! Ah, had a Pythagoras, instead of the Latin one and the Syrian History, let our heart become a softly trembling Æolian Harp, on which Nature should play and express her feelings, and not an alarming fire-drum of all passions--how far--since Genius, but never Virtue, has limits, and everything pure and good can grow still purer--might we not have risen!

Just as Gustavus waits over a night, so will I postpone my picture one night that I may give it to-morrow with full rapture of soul.



Four Priests stand in the broad cathedral of nature and pray at God's altars: the mountains:--the ice-gray Winter with his snow-white surplice--the in-gathering Autumn with sheaves under his arm, which he lays on God's altar that men may take them--the fiery youth, Summer, who toils till night in bringing his offerings--and, finally, the child-like Spring, with his white church decoration of lilies and blossoms, who, like a child, strews flowers and blossom-cups around the lofty spirit, and in whose prayer all that hear it join. And for the children of men Spring is surely the fairest priest.

This flower-priest was the first the little Gustavus beheld at the altar. Before sunrise on the first of June (down below it was evening) the Genius knelt down in silence and offered up with his eyes and mute, trembling lips a prayer for Gustavus, which spread out its wings over his whole untried life. A flute breathed out overhead a tender, loving call, and the Genius said: "It is calling us up out of the earth toward heaven; come with me, my Gustavus." The little one trembled for joy and fear. The flute sounds on. They go up the nocturnal passage of the Jacob's-ladder. Two anxious hearts almost crush with their beatings the breasts that hold them. The Genius pushes open the doors, behind which stands the world, and lifts his child out on to the earth and under the heavens.... And now the high waves of the living sea clap their hands together above Gustavus. With choking breath, with compressed eyelids, with overwhelmed soul, he stands before the illimitable face of nature, and clings trembling more and more closely to his Genius.... But when, after the first shock of amazement, he had flung open, torn open his soul to these streams; when he felt the thousand arms with which the lofty Soul of the Universe clasped him to itself; when he was able to see the green, tumultuous flowery life round about him, and the nodding lilies, which seemed to him more living than his, and when he feared he should tread the trembling flower to death; when his eye, cast upward again, sank in the depth of heaven, the opening of infinity; and when he shrank with apprehension of the breaking down of the dark red mountain piles moving along through the heavens and the lands floating over head; when he saw the mountains resting like new earths on ours; and when he witnessed the endless life stirring around him, the feathered life flying along with the cloud, the humming life at his feet, the golden, crawling life on all leaves, the live arms and heads of the giant trees all beckoning to him; and when the morning wind seemed to him the great breath of a coming Genius, and when the fluttering foliage whispered, and the apple tree threw upon his cheek a cold leaf; when, finally, his eye, moving heavily under its burden, let itself be borne on the white wings of a butterfly, which, soundless and solitary, balanced above gay flowers and hung like a silvery auricula[12] to the broad green leaf.... then did the heavens begin to burn, the trailing edge of her mantle blazed off from the fleeing night, and on the rim of the earth, like a crown of God fallen from the divine throne, lay the Sun. "There stands God!" cried Gustavus; and with dazzled eye and mind, and with the greatest prayer which the bosom of a ten-year-old child ever conceived, he flung himself headlong upon the flowers....

Only open thy eyes again, thou darling! Thou art no longer gazing into the glowing globe of lava; thou art lying on the overshadowing breast of thy mother, and her loving heart in that bosom is thy Sun and thy God--for the first time thou seest the ineffably gracious, womanly and maternal smile, for the first time hearest the parental voice; for the first two blessed ones who came to meet thee in heaven are thy parents. O heavenly home! The sun beams, all dew-drops sparkle beneath it, eight tears of joy descend with the milder image of the sun, and four human beings stand blissful and touched with emotion on an earth which lies so far from heaven! Veiled Destiny! will our death be like that of Gustavus? Veiled destiny! that sittest behind our earth and behind a mask and lea vest us time to be--ah! when death dissolves us and a great Genius has lifted us out of the vault into heaven, then when its suns and joys overpower our soul, wilt thou give us also there a familiar human breast, on which we may open our feeble eyes? O Destiny! dost thou give us again, what here we can never forget? No eye will be directed to this page, which has nothing there to weep over and nothing there it yearns to meet again: ah, will it, after this life, full of dead ones, meet no well-known form, to which we can say: Welcome? ...

Fate stands dumb behind the mask; the human tear lies dark upon the grave; the sun shines not into the tear.--But in Immortality and before the face of God our loving heart dies not.


Forcible Abduction of the Fair Face.--Important Portrait

The state of astonishment into which Gustavus had, all day long by one object after another, been wrought up, and the loss of sleep, ended his first heavenly day with a feverish evening, which he would have had to relieve by a gush of tears, even without any other reason. But he had one: his Genius had, during the tumult in the garden, been snatched away from the darling with a speechless kiss, and had left nothing behind but a leaf to the mother. That is, he had cut a leaf of note-paper into two halves; the one contained the dissonances of the melody and the questions of the text thereto, on the other stood the solutions and the answers. The dissonant half was to come into the hands of his Gustavus; the other he kept. "I and my friend," said he, "shall one day recognize each other thereby in the world's wilderness; in the fact, that he has questions, to which I have the answers." The poodle too, which was every day growing bigger, he took with him.... Where shall we see thee again, unknown, beautiful enthusiast? Thou art all unaware how thy orphaned pupil cries and sobs for thee, and how the new, star-studded heaven does not please him so much as his chamber-ceiling when thou wast with him, and how the lighted candles transform every apartment to the still cavern in which he had loved thee and thou him. Even so in life's evening we bend down over the graves of our early friends, whom no one mourns but we; till at length a strange youth buries the last old man out of the loving circle; but not a single soul remembers the fair, youthful days of the last old man!

In the morning he was well again and cheery; the sun dried up his eyes, and the misty image of his genius under the veil of the past night receded far into the background. I am sorry to have to lay it to the charge of his years and his character, that, with the exception of the evening hours of the most painful yearning, he let the image of a friend be crowded out by nearer images and thrust far backward. All flowers were now playthings for him, every animal a playmate and every human being a bird Phœnix; every change in the heavens, every sunset, every minute overwhelmed him with novelties.

It was with him as with children of distinction who come out into the country; who peer into, handle, jump over, everything in the new earth and the new sky. For it is an indescribable good fortune for children of rank, that their parents, who generally make little account of Nature, nevertheless train them between high walls and high houses, which do not leave thirty-eight square feet of heaven visible, as in hot-house gardens with high walls, that Nature may come before their eyes as little as to those of their parents; whereby their feeling for both is kept as unworn above the earth, as if they had been actually brought up under it; nay, they see sunrise for the first time almost later than Gustavus--in the post-chaise or in Carlsbad.

His parents treated him as a new-born child, and did not like to have him out of their sight; they would hardly let him go out into the castle-garden and never down the mountain, where he would be in danger from the post-road. He had brought up with him, too, from his subterranean school-room a certain bashfulness which ordinary men and almost his father take for simplicity, but which men in higher life, if it only appears, as with him, in the company not of a staring, but of an overfull, enthusiastic eye, regard as the order-cross of a brother of the order. Nevertheless, eight days after, his parents repented not that they had shut him up, but that they had ever let him out.

The wife of the Head-forester, von Knör, had brought a lot of Moravian men and women with her to hear the disciple of the grave; an aftermath-sheaf of old maids had already bespoken the visit four weeks before, and had renewed the invitation, just to get sight of such a wonderful child. The Moravian brethren were lively and free, within the bounds of propriety; the sisters in a body formed a wall around a tall clock, whose case was bordered with angels blowing trumpets--they could not be torn away from the horn-blowers. Nor could they be persuaded to take anything; they opened neither their jaws nor their eyes, and the Captain was black with suppressed vexation. At last the lip of a sister touched a wine-glass, the others touched theirs; as much as one nibbled off of a cake just so big a crumb nibbled the others; one shiver would agitate this whole obligato company of two-footed sheep. The aftermath of old damsels, on the contrary, plunged into everything; on solid and in fluid, like Amphibia, they were equally at home; they had never in their chewing and chattering life stirred any member but the tongue.

But now when for the benefit or so many spectators the wondrous creature was to come forth, behold! he was--gone. Every corner was dusted out, long-lost things were found, every place was screamed into, every nook and every bush--no Gustavus! The Captain, whose first stage of distress was always a kind of anger, let the whole expectant sisterhood sit there with eyes wide open; but the Captain's lady, whose distress took hold of tenderer parts of her nature, drew her seat close up to them for sympathy. But when all anxious, inquiring, running faces came back more and more disconsolate, and when they actually found behind the open castle-gate the plucked flowers which the little fellow had stuck into his little shaded bed, and which were still moist with his sprinkling, then were the faces of the parents darkened with despair. "Ah! the angel has plunged into the Rhine," said she, and he said nothing to the contrary. At another time he would have stamped such a non sequitur under foot, for the Rhine ran half a league from the castle; but here the reasoner in both was desperate anxiety, which makes far wider leaps than hope. I spoke just now of another time, therefore, because I know what the Captain's way usually was, namely, to be, from very compassion, excited against the sufferer himself. Never, for instance, did his look express a stronger curse against his wife than when she was sick (and a single swift globule of blood would upset her); she must not murmur in the least; and when that was obeyed, she must not sigh; that done, she must not even make a sorrowful face; and if she obeyed all these directions she must not, in fact, be sick. He had the folly of idle and genteel people, he would always be jolly.

But here, when for once his pot of luck lay in fragments, another's sigh sweetened his own and his wrath at the careless troop of servants and at the dry sheep and aftermath of the sisterhood.

When the child had stayed out all night and the whole of the next forenoon, and when they actually found his little hat in the woods on the carriage-road, then did the stings of anxiety grow into the festering pains of inflicted wounds. There is no agitation of the soul against which it is so hard to bring an effective argument as against anxiety: I have, therefore, for a year and a day ceased to attempt any; I just willingly admit the worst it urges and then simply assail the next inward emotion which may grow out of the apprehended worst with the question, "and what if it should come?"

Every toadstool in the woods was trodden flat and every woodpecker scared away, in the effort to find a head for the hat, but in vain; and on the third day the Captain, whose face was an etching-plate of agony, wandered, without any distinct design of searching, so deeply into the woods that he would hardly have noticed the swift passing through the thicket of a traveling carriage, set out with trunks and servants, had not, issuing from it like a thunder-clap of gladness, the voice of his lost son startled his soul. He runs after it, the carriage shoots ahead, and out in the open ground he sees it already sending up a cloud of dust beyond his castle. Beside himself he comes up storming into the castle-yard to start in pursuit of it and--let it go. For up at the house-door stood the inmates of the castle who had suddenly run together and were now gathered in a knot around Gustavus, the castle dogs barked without having any clearly defined reason, and all were talking and questioning in such a way that one could not properly hear from the child a single answer. The carriage as it whirled by had let him out. On his neck hung by a black ribbon his portrait. His eyes were red and moist with the pangs of homesickness. He told of long, long houses, which he took streets to be, and of his little sister who had played with him, and of his new hat; but no soul would have been the wiser for all this had not the cook spied a card which had fallen at his feet. This the Captain read, and saw that he was not to read it, but his wife. He deciphered and translated it out of the Italian and the female handwriting thus:

"Can a mother, then, excuse herself to a mother, for having so long kept her child from her? Even if you do not forgive me my fault, still I cannot repent it. I found your dear little one three days ago wandering about in the woods, where I stole him into my carriage, in order to save him from worse thieves, and to find out his parents. Ah, I will just confess it to you: I should have taken him with me, even without either of these excuses. O, not because of his heavenly beauty, but because he looks so perfectly like, even to his hair, my dear, lost Guido; I can, even now, hardly give him up. Ah, it is already many years since fate in a strange manner snatched my dearest child, living, out of my bosom. Yours comes back to-day--mine, never!--Pardon the neck-pendant. The portrait you will take to be his, so like is he to my son: but it is really that of my Guido. His own I had also painted for me, and keep it, in order to have a duplicate image of my good child. Should I one day come to see your Gustavus, in his full bloom, I should gaze long upon him; I should say to myself: so must my Guido be now looking; so much innocence will he, too, have in his eyes; so very pleasing will he, also, be.--Ah, my little daughter weeps that her playmate is to leave her--and I do too; she gives back only a brother: but I, a son. May you and he be happier!--Excuse me from giving my name."

They all fell to guessing who the authoress could be. The Captain alone looked sad, and said nothing. I know not whether from sorrow at the recollection of his first lost son, or because he thought as I, in fact, do about the whole affair. I conjecture, namely, that the lost Guido is just his own child; and the correspondent is the beloved whom the commercial agent Röper had wrested out of his hands. I shall give my reason, by and by. Gustavus's beauty may be demonstrated, either a priori (by reasoning downward from cause to effect) or, secondly, by a reverse process, from consequent to antecedent. His forcing-house, in which he was trained and hidden, very naturally bleached his lily-skin to a white ground on which two pale cheek-roses, or only their reflection and the darker and denser rosebud of the upper lip had lighted. His eye was the open heaven which you happen upon in a thousand cases of five-year-old children, and only in ten of people fifty years old; and this eye was, moreover, veiled or beautified by long eye-lashes, and by a somewhat dreamy and enthusiastic haze. Finally, neither exertion nor passion had struck their marking-axe and its sharp letters into this fair tree, nor had the death sentence which was to announce its fall, been cut into its bark. But all beauty is soft, hence, the fairest people are the most tranquil; hence, violent labor distorts poor children and poor races.

But the year has not yet come, in which I can prove the beauty of Gustavus by the a posteriori process.

For as the auctioneer was at that time my most intimate friend, he executed for my pleasure the little trick of setting up for sale the paintings and engravings precisely on a day, when, on account of the masquerade, not a soul of the great world of Unterscheerau came out to the auction, I, alone, excepted; as expiatory payment for the same, I had to endure a thousand things. The whole town and suburb had contributed to this rubbish-heap of furniture, and was seller and buyer at once. In this auction appeared all European potentates, but wretchedly drawn and colored; and a nobleman of bon sens set up his two parents and was fain to pass them off as good knee-pieces (or half-length portraits);--in Rome, inversely, parents sold their children, only in naturâ. The nobleman hoped I would bid on his papa and mamma; but I overbade on nothing, except the portrait of Gustavus, which was knocked off to me. The nobleman was named Röper, of whom I have mentioned above, that he on one and the same day became husband and step-father.

And here, verily, thou hangest, Gustavus, opposite me and my writing-table, and when I am thinking upon anything, my eye always falls upon thee. Many blame me, my little hero, that I have nailed thee up here between Shakespeare and Winkelmann (by Bause); but hast thou not--a thing few think of--an arched nose, on which rest high and weighty thoughts; such a one as under the hand of death is often bent more beautifully; and hast thou not under the bony architrave a broad eye through which as through a triumphal gate nature enters into the soul, and a dome-crowned house of the spirit, and all else that entitles and enables thee to hold up thy head beside thy copper-plate neighbors?

The reader ought to know (but it occurs farther on) what obliges me just now, suddenly to finish and close the present sector.


Straw Wreath Discourse of a Consistorial Secretary, Wherein he and it prove that Adultery and Divorce are Allowable

I confess here, our enlightened age should be named an adulterous generation. I certainly said once at the marketplace in Marseilles, that I held the miserable thing, matrimonial infidelity, to be right. Even long before I got to Munich, I said one ought to annex to the Metropolitan Church, of the marriage bed, a chapel of ease--in Upper Saxony I said, if that countess went on bearing for a whole year something daily: then with countesses even now, at least the foregone year were to be had--in the ten German circles I certainly expressed myself in ten different ways:--But it was not then in place anywhere to expound the matter clearly out of physiology, but only here.

It was Sanctorius[13] who seated himself upon a Delphic night stool and there sat out the truth, that man got himself clothed upon every eleven years with a new body--the old one, like the German body politic, wearing away piece by piece till there remains of the whole mummy not so much as an apothecary will give, shaved down minutely, in a tea-spoon. Bernouilli contradicted Sanctorius up and down and showed us that he had blundered, for not in eleven, but in three years, the one of the twin brothers evaporated and the other crystallized. In short French and Russians change body oftener than the shirt on the body, and a Province is getting new bodies and a new religious Provincial jointly in three years as aforesaid.

The matter is by no means indifferent. For it is accordingly impossible that a baldhead, who celebrated his marriage jubilee should point to a bit of skin on his whole body as big as a penny and remark: "With this scrap of skin I stood 25 years ago at the altar and was, together with the rest, coupled to my jubilant wife here." That the jubilee-king cannot possibly do. The marriage ring, to be sure, has not dropped off, but the ring finger which it encircled has, long ago. In fact it is a trick beyond all tricks, and I appeal to other Consistorial secretaries. For the poor bride goes up joyfully under the bed canopy with the statua curulis of a bodily bridegroom and thinks--what knows she of good physiology?--that she has in the body something solid, a piece of iron, an article of real estate, in short a head with hairs, of which she can one day say, they have grown gray on mine and on my cap! Such is her hope; meanwhile in the midst of her hoping the rogue of a body works off its whole set of members, as a student his pawned student's goods, in the course of three years, in infinitesimal particles in mist and darkness. If she turns round on New Year's Eve--there lies in the marriage bed beside her a mere wax cast or second edition which the former body has left of itself, and in which there remains no longer a single leaf of the old one. What now--when the cubic contents of the bridal bed and of the marriage bed are so different--is a wife to think of the whole matter! I mean, if, e. g., a whole female consisting of (e. g. the Lady Consistorial President, the lady Vice-President, the lady Consistorial Secretary) after three years finds upon the pillow an entirely different male Consistory, from what the marriage promised this dissolved one should be: what course is a woman to take, who, if she is a consistorial half, knows right well quid juris? She, I say, who must have heard a hundred times over at the dinner table, that such an absconding of the male body is a cursed malicious abandonment or desertio malitiosa, which entirely releases her from her marriage vows--and in fact such a straw widow may actually have read Luther de causis matrimonii and have inferred therefrom that he does not forbid a maliciously deserted wife after a year or half a year to contract a new marriage. To betake herself to the aforesaid new marriage will manifestly be the first duty and design of such a deserted one; but as the new extant body of a husband cannot help the evaporation of its predecessor, accordingly, rather than distress him, she will do it without his knowledge and without vindictive feeling--perhaps when he is at the Exchange--or in the pulpit--or at the fair--or on board ship--or behind the session table or abroad somewhere.

Meanwhile the husband is no fool, but has always enough of physiology about him to know that the wife also changes her body as often as her maids; consequently he needs not to watch any chance. Nov. 22 c.25 of itself hands him the right of divorce, if she has run away from him for a night; but here the Consistorial Counselloress has absolutely blown away for ever and moreover repeats this evaporation every three years--she, who, nevertheless, according to "Lange's Clerical Rights," which the Consistorial Counsellor has on his book-shelf, would be obliged to follow him, if he were banished the country, even though, in the marriage-contract she had reserved the right to stay at home. Thus speaks Lange to husbands on the point. In the great world, where true chastity and universal knowledge, including of course physiology, are at home, the point has long since been treated with intelligence and propriety, and conscientiousness has been carried to great length. For as, in that sphere, a husband three years after the wedding-feast no longer expects to find in his spouse an apothecary's ounce of blood, nor a thin vein in which it ran, remaining of the old one; as, therefore, he thinks to find again the emigrated parts of his good lady much sooner and more surely in any other than in herself; as, accordingly, he must, much rather, regard love for his partner as infidelity to her and with her--(and, strictly taken, it is even so)--: it follows now, that the question is mainly one of pure morality; he, therefore, leaves to that assemblage of veins, nervous ganglia, finger-nails and nobler parts, which one calls in toto his wife--leaves her (or it) his name, half his credit, and half his children, because, on the whole, in the great world, one does not like publicly to dissolve public connections, and prefers, at last, to walk in a thousand air-woven fetters; but this his respect for morality and public sentiment does not allow him, to have one and the same dwelling--table--society with a wife who has another body; he does not even (which, perhaps, is being too scrupulous) like to appear with her in public and refrains at least in his house from all that of which he or Origen made themselves incapable.

There are miserable, faded pulpits, which may object to my position, that the wedded souls remain when the bodies have evaporated. For with the soul (therefore with the memory, the thinking faculty, the moral principle, etc.), at the present day there is little or no union in wedlock, but only with that which hangs round it. Secondly, it may be learned of any materialist on the philosophic exchange, that the soul is nothing but a sucker of the body, which, therefore, with both man and wife, passes away simultaneously with the body. One need not, however, take that ground, but one need only concur with Hume, who writes that there is no such thing as a soul, but merely a collection of ideas that cling together like toads'-spawn and so creep through the brain and think themselves. Under such circumstances the bridal pair may thank God, if their pair of coupled souls will hold together only as long as the two pairs of dancing-pumps at the marriage-ball. One sees this too the forenoon after the honeymoon.

Therefore, as has been said, no Canonist can put off the week in which man and wife may lawfully proceed to breach of marriage vows, longer than to the fourth year after betrothal; only for people of the world and of standing, this is hard and too rigorous, especially if they know from their "Keil" (the anatomist) that in a year the old body has entirely thawed away--a miserable sixteen pound avoirdupois alone excepted. Hence, it has often been my idea, that if I should bring my breach of marriage into the very first year (as many do) I should really be unfaithful to only a few pounds of my consort, (who weighs 107)--namely the sixteen pounds that still remained.

On the same exchange of bodies whereon one grounds his breach of marriage vows, must the Consistory ground its rule of divorce. For, as people often remain together, in open wedlock, nine, eighteen years after marriage, whereas all physiologists know that there are two new married bodies in the case, and without priestly consecration, accordingly the Consistory is now bound to look into it and interfere and divorce the two foreign bodies by a decree or two. Hence one will never hear of a conscientious Consistory's making any difficulty in separating Christians who are already joined in wedlock; but on the other hand one will quite as seldom hear of a case in which it divorces those who have merely promised marriage, without the greatest difficulty; and very naturally; for in the former case, that of a long marriage, true infidelity is to be averted by the bill of divorcement, because there are uncoupled bodies; but here, in the case of betrothal, the bodies which have made the engagement are not yet fully present, and they must first live for a long time in wedlock, before they are ripe for divorce. This is the true solution of an apparent contradiction, which has already misled so many weak minds to regard us all in Consistory as greedy of perquisites, and me as the marker, and our green session-boards as green billiard tables, around which President and Councillors skip with long queues, to play out our games; ah! besides, a Consistorial committee cuts more pens than coins money.

Why, on the whole, do not the Pastors report to us every couple in their parishes that have cohabited over three years, that they may be divorced at the proper time? Such a divorce, for which no further grounds are needed than this, that the two people have lived together a great while, has, indeed, in all countries no other design than that of allowing them to be afterward reunited regularly with their renewed bodies. The Consistory and I fare most accursedly in the matter, if things are not somewhat mended, when the new minister mounts the throne. Verily, such a spiritual administrative college often applies the long saw, and saws the marriage blocks or beds, in which the wedded pairs had lain for twenty-one years, who in so long a time had been seven times at least (infidelity and divorce falling due every three years) been proper subjects for infidelity and divorce; what forfeiture of perquisites, since we must needs multiply four-fold the costs of divorce, which we might have multiplied seven-fold! Besides such liquidation of divorce-expenses amounts to little, because it is notoriously moderated and, in fact, by the Consistory itself. Besides, one practises in the Consistorial Chamber the forethought and afterthought, by which I always, after fifteen or twenty years, draw out again the bill of perquisites, which the divorced pair had already paid, and hand it anew to the Consistorial messenger and collector, not so much for the purpose of getting the fees twice over (which is a secondary matter) as to duplicate the receipt, in case the divorced couple should have lost the first, and also to guard them against a third payment. One would make everything easy for the couple, by allowing the payment to be made in several and small installments.

... And to-day is three years since I too was joined in marriage.... but the straw-wreath oration on that occasion was too poor to repeat....


Robisch.--The Starling.--A Lamb in the Place of the Above-Mentioned Cat

After such an abduction they confined Gustavus's theatre and pleasure-ground strictly within the wall of the castle; into the waving grain-fields and the hamlet of Auenthal, which lay at about a seventeenth of a German mile distant, he could only look. This flowery mountain island he cruised round all day long, in order to knock down every red chafer, to twist off every marbled snail-house from its leaf, and generally to shut up everything that skipped about on six feet in the prison he had prepared for it. At the expense of his inexperienced fingers, he even undertook at first to pull the bee by the hinder part of the body out of its cup of joy. The motley prisoners he now crowded together (as princes do all classes of men into one metropolis) into a beautiful Solomon's-temple, or into a silver-plated Noah's-ark of pasteboard, with more windows than walls. The architect of this fourth temple of Solomon was not, as with the first, the Devil or the Worm Lis,[14] but a human being, who could easily be likened to both, the so-called princely rat-catcher Robisch. This vassal of the Captain visited annually the best chambers and gardens of the whole land, in order to cleanse both, not so much of their worst as of their least inmates--mice and moles. I will not exactly assure the learned Republic that this mouse-butcher dispatched as many subterranean moles out of the world as there are scribbling ones that annually come in, to set themselves on their hind feet and then with their fore feet, which in both kinds of moles resemble human hands, in the book stores and at the Leipsic trade-sale, throw up their mole-hills as little Parnassus-mountains;--meanwhile, Robisch was paid exactly as if the chamber-hunter had cleared out all vermin. For the people thought, if one should provoke this cup-poisoner of the rodents, instead of paying him, he would imitate the miracles of Moses, and redouble, by colonies left behind him, the vermin which one took out of his royal and penal jurisdiction. I will take my hands off from this dirty soul, whose orbit, I hope, may never bring him nearer my Gustavus, when I have recorded that he was often in the house of the Falkenbergs; that, when there were strangers there, he acted as extra and occasional domestic, and when wild game, in the shape of recruits, was to be caught, as drawing-hound to the Captain, and that he pressed himself and his wares upon little Gustavus. Such a hooking-on to children, without parental childlikeness, is ambiguous. Children, however, have a special love for servants, and Gustavus particularly, who, indeed, could not, even at a later period, possibly hate any one whom he had loved in his childhood; all the misdeeds which Robisch might have committed against him could not have snapped asunder the bond of that gratitude he felt for the gift of the miserable insect block-house which depopulated the wall.

Whatever lived and buzzed in the Solomon's-castle-church must be fed with sugar, because children look upon that as both lunch and dessert; and the finest inmates would have starved to death had not their overseer, Gustavus, received from the chamber-hunter, as a further present, a starling; for this starling he let hop into the Pantheon, and eat everything which itself had nothing to eat.... If I have here hid away under the wing-sheaths of the insects, and in the bill of the starling the most just reflections and the boldest hints, I hope the reader will cleverly find them there.

Except myself, no one, perhaps, had Gustavus's name in his bill so often as the starling, who, like court people, never had anything in his head but a nomen proprium. The little fellow thought the starling thought, and was a man as much as Robisch, and loved him for all he did; therefore, he could not be satisfied with listening to him and loving everything about him. In fact, there was nothing which he could love and hug enough. The farmer had for that purpose given him for a companion a black lamb, which he led and lured around the wall with a red ribbon and a crust of bread. The lamb, like a village comedian, had to play all parts. At one time he must be the Genius, then the poodle; now Gustavus and now Robisch. Thus did our little friend play solo his first earthly parts, and was at once manager, prompter, and theatre poet. Such comedies as children make for themselves are a thousand times more profitable than those they act, even though they came out of Weisse's writing-desk; in our day, besides, when the whole man is a figurant, his virtue a dramatic part, and his sensibility lyric poetry, this wrenching of children's souls is particularly dangerous. However, this is also, sometimes, not true; for I, myself, acted the complete sharper, to be sure only once, twice, or thrice in my life, but that was even before I had gone to my first confession.

The decree which forbade his going down the castle hill, differed honorably from the decrees of our transcendant parents, the magistracy, in this respect, that it was, in the first place, made known to the party concerned, and, secondly, that it was maintained for at least a fortnight. Gustavus would have given his life to have taken himself and his lamb from the wall down to the foot of the mountain. Now, as the Captain knew, from Quistorp's Juridical Contributions, that one may substitute for close confinement within the walls, the larger one of gaol limits, or the bounds of the district, accordingly he dictated the latter punishment instead of the former, and said: "Can not one give the lamb in charge of the farmer's Regel (Regina), so long as she tends the flock on the hillside? So far as I am concerned, the youngster may join in driving, if I only have him always in sight." I must still wait to see what the Imperial Knighthood will say or write upon this, viz., that an honorary member thereof, my hero, at four o'clock in the afternoon regularly twisted off a long hazel wand, and therewith transformed himself into a young ox-driver, and by the side of Strössner's eleven-year-old Regina, drove out the sheep and cattle and the lamb led by the ribbon with such pride and such Jupiter's eyebrows, that any one could easily see he directed the whole stall, and challenged the imperial chivalry at this moment to come and see him.

Only in the Millenial Kingdom are there such afternoons as Gustavus enjoyed, as in the lap of the earth, on that eminence. My father should have sent me to a drawing school: could I not now have caught and mirrored the whole landscape in my stream of colors instead of a stream of ink? Verily, I could image before the eyes of the reader every bush with its bird gliding into it, every lip-colored strawberry of the rocky slope, every sheep with its new growth of down, and every tree around whose roots the squirrel had strewed his crumbled fir-cones. Meanwhile there are, on the other hand, things at which the pole-cat hairs of the pencil brush in vain, but which flow beautifully from my quill--the eye of Gustavus swimming on the tide of pleasure, sails lightly to and fro between the lamb, the bright flowery ground with the shadow-formed spit of land and the enchanting face of Regina, and needs never to look away.

Why did I say "enchanting face," when it was only an every-day one? Because my little Apollo and sheepherd with thirsty eyes flew to this face, as to a flower. In a brain like his, wherein all day long the white flame of fancy and no blue phlegmatic brandy-flame blazed up, it could not fail that every female face should shine with gilded charms in a divine color, and not in a hue of death. All beauties had with him the advantage, too, of having been seen, not for ten years, but within ten days. This, however, is not his first love, but only a morning-divine-service, a vigil eve, a Protevangelium of some first love or other--nothing more.

For two whole weeks he drove his lamb to pasture, before his courage rose so high that he could venture--not to seat himself beside her knitting (that exceeded his human powers), but--to hold fast his sheep to its postillion d'amour, not, however, to lead it to Regina, but to be drawn by it himself to her; for the best love is the most bashful, as the basest is the most bold. Then, like a tranquillizing moon, would her image, as she was more in his thoughts than in his sight, lay itself upon his dreaming soul, and so much was enough. His second contrivance for being her assessor (or by-sitter) was the round shadow of a linden-tree that waved lower down the hill, behind which, as behind a lattice, the evening sun was broken into splinters. With this shadow he now edged up nearer and nearer to Regina; under the pretext of shunning one sun, he drew nearer to another redder one. With such little trickeries love runs over; but they are all guessed and forgiven; and they are often prompted more by instinct than by conscious design. To be sure, when the evening slowly stretched upward from the valley to the heights--when drowsy nature, sinking to slumber, still, as if half in sleep, murmured a word or two in the broken tones of a bird that had gone to its nest--when the chime of bells on the necks of the herd, that plucked the innocent flowers of joy from the meadow, and the monotone of the cuckoo and the confused hum of dying day had pressed the keys of the lowest strings; then did his love and his courage grow wonderfully, and not seldom to such a pitch that he openly took out of his pocket the cake which he had kept for her, and, without scruple, laid it in the grass, in order actually to make her a tender of this pastry, so soon as they should have, in the twilight, to part from each other at the castle-gate: there he thrust the donation upon her with hurried confusion and darted away with joyful shame. If he succeeded in insinuating into her hand this evening offering, then was every pulse of his arterial system a rapturously beating heart (for the speech and joy of his love was giving), and under his bed-clothes he was all night planting bold plans for the morrow, which the afternoon bell-hammer with four blows killed utterly down to their very tap-roots. She always put on her mother's wide neckerchief; from this a philosopher of sense must infer that in after years the large neckerchiefs of the ladies pleased him, which I myself prefer to the former short aprons of the neck; on the same ground he, like myself, also liked broad head-bands and broad aprons. I have already played L'Hombre with philosophers, who reversed the thing and asserted that all this pleased him, not because the article was on the beauty (Regina), but because the beauty was in the article.

In fact, I am ashamed that, while the raggedest Baccalaurei dip their pens and portray to their fellow Baccalaurei the most elegant Sponsalia of Queens and Marchionesses, I meanwhile spend my writing materials on the sheep-tending and love-making of two children. Both occupations ran on into the autumn, and fain would I picture them; but, as I said, my shame before the Bachelors!--and yet how I envy thee, winsome dreamer, this white sunny side of thy life on thy mountain, and thy lamb and thy vision! And how gladly would I arrest the days that glide over thy head and load thy little lap with flowers, and bring them to a standstill, so that the funeral-train of the armed days should have to halt in the background, which may empty thy lap--let the gairish light into thy pleasure-grove--stab thy lamb--pay thy Regina the wages of a serving-maid!

But in October all go off to Unter-Scheerau; and the children do not even know, as yet, that there are such things as lips and kisses!

O weeks of the very first love! why do we despise you more than our later follies? Ah, on all your seven days, which in you look like seven minutes, we were innocent, unselfish and full of love. Beautiful weeks! ye are butterflies that have lived over from an unknown year[15] to flutter as heralds of our life's spring-time! Would that I could think of you as enthusiastically as once, of you, days when neither pleasure nor hope were checked by any limits! Thou poor son of humanity--when the tender, white mist of thy childhood which spreads its enchantment over all nature is gone, still thou dost remain long in thy sunlight, but the fallen mist creeps up again from below into the blue as a denser rain-cloud, and in the noon of youth thou standest under the lightnings and thunder-bolts of thy passions!--and at evening thy rent heavens still rain on!


Departure for the City.--Woman's Whims.--Gashed Eyes

As the nobility and wood-rats inhabit the country in summer, and in winter the city, the Captain did so too; for the beauty of nature (he thought, and so did his lawyer) amounted at last to nothing more than an inventory of boors, whose elbows and thighs are cased half in ticking and half in stitched leather, swampy grounds, fallow fields, and herds of swine, and that there is nothing there for the senses but stench; whereas in the city there is at least a bit of flesh to be had, a game of French cards, some real good fun and a human being or two. It is youthful intolerance to deny that a man who has no feeling for music or scenery, may still have some for other people's needs and honor, especially if that man is the Captain.

Much weightier reasons still drove him to Scheerau; he sought there 13,000 Rixdollars, a lot of recruits, and a tutor. The last first! His wife said: "Gustavus must have some one; he is still deficient in breeding!" But tutors are not wanting in that; these infants from the Alumneum, whom nothing raises but a pulpit staircase, who continue to be shepherds of the soul to the young noblemen, till they become spiritual shepherds of the Church, which their pupil governs--these educational potters are able to shape and smooth not merely the mind of the young gentleman--as the father hopes--but his body also--as the mother hopes--right well; first, without any polish of their own; secondly, in study hours; thirdly, with words; fourthly, without women; fifthly, in a sixth way, this, namely, that the tutor compresses the broadest lion-heart into a sleepy badger's heart.

The second metallic spur which urged the Captain to the city was money. No one could fall into the condition of being either a creditor or a debtor so easily as he; as he neither denied himself nor others anything; he had at last transformed half the neighborhood into his guests and debtors; but now he would almost change himself into both, unless the Prince should build up again his dwindling money-pile. He was obliged therefore to come to the residence-city of Ober-Scheerau with the disagreeable petition that the aforesaid Prince would--not so much present or lend--that might have been practicable--but rather pay 13,000 Rixdollars, as a capital of seven years standing. The Sufi of Scheerau had, namely, a habit of never dismissing a mistress without giving her a parting present of an estate, or a government, or a starred husband; he always left so much of a female favorite, that a marriageable wife might be made out of it for a marrying ninny; as the eagle and the lion (who are also Princes, of beasts) always leave a portion of their prey unconsumed for other creatures. Accordingly he divorced himself even from the mother of his natural son--Captain von Ottomar--on the knightly seat, Ruhestadt, which he, on one and the same day, bought and gave away (with Falkenberg's money.)

Thirdly, the Captain, by coming to Scheerau, would spare his under-officers, who were mostly stationed there, a step or two; for he could strike, indeed, with his cane as easily as a lady with her fan, but he would not willingly break the sixth leg of a grasshopper, and therefore he spared the limbs of his people, who had four legs less, so much the more.

At last they are packing up, the Falkenberg family; we will look on. As the only time that Falkenberg's soul, like clocks and horses, did not stop was in traveling, on the morning of his journey he was in his most joyous and impetuous mood; wanted to go ahead not by seconds, but by nones; cursed all hands and feet in the castle for not flying; crammed and jammed the female trinkets and toggery with brazen hands into the nearest box; and had no other seton to draw off his impatient ennui than his feet, with which he stamped, and his hands, with which he partly thrashed the coachman for the same reason that he did the horses, and partly and handsomely, distributed presents to all that were left behind in the castle.

But the Captain's lady understood so well how to do all things in the most complete and judicious manner, that she was never done with anything. If she had had three jumps to take to get out of the way of the moon as it came dumping down to the earth, she would, before jumping have smoothed one more wrinkle out of the window curtain--if she had been ironing it would have been still worse. Like scholars, in addition to her professional or livelihood-study, she devotes herself to an extra-study and by-work and does, in connection with every piece of work, those that lie adjacent to it. "Once for all, I cannot be so slovenly as other women," she has just been saying to her gnashing husband, who looked upon her for eight dumb minutes. "I would rather, in the devil's name, you were the most slovenly in the whole feudal nobility," he replied. Now as she, whenever she was overtaken by a storm and injustice, merely anchored to the angry hyperboles of the party, as I, in the capacity of appellant advocate must frequently do, so too, on this occasion, she cleverly proved that slovenly women did not amount to much--and as there is nothing which still more excites a heated Captain like a haughty proof of what he does not in the least deny; so now, as always, things went on from worse to worse; the war-flails of the tongue were set in motion, his saliva-glands, her lachrymal-glands, and the livers of both parties with their gall-bladders secreted as much as must needs be secreted in Christian connubial colloquies,--but fifteen minutes and fifteen packings absorbed again like blood-veins all these connubial secretions. In starting on a journey no mortal has time to be angry. She was, upon my honor, a right good wife, only not at all times, e. g., least of all in setting out on a journey: she wanted, in the first place, to stay at home, and scolded at everything that had ears; secondly, she wanted to go. Never, when her husband in the morning put on his own cravat and his dog's, to make visits, did she desire to go too (unless indeed she had foreseen the absolute impossibility of going with them), but if, on the second day after, he happened to drop a word about a lady he had met there, then she would bewail her distress in his ears: "One of us cannot, the whole summer long, get a whiff of air out of the house." If, the next time he would constrain her to accompany him, then there was a frightful deal to do; there was bleaching, weeding, screwing up meat-chests and napkin-presses, washing-bills, and everything to attend to, or this pretext: "I prefer to stay with my little ones." But her aim, which few guessed, was merely to be in two places at once, in the house and out of it, and it is unfortunate for our wives, if our philosophers and husbands have not as much insight as the Catholic philosophers and husbands the Combrian, Ariaga, Bekanus had long ago,[16] who perceived that the same body could easily at the same second not only sit, speak, grow in two or more places at once, but could even feel in one city and think in another,--at one and the same moment laugh in the church and weep in the theatre.


Are Women Female Popes?

All the questions in this paper I once put to an Abbess, who cared more to make money than saints. Is not the triple crown of the Pope now on female heads, as a four or five-fold one, and do not their hats shoot up into the air like lettuce-heads in dog-days?--Is it not well known to women themselves that they are as infallible as the Pope, and if he, as the Jansenists believe, is more so in dogmatic than in historical matters, is not with the female Popes the reverse true? And who has the courage to contradict one, unless he has married her? The Pope is God's vicegerent or, in fact, God himself, if Felius[17] is to be credited; but are not the Papesses notoriously Goddesses? Certainly a Pope, Clement VI. himself says, that he can command angels to transport any church out of Purgatory into Heaven[18]; but do our female Popes need angels for that? They require only a week to cast us into Purgatory, and only an hour to snatch us out of it into Heaven. Marianus Socinus, who asserts[19] that a Pope can make something out of nothing, right out of wrong, and anything under heaven out of anything under heaven, must simply not think of doubting that our Papesses also have the same power, and do not their auricular confessions recur to is recollection? Who excommunicate their heretics or give dispensations to their faithful oftener. Popes or Papesses? and who, at this day, most serene Abbess! makes more omnipotent eye-briefs and lip-bulls, who creates more saints, more blessed ones and more Nuncios a and de latere, Peter's successors or Peter's successoresses? Popes are said formerly to have given away or taken away kingdoms; what then? Do not Papesses rule those Kingdoms? Popes could not bestow upon America anything except a name, but is not that which some Papesses bring us from that land something much more real? Kings who once were tormented by Popes, are now blessed by Papesses; and if the former at most created a King or two, are not the Kings under most of the European throne canopies made by Papesses, and in fact, in neat pocket-form, until they gradually grow up from the baptismal font to be as tall as I or their throne? Do we not kiss their slippers oftener than that of the Holy Father, since their two arms were found by Professor Moskati at Padua long ago to be two fore-feet, to whose kid or silk shoes (hand-shoes) we every week press our lips? Do not Pope and Papess lay aside their old names, when they ascend the throne, which the one claims on the ground of age, the other on that of youth? And if it were true, that Pope and Papess were originally only bishops of a Province (a husband) and that there has never been any other female Pope than the good Joan; could I venture to say the exact opposite publicly in an extra-leaf or privately in your ear, most serene Abbess?

End of the Extra-Leaf.

* * * *


While I was questioning the Abbess, my attention was drawn away from the extravagantly whimsical Captain's lady. I will suppose that I or the reader had married her; then we should certainly have thanked heaven that we had screwed our brilliant ring on her ring-finger; and yet, as one sees, we should have had every day to have a tussle with her; so true it remains, that not the vices, but the whims of women strew so much horse-dust and so many thorns in the nuptial couch, that oftentimes Satan would be glad to lie there.

But for Gustavus, who carried so much, we should not have got out of the Castle ten minutes ago. My reader pictures him to himself, quite contrary to my expectation, and very falsely, namely, as being sad, because he has quitted the earthly cradle of his childhood, his garden of Adam and his evening mountain. How false! Another reader would imagine him full of joy, because with children, to whom every change of scene presents a new one, journeying is the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, and because the fancies of a child are not as yet gloomy ones. Scheerau must have seemed to his anticipation nothing less than the city with long houses, wherein he had played with his sister. Besides--which is a naturalization-act to all children--his play-house had been put on board; even the starling, who, as an agitated hierarch, sprang up and down in the Solomon's-Chapel-of-Ease, he held in his jouncing lap. He pitied every corner of the Castle with all that was in it, that it could not take passage with him; this whole shell of a house seemed to him so narrow, so worn out, so faded out! People who have traveled little look upon their familiar home at the moment of departure, at that of arrival, and at other times, with three different feelings; but for migrating locusts and birds of passage the high roads and city streets are only the corridors between the apartments.

Half an hour before starting he seated himself on the empty coach-box, with his legs wedged in among the baggage and in palpitating expectation of the moment when the horses should make their first leap. At last the carriage door was shut to and all rolled away, down the mountain, across the common, on which the white, peeled tree that was once more to be planted in the earth with red-painted flag and ribbon streamers for the church-wake, grew quite despicable in the eyes of Gustavus, who was just going to meet in Scheerau a hundred finer May-poles and church fairs. But as he passed along by the fruitful region of his mountain, where such a harvest of joys had ripened for him: Ah, then, from the funeral pile of dead afternoons, from the tinkling herd that grazed on the summits, from an associate herd boy with whom he had been no great friends, from the stone-built pen in which he had folded his lamb, that now stood up there without a ribbon and without any one to love him, and, finally, from the boundary-stone, on which once his sweetheart, his beauty, sat knitting--from all this, of course he turned his eyes away slowly, with many a long-lingering backward glance. "Ah!" he thought, "who will give thee citron-cakes and my little lamb crusts of bread? But I will send you over every day ever so many things!"

It was a pure October morning, the mist lay folded up at the feet of the heavens, the migrating summer still hovered with its blue pinions high over the foliage and the flowers which had brought it, and gazed with its broad and quietly warming sunny eye upon man, to whom it was bidding farewell. Gustavus would fain get out of the carriage, in order to wrap up the dew-sprinkled, fleeing summer, which, delicately woven, overspread the earth like a human life, and take it along with him. But thou, man! how often dost thou hang down over nature as a pestilential and mephitic vapor!

For they could hardly have gone on a league, after which he already began to take every village for Scheerau.... But I will first indicate where it was. At Yssig he screamed out in the wood: "O now the black arm yonder will reach in and take me out!" While the old man was still wondering how the little one knew that a finger-post was coming, which now actually pointed out from among the trees, all at once in behind there a voice began to scream: "Oh! my eyes! my eyes!" The child and the mother were petrified with terror; but the Captain leaped out from or through the carriage, smashed the glasses and bounded into the wood--and right upon a beautiful kneeling child, from whose lacerated eyes ran tears and water. "Oh, don't do anything to me, I can never see any more!" he said, and groped about him with his hands, in order to strike away the lancet which lay at his knees. "Who has done this?" said the Captain, with the softest voice, that broke with intense compassion; but ere the child spoke, an old haggard beggar-woman approached and said a beggar had darted into the thicket, who would fain have blinded the child, in order to beg with it. But the child clung with increasing convulsions to his hand, and said: "Oh, she will cut me again!" The Captain guessed the knavery, broke off the nearest branch, switched at the wretched woman's face with a rage that missed its aim, and ran with the blind boy in his arms to the affrighted carriage. It was a heart-rending spectacle, the innocent worm, with fine features and movements, in rags, and with red and wrinkled eyes!


Viscera Without Body.--Scheerau.

Not merely liars and L'Hombre players, but romance readers also, must have a good memory to learn by heart the first ten or twelve sections, as if they were declensions and conjugations, because without these they cannot get on in the exposition. With me no stroke is in vain; in my book and in my body there hang bits of spleen; but the use of this inward part will very soon be brought out. Since a romance writer, like a courtier, aims at one sole object, namely, to ruin his friend and hero and lead him into heavily charged tempests, accordingly, I, too, have been for the last quarter building up, here a gray cloud that vanishes, there one that melts away; but when at last I have irresistibly charged with electricity all cells of the horizon, then I compress the whole devil into a thunder-storm--after fourteen sheets have been struck off, the compositor can already hear and set up the crash.... At bottom, to be sure, there is not a word of truth in it all; but as other authors are fond of giving out their romances for biographies, the privilege will be granted me of sometimes divesting my biography of the appearance of a romance.

The child, instead of his history, gave mere lamentations over his history. He seemed over seven years old, spoke German with an Italian accent, and his sickly, delicate, and pale-red body enwrapped his soul as a pale rose-leaf does the worm within it. His father was named Doctor Zoppo, came from Pavia, botanized himself from Italy to Germany, and let the little ones tear yellow flowers along the way. The blind Amandus wanted to pluck in this wood herbs also, but the devilish she-oculist happened upon him, helped him find yellow flowers and lured him with them so far into the woods that she could rob him of his clothes and his eyes.

Gustavus kept asking him every minute whether he could not see yet, gave him his luncheon that he might leave off weeping, and could not, as his eyes were so widely open, comprehend his blindness. In the next country town Falkenberg got himself shaved and Amandus bandaged. I once saw at the last station before Leipsic such a charming traverse-band over the eye and forehead of a maiden, that I wished my wife might from time to time have a slight cut in that region, because it has a very neat effect; contrariwise the bandage over Amandus's two eyes made him look a child of woe.

When Amandus, in better clothing and with the sad bandage, sat in the carriage, Gustavus could not possibly cease weeping, and would fain get out his starling and present it to him; for sympathy is determined not by the size but by the shape of suffering.

Few persons who journey to Scheerau, will have the absurd fortune to meet suddenly, two leagues before arriving, a solitary carriage without the occupant appertaining to it; Falkenberg and his people and horses had this luck. This carriage was bearing the stomach, the thick and thin intestines, the liver, wherein princes seethe their gall, the lungs, whose air-bladders are the princely gall-bladders, as the wind-pipe is the gall-passage to the same, and the heart; but no corpse came with them; for the corpse, which was the reigning Lord of Scheerau, already lay in the hereditary vault. This stomach digested as much as his conscience did, namely, whole hides of land; and better than his thin head, to which truths and grievances (gravamina) were a heavy food; the Papinian stomach-machine remained even in advanced age still fiery, as indeed all else about him was childish. He used to ride for hours, a short time before his death, on a chamberlain, to whom he took a considerable liking; nevertheless, as a thoroughly sensible man, he thrust aside platter and glass, when the old and right contents no longer remained in either. Behind the sarcophagus of the intestines--the relic casket of the abdomen--rode the chief steward of the kitchen, several assistant cooks, the adjunct of the waiting service, and still greater members of the court establishment, e. g., the Medical Counsellor Fenk. He and Falkenberg did not observe each other. The latter was engrossed to-day with mere vanities: the Doctor, whom he sought in Italy, and the Prince, whom he still expected to find on the earth. The insolvent crowned entrails, which, in this way, could not pay money, involved him now in a financial litigation with the heir to the crown.

The funeral procession of the princely intestines went to the Abbey of Hopf, where occurred the interment of their princely members; which--if a word of Plato is to be believed--are true beasts, and with which man, be he enlaced with order-ribbons or harnessed with drawing-bands, always has his infernal tussle. I will follow the box of viscera just three steps, because the Medical Counsellor--according to his habit of amusing himself in all places, in theatre boxes and church pews and taverns, only not in his study, by writing--here in the burial church of the intestines untied his writing-tablets and wrote down things which literally read as follows: "As princes have themselves interred, just as they also reside, in several places at once, so would I, too--but only in this way, and no other: my stomach must be deposited in the Episcopal Church--my liver, with its bitter bladder, in a Court Church--the thick intestines in a Jewish oratory--the lungs in a mixed,[20] or, at least, a University Church--the heart in the church triumphant, and the spleen in a Dissenting Chapel. But if I were first funeral preacher of a crowned abdomen, I should take another course; I should take the gullet for entrance or exordium of the funeral sermon and the blind gut for the close! And could I not in the three parts of my discourse run through the three concavities, touching lightly therein the nobler parts of the body, and, finally on its last passages, deliver myself in tears and eulogies out of the dust? For so one jests here below." There is a poetic frenzy--"fine frenzy"--but also a humorous, which Sterne had; but only readers of finished taste do not account the highest stretch of the faculty as overstraining.

The Falkenberg traveling train reached Scheerau at evening--the finest time to arrive anywhere, hence so many arrive at evening in the other world. It seemed to Gustavus as if he had been there before during his abduction. But as the fewest possible of my readers can have been abducted on account of their beauty, and therefore they do not know the city, it shall be shown up to them in the tenth section.


Upper-Lower-Scheerau.--Hoppedizel.--Herbarium.--Visitors' Croup.--Prince's Feathers.

No Geographer and Upper Consistorial Counsellor has ever yet had the misfortune which has befallen Herr Brüshcing--namely, of omitting in his topographical atlas a whole good principality, which shares a seat on the courtly bench of Wetteran and is called Scheerau--which, according to the imperial matriculation schedule, furnishes 8/9 of horse and 9-2/8 of foot, and pays the Master of the Exchequer 21 Fl. 1/91 Xr. (kreutzer)--which was promoted to princely rank under Charles IV.--which has its five fair representative Chambers, which have everywhere a say, but nothing to do; namely, the Commandery of the German Order, the University, the Knighthood, the cities and the towns, and which, among other inhabitants, contains also me. I would not stand in the shoes of such a writer--one who creeps with his geographic mirror into every cul-de-sac in order to take its likeness, and yet in this instance has skipped over a whole principality with its five paralytic estates; I know how it annoys him, but now that I have talked with the whole world about it there is no longer any help for him.

The capital city, Scheerau, consists properly of two cities--New, or Upper Scheerau, where the Prince resides, and Old, or Lower Scheerau, where the Captain lodges. I, for my part, have long been convinced that the Saxon houses are not half so far removed from the Frankforters as the Old and New Scheerauers are from each other in style, face, fare and everything. The New Scheerauer has court-style enough to have dignity, debts and passion for extra-domestic pleasures; and yet, again, too much chancery style--because all the highest colleges of the land are there--not to recognize or demand everywhere stiff subordination, or to sink from the Chamberlain to the Chancery Clerk and Auditor of the Treasury. Now, the old Scheerauer perceives this. On the other hand, the New Scheerauer perceives that the other has the following traits: If in China the jaws of a dinner-party must all move simultaneously like a double piano; if in Monomotapa the whole country sneezes every time the Emperor does; let one go to Old Scheerau, and there he will find things still better; at the same moment all streets must weep, cough, pray, ease themselves, hate and spit; their Blue Book looks like a musical score, from which all play the same piece, only with different instruments and voices, (only in music are they swayed by some true spirit of freedom, and none slavishly binds his elbow or fiddle-bow or quill [Tangenten] to his neighbor's)--they hate belles-lettres as much as they do one another--incapable of doing without social pleasures, of arranging or enjoying them, incapable of enterprise, of openly either hating or loving or enduring each other, they worm themselves into their money-piles and publicly respect the richest and privately only the relative, or, in fact, nobody at all--without taste and without patriotism and without reading....

But I am putting it quite too strongly; no reader will be willing to stir a step after the Captain towards Lower-Scheerau. Their greatest fault is, that they are good for nothing; but, aside from that, they are thrifty, full of none but trades-people, temperate, and sweep the streets and their faces nice and clean. Capitals, like courts, have a family-likeness; but country-towns inasmuch as more commercial, military, legal, mining or marine sap flows through them--a different full-face and half-face.

The Falkenberg ship's company alighted from its traveling ark before the plated front door of the Professor of Ethics, Hoppedizel; in the Professor's second story they usually had their winter quarters. Just behind the said door the Captain encountered an absurd melodrama, namely: the Raft Inspector, Peuschel, was leaning against the wall, vomiting and cursing; and regularly alternating from one to the other, as between Pentameter and Hexameter. The Professor of Morals quickly, with an uninked finger, wrote on the wall the outlines of the following words which he read off as fast as he traced them: "It was indeed disgusting, devilishly disgusting." Any other man the entrance of an old friend like Falkenberg would at once have disconcerted in the whole scene; the Professor, however, was not to be cheated out of his joke, but began his embrace in an unaltered tone with a report of the present case: "The gentleman before you. Raft Inspector Peuschel," (began Hoppedizel) "is fond of tippling, with wine particularly--it was in vain that the inspectoress, his lady"--(for discreet forbearance was never on Hoppedizel's lips)--"had sought to reform him by letting a live frog die in his wine. He himself" (he added) "had therefore to-day tried his hand at making this guzzling sicken him. For he had luckily cut a gall-stone--as thick as a Muscatelle-pear--out of a University subject; this he had hollowed out into a drinking urn and made Herr Peuschel believe it was of lava and to-day had let his vomiting friend drink out of it genuine Hungarian wine of the best crop; and that it might not fail to nauseate him and set his crop into a reaction, he had only a few minutes before made it clear to his patient that the volcanic beaker was veritable gravel-stone. And he hoped it would be some time before his friend would get this piece of earthenware out of his head."

The Professor begged the Inspector to do him the favor, in case the nausea left him, of staying there this evening and joining the Captain in a spoonful of soup.

There are certain houses where, let one visit them as often as he will, one shall find everything revised and turned up and turned over; this was emphatically the case in Hoppedizel's establishment; and the Captain's winter quarters looked always like a summer house in winter. People of refinement charm us by a certain delicate attention to another's little necessities, by an anticipation of his slightest wishes, by a constant sacrifice of their own, by courtesies that wind their silken web more softly and securely round our hearts than the cutting love-cord of a great benefaction. Hoppedizel used neither the silk nor the cord, and cared for nobody. It was not from absence of fine feeling, but from rebellion against it, that, when the Captain, the very first week, cursed both his quarters and his landlord, he simply laughed at him.

The delicate Amandus kept his sickbed all the evening and Gustavus crept to his side, in order to play with him. How, in the Arabia Petrea of the hateful world, are we refreshed by the sight of children who love one another, and whose good little eyes and little lips and little hands are no masks!

The next day an accident again took the two children away from each other. The Captain led them through all the streets of the city as through a picture gallery, and silently stopped at last with the two foster-brothers of the heart before the house of his friend Dr. Fenk, and looked wistfully at his picture (on the sign.) It represented a Doctor's coach with a Physician inside, Death in front, harnessed into the shafts, and the Devil sitting up on the box. "The dear, good droll," thought he, "might surely just trudge home from his Italy and give his friends a pleasure!" For he had not heard a word of his actual return. "Mandus! Mandus! run up!" cried suddenly a little maid overhead, who seemed on wires, and came herself skipping down and plucked and pecked at the little fellow. The good-natured Captain gladly followed the children out of the great parterre into the familiar house, and his astonishment at all signs of Fenk's return ceased only with the rushing in of the Doctor himself. The latter, when half way towards embracing him, bounded back to the little blind boy and amidst tears and kisses snatched off the bandage--examined the eyes for a long time at the window--and said, after drawing a long breath: "God be praised and thanked! he is not blind!" Now, for the first time, the Doctor flung his arms, with redoubled warmth, around his friend. "Pardon me, it is my child!" Nevertheless he drew Amandus again to the light, and examined him still longer, and said, with raised eyebrows; "It seems to be merely a lesion of the sclerotica; the oculist-woman let out the aqueous humor. In Pavia I saw it done every week with dogs, whose eyes the dentists (our medical feudal-cousins) slit up and spread over them a stupid salve. When afterwards the humor and the sight came back of themselves, the salve had the credit of it."

I skip over the stream of the outpouring, conversational and joyous, of the two friends, which left them hardly eye or ear for anything, least of all the clock. "Ah, here they come," said Fenk, namely, the guests. As my readers have understanding enough, they can permit me, I hope, to finish my narrative before they take down their rod of wrath, against the imaginary posterior of the Doctor, from behind the looking-glass.

No one had such a burning hatred as he for the narrowness, intolerance, and provincial pedantry of the inhabitants of Lower Scheerau, wherewith they made a short life so much the shorter to themselves, and a sour one so much the more sour. "It disgusts me to be praised by them"--he not merely said that, but he even loved to exasperate by putting the worst face upon his purest motives, the whole town, from one end to the other; meanwhile, in the tenderness of his heart, he could not do more than vex the whole city in grosso, never one single person. For this reason on the second morning after his arrival he glided about like an influenza from one house to another, and invited all aunts, cousins, blood-relations and blood-enemies, people in whom he had no interest save as they belonged to the dear Christendom, e. g., the Raft Inspector, Peuschel, the Late-Director Eckert, with his four late-pears of daughters, and all that had breath in Unter-Scheerau--he invited all in a body to spend an afternoon, and inspect a rarity he had brought home with him, namely, a herbarium vivum, which he would exhibit. "It was no live book of plants, but something quite special, and he had brought home from the glaciers the very best."

And these all were now coming, not because they cared the least for a book of plants, but because they wanted to see it, and incidentally the bachelor Doctor's housekeeping. I must confess thus much to the European courts, that the whole assembled township and cousinship swept in and coughed and hemmed their way through with grace; and the four late-pears were not wanting in good-breeding, but made instead of bows profound genuflexions and kept very well their perpendicular position. The host then brought in two long folios of plants, and said in a friendly manner he should take pleasure in showing them all--and now he kindled the hell into which he cast the company--he crawled with caterpillar's feet and snail-slime from leaf to leaf of book and plant; he showed nothing superficially; he went through the pistils, stamens, anthers of every single plant; he said he should weary them if he were more copious, and would describe, therefore, name, country, and natural history of every group very briefly. All faces burned, all backs were roasted, all toes were in a fidget. Vainly did one cousin attempt to turn away her eyes toward the blind Amandus, only for the sake of looking at something animal; the botanical connoisseur fastened their attention upon a new dust-bag which he at that moment eulogized. He had already dragged his club to the Pentandria,[21] when he said: "This evening must find us in the neighborhood of the Dodecandria [of twelve stamens]; but it will cost toil and sweat." He grew more and more delighted with the universal lamentation over such a purgatorial afternoon, the like of which no Scheerauer had ever before experienced, and said their attention fired his enthusiasm in the highest degree. Still the botanic candidates let themselves be martyred from one leaf to another, and would have obligingly stayed it out, till the Captain, although he divined the prank, grew infernally impatient and was on the point of going. The Doctor said he should have to reserve the second folio for another lesson; but he wished they would come again soon, that would be the only evidence that they had been pleased to-day. The mere thought of the second folio-torture, to which the Theresian[22] Codex with its racking pictures is but a pocket-almanac with monthly engravings, brought with it something of a feverish shudder. Thus had they disgracefully lost a whole half day without a bit of scandal, gossip, or calumny, which might have been carried home with them and retailed through the neighborhood. The elder dames usually visited balls and concerts, not at all, however, to be seen, but to see, and to elaborate there physiognomical fragments for the furtherance of the knowledge of humanity, though not for the promotion of philanthropy. Nay, they loved to visit even their avowed enemies, when there was a shot to be fired at an absent enemy; as wolves, who flee one another, nevertheless ally themselves together for the death of another wolf. I have always taken pleasure in observing how heartily and with what friendship a pair of Scheerau ladies sympathize with each other when they have the least scandal to bring out of their budget against a third. Only when two no longer sit beside each other on the sofa, but turn their faces instead of their hips towards each other, then I would rather not be the one they handle.

* * * *

Extra Lines on the Quinsy which Attacks all the Ladies in Scheerau at the Sight Of a Stranger of their own Sex.

To the men of that place the sight of a strange lady does little harm; it merely causes all frizzlers and barbers to come a little later than usual; at the billiard tables the cues or tobacco pipes point up into the air, and the teachers of the worthy gymnasium do not stop at all on that account. On the contrary the women!--

On the island of St. Hilda, when a stranger disembarks there occurs a misfortune which no philosopher has yet been able to explain--the whole country coughs on his account.[23] All villages, all corporate bodies, all ages cough--if the passenger makes a purchase, the provision dealers cough, at the gate the military do it, and the body of teachers cough over their lessons. It is of no use at all to call in the physician--he barks more than his patients and is his own patient....

In Lower Scheerau the same misfortune occurs, only in a greater degree. Let a strange lady set foot in the post-house, in the concert hall or ball-room, immediately all the women of Scheerau are compelled to cough, and--which always proceeds from a sore throat--to speak lower--all are attacked by quinsy, i. e., the angina vera. The poor ladies show all signs of the most virulent inflammation of the throat; heat (hence the fanning) chills, distress for breath, fancies, swollen nostrils, heartburn. Cooling remedies, water, clearing of the air tubes, prove the most effectual thus far for the fair patients. But if (which Heaven avert!) the strange lady who enters is the handsomest--the cleverest--the richest--the famousest--the most celebrated--the most tasteful--then not a single sufferer in the whole hospital is cured; such an angel becomes a true death angel, and one should absolutely prevent any stranger of merit from passing the gate.

The attack, like every other malady, is most aggravating in autumn and winter during the winter gaieties and among the winter guests. This quinsy is ascribed by wit or understanding to two causes: first, to external or shell-merits (never to inner ones); thus, too, Unzer thinks that crustaceous animals act most upon the throat, hence, e. g., oysters produce difficulty of swallowing, calcined crabs counteract hydrophobia, steam of crabs produces dumbness, scorpions lameness of the tongue. The second reason is, that ladies in a city live as on an insulating stool, and if a stranger of their sex, who has not been put en rapport with them, touches the manipulated clairvoyants, or even stands at a distance from them, these latter feel ugly sensations in all their limbs.

End of the Extra Lines.

* * * *

After the botanical divine-service Fenk gave the departing ladies of Scheerau the additional piece of information to take home with them, as an altar-benediction, leaving it to them, meanwhile, to make the sign of the crossover it: That the two children, whom they had seen, the little boy and the little girl, had had no other cradle than the traveling carriage; but that he, at present, had become at once Pestilentiary and Medical Counsellor; he preferred however to cure women only, and in time hoped to wed one, and hereby made a standing offer....

When the people of Lower Scheerau have anything put upon them which seems at once sweet, sour and senseless, at first they listen to it--then they smile at it--then reflect upon it--then cannot see into it--then for three days surmise nothing good of it--and finally become fairly enraged about it. Fenk did not trouble himself about that, but said from time to time something or other and what neither they nor he himself understood.

Thereupon he explained all to the Captain, as I do to the reader. The pressed plants, he said, would keep, henceforth, all aunts and ninnies and visiting ants away from his lodgings, as an enclosing hemp-thread does caterpillars from a vegetable garden. That he communicated only half the history of his travels and a riddle or two growing out of it, because one becomes most interested in persons about whom one has something left him to guess, and the curious patient females would become his female patients. Whether he was married or not, he did not himself know; nor should others know, because all whose houses were sale-rooms of daughters would invite him in as physician that he might come out again as bridegroom. Finally, that the reasons of his taking only female patients were these: that they were the most numerous; that this exclusive practice would beget a peculiar confidence in him; that this confidence was a woman-doctor's whole dispensary; that most of the ailments of women consisted merely of weaknesses, and their whole cure in abstinence from--medicine; that apothecaries' shops were only for men, not for women; and because he liked full as well to adore as to cure them.

Another point was this, how he had so quickly come to Scheerau and come so quickly to be Medical Counsellor. This was the way: the hereditary Prince, who at this moment on the high throne-coach-box will drive with the state-carriage to the devil, loves nobody; on his journey he made jests upon his mistresses; his friendship is only a lesser degree of hatred, his indifference is a greater; but the greatest, which stings him like a heartburn, he cherishes for his unmarried brother, Captain von Ottomar, Fenk's friend, who had stayed in Rome in the midst of the most beautiful natural nature, as well as artistic, in order to revel in the enjoyments of Roman landscapes and antiques. Ottomar seemed a genius in the good sense as well as in the bad. He and the hereditary Prince could hardly endure each other in ante-chambers, and were often on the point of a duel. Now the Grand Duke of Scheerau hates poor Fenk also, first, because the latter is a friend of his foe; secondly, because he once restored to life and to his allowance-money the hereditary Prince's third brother; thirdly, because the Prince needed far less reasons (or in fact none) for hating any one than for loving him.

Now the Doctor would have been glad to be made Medical Counsellor under the former administration, whose stomach we met on the road; under the coming administration, whose stomach was still filling itself in Italy, there was little chance for him. The Doctor sought therefore to get his fortune firmly rooted a week or two before the new coronation. He found the old minister still at his post, who was patron and whose patron the hereditary Prince was far from being, for the reason that leads hereditary princes generally to think that they must get the creatures of their dead father under the ground just as certainly, only more slowly and delicately, as savage tribes do, who lay on the funeral-pile of the king his favorites and servants also.

When Fenk came, the deceased Regent made him all he wanted to be: for it was in this way: When the departed father of his people had become in the physiological sense a child of the people, i. e., had returned to the age of which he was when they had hung upon him the first order-ribbon instead of leading-strings, namely, six and a half years, the eternal signing of his cabinet decrees became much too disagreeable to the Prince, and at last impossible. As, however, he must after all still govern, when he could no longer write, the court-engraver cut his decreeing name so well in stone that he had only to dip the stamp in ink and press it while moist under the edict: then he had his edict before him. In this way he governed fifteen per cent. easier; but the minister one hundred per cent., who, at last, out of gratitude, in order to relieve the enfeebled Prince even of the heavy handling of the stamp, dipped, himself, the beautiful seal (which he preferred to Michael Angelo's) into his own ink-stand; so that the old lord, several days after his death, had subscribed sundry vocations and rescripts--but this modeling-stamp of men in general became the insect's-laying-sting[24] and father of the best government officials, and at last spawned the Pestilentiary.

Extra-Thoughts Upon Regents' Thumbs.

Not the crown but the inkstand oppresses Princes, Grand Masters and Commanders; not the Sceptre, but the Pen do they find so much difficulty in wielding, because with the former they merely command, but with the latter they have to sign what is commanded. A cabinet councillor would not wonder if a tormented crowned scribe should, like Roman recruits, amputate his thumb, in order to be freed from the eternal making of his mark, as they do to escape fighting. But the reigning and writing heads keep the thumb; they see that the welfare of the land requires their dipping the pen,--the little illegibleness on cabinet orders which one calls their name, opens and shuts, like a magic formula, money-chests, hearts, gates, warehouses, ports; the black drop of their pen manures and forces or macerates whole fields. Professor Hoppedizel had, when he was first teacher of morals to the Scheerau Infante, a good idea, although only in his last month: might not the princely tutor command the sub-tutor to let the crown-abecedarian, who of course must one day learn to write, instead of useless bills of feoffment merely scrawl his name in the middle of every blank leaf? The child would write his signature without disgust on as many pages as would be needed in his whole administration--the sheets might be laid away against the child's coronation--and then (he continued) when he had bespattered pages enough, as a college would often require his signature yearly, if, accordingly on New Year's day the necessary number of signed reams had been distributed among the colleges to last the whole year--what more would the child need to do in his whole administration?

End of the Extras-thoughts.

* * * *

One word more: after nine weeks the Doctor's revenge by means of the plant-book produced in him, as the least revenge does in every good man, a painful reaction. "The Herbarium," said he, "annoys me, as often as I stick anything into it; but it is certainly true, a man shall have passed through all capital cities and retain his modesty: at the very gate of his native town the devil of pride enters into him and accompanies him on his first visits--his good fellow citizens, he will have it, must during his absence have become rational."


Amandus's Eyes.--Blindman's Buff.

That sympathy which grafts, by approach, grown up people in the first quarter of an hour, often draws children also to each other. Our couple flew into each other's arms and hugged each other over forty times a day. You good children! Be glad that you can venture to express your love still more strongly than by letters. For culture restricts the bodily domain of love's expression within narrower and narrower limits--this haggard Duenna took away from us first the whole body of the one we love--then the hand, which we are no longer allowed to press--then the buttons and the shoulders, which we are no more permitted to touch--and of a whole woman she has given us nothing to kiss, except (as a kind of hair) the glove--we all now manipulate each other at a distance. Amandus with his more feminine heart hung upon Gustavus's more manly one with all the love which the weaker gives the stronger, more richly than it wins back from it love in return. Hence woman loves man more purely; she loves in him the present object of her heart, he in her, oftentimes, the image of his fancy; hence comes his fickleness and vacillation. This little preface must be taken only as an introduction to a little passage of arms between our little Castor and Pollux.

Namely: they could not bear to be so long apart, as it took to unbind and bind up the eyes. As often as the bandage came off, Gustavus stood before him and absolutely demanded that he should see him, and put his finger up to his own nose and said: "Where do I touch now?" But he examined the blind boy without seeing. After a week's absence Amandus ran up to him, saying: "Shove up my bandage, I can certainly see thee too as well as my cat Harry!" When Gustavus had lifted[25] it up, and when it proved that he actually passed into the eye of his cured friend, just as he was, coat, shoes and stockings, then was he gladder than a patriot whose Prince opens his eyes or his bandage and sees him. He inventoried his picture-cabinet before his eyes with a perpetual "look!" at every piece. But yet further! The world will know little of it--except those minute particles thereof, the children, of whom it is that I am just going to speak--that these latter played blindman's buff at Hoppedizel's. A disagreeable game!--when there are girls in the case, as there were here, especially such naughty ones as the Professor's were. Amandus introduced himself into the game, and ran round the room, behind the handkerchief, which female cunning had folded over his eyes, catching nothing but disembodied clothes. Unfortunately, crawling, contrary to all proper rules of the game, under the stove, they came against the milk-pan of the dog Spitz. As, now, they had read at that time too few moral philosophers, although they had seen enough of them, accordingly, for want of pure practical reason, they softly pushed the pan so far forward that the groping catch-poll easily trampled upon and tipped it over. Gustavus, as a child, could not help laughing a little. The little sinners threw the blame on him and cried: "O you! if now Amandus had received an injury?" The latter extricated himself from the wet fragments and slightly thumped Gustavus, who was holding him by the hands to comfort him behind on the shoulder-blade, just where according to the Compends the chyle (or milk-juice) joins the blood. "I didn't set it there, indeed I didn't," said he. "Yes, yes! and didn't tell me of it," replied the blindman and gave him another push, only more violently and yet less angrily. "Strike away, I did not do anything to thee," and my good hero's voice broke--the other struck at him again and said: "I will never be friends with you any more," but said it as if he was just on the point of weeping. "Ah, thou hast surely run a splinter into thy hand?" asked Gustavus with the most sympathetic voice--in the midst of attempting a fresh punch the thin crust of ice melted down from the warmed heart of Amandus, he embraced the innocent one, and said with glistening tears: "No, indeed! thou hast not done anything, and I will give thee all my playthings; I pray thee, beat me right hard," and so saying he beat himself. It is only the feeling of love that struggles with such bitter-sweet singularities. Amandus often confessed that whenever he had done injustice to any one, in the midst of his grief about it, the propensity always seized him to keep on offending, in order to continue grieving himself so far that at last for very anguish he must needs throw himself with the most ardent love upon the heart of the injured one. But, oh dear Amandus, if a pedagogue in the form of a moral code had happened to open the door!

It must never be supposed that I would vent here personal resentment upon tutors in a body, for, in the first place, I never had any tutor at all, and, secondly, I have been one myself, and a proper one.


Concert.--The Hero Gets a Fashionable Tutor.

I have betaken myself to a new section because I have therein to present to the reader a new person--the Tutor of my hero.

I need not remind a soul, that the Captain looked for so foolish a thing--a thing now too pliable, now too bashful--such a moralizing, spiritless thing as a tutor, in Scheerau, in order that his child might get a regent at the same time with the country. Now, he had there a godfather, who practiced law, music, small talk and the lorgnette and the world's manners; but he had not the courage to propose to that party the office of instruction in a seminary of which the number of pupils amounted to one male. I will just say it out at once, that I myself am this godfather and this new personage; but it will stand my modesty in better stead, if, in a section where I must needs bring forward so much in my own praise, I transpose myself out of the first person into the third, and say merely godfather, not I.

This godfather blew in the Unter-Scheerau Concert, in order, with his flute, to accompany the heavenly voice of a very young Fraülein von Röper, whose throat could often hardly be distinguished from the flute. The whole soul of this damsel is a nightingale's tone under an overhanging curtain of blossoms; her body is a falling, heavenly-pure snowflake, which lasts only in the ether and melts away on the filthy ground. The flutist's eyes and heart were arrested, during the pauses, by a beautiful child, who was lost in a dreamy, phantasying gaze of rapturous attention: it was Gustavus. His first look, after the accompaniment, was toward the neighborhood of the child, in order to find his owner--the first step the godfather took was to the other godparent, the Captain, whose friendly relations with me are well enough known. The male sex is more fortunate and less envious than the female, because the former is able to appreciate with the whole soul two kinds of beauty, male and female; whereas women, for the most part, love only that of the other sex. I, however, have, perhaps, too much enthusiasm for that exalted thing, manly beauty, as well as for poetic enthusiasm, notwithstanding that, of the latter at least, I myself have nothing. From Gustavus the double enchantment acted upon me; I forgot all the enchantresses of the concert in the enchanter; but in the end I was sad, because I could win fewer words than glances from the lovely boy. To the concert, moreover, I, like the rest of the hearers, paid attention only so long as I myself was a fellow-laborer, or as long as one of my female pupils played; for the Scheerau concerts are merely town-talk and prosaic melodramas set to music, wherein the gossip of the hearers in their seats runs along as printed text under the composition. For the rest we subscribe to our concerts more for our children's sake than our own; the musical school-youth get there a dancing floor and riding-school for their fingers and one at least of my catechumens weekly thrums and thrashes the harpsichord. I encourage the parents to this, and say that in such a concert-hall the little ones learn time, because of that there is not only enough there, but more than enough, inasmuch as every musical functionary there pipes, beats, strikes, stamps his own original time, which, in the first place, no one of his neighbors pipes, beats, strikes or stamps after him, and which he himself, secondly, improves from minute to minute. And even if this were not so, I tell them, still there is true musical expression there, and enough to spare; every one expresses there his own emotions, whether of embarrassment or of complete confusion, on his particular instrument; and Bach's rule, to render dissonances forcibly and consonances faintly, every one understands in a hall where the consonances melt in so softly that one can hardly catch a single one of them, and fancies he hears only the discords.

The next morning I flew, half-dressed, to the Captain and--as I could not secure the dear little fellow at any lower price--I brought him right up to the first object of his journey, namely, to take a tutor home with him. It must not be thought that I got myself made an instructor in order to be a biographer, i. e., in order craftily to educate into my Gustavus all that I afterward wanted to write out of him into a book; for, in the first place, I, surely, as a romance-manufacturer, needed merely to imagine myself such, and impose the fiction upon others; but, secondly, at that time a biography had not been thought of.

It is of far less concern to me to see that my Scheerau relations are understood, than to the world, for I know them already, but the world does not. I formed there a Trinity of three persons. I was music master, legal adviser, and man of the world. Three whimsical parts! I studied in a city which once furnished the greatest jurists and now furnishes the smallest dogs, two quite opposite articles, as Paris was once the University of all European theologues and is now of philosophers. I have been in Paris also. There, too, I might have become a clever Parliamentary advocate but I would not, and brought nothing away from there with me (as well as from Bologna and some German Imperial cities) but the black legal cloak, which has its reason; for as our clients feed and fee us, and retain more justice and poverty than money, accordingly we patrons mourn for them in black. With the Romans, on the contrary, the clients, who got more than they gave, put on for the advocate, when he came off poorly, a mourning suit.

Secondly, I was music master, but perhaps not a very steady one; for I fell in love with all my female pupils the first quarter (male pupils I declined), and let my feelings shape themselves after my lessons. I cherished a true tenderness, first, towards a lady of rank, whom I will never compromise; secondly, towards her sister, an Abbess, because she learned thorough bass of me; thirdly, towards...; fourthly, towards the wife of the Court Chaplain, who, it is true, is hectic but æsthetic, and who loved too much rather than too little embellishment upon the piano (in the local sense of the proposition), and polished, covered and set out the instrument to the finest effect; fifthly, with the lady of the Minister-resident, von Bouse, who has not the least idea of the fact, and at whose hips and charms I was actually stupid with admiration, till I fortunately detected her indiscriminate coquetry and her infidelity to her incognito lover; sixthly, with the whole Court of Scheerau, where, according to the right of the dead hand, I looked upon the reception of a live hand, which offered itself for a pupil of mine, as an investment of the whole heart and goods; seventhly, even with a veritable child, Beata (the above mentioned daughter of Röper), for whom I, once a week in bad weather, and for an equally poor salary, ran out into the country, and with whom one could absolutely think of nothing else but love. In short, there is nothing, leaf-buds, blossom-buds, blossoms, fruits, with which a man does not get entangled who is a teacher of the piano.

Now comes the Man of the World. I cannot, to be sure, show myself personally to my readers (of whom I should be glad to have the population and exact tabulated statement); but the people of Scheerau, before whom this leaf comes, are hereby challenged to speak out their thoughts and decide whether a man who gives the great world three piano lessons daily is any more its teacher than its scholar. Dignity, grace of gait, taste in dress, attitudes, perpendicular, horizontal and diagonal, are not, to be sure, the required merits of an author (though they are of the fine gentleman), and cannot be printed; but this much only I contend for, that it is only at a court one learns all this, especially when he has some influence and takes part as a player, whether at the Hombre table or at the piano table,[26] which, like many a breast at the court, under the dumb wooden surface, conceals a sweet stringed instrument. Of course, when one walks up and down in his study again, among great books and great men, accompanied by the whole republican past, uplifted to the profound perspective of the infinite world beyond the grave, then even the possessor of them despises his shells of empty distinctions. He asks himself: Is there nothing better than to be master over his body (instead of over his passions) and to carry it as lightly as after the first three glasses of champagne--to tone down his style to the universal style, because at courts and at pianos no key must sound out above another--to glide along on the thin joggling board of female fancies with such a flying touch that our steps merely accompany the swaying--to dance and walk elegantly, so far as is practicable with one long leg (for, of course, if a piano teacher has to contend with a short leg, the Old Boy may stand on both if he can, as gracefully as the Prince of Artois)--in short, to sublimate all sense into nonsense, all truths into concerts, all honest feelings into pantomimic parodies? Nothing better is there? Ask the perambulator of the study. There is something far better--to be a tutor in Auenthal to such a child of heaven as Gustavus is, and put the whole vagary in print.


Public Mourning of the Knaves.--Prince of Scheerau.-- Princely Debts.

The Crown-Prince, for whose payment of his debts the Captain waited, was still on the high-road in foreign parts, whence he drove up on to the throne as up into a tower. Three miserable knaves made their entry still earlier than he. The thing can be narrated: Since the death of His Highness of most blessed memory--the Pope is the highest and most blessedest--one church after another in Scheerau had been, not plundered, but dismantled; the church thieves merely stripped off again the public mourning-cloth, which was on our pulpits and altars. The sextons and choristers found every morning the holy places scalped and the parsons had to stand there in the morning service. Now that money-grasping condor, the commercial agent Röper, had lately caused altar and pulpit in the Maussenbach Church to be rigged out in a frock of black cloth--figured was not holy and cheap enough for him. This sable wrappage was left on them as public mourning--old Röper had consequently very little sleep any longer, because he feared the church-vultures would rob the Maussenbach altar of its festal robing and carry off at the same time the certificate stitched to the cloth which set forth in silken and silver letters who had presented it all. His lawyer, Kolb, therefore, to whom thief-catching is sable-hunting and pearl-fishery, invested the church with all kinds of falcon-eyes; but all would have amounted to nothing had not Falkenberg's servant Robisch on Sunday evening, so soon as the church was closed, said to the schoolmaster, "he should leave it just as it was, he had counted the congregation, and three had not come out with the rest." In short they blockaded the temple till night and fortunately hauled out three secreted cloth-corsairs from the sacred place. The next morning there was a general astonishment; the three church-goers rode in through the gate of Scheerau on a hangman's cart, having on, all of them, black coats and trowsers--at night they had disappeared. For the court (if it had not yet gone to sleep) it was a hateful prospect, that a band of robbers should have put on court-mourning as well as itself, and have stolen for that purpose the mourning wardrobe out of the churches.

"You ought to be hanged," said the Captain to his fellow, "to bring poor thieves to grief, who take nothing from any man, but only from churches." "But surely for such knaves," said I, "it is not fitting to put on court-mourning, if only on account of the expense. In fact why is it that one may not mourn for his personal father[27] though he may for the father of his country? Or why does the Privy Chamber even allow weeping to the children of the land, when, surely, that exhausts the lachrymal glands of the State, and when tears, too, are exempt from taxation?"

"You go too far," said the Captain, "the present administration must keep on in the course it has thus far pursued, if it is to distinguish itself from all its predecessors by the solicitude with which it watches over our grounds, our pennies and our purses."

"The negro-dealers," said the Doctor, but irrelevantly enough, "are still more watchful; for a slave-trader is more troubled by the unfitness of such or such an article--of men or slaves, than of his own wife. Even flexibility of limb and grace in dancing his human live-stock must possess and he cudgels them into it."

"Agriculture," he continued, "trade, manufactures, even national wealth and welfare, in short the bodies of his subjects, the worst despot can rear and nourish--but for their souls he can do nothing, without acting at every step against his own."

It has often occurred to me, whether mourning-regulations or delegations have not for their object that the sly and sad citizen may avail himself of the liberty of public mourning in order to throw in his domestic mourning into the common mass? Might he not lay up his individual sorrow over the mortality of his aunts, his cousins, till a general application occurred, and so, when the country had wound the condolatory crape round arm and sword, do up all the mourning in a lump and grieve under the same crape for a mother of the country and a step-mother? For courts 'twere easy. Nay, could not these, in fact, in the public mourning mourn for their relations in advance? Might not one, after all, let the whole nonsense drop?...

At last my new sovereign rode in his traveling carriage up on to the throne, and exchanged the coach-canopy for the throne-canopy. The Captain, before the coronation, held a petition in readiness, wherein with the defiance of a saddler, he demanded his money; after the coronation the Prince, like a diamond, had absorbed so much fiery splendor from his crown and his sceptre, that his creditor got his lawyer to draw up a new memorial in which he insisted merely on the interest. As he got nothing, not so much as a resolution, he determined to demand more. For he did not consider that our reigning providers in Scheerau seldom have any money. When we receive or send extraordinary embassies, when we have occasion for baptism or burial, not to mention wars, in such cases we have little or nothing but--extra-taxes, those metallic props and clamps of the rotten throne. In the exchequer-chest, as in heraldry, we denote silver by vacant space.

But both debtor and creditor soon found relief. The latter, the Captain, was marching, as cicerone, with his Gustavus through the cadet quarters and showing him everything for the sake of praising everything, because he was one day to put his head into a gorget--when the young Prince came in also and inspected all the apartments, not in order to forget all on the next saddle, but in order to observe nothing at all. I was sorry--for I had come in at the same time--that every professor relied upon it the Regent would number, if not every hair on his head, yet every lock in his peruke; for he did not so much as notice me and my dignity; very naturally, however, since such a dignity had already become an old story with him, as seen in the finest salons of all lands. He wore--for how long had he been back from his travels?--the princely hat with the nonchalance of a lady's hat; no long administration had yet pressed in the crown to make a dark line around his brow, and the erect persons around him had not yet been refracted by the media and moisture and membranes of his eye into crooked prison-laborers. His words he handed round with the munificence of a man of the world, as he would so much snuff; at last Falkenberg also got a pinch. I see my two principals still standing vis-a-vis--my noble and lending principal with the firm but respectful decorum of a soldier, compressed into embonpoint and swelling muscles, and with the confiding kindliness which good-natured persons cherish towards every one who is at the moment talking with them--the crowned and insolvent principal, however, with the picturesque dignity, in which every limb bends inward respectfully to the others, and in which the very attitude is a prolonged flattery, with a drapery of many folds in his pain-racked face, with a complaisance which neither refuses nor consents. My god-father regarded the stereotype complacency of the crowned head as exclusively directed to him; he thought the latter put his questions for the sake of getting an answer; and particularly when my most gracious prince and sovereign had actually expressed himself to the effect that "the little Gustavus was in his place here," that "he excited a stronger interest by his air de réveur, than one could explain to himself," and that "so soon as he should be old enough for this institution, one would buy him off from his father for 13,000 Rix dollars cash down:" then was the Captain thrown out of his wits, or rather out of his petition; his petitionary paper was turned into a thanksgiving address; his wish was, that I had already been tutor in his home for eight years; his hope was, the money would follow; and the real advantage was, that his son would get into the best German military academy.

It will be doing me no favor if any one ridicules him. To be sure he swore at his castle: "He wouldn't trust courtiers a hand's breath, and the whole nation was an offence to his nostrils;" on the other hand, he trusted such court-people as he had, at the moment, to do with him, somewhat more, only--military ignorantia legum must bear much of the blame in his case; how is he, as a soldier, to know that a prince is not bound to pay any debt?--Perhaps it is not even known to all readers so well as they may assume to themselves. For three reasons a regent need not pay a farthing which he has borrowed of his subjects (if his royal father was the borrower, it is understood, of course). First: an ambassador, be he of the first or third rank, would fly into the face of the oldest publicists, if he should discharge his debts; now he who is the mere representative and brimstone printed copy of the regent, cannot possibly have rights which are denied the original, consequently is not paid. Secondly: The prince is--or else we can no longer believe another word of our academical afternoon lessons--the true summary, abstract and representative of the State (as the envoy, again, is a representative of the representative or a portable state in small), and consequently so stands for each member of the body politic that lends him a kreutzer, as if he himself were that member; accordingly he in reality lends to himself, when such a part and parcel of his representative self makes him a loan. Very well! that is granted; but then one must also grant that a prince would make himself as ridiculous if he should pay back to his own subjects, as the father of General Sobouroff did when he honorably refunded to himself the capital which he had advanced to himself, with the legal interest of the country, and paid the penalty to himself according to the statutes of exchange; whence could it come then, except from their relationship to the throne and its privileges, that even great ones, great in reference to rank and amount of debts, were allowed to become bankrupt? Or why is a legal consensus book or register of mortgages the most exact Court Blue-book or Almanac royal? Thirdly: The most botched subject can secure from his prince letters of respite or moratoria; but who shall give them to the prince, unless he does it to himself? And if he does not do it for conscience sake, he can at least every five years grant a renewed quinquennial.

But there is no fourth reason that I know of.


Connubial Ordeals.--Five Biters Bit.

So now, Falkenberg has a tutor, the hope of the 13,000 Rixthalers, and a cadetship for his son--all he wanted now was recruits. These, too, were brought in to him and his under-officers in abundance by the Moloch-of-Moles, Robisch: but I know not what the clients meant, that, when Robisch had once secured his brokerage and they their christening-present, they for the most part made-off with the latter. In the Maussenbach woods thieves fell upon the transport and at the end of the battle thieves and transports had both fled from the field. This afflicted the Captain sorely, because he, who for himself and his family never committed the most profitable injustice, sometimes allowed a small one on the recruiting ground.

To the quiet Gustavus the noisy city-winter brought the longest hours. He saw no white head-band and no black lamb go by, without flying over on a sigh back to his enchanted wall and into the midst of his summer joys. When the ill-bred posterity of Hoppedizel looked upon him as stupid, because he was not crafty, and proud because he was not loud, he stanched the bleeding of his inner man, which was teased and ridiculed, with the thought of the beings who had loved him, of his Genius and his Shepherdess. For the sake of his Amandus he would so gladly have had another neighborhood than Hoppedizel's, even the grounds and the free sky of his home! He loved to have things still and snug around him, and to be encircled with the immensity of nature. Oh! when thou art once beside me, darling, how will I indulge and love thee! Thine eye shall never be clouded beside my desk of instruction, thy heart never heavy! Thou, tender plant, shalt not be tied to me with cutting pack-threads as to a straightening hop-pole, but with living ivy-roots shalt thou of thyself twine around me, as a living thing!

On the whole in Hoppedizel's home they led a confounded dog's life, as I myself often witnessed, when I and the master of the house in a dispute on the first principles of morals had each other, in a moral way merely, by the hair: for all, meanwhile, had a hand and its match in the business, but physically; one dog was pitted against another dog, the boys against the girls--the servants against one another--the heads of the house against the servants--the Professor against the Professoress, whereof a memorable fact is to be printed--and all these alternately against each other according to the law of Permutation.

Unfortunately Hoppedizel never had any respect (and consequently no disrespect either) for anybody; he borrowed on all sides, soiled all he touched, compromised every one, pardoned everybody and himself first of all. In the Captain's winter quarters the oil-painted tapestry (24 groschen the yard) formed a Spanish wall or screen between the Captain's empty room and the cracks in the wall for the bugs to pass through; the stove was good, but, like the tower of Babel, without a cupola; the ceiling of the apartment threatened (though, like many throne-canopies, for a long time without actual damage) to break down and crush the heads of the greatest philosophers, who stood, in stone, on the pier-table. He, therefore, had often little tenderness for people, because he took for granted that they had too much of it to scold at the invisibleness of his;--in Lower Scheerau we do just so. But now comes the catastrophe which hastened the flight of us all.

The Professor, we must premise, had, like most people, no taste in furniture; he had the greatest fancy for placing the best among the poorest, the finest piece of crockery under an ancestral bed and over against it a sandy wash-bowl; a nicely cleaned servant's livery behind the cast-off clothes of his children, etc. Now, he always committed a breach of the peace against his wife by never coming home empty; he had always been buying something that was good for nothing; he had the weakness of innumerable men, of making believe he understood house-keeping as well as his wife, when he was a mere beginner. Things which one sees, for a long time, others doing, one comes to think at last that he can do himself. She had the weakness of numberless women, of flattering herself into the presumption that her lord and master was an ignoramus in house-keeping, and never could learn it, however much he might wish to. "Do I have any say about your books?" asked the very coarse-bodied Professoress. One could, therefore, at every furniture auction, or at every annual fair in a calendar of practical matters, prophesy, in connection with the wars of great lords, that here a little war would break out between the connubial potentate and the other hostile power; because the latter could not endure his commercial treaty; the married couple celebrated then its Olympic games of tongues and hands, and could mark off the divisions of time since their marriage by these Olympiads.

Still more! Our new Regent--as in Italy, the people get the palace of the deceased Doge or Pope gratis--let the furniture of his illustrious father be sold at auction for a song; he did it, as all Crown princes do, out of respect for him, so that the people might inherit a souvenir of the departed, as the Roman people did the gardens of Cæsar. The Professor proposed to himself, therefore, to inherit and purchase. He bid, therefore, for the benefit of the Captain, in whose chamber the commode, the looking-glass, and the chairs were miserable objects--not upon those three objects, but upon three to match them--upon two elegant bronze vases, with goats' heads and myrtle leaves, for the miserable commode; upon a straight-legged pier-table, with pointed feet, to go under the miserable looking-glass; upon a splendid bergére to stand between the miserable chairs. The whole was knocked off to him. His first word, as he went from the auction room into his own, was to his wife: "Is the Captain up stairs? I have bought some elegant things for him." At this she sang the first verse of her war-song, without having yet noticed a single article of his purchase. He did not name one of them to her; for he had the greatest misfortune of a husband, namely, contempt for his wife, just as she, on the contrary, took his part against all persons, even the best, only not against herself. During the unpacking of the purchases he responded to the first verse of the war-song, yet did not name an article; and no they merely kept up an antiphonal chanting. At last the goats' heads and pointed feet were set down in the house. Then broke loose the war-cry: "That is stupid, stupid, stupid! Ha! you stupid man, you! the stuff! the rubbish! where were your five senses to-day! I wont pay a doit (besides she was never treasurer), and so dear! But when children and fools go to market!"

Quite coolly he said: "Just see that no harm comes to them, and take them up to the Captain, my sweet!" She obeyed on the instant; but then went into his room and opened all the sluices of her roaring wrath. At a late period of this roaring he said, at last, threateningly: "You know, wife!..." Now the wind grew to a storm in her mouth. He was not the man to be carried away by anger or any other passion, but he was a genuine Stoic, and always himself; hence, it is easily explained how, as Epictetus and Seneca advise Stoics to make up for the forbidden inward anger by the outward show of the same, so as to get the upper hand of people, he too diligently availed himself of his show of anger, and quickly petrified his fist and threw this bunch as a fire-ball at those members of his spouse, which were devoid of light in the matter. This blunt Wilsonian conducting-knob of her anger was the first thing to draw forth from her the greatest spark of eloquence; and, in fact, it is in marriage as in the old Republics, which (according to Hume's observation), never produced greater orators than in the stormy times of war. He made the material thing a mere vehicle of the mental, and accompanied his hand with fragmentary extracts from the manual of Epictetus: "I am really quite in my senses," said he, "but you will scream altogether too loud if I don't strike into the midst of it." His carnal arm continued to move upon her. "I shall just keep on," he continued, "meanwhile, thank God that your husband has so much composure, that he can weigh everything he does!" But she never grew cold till he grew heated; this she discovered, at any time, by his growing dumb as Socrates, and arming and winging his hand with his night-cap suddenly snatched down from its nail. In proportion as his stinging sunny friendliness before the irruption of her thunderstorms seemed hot to her, in the same degree was his cloudiness that followed disagreeably cold; in short, both parties played before and after the battle reversed parts. This time her anger found a crisis of relief, and vented its whole force upon the head of him who was sitting under the goat-headed vases on the bergére--the Captain. The latter at the first gazette of this disgusting war had his winter-things packed up in Scheerau, and his summer things unpacked in Auenthal, and went--yes, actually went away.

But he came near staying. For the rest I do not wish to see this pugnacious pair I have depicted with their marriage-rings turned into explosive rings, too much despised by the more refined connubial world that never descends to fisticuffs; for, verily, the corrosive, poisonous words which ooze out from the refined married couple upon each other, drop by drop, the slow annoyance, drawing like a blister, wherewith they undertake to wound and cure each other, only drives the sore deeper under the skin, and makes not the surgeon indeed, but the doctor, necessary.

I will now explain why the Captain came near staying.

Hoppedizel had one afternoon at his house, beside the Captain, five others, the lawyer Kolb, the raft-inspector Peuschel, an old carmen-maker [or rhyme-smith], a court-chamber cleaner, and a court page; for what does the reader care about the surnames of these people? He first drew the lawyer aside and said to him: He must play a joke to day and drink to the other four gentlemen in colored water, which they would take for wine, while they would become fuddled with real wine. "Very good," said the lawyer; "they shall all have cause to remember the lawyer." The same thing the Professor repeated to the raft-inspector, the carmen-maker, etc.; all answered: "Very good! they shall all remember the raft-inspector, the carmen-maker," etc. Every one meant to make fools of the other four; the Professor had his eye on five--all were successful.

At evening five baskets of colored water were brought into the room; each man placed himself behind his little table, and screwed out the cork-stopper from the bottle of quasi-wine. The first flasks of bottled water were drained by the company in silence; true cunning must needs dictate to the pleasure-party or water-party this appearance of gradual intoxication.

But now the solar system began its drawing-of-water. "The wine might be stronger," every one said; and would fain deceive every one. The lawyer with rosy-red nose-button moistened his clay with more water (instead of spirit) than he had drunk or made or wrung from other eyes in his whole eternity a parte ante. A man who becomes so capable of holding water, as he is, that he can hardly stand straight for--soberness, makes it easily credible to his other tippling confederates that it arises from drunkenness; and all smiled very much when he laughed.

The raft-inspector Peuschel led a whole stream of water into his stomach, and made his blood-veins water-veins; but he was half vexed that he should be compelled to cheat the rest with his make-believe guzzling, and longed secretly for a real drunkenness instead of the pretended.

The chamber-cleaner actually macerated and soaked himself through and through with the colored water, and almost drowned out his Gallic malady--he guzzled so in his malicious pleasure.

The page, who almost burst his stomach with drinking, fared worse; three days after, he was carried off by an incontinentia urinæ. The porous carmen-maker was the only one through whom a whole colored deluge glided in and out without doing any harm; he looked round gaily and satirically, and watched for the moment when his next neighbors behind the four tables should fall down dead drunk.

A burning barn might have been saved by the toasts they drank in their whale-like throats.... Now came the time when every one who was in the secret of the joke must appear drunk. They discoursed and gabbled at each other with prancing, overbearing tongues. The page and the polisher actually stretched themselves out into the room like two felled trees, and their puffed-up paunches, the world was to fancy, lay like wine-sacks on their tressles. The man of office opened his mouth and shut his eyes--the carmen-maker imagined he should be doing it in the maddest and most plausible manner, if, in the first place, he should swear, like real drunkards, that he was sober; secondly, if he should collapse against the bed-posts in such a way as to get a real bruise. Fortunately he did in fact get a wound greater than his drunkenness, and was on the point, out of revenge, of breaking out with the information that he had made fools of the quartumvirate and drunk only water. The Professor also was just about to let the cat out of the bag and expose the wine and everything--the rest were going to do the same, and already began to laugh simultaneously in the anticipation: when meanwhile, unfortunately the raft-inspector, who had long been satiated, had stolen away to the polisher and thievishly by way of antidote and alleviative to his imitated wine, pledged himself in the pretended original edition of the same, out of the polisher's (or Frotteur's) cup.... there was water in that too as in his. Quick as lightning and half-foolishly he sipped the cups of all the water-gods; in all was water. Then out he came with the whole story--and the whole marine went flying round and hob-a-nobbing with each other, and each had to say seriously whether he was full and fou'.[28] Unfortunately, the entire fraternity of practical jokers was sober. The Captain, who loved such pranks better than fastnight hens, transformed, from love of morals, the general pretense of drunkenness into pure sincerity, and carried out his plan by genuine wine. When, by and bye, the pentagon skipped homeward, and those five foolish virgins returned to their several abodes as five wise ones, though with an aqueous plethora, then he said: "Upon my soul, such a thing ought to be printed!" And in fact it is printed here.

I should be glad if, before I and the reader leave his house, we might take with us a medallion, an adumbration of this Hoppedizel, as a souvenir; but I shrink from the labor--I would rather emboss all the characters of this work on paper or wax than this man. His character consists of a compilation of a hundred characters, his knowledge of all departments of knowledge, his acuteness of skepticism, his vice of stoicism, his virtue of a system upon virtue, and his actions of jokes and tricks; and grimaces.

For all that, or for all that, the Captain liked him, because he saw him often (he was grum to almost everyone who did not visit him) and because both were merry blades, and because people love each other in a hundred instances without a devil's knowing why. Falkenberg would have exchanged shots with Behemoth himself, for any friend, even for the one who had been the first to take him in--he would have done it out of honor and good-heartedness; the Professor, on the contrary, preferred pure morals, as one might pure mathematics, to applied morality, and seldom acted. One loves to remember, therefore, the proof of his fine consistency to his principles which he once gave as a guest in Auenthal, when at midnight, instead of the Captain, only his riderless nag came home out of the heavy snowdrifts. Another, e. g., the Captain himself, would have mounted the same nag and ridden out to seek and save the lost; but the Professor neatly snuffed the tallow candle and seated himself by the wife, who continued to weep disconsolately, and who at a former time used to worry herself almost to death if her husband was a little late at night, although she scolded herself soundly for it the very next morning--and said to her composedly: "She might just cry as much as she liked, he would gladly allow it; it did little harm, rather it lightened the heart, and withal washed the pupil of the eye and refracted a too intense light; besides the superfluous tears must needs filter through the nasal cavity into the throat and stomach and help digestion; but as to her husband, the worst that could have befallen him would be that he had frozen to death; but he knew, partly from experience, that there was no gentler way of dying than by cold--for, in fact, it was the same as if one were hanged or drowned, for one died by an apoplectic stroke."

But, as I said the Captain loved, and left him nevertheless.


The Fifteenth Section.

Before our departure I gave back to all, particularly the Resident Lady von Bouse, the music I had borrowed of them; and to her, who had lent me so much that came from Italy, I lent something still better from Germany, namely, my sister Philippina: the same is to help train there the little daughter of the Lady Resident, though, under the delicate fingers of so talented a dame, she will herself receive more training than she gives. Only may she there never transform her lively, tremulous, gay, and yet sensitive, heart into a coquettish one! May she lighten for her Laura (the name of the lady's daughter) the yoke of a coquettish breeding, inasmuch as the poor child continually pines under the glass-bell of the window, wedges her body under the bedclothes in two ounces of whalebone, squeezes her little hands again, even at night, into the casing of gloves, and trains her little head backward, with lead on her locks. As is well known, her mother, the Lady Resident, lives half a league from town, at Marienhof, in the so-called New Palace, adjoining an old one, which, I believe, is let.

... But my retinue in this biography is, I perceive, becoming swollen with every sheet by more and more personages, so that my driving and turning are made more and more disagreeable. I would rather have been a Diet of the Empire and had millions of subjects and income, than this plaguy heptagon of characters, which it is so hard to drive into the right sections, and in which I myself am the most cross-grained. For I, as mere biographer, have the aid neither of Imperial Chamber nor of Executive-posse against my heptagon; but were I an Imperial Diet they would soon give me many a--promise.

Around our parting-carriage in Scheerau crowded: the jolly coldness of the Professor--the busy scream of his lady stoic--the delicate smile of the Pestilentiary with the fitchew-tails--the good heart of his sonny, who could hardly by any lies be torn from Gustavus--and my own grateful remembrances of invisible hours, of beloved beings and of all my dear school-girls. Alas, that man here below must see so much pass away before he himself passes!

On the way Gustavus's weeping continued to sound in upon our pensive silence; but the old man, whose own heart, indeed, was melted, at last grew wild about it, and said to me: "I see more and more that the Moravian" (he meant the Genius) "has softened him to a milk-sop; if you, Mr. Tutor, don't make him a bit tough, I shall one day have him a lachrymose soldier, who will hardly be fit for a chaplain; for even he must many a time know how to bring out a good round oath."

He carried the Moravian in his head as far as the little town of Issig, where the following soliloquy went on beside our carriage: "I am an ass and a regular out and out villain, a miserable varlet. Oh, I am a rascal altogether, and a notorious, reprobate old hell-brand! Ought I not to be sawed in halves and roasted, the devil that I am, the blockhead and beast!" All this came from a school-boy, around whom all his schoolfellows swarmed and clapped. "He talks," (said my Patron) "like a Moravian beast, who runs himself down, in order to run all others down still more." But not in the least: it was a poor devil who was hungry and humorous, and for whom the whole school had contributed bread crumbs and apples, on condition that he would do them the favor to abuse himself outrageously....

... Lovely Auenthal! is thy snow already gone?


Educational Programme.

When I had set in order round my sitting-room and school-room my valuables (they were manuscripts) and my effects (the inventory of which was not over thirty lines deep), and my paternal and maternal property (that was I myself); when I had already previously taken three long strides to see the prospect from my window, which consisted of a windmill, the evening sun and a little starling's house on a birch tree, then I could forthwith be a ready-made tutor and needed only to begin. I could now look serious the whole week, and oblige my pupil to also--all my words could be weekly sermons, all my faces tables of the law. I had even two ways before me of being a fool: I could make an immortal soul decline, conjugate, memorize and analyze itself half dead in Latin--I could also dip and drown his young pineal gland so deeply in the higher sciences, that it should be quite bloated and puffed up with great draughts of logic, politics and statistics. I could accordingly (who should prevent it?) plane out the bony walls of his cranium to a dry bookcase, or press apart the living head into a profile-board, on which learned heads should be adumbrated; his heart, meanwhile, might be wrought over from being a high altar of nature to a wire-table of the Old Testament, from a celestial globe to a paternoster-globule of sanctimony--or, in fact, to a swimming-bladder of worldly policy; verily, I could be a ninny and make him a still greater one....

Thou precious one! thou confiding, friendly soul, that didst throw thyself with thy whole fate, with thy whole future, into my arms! Oh, I am already distressed that so much depends upon me!

Seeing, however, that just as much depends on the tutor of my future children, I will have printed for him here the following sheets of an Educational Programme, which he cannot take ill of me, because I really do not yet know the good man and do not mean him.

"My dear Mr. Tutor!

"Were I yours, you would certainly sit down and write out for me the following very good rules:

"Let Natural History be the sugar-cake which the schoolmaster shall put into the child's pocket in the first study hour, as a bait to lure him on; so, too, stories from history. Only let not history itself come as yet! What might not this lofty goddess, whose temple stands on nothing but graves, make of us, if she should then for the first time address us, when our head and heart were now open, and both understood her language of eternity--Fatherland, People, Constitution, Laws, Rome, Athens? As regards Mr. Schröckh, who appends thereto respectable literary history and pure orphan-house morality, I only beg that you will not, Mr. Tutor, cut out from his book the copper-plate engravings, and the English binding I also insist upon.

"Geography is a wholesome first course for the child's soul; arithmetic and geometry are also suitable for an early scientific breakfast; not because they teach to think, but because they do not teach it (the greatest arithmeticians and differentiators and mechanicians are often the shallowest philosophers), and because the exertion attending them does not weaken the nerves, as is proved by the case of revenue auditors and algebraists.

"But philosophy, or the effort of deep thinking, is deadly to children, or snaps off forever the too thin point of deep thought. To resolve virtue and religion into their first principles with children is equivalent to cutting away a man's breast and dissecting the heart, to show him how it beats. Philosophy is no bread-earning science, but mental broad itself, and a necessary: and one cannot teach either it or love; both, if taught too early, unman body and soul.

"It pleases me that you yourself explained you would send out French before Latin, speaking before rules of grammar (i. e., the go-cart before theories of muscular motion), and undertake the languages later, because they are apprehended more through the understanding than the memory. One reason why Latin is so difficult is that it comes on so early; in the fifteenth year one can do therein, with a finger, what at an earlier period required a whole hand.

"It is abominable that even now our children have to read and sit and make the fundament the underpinning and base of their education. The book of instruction does not make good to them the place of the instructor, nor the amusing one that of more wholesome play. Poetry is for a beardless age too unintelligible and unwholesome; the teacher who reads a lecture must be a miserable one, if he does not far more emphatically speak. In short, no children's books!

"In a pedagogical album we should both write: Useless censure is worse than no censure at all. Faults which age takes away let not the teacher undertake to, who has more lasting ones to combat, etc. Let their catechism be Plutarch and Feddersen (only without his miserable style); i. e., no moralities, but narratives with a moral effect--and moreover, at no stated hour, but at the right one, so that the brains of my children may not be a spelling-school of morals, but their heart may become an illuminated Rotunda[29] of virtue.

"Since a purblind, narrow, anxious propriety of behavior is the most stupid and unnatural, accordingly you teach the children the best by not enjoining upon them any: by nature they respect neither silver stars nor silver heads--do not wean them to any such.

"My greatest prayer is--which I have had printed many years beforehand--that you be the most jocose man in my house; merriment makes all fields of knowledge for children fields of sugar-cane. Mine must, while with you, have full liberty to jest, talk, sit at their good pleasure. We grown people, reasonable as we are, could not stand the abominable school-confinement of our offspring a week; and yet we expect it of them, with their brains and veins busy as swarming ant-hills. In brief: Is childhood, then, only the painful preparation-day for the Sunday enjoyment of later age, or is it not rather itself a Sabbath eve, which brings its own joys? Ah, if we in this empty, drizzling life do not regard every means as a nearer end (as well as every end a more distant means), what then do we find here below? Your principal (an abominable word) took as much pleasure in his betrothal as in his wedding.

"Playful instruction does not mean sparing and saving the child effort, but awakening in him a passion which shall compel and lighten for him the hardest. Now to this end no lugubrious passions are at all serviceable--e. g., fear of censure, of punishment, etc.--but only joyous ones; in play every girl in Scheerau would learn Arabic, if her lover wrote to her in no other language than in that synonymous one. Hope of praise (the praise of external distinctions alone excepted) is what harms children far less than censure, and something to which no child, least of all the best ones, can grow obdurate. I will tell you here what my own tutor made use of as an educational espalier: he stitched for himself a cipher-book; in this he gave each member of his lyceum (nineteen in all) for every task a large or small number; these numbers when they had reached a certain fixed sum, gained a letter of nobility or certificate of diligence, whereupon one took his praise home with him. Since rewards are ineffectual when they come too often or only from afar, accordingly he, in this ingenious manner constructed the way to the remote reward out of daily little ones. We could, moreover, save up our numbers; and nothing so strongly holds children to diligence as a growing property (or ciphers or of writing-books). The striking out of such numbers was a punishment. He thereby made us all so diligent, me particularly, that a few years after I was able to write a biography, which is even now being read.

"Never talk with my darlings briefly or abstractly, but in the concrete, and make your narratives as explicit and circumstantial as Voss does his Idyls.

"Thus have I used the molding and modeling tool upon my Gustavus, not, assuredly, to adjust him to the biography of him which I was composing, but to fit him for life itself; but deuce take the heart of a man, I say, who will not do for his own children what he did for another's.

"My daughters, on the other hand, worthy Sir Tutor, the elder as well as the younger, I do not commit to you for the same school-hour--girls might as well share with boys the same dormitory as the same school-room--in fact I would have for them no school-hours at all. A tutor, in order to know how to train girls, must (as you know) have so much knowledge of the world, so much knowledge of woman, so much wit, so much flexibility of humor with so much firmness;--meanwhile mine are trained by a very clever governess--household labor under the eye of a cultured mother.

"Before closing these secret instructions, I further remark that they are wholly useless--first, for you, because a man of genius even with any other method whatever is still omnipotent; secondly, for a clumsy head, because such a one, let him do what he will, will always exhaust children's mental powers as an old bedfellow does the bodily powers of a younger. In fact, I have sent forward this pedagogical Swabian code and mirror into the world long before I do my children--consequently not for you at all, but for a book."

Namely, for this one.

By way of showing my principal what I had done in education, I said as follows: "The Superintendent in Upper Scheerau has a setter named Hetz, which he would not give for a menagerie of lap-dogs. Now, one would think that, as the man has church-children, children of his own and wines and East India fowls enough, he would be content; but no: Hetz does not allow it. For so soon as the soup smokes on the table, Hetz begins cruising round the table, jumps up,--his snout then lies on a water-level with the leg of venison--and pecks and pokes so with his nose at every knee, particularly at the official, that the man, for his part, gobbles away as in a purgatory and frequently does not know whether he is eating sugar or salt. It did not relieve him at all that he often himself barked at the dog; but at the next meal, from forgetfulness or fury, he hit the pest with a bone which he flung at him. This single bone spoiled the whole dog. For the shepherd of souls, I fear, there is no longer any help, till Hetz, who will not change himself, in some way goes out of the world. Me, on the contrary, Hetz always treats with reason and forbearance. Why? So long as I ate at that table I never gave Hetz a morsel, in a single instance. With Hetzes and humans firmness is omnipotent. Whoso cannot educate a dog, Mr. Captain, neither can he educate a child. I would try tutors who would eat my bread, by no other touchstone than this: that they should tame for me squirrels and mice; whoever understood this best should be admitted, e. g., Wildau, for his bee-taming." But my gracious godfather never laughed heartily at my jests or Fenk's; on the other hand at one of Hoppedizel's he would laugh immoderately, and yet he loves both of us better.

When I shall have rescued in an extra sheet two more educational idiosyncrasies--one of which is that I exercised the wit of my pupil as strongly as his understanding; the second, that I went over with him only authors from the ages of the baser metals;--then we will go on again with his life.


Why I Allow My Gustavus Wit and Corrupt Authors and Forbid Him The Classics, I Mean Greek and Roman.

I must first show, in three words, or pages, that and why the study of the ancients is declining,[30] and secondly, that it is no great matter.

We have now, as is well known, come out of the philological centuries, when nothing but Latin was used at altars, in pulpits, on paper or in thinking, and when it knit together all learned dressing-gowns and night-caps from Ireland to Sicily into one confederacy; when it constituted the state language and often the language of conversation in the great world, when one could not be a scholar without carrying in his head an inventory of all Greek and Roman household furniture, and a bill of fare and washing schedule of those classic people. Now-a-days our Latin is German to that of a Camerarius, who therefore would not have found it necessary to compose his Smalcaldic war in Greek; at the present day a sermon is seldom written in Latin, not to say in Greek, as once, and therefore cannot be translated, as once, into Latin, but merely into German. In our days no lady squeezes her powdered and mitred head through the narrow classic collar, unless it be the daughters of Hermes. This was known to my readers longer ago than to me, because I am younger--just as the present improved reviewing, translating and interpreting of the ancients is well known to both of us. Only the number of their admirers does not keep pace with the worth of them; all our branches of knowledge share now-a-days among themselves a universal monarchy over all readers; but the ancients sit alone with their few philological vassals on a rock-of-San-Marino. There are now none but Polyhistors who have read everything else, but not the ancients.

Taste for the spirit of the ancients must grow dull, as well as for their speech. I do not assert that in the classic parrot-centuries this spirit was more truly felt than now; for Vossius hung upon Lucan, Lipsius on Seneca, Casaubon on Persius; I do not say that in those days a Faust, an Iphigenia, a Messiah, a Damocles, were written, as now. But I speak of the present taste of the people, not of the men of genius.

If the spirit of the ancients consisted in their firm, steady step to the object, in their hatred of a double, three-fold finery of ruffles, in a certain childlike sincerity; then it must be growing always easier for us to feel that spirit and harder for us to breathe it in our work; with every century our style must betray an inspection, circumspection and retrospection that increases with the increase of our learning; the fullness of our composition must hinder its roundness; we refine finery, bind[31] the binding and draw an overcoat over the overcoat; we must needs decompose the white sunbeam of truth, as it no longer strikes us for the first time, into colors, and whereas the ancients were prodigal of words and thoughts we are penurious with both. Still it is better to be an instrument of six octaves, whose tones easily sound impurely and run into each other, than a monochord, whose only string is harder to get out of tune; and it were just as bad if every one, as if no one, wrote like Monboddo.

With our unfruitfulness in works after the old style, the taste for these works proportionately increases. The ancients felt the worth of the ancients--not at all; and their simplicity is enjoyed by those only who cannot attain it: by ourselves. For this reason, I think the Greek simplicity differs from that of the Orientals, savages and children[32] only in the higher talent by which the serene Greek climate caused that simplicity to be distinguished. That is the inborn, not the acquired. The artificial, acquired simplicity is an effect of culture and taste; the men of the 18th century have to wade up to this Alpine source through marshes and torrents; but one who is up there by its side never more forsakes it, and only peoples, not individuals, can degenerate from the taste of a Monboddo to that of a Balzac. This acquired taste, which the youthful genius always attacks and the elder mostly acknowledges, must from Fair to Fair by practice upon all that is beautiful grow in the case of individuals more and more keen and sensitive; but nations themselves fall away every century farther and farther from the Graces, who, like the Homeric Gods, hide themselves in clouds. The ancients therefore could no more feel the natural simplicity of their productions, than the child or the savage does that of his. The pure, simple manners of an Alpherd or a Tyrôlese are matter of admiration neither to their own possessor nor to his compatriot, but only to the refined count which cannot attain to them; and if the great folk of the Romans enjoyed the sports of naked children, with which they adorned their chambers, it was the great folk but not the children, who had the enjoyment and the taste. The ancients, therefore, wrote with an involuntary taste, without reading with the same--as authors of genius to-day, e. g., Hamann, read with far more taste than they write--hence these fever-pustules and rash-eruptions on the otherwise healthy children of a Plato, an Æschylus, even a Cicero; hence the Athenians clapped no orators more than the turners of antitheses and the Romans none more than the punsters. For the immoderate admiration of Shakespeare they wanted nothing but Shakespeare himself. For that very reason these nations could, like the child, degenerate from natural simplicity to polished, varnished witticisms.

Secondly, I promised to affirm on three pages that the neglect of the ancients does little harm. For of what use, then, is the cultivation of them? They are, like virtue, far less felt and enjoyed than is generally professed.[33] The enjoyment of them is the truest nine-proof of the best taste; but this best taste presupposes such an intellectual appreciation of all kinds of beauty, such a pure and fair symmetry of all inner faculties, that not merely Home finds taste irreconcilable with a bad heart, but I also know nothing--next to Genius, which always attains it after the discharge of its intellectual exuberance--more rare than this very perfection of taste. O ye Conrectors and Gymnasiarchs, you who moan and weep over the depreciation of the ancients, if you still had eyes, they would weep over your appreciation! Oh, it requires other hearts and spiritual wings (not mere lung-wings) than belong to your pedagogic bodies to discern why the ancients called Plato the divine, why Sophocles is great and the Anthologists are noble! The ancients were men, not literati. What are you? And what do you get from them?...

Copiam vocabulorum.--In the Middle Ages every least benefit derived from the ancients was great; but now, in the eighteenth century, when all nations have hewn a gradus ad Parnassum in the granite of the Muses, two or three steps more or less make very little difference. Have, then, modern nations not written in the ancient taste? Were it so, then, at any rate, models, which have not multiplied themselves at all in copies, might easily be spared. But it is not even so, and an Omar-like conflagration of all the ancients could only snatch from us a little more than if the still extant autumnal-flora of a few Greek temples and other ruins were swept away; we should still possess houses in the Greek taste. The models themselves surely wrote without models, and the statue of Polycletes was fashioned after the statue of a Polycletes. Despite the study of the ancient writings, the poetic and creative power once lay in Germany, and still lies in Italy, on the sick bed.

Whoever, like Heyne, will make the ancients necessary to the formal cultivation of the soul, such a one forgets that any language is equal to that, and that a more unlike language, as the Oriental, can do it still better, and that this cultivation sometimes costs us as dear as many a Baron finds his French. The Greeks and Romans became Greeks and Romans without the formal cultivation of Greek and Latin authors--they became so through government and climate.

It is unfortunate for the finest productions of the human mind that their fineness is rubbed off under the hands of the pupils of the First, Second and Third Classes; that the Heads of Schools can imagine that a better edition or better nominal and scientific explanations should put the young gynmasiasts into a better position to appreciate the sublime classic ruins than an improved and corrected edition of Shakespeare and the appended romances with notes would enable a schoolman or a Frenchman to open his eyes before this English Genius--that these same Heads accordingly imagine that nothing keeps a eunuch or infant cold to the charms of a Cleopatra except the wrappages of these charms, and that the Heads are nowise behind me and nature.[34]

For Nature trains our taste through prominent beauties for finer ones. The youth prefers wit to sentiment, bombast to sense, Lucan to Virgil, the French to the ancients. At bottom this taste of the minor is in one respect not far out of the way, namely, that it feels certain minor beauties more strongly than we, but the flaws bound up with them and the higher charms more feebly than any of us; for we should only be so much the more perfect, if at the same time with our present feeling for the Greek epigram we could combine our lost youthful enthusiasm for the French. One should therefore let the youth satisfy himself with these dainties, as the confectioner does his apprentice with the other kind, so long, till he shall become sated with them and hungry for higher food. But now-a-days, inversely, he translates himself to satiety from the ancients, and forms and spices with them his taste for the moderns. In our authorial world we see the sad result; that teachers begin at the end and undertake, by means of writers who properly only give the tenderest, best taste the last finish, to carve that of the gymnasiast out of the rough, and so follow neither nature nor me.

The Head Masters are apprehensive, to be sure, that "the young people might thereby get more wit into their heads than is proper, if one should read Seneca, epigrams and corrupt authors." My first answer is that the constitution of the German is robust and healthy enough to be less exposed to the spotted fever of wit than other peoples: e. g., the witty book "On Marriage" or the writings of Hamann, we compensate for by a thousand pure works which have no wit in them. I have of often thought, therefore, just as the German knows little of his superior merit, so, too, he knows nothing of this one, that he has no superfluous wit, although the reviewers often enough reproach me and the romancers with this superfluity. But I and these authors demand impartial judges on the subject. Even these otherwise insignificant reviewers themselves are, to their honor, so little like a Seneca or a Rousseau, both of whom condemned, combatted, and yet affected the witty style, that they strictly rebuke the fault of wit in others, and happily avoid it themselves.

My second answer goes deeper: before the body of man is developed, every artificial development of the soul is injurious to him; philosophical straining of the understanding, poetic exertion of the fancy, unsettle the youthful powers themselves, and others too. Only the development of wit, which, in the case of children, is so little thought of, is the most harmless--because it works only in light, fugitive effects;--the most beneficial--because it sets the new wheel-work of ideas into quicker and quicker motion--because, through invention, it imparts interest and control over one's ideas--because that of others and one's own (wit) in these early years charms us most with its brilliancy. Why have we so few inventions, and so many scholars in whose heads lie mere immovable goods, and the ideas of every science dwell secluded from each other club-wise in convents, so that, when a man writes on one science, he never thinks of anything that he knows in another? Merely because children are taught ideas more than the handling of ideas, and because in school their thoughts have to be fixed as immovably as their fundaments.

One should imitate Schlötzer's hand in history and other sciences. I accustomed my Gustavus to hear, to understand and thereby to invent for himself, analogies from different sciences, e. g., All things great or weighty move slowly; hence the Oriental Princes do not walk at all--nor the Dalai Lama; the Sun--the Sea-crab--wise Greeks (according to Winkelmann) walked slowly--so does the hour-hand--the ocean--the clouds in fair weather--move slowly. Or; In winter, men, the earth, the pendulum, go slower. Or; The following were kept secret,--the name of Jehovah--of Oriental Princes--of Rome and its patron Deity--the Sybilline books--the first early Christian Bible, the Catholic, the Veda, etc. It is indescribable what pliability of all ideas is thereby communicated to children's minds. Of course the various kinds of knowledge must be there first, which one would thus associate. But enough! the pedant neither approves nor understands me; and the better teacher says himself: enough!


Holy Supper.--Succeeding Love-feast and Kiss of Love.

Oh, beloved Gustavus! the wintered days of our love burst forth and bloom again from my ink-stand, as I delineate them! Hast thou, reader, ever had a spring-time of life, and does its image still hang in thy memory; then lay it, in the winter-month of life, to thy warm bosom and give its colors life, as the heating of the stove discloses and animates its invisible spring-pictures--and then think of thy flowery days, while I depict one.... Our four walls were the railings of a richer paradise than any pleasure park exhibits, the cherry tree at our window was our Dessian School-grove[35] and Kindergarten, and two human beings were happy, although one commanded and the other obeyed. The machinery of praise, which was so emphatically extolled in the regulations for my tutor, I laid aside, because it was not applicable to one, but to a whole school; my chain-pump-work was his love for me. Children love so easily, so heartily; how poorly must he manage who makes them hate him! On the scale of my punitory Carolina or Theresiana--instead of the usual pedagogic disgraces and corporal inflictions--stood coldness--a mournful look--a mournful reproof--and, severest of all, the threat of going away. Children like Gustavus, of tender heart, and of a fancy that flutters at every breath of wind, are easily diverted and directed; but at the same time a single false twitch at the rein will confuse and bring them to a stand-still forever. Especially are the honeymoon weeks of such an education as dangerous as those after marriage to a woman of fine feelings, with whom a single cacochymic[36] afternoon is not to be effaced again by any subsequent seasons of day or year. I will just confess: on such a sensitive woman's account was I made tutor. As women (so it ran in my mind) have, in a striking degree, all the perfections of children--their faults somewhat less:--accordingly a man, who knows how to attach and fasten his web to the widely diverging boughs of childhood, i. e., who can adapt himself to a child, cannot possibly fare so ill as others when he--marries.

Where censure would hurt the child's sense of honor and self-respect, there I suppressed it, in order to teach my colleagues round about by example, that the sense of honor and character which our days do not sufficiently educate, is the best thing in man--that all other feelings, even the noblest, let him fall out of their arms at hours when the sentiment of honor holds him up in its own--that among men whose principles are silent and whose passions scream into each other's ears, their sense of honor alone imparts to the friend, the creditor and the beloved an iron security.

Seven days earlier than the regular time my Gustavus communed; for the Consistory--the Westphalian tribunal[37] [or Star Chamber], of the parsons, the Penitentiary of the churches and the counterpoise of the government, sent out to us at the castle with pleasure these seven days which his communion-age wanted of its full weight, tor the same number of guilders, as a spiritual fast-dispensation or remission on account of age, (venia ætatis). My pupil had therefore--while the most competent religious teacher sat idle at home--to march out twice a week to the stupid senior parson Setzmann in Auenthal, who fortunately was no jurist as I was, and in whose parsonage a herd of catechumens were obliged to thrust their noses into the coagulated catechismal milk;--Gustavus instead of the beast's tapering snout brought with him a too short muzzle.

Nevertheless, senior Setzmann was not bad; on a parliamentary wool-sack he might have sat till he became an orator, i. e., a creature who, among the persons who in the beginning do not believe him, persuades himself first of all. An orator is as easy to be persuaded as he is able to persuade. The senior, in the first hour after the sermon each Sunday, was pious enough; he might indeed incur damnation, but it would be merely for want of sermons and of beer. A reasonable intoxication stands instead, to an incredible degree, of both the ascetic and the poetic enthusiasm. The readers are no friends of mine who say it is out of mere envy and chagrin that my Gustavus heard his lectures, if I record and send it out into the world that the cellar was the Parson's church of St. Paul and St. Peter--that his soul, like the flying fish, soared upward only so long as its wings were oiled--that he appeared always intoxicated and tenderly affected at once, and never aspired to enter heaven, until he could no longer see it. Hermes and Oemler say that I should avoid offence--although the example of Setzmann must give a greater than the making fun of it--if I should deliver in Latin, that the aquæ supercelestes of his eyes always accompanied his two-inches-deeper humores peccantes.

Gustavus went out to him on breezy spring-afternoons over the young grass, enjoying on his way the prospect of two charming things. The first was this missionary of the young village heathen himself, whose enthusiastic breath stirred like a tempest Gustavus's ideas, every one of which was a sail, and who, especially in the last and sixth week, when he stretched the young subjects of the six weeks' confinement on the last of the sixth article, so lengthened the ears of my Gustavus that there grew out from them a pair of wings that flew away with his little head. Secondly, his heart was set upon a broad band above a broad neckerchief and a corresponding apron, all of which, moreover, was as blossom-white as he, and adorned the fairest body in the whole parish--namely, that of Regina--who was preparing herself there for the second communion. Such a phenomenon, my Gustavus, quite naturally attracted more than distracted thee; and if the school-government had set over against me only half of such a muse on the seat of instruction in the place of my pot-bellied leaky conrector--Heavens! I should have learned, furthermore memorized, furthermore declined, likewise conjugated, and finally expounded! It was, therefore, secondly, no witchcraft, Gustavus--inasmuch as thine ear only was turned to the windward side of the pastor, but thine eye to the sunny side of Regina--that thou shouldst have made small account of the extra half hour which the senior gave, by way of befooling his conscience. He made, in order to quiet that assessor and judge and summoner in the heart, the conscience, his catechizings half an hour,[38] and his sermons three quarters longer than the whole diocese. Man likes to do more than his duty better than to do his duty.

As Gustavus did not know that girls overlook nothing and overhear everything, the whole catechism was to him a love letter, in which he conversed with her. When she had to answer the senior, he grew red; "the senior" (he thought), "cannot answer for his questioning and tormenting," and his optic nerve took root in her face.

As the Falkenbergs had no special communion-chamber with velvet floor, my god-father, the Captain, went at the head of his vassals up round the altar; and, therefore, Gustavus did too.

On the eve of Confession-Sunday--Oh ye tranquil days of my purest raptures, pass by again before me and give me your childish hand, that I may faithfully describe you in all your beauty!--on Saturday, after dinner, Gustavus--who even during the meal had hardly been able to look upon his parents for love and emotion--went up stairs in order, after so beautiful a custom, to beg pardon of his parents for his faults. Man is never so beautiful as when he begs or grants forgiveness. He went up slowly, in order that his eyes might grow dry and his voice steadier; but when he came before the parental eyes, he quite broke down again; he held for a long time in his glowing hand the paternal one, with the intention of saying something, were it only the three words: "Father, forgive me!" but he could not find any voice, and parents and child transformed words into silent embraces.

He came to me also.... in certain moods one is glad that another is in the same, and therefore forgives one.... I would, Gustavus, that I had thee at this moment in my chamber. If children conceive of God--not (as grown up people do), as one like themselves, that is as a child--but as a man: for a child's heart, that is enough. Gustavus, after these confessions, went--reeling, trembling, stupefied, as if he saw, what he thought, namely, God--down into the deserted cavern of his childhood, where below the earth's surface he had been trained up, and where his first days and first plays and wishes lay buried. Here he would fain kneel down, and, in this state of confused devotion, wherein the genius of suns and worlds in that perhaps holiest time of our life beholds all warm hearted children, transform his whole soul into a single sound, a single sigh, and offer it up on the altar of thanksgiving; but this greatest human thought tore itself away like a new soul from his, and overmastered it--Gustavus lay prostrate, and even his thoughts were dumb ... But the voice is heard that remains in the bosom, and the thought is seen that sinks back under the rays of the genius; and in the other world, man gives voice to prayers which were stifled here below....

On the evening of this sacredly blissful day, peace, as a tender nurse,[39] bore on her secure hands his overfreighted heart; he did not violently throw his short childish and human arms around the goddess of joy, but she gently folded her maternal arms round him. This zephyr of tranquillity--instead of that hurricane of exultation which hurries man through and against everything--still continued on Whitsuntide to play around his blossoming young life, and his being lay as if wafted on a soft cloud when the radiant Whitsunday sun found him; but when the flower-fragrance of the decorated breast, the feeling and the pressure of the rustling attire, the pealing of the bells whose prolonged vibrations ran like golden threads around all individual scenes and bound them together in one, the odor of the birch trees and the green claro-oscuro of the church, even the fasting--when all this flung his feelings and the globules of his blood into flying circles, then did there stand in his bosom a kindled sun; never did the image and ideal of a virtuous man burn before him in so great cloud-transcending outlines as then!

But the evening! Then did the little communicants stroll round in modest groups with lighter heart and fuller stomach and with a distinct sense of food and finery. Gustavus--of whose flames the supper had smothered some portion, though a soft glow still lingered--roamed slowly up and down his garden, (for his brain was no dancing-place, but a moss-bank of joyous feelings), and tore open the tulip-leaves which had closed in slumber, in order to let loose from their flowery prison many a belated bee. At last, he leaned against the post of the rear garden gate and looked down longingly over the meadows into the village, where the rows of parents were chatting together and with eyes of motherly vanity following their children,--parents who to-day walked out for the first and haply for the last time, because peasants and orientals love best to sit. At that moment there moved cautiously around the garden-wall a shy picket of peasants' children, whose object was to hear more nearly the old starling, which Gustavus had to-day brought in its cage out into open air, and amuse themselves with the racy and saucy words the bird would utter in his tone of genuine irony. Children in strange clothes, and strange places, are strangers to each other; but Gustavus had fortunately his key-note at hand by which to pass over into conversation with them, the starling, and had only to begin one with him. And the plan succeeded; the rhetorical arts of the bird soon made the conversation so general and unembarrassed, that one could talk with every one about everything. Gustavus began to tell stories, but before a younger and fairer public than mine; his stories he invented and related at the same moment, and his fancy's wings hit against nothing in the immeasurable careering-ground. In fact, one invents more ingenious contes in talking than in writing, and Madame D'Aunoy, whom I would rather marry than read, would have given us grown-up children better fairy tales if she had invented them before the ears of the little ones.

Under the pretext of sitting down, he invited and entreated his whole audience and public to come up to a terrace which, with a stairway, was woven and arched around a linden-tree in the garden.... I do not let my readers sit down so quickly; for bees, carvers, and I, love lindens exceedingly, those for the honey, these for the soft wood, and I for the sake of the name and the fragrance.

But here is still something quite different to love--three maiden communicants were listening at the open garden gate, and reinforced the audience at a distance; in a word, Regina was down below, and her brother was already in the party above; the gallery or the boxes must needs at last--since calling up availed nothing--drag up the female parterre. I myself narrate now with more fire; no wonder that Gustavus did so too. Regina seated herself farthest off from him, but opposite to him. He began an entirely fresh history, because the bureau d'esprit had become much stronger. He depicted a poor, miserable little girl--children love best stories about children--one without supper, without parents, without bed, without a hood, and without sins, but who, when a star had dressed itself in finery and journeyed down, found on the ground a bright dollar, on which was set a silver angel, which angel grew even brighter and broader, till he actually spread his wings and flew up from the dollar to heaven, and then brought down to the little one from all the stars up there everything she wanted, and indeed magnificent things, whereupon the angel set himself back on the silver again, and very neatly pressed himself down there. What flames, during this creation, burst forth from Gustavus's words, from his eyes and features into his auditory! And then, too, the moon meanwhile embroidered the linden-night on the floor with wavering points of silver--a belated bee cruised through the glowing circle, and a bumming hawk-moth around a crowned head--on the double ground of linden-green and sky-blue leaves quivered among stars--the night-breeze rocked itself on their foliage, and on gold-spangles of the decorated Regina, and washed with cool waves her fiery cheek and Gustavus's breath of flame.... But, verily, I assert, the pulpit he needed not, so magnificent were pulpit and orator. How could that be necessary for him, when he was narrating to the bride of Christ and his own; when the whole past day rose again with its dazzling nimbus; when he infused pity into the breasts of the unpreoccupied and unsophisticated children, and wrung it forth again from their eyes; and when he saw certain maidenly ones grow moist.... His own melted into ecstasy, and he expanded his smile more and more broadly, in order to cover therewith his eye, which had already veiled itself more tenderly.... "Gustavus!" the call had twice come from the Castle; but in this blissful hour no one heard it, till the voice rang out for the third time, nearer down in the garden. The stupefied Secret Society rolled down the steps--only Regina still lingered by the side of Gustavus, under the dark foliage, in order, as hastily as possible, to remove with her apron the traces of the story from her eyes, and to pin herself up a little--he stood so near to the face on which so many fair evening twilights of his life had gone down--so near and so dumb, and held her back a little when she offered to follow the rest--had she stood still, he could not have held her, but when she tore herself away, then he clasped her more tightly and in a larger embrace--her struggling drew both more closely together, but to his intoxicated soul nearness supplied the place of the kiss--the struggle brought his trembling lips to hers--but still it was not till, as she pushed back his breast from hers, and pricked his with the pin, that with inexpressible love, intensified by his own blood, he clasped her to himself, as if he would fain drain out her soul from her lips and pour in his own--they stood on two distant heavens, leaning over to each other above the abyss, and clinging to each other on the trembling ground, in order not, by letting go, to plunge down headlong between the heavens into the abyss beneath....

.... Could I depict his first kiss in a thousand times more burning colors, I would do it; for it is one of the first impressions taken of the soul, one of the May-flowers of love; it is the best dephlegmation [or distillation] known to me of the earthly man. Only in this German and Belgic life is it impossible to bring it about that man shall take the first kiss for more than five or six times. By and bye he always consults his technical definition, which he carries in his head, of a kiss, and cites the paragraph in which it is found; but the sum and substance of the stupid paragraph is, that the thing is properly a mutual pressure of red skins. Verily, an author of feeling cannot sit down and reflect that a kiss is one of the few things that can be enjoyed only when the bodily taste does not make itself prominent under the spiritual--but that such an author of feeling (who is no other than myself)--falls to upbraiding those who have not so much understanding as himself;--he upbraids not merely Messrs. Veit Weber and Kotzebue, in whose writings so many kisses occur, but other people also, in whose lives so many occur, especially whole picnic-parties who, after the blessing, wipe and cup each other's cheeks with their lips. If the thing is carried so far, that this fine lip-bloom of one face must be rumpled against skins of sheep and of silk-worms, against gloves (hand-sandals)[40]--then will an author of so much sensibility want to cut off the hands of the suffering party and the lips of the acting one....

My reason for showering the reader whom the last kiss has heated with this cold douche is not, assuredly, that I may deal with him as fate does with me; for she has made it a rule, every time that I find myself in the midst of the oil of gladness with which such scenes as that of Gustavus--or even the mere description of them--anoints me, to plunge me forthwith into brine and oil of vitriol. But I would do precisely the reverse, and halve with the reader the odious feeling at the exchange of opposite scenes, which poor Gustavus experienced to the full, when the voice called down: "Will you instantly--!" The Captain's lady threw into her tone a more offensive gravity than my innocent Gustavus had as yet understanding enough to feel. The loving maiden, in such surprises, loses the courage which the lover gains. The first verses of the fulminated penal psalm pierced the ear of the guiltless Regina, who stole, mute and weeping, out of the garden, and thus closed in darkness her day of joy. The softer verses took hold of the narrative-poet, who had it in mind to wind up his contes moraux æsthetically and pathetically,[41] and was now himself arrested by another's pathos.

Ernestina's heart, lips and oars had been trained behind the strictest grating; hence her soul, melodious as it was, lapsed (at a mere kiss) into a strange, harsh key; she admitted, in regard to the most beautiful maiden no more than: "She is a good girl." In general, the woman who judges very indulgently certain missteps of a sister is with all her toleration suspicious; a perfectly pure female soul puts on, at most, the air of this tolerance for one less pure.

On innocent lips Gustavus imprinted the first and last kiss; for in Whitsuntide-week the shepherdess went back to Maussenbach as messenger to the castle. We shall hear no more of her. And so it will go on through the book, which, like life, is full of scenes that never occur again. Even now the sun is rising higher in Gustavus's day of life and begins to scorch--one flower of joy after another bows its head already in the forenoon to slumber, and by 10 o'clock at night the drooping flora with its vanished beauty will be asleep.


The Moluccas of Scheehau.--Röper.--Beata.--Medical Female Attire.--Oefel.

I should be doing and writing foolishly,--inasmuch as we all, readers as well as inhabitants of this biography, have so near an interest in Scheerau; since Gustavus, its hero, is going thither as cadet; as I, his tutor, come from there; as Fenk, the Doctor, is already there, and as Fenk may yet be of importance in this history,--if, in defiance of all these reasons, I should not insert three papers of Dr. Fenk's. I refer to two newspaper articles and one letter, which were written by the Pestilentiary.

I am well aware that it is known to a few eminent strangers who have traveled through the higher circles of Scheerau, that the Doctor writes a periodical, which is not printed, namely, a written gazette, or nouvelles à la main, such as several capitals possess. Villages have printed newspapers, small towns oral, capital cities manuscript ones. The paper is Fenk's Marforio and Pasquino, who give out his satirical medicines.

His first newspaper article I weave in, if only on account of the journal for Germany. This so flat and wordy journal--for else it were written neither by nor for Germany--refused to insert a good treatise of mine which I sent in, on the extraordinarily flourishing state of trade in Scheerau, because, perhaps, no government in Germany is less known than that of Scheerau. Verily one would think this principality were hiding itself like a whale under the icy crust of the Polar seas, so unknown are the most weighty pieces of intelligence regarding it; such, e. g., as this, that we Scheerauers since the new dynasty have drawn to ourselves the whole East Indian trade, and annexed the Moluccas, whence we now ourselves fetch our spices, which the Government, by an autographic order, imports from Amsterdam. But this is just what appears in the first newspaper article:


Spice Islands and Moluccas in Scheerau.

The Brandenburg Pond at Bayreuth is an excavated lake of five hundred days' labor, and some months ago I sat in it an hour, for they are drying it up just now for the benefit of the pale dwellers on its shores. The Scheerau pond, at which four Regents in succession kept men digging, has one hundred and twenty-nine days' work more, and is of great importance to Germany, for by its aërostatic vapors it will, as effectually as the Mediterranean Sea, change the weather in Germany, so soon as the wind passes over either. Ebb and flow must, strictly considered, take place even upon a tear or in the drinking-cup of a greenfinch; how much more in such a piece of water. The diocese of islands, which so adorns and supplies this pond, e. g., Banda, Sumatra, Ceylon, and the beautiful Amboyna, the great and little Moluccas, has only under the present administration come out of--or rather into--the water. Herr Buffon, were he still living, and other natural philosophers, must needs be struck with the fact that the islands in the Scheerau Ocean have arisen not by the up-piling of corals, nor yet by earthquakes, that crooked up the dromedary backs of the sea-bottom out the water, nor even by any neighboring volcano which had sown these mountains in the sea; for Sumatra, the great and the little Moluccas, were merely shoved along in small parts on innumerable hand-carts and horse-carts to the coast, and as these cars contained stones, sand, earth, and all the ingredients of a fine island, in this way the feudal tenants, whether of the sovereign or the nobility, who were, in fact, so many (tobacco)-smoking and island-forming volcanoes, were able in a short time to complete the Moluccas, while the bridges of the nobility over the royal waters are not yet begun. The intention of the sovereign is to have the whole East Indian trade at Asia in Scheerau as close at hand as a snuff-mill, and I think we have it, only with the distinction that the spice islands of Scheerau are still better than the Dutch. On the latter one has to wait and watch for the pepper, the nutmegs, etc., to ripen; but on ours all is found ripe and dry already, as one has only to rub it on his food; this comes from the fact that we simply order all these fruits betimes from--Amsterdam. The way is this:

"Either all or nothing is a Regale [or Royal prerogative]. The legal expert cannot justify it that princes, although they lift the costliest but rarest products to the rank of regalia, nevertheless leave the common, but so much the more prolific ones, in the hands of their subjects, and thereby impair the revenue. The jurist finds with the princes of Southern Asia, despotic as they otherwise are, more consistency, for they take not the game, or salt, or amber, or pearls, but the whole land and the whole trade, and merely farm both yearly. The German princes have greater advantages in this direction than any others, for all European kingdoms have Indian possessions--have a New England, New France, New Holland; but a New Germany old Germany has not, and the only land which a prince has left him to take away is his own, unless one could contrive to make out of Poland or Turkey a New Austria, New Prussia, etc.

"But this no regent has hitherto discerned, except the Prince of Scheerau, who laid these propositions before his privy council, but had before the voting already formed his resolution: that now the people should get all their spices of him. He himself now, like nature, creates on his Moluccas the spices which his country consumes, in that he causes the seeds of these spices--pepper, nutmegs, etc.--to be imported, not, however, for planting, but for cooking, through the commercial agent von Röper, from Amsterdam. For this reason, as the Moluccas have suffered by special (or spice-) defraudation, a pepper-and-cinnamon cordon of cadets and huzzars encircles the land; no one could smuggle in a nutmeg, unless it were a Muscat pigeon in her tough gut. All that my Scheerau readers get at the shops--the establishment may belong to a great, house which keeps more ships and bummers on their legs than I do compositors, or it may have been hired by a poor hawker whose sign already moves my pity, whose waste-book is a slate and his stock-book a greasy shop door, and whose goods are brought in not by ship, but as land freight, under the arm and on the shoulder, i. e., on a stick over the shoulder--in either case the Scheerau reader chews products from Moluccas which are under his nose.

"Any one who can properly estimate such a state of things, will heartily agree with the spice inspector, who writes in the Scheerau Intelligencer, (1) that now the country might get pepper and ginger at a lower price, simply because the government would be able to order it in larger, consequently in cheaper, quantities; (2) that the Regent would now be in a condition to wean the Scheerauers, first of all the Germans, from these luxuries which empty our purse over India, by merely raising the price considerably, and (3) that a new department of public service would get a livelihood.

"I need not apologize for the fact that our Prince--as the Russian Empress gives the city charter to villages--bestows insular rights upon rubbish-hills, or that he gives them East-Indian names, since every simpleton of a seaman can represent to the greatest island, and that too when he has rather discovered than created it, the person of god-father. Our Sumatra is one-fourth of a quarter-square league, and grows mainly pepper--the island of Java is still larger, but not yet completed--on Banda, which is three times as large as the concert-hall, nature furnishes nutmegs, on Amboyna cloves--on Teidore stands the pretty country-seat of a well-known Scheerauer (the resident Doctor himself)--the little Moluccas which are dotted into the lake I can, with their products, thrust into my waist-coat pocket, but they have their merit. Whoso has never yet been in any seaport, in any haven, may travel hither to that of Scheerau and be a witness himself, any afternoon, what the commerce is in our days, which the united hands of all nations maintain--here he can form an idea of merchant-fleets, whereof he had so often but blindly read, and which he here actually sees sail over our pond--he can see the so-called spice-fleet of the commercial agent Herr von Röper, which like a torrid clime distributes the necessary spices which he has ordered, among all the islands--he can also come upon poor devils who on little rafts fetch from the East Indies the few goods, which they dispose of by the pennyworth--in port and on shore, where he himself stands, he can observe what the coast-trade is which the so-called huckster-women carry on in a small way with ginger-nuts and walnuts."

End of Number Sixteen.

* * * *

The second part of the Fenkian newspaper is a description of this very commercial agent von Röper without his name. When the reader has read this digression, he will say it was none at all.


An Imperfect Character, such as are for sale to Romance-writers at the Publishing Office of the Gazette.

"In Romance, as in the world, there are no perfectly good characters; but neither, on the other hand, will either readers or his fellow men be pleased with one who is out and out a knave--he must be merely half or three-quarters of one, as it is with everything in the great world, whether honor or vulgarity or truth or falsehood.

"In the publishing office of this paper there is a half-knave who is offered for sale to any romance-writer in Scheerau, for the little which they can afford to pay for him. I assure Messieurs the writers, that I do not at all exaggerate the imperfections of this knave, for the sake of disposing of him at a higher price; the owner will take the knave back again if he proves not to have malice enough.

"This imperfect character was reared in the states of the Church and born on the borders of Lower Italy; and after his baptism and majority bought himself hatchels and mouse-traps. The fewest possible Germans know that the Italians, with whom this branch of business flourishes, can overreach us immensely. Our character soon raised himself from hatchel-commissioner to hatchel-associé; he disposed of the mouse-traps, which he ordered from Italy, in Germany, and the mouse-holes were his Ophir and the flax-fields his mint-towns. The hatchels which he sold before the purchase of his patent of nobility, he knocked off at five and a half guilders.

"He must, even before his birth, have, in the other world, dealt in a great house; for he brought with him a ready-made mercantile soul. It was stupid in me not to have mentioned sooner: when, as a boy of nine years old, he had the small-pox, he opened a little shop, and traded in the pock matter, which people took from his dispensary, that is from his body, for purposes of vaccination. He never gave out any matter gratis, but demanded his money for it, and said he was a pock-seedman, only a young beginner. This trade with his own manufacture, nature and the Doctor soon suppressed, and the latter said he was as dear as an apothecary. Hence he even undertook to be one himself.

"And he did become one, only according to the Mecklenburg idiom; for in that every furnishing store is called an apothecary's shop.[42] That is to say, in Unter-Scheerau he changed his religion and his business and built himself a shop which was to buyers a mere hatchel and mouse-trap. Here he kept for himself a shop-boy, a man-cook, a friseur, a barber, and a reader of morning papers. All these persons were personated by one, is own, this was and did all, as ensophos [or Jack of all trades.]

"Since with our knave, as an imperfect character, virtues must be mineralized into faults--otherwise I would not offer him to any romance builder--therefore let no one take it ill of me that I also bring forward his white side to set by his black one, as on Bohemian tables they always place side by side white and black dishes.

"In those days he always went forth from his shop on Sunday, though with all permissible parsimony, still well-dressed. His hat, his ring-finger, and his vest, were bordered with genuine gold; his stomach and his calves were enclosed by the work of the silk-worm, and his back was covered by the produce of the English sheep. It is quite in keeping with human malice to call that extravagance which was in this case a rare and covert beneficence; all that the imperfect character had on consisted of pawns; for in order to cure people of pawning, he threatened every one that he would wear every article on which he lent money, as long as it remained in his hands. In this way he weaned many a one, and the clothes of those with whom humane warnings availed nothing he actually put on after dinner on Sunday. It was therefore less from a want of taste than from an absence of avarice and hardness, that just as he bore in his own person several menial personalities united, so also he wore several dresses, and came forth as variegated as a rainbow, or as a clothes-moth, that eats its way through from cloth to cloth.

"As I am so perfectly sure that he was not spoiled by prodigality, however much he may have the appearance, I will remove all such appearance by the statement that he every Saturday bought his pound of flesh for his bachelor's hall, but--for otherwise it would still prove nothing--did not eat it. He did, indeed, eat one and with the spoon; but it was that of the previous Saturday. That is to say, the imperfect character fetched every Saturday his holy meat from the stall and ennobled and decorated therewith his Sunday greens. But he appropriated nothing to himself except the vegetable part. On Monday he had the animal portion still and seasoned with it a second dish of greens. On Tuesday the cooked-over flesh worked with new fire at the culture of a fresh cabbage. On Wednesday it had to ogle before him with faint fat-eyes [or spots of grease] floating on another cabbage-soup--and so it went on, till at last the Sunday appeared when the soaked-out rag of flesh came itself to the dinner, but in another sense, and Röper actually ate the pound. So, too, with a pound of Leibnitz's, Rousseau's, Jacobi's,[43] thoughts one may boil vigorously whole ship-kettle-fulls of original leaf-work.

"This parsimony the imperfect character alloyed still more with some degree of deception. He interpolated the articles which he had received in good condition, and wrote back he had received them in a bad condition, they were so and so, and he could only allow for them half price. A third of the price he thus by a clever enough legerdemain whisked out of the buyer's distant pocket. Wares, casks, bags, which had in his house only a relay-station and were to travel on farther, paid out to him a transit-toll through a little hole he made in them, by way of paying himself therefrom the little which might be charged to the carrier if it was missed. He got up a mint-cabinet or hospital for poor amputated invalid gold pieces. To other depreciated coins he gave back the honorable name which they had lost, and compelled his factors to accept them as legitimated and rehabilitated. No matter in how bad a condition a gold piece might have come into his house, he treated it as an officer and never dismissed it without promotion. Thus do such nobler souls cover even the faults of money with the mantle of Charity.

"In this way his commercial stock and real estate enlarged more and more, and in his heart, brooded over by the friendly warmth of the public, there stirred, like an infusorium in its egg, a faint, featherless, transparent thing, which he called Honor. The imperfect character appropriated to himself, therefore, the character of commercial counsellor.

"And now, when he had caught honor fairly by the wing and fixed it upon paper, he could more readily offend against it than before, when he had it not yet among his papers. He accordingly made his declaration of love to the richest and most avaricious father of a beautiful daughter, whose love for another--an officer--had already led her to take the last step. The daughter hated his declaration of love; but the character with the aid of the father, possessed himself of her struggling hand, drew her by it to the altar, screwed on the ring, and impaled her hand in his. Her second child was his first.[44]

"Meanwhile as his honor, after these bleedings and voidings, could not well be kept on its feet, he had to be thinking about hanging on its neck a good, strengthening amulet, Loyola's-metallic-plate, a manifesto-of-Luke-and-Agatha--a diploma of nobility. His honor was happily restored to health by the Imperial Chancery of Vienna.

"As he had no community of goods with his wife, but only with his creditors, he released himself from the mercantile profession by an innocent failure and found a refuge for himself and his clear conscience and his wife's goods and his own at his country seat, in order there to serve his God.

"I mean his Gods;--friends, the imperfect character had none. His ideas of friendship were too noble and lofty, and demanded the purest and most disinterested love and devotion on a friend's part; hence he was disgusted with the low blockheads around him, who desired not his heart but his purse, and who pressed him to their bosoms merely that they might squeeze something out of him. He could not so much as bear to have such selfishness in his presence, and his house, therefore, like the human windpipe and Sparta, could not bear to have in it any foreign thing. He believed with Montaigne, that no one could properly love more than one friend, as well as one mistress; hence he bestowed his heart upon a single person, whom of all he prized most highly--namely his own--this he had tried and proved; its disinterested love for him it was that enabled him to attain Cicero's ideal, who wrote, that one could do for a friend anything, even base things, which one would not do for himself.

"He is the greatest stoic in all the territory of Scheerau; he not merely says that all pleasures are vanity, but he even despises all temporal good, because it cannot make him happy. This contempt of such is not indeed to be supposed inconsistent with the most earnest striving after it, because a philosophor, as the stoics in the note[45] say, will prefer a life in whose furniture there is so much left as a wire-brush or a stable-broom, to one in which merely this little were wanting, although he is not made any the happier thereby. Hence the imperfect character sets as much store by the least effects (as old Shandy did by the least truths) as by the greatest; accordingly he must make his fire of nut-shells, seal his letters with wax torn off from old ones, write his own letters on the blank spaces in those of his correspondents, etc. The Imperfect Character has herein a resemblance to the miser, who makes a profit out of similar trifles, and whom no reasons can refute; for if I may not throw away a penny, I may not a farthing, half a farthing, 1000th of a farthing; the reasons are the same.

"There is in man a terrible tendency to avarice. The greatest prodigal might be made something still worse, the greatest niggard, if one should give him so much as to make him account it much and worth increasing; and so vice versâ. So the dropsical craves more water the more he is swollen with it; as his water ebbs, his thirst ebbs with it.

"The imperfect character thanks heaven for two things: first, that he has fallen into no avarice, secondly, into no extravagance--that he does not deny his wife or his child anything, gives them everything, and only in the case of stupid people, who want to have means of prodigality, takes such means out of their hands, as the old Germans, the Arab and the Otaheitans steal from strangers only, but never from inhabitants--that he is chaste and would sooner untie the money-purse of a merchant than the girdle of Venus--that if he had as many pennies as such or such a one, he would fly to the help of the poor in a very different manner--but nevertheless he no more allows himself to be robbed of his bit than the mourner does of his sorrow, and that at the Last Day the question will be put to him, whether he has gained interest on his pound (sterling).

"This vendible character in the publishing office is, like an English malefactor, stock and seller at once, and will expect nothing of the romance writer for his whole being except a copy gratis of the romance into which he is thrown."

So far Fenk, who could bear all men, but no monster, no skinflint, I have secured this imperfect character for my biography (for he himself exists even biographically under the name of Röper); besides there is a remarkable deficiency here in genuine knaves; nay, if I should compare even Röper with the devils of the Epic Poets and myself with the Poets themselves, neither of us would look very big.

If my readers had a letter of Dr. Fenk's, excusing his former severity--which reminded us of Scheerau, of the Doctor and of a person very dear to me, and which fits in exactly with the whole narrative--they would insert this letter also in the biography. I have that same letter and the same privilege, and splice it in here:

Fenk to Me.

"Accept the poor bearer of this as your client; the Maussenbacher has screwed on to the poor devil his suction-works and quite exhausted him, and now leaves him in the lurch. None of all the knaves and advocates in Scheerau will serve him as patrons against a rich nobleman, for they wish to get the latter one day as their own.

"I am myself, indeed, daily in Maussenbach, and pleading; but the niggard accepts no disinterested arguments; and for all else Röper has feeling and reason. There will yet come a time when one will find it as hard to comprehend our past stupidity, as we our future wisdom: I mean, when one will be unable to tolerate, not merely, as now, any beggars, but even any millionaires.

"Of the father of a beautiful daughter one constrains himself to think well. I force myself to do so, too: in thy piano-pupil Beata, thou sawest only the green leaves under the bud; now thou mightest see the opening rose-leaves themselves and the fragrant nimbus around them. Such a daughter of such a father! In other words: the rose blooms upon a black web of root-fibres sucking in nourishment from a filthy soil.

"I am here for the purpose of curing her: the old man will have something for his money; but in Maussenbach no one reflects on a saying of the Abbe Galiani, who was buried four days before I left Italy, that women are perpetual patients. Merely, however, in the nerves: the most sensitive are the most sickly; the most rational or the coldest are the healthiest. If I were a prince, I would make a princely resolution, and in a rescript from my most illustrious hand would make it a case of house-arrest, if a woman drank so much as a single spoonful of medicine. You poor misguided creatures, why have you in general so much confidence in us men, and us doctors in particular, as to be pleased that we, tapping the glasses of physic one after another in the medicine-chest, take you to drive in a medicine-carriage until we transfer you to the carriage that bears you on your last journey?... So have I said to them many a time, and each time they have only taken the more willingly all the medicines I prescribed for them.

"The only kind of medicine that helps women more than it hurts them is certainly dress. According to many naturalists the life of birds is lengthened by moulting, and that of women, too, I add; for they are always ailing until they have on a new plumage. This is not easy to explain on therapeutic principles, but it is true; and the more distinguished one is, consequently the more sickly, the oftener is he obliged to moult, as the swamp-salamander also sheds his skin every five days. A female crab, waiting for a new shell, cuts an awkward figure in her hole. Every poison can become an antidote, and it is certain that clothes can give sicknesses, e. g., hectic, plague, etc.; so must they, under the direction of a sensible physician, be able to remove sicknesses. An enlightened Medicus will, in my opinion, if Halle's domestic dispensary, i. e., the wardrobe, fails to give relief, take his recipes from no other dispensary than the Auerbach cellar in Leipsic. As thou canst therewith fly to the help of many a fair invalid, I will furnish thee out of my materia medica the following medicinal neckerchiefs, dresses, etc.

"For steel-medicines: steel-rosettes, and steel-chains.

"The precious stones which were formerly supplied from apothecaries' shops are even now good to be used outwardly.

"Bouquets, provided they are of silk, are probated medical plants, and by their perfume strengthen the brain.

"Shawls are healing to the breast, and (not a red thread, which is a superstition, but) a necklace with a medallion is, according to modern physicians, serviceable to diseased necks.

"With Peruvian bark much imposition has been practised, but the genuine is a frock a la Peruvienne.

"As, according to the modern surgery, all wounds are healed by mere covering, so, instead of the English taffeta plaster, mere taffeta on the body renders the same service.

"A new visiting-fan is, in violent swoons, indispensable; but whether a muff should be classed among emollient remedies, false tours among setons, and a parasol among cooling medicines, and dress-trimmings under the head of trusses and bandages, this question one or three hundred cases cannot yet settle.

"We prefer to insist upon this, that a frizzling comb is a trepanning-instrument for headache, a repeating-watch for an intermittent fever, and a ball-dress is a panacea.

"And so, therefore, to speak jocosely, the ladies' tailor is an operator; his sew Lug-finger a digitus medicus;[46] his finger-hat [as we Germans call the thimble] a doctor's hat....

"Why did I forget thee, noble Beata? No parure can cure thee; and if at some future day thy fair heart should grow sick, nothing would heal it but the best heart or death....

"Wonder not at my fire. I have just come from her and forget all faults of hers which a fortnight ago I still knew. Maidens, who are often sick, accustom themselves to wear a look of patient resignation which is killingly beautiful.[47] have underscored her favorite expression, but only from her own tongue can it flow in the sweetest dying cadence. To this patience she is trained not only by her everlasting headaches, but also by her father, who equally torments and loves her, and who, to do her a pleasure, would (according to the egotism of avarice) kill off a world. If the soul of many persons (surely hers also) is too delicate and refined for this marshy earth, so, too, is the frame of many, which can stand nothing harsher than humming-bird weather and vales of Tempe and Zephyrs. A tender body and a tender mind fret each other. Beata, like all of that crystallization, inclines a little to enthusiasm, sensibility, and poetry: but what sets her high up in my eyes is a sense of honor, a modest self-respect, which (according to my small experience) is an inheritance not of education, but of the kindliest destiny. This dignity secures, without prudish anxiety, female virtue. But if one must educate into the soul, nay preach into it, this womanly point d'honneur, ah, how easily is such a sermon overcome!

"Women, who respect themselves, are encompassed with so full a harmony of all their movements, words, looks!... I cannot depict her; but such ones are subjects to be depicted, who resemble the rose, which, down below, where one does not pluck them, has the longest and hardest thorns, but above, where one enjoys them, clothes itself only in a panoply of soft and bending ones.

"I know not whether it is with thee an old story, that daughters tell their mothers every truth and all secrets; to me it is something new, and only one best daughter, Beata, can do it.

"A fortnight ago I recollected a fault of hers not so faintly as to-day, and it is this--that she has too little pleasure in--pleasure, and too much in mournful fancies. There are souls of too great tenderness, that can never be happy (as well as never feel offended) without weeping, and who receive a great piece of good fortune, a great kindness, with a sighing bosom. But when such come into the presence of coarse natures, that cannot guess the hidden gratitude and the dumb joy, they are forced to assume hypocritically not the feeling but the expression of it. Beata's father demands for every present he makes, whose value he weighs even to an apothecary's grain, an exultant and exuberant joy; she, on the contrary, at most, does not feel one till some time after; the apparition of one or another light streak of fortune sends a gleam all at once out over the whole line of her sad days, which lie like graves in her memory. In this Beata I also notice, what I have often before, that woman's body and soul are too tender and excitable, too fine and too fiery for intense intellectual exertion, and that both need, to sustain them, the constant diversion of household labor; the superior women are less injured by diet than by their eccentric sensibilities, which drive their nerves like silver wire through smaller and smaller holes, and thin them out from vermicelli into geometrical lines. A woman, if she had the fiery soul of a Schiller, and should compose therewith one of his pieces, would in the fifth act herself die with the hero.

"I understand thy amorous interrogating articles very well: it is true, the Privy-legation-counsellor von Oefel is a frequent visitor here. He seems, indeed, to have no more tender business here than mercantile, and not to require anything ordered by the commercial agent, except pepper for Ceylon and nutmegs for Sumatra, consequently least of all his daughter and her goods. It is also true that the minister's lady, that toll-and-alms-box of male hearts, forms one of the party, and has Oefel's heart already hooked or eyed to her charms; but the devil trust privy-legation-counsellors, especially Oefels. I tell thee, whether he entrap Beata or not, in either case I wonder at it. Thou wilt, of course, console thyself with this, dear Jean Paul, that, in the first place, thou hast greater attractions than he, and secondly, art quite unconscious of having these attractions, which, in conversation, has a great effect. There may well be something in it; for Oefel aims not so much to please, as merely to show that he could please (if he pleased), and he therefore allows himself all sorts of whims, merely that one may have something to blame and to forgive and he something to make good; he is also--for a courtier and a diamond must have, beside hardness, pure colorlessness in order to reflect foreign hues and lights more faithfully--he is too vain even for a courtier, and buys with another's favor only his own. I will console thee with still more 'it is true's' before I bring on my 'buts.' Beata, it is true, looks as if she were asking herself every minute, why do I not admire him? the minster's lady looks as if she were asking her every minute, 'why dost thou not envy me, when my vassal is like myself a piano-forte with a hundred stops and pedals?'--for he keeps no one position and can venture into any one; every movement seems to flow from the other; his soul changes its positions as playfully as his body, and bends over as gracefully as a fountain in the wind to the remotest matters; nothing confuses him, but he every one; he knows a hundred exordiums to one sermon, begins for the sake of beginning, breaks off for the sake of breaking off, and knows no more than his hearers what he is after--in short, he is a rival, dear Paul!--I can now properly introduce the promised But.

"But although my fair patient overlooks him so coldly, as one who is trying on us a dress, he, however, assumes the opposite, and throws at her fire-balls to illuminate himself, and aeolypiles or smoke-balls for her obscuration, and is already, in advance, cutting mint-stamps for his future medals of victory. Men or manikins like Oefel have such a superfluity of truth, that they are obliged to give it not to one alone, but to distribute it among a thousand women; Oefel would fain command a whole female slave-ship; meanwhile he cares as little about thee as about the minister's lady, who loves him, because it is her latest lover, and whom he loves, first, because in her triumphal chariot, to which formerly a number of ninnies were harnessed, he would be glad to draw alone as thill-horse; and, secondly, she possesses more art and less feeling than he, and persuades him that it is precisely the reverse.

"That I may now weave our Beata, whom thou wouldst gladly get into thy life and into thy book, into the life and the book of Oefel (he is upon me also), for this reason, dear Paul, I have delivered so many cabinet-sermons to old Röper to the point that the sickliness of his daughter is to be overcome not by one but by several hundred physicians, i. e., by society--that the old man will give her a society or rather will give her to one, without himself giving her the necessary alimony. He wants to transplant her into some bed or other of the court-garden: 'She, too, shall, with the rest, gain knowledge of the world,' he says, and has none himself. He would, if he could, drag and crush down the whole female world from its altars and pedestals and presidential chairs and regular seats to milking-stools and work-benches and foot-stools; nevertheless his own daughter shall have Jews and diamond-dust grind facettes and angles of radiance upon her, which he himself hates. Once at court, the legation-counsellor will see her every day--and Jean Paul is nowhere.

"This Jean Paul asked me in a sly way, whether he might not act as lawyer to the father of the aforesaid daughter, because he, said Jean, had heard of the resignation of the present one. Herr Kolb, however (the lawyer in question), is still there, and still quarrelling; says every week: 'If every one knew the tricks of Röper's that I know;' while Röper says every week: 'If every one knew the tricks of Kolb's that I know;' and so the two are glued together by mutual apprehensions. Besides, just now, the thing is not to be thought of; for in fourteen days old Röper receives the oath of allegiance from his manor. A miser dreads to change or to risk anything.

"Why dost thou let thy good sister stay so long in the arsenical fumes of the court? Is what she can gain there worth as much as what she brings with her and may lose there, her pure, tender, though volatile heart? On my tours I thought otherwise, but now in solitude, a coquettish insect, a coquet-crab, creeping now forward and now backward, that keeps opening her great and little shears and always reproduces them as fast as one tear's them off, who instead of a heart carries in her breast a stomach, and yet, like all insects, is cold-blooded, such an incrusted female crab is more revolting to me than a shelless one in the moulting period of sensibility, which is too soft, and out of which romance-writers make the delicate crab-butter. Sensibility improves with years, coquetry grows worse with years. Why dost thou not take thy Philippina home? To these questions Jean Paul has vouchsafed no answer; but to his I have; for I do not take vengeance; I could wish rather the said Paul were pressing Beata's fingers to-day on wrong fingers rather than on the right keys, and that now in the spring-time of her years she looked round beseechingly beside the piano toward Paulus and illumined him with the heaven of her broad blue eyes; the poor devil, even this Paul, would no longer know himself, and would say: Without a beautiful eye, for all other beauty I would not give a doit, much less myself; but for a pair of heavenly eyes I forget all contiguous charms and all contiguous faults, and all Bach and Benda, what they are, and my mordants and the false fifths and much more. Farewell, forgetful one!    Dr. Fenk."

We understand each other, hearty friend! whoever has once written satires himself can forgive all satires upon himself, especially the most malicious, only not dull ones. But, though the doctor has carried on the fight in jest, still I must inform such readers as reside at a distance from Scheerau, without reference to myself, that the aforesaid Legation-counsellor, Oefel, is the most insignificant fellow that either of us has ever known; is one who is only less embarrassed among women, but always so among men, and in a small circle far more than in a large one, not to say that he is always seeking and hunting after that attention which modest people carefully shun, namely, general attention. If he succeeds in getting this elsewhere, he shall not have it in my book.... The following case is, to be sure, impossible, especially on account of the cursed long- and short-legged or trochaic supports and consoles on which my torso rests; but still a man can picture to himself the impossible case, which is this, that I should one day appear before my Beata with a declaration of love, and so, contrary to my own expectation, be myself the hero of this biography and she the heroine. I am regularly dumfounded, for what I would be really saying and supposing is that I became Röper's lawyer, and next thing, in fact, (for I should be every court-day "sweet," or a sweet creature, as a woman expresses herself, who belongs more to the fair than to the weaker sex) absolutely his son-in-law. With pleasure would I, for the good and sympathetic reader's gratification, describe all biographically.... But as has been said, the thing is, unluckily, quite impossible, so far as I can see into the future; and this merely by reason of a cursed unsymmetrical wire-pedestal, which, to be sure, he whom his ill-fortune has fastened thereto would fain make good by a thousand glazings and rasures, and on which Epictetus likewise for a long time stood.

In the heat of my feelings I have been carried quite out of my biographical plan; it was hitherto to have been cleverly kept from the reading world (and the thing was successfully done) that none of all these adventures are yet old, and that in a short time the life of these persons will go on hand in hand simultaneously with my biography. But now I have fired off all my powder. On the whole a new section must, now be commenced, that shall contain more sense....


Oath of Allegiance.--I, Beata, Oefel.

Fourteen days after Fenk's letter ... But are readers to be relied on? I know not how it happens with the German reader, whether from a splinter in the brain, or from an effusion of lymph, or from deadly debilitation, that he forgets every thing a writer has said, or it may come from constipation or from irregular discharges, anyhow the author has to bear the brunt of it. Thus I have already spread the information over a multitude of sheets by compositors and printers for the benefit of the reader (but to no effect), that we have 13,000 thalers in the Prince's hand, which are to come to us; that I have, it is true, never studied the Jura; that I did, nevertheless, while I was undergoing my examination as an advocate, contrive to pick up many a nice juristical crumb, which now stands me well in stead; that Gustavus is to be a cadet, and I am bent upon being a justiciary; that Ottomar is invisible and even inaudible, and that my Principal squanders too much.

Unhappily it cannot be otherwise: for so long as he knows of an apartment or a stable without cubic contents of an animal nature, he hangs out his fishing-rod for guests. Like our modern women, he is never well except in a social hurricane and a thicket of visitors; he and these women come up out of such a living men-and-women-bath as rejuvenated and regenerated as out of an ant-and-snail-bath. He never can flatter himself upon having herein the least resemblance (to say no more) to the Commercial Agent Röper, who in the solitude of a sage and a capitalist silently reflects upon house-mortgages and arrears of interest, and who knows that his castle possesses only cup and pitcher privilege,[48] and therefore no one can be entertained over night. Falkenberg, hearken to the biographer! Close now and then thy purse, thy door, and thy heart. Believe me, fate will not spare thy generous soul. Fortune in her race will run over and cut in pieces with her wheel thy soft heart, to empty her loto-wheel behind her bandage before a Röper. O friend! he will take from thee all that thou would'st give to others' misery or thy own enjoyment, not even leaving thee the courage to bury thy shamed heart with its wounds in the bosom of a friend!--and then how will it fare with thy son?

And yet!--I blame thee only beforehand; but afterward, when thou hast one day made thyself miserable by making others happy, then wilt thou find respect in all good eyes and love in every good breast!

... Fourteen days, then, after Fenk's letter, when my pupil was already eighteen years old, but still without the position of cadet, there sat at my principal's lodgings a bureau d'esprit of Bohemian noblemen, with fiery Pentecostal tongues and March beer. I had nothing to drink or to say, but made one of the company. I could never refuse my good captain, but added one, if not to the guests--(one does not begin to prize fully men of a certain too great refinement till one is away from them among men of a certain coarseness)--yet to the people. Many persons are, like him, visiting press-gangs and cannot bid people enough together, yet without knowing why or wherefore, and without any real affection for them. Falkenberg would invite the deaf and dumb. It has its consequences for my readers that I said: "To-day Röper receives the oath of allegiance." Falkenberg, who was fond of speaking ill of others, and doing nothing but good to them, and who would gladly strew peas in the path of his absent hereditary foes, i. e., misers, and yet sweep them away again just as they were about to slip on them, was charmed with my idea and his own. "We must all," said he, "ride over to-day just to vex him (Röper)." In six minutes the drinking bureau d'esprit and the tutor were on their nags; but not Gustavus. He was made for a finer enthusiasm than a noisy one. Hence Gustavus's inner life often involved me with his father (who demanded outward life) in the tedious and useless attempt on my part to convince him wherein the exalted worth of his son properly lay. For a tutor who stands upon his honor, such a thing is too disagreeable.

We saw, as we sat on our horses, Maussenbach, which stood before its noble Boyar,[49] and placed the feudal crown on his Italian head. Beside the homage-receiving liege-lord stood his judicial department, his excise college, his privy government, his department of foreign affairs--namely, Herr Kolb, the magistrate, who represented all these colleges in his own person. This miniature ministry of the miniature sovereign stood on a meadow holding a long letter in its hand, from which it read out to the people all that was to be sworn. The hundred hands of the confederation then passed in succession through the two hardening hands of Kolb and Röper, and promised gladly to obey the nobleman, if he, on his part, would promise to command.

But after pleasure comes pain, after hereditary homage a bureau d'esprit.... In the eighteenth century, certainly, many men have been scared, and very much so, e. g., the Jesuits, the aristocrats, also Voltaire and other great authors have often been considerably frightened; but no one in this whole enlightened century was ever so scared as the commercial agent when he saw what was coming; when he saw fifteen human heads and fifteen horses' heads between an artillery train of hands, marching down from above over the hill, who, collectively, had nothing to seek in his palace, but enough to find. But as, in the second place also, no one in the eighteenth century was seldomer at home than he--he, indeed, was so, but crouched down behind plate-glass windows or behind fire-proof wall or gabion, because, like a ring of Gyges, they rendered him invisible--accordingly, he might have found a refuge and withdrawn himself from so many mammalia as many miles off; but out on the meadow it was not to be done. A jolly man, and though he were a miser, will make others jolly: Röper started, shuddered, resigned himself to his fate, and welcomed us more joyfully than we dreamed. He continued in the giving mood to-day, because he was once in the way of giving.

For his vassals who had to-day sworn away their good sense must also drink it away; some two buckets of stuff which tasted as sour as the means by which it had been earned he had released as prisoners from their dungeons on the coronation day--he had had the casks which held the liquor not so much inscribed as whitewashed and certified[50] or clarified with double chalk and had had scouring balls of chalky earth let down into them in hammocks so long that at last the beverage was too good to make a present of. The skinflint seeks to save, even while he bestows. For the rest he moved about among his feudal subjects more familiarly and generously than with us ennobled guests;--"this is the way a man always acts, who has no pride of nobility," says the reviewer; "but this is the way the niggard always does," say I, "to whom meaner but silver-veined men are of more account than guests that take what is due to their rank, and who places a servant of his own above an outside friend, and utility above dignity."--Louisa (Mrs. Commercial Agent von Röper), attached to every beer-ark of her husband's a small shallop beside; his gifts were with her always a pretext for making privy supplements thereto. Only she charged the village magistrate to keep a sharp look-out that none of her yeast should be wasted. Nature had given her a free and loving soul; but this very love for her husband left her at least the appearance of his fault.

Thou true heart! let me linger for a few lines upon thy connubial disinterestedness, which counts all thy own virtues as sins and all thy husband's as virtues, and which no praise pleases but that which is given him whom thou surpassest! Why didst thou not fall to the lot of a soul which should imitate and understand and reward thee? Why have there been apportioned to thee for thy sacrifices, for thy heart-rendings here below, no pain-stilling drops but those which fall for thy sake from the fair eyes of thy daughter?

Ah, thou remindest me of all thy sisters in suffering--I know, indeed, full well, from my psychology, ye poor women, that your sufferings are not so great as I imagine them, for the very reason that I imagine and do not feel them, as the lightning, which at the distance of its appearing grows to a fiery snake, is in reality only a spark, which shoots through several moments; but can a man, ye feminine souls, conceive the inward calluses and gashes which his coarse, weapon-hardened finger must produce in your delicate nerves, since he does not deal with you even as you do with him, or as he himself does with the soppy, slimy caterpillars, which he does not venture to take away except with the whole leaf whereon they lie? And then, too, a Louisa and a Beata! But were Jean Paul only your lawyer, as the old man has promised, he would give you solace enough....

But the old man is a poor stick to lean on; does he not creep round through all Lower Scheerau, voting in beforehand all advocates into his judiciary, in order to draw off us counsellors, by the hope of serving under him, from the purpose of serving against him? Meanwhile, however, he must deal honestly with one, and that is myself.

When the Bohemian chivalry and I went from the esplanade into the palace, they and I stumbled upon something very lovely and something very absurd. The absurd was sitting by the lovely. The absurd was called Oefel, the lovely was named Beata. Heaven should give an author a time to paint her and an eternity to love her; Oefel I can have done painting and loving in three seconds. It was an honor to me and to her, that she at once recognized in her old piano-teacher the old acquaintance; but it did not afford me any pleasure that she did not detect in the well-known one a something unknown, and that she did not remember at the sight of me, that she, from a child had become a woman. There is an age when one does indeed forgive the fair, even if they do not notice and do not accept us. Oh, I forgive thee everything, and the greatest proof of it is this, that I speak of it. The young youth admires and desires at once; the older youth is capable of merely admiring. Beata's words and feelings are still the dazzling white and pure fresh snow, just as they have fallen from heaven: no footprint and no step of age have yet smutched this splendor. She was to-day still more beautiful than ever, because she was busier than ever and lent her fair shoulders to her mother's burdens; the pale lunar-aurora which once left the whole heaven upon her cheeks white, now suffused it with a rosy reflection; even the joy of others for which she was to-day active, gave her the heightened color which she usually lost by her own. The maidens know not how very much occupation beautifies them, how much upon them as on doves' necks the plumage plays and sparkles when they move about, and how very much we men resemble beasts of prey, who will not seize any creature that keeps a fixed position.

Her mother joyfully communicated to me the reason why the counsellor or legation was sitting there: he had brought Beata an invitation from the Resident Lady von Bouse to come to her country-seat, where my sister also is. The new palace Marienhof lies half a league from the city; as an annex of the new one Oefel occupies the old, which is perhaps connected with it by secret doors. He impolitely gave it to be surmised that without his fine intriguing--i. e. he made, like the advocates, a bridge instead of a leap over the slenderest brook--the thing would have gone lamely. It is impossible that such a vain fool should stamp a slate-impression of his heart on so precious a stone as Beata. Even though the ninny should in future besiege her every afternoon in the new palace, as he will do, nevertheless I can rely upon what I say--nay I would swear to it. A coxcomb of his magnitude may, to be sure, force one or two angular, mossy, country-damsels (as happened this very day) into an amorous amazement at his bell-polypus gyrations, at his audacity, his sense (i. e., wit) and his immodesty in saying, instead of ladies and the fair sex, merely women: that he can do, and more too, I say; but from Beata's heart all her virtues will eternally separate him; she will, by the side of his love for the minister's lady, not see nor believe his love for her at all; she will open her soul to no sentimental flourishes of an Oefel, which, like counterfeit gold, are now too large and now too small. She will find, rather, there is more chance with an honest Jean Paul; she will, I hope, readily forgive the said Jean Paul the resemblance he may bear in some traits to Oefel, as he is free from the faults of the latter, and stands before her with a true, modest heart, which has hardly the courage softly to breathe upon her the finest gold-leaf of praise, and which, even if misunderstood, is silent, and shrinks back even without having made the attempt. She will, in her decision, steer just as widely away from the old country damsels as I from the young country squires, who sat there in the company. For Oefel's appearance took from them all former wit and sense, and his quicksilvery politeness filled all their limbs with lead; in a falcon-baiting where such a bird pounced upon female hearts, they drew their clumsy wings to their sides and in virtue of their manly sincerity admired, instead of the female charms, his: Jean Paul, on the contrary, remained as he was, and did not let himself be put upon.

I should be leading many a German circle to the presumption of a secret jealousy on my part, if I said nothing at all in praise of Oefel: he promised on the same afternoon to do my pupil a great service. I must premise, that, although he rented the old palace near the resident lady's he did not lodge there, but in the Scheerau cadet-house, wherein he moved from room to room, in order--as his high rank did not allow him to dress singularly--that he might at least act singularly; his object was to study men there, in order to have them engraved on copper. That is to say, he was composing a romance as a short encyclopædia for hereditary princes and crown-tutors, and wrote on the title-page "the Great Sultan." This Fenelon made the harem of his Telemachus into a mirror-chamber, which imaged the whole female court of Scheerau; his work was a herbarium vivum, a flora of all that grows on and around the Scheerau throne, from the prince down--if he still remembers me--to me. When it appears, we shall all swallow it, because in it he has swallowed us all. The reviewers will find nothing in it, but will say: "trivial stuff!" As he never did any thing which he did not before and afterward trumpet to the world, of course even my Captain had heard that he had so long and so finely intrigued with the Cadet-General, that he got leave at last, in the place of an inspecting officer, to occupy and exchange chambers in the cadet schoolhouses; and thus our prince came to the help of this natural historian of men with a human menagerie, just as Alexander did to Aristotle with one of beasts. The Captain, therefore, with his victorious good-heartedness, came to him and begged him cleverly to intercede with the Cadet-General for his Gustavus, that the latter might one day come under his standard. Protector Oefel said the thing was already as good as arranged; he was himself enraptured with the vision of getting a singular genius who had been educated under ground for a room-mate and a sitter.

The refraction of light always shows the land to sea-men some hundreds of miles nearer than it really lies, and by a so innocent illusion fortifies them with hope and pleasure. But in the moral world also the beneficial arrangement exists whereby princes and their ministries keep us prayer-offerers (as Campe would say instead of suppliants) cheerful and lively, in that they, by an ocular illusion, make us see the court-places, offices, favors, which we covet, always some hundred miles or months nearer--(so much nearer, we think we can actually touch them)--than they really are. This illusive appearance of approximation is even then useful as well as usual, when the spiritual or secular bench which is shown in such nearness to the sitters on the long bench of expectancy, proves at last to be nothing in fact but a--bank[51] of cloud.

The Commercial Agent (the Captain said to me on the way homeward) is after all not so bad a fellow as you make him out--and the legation-counsellor needs in fact only to grow in years.


The Second Decade of Life.--Ghost Story.--Night-Scene.--Rules of Life.

Oefel kept his word. Fourteen days after this Professor Hoppedizel wrote to us that he was coming to fetch the new cadet. Now, what had been hitherto our wish became our grief. The bond between Gustavus and myself was to be strained and wrenched asunder; every book that we now read together afflicted us with the thought that each would finish it alone; I could hardly bear to teach anything more to my Gustavus, whose building-up I must hand over to strange architects, and every fair flower-ground was to us the garden-gate of the Eden which an armed cherub guarded against us.

The stormy months of his heart were now, too, drawing nearer. Besides, I had not plucked out feathers enough from the wings of his fancy nor driven him often enough out of his solitude. Therein his fancy sent its roots in through all the fibres of his nature and obstructed with the curtain of blossoms which adorned his head, the entrances of the outer light.

In truth, neither the rattling Mentor nor his books, i. e., neither the garden-shears nor the watering-pot nourish and color the flower, but the sky and the earth between which it stands--i. e., the solitude or society, in which the child spends the first budding moments of his growth. Society is the germinative power in the common-place child, who gives out his sparks only under external blows. But solitude is the best environment of the exalted soul, as a desert place sets off a palace; here it develops itself more harmoniously among congenial dreams and images than among heterogeneous utilitarian applications. So much the more reason have general excise-colleges to see to it that great poetic geniuses--no one of whom in fact can make a judicious chancery or finance officer--shall from the tenth to the thirty-fifth year be kept on the move through nothing but saloons, studies and town-halls, without having a still minute; else not one of them is to be transformed into an archive keeper or registrator. Hence too, the market-din of the great world so happily keeps all growth of fancy to the level of the earth.

I have often thought on this matter, and brought up many objections to my mind. Would not (I represented to myself), a more thorough school colleague, when thy Gustavus was lying on his back on the grass and dreaming to sink upward into the blue crater of the heavens, or with wings on his shoulder-blades to swim through the universe, drive him with his cane to a useful book? And, (said I), if I should say to the more thorough colleague it was all one on what a child's fancy wound its way upward, whether on a lackered staff, or on a living elm or on a black smoker's-tube, would not the colleague wittily reply, for that very reason it was all one?

Meanwhile I, on my part, should also possess wit of my own; I should hit upon the reply: "Do you believe, then, Sir Confrater, that between the greatest knave and the greatest comic poet, whom you produce, there is any difference? Certainly, a good plan of a Cartouche differs from a good plan of the Poet Goldoni's in this, that the first acts, himself, the comedy, which the latter gets acted by players."

Gustavus was now in the midst of the fairest and most momentous decade of man's flight to the grave, namely, the second. This decade of life consists of the longest and hottest days; and--as the torrid zone increases at once the size and the venom of the beasts--so at the glow of youth there ripen, indeed, love, friendship, zeal for truth, the spirit of poesy, but also the passions with their poison-teeth and poison-bags. In this decade the maiden steals away out of the years she has laughed through, and hides her sadder eye under the same weeping-willow beneath which the still youth cools his breast and his sighs, which rise for something nearer than moon and nightingale. Happy youth! at this moment all graces take thy hand, the poetic, the female, and nature herself, and lay aside their invisibleness and draw thee into a charmed circle of angels. I said, nature herself; for about her there glow still higher charms than the picturesque; and man, for whose eye she was a mile-long portrait full of enchantments, can bring with him to her a heart which shall make out of her a Pygmalion's image that has a thousand souls and with them all embraces one.... Oh, it never, never comes back again, the second decade of our poor life, which has more than three high festival days; when it has once gone by, a cold hand has touched our breast and eye; what still finds its way into that, what still forces its way out from both, has lost the first morning-charm and the eye of the old man opens then only to a higher world where he will perhaps again become a youth!

Three days before the arrival of the Professor there was a great ghost-scare in the castle; two days before it still continued; one day before the Captain made arrangements for the detection of the trickery. He had a hydrophobia-like dread of ghost-stories and gave every servant who, like Boccaccio, told one, as payment for his novel, cudgelings, so many for every sheet. The Captain's wife vexed him by her credulity, and she often got that look from him which men give when the hopes or fears of their wives make hares' leaps of half the earth's diameter. She had heard at night a three-footed tramp through the corridor, a flash had shot through the keyhole and another clock than hers had struck twelve, and all had flown away.

He, therefore, loaded his double-barreled pistols, in order to attack the devil with the powder which the latter, according to Milton, invented earlier than the Chinese; his Gustavus must be with him at the time, for the sake of exercising his courage. The castle-clock struck eleven, nothing came--it struck twelve, still nothing--it struck twelve a second time, without help of the clock-work; at this moment a hieroglyphic racket made its way over the castle-floor, three feet tramped down the many steps and shook the corridor. He, who was seldom courageous in suffering, but always in danger, walked slowly out of the chamber and saw nothing in the long passage but the blown-out house-lantern on the top stair; something came up to him in the darkness--and as he was about to fire at the dumb thing, he cried: who's there? Suddenly there flashed five paces from him--and here the tetanus of horror seized the nerves of Gustavus--the light of a dark-lantern upon a face which hung in the air, and which said: "Hoppedizel!" It was he; he threw his boot-tree and other apparatus of this farce away, and no one had anything against it but the Captain, because he could not show his courage, and the Captain's wife, because she had not shown any.

But in Gustavus's brain this face, hanging in the air, scratched with the etching-needle a distorted image which his feverish fancies will one day hold up again before his dying eyes. It is not want of courage, but merely intense fancy that creates fear of ghosts, and whoso has once awakened that in a child so as to terrify him gains nothing, even if afterwards he refutes it again and teaches him that "it was all natural." Hence, in the same family, only certain children are timid, i. e., those of a lively and volatile fancy. Hence Shakespeare in his ghost scenes raises the hair of the incredulous one in the front box mountain high, evidently through his excited fancy. The fear of ghosts is an extraordinary meteor of our nature; first, because of its dominion over all peoples; secondly, because it does not come from education; for in childhood one shudders equally before the great bear at the door and before a ghost; but in the one case the terror fades away. Why does it remain in the other? Thirdly, on account of the object: the person who is afraid of ghosts dreads neither pain nor death, but shrinks from the mere presence of a being of an entirely foreign nature. He would be able to look upon an inhabitant of the moon, a resident of a fixed star, as easily as upon a new animal; but there resides in man a dread as if of evils which the earth knows not, of a wholly different world from what revolves around any sun, of things which trench more nearly upon the limits of our personality....

I could not well avoid recording the foolish trick of the Professor's, because, two days after, it conjured up around Gustavus, on the eve of his departure, the following scene, which might full as well have crushed as cheered his heart.

In the interval before his departure he carried his heavy heart and heavy eye to all places which he loved and was leaving, to the holy sepulchre of his childhood, under every tree which had shut out from him the sun, up every hill which had shown it to him--he went on through nothing but ruins of his tender child life; over his whole youthful Paradise the past lay like a flood; before him, behind him, stretched the marsh land and land of tillage, into which fate so soon drives man.

... This was the moment when, before the sun, which, like him, was going hence, and before the whole of great nature, which, with invisible hands lifts blind man into vast, pure, unknown regions, I pressed the likeness of his Guido,[52] which I had hitherto withheld from him, to my beloved scholar's heart; at such moments words are unnecessary, but every word one does speak has an almighty hand: "Here, Gustavus," said I, "here, before Heaven and Earth, and before all that is invisible around man, here I make over to thee from my guardian hands into thine five great things--I deliver to thee thy innocent heart--I deliver to thee thy honor--the thought of the Infinite--thy Destiny--and thy form, which also encloses Guido's soul. Not on the earth do the great hours stand, which will ask thee whether thou hast kept or lost these five great things--but they will one day compare thy future soul with thy present. Ah! let me not think of myself, if thou shalt have lost all!" ...

I went away without embracing him; the best feelings keep a firmer hold when one does not allow them to express themselves. He remained where he was, and his feelings turned toward the picture of Guido; but that had no power to remind him of his own form--for a man may have come to his twentieth year without knowing his own teeth, and to his twenty-fifth remain unacquainted with his own eyelashes, whereas a maiden shall know all about hers before her confirmation--but the picture woke to life again all of memory and love towards his Genius, his first educator, that slumbered within him; nay, he found in the likeness nothing but resemblances to his friend who had fled from him and saw his form in the painted nothing as in a concave mirror.

His brain burned on in dream, as he lay on his pillow, like a glowing anthracite coal-mine. It seemed to him as if he melted away into a dew-drop and a blue flower-cup drank him up--then the swaying flower stretched itself up with him to a great height and landed him in a lofty, lofty chamber, where his friend, the Genius, or Guido, was playing with his sister; and he dreamed that as often as the young man stretched out his arm towards him it dropped off, and his sister handed it to him again. All at once the flower collapsed, and falling downward he saw three white moonbeams bear his friend into heaven, who cast his eyes downward toward the fallen one. He woke--he was out of bed leaning at the open window which looked out over the garden into the sleeping Auenthal. The heavens came down in a dumb rain of light--throughout the gleaming universe nothing stirred save the scintillating points of the fixed stars--the houses stood like sepulchres in which mortals were taking their long sleep; dreams went in and out through the closed senses of men and sometimes death's tread clove asunder a head and the dream within it. Heaven seemed to Gustavus to have sunk down before his window. "Oh, turn back, come again, beloved!" he cried, transported at once by dream and present reality, "O thou wast there, thou wast seeking me! Ah, thou thousand times beloved! send me from thy heaven at least thy voice!" Unexpectedly something cut the air before the window and cried, "Gustavus," and in its distant flight called down twice from a higher and higher altitude, "Gustavus! Gustavus!" An iceberg fell upon his stiffening skin in the first second; but in the next he recovered his glow, gave his arms to death and to his friend, and concentrated his vision upon a spot in the air under the dazzling moonlight, in order to see something. The two worlds had now for him collapsed into one; calmly he awaited his friend from the world behind the suns and was ready to fall with earthly breast upon his ethereal one. He cooled off at last, and with a shudder of soul and a shiver of the skin went back to bed. But long will the emotions of his soul be wafted to him from this hour, as the winds blow from a region of a storm.

It was probably the work of the old starling, who, so far as I know, had escaped from his cage. Gustavus never knew it. Whether a soul like a standing-pool heaves its waves as high as the shirt-frills, or like the ocean mountain high, those are two things; whether these lofty emotions are excited by a starling or a saint in bliss, that is all one.

The Professor taught him, in my hearing, golden brocards[53] of practical wisdom, which he himself transgressed in his teaching,--e. g., Not merely the love but also the hatred of men is changeable, and both die unless they grow.--Most people speak against those vices only which they themselves have.--The greater the genius, the fairer the person, so much the more does the world pardon them; the greater the virtue so much the less does the world pardon it.--Every youth thinks none is like him in feelings, etc., but all youths are alike.--One must never excuse himself; for not the reason but the passion of another is provoked with us, and against that there is no argument but time.--Men love their pleasures more than their prosperity; a good companion more than a benefactor; parrots, lap-dogs, and monkeys more than useful beasts of burden.--One guesses what men are when one gives them credit for having no principles, and the suspicious man is always right; he guesses, if not the actions, yet the thoughts of another; the defeats of the bad and the temptations of the good.--The sin against the Holy Ghost, which no one forgives thee, is the sin against his spirit, i. e., against his vanity, and the flatterer pleases, if not by his conviction, yet by his humiliation. Etc.

There are certain rules and means of knowing human nature which the higher and better man despises and condemns, which he is just the one not to be helped by in guessing character, and which neither instruct nor reveal him. The Professor further advised my Gustavus to form his face, to silhouette virtue upon it, to smooth it out before the looking-glass, and not to rumple or ruffle it by intense emotions. I know full well that with the world's people the mirror is still the only conscience which holds up their faults before them, and which, like the brain, must be divided into the larger and the lesser; the great conscience consists of wall and pier-mirrors, the little one consists of etuis, and is drawn out as a pocket-looking-glass; this for the world's people; but for thee, Gustavus----? Thou, who can'st neither accept, nor even understand, least of all use, the above Decalogue for knaves--for one understands and finds useful only such rules of life as rest upon experiences which he has himself so passed through, that he himself could have given the rules--thou, whom I have taught that virtue is nothing but reverence for our own personality and that of others; that it were better to believe in no vices than in no virtue; that the worst know only their own caste, and the best, one beside----? ... If Gustavus had not risen in rebellion against those teachings, which are mostly truths, and against the teacher of them; if he had not sworn that this disgusting cancer-philosophy should never spin and fasten itself upon a corner of his heart; then should I not have thought even as well of him as of the Resident Lady von Bouse, to whom the system of Helvetius seems as beautiful as her own face; for in her station the best heart has often the worst philosophy.

It will hardly reward the trouble, that I should add here that the rascal Robisch was chased to the devil, because he gave out and reckoned in a runaway recruit for a new one. If I said "chased to the devil," I was satirizing, for it was only to Herr von Röper, who accepts no servants except such as are Polyhistors[54] in livery, like Robisch, i. e., who are at once hunters, gardeners, scribes, peasants, and servants.


New Contract Between the Reader and the Biographer.--Gustavus's Letter.

"Go thy way, beloved," said I, "whom the world-sea bears along with it; may the solar image of thy shy and sensitive heart smile up out of the watery depths and swim along with thee! Thy young heart thou wilt bring to Auenthal no more! Alas, that the fruits of man's life must have a different weather from that of his blossoms, instead of the breath of Spring the sting of August and the autumnal tempest!" Such were my thoughts so long as his carriage remained in sight; after that I went down into the garden-vault to the two monks, and as I thought: in your cold stony breasts dwells no wish, no longing, no sorrow, and--no heart: "for that very reason," said I in another sense.

To-day is Michaelmas, and to-day--I can no longer dissemble--his departure is a year old. To-day begins, between me and the reader, a wholly new life, and we will quietly settle it all with one another beforehand.

In the first place, it is true, I am a year behind Gustavus's life; but I think in eight weeks to have written up to it. I expected, indeed, half a year ago, that now I should overtake him; but a life is easier to lead than to picture, especially in a good style. On the whole an author--a good one--can more easily reckon the stars in heaven than his future sheets, which are also stars. Finally, one expects that the Literary Times will consider at least so much as this, that I, as a counsellor-at-law, cannot possibly write so much for it as for whole colleges, faculties, and supreme courts of the empire. Is the Literary Times aware of the terrible amount of my labors? One should have seen my cupboard full of professional papers, whereon, moreover, not a word is yet written, because I have only just received them from the paper-mill; or one should have been in my judicial district of Schwenz, where the twelve subjects and the feudal lord and judge are themselves peasants, in order to require of me nothing more than a book a year. Where is the lawyer throughout all Scheerau, who serves in a suit, that might shortly--for the devil must have his sport--have been made to stretch out through the Wetzlar gate under the session table of the imperial chancery, which knows all about good style? And yet the suit, like Peter the Great, served from below upward, and mounted, like the sect of Stylites, higher and higher seats.

Secondly, unless this is still firstly, I can, consequently, like the Jews, only on the Sabbath, or Sunday, think upon the plastic of my spiritual embryos; on week days nothing is written, except, to be sure, biographies also, but only those of rogues, by which is meant protocols and accusatory libels.

Secondly (or thirdly), I am the inmate of a schoolmaster's establishment. The good Captain, when his son was out of his door, undertook to put me under personal arrest, which in my case includes also real arrest, because my real estate consists of my body, and my personal property of my soul; he said I should stay in his palace and advocate and satirize as long as I pleased. It were to be wished his old judge would fade away, then I should be the new one, for his good heart--which my knavish one, accustomed to court subtleties, cannot always forgive for its want of them--cannot bear to dismiss anybody. Still keep thy sound north-east breath; still keep those hands of thine with their cudgelling-stick of a woe-unto-thee! and thy tongue, with its two or three thunders! and thousand devils! my Falkenberg!

And I stayed with him through the winter; but early in the spring of this year I moved down to the place where I now write--in the upper chamber of the Auenthal schoolmaster, Sebastian Wutz.[55] I had, perhaps, the three weightiest reasons in the world for this step; in the first place, nowhere do I feel so shrivelled up as in a Vatican full of dreary caverns, in Sahara wastes of empty apartments; a dining-hall with its poverty of furniture is to me a Patmos, and only in little snug sitting-rooms does one feel enlarged. Man should from year to year creep into smaller and smaller cells, until he slips into the smallest, i. e., into the narrowest hole of this compressed silver wire ["silver cord"].

The second reason was, Herr Fortins (in Morhof. Poly hist., L. II., c. 8), who advises literary men to change their towns every half-year,--and, in fact, one does write better after any change, and though it were only that of a writing-desk. Without such freshening of the air the soul writes itself so deeply into its narrow pass that it is caught there without being able to see sky or earth. The present work may, perhaps, come to something; but every month and every section I must write in a different cabin.

The third and soundest reason is my sister. She has come back again from the Resident Lady von Bouse's, because she had to vacate her place for a fair book-patient, namely, the good Beata, whom father, doctor, lover--the stupid Oefel (but he finds not the least favor)--have at last tempted into this confluence of all enjoyments and visitings. Secondly, my sister is here, because I would so have it; but Sister, Sister, why did not I snatch thee sooner out of this overrunning mineral-whirlpool? Why hast thou so changed? Who can change thee back again? Who will wipe out of thy heart thy thoughts that forever recur to strange glances; thy eagerness to be admired but not loved; thy coquetry, which seeks only to excite love, not to reciprocate it, and all that distinguishes thy heart from thy former heart and from the unchangeable heart of Beata? I would not, therefore, with my sister, make the palace narrower, where, besides, she already, every day, sits away two or three hours.

I have now explained to the reader what he is about. We return to Gustavus's carriage, and are all satisfied--reader, printer and writer.

Gustavus, in an intoxication of sorrow, which the lovely heavens dissolved in tears, drove on to Scheerau, and counted every bee and every swallow that flew towards our palace, happy. The next ten years hung down like ten dark curtains before him. "And," he asked himself, "do skeletons, wild beasts, or paradises lie behind the curtains?" The thing which, without curtain, sat before him and lectured, he did not see--namely, the Professor. Two leagues this side of Scheerau he wrote to me with that flaming gratitude which breaks forth from a man so radiantly only in his second decade. As in the case of all souls which alter more from within outwardly than from without inward, the barometer of the heart stood within him, often immovable at the same degree. The rain-clouds and the rainbow in his inner heaven he carried with him to Scheerau; he bore his veiled heart into the wide, echoing cadet barracks, into the fair-day-tumult on its stairs, and into the noise of watchwords, as if into the midst of the hammerings of a copper foundry and a fulling mill. He grew still sadder, but more painfully so.

The remarkable thing in the chamber which he entered and was to occupy, was not the presence of three cadets--for they were current men, small change and prosaic souls, i. e., jolly, witty, devoid of feeling, without interest in higher wants, and of moderate passions--but it was the Ephorus of the chambers, Herr von Oefel, who skipped about with his sword at his side like an impaled fly with his needle. Oefel began at once to observe him in order to describe him at evening; but in company he observed everybody, not in order to overhear others' tricks, but to exhibit his own. So, too, he praised without esteeming, and blackened without hating. He wanted merely to shine.

Amidst these circumstances, before Gustavus made the heavy passage through sorrows to occupations, a solace came to him in the form of memory, and he saw, what he should not have forgotten--his Amandus, his childhood's friend. But the good youth came before him not in his first form of a blind boy, but in his last, of a dying man. He had a nervous consumption, which had sucked all the pith out of the still standing bark of the tree of life. On the bark there lingered no green save hanging twigs with pale drooping foliage. He was preparing himself for no office or life, but was expecting and stood ready to receive at the threshold of the hereditary sepulchre Death coming up the steps. But that his soul lay in a living wound[56]--there is nothing in that to surprise us except his sex; for the fairest female souls seldom live otherwise; but men do not spare such wound; the spectacle does not soften them towards so soft a sex, that most of them live, not from day to day, but from sorrow to sorrow and from tear to tear....

In Gustavus the second self (his friend) dwelt almost under one and the same roof with the first, under the skull and skin of the brain; I mean, he loved in others less what he saw than what he conceived; his feelings, in fact, were nearer and more compact about his ideas than about his senses; hence the flame of friendship which streamed up so high before the image of a friend, was often bent and blown aside by his bodily presence. Hence he received his Amandus (since in general an arrival creates less glow than a departure) with a warmth which did not quite reach from his inner to his outer man--but Oefel, who observed it, wormed out the secret with six glances: that the new cadet was proud of his nobility.

Of all military catechumens Gustavus had the most thorny time. From a still Carthusian monastery he had been banished to a lumber-room, where the three cadets bombarded his ears all day long with thrusts of rapiers, slaps of cards and curses--from a country castle he had been thrown into a Louvre, where the drum was the organ of speech and the speaking machine, through which the mastership talks with the scholars, as the grasshopper makes all his noise with an inborn drum attached to his belly. To eating, to sleeping and to waking, they were, like the pit of a village player, drummed together. In march-time and following the word of command this militia mounted the dining-hall as their wall and brought nothing away from the fortification but their portion of victuals for half a day. The gesture of command started them up from their seats and led them out again from the citadel. One could at night count the steps of a single cadet, and one knew those of all the rest, because the word of command like a blast drove all these wheels at once.--For this very reason, I mean because grace before meat was regularly commanded, the whole corps had the same devotions, no one spoke with God a second longer than another. I know not to which of the Scheerau regiments the fellow belonged who once, at a church parade, when the officer for once commanded the souls to go to God, which he generally ordered to go to the Devil, so flagrantly rebelled against reasonable subordination, as to crook his pious knee before Heaven at least four minutes longer than the file-leader;--I mention it for this reason, that I afterward, when the pray-er got a whipping for it, publicly propounded the question, whether in this same way one might not train the companies in logic, which is as necessary to them as the mustache and even more useful, since the latter, but not the former, needs brushing. Might not one give the command, only leaving out the word "make": "make the major proposition--make the minor--make the conclusion?" Thus no one could blame me, if I should buy me a company, and make them go through the three parts of the Penance somewhat in this way: Repent--Believe--Reform--namely yourselves, or else the ---- shall strike you--as younger officers add.

The Austrian soldiers had, until the year 1756, seventy-two manual movements to learn, not for smiting the enemy, but Satan.

While in this mood towards war and his comrades, Gustavus wrote a letter to me, of which I omit the beginning, because in that part our correspondent used always to be as cold as at the reception of a friend.

* * * * *

"---- Exercising and studying make me quite another man, but not a happier one. I am often vexed myself at my weakness, at my eyes, from which I privately seek to wipe away all traces of emotion, and at my heart, which, at offences such as I now frequently experience, though certainly without the intention of the offenders, does not boil up with passion, but compresses itself as if into a great tear over the wicked world. My chums, among whom I hear nothing but rapier-thrust and curses, ridicule me in everything. Even this writing I am not doing in their sight, but under the open heavens in the Silent Land[57], at the feet and on the pedestal of a flower-goddess, whose arm and flower-basket have been broken off. The worthy Herr von Oefel is meanwhile at the Resident Lady's, in the old palace.

"Whenever I am not at work, every room, every house, every face confines and oppresses me. And yet when I resume it--that is, when it is foul weather, as it was last week, I open my case of mathematical instruments as fondly as if it were a casket of jewels; but when a fiery morning, amidst the screaming of all the birds, even the imprisoned ones, pours down from the roofs into our streets, when the postillion reminds me with his horn that he has just come out from the angular, dingy, dilapidated, unorganically glued-together rubbish heaps of killed nature, which they call a city, into the pulsing, swelling, budding fullness of unmurdered nature, where one root clambers about another, where all things grow together and into each other, and all lesser lives twine together into one great infinite life; then every drop of blood in my heart recoils from the pitch-hoops, trench-cavaliers, and from the sponges with which the artillery stuff and stifle our blue morning hours. Nevertheless, I forget blooming nature and the counter-mines wherewith they are learning to blow it up into the air, and see merely the long crapes which stream out on high from the poles at the house of a dyer opposite, even as nights hang over the faces of poor mothers, that the dew of grief may fall in the dark behind the corpses which we are learning to make on the morrow.----Ah! since I have learned there is no longer any dying for, but only against the fatherland; since I have learned that if I sacrifice my own life, I save none but only enslave one; since that I have been compelled to wish that when war one day shall draw me into the work of killing, it will first burn my eyes blind with powder, that I may not see the breast I stab, nor pity the fair form which I mutilate, and may only die, but not kill.... Oh, while I still looked out into the world from the monastery, from your study chamber, then did it expand before me in fairer and grander dimensions with waving woods and flaming capes and meadows painted in thousandfold colors--now I stand upon that same earth and see the bold needle-pine with miry roots, the black boggy pond and the pasture of one mowing full of yellow grass and draining ditches.

"Perhaps, however, I might still better realize my dreams of being useful to men, if I should strike into another path, and were permitted to choose, instead of the battle-field, the session-table, and so ennoble the object of sacrifice.[58] The red sun stands before my pen and besprinkles my paper with running shadows. O thou workest standing, heavenly diamond! and illuminatest like the lightning, but without its murderous knell! All nature is mute when it creates and loud when it destroys. O great Nature, standing in evening's fire! man should imitate only thy stillness and be merely thy feeble child, carrying forth thy blessings to the needy!

"If you look up to-day from Auenthal at the windows of our castle flickering in the summer-gold, so does my soul also at this moment look over, but with a sigh," etc....

The officers see clearly that Gustavus never will be one; but he has against him the whole of his father, who loves only the storming warrior and scorns more quiet business-men, as they in their turn despise the still more quiet businessless scholar.


The Genuine Criminal Prosecutor.--My Magistracy.--A Birthday and a Smuggling of Grain.

When, on the following Thursday, I set out to visit my Gustavus and instruct him a little, behold Herr von Oefel, for a reason which it will take a whole section to unfold preliminarily and profoundly, has despatched him with a body of Hussars to the borders, where they were to form a frumentary cordon, which should let no grain go out and no pepper come in. Since most popular movements take their rise in peristaltic ones [those of the stomach], many people of fine sense would have it they nosed out that the sovereign did the thing in order that his subjects might have the means of living.

But I was brought at last into the greatest scrape with it all, and one shall now hear how the matter was, but it must be from the very beginning.

Namely, thus: the great Manor of Maussenbach has, as it is well known, the supreme jurisdiction, although I and Mr. Commercial Agent von Röper are vexed at it, on opposite grounds. I am vexed because I see the life, at least the honor, of some hundreds of people in the hands, not of a whole Roman people, but of a single official, etc.; the hereditary, feudal and juridical lord is vexed, because the criminal court brings in nothing, since it costs more to have the executioners sword sharpened than all comes to which is mowed down by it into the treasury. "Adultery is the only thing left for the criminal magistracy!" says the hereditary lord. Quite the opposite said his justice, Kolb; high criminal trials were his high opera, penal acts were his Klopstock's odes, and a constable his Orestes and Sancho Panza. He would have divided the people into two classes, the hanging and the hanged, and he would have remained criminal prosecutor. An unshaven malefactor in prison was to him a Chinese goldfish in a glass bowl, both were shown to guests. Free hunt after scoundrels only in two or three quarters of the globe would have been his business and pleasure. He hated me to death, because I had defended a man against him and saved him from death and got him into the penitentiary. He possessed the necrology of all who had been executed and a matriculation or genealogical register of all robbers (except robbers of honor) who stood ripe for reaping, and genuine knaves were for him what well-disposed men were for the biographic Plutarch. In brief, he was a genuine criminal prosecutor, just as the old German or modern English laws would have him; for according to both every man must be judged and sentenced only by his peers; but Kolb every knave and murderer could claim to be as great a one as himself, and consequently the culprit could say that he enjoyed the legal benefit of being tried by one of his peers. I know not many contemporary criminal counsellors and members of faculties to whom this could be applied.

This annoyed Röper exceedingly, for his criminal counsellor brought upon him every month a case that involved enormous expenses; and high criminal judges are not so well served by the securing of criminals as by keeping up the succession. In short, when the magistrate thought to undertake a new levy of gallows recruits in the woods of Maussenbach, for which perhaps Robisch was to blame, Herr von Röper would nullify these thief-pressgangs by offering as many insults to his criminal counsellor as were necessary to bring it about that the magistrate could do no less than resign.

He did, to be sure, one thing more, the rascal, he drew a picture of my littleness. As he could not forget my defensive argument, he acted the fiscal attorney, and told Röper I was good for nothing. I was a man who hated him and sundry other noblemen, and who had the finest court-style; Paul took every case of subjects against their liege-lord, and had once even plied his quill against his honor the Commercial Agent. Thou wretch of a Kolb! Why should not One-legs do that? My most important cases are to this very day no other. And why should not, in fact, a proposition be realized which I will forthwith make? This, namely, that, after the pattern of the poor man's attorney, there should be instituted people's attorneys, who should contend merely against patrimonial tribunals, as the Knights of Malta do against infidel ones.

I have it from Röper's own mouth; for, in short, he installed me, to be sure, as Maussenbach--magistrate, let the advocating and reading world be as much astonished as it will. The Kolbian attacks were my very spiral stairway to this judicial bench. My judicial principal must needs, in his eternal battles with all instances and noble folk, have a juristic Taureador vigorous pen-harpooner; but Kolb said I was one. Secondly, Herr von Röper presented me the bench of justice, because I neither rode (on account of my short leg) nor drove (on account of my sea-sick stomach), and consequently would go on foot to the administration of justice without the bevy of horses which his stable otherwise must furnish as perquisites. For reviewers and their editors the hint will do no harm, that they would be pleased to consider and from this time take paper and review a man who is not, like themselves, nothing; but one who sits in judgment as well as they, but over a more real life than the literary, and who can even hang such reviewers, if within his jurisdiction they steal anything but reputation.

Now comes the main thing. I was for the first time, as judge, in Maussenbach and entered upon the duties of my office. All went very well; I and my subjects were presented to each other, and I had on this day over five hundred hands in mine. Of course I had still to smooth down many an ugly face, which they made at me, because they had been in the habit of making it at my little-loved principal; for people and nobles, not merely in Rome, but also in our villages now-a-days, are always in each other's hair and fighting like cats and dogs about financial matters. Beside my magistracy, something else celebrated a birthday to-day--the patron himself, Röper; we feasted, therefore, right well in honor of two things; first, because the parliament which he had dissolved was in me to-day convoked again; and secondly, because the summoner had, many years before, been born. I can say, I had a good time of it, despite my unlikeness to the new born one--of thee I am not at all speaking, Louisa and judicial Patroness!--what lame heart would not beat in sympathetic harmony with thine, when it saw thy eye glisten at the pleasure of thy husband and with wishes for his welfare? But it is of thy wedded lord himself I speak: let him be, now, what he will, it is impossible for me, in regard to a man with whom I sit under the same keeping-room ceiling, to think the evil which I have hitherto heard or even believed of him, and it is really not the same thing, whether a highway or only a table is between us. If thou hatest a man from hearsay; then go into his house and see whether, when thou hast discovered in his conversation so many friendly traits, in his behavior toward the child or the wife whom he loves so many signs of affection, whether, then, thou goest out again with the hatred which thou broughtest in. If the present author was ever in his life prepossessed against anything, it was against the great; but since, in his musical lessons at Scheerau, he has the opportunity of standing under the same ceiling with many a great one, since he has himself skipped round among these giants; he sees that a minister who oppresses his people may love his children, and that the misanthrope at the session-table may be a philanthropist at the sewing-table of his wife. Thus the Alpine peaks have in the distance a bold and steep aspect, but near to, room enough and good plants.

I confess, therefore, when according to ancestral usage (on birthdays at court I never tasted the like) a tart or turnover was brought on, on which the Vivat and the name Röper could be read and eaten set in types of almonds--when, furthermore, the proprietor of the name said indeed: "this now is one of thy stupid tricks," but immediately had his eye fill with moisture and added: "cut out a piece for our people also outside," I confess, I say, I could at that moment have wished my memory rid of many a saying I had heard of him which did not well comport with the lapidary almond style, and I would especially have given something, the crabs most readily, if he had not been so troubled about the bits of gravel in their heads, and scolded so at his Louisa, who in her joy had scattered in sundry contributions to his crab dactyliotheca or collection of pebbles. I will just be candid, the deuce might have taken me, if I could have borne to remain hard as a crab-eye, when thou, my music-pupil, beloved Beata, who from the court-air[59] as other flowers do from the mephitic, hadst imbibed nothing but tenderer charms and a higher enamel--when thou, fair pupil, with a feminine sense of paternal respectability, didst go up to thy father and with thy lips on his hand, offer him the most sincere wishes, and when only on the neck of thy mother, who showered upon you both looks of love, thou didst let thy heart overflow into a more congenial one....

I come now to the promised main thing--namely, my Gustavus. I wish he had stayed away. He rode in advance of two Hussars, who were escorting a grain-wagon. The wagon was going to discharge its load beyond the limits--(the principality of Scheerau, like the human understanding, everywhere runs against limits)--the two Hussars were ready to be bribed, so far all was agreeable; but Gustavus was not; the conductor, the farmer, had given out that the smuggled goods were Röper's property--and from Röper the whole of Gustavus recoiled from his very fathers loins. Secondly, he was living now in bridal relations with virtue, and in the honeymoon, when one regards good works and moral hors d'œuvre [works of supererogation] as one and the same thing, and when style and virtue alike have too much fire. In short, farmer and wagon must go back; and the Cadet had burst into the birthday chamber to make the announcement with over-boiling indignation against Röperish treacheries. But was he in a fit frame to do this when he saw me again after many weeks and my fair scholar for the first time, and when he found himself among the faces glowing with friendship, from which he would at once banish blood and joy? The most he could do was to draw me aside and disclose to me all; but the overhearing neighborhood and the impetuous corpus delicti discovered the same to the Commercial Agent. Without ceremony he broke out into a furious tirade against the Cadet, who, as he said, had nothing to do with the matter, and continued rising to a climax in his fury, till a remedy occurred to him for the whole disaster. I had to go out with him before the street door and there he told me I could, as his magistrate, easily see that one must needs give out the grain as the property of the farmers, because the Prince would have no mercy on an official. This last assertion I, as his new magistrate, could well understand, that the covetous, arsenical king, who could tolerate office-trading, judicial misdemeanors, and the like, would nevertheless come down like a poisonous wind upon all disobedience to himself; but this I could not see through, that a second treason must needs be the abattis and advocate of the first. In the midst of our fight came running up at length the object of it, the farmer himself, who broke in with distorted visage and with the stammering entreaty that "His Grace would not ungraciously remark the fact that he in his bewilderment had given out his grain as His Grace's own." Now the knot was untied; my principal had until now merely confounded his own smuggled goods which had been successfully brought over the frontier with arrested goods of another party. To the farmer he forthwith, as a sound moralist, represented the wickedness of deceiving at once himself, the country, and the Prince, "and he wished he would break open now the writing of the Government, he would deliver him up on the spot." He hastened in to my Gustavus and hurled at him, with the heat of misunderstood innocence, as many coarsenesses as one might expect from an offended demi-millionaire, since gold possessors, like gold strings, sound the harshest. I pitied my dear Gustavus with his plethora of virtue; he pitied the ill-luck of the poor farmer, and Beata pitied our confusion all round. With boiling emotions Gustavus fled out of a dumb apartment, where he had broken off from the tenderest heart that ever trembled under a fair form, that of Beata, the flowers of childish joy, and dashed them to the ground.

In fact, now at length the old Harry was loose--namely, the howling of Röper's rage against the house of Falkenberg and its abominable extravagance, and against the Cadet. Beata was silent; but not I. I should have been a scoundrel (a greater one, I mean) if I had allowed extravagance, in the sense in which the adversary meant it, to be imputed to the Captain. I should, moreover, have been stupid (or stupider) if I had not in my first official act endeavored to accustom him to opposition, instead of waiting till the tenth or twentieth.... But the oil which I poured round for the purpose of smoothing his waves, dropped into fire instead of water. Little did it help either of us, that my pupil played upon us with the richest passages out of Benda's Romeo, the old hilarity was not to be brought back again; we twitched and twisted our faces to no purpose. Röper looked like an Indian cock and I like a European. I had intended, toward evening, after moon-rise, to be somewhat sentimental in the presence of Beata, seeing, besides, that the Count tore her away from me. I am certain I should have had sensibility and sentiment adequate to the occasion. I should, under the shade of a tree, have taken out my heart and said, prenez. Nay, I seemed even to-day to draw Beata much nearer to me than usual, a thing in which one prospers with all maidens with whose parents one has business associations. But all that was now gone to the old Harry. I was compelled to make my exit cold and hard as a page of the exchequer, and felt miserably. If the new magistrate was provoked, who had thus been ushered into his new office in a cloud of vexation, his principal was still more so, who had been escorted by a jar and jangle into his new year. So I limped off and said to myself all the way, "thus, then, and with such face and aspect art thou hieing home, happy Paul, from thy Maussenbach judgeship, of which thou hast boasted so much in thy former sections. Thou need'st not rise on my account, O moon; I need not to-night thy powdered face. That single, confounded grain-wagon! and the Prince! and the skin-flint, too! and even youthful virtue! Would that ye all.... But had I only been as sensible and felt as much in the very forenoon, and had I only, before dinner, shown forth something of my heart, an auricle, a fibre.

"Heigh! Mr. Magistrate," cried my Wutz, coming to meet me; "here again! Hast had fine cases of adultery, harlotry, riots, defamations?"

"Merely a few defamations," I replied.


Other Quarreling.--The Still Land.--Beata's Letter.--The Reconciliation.--The Portrait of Guido.

Up to this present Sunday I have not succeeded in finding out why Gustavus arrived at Scheerau five days later than he might have done; he evaded even my inquiries more distressfully than adroitly. Oefel had all reported to him, and made out of it one or two sections of his romance, which I and the reader, it is to be hoped, may yet see. I could wish his might see the light sooner than mine, then I might refer the reader to it or perhaps extract from it some anecdotes. Gustavus seemed to have a mental wound-fever. He carried his heart chilled with recent bleeding to Amandus, to warm it and let it brood again upon his friend's hot bosom, and to recover the self-respect which he could not get at first hand, from a second, and there he always got it--for a peculiar reason. In his character there was a trait, which, if he had been a member of a Moravian church, would long ago have enrolled him a missionary therefrom to America for the conversion of the savages: he was fond of preaching. I can say it in other words: his gushing soul must either stream or stagnate, but trickle or drop it could not--and then, when once a friendly ear opened to it, it rained down in inspiration upon Virtue, Nature and Futurity.--Then did a fresh, bracing air flow through the world of his ideas--the down-pouring torrents disclosed the fair, bright, deep-blue heaven of his inner-being and Amandus stood under the open heaven enraptured. This youth, to whom the exuberance of his heartily beloved friend was a pedestal, something that did not oppress but uplifted him, enjoyed in another's worth his own; nay, in his less enlightened head there arose a still greater warmth than was in the speaker, somewhat as dark water grows more intensely warm in the sun than that which is bright. Gustavus related to him what had happened, and talked with him so long upon his rights and wrongs in the case, that at last all his grief about it had been talked away: such is the way in which friendship talks out the internal fire of anger. It was merely a sign of love and a little weakness, that Amandus wiped away with greater sympathy a tear of sorrow than a tear of joy from the loved eye of another; he, therefore, by way of prolonging his interest in another's affliction, came back again to the old subject, and dropped the casual question where my hero had been the last five days. Gustavus with a troubled and reddening face would have given the question the go-by--his friend pressed it the more eagerly--the other embraced him still more passionately and said: "Ask me not, thou only tormentest thyself for nothing." Amandus, whose hysterical sensibility was less fine than spasmodic, now began to be really fired up--Gustavus's heart was intensely agitated and out of it came the words:--"O my dear friend, thou can'st never learn it, never from me!"--Amandus, like all weaklings, was easily inclined to jealousy in friendship and love, and in an offended mood placed himself at the window. Gustavus, made more indulgent and warmer to-day by the consciousness of his latest mistake in the accusation touching the grain-case, went over to him and said with moist eyes: "If I only had not given my oath to say nothing about it." But in the soul of Amandus not all parts were invested with that nice sense of honor in which is found the lapis infernalis that consumes every breach of word and oath. Moreover in him, as in all weaklings, the emotions of the soul, even when the occasion for them was removed, like the waves of the sea when a long-continued wind is followed by one blowing from the opposite quarter, still retain the old direction. He continued, therefore, looking out of the window, and meant to forgive, but was obliged to let the mechanically heaving waves gradually subside again. If Gustavus had less earnestly begged his forgiveness, he would have obtained it the sooner; both were silent and remained as they were. "Amandus!" he cried at length in the tenderest tone. No answer and no change of position. All at once the lonely and agonized Gustavus, overcome with grief, drew forth the portrait of the lost Guido who so closely resembled himself, which in the fair days of childhood had been hung upon his breast and which he had intended to-day to show him, and said with melting heart: "O thou pictured friend, thou beloved colored nothing, thou bearest under thy painted breast no heart, thou dost not know me, thou requitest me in nothing--and yet I love thee so dearly. And could I be otherwise than true to my Amandus?" Suddenly he saw in the glass of this portrait his own face reflected with its mournful features: "O look here" (he said in an altered tone); "I am said to look so like this painted stranger, his face wears one constant smile, but look into mine!"--and he raised it up, and showed his eyes wide open, but swimming in tears and his lips quivering. The flood of love snatched both away and bore them up in a close embrace--and when, not till after that, Amandus in reply to his half jealous question: "he had supposed the portrait was that of Gustavus," received an answering No, followed by the whole history: then no harm was done; for the emotions of his heart settled down again and flowed on in the bond of friendship.

After such expansions of the soul a sitting-room offers no proportionate objects; they sought them therefore under that ceiling from which not a painted, but a living heaven-canopy, not grains of color, but burning and carbonized worlds depend, and went out into the Still Land, which lies less than half a league from Scheerau. Ah, they should not have done it, if they had wished to remain reconciled.

Wilt thou have me describe thee here, thou Still Land! over which my fancy flies so high above the ground and with such yearning--or thou, still soul! thou that watchest it still in thine, and hast cast only an earthly image thereof upon the earth?--Neither of the two am I equal to; but I will point out the way which our friends took through it; and first I must communicate something further, which gave rise to the extraordinary issue of their walk.

Besides I could not rightly decide where to put the letter which Beata immediately after my and her return from Maussenbach wrote to my sister. She had in the few days which she had spent with my Philippina at the Resident Lady's become her friend. The friendship of maidens consists often in their holding each other by the hand or wearing clothes of the same color; but these two preferred to have like friendly sentiments. It was fortunate for my sister that Beata had no opportunity to come in contact with the tinge of coquetry which touched the surface of her character; for maidens divine nothing more easily than coquetry and vanity, especially in their own sex.

"Dear Philippina:--I have delayed all this time in order to write you a real lively letter. But, Philippina, this is not one. My heart lies in my breast as in an ice-house and trembles all day long; and yet you were so happy here, and never sad except at our leave taking, which lasted almost as long as our stay together: am I, perhaps, to blame for this? I think so very often when I see the laughing faces around the Resident Lady, or when she herself speaks, and I imagine myself in her place, and fancy how I must appear to her with my silence and my speeches. I dare not think any more on the hopes of my solitude, so sorely am I shamed by the superior advantages of other people's society. And when a part which is too great for me to play of course oppresses me, I know no way of raising myself up again, except by creeping away into the Still Land. Then and there I have sweeter moments, and often my eyes suddenly run over, because there everything seems to love me, and because there the tender flower and the innocent bird do not humiliate me, but respect my love. There I see the spirit of the mourning Princess make its lonely pilgrimage through her works, and I walk with her and feel what she feels, and I weep even sooner than she. When I stand beneath the brightest and bluest day, then I gaze yearningly up at the sun, and after that round about the horizon and think: 'Ah! when thou hast gone down thy arch, thou hast shone on no spot of earth on which I could be wholly happy until thy evening glow; and when thou art down and the moon comes up, she too finds that it is not much thou hast given me.' Dearest friend, do not take it ill of me that I use this tonic; ascribe it to a malady, which always comes to me preceded by this avant courier. O, could I chain thee to me with my arm, then perhaps I should not be so. Happy Philippina! from whose mouth wit already flutters forth again smiling, even when the eye above it is still full of water; as the solitary balsam poplar in our park breathes out spicy perfumes, while warm rain drops still fall from it. All forsake me, even images; a dumb, dead picture behind a glass door was the only brother whom I had to love. You cannot feel what you have or I miss--this time even his reflection departs from me, and I have nothing left of my beloved brother, no hope, not a letter, not a likeness. I have missed this portrait, indeed, only since my return from Maussenbach; but perhaps it has been gone still longer, for I had hitherto merely to arrange my things; perhaps I myself packed it up among the books which I gave you. You will let me know, I am well aware. In our house there was a second, somewhat less faithful, likeness of my brother, but that has been missing for a long time," etc.

* * * * *

Very naturally! for old Röper had sold it at public auction, because it was that of Gustavus. But we will follow our two friends again into the Still Land.

They had to go by the old palace, which, like an Adam's-rib, had hatched out the new one; which, in its turn, had sent forth new watershoots--a Chinese cottage, a bathing-house, a garden-saloon, a billiard-room, etc. In the new palace dwelt the Resident Lady von Bouse, who did not admire this architectural feature twice in the whole year. Behind the second rear extension of the palace the English garden began with a French, which the Princess had let stand, by way of utilizing the contrast, or of avoiding that which an angular gala-palace assumes by the side of patriarchal Nature in her pastoral attire. Any one who cared not to go by the two palaces could reach the park through a pine grove, coming first into a cloister, of which the old Prince and his favorite chamberlain had been the fathers. Neither of them had been alone half a day in all their lives, except when they were lost on a hunt or otherwise; hence they wanted for once to be alone, and therefore--(what cared they if they did perpetrate a plagiarism and a copy of the former Baireuth Eremitage?)--they placed nine small houses first on paper, then on a table, and finally on the earth, or rather nine moss-grown cords of wood. In these puzzle-houses of hollow logs there was lodged Chinese furniture, gold and a live courtier, somewhat as in living trunks of trees one is astonished to come suddenly upon a live toad, because one does not see where the creature's hole is. The logs enclosed a cloister which--as not a soul in the whole court had any disposition to be a living hermit--was committed to a wooden one, who silently and sensibly sat therein and meditated and reflected as much as is possible for such a man to do. They had provided the Anchorite with some ascetic works from the Scheerau school-library, which suited him well enough and exhorted him to a mortification of the flesh which he already had. The great, or the greatest, either are represented or themselves represent something; but they seldom are anything; others must eat, write, enjoy, love, conquer, for them, and they themselves, again, do so for others; hence it is fortunate that, as they have no soul of their own to enjoy a monastic life and find no other that can, they can at least hunt up among the carvers wooden business-agents who can enjoy the recluse life for them; but I only wish that the great ones, who never suffer more ennui than in their pastimes, would have made and placed before their parks, before their orchestras, their libraries, and their nurseries, such solid and inanimate agents and canopy-bearers or curatores absentis of pleasure and fair-weather, lightning-conductors, either hewn out in stone or merely embossed in wax.

Upon the ceiling of the hermitage (as in that of the grotto in the cloister of Santa Felicita) was to have been represented an adequate amount of ruin, six cracks and two or three lizards falling through them. The painter, too, was already on his travels, but stayed so long upon them, that at last the thing painted itself, and like openhearted people, was nothing else than what it appeared. Only, when the artificial hermitage had ennobled itself into a natural one, it had long since been forgotten by everybody. I hold it, therefore, rather as persiflage than as pure truth, that the Chamberlain--as so many Upper-Scheerauers said--had hunted up wood-ticks and had them grafted into the hermit's chair, so that the creatures might work there instead of hair-saws and ripping-knives, and make the seat the sooner antique--in fact the vermin are now gnawing both chair and monk. Still more ridiculous is the idea of making a reasonable man believe, that the architectural chamberlain had covered and papered an artificially running wheelwork with a mouse-skin, in order that the artificial lizard above might have a mouse-correspondent below, and thus provision be made for symmetry at either end; and that afterward the proprietor had approached Nature and drawn over a live, running mouse a second artificial mouse-skin as frock and overcoat, that Nature and art might have a mutual indwelling;--ridiculous? It is true, mice are always capering round the hermit, but certainly only in one skin under-jacket....

Our two friends are far from us, and are already in the so-called long evening-vale of the park, through which a wavy stream of gold flowed from the setting sun. At the western and gently raised end of the vale, the scattered trees seemed to grow on the dissolving sun itself; at the eastern end one could look across over the continuation of the park to the glowing palace, on whose window-panes the sun and the evening fire-works redoubled their splendor. Here the old Princess always saw the first setting of the sun; then a path that wound gently upward led her to the high brow of this park, where day was still dying, and once more paternally beheld with his expiring sun-eye his great circle of children, till night closed his eye and took the orphaned earth into her motherly lap.

Gustavus and Amandus! be reconciled to each other here once more--the red limb of the sun rests already on the margin of the earth--the water and life run on and stop down below in the grave--take each other by the hand, when you look over to the ruined Place of Rest,[60] and at its still standing church, image of unprosperous virtue--or when you look over to the Flower Islands, where every flower trembles alone on its little green continent, and no relative nods a greeting save its painted shadow in the water--press each other's hands, when your eyes fall upon the Realm of Shadows, where, to-day, light and shade, like living and sleeping, fluttered tremblingly beside each other and into each other--and when ye see Alpine horns and Æolian harps leaning against the threefold lattice of the Dumb Cabinet, your souls must needs tremble in unison with the harmonies, in echoing vibrations.... It is a wretched rhetorical figure I set up here, as if I had been all this time addressing and exhorting them; for are not the two friends in a greater enthusiasm than I myself? Is not Amandus exalted far above all jealousy of friendship, and is he not with his own hand holding out before him the portrait, to-day apostrophized, of the unknown friend of Gustavus, and saying: "Mightest thou be the Third?" Nay, does he not, in his inspirations, lay the picture on the grass, in order with his left hand to grasp Gustavus and with his right to point to a chamber of the new palace, and does he not confess: "Had I also in my right hand that which I love, then were my hands, my heart and my heaven all full, and I would die!" And as it is only in the greatest love for a second that we can speak of that which he cherishes towards a third, can we demand anything more of our Amandus, who here, on the hill-top, confesses himself in love with Beata?

The misfortune was that at this very moment she herself was coming up, to stand at the dying-bed of the sun--herself even more lovely than the object which was the delight of her eyes--walking more and more slowly, as if she were every moment on the point of stopping--with eyes that could not see till she had several times in succession shut and opened them again with a quick winking movement--no living European author could describe the ecstacy of Amandus, if the thing had remained so;--but her slight astonishment at seeing the two guests of the mountain suddenly passed over into a similar sensation at seeing the third on the grass. A hasty movement put her in possession of the picture of her brother and she said, turning involuntarily toward Amandus: "My brother's portrait! and so at last I find it!" But she could not pass by them, without saying to both--with that fine womanly instinct which has got through ten sheets in such documents before we have read the first leaf:--"She thanked them, if it was they who had found the picture." Amandus made a low and bitter obeisance, Gustavus was far away, as if his soul stood on Mount Horeb, and only his body was here. She walked on, as if it had been her intention, straight down over the mountain, with her own eyes on the picture, and with the other four eyes fixed on her back....

"Now, indeed, the mystery of thy five days is out, and without perjury on thy part," said Amandus bitterly, and the high opera of sunset touched him no more; Gustavus, on the contrary, is still more deeply affected; for the feeling of suffering a wrong, mingled with the mistaken feeling of having done a wrong--(tender souls in such cases always justify the other party more than themselves)--melted with it into one bitter tear and he could not say a word. Amandus, who was now vexed at his reconciliation, was still more confirmed in his jealous suspicion by the fact that Gustavus, in his pragmatic relation of the Maussenbach adventure, had entirely left out Beata; but this omission had been intentional on the part of Gustavus, because the presence of the tender soul was just what pained him most in the whole occurrence, and because perhaps in his innermost heart there was budding a tender regard for her, which was too delicate and holy to endure the hard open air of conversation. "And of course she too was present lately in Maussenbach?" said the jealous one in the most unlucky tone.--"Yes!" but Gustavus could not add so much as this, that she had not on that occasion spoken one word to him. This nevertheless unexpected yes, in an instant contorted the face of the questioner, who would have held on high his stump (in case his arm had been shot off) and sworn, "it needed no further proof--Gustavus visibly held Beata in his magnetic vortex--was he not now speechless? Did he not instantly surrender her the likeness? Will she not, as she confounded the copies, also confound the originals, as they are all four so like each other, etc.?"

Amandus loved her, and thought one loved him too, and that one perceived where his drift lay. He had delicacy enough in his own actions, but not enough in the presumptions he cherished regarding those of others. He had, namely, in the medical company of his father, often visited Beata, in her sicknesses, at Maussenbach; he had received at her hands that frank confidence which many maidens in their sick days always express, or in well ones, toward young men who appear to them at once virtuous and indifferent; the good Participle in dus, Amandus, assumed therefore after some reflection, that a letter which Beata had translated as a specimen, from Rousseau's Heloise, on fine paper--no maiden writes on coarse--and which had been written to the deceased Saint Preux, was addressed to the Participle himself. Girls should never, therefore, translate anything. Amandus was translated into a lover.

In Gustavus's heaving brain the night settled down at last, which had already come on in the outer world. Storm and moonshine in his inner night stood side by side--joy and sorrow. He thought of an innocent friend eaten up with suspicion, of the forfeited portrait, of the sister with whom he had played in his childhood, of the unknown pictured friend, who was therefore the brother of this lovely creature, and so on. Amandus turned aside to go off; Gustavus followed him unbidden, because, to-day, he could not do anything but forgive. Even during the descent hatred and friendship wrestled with equal force in Amandus, and nothing but an accident could ensure the victory to either. Hatred won it, and the auxiliary accident was, that Gustavus walked along parallel to Amandus. Gustavus should have stolen along ahead (or at most behind), especially with that affectionately dejected soul of his own. In that case friendship would, by the help of his back, have conquered, because a human back, by the suggestion of absence, creates more compassion and less hatred than the face and breast.... In fact one cannot often enough see his fellow men from behind....

Ye readers of books! scold not at poor Amandus, who is scolding away his fragile life. You should only see and consider how it is with the seat of the soul in a nervous weakling, that it is devilishly hard, not stuffed out with so much as three horse-hairs, and cuts like the seat of a sleigh. In short, any personality of my acquaintance sits more softly. Nevertheless my pity for the poor fellow is excited by quite other things than by his hard, stony, pineal gland of the soul. There are things which would soften the heart of the reader, and which, alas, despite my repeated filling of my pen, I have not yet been able to write up to!

On the whole it is vain for me to attempt concealing how very deficient my story thus far is in true murder and mortality, pestilence and famine, and all the pathology of the Litany. I and the circulating librarian find the whole public in the shop here, waiting, and with the white handkerchief--that sentimental seton--already taken out, impatient to weep and wipe away its proper quantity of tears ... and yet none of us brings on much that is dead and affecting.... On the other hand I am beset with the peculiar difficulty that the German public cocks up its head and will not let itself be distressed by me; for it counts upon this, that I, as a mere plain biographer (life-writer) cannot go so far as a murder, without which, however, nothing is to be effected. But is then only the romance-manufacturer invested with the supreme criminal jurisdiction, and is only his printing paper a place of execution? Nay, newspaper-writers, who write no romances, have nevertheless, from time immemorial, filled their pens and slain what they chose, and more than was buried. Furthermore, historians, those Great-Crosses (of butterflies) among the Little-Crosses (for out of 100 newspaper annalists I extract and decoct at most one historian) have gone on and destroyed as many as the plan of their historic introductions, their abregès, their royal and imperial historiettes absolutely required.... In short, there is no excuse for me if I do not here make anything at all dead and interesting; and at the end I slaughter from necessity one or two lackeys, whom besides, out of Scheerau, no devil knows.

But I proceed with my story and insert out of the Pestilentiary's Nouvelle à la main the following article in my Nouvelle à la main [handy-volume novel] written for several quarters of the globe:

"It is confirmed by reports from Maussenbach, that the public servant at that place, Robisch, is dead as his mice. His death has created two schools of medicine, of which the one contends that his sect-founding death arose from too much beating, and the other, from too little eating."

There is not a word of truth in all this; the man has, indeed, stripes and appetite, but is living up to date, and the newspaper article is only just this moment been made by myself. But let the rash public draw from this and for future use the hint, that it should not tease and provoke any biographer, because even he by poisoning his ink and by putting rat-powder in his sand box can destroy princes or anybody else, and send them to the church-yard; and learn hence that an ingenuous public must always while reading ask with trembling: "how will it fare with the poor fool (or fair fool) in me next chapter?"


Oefel's Intrigues.--The Degradation.--The Departure.

It fares badly enough with him, if, indeed, inquiring Germany meant our Gustavus. It is Oefel's fault. But I will explain to affrighted Germany the whole matter; the fewest people therein know how he comes to be a Romance-writer and a Counsellor of Legation.

No sensitive officer--in the cadet-barracks he wore uniform--has exchanged fewer balls, and more shirts and letters, than Oefel. These last he insisted on writing to all sorts of people; for his letters could be read, because he himself read, and indeed things in the belles-lettres line, which he also imitated. For he was, it must be known, a bel-esprit, but had no other [esprit]. French booksellers in a body are said to have sent him a ridiculous letter of thanks, because he bought up all their stuff--even the present biography, wherein he himself appears, will one day reappear with him, when he hears of its publication and of its translation into French. Himself, body and soul I mean, he had already translated into all languages out of his French mother-patois. The bel-esprits in Scheerau (including me perhaps) and in Berlin and Weimar despised the fool, not merely because he was from Vienna, where to be sure no earthquake ever heaved up a Parnassus, but still the mole-snouts of a hundred brochurists have thrown up duodecimo-petty-Parnassuses, and where the Viennese citizens who stand on them think envy is looking up, because pride is peering down--but he despised us in a mass, because he had money, fashion, connections and courtly taste. Prince Kaunitz once invited him (if it is true) to a souper and ball, where there was such a crowd and all went off so brilliantly, that the old man never knew at all that Oefel had eaten and danced at his house. As his brother was the chief court-marshal and himself very rich, accordingly no one in all Scheerau had taste enough to read his verses, except the court; for it they were made; it could run over such verses as over the grassy parts of the park without hindrance, so short, soft and clean shorn was their growth; secondly, he published them not on printing-paper, but on silk ribbons, garters, bracelets, visiting-cards and rings. Among other fleas which skip up and down and make themselves audible on the membrane of the public's ear-drum, I too am found and help the thunder; but Oefel imitated none of us and greatly despised thee, my public, and set thee below courts; "me" (he said) "no one shall read who has not a yearly income of over 7000 livres."

Next summer he is to set out as envoyé to the Court of ----, in order to resume the negotiations respecting the bride of the Prince, which had already been spun at her cradle, and broken off, and to knit them again at the side of her Graham's bed.[61] The Prince must needs, in fact, marry her, because a certain third court, which one is not permitted to name, would fain withhold her thereby from a fourth, which I should be glad to name. But let my word be taken for it, no man in the bridegroom's whole court believes that the reason of his being despatched to the court of the bride is that there fine esprits and fine persons are perhaps articles in demand; verily, in both of these charms he could be outbidden by any one; but in a third charm unfortunately he could not, and one which to an envoyé is dearer and more needful than moral ones--money. At an insolvent court the Prince has the first, and the millionaire the second crown. I have often cursed the confounded hereditary misfortune of the Principality of Scheerau, and perceived that there is seldom enough in its treasury, and we would gladly help ourselves by a national bankruptcy, if we could only first get national credit. But, excepting this Principality, I have never in all my travels found the following four regions anywhere but on Etna itself: first, the fruitful, and secondly, the wooded region at the foot of the throne, where fruits and grazing and game-cattle, namely, the populace, are to be found; thirdly, the icy region of the court, which yields nothing but glitter; fourthly, the torrid region of the throne-peak, where there is little to be found except the crater. A throne-crater can swallow up and calcine even gold mountains, and eject them as lava.

Unluckily Gustavus pleased him, because he regarded the young man's youthful good nature as an exclusive attachment to himself, his modesty as lowliness before the Oefelian grandeur, his virtues as weaknesses. He was pleased with him because Gustavus had a taste for poetry, and consequently, he inferred, the greatest for his own; for Oefel's noble bloody contrary to nature, ran in a thin poetic vein, and in a satirical one, too, he thought. Perhaps also, Gustavus, in these years of taste, when youth is enraptured with the lesser beauties and faults of poetry, may sometimes have thought even Oefel's good. Now, as even Rousseau says, he can choose no one for a friend who is not pleased with his Heloise; so belletrists can give their hearts only to such people as have a similarity of heart, mind and consequently taste, to themselves, and who accordingly have a sense of the beauties of their poetic effusions as lively as their own.

Meanwhile what Oefel valued most highly in Gustavus was that he could be planted in his romance. He had studied in the cadet ark sixty-seven specimens, but he could not promote one of them to be the hero of his book, to be the Grand Sultan, except the sixty-eighth, Gustavus.

And he is just my hero, too. But that may in time furnish an unprecedented pleasure in the reading, and I would that I could read my things and another write them.

He wished to train up my Gustavus to be the future heir of the Ottoman throne, but not to say a word to him about his being Grand Seignor--either in the romance or in life--he meant to write down all the workings of his pedagogical leading-string and transfer them from the living Gustavus to the printed one. But here there planted himself in the way of the Balaam and his ass a cursed angel; namely, Gustavus. Oefel intended and was obliged to go back from the cadet barracks where his objects were accomplished, to the old palace, where new ones awaited him. In the first place he could more easily from the old palace make him leap over into the Cartesian vortices of the new, its visitings and enjoyments, and be whirled about in them; secondly, he could there better enjoy the company of his beloved, the Minister's lady, who came thither daily, and who sacrificed to love virtue and the love of the assembly hunting-ground; thirdly, the second reason is not strictly true, but he only made believe it was to the Minister's lady, because he had still a third, which was Beata, whom he designed, from his palace, to shoot, or at least blockade in hers. Go he must, then; but Gustavus must go too.

"This is to be done instanter," thought Oefel, "he shall at last himself beg of me that which I beg of him." Nothing gratified him more than an opportunity of leading some one to his object, the leading was still more agreeable to him than the object, as in love he preferred the campaigns to the spoils. He would, as ambassador, have made peace out of war, and war out of peace again, merely for the pleasure of negotiating. He drew, by way of approaching Gustavus, his first parallels, i. e., he etched out to him with his sharp tongue a charming picture of courts, that they alone could teach savoir vivre and all that, and the art of talking, as even dogs, the more cultivated they are, bark so much the more, the lap-dog more than the shepherd-dog, the wild one not at all; that through them there murmurs a river-of-paradise of pleasures; that one finds himself there at the fountain head of his felicity, at the ear of the Prince, and at the knot of the greatest connections; that one can intrigue, conquer, etc. It was in Oefel's plan not to betray to the little Grand Sultan even so much as the possibility of his going with him to the old palace. "All the more shall I entice him," he thought. But he did not get on with the enticing, because Gustavus had not yet passed over from the poetic and idyllic years, in which the ingenuous youth hates courts and dissimulations, to the cooler years in which he seeks them. Oefel, like courtiers and women, studied only men, not man.

Now the second parallel was drawn and a still nearer approach made to the fortress. One forenoon he took a walk with him in the park, just when he knew he should find there the Resident Lady. While conversing with her, he observed Gustavus's observation, or rather blushing astonishment, who, never before in his life had stood before such a lady, around whom all charms entwined, redoubled, lost each other, like triple rainbows spanning heaven. And thou, too, Beata, thou flower soul, whose roots so seldom find on the sandy ground of earth the right flower soil, thou wast standing by, with an attention fixed upon the Resident Lady, which was meant to be an innocent mask of thy slight confusion. Gustavus could contrive no mask for his greater embarrassment. Oefel ascribed this mutual confusion, not as I do to the mutual recollection of the Guido-iconoclasm, but Gustavus's to the Resident Lady, and that on the female side to himself. "So then I have him where I want him!" said he, and let him accompany him even to the old palace. "Apropos! supposing now we should both stay here," said he. The responsive sigh of impossibility grounded upon other reasons was just what he desired. "All the same! You will be my Secretary of Legation!" he continued, with his keen glance on the watch for surprise, a glance which he never properly covered with an eyelid, because he always fancied he surprised everybody.

But it turned out stupidly for Oefel. Gustavus declined and said: "Never!" whether from a dread of courts, fear of his father, from being ashamed to change, or from love of quiet; in short Oefel stood there dumbfounded gazing after the floating fragments of his wrecked building-plan. It is true, there was still left him this advantage from it all, that he could work the whole shipwreck into his romance, only, however, the Secretary was gone! He had also, not unreasonably, voted him already in advance to the Secretaryship of the Embassy; for the throne of Scheerau has a ladder leaning against it, with the lowest and the highest rungs of honor, but the steps are so near together that one can place his left foot on the lowest round and yet reach with his right the highest--once indeed we might almost have created an upper field marshal. Secondly, in courts, as in nature, all things hang and join together, and professors might properly call it the cosmological nexus: every one is at once bearer and burden; thus the iron ruler sticks to the magnet, a little ruler to that, to that a needle, and to that steel-filings. At most only what sits upon the throne and what lies down below under it, has not nexus enough with the efficient company; so in the French opera only the flying gods and the shuffling beasts are made of Savoyards, all the rest of the regular company.

So Oefel must needs draw a third parallel, and therefrom shoot at the cadet. Namely--he made his uniform every day a thumbs breadth snugger and tighter, by way of tormenting him out of it. He had, with this view, already and recently been the means of sending him off to the grain-cordon, where the warm-hearted youth, accustomed only to mercy and charity, found stern and sharp no's, new and hard duties; but now the service, from below upward, was still more aggravated, and the military exercises almost crushed his fine porcelain frame, so often and so severely did the Romancier drag him into the society of the father of all peace-treaties, namely, War.

How painfully must the rude external world have galled his wounded inner man! Before his eyes, ever since his falling-out with his dying darling, stood evermore that mournful evening, with its tears, and would not stir; on his desolate heart the blood-red sun still glimmered and would not go down. The dumb departure of his Amandus, who lost him and so many wishes beside; the waning autumn-days of his life and their former love, wrung tears of sorrow from his eyes and heart. Friendship can endure misunderstandings less than love; with the latter they tickle the heart, with the former they tear it asunder. Amandus, who had so misinterpreted and grieved him, and yet whose innermost love had not lost him, forgave him all until five o'clock in the evening--then he heard (or it was enough for him if he only imagined it) that Gustavus had visited the park (and consequently the fair promenader)--then he took back his reconciliation till eleven at night--then night and dream flung once more a mantle over all human failings, and over this one. At five o'clock the next evening it began again as before. Laugh at him, if you will, but without pride, and at me and yourselves likewise; for all our emotions--without their lion and maniac-keeper. Reason--are just as crazy, if not in our outward lives, yet in our inner being! But at last he had taken back his forgiveness so often, that he determined to let it stay, provided only that Gustavus should knock and hear from him all the grievances which he intended to pardon him. One often postpones forgiveness because one is compelled to postpone the repetition of the charges. But, friend Amandus, could Gustavus come then, and would the Romancier let him?

The latter carried on his game still further and cunningly planned that this Grand Sultan, this hero of two well-written books, should, on a certain evening, when the Cadet-General gave a great souper, stand before his house as--sentry. Deuce take it! when the loveliest of ladies pass by him:--the well-known Resident--who, with a casual glance set up our good sentry all skinned and stuffed as an image in her brain--and her maid-of-honor Beata--and when one has to present arms before such faces: one would much rather lay them down, and, in fact, instead of standing, kneel down to wound not so much the foe as the (female) friend.... Heavens! I shall have had more wit here than one may well give me credit for; but let a live man once try it, and write upon love and refrain from wit! It is almost impracticable. I neither affirm nor deny that Oefel may perhaps, from the dreams of Gustavus, which were always talkative, and often prolonged their effect after waking, have caught the names of the aforesaid double-lottery-number of beauty. The Romancier has therefore an advantage over the Biographer (which is I): he keeps close by his hero.

He disgusted his and our hero, who, however, was such only in the æsthetic, not in the military sense, with the great Autumn-review: for every little prince imitates the still smaller children in playing soldier after the great soldiers in the streets; hence we Scheerauers have a neat pocket-land-force, a portable artillery and a juvenile cavalry. Besides, a sovereign makes a joke, when he makes a man a recruit; it does no harm to the fellow, all he needs is to be in motion, because now-a-days [namely in 1791] our more important wars, as the Italian once did, consist of nothing but marchings out of countries into countries. So also in the theatre campaigns consist merely in repeated marches round the stage, only shorter ones. I walked along, a year ago, for a joke, half a league beside a regiment, and made believe to myself: "Now thou art in fact joining in a campaign of half a league against the enemy: but the newspapers hardly mention thee, although thou and the regiment by this warlike sham-procession ward off as many plagues from the country as the clerisy do by their spiritual singing processions."

He disgusted him, I said: he pictured the review namely in this style: "Frederick the Great did smaller wonders than will be expected of the cadet-corps! There will be more wounded than wounding! In all tents and barracks they will talk of the last Scheerau grand-review!" Gustavus had long since got so far along in the minor service that he was in a condition, through the fortification of his body, to wound at least one, namely that body itself. I shall surely not lessen the apprehensions of the world, when I go on to relate that Gustavus regularly every seven weeks has leave of absence for five days, wherefrom his friends and the Biographer himself will derive just as much light as the oldest readers--that Oefel by secret intriguing made his furlough so disagreeable, that he could not at such price desire a repetition of it--that Gustavus from his last journey brought home to Dr. Fenk a letter from Ottomar, which we shall not indeed withhold from the reader, but of the reception whereof we can disclose nothing to him, because we ourselves know nothing.

From all these thorns and from the wounds of the Review our Gustavus was rescued by another's degradation. After the aforementioned march homeward an officer in Upper Scheerau, whose name and regiment one will here suppress out of regard for his distinguished family, was declared under disgrace, because he had associated with low company. When the Provost in the middle of the regiment which he had dishonored, broke his sword and weapons and tore off his uniform, and stripped him of everything which helps a man to stand upright when bowed by calamity, Gustavus, whose sense of honor bled even out of the wounds of a stranger, and who had never yet witnessed the black spectacle of a public punishment, sank into a swoon; his first exclamation on coming-to was: "Done with soldiering forever!--If the poor officer was innocent or if he is reformed, who shall give back to him his murdered honor?--Only the Omniscient God can take it away; the court-martial should take nothing but life!--No; the bullet, but not disgrace!" he cried as in a spasm. I think he is right. For two days he was sick and his fancies transported him into the robbers'-caves and catacombs of the degraded----a new proof that the fever images of poor mortals persecuted by their torments from the sick bed into the grave are not always the warrants and transcripts of their inner selves!--Martyred brothers! how I love you and the tender-hearted Gustavus at this moment, when my fancy peers in among you all and sees how, driven about in the zig-zag of destiny, you stand with your wounds and tears, wearily beside each other, embracing, bewailing--burying one another!

So long as he was sick and wandering, Amandus hung upon his glowing eyes and suffered as much as he and forgave him all. When Dr. Fenk assured them that on the morrow he would be well, the next morning Amandus came not, but meant to be hard-hearted again.

Oefel enjoyed the victory of his place. He took upon himself the setting matters right with old Falkenberg, and wrote to the man with his own hand. As he placed with his inky wand the good father on the Mosaic mountain, beyond the mountain the promised land of the embassy, and in the midst of the Canaan the young Secretary of Legation: then did the old man share the joy of many parents, who are glad to see their children become what they themselves hated to be or could not. He came to me with the letter and rode under my window.--All that Gustavus had inwardly to say still further against his removal to the old palace was that the fair Beata lived in the new one, which was separated from the old merely by a bisected wall, and that he should be confirming Amandus's suspicion. But fortunately, after the conclusion he fell upon the original motive which had suggested it and which gave dignity and expansion to its sphere of action: "He might," (he said) "after his release from the post of the embassy, be appointed to a board, and there help up the prostrate country, etc." In short, the highest beauty of Beata could not now have brought him to the point of--avoiding her.

In fact, the romance writer shelled him so effectually out of his military skin, that, inasmuch as he, like married men and princes, oftener had the bridle in the passive mouth than in the active hand--one would have thought he was led in order to lead; but that is not my idea.

Gustavus paid his farewell visit to Amandus. A good way of forgiving one whom an imaginary offence has exasperated against us is to commit a real one. Gustavus, in the circuit of streets which he voluntarily made on the way to his aggrieved Amandus, thought of Beata, who was now to be his next-door neighbor, of the love and suspicion of his friend, of the impossibility of removing that suspicion, and when, exactly at 6 o'clock, the evening music-of-the-spheres floated down into the streets from the iron orchestra and the St. Stephen's tower, his heart melted into the tones, and he imparted to his friend the tenderest feeling that existed outside of the breast of Beata. I and the reader have our thoughts on the subject; this very placable tenderness was ascribable merely to the covert consciousness that he half deserved the suspicion of rivalry, for otherwise he would, elevated by pride, have, to be sure, forgiven the other; but not on that account loved him the more intensely. He found him in the worst mood for his purpose, namely, in a friendly one; for in sensitive invalids every feeling is a sure forerunner of its opposite, and all have alternating voices. Amandus was in his father's anatomical chamber; the last ray of the setting sun darted into the empty eye-socket of a skull; there hung in vials human fluids, little ground strokes, according to which fate would absolutely draw out man; manikins with great protruding head and heart, but without an error in the great head or a pang in the great heart. On a table lay the black hand of a dyer, upon whose color the Doctor was about to make experiments.... What a scene for a reconciliation and a leave taking; three looks made and sealed the former,--even looks, in this naked disembodiment of souls, speak too loud a language--but when Gustavus, transported by the finest enthusiasm above fear and suspicion, announced to his friend the latter; when he made known to him, who had till now no idea of it, his new neighborhood and the loss of the old one, the friend had flown away and a black foe sprang up out of the ashes. Of this moment death availed himself and absolutely tore asunder the last root-fibres of his trembling life.... Gustavus stood too high to be angry; but he must needs place himself still higher; he fell on his neck and said with clear, resolute voice, "be angry and hate me, but I must forgive thee and love thee. My whole heart with every vein remains true to thine and seeks it out in thy breast, and even if thou henceforward misunderstandest me, still I will come every week. I will look on thee; I will listen to thee when thou speakest with a stranger, and if thou then lookest on me with hatred, I will go with a sigh, but still love thee. Ah, I shall think of this then, that thy eyes when they were still lacerated looked upon me more sweetly, and recognized me more truly.... O do not thus thrust me from thee, only give me thy hand and look away!"

"There!" said the shattered Amandus, and gave him the cold, black--dyer's fist.... Hatred ran down like a shower over the most affectionate heart that ever bled to death in a human breast. Gustavus stamped his love and his hatred under his feet, and with choked emotions went silently out of the house, and the next day out of Upper Scheerau.

Hardly had Amandus seen his maltreated youthful friend stagger along the street, than he went into his chamber, buried himself in the pillows and, without accusing or excusing himself, let his eyes weep as much as they could. We shall hear whether he raised his sick head from the pillow again, and when he was again accompanied by Gustavus into the Silent Land, from which he once sought to thrust him back. O man!--why will thy heart, so soon to crumble into salt, water and earth, crush another crumbling heart?--Ah, before thou strikest a blow with thy uplifted dead-man's-hand, it falls off into the grave--Ah, before thou hast inflicted the wound upon thy foeman's bosom he sinks and feels it not, and thy hatred is dead or thou art dead thyself.


Ottomar's Letter.

When we have read Ottomar's letter, we will take our places at Gustavus's new theatre and look at him. In the following letter a spirit reigns and riots, which, like an Alp, oppresses and often possesses all men of the higher and nobler quality, and which--much as it outweighs even Holland spirits--a higher spirit only can overpower and crowd out. Many men live in the Perigee, some in the Apogee, few in the Perihelion.--Fenk so often yearned for his Ottomar, especially since his complete silence of some years' standing, and spoke of him so often to Gustavus, that it was well the address of the letter was from a strange hand and to Doctor Zoppo in Pavia: else the Doctor had sinned at once against the first line of the letter.

* * * * *

"Name not my name, oh eternal friend, to the bearer: I must do it. On the last year of my life there lies a great black seal; break it not, count the past as the future--I make it for thee the present, only not just yet--and if I should die I would appear before and tell thee my last mystery of earth.

"I write to thee, simply that thou mayst know that I am living and am coming in autumn. My thirst for traveling is quenched with Alpine ice and sea-water; I repair home now to my resting-place, and if there, at my street-door, a tempting voice of secret desire should call me again to cross the mountains, I should say to myself: the same panting and pining human heart gazes down into the waters of the Gaudiana and the Volga, which sighs in thee beside the Rhine stream, and that which climbs the Alps and Caucasus, is what thou art, and turns a longing eye over toward thy street-door.[62] But if I sit here, and every morning go to the close-stool, and am glad to be hungry, and afterward that my appetite is satisfied, and if I daily put on and pull out breeches and hair pins, ah! what in the end does all amount to? What was it then I wanted, when in my childhood I sat upon the stone in my gateway, and gazed yearningly in the direction of the long road and thought how it ran on and on, shot over the mountains, still onward and onward ... and at last?... Ah, all roads lead to nothing, and where they break off, there stands another looking longingly back over the hills to where we sit. What was it then I would have, when my little eye swam along with the waves of the Rhine, that it might waft me to a promised land, whither all streams, I thought, were flowing, not knowing, meanwhile, that the same river, which bore in its bosom many a heavy heart, murmured along by many a crushed form, which it alone could release from its anguish, that then, like man, it frittered and crumbled itself away, and filtered itself at last into Holland sands?--Orient land! morning land! toward thy fields also did my soul once lean as trees do toward the East:--'Ah! how must it be there, where the sun rises!' I thought; and when I traveled with my mother to Poland, and at last into the land lying toward morning, and came among its nobles, Jews and slaves--.... But there is no other sunny land of the morning to be found on this optical ball, than that one which all our steps can neither remove nor reach. Ah, ye joys of earth, none of you can do more than satisfy the breast with sighs and the eye with water, and into the poor heart, which opens under your heaven, ye only pour one more wave of blood! And yet these two or three wretched pleasures lame us as poisonous flowers do children who play with them, in arm and limb. Only let there be no music, that mocker of our wishes; do not, at her call, all the fibres of my heart fly asunder and stretch themselves out like so many sucking polypus's-arms and tremble with longing and seek to embrace--whom? what?... An unseen something waiting in other worlds. I often think, perhaps it is, after all, nothing; perhaps, after death, all goes on just as now, and thy longings will reach forward out of one heaven toward another[63]--and then I crush under this fantastic nonsense the strings of my harpsichord, as if I would bring a fountain out of them, as if it were not enough that the pressure of this yearning untunes and snaps the thin strings of my inner musical system.

"In Rome there lived opposite the Church of St. Adrian a painter, who during a rain always placed himself under the spouts, and laughed till he was crazy, and who often said to me: 'There is no dog's death, but only a dog's life.' Fenk! take at least what man is or does: so very, very little! What power, then, is wholly developed in us, or in harmony with the other powers? Is it not a piece of good fortune, if so much as one faculty gets drawn in like a branch into the hot-house of a lecture-room or library and is forced by partial warmth to bloom, while the whole tree stands outside in the snow with hard black twigs? Heaven snows two or three flakes together to make one inner snow-man, which we call our education; the earth melts or muddies a quarter of it, the tepid wind loosens the snow man's head off--that is our cultured inner man, such an abominable patch-work in all our knowings and willings! From individuals to universal humanity I have no desire to pass; I care not to think, how a century is ploughed and harrowed under to manure the next--how nothing will round itself to anything--how the eternal writing in books and stratifying of the Scibile has no aim, no end, and all dig and drive in opposite directions! What does man do? Even less than he knows and becomes. Tell me, what then does thy penetration, thy heart, thy swiftness effect before the princely portrait over the President's chair, or in fact before an emasculated reigning face? The crooked twigs pressed back into each other are squeezed against the window of the winter-house, the Regent causes their fruit to pass by his dish in the compotière, the blue sky is denied them, the cleverest thing at last is, that they rot! What, then, do the noblest faculties avail in thee, when weeks and months glide away, which do not use, do not call out, do not exercise them? When I have thus contemplated, as I often do, the impossibility, in all our monarchical offices, of being a whole, a really active, a universally useful man--even the monarch cannot, with those innumerable black subaltern claws and hands which he must first fasten to his own hands as fingers or pincers, do anything completely good--as often as I have contemplated this, I have wished I were hanged with my robbers, but were first their captain, and with them ran down the old constitution!... Beloved Fenk! Thy heart no one can tear out of my breast, it propels my best blood and never canst thou misunderstand me, let me be as unknowable as I will! But, oh friend, the times are coming on, when for thee this misunderstanding may after all grow easier!

"Veiled Genius of our overshadowed globe! ah, had I only been something, had the globe of my brain and had my heart, like Luther's, only earned by some lasting and far-rooting deed the blood which reddens and feeds them; then would my hungry pride become satisfied lowliness, four humble walls would be large enough for me, I should no longer sigh for anything great except death, and first for the autumn of life and age, in which man, when the birds of youth are dumb, when over the earth lies haze and flying gossamer-summer, when the heavens hang bright, but not blazing, over all, lays himself down to sleep upon the withered leaves.----Farewell, my friend, upon an earth where one can no further do any good except to lie down in it; next autumn we shall be with one another!"

* * * * *

To this letter, which takes possession of my whole soul and renews my errors as well as my wishes, I can add nothing more, than that to-day the first man in this history has been buried on a mountain. When, after four or five sections, I come to speak of his evening-euthanasy, then will the outlines of his form already have grown paler and fainter, as well in the coffin as in the hearts of his friends!


Concerning Lofty Men, and Evidence that the Passions belong to the Next Life, and Stoicism to this.

I call certain men lofty or festal-day-men, and to this class belong, in my history, Ottomar, Gustavus, the Genius and the Doctor, and none beside.

By a lofty man I do not mean the man of strict honesty and rectitude, who, like a body of a solar system, pursues his path without other than apparent aberrations; nor do I mean the fine soul which, with prophetic feeling, smooths all down, spares every one, satisfies every one, and sacrifices itself, but does not throw itself away; nor the man of honor, whose word is a rock, and in whose breast, heated and moved by the central Sun of Honor, there are no thoughts and purposes other than the deeds outside of it; nor, finally, either the cold, virtuous man of principle, or the man of feeling, whose feelers wind about all beings, and quiver in another's wound, and who embraces Virtue and a Beauty with equal ardor; nor do I mean by the lofty man the mere great man of genius, and indeed the very metaphor indicates in the one case horizontal, and in the other vertical extension.

But I mean him who, to a greater or lesser degree of all these distinctions, adds something more, which earth so seldom possesses--elevation above the earth, the feeling of the pettiness of all earthly doings, and the disproportion between our heart and our place; a countenance lifted[64] above the confusing jungle and the disgusting filth of our floor--the wish for death and the glance beyond the clouds. If an angel should place himself above our atmosphere and look down through this darkened sea, turbid with cloud-scum and floating verdure, to the bottom on which we lie and to which we cleave; were he to see the thousand eyes and hands which stare and clutch horizontally at the contents of the air, at mere tinsel; should he see the worse ones which are bent sheer downward toward the prey and yellow mica on the muddy bottom, and finally the worst, which supinely drag the noble human face[65] through the mire;--if this angel however, should behold among the sea-animals some lofty men walking upright and looking upward to himself, and should perceive how they, weighed down by the watery column above their heads, entangled in the snarl and slime of the ground beneath them, pressed through the waves and panted for a breath of the vast ether above them, how they loved more than they were loved, endured life rather than enjoyed it, equally far from the stationary upward gaze of astonishment and the race of business-life, left their hands and feet to the mercy of the bottom, and gave only the upward yearning heart and head to the ether beyond the sea, and looked at nothing but the hand which separates the weight of the body from the bottom to which the diver is held down by it, and lets him soar into his proper element-- ... Oh, well might this angel count such men as submerged angels, and pity their low condition and their tears in the sea.... Could one gather together the graves of a Pythagoras (that noblest soul among the ancients), of Plato, Socrates, Antoninus (not so much, of Cato the great or Epictetus), Shakespeare's (if his life was like his writing), J. J. Rousseau's, and the like, into one churchyard, then would one have the true princely bench of the high nobility of mankind, the consecrated earth of our globe, God's flower-garden in the low North. But why do I take my white paper and picture it and strew it with coal-dust or ink-powder, in order to dust-in the image of a lofty man, while from heaven hangs down the great, never-fading picture of the virtuous man which Plato in his Republic has transferred out of his own heart to the canvas?

The greatest villains are the least acquainted with each other; lofty men know each other after the first hour. Authors who belong to this class are the most censured and the least read; for example, the departed Hamann. Englishmen and Orientals have this fixed star on the breast oftener than any other people.

Ottomar led me to the subject of the passions: I know that he, once at least, hated nothing so much as heads and hearts which were covered with the stony rind of Stoicism--that he longed for cataracts in his veins and in his lungs tempests--that he said, a man without passion was a still greater egotist than one of the intensest; that one whom the near fire of the sensuous world did not kindle would be still inflamed by the distant fixed-starlight of the intellectual; that the Stoic differed from the worn-out courtier only in this, that the cooling off of the former proceeded from within outward, that of the other from without inward.... I know not whether with the inwardly burning, outwardly freezing, slippery court-man it is so; but so it is with glass: when it receives from without too much chilling around the glowing nucleus, it becomes porous and frangible;[66] the process must be reversed.

All passions deceive themselves, not in respect to the kind, or the degree, but in respect to the object of the feeling; namely thus:

Our passions err, not in this respect, that they hate or love some person or other:--for then there would be an end of all moral beauty and ugliness:--nor yet in this, that they wail or exult over anything--for in that case, not the smallest tear of joy or sorrow over weal or woe would be allowable, and we should not be permitted any longer to wish or even will anything, not even virtue. Nor do the passions err as to the degree of this inclination or disinclination, this rejoicing and bewailing; for supposing the sense and the fancy invest the object in their eyes with thousandfold greater moral or physical charms than they wear to others: nevertheless the loving and hating must increase in proportion to the outward occasion; and provided any external attraction gratifies the least degree of love or hatred, then must even the exaggerated attraction justify an aggravated degree of the passions. Most of the arguments against anger only prove that the imputed moral ugliness of the enemy does not exist, not that it does exist and he is still to be loved--most of the arguments against our love only prove that our love mistakes not so much the degree as the object, etc. Not merely a moderate, but the highest degree of the passions would be allowable, provided only their object were presented to them, e. g., the highest love toward the highest of good beings, the highest hatred toward the highest of bad ones. Now as no earthly objects have the quality that can justly excite in us such tempests of the soul; as therefore the greatest objects which can attract or repel us must be found, in other worlds: we see that the greatest emotions of our inner being perhaps find only outside of the body their permitted and more ample field of activity.

On the whole, passion is subjective and relative: the same movement of the will is in the stronger soul and amidst greater billows only a volition, and in the weaker one and on the smoother surface an internal storm. A perpetual stream of volition flows through us, and the passions are only the water-falls and spring-floods of this river; but are we justified in damming them up merely because of their rarity?--Is not that a flood to the brooklet which is only a wave to the river?--And if we, when on fire, censure our coldness, and when cold our heat, where do we get the right? And does the duration of our censure give it?

I feel in advance, objections and difficulties, nay I know and feel that, on this beclouded rainy globe nothing can wall and roof us in against outward storms, except the subjugation of inward ones--nevertheless I also feel, that all which has gone before is true.


Diner at the Schoolmaster's.

When an author is left so many weeks behind his story as I am, he says to himself, the deuce may take and carry off to-day's Post-Trinitatis if he will. I will therefore speak of nothing in this section but of to-day's Post-Trinitatis, of my sister, my keeping-room and myself. Few storytellers will have had to-day behind their ink-stands so good a day as their colleague.

I sit here in Schoolmaster Wutz's upper chamber and have for the last quarter of a year been holding my arm out of the window as a branch candlestick with a long light, to shine into the ten German circles. I shall, every fall and winter, begin to make all my sections as I do to-day's by candle-light at 4½ o'clock in the morning; for as the sublime darkness before midnight lifts man away above the earth and its clouds, so does that which follows midnight lay us back again in our earthly nest--after 12 o'clock at night I begin already to feel a new joy of life, which increases just in proportion as the morning light streaming down thins the darkness and makes its transparent. Precisely the finest and most invisible feelers of our soul run on like roots under the coarse world of sense and are repelled by the most distant agitation. E. g. if the sky is rayless and cloudless toward the east, and toward the west darkened with heavy clouds, I then just in joke turn round and round more than ten times--when I stand facing the east all inner clouds flee away out of my spirit--if I turn toward the west, they hang down again round about it--and in this way by rapid revolutions I compel the most opposite sensations to approach and recede before me.

In this pleasure-section logical order is not even to be thought of; historical order is alone to be found; only there is many a thought with a thousand brilliant angles that will be suppressed by my snuffers when I trim the candle, or drowned in my cup, when I drink out of it yesterday's coffee. This latter is rather to be recommended to the public; among all warm drinks cold coffee is, indeed, of the most detestable flavor, but at the same time of the least potency. The sleeping day like a sleeping beauty, aglow with her morning dreams, is already red, and must soon open its eye. Its first business will be--poetically speaking--to wake up my sister and come with her as a bedfellow into my chamber. I ought like a Moravian Brother to have two or three thousand sisters, I so love them all. Verily, many a time, I feel like striking out with a Satyr's rude goat-feet against the good female sex, and then let it be, because I see beside me the little Sunday shoes of my Philippina and my fancy shoves into them the small, womanly feet, that will have to step into so many a thorn-tangle and rain-puddle, both of which easily penetrate the thin tapestry of the female foot. The empty clothes of a person, particularly of children, inspire me with kindliness and pity, because they remind me of the suffering which the poor occupant must already have undergone in them; and once in Carlsbad I could easily have reconciled myself to a Bohemian damsel, if she would have allowed me to behold her house-dress, when she was not in it herself....

These periods represent periods of time that have rolled away. Now the blind are healed, the lame walk, the deaf hear--that is to say, all are awake; under my feet the schoolmaster is already cracking up the Sunday sugar; my sister has already laughed at me four times in succession; the senior parson, Setzmann, has already from his window whistled to my landlord the most necessary religious edicts for the day; the clock, like Hezekiah's sun-dial, has, by the miraculous power of the decreeing whistle, gone back an hour, and I can write so much longer; but have thereby withdrawn my pencil from my morning sketch. The sun shines over against my face, and makes my biographical paper a blank Moses'-visage; it is therefore my good fortune that I can take a penknife and Austria and Bohemia or the Germany of the Jesuits, namely, Hamann's maps of the same, and with the knife nail and impale these countries over my window; such a country always keeps off the morning-sun as well and throws as much shadow over it, as if I had the shame-apron or pallium of a window curtain hanging there.

My pen now runs on, in the earth-shadow of the orb, thus: Wutz keeps not in his house three respectable chairs, no window curtains or tapestry-hangings. Meanwhile very much too showy furniture lies in Scheerau; I enjoy here the most miserable, and say to myself, a Prince can hardly show a worse in an artificial hermitage. Even our almanac we, I and my landlord, write out for ourselves with our own hands, like fellows of the Berlin Academy--only with chalk on the keeping room door; every week we publish a Heft or weekly part of our almanac and wipe out the past. On the four-square stove three couples might dance, whom, like the modern tragedies, notwithstanding all deformity of arrangement and breadth, it would poorly warm through. It must, by the way, come at last to hand and pocket stoves when the times arrive that we shall have to fetch out of the mines instead of the metals the wood wherewith we now feed them....

A ram was terribly pounded, that is, his red shank--the tin platters, the baptismal presents of the little Wutzes, are dusted out--my silver knife and fork are borrowed for the occasion--the fire crackles--the Frau Wutz runs--her children and birds scream.--All these preparations for a far too great diner, which is to-day to be given down below, I hear up in my study-chamber. Such preparations are perhaps more suitable to the rank of the two guests who are to receive the entertainment, than to the station of the two school-men who give it. To the present historian and his sister, namely, they are permitted to give a dinner and to sit themselves with the company at the table. The schoolmaster had been allowed to install much of his cleaned-out furniture for the space of a week in my sitting-room, because his own was at last, after long petitioning--for the consistory does not look with favor on repairs in the visible any more than in the invisible church--being reformed, i. e., repaired, namely whitewashed.--Therefore he invited me (in court style) to dine, and I (in similar court style) accepted the invitation.

I shall not write out the rest of the section till evening, partly in order not to think away my appetite for dinner, partly by way of hobbling after a little addition to it in the open air, where, besides, I can hear two or three yellow-hammers and the church-people sing. On the whole the after-summer, which, to-day, with its finest sky-blue dress and the sun upon it as order-badge, stands out there upon the fields, is a still Good Friday of Nature; and if we human beings were polite people, we should go out oftener into the open air and politely escort the departing summer to the very door. I foresee I should never be able to look my fill at the mild sun, which has become a moon stealing softly around us, and which in the after-summer deserves the feminine article [die Sonne], if I were not obliged to fix my eye upon the heights of Scheerau, where my good souls live and whence my Doctor is coming to-day to visit me....

Gone down below the earth is now the day and its sun. A happy journey home, beloved friend! On the silver-ground with which the moon overlays thy way, may thy soul paint the lost Eden of youth, and the black shadow which thou and thy shy steed cast upon the radiant floor must glide behind you, not before!

Why are most of the population of this book precisely Fenk's friends? For two substantial reasons. In the first place the quicksilver of humor which shines out from him side by side with the warmth of his heart, amalgamates the most easily with all characters. Secondly, he is a moral optimist. I would give ten metaphysical optimists for one moral one, who knows how to enjoy, not a single plant as the caterpillar does, but like man, a whole flora of pleasures--who has not five senses only, but a thousand for everything, for women and heroes, for fields of knowledge and pleasure parties, for tragedies and comedies, for Nature and for courts.--There is a certain higher tolerance, which is not the fruit of the Peace of Westphalia, nor of the Concord of 1705, but of a life filtered through many years and improvements--this tolerance finds in every opinion the element of the True, in every species of beauty the Beautiful, in every humor the Comic, and does not regard, in men, nations and books, difference and peculiarity of merit as the absence of it. Not merely with the best must we be pleased, but with the good and everything.

When the people had come back from the little church and I from the great one, the dining in the Wutz house began. Our landlord received the pair of guests with his usual, and with an unusual friendliness beside; for he had brought home with him to-day from his church-collection--by creeping into all the pews after divine service and attracting to himself magnetically all the pennies which had fallen during the collecting--a considerable silver fleet of 18 pence. The splendor of the banquet did not in this room crush out the enjoyment. Knives and forks, as already mentioned, were of silver and from me; but who could help taking pleasure in performing therewith at a table where the meats and sauce are dished out of one--pan?--our show-dishes were perhaps too sumptuous for an elector; for they consisted not of porcelain, wax or alabaster seeds on plate-glass dishes, nor did they weigh a few pounds merely: but the two show-dishes weighed sixty, and were from the same master and of the same material as the electoral bench, of flesh and blood, namely, Wutz's children. An ecclesiastical elector would not have been able for pleasure to eat a morsel, if like us, he had had standing beside his giant-table a dwarf-table with its little ones around it. Their table was not much larger than a herring-dish; but they had an eye to proportion and feasted from the Lilliputian table-service of which since Christmas they had made more of a sportive than serious use. The little ones were beside themselves, at cutting up their meat on wafers of plates and with hair-saws of knives; play and earnest, here as with feasting actors, melted into each other; and I saw in the end that it was so with me too, and that my enjoyment arose from artificial littleness and poverty.

At the great table--with other tables the reverse holds--the individual conversation soon passed over into general; I and the Cantor said every moment "the Prussian," "the Russian," "the Turk," meaning (like the Prime Minister) by the nation in each case its Regent. I took to-day such a peculiar pleasure in miserable customs, that I let every morsel be preached into me and drank over twenty healths. Ladies of rank cannot let themselves down to unfrizzled people so easily as men can, at least to those of the female sex; but my sister deserves that her brother should bestow upon her in his book the praise of the handsomest and most amiable condescension. The more womanly a lady is, so much the more disinterested and good-natured is she; and those maidens, especially, who love half the human race, love the whole heartily, e. g., in regard to the Resident Lady von Bouse, one knows not whether she bestows more on the poor or on the men. Old maids are stingy and hard. My doctor and a bottle of wine came in as dessert. As he reads in the present book every week, I prefer to scold rather than praise him in it. The best I can do is to weave in here an ambiguous thing, which with many will amount neither to praising nor blaming him--his hearty inclination toward the female sex, which stands midway between indifferent gallantry and ardent love. This same inclination suits our sex very well, but not the female, to which, however, my sister belongs. The affair grew simply out of her left ear. The ear-ring had torn its way through the ear-flap; she ought, however, properly to have waited till Monday, when her brother would have bored her ear for her, like that of a Jewish slave, in the most skillful manner. But it must be done to-day and his doctor's hat was the cover of her design. It should have made the subject of a picture, how the poor Pestilentiary rubbed and polished the ear-flap between his three front fingers--like a medical leaf which one is to smell of--in order to make it swollen and insensible.

Nothing is more perilous to me and the medical counsellor, than to pick and stroke at a lady with two or three fingers--to stretch the whole arm around her is, for us, attended with no danger whatever; just as nettles burn far more when lightly touched than when grasped vigorously. Perhaps it is with this fire as with the electric fluid, which passes into man in a larger stream through the tips of the fingers than through a broad surface. My sister went further and brought an apple; the Doctor had to press with his pulse-fingers the red ear-tip against the apple, and then force an egrette, or whatever it was, through this organ of sense, which maidens prick up much seldomer than they pucker-up the one nearest to it--and now could be buckled or buttoned in what belonged there. The steel almost chained the operator himself to her ear. "There is nothing with which a beauty attaches one to her more effectually, than by giving one occasion to do her a favor," the Doctor himself said and learned it by his own experience. Hence the operator and ear-magnetizer complained it was hard to cure a beauty without loving her, and that his first fair patient had almost made a patient of him. I have nothing against the Doctor; let him be a cosmopolite in love if he will--but, Sister, I would thou wert already in bed, because any minute in which I merely take two or three steps up and down, I am not sure that thou wilt not be squinting into my chapters and reading what I blame in thee. Ah, I blame less than I pity thy fancy, that plays so airily around thy own and others' troubles, and thy heart so spun out of the tenderest fibres, that the white crown of shy womanliness, which alone adorns and exalts all these traits, has, in the crowded apartments of the Lady Resident become slightly tarnished with black, like silver in marshy Holland, and that thy virtue, which essentially wants nothing, wants the form of virtue! Ye parents! your young men can hardly make themselves black in hell; but for your daughters and their snow-white raiment Heaven itself is scarcely clean enough!

They are seldom worse than their company, but also seldom better. This spiritual wine absorbs the flavor of the Apples-of-Eve and of-Paris which lie about it; after that it still tastes good, only not like wine.

The Doctor gave me much light on Gustavus's condition, which at a proper time shall in turn be given to the reader.

A certain person, who almost every fortnight reads over what I have written, is satirical, and asks me whether on page Aaa Zzz the further courting between Paul and Beata will be worked out--he further asks, whether it has been already related to the reader, that the coquetting Paul has since that made verses, profiles, bouquets and adagios, in order to bring on and present his heart in these dessert dishes, these pierced fruit-dishes, these confect-baskets--this enfant terrible of a mocking personage asks finally whether it has been already reported to the world that Beata, however, cared for nothing of it all but the empty basket[67] and the empty dessert dish.... At bottom this malice never offends me; but Doctor Fenk and the reader have manifestly the wickedest ingenuity in placing and seeing heart-matters in a false light. Verily, it has heretofore been mere joke, my alleged love; and if it were not, it must needs become such, because such a handsome and meritorious rival as I, it seems, am to meet in Gustavus, I could not find it in my heart to outstrip and overshadow, even if I had the power or the liberty, which to be sure is not the case.


Gustavus's Letter.--The Prince and his Dressing-Comb.

Gustavus is now in the old palace--thus far his theatre has been daily rising, from the subterranean cell to a knightly manor, thence to a military academy, and finally to a princely castle. The rich Oefel hired it, because it adjoined the new palace, where lay the Blocksberg of the great world of Scheerau. The Lady Resident von Bouse had inherited both from her brother, who had here, amidst her tears and kisses, departed this life. Nature had given her all that exalts one's own heart and wins the hearts of others; but art had given her too much and her rank had taken too much away from her--she had too many talents to retain at a court any other than masculine virtues; she combined friendship and coquetry--sensibility and satire--she united respect for virtue and worldly philosophy--herself and our Prince. For the latter was her avowed lover, to whom she surrendered her heart more from ambition than inclination. She was made for something better than to shine; only as she had no opportunity for any thing else than shining, she forgot that there was anything better. But anyone who is born for something higher than worldly or courtly happiness feels in better hours the forfeiture of his destiny. It will be proper here to assign a new reason which sent Oefel out of Scheerau: he was called upon and was pleased at the princely behest to knead out on the potter-wheel of his desk a drama for the birthday of the Lady Resident. The drama was to have applications. On the amateur-stage at Upper-Scheerau--where the Prince was, not as on the war-theatre a mere supernumerary, but first actor, and where he filled the place and saved the expense of a regular court troop--it was to be played by the Prince, Oefel and some others. The Prince still had eyes to look upon the Resident Lady; still a tongue to love her; still, days to prove it to her; still a theatre to pay her homage: nevertheless he already hated her, because she was too noble for him; for his theatrical part (as shall be printed further on) was to do more service to him than to her. Oefel (who was ambassador, court theatre-poet and actor in one, because there is miserably little difference among them) worked into his drama a portrait of Beata and would fain flatter her by this likeness of her, and hoped she would be one of the actors and make her portrait her part. All this he hoped of Gustavus too; but we shall see below how it was.

Gustavus, in the old palace--while all visiting-wheels rattled over his nerves of hearing and all processions of visitors swarmed around his eyes--still felt himself as lonesome as death. He worked his way to his future destination. More than fifty secretaries of legation will conclude, therefore, that he learned to open letters and hearts, to decipher women and reports, to make love, pay court and execute knaveries--the fifty are in error; they will furthermore think he learned to write a fine hand, in order to lighten his portfolio, item to know whose name should stand first in a public instrument which goes to three Powers, and that each Power should stand first in its instrument--they are right; but he did more: he learned in solitude to endure and enjoy society. Far from men principles thrive; among them actions. Solitary inactivity ripens outside of the glass-bell of the study to social activity, and among men one grows no better, unless when he comes among them he is already good.

His occupations gradually experienced pleasant interruptions. For out of doors before his windows stood lovely and almost coquettish Nature hung round with Paris's apples, and in the midst of all a fair promenader who deserved the whole of them. Who can it be but--Beata? Did she walk into the park, it was quite as impossible for him to walk after her, as not to look after her through the window, and his eyes sought out from among the bushes all the ribbons that went twinkling by through them. Did she come back on her walk with her face toward his windows, then he stepped back as far as possible not only from them, but even from the curtains, so as to see without being seen. Perhaps (but hardly) the parts were reversed, if he ventured to follow her in her walks, which to him were ways to heaven. A rose that had dropped from its stem and which he once in the darkest night picked up under her window, was to him the rose of an order; its withered honey-cup was the potpourri of his sweetest dreams and his flora of pleasure:--thus dost thou, lofty Destiny, oftentimes place immortal man's heaven under a faded rose-leaf, often on the blossom-cup of a forget-me-not, often in a piece of land 305,000 miles square.

He who has been too forgiving, will afterward avenge himself. Gustavus's friendship towards Amandus has mounted to so high a flame, that it must necessarily burn down to ashes upon its material. When he looked after Beata, he looked back to Amandus, and blamed himself so often that he must needs begin to justify himself. What was carried away from the ash-heap under which his love glimmered, was thrown upon the ash-heap of his friendship. Nevertheless he would at any hour have sacrificed for Amandus all that people call pleasures;--for in the new time of a first friendship sacrifices are more ardently sought, than at a later time they are offered, and the giver is more blessed than the receiver. O! the rightly-disposed soul has not only the power, but also the yearning, to sacrifice.--The life which Gustavus, encompassed with spring and gardens and wishes of love, now enjoyed, he shall himself paint in a letter to me. This letter they of course will throw aside, who stand before the spectacle of Nature as cold spectators, as absentee-box-proprietors; but there are better and rarer men, who feel themselves irresistibly drawn in as players, and regard every spear of grass as animated, every chafer as eternal, and the illimitable whole as an infinite pulsing venous system in which every creature throbs as an absorbing and dropping twig between lesser and greater ones and whose full heart is God.

* * * *

Gustavus's Letter.

"To-day, for the second time, I have come up out of my cavern into the infinite world; all my veins are still flooded with the afternoon's influence--it seems as if my blood would revolve with the worlds around their suns, and my heart with the suns around the sparkling goal, which stands beside the Creator....

"The night-air which bends my light cools me off in vain, unless I can open my burning bosom to the heart of a friend, and tell him all. In the afternoon I took my instruments with which I had hitherto been obliged to create, instead of landscapes, the fortifications which disfigure and desolate them, and went out into the Silent Land. This ball of earth glided away through the ethereal ocean as softly as did the swan among the flowery islands, on which I reclined; the friendly heaven bent down lower toward the earth--it seemed as if my heart would melt away in the still expanse of blue, as if it must hear in the distance the echo of a shout of exultation, and it yearned for Arcadian lands and for a friend before whom it might expire. I seated myself with my drawing pen upon an artificial rock near the lake and prepared to draw the scene: the mutually embracing alders which veiled and embowered the end of the winding lake--the variegated row of flowery islands around each of which floated a double flower-piece of its beauteous islander, namely the gay flower-image which went down under the water to the mirrored heaven, and the silhouette which rocked on the trembling silver-ground--and the living gondola, the swan, that wheeled at my feet in hungry expectation:--but when all Nature in full height sat to me and dazzled me with its rays that reach from sun, to sun, then did I adore what I would have copied, and sank at the feet of Goddess and God....

"I rose with lamed hand and surrendered myself to the sea which bore me up. I went from corner to corner of the vast table with its million covers for giant guests and for guests invisible, for my bosom was not yet full, and I passively suffered the billows which rolled in to rise within me. I penetrated into the deepest shadow of the shadowy world, in which the sun, that had shrunk into a star, more remotely glimmered.--I went out through the firwood by the jangling of the coal-mouse and the lonely desolate cry of the thrush till I stood under the singing lark.--I went up through the long evening valley to the populous brook, and an enraptured choir of beings moved along with me, the sun which had dipped its head in the waves, and the fly with its skate-like feet ran along beside me on the water, the large-eyed dragonfly floated along on a willow-leaf.--I waded through green, inhaling und exhaling life, with glad children of short, warm moments flying, singing, skipping, creeping around me.--I climbed the hermitage-hill and my bosom was not yet full of the world-stream to which it lay passively open.... But there stood the giantess Nature no longer recumbent, but erect before me, bearing in her arms thousands and thousands of nursing children; and when my soul, amidst the throng of innumerable souls, now set in the gold of insect wings, now encased in armor of wing-shells, now dusted over with butterfly-down, now enclosed in flower-chrysales, was enfolded in an immense and infinite embrace, and when the earth lay before me with its mountains and streams, and pastures, and forests, and when I thought, all this is full of hearts, which are moved by joy and love; and from the great human heart with four cavities to the shrunk-up insect's heart with one, and down to the gullets of the worm, there leaps from generation to generation a perpetually creating, eternal, rapture-kindling spark of love--....

"Ah! then did I spread out my arms into the fluttering, quivering, throbbing air, which brooded over the earth, and all my thoughts cried out: 'O wert thou she, in whose broad, billowy bosom the globe rests; O couldst thou, like her, enfold all souls; oh, could thy arms reach around all like hers, which bend the antennæ of the chafer and the quivering plumage of the lily-butterfly and the tough woods, that stroke with their hands the hair of the caterpillar and all the flowery meadows and the seas of the earth; oh, couldst thou, like her, rest on every lip which burns with joy, and hover with cooling breath over every agonized bosom that longs to relieve itself with a sigh! All, has man, then, so slender, so narrow a heart, that of the whole realm of God enthroned around him he can love nothing, feel nothing, but what his ten fingers grasp and feel? must he not wish that all human beings and all beings had only one neck, one bosom, that he might embrace them all with a single arm, that he might forget none, and in his satisfied love no longer know but two hearts, the loving and the loved?--To-day I became linked to the whole creation and gave all beings my heart....

"I turned eastward in the direction of the new palace and of Auenthal. Behind the Auenthal woods swept roaring through a ragged arch of rain-cloud a precipitous ocean. I stood here alone in a wide silence. I turned toward the sunken sun; I reflected that I had once taken it for God, and it fell heavily upon my heart to-day, I had so seldom thought on Him who was God. 'O Thou! Thou!' my whole being cried out to Him who was now so near me--but all languages and all hearts and all emotions lose their tongue before Him and prayer is profound silence, not merely of the lips, but of the thoughts.... But the Great Spirit, who knows the weakness of good-hearted man, has sent down to him brother-companions, that man may open his heart before man, and complete before them the prayer in which he was struck dumb.

"O friend of my fairest years! thou that hast implanted gratitude and humility in my innermost being, both of these I felt, when on the mountain of the hermitage I felt myself exalted in my loneliness above the created worms and felt what man feels, but only he upon earth--when I could kneel in solitude with human eyes before the great mirror stretching out into nothingness, at which the insect dashes his feelers, before the mirror out of which flames the infinite giant, the sun.... No! in earthly colors and on a canvas of animal-skins and on all that lies before me, is merely the image of the arch-genius; but in man is not His image, nay, it is Himself....

"Half of the sun still blazed above the rim of the earth, which cut it asunder; but I saw it no more through my dissolving eye,--smothered, silenced, sunk, extinguished as I was, in the sweeping, flaming, rushing shoreless sea around me....

"The sun has carried the enraptured day down with him; and now that diamond of the ether which night sets in black--the moon--stands above these veiled scenes and radiates, like other diamonds, the borrowed brilliancy.... O thou still midnight sun! Thou beamest and man reposes; thy rays appease the earthly turmoil, thy falling shower of sparks, like a shimmering brook, lulls reclining man to slumber, and sleep then covers, like a grave-mound, the resting heart, the drying eye and the painless face.... Fare thee well and may the white disk of Luna show thee all Paradises of thy past and all Paradises of thy future youth.


* * * * *

So far had he gone, when Oefel's servant came into his chamber with a parcel which more effectually than the coldest night-air or the warmest letter arrested and cooled off the emotions of his soul. It contained a letter from the Doctor with the intelligence that Madam von Röper had transmitted to him in Maussenbach the enclosed portrait, which her daughter had taken for the one she had lost, on the back of which, however, stood the name of Falkenberg, which refuted all remaining correspondences. Much as he prized the portrait, just in that degree did it vex him, as it was a fresh proof of his supposition that mother and daughter hated him on account of the exposure in the grain affair. The spider of hatred, that in every man hangs its web over a corner of the heart chamber--only in many a one great cankers (or crab-spiders) spin over all four chambers with their five teats--ran out on its threads which Amandus had agitated, in quest of prey: in a word, the cold dyer's-hand touched his heart and made it a little colder toward his Amandus, whose own the returning portrait had made warmer. Not disturbed, but only happy love makes the best man better.

In seven minutes all was over, for in the spiritual man the same admirable arrangement holds as in the physical, namely, that around a sharp, bitter idea other ideas flow in as milder juices until they have thinned and drowned out its sharpness. The portrait was now the finding of a second rose; it had a new life and rose-fragrance breathed over it by the fairest eyes and lips. And now, for some time he no longer saw Beata in the garden, but instead the Prince, with and without the Resident Lady. Go, both of you out of the Still Land into your noisy one! You enjoy fair nature, after all, only as a larger landscape, which hangs in your picture-gallery or on the curtain of your opera-house, or as a merely broader table-and-chimney ornament, in which the rocks appear to you as formed of pumice-stone and the trees of moss, or at most as the largest English park, which is to be found at any court of modern times in all Europe.--In all session-chambers, on account of the dog-day vacation, there was a lull of labor--in winter, on account of the cold, one could allow frost-holidays, and give opportunity for a winter-sleep of business as well as for a summer siesta, just as the well-known animals must on account of both extremes stay at home from dread of their hydrophobia--consequently the minister could more easily get away with the Prince and both remained here longer. But for me the reader would never learn how the presence of the Prince came to be the occasion of Beata's exchanging the Still Land for her still chamber. It was thus: Our prince is, to be sure, a little hard, a little avaricious, and tends his flock oftener with the shepherd's staff than with the shepherd's pipe; but he loves quite as well to be a shepherd in a finer sense, and gladly goes down from the throne, where his subjects adore him, to any one of its steps in order to adore a fair one--he can bear, indeed, to hear the people sigh, but not a single beauty; he is more eager to avert a social embarrassment than a famine; he would rather be in debt to the estates than to a rival player, and has no care to build up a burned town, but takes great pains to repair a torn head-dress. In short, the sovereign and the man-of-society are, in his heart's-chambers, next-door neighbors, but deadly foes. This man-of-society subdivided himself again into two lovers, the short and the long. His long or perennially blooming love consists in a cold, contemptuous gallantry, and in enjoying the refinement, the wit, and the grace wherewith he and the beloved object know how to adorn their reciprocal conquests. His short love consists in his enjoyment of these victories, in so far as they have not those decorations. In order that this innocent pasquil upon one may not be taken for a satire upon most of the great, I will proceed as follows:

Long love he cherished for the Resident Lady, of whose testimonials of affection one could not say, this is the most innocent--the first--the last. Such an immovable [or real estate] love he interwove simultaneously with a hundred cursory marriages of a second or amours, and over the creeping month-hand of the long fixed love or marriage the flying third-hand of the abbreviated marriages whirled round innumerable times.

Against this the Resident Lady had nothing to say--she could carry on the same kind of interweaving--against that he had nothing to say.

In these short marriages the great folk do, perhaps, many a good thing, which moralists too easily overlook, who would rather fill their printed pages than their birth-lists. Like young authors, young grandees let their first copies appear anonymously or under borrowed names, and I can add nothing to Montesquieu's observation, that the giving of names benefits population, because every one strives to propagate his own, except my own remark, that namelessness helps it still better. In fact, it holds in this respect with the most exalted persons, as with the Greek artists, who, under the finest statues with which their hand decorated temples and roads, were not allowed to place their patronymic; while the cunning Phidias also finds his imitators, who instead of his name foisted in on the statue of Minerva his old face.

The Prince had in his mind to offer Beata, who seemed to him to have too much innocence and too little coquetry, a short love. Her resistance led him to think of a longer. Under the eyes of the Resident Lady all her senses were secured against him, only not the ear; in the park, none of them. The Resident Lady--who knew that her spirit could for every moment transfer itself into a new body, while her rival had no more than one, in which, moreover, was lodged nothing but innocence and love--looked upon the whole affair with no other than satirical eyes. So far had things gone when the Prince in the dog-day interregnum arrived, and the next morning, instead of the sceptre had in his hand nothing but the frizzling-comb and the Resident Lady's head. He had established it as a fashion at his court, every chamberlain down to the court-dentist had thenceforth his prèteuse de tête, in order to learn as much upon her head, as he would have to practice upon the head of a fairer prèteuse. It was as necessary for one to frizzle as to be frizzled.

I might say it in a note, that a prèteuse de tête in Paris is a damsel who is frizzled a hundred times in a day, because the fraternity would learn the art by her--it is impossible that so many changes and trials should go on under her skull as over it--the coalition and affiliation of the most unlike frisures is so great, combings and curlings follow each other so swiftly, or building up and tearing down, that only on the head of the Goddess of Truth can it fare worse, which the philosophers frizzle and fix up, or in whole bodies politic, upon which regents practice.

On the same morning when ours frizzled the Resident Lady, he said to the dreamy Beata that the next day he was coming with the friseur to her. The Resident Lady said nothing but "the men can do anything; but seldom what is easy: they can more easily entangle ten law-suits than ten hairs." Beata could not speak, at night she could not sleep. Her whole soul curdled with horror at the Prince's frosty face and stinging fiery glance, which (however little she entertained the thought distinctly) burned to abridge the preliminary victories in the new palace, just as if he were in the Palais Royal. The next morning her wish to be sick had almost grown into the conviction that she was so. She looked with life-weary vacancy out of the window into the Still Land in which two children of the court-gardener were rolling round a variegated glass-ball, when the canary bird who lived on the shoulders of the Prince, and flew round him like a fly, came fluttering from his head, which was separated from her by six windows, and alighted upon hers. She drew in her head with the bird--but with the proprietor of the creature also, who came up to her at once without ceremony and said: "With you one is fated to lose--but from my bird you cannot take away--liberty;" for people of his sort let all this slip out without accent; they speak in the same tone of the starry canopy and of the coach canopy, and of the motion of both.

Without ceremony he was about to put on her the powder-mantle; she took it however and put it on herself with other purposes and said she was already dressed for the whole day, even to powdering. Only she would fain still invest her refusals in the fairest forms, which her station and the respect for his sex, to which her mother had trained her, dictated; in the end she saw that his remonstrances were not much better than his hair-dressing. When he began this latter, and stood so close to her, she then, again, perceived the opposite. Every hair upon her head grew to a feeler, and it seemed to her as if he touched her sore nerves, as if, with him, a flaming hell traveled round her. All at once, according to the laws of the female nature, her agony welled up from the middle stage to the highest--I should be glad to know, whether it arose from his assumed attitudes, which availed him nothing, or from a kiss, as the receipt of the benefit-play which he was performing for his advantage, or from her glance at the pyramid of the hermitage-mountain, which filled to overflowing her trembling bosom with the mental and material images of her brother--suffice it, she sprang up feverishly, and after saying: "She had promised the Resident Lady so faithfully to help her put on her hat, and now she was still here!" she certainly expected that this modestly-formed rebuke would drive him away. He was not to be driven away. This disappointment shattered her tender forces and she leaned, trembling, her arm and frizzled head against the arras. He, perhaps, tired of waiting, or glad to have accustomed her to his neighborhood, took his bird and her and led her himself to the Resident Lady's; here he repeated with her his laughter at the benefit-play, and so on.

Meanwhile the torments of the outer head had resolved themselves into the migraine of the inner; she stayed away from the table and--so long as he remained there this time--from the park also.

Which latter was not so much to be stated as to be explained.


Paintings.--Resident Lady.

Day before yesterday (the 26th of October) was thy baptismal day, Amandus! Hast thou, haply, in all thy life, ever celebrated one with glad eyes? Hast thou ever, at the end of a year, said: May the new one be like this?--I will not answer these questions, lest I should make myself more sad....

Gustavus saw no more in the garden anything but what he sought not, the Prince and his like; he cherished unnecessary, i. e. a lover's reluctance to inquire of any one about Beata's invisibleness--except of the gardener's two children, who knew nothing, except that Beata, as well as he, always toyed with them and gave them presents. Perhaps she gave them, because he did; for he did, because she did. The only relics of her, her walks, attracted him to them so much the oftener. O, if only the pebbles under her feet had been softer, or the grass longer, so that both might have retained an outline of a trace that she had been there: then would this thorn-garden of his invisible one have given his wishes still greater wings, and his melancholy deeper sighs. For I must just confess, once for all, to myself and my readers, that he is now in that enthusiastic, yearning, dreamy state, which precedes a declaration of love. This dreamy veil must have hung over him, when he once, instead of the serpentine brook in the evening-dell which he was going to draw, sketched the lovely statue of Venus, who seemed to have risen from those waves; and secondly, when he did not see who saw him--the Resident Lady. He appeared to her like a fair child, who had grown five feet tall; with all his inner excellences he could not yet produce an imposing effect, because on his face there was still written too much good nature and too little knowledge of the world. With that playful frankness of the coquette, which is the first-born daughter of the coquette's disparagement of the male sex, she said: "I'll give you the original for the drawing," and took the latter and contemplated it with an interesting and thoughtful admiration (only her thoughts were on another subject.) Oefel, to whom he related the adventure, scolded at him for not having said neatly: "Which original?" For to the living Venus Gustavus had said nothing.

Nor, in fact, could he have done it, for she stood before him with all the charms which are left to a Juno, when one takes from her the gracious hue of the first innocence, with her forest of plumage, which hundreds in Lower Scheerau wear after her, because they, as well as a few of my lady readers, who also put on more feathers than they will slit (pens) in their whole life, have made out so much as this, that every Juno must be a Goddess, and every Goddess a Juno, and that ladies'-heads and harpsichords must always be stuck or struck with quills.

She asked him after the name of his drawing-master (the Genius); his own she herself told him. She could not fail, with all her missteps, to command a certain respect, and her sins and the Devil seemed to walk behind her only as Chamber-Moors; her face, like her behavior, bore the inner consciousness of her remaining virtues and her talents. Nevertheless she remarked in the shy reverence which Gustavus manifested less for her rank and worth than for her sex, that he had little knowledge of the world. She avoided all circumlocution and made a direct application to him for a drawing of the whole park to send to her brother in Saxony. I call that a request, which she properly always framed in addressing men in the jocose tone of a cabinet-order--and one could oppose her female ukases in no other way than by masculine ones.

Let woman once lay a commission upon thee, then thou art hers, body and soul; all thy disagreeable steps, all thy irksome services in her behalf resolve themselves into charms around that image of her which thou hast spread out on the bony walls of thy brain. To rescue--avenge--teach--protect a woman is hardly much better (only a little) than to love her at once. Gustavus never heard a more welcome request; he sketched the park in a very short time, and could hardly wait for the forenoon in which he was at liberty to hand it to her. We all know what he hoped to behold in the Resident Lady's apartment beside herself--but all he found there beside her was the little pupil (Laura) of the absent Beata, at the Silvermann's-harpsichord.

The Resident Lady fixed a long look upon the drawing. "Have you," said she, "seen any pieces by our Court Painter? You should be his scholar and he yours--he has never yet painted a fine portrait nor a poor landscape--in your drawing the statues are finer than the garden--retain your fault, and continue to beautify persons," she said and looked upon him. In my slender artistic judgment--for they have never yet admitted one of all my pieces, as aspirant, into a picture-gallery, and I seek, with more honor, rather to review publicly such exhibitions than to enrich them--the precise opposite is true, and my hero (like his biographer) makes far better landscapes than portraits. "Try it," she continued, "with a living original"--he seemed perplexed as to the intention of her advice--"take one that will sit to you as long as the artist himself sits." Oefers vanity with Gustavus's impetuosity might, at this point, have got together a stupid piece of politeness--"Here! this one I mean in here "--and she pointed to a looking-glass; at this moment he was, after all, on the point of coming out with the resuscitated flattery, that her figure was beyond his pencil: when she luckily added: "Paint yourself and show me the picture." Over an accidentally swallowed sottise one grows quite as red as over a rejected one--thou beautiful, burning red Gustavus!

I therefore write out here, for children who have never yet danced at winter balls, this motto from the laws of fashion: When people are about to make a declaration to you, to put one into their mouths is as impolite as it is dangerous.

"I will just show you why," said she, and reached her hand half way to his and drew it back again, and took him with her through her reading-cabinet, through her library into her picture-gallery. When she walked, one could hardly walk himself; because one wanted to stand and look after her. Still harder was it by her side to look at pictures. She pointed out to him in the gallery a motley row of likenesses which the most famous painters had taken of themselves, and which the Resident Lady had had copied from the gallery in Florence. "You see, if you were a famous painter--and that you must become--I should not have your portrait yet in my collection." On the window-seat stood upright the female parasol, a green walking-fan, which he could have taken his oath before a bench of justice was Beata's--several hay-carts of Wouwerman's grass, several hundredweight of Salvator Rosa's rocks, and a square mile of Everdingen's grounds, would he have given for that mere fan.

But the promise which had been extorted from him, to paint himself, was, for such a child of nature as he, to whom art had not yet given vanity, hard to fulfil. Hundreds of youths now-a-days show more ability to survey themselves before a looking-glass in company, than he had to do it in solitude. He really feared that he was committing all the time the sin of vanity.

In this way my hero, who is trying to fetch himself out of the looking-glass, is beheld and painted by three drawing masters at once: by the biographer, or myself, by the romancer, or Herr von Oefel, who inserts in his romance a chapter wherein he treats anonymously Gustavus's love for the Bouse, and by the painter and hero himself. He may well, then, be well hit.

Of Oefel's romance of the Grand Sultan nothing more will appear in the court bookstore at the next fair than the first volume; and it will gratify the minor public which reads and makes the most of our romances, to hear that I have looked a little into the Grand Sultan and that most of the characters therein are taken not out of the wretched actual world, which, moreover, one has around him every week and knows as well as he does himself, but mostly out of the air,[68] that arsenal and nursery of the thinking romancer; for if, (according to the system of dissemination) the germs of the actual man, side by side with the pollen of flowers, flutter round in the air, and must, out of it, as the repository of posterity, be precipitated and absorbed by the fathers: then much more must authors get their drawings of men out of the air, (where all Epicurus's exfoliations of actual things fly round,) and shape them on paper, that the reader may not crumble.

For some days the von Bouse was not accessible, when the original wanted to carry her his copy. At last she sent for both. His face was very unlike the painted one, when his glance, on entering, fell upon his physiognomical sister, who was singing with her little Bouse at the harpsichord, upon Beata. We poor devils, we who have grown up not on family trees, but on a family bush, are brought by four walls so near to each other, that we make each other warm; on the contrary, the velveted walls of the great keep their inmates as far apart as city walls, and it is with us there as in taverns, where our interest detaches only one or more from the great mass. So Beata kept on; and he began; to him it was no more than if he saw her through his window in the garden. His portrait found the most favorable reviewer. She flew on with it through several rooms. Gustavus could now set his eyes where his ears had long since been. His only wish was, that the pupil were extraordinarily stupid and sang everything falsely, merely that the charming leader might the oftener recite her part. It was that divine Idolo del mio of Rust's, at hearing which I and my acquaintance always feel as if we were absorbed by the bland heaven of Italy, and dissolved by the waves of the tones, and inhaled as a breath by the Donna who glides along in the same gondola with us under the starry sky.... By such dangerous fancies I really upset all my stoicism and become, even before I am yet thirty, eighteen years old.

So much the more easily can I conceive how it was with young Gustavus, who had his eyes and ears so near to the magnetic sun. Verily, I would a thousand times rather (I know right well what I undertake) drive all through Scheerau with the loveliest woman in the whole principality and lift her not only into, but even (what is far more dangerous) out of the carriage. Nay, more: sooner would I read to her with an impassioned voice the best we have in the poetic and romantic departments--yea, I would sooner dance with her at a masquerade ball out of one hall into another, and as we sit down ask her if she is happy--and finally (I cannot express it more strongly), I would sooner put on a doctor's hat and fasten her faint hand with mine to the bleeding-stand, while she, in order not to see the stream of blood leap over the snowy arm, gazes with her pale face steadily into my eye--sooner, I promise, will I (to be sure I shall get more and deeper wounds than the little bled-manikin in the calendar) do all this than hear the loveliest girl sing; then I should be melted and gone; who would help me, who would hear my signals of distress, when in the most tranquil attitude she let the snow of her right arm fall softly over some black surface or other, half opened the bud of her rose-lips, let her dew-distilling eyes fall upon--her thoughts and sink therein, when the soft downy bosom[69] lay heaving like a white rose-leaf on the waves of the breath, and rose and fell with them; when her soul, otherwise wrapt in the threefold clothing of words, of body and of dress, unwound itself out of all wrappages and plunged into the waves of melody and sank in the sea of longing...? I should leap after her.----

Gustavus was caught in the very act of leaping after her, when the Resident Lady came back with two portraits. "Which is the more like?" she said to Beata, and held up both before her and fixed her eyes not upon the three faces which were to be compared, but upon the comparing one. The companion-piece was, namely, the lost one of the real brother, about which Beata had written to my Philippina. "O my brother!" said she with too much emotion and accent (which is pardonable, as she had just come from the harpsichord): and as she hastily snatched it, she screamed out, until her eye had accidentally glided down over the back of the picture and found no name there. Upon such particles of earthly dust often hangs the beating of the human heart: it hears and lifts the hundred-weight pressure of the whole atmosphere of life, but under the sultry breath of a social embarrassment it collapses in impotence. He who has not where to lay his head, suffers often less pain than he who has not where to lay his--hand.

"I thought your brother was a distant relative of yours," said the Resident Lady with perhaps a malicious double meaning, in order to entangle her in the choice of one or another sense. Certainly the Resident Lady had so readily at her command all words, ideas and limbs, that in Gustavus's and Beata's understanding and virtue, force hardly availed, as in mechanics, to supply the place of velocity. But Beata steadily related, without extenuation and without extravagance, all about these pictures which the reader has learned from my mouth. Gustavus could not have delivered such a narrative. The information, how it had come into the hands of the Resident Lady, the Resident Lady forgot to give, because she knew a hundred answers to it; Beata forgot to demand it, because she remarked the same thing.

"For your face,"--she said in the gayest tone, in which, without hesitation, she said the good about her charms, which others said in serious tones--"I could give you no other than my own; but that I must send with the garden to my brother in Saxony--you can paint it in with the park, so that both pieces may have one master." It is much harder to refuse anything to the jocose tone than to the serious--or at most it can be done only in a tone of pleasantry; but for this all the proper chords in Gustavus had been broken. Beata had not understood the allusion to the park; Bouse brought the whole landscape-drawing and asked her what pleased her most. She was for the shadow-realm and the evening-dell. (Why did she leave out the hermitage-mountain?) "But of the persons in the garden?"--she continued (the poor subject of inquisition fixed her still gaze more steadily on the evening dell)--"particularly the fair Venus here in the evening-dell?" At last she was obliged to speak, and said, without embarrassment: "The sculptor will not have to complain of the painter, but perhaps the painter will of the sculptor; perhaps, too, it is merely the frost that has injured this Venus a little." The Resident Lady, by her laughter and her witty glances at Gustavus, made a bonmot out of this, made her a little red, him fiery-red, her by this last again redder, and completely so by the answer: "So would my brother also think if he should get the Venus in this way; but you will do me the favor, my love, also to sit to the gentleman, our painter here, then there will come into our park a fairer Venus. I am in earnest. The two coming mornings you will give to our faces, Mr. von Falkenberg!" The good girl was silent. Gustavus, who had already consented to duplicate with his pencil Bouse's countenance, came within a hair of breaking out with the remark that he could not copy Beata's in connection with his. Fortunately it occurred to him that she would be dressed for the table.

(On Sunday, a week hence, I must begin my section with "For"----.)


The Minister's Lady and her Fainting-fits--and so forth.

For it was only in the forenoon that he was in that green vault which contained Scheerau's greatest beauties--in the Bouse's apartment; in the afternoon and later the rivers of pleasure roared through it, poured out by the Naiads of pleasure from their chalices of joy. Half the court drove out thither from Scheerau. The court, as is well known, while the people have only Sabbath days, has whole Sabbatical years, and the nearer ministers of the court are distinguished from the ministers of the State in this, that they do no work whatever; so, too, in ancient times, only those beasts were laid upon the altars as offerings to the gods, which had never yet labored. I know full well, that more than one requires of the paralytic great world a certain labor, namely that of amusing itself and others in one continued stretch; but this is so herculean a task and so severely strains all the faculties, that it is enough if they collectively after a fête, on driving off in the morning dissemble and say, as they part from one another, or the next day on meeting each other: "After all we spent a delicious evening, and altogether things were so brilliant!" Great Quarto-Theologians have long since proved that Adam before the fall took no pleasure in eating or other enjoyments--our grandees before their fall are just as badly off and go through all these things in their state of innocence without having the least fun out of them. I wish I could help the Court.

A man who has a stated working-hour (and though it were only thirty minutes long) regards himself as more industrious than one who has just this day interrupted his twelve hours'-stint for thirty minutes. Oefel reproached himself for his overstrained exertion, and said he knew not how to excuse himself for writing one full hour every morning at the "Grand Sultan." Not till after that were the serious occupations of the day at an end; then for the first time he had himself frizzled and powdered, in order to flutter round as a day-butterfly before all toilet-mirrors; on the flowery head of the Defaillante (so the Minister's Lady was called) he alighted. There he let himself a second time be frizzled and be plumed, in order as a well-powdered twilight-and-night-butterfly to sweep round among the counters and show-dishes and their counterparts. I should not have happened upon this simile, had not his hair dressed for the evening in the shape of a horn and drawn up together into a capsule led me to think of the caterpillars of the night-butterflies, which have a horn or queue attached to them on behind--the day-caterpillars have nothing on them, just as his abbreviated stuck-up morning-hair required, in order to bear out their mutual resemblance.

As I have named the Minister's Lady the Defaillante, and as one might on the whole give her credit for the simplicity of being more faithful to the Counsellor of Legation than he was to her, I will tell the whole story and speak in her behalf. Vanity, which ruled over him as a limited monarch, held over her an unlimited monarchy--she had and made Italian verses, epigrams and all things belonging to the fine arts, and it is town-talk that, inasmuch as she had ceased to belong to fine Nature, she threw herself into the works of the fine arts, and from a model exalted herself by paint into a picture, by pantomime, into an actress by swooning into a statue.

This last is the cardinal-point--she died weekly and oftener, like every true Christian woman, not for the sake of her chastity, but even before her chastity; I mean a minute or two--she and her virtue swooned one after the other. If I am not copious on such a subject, I am not worth cutting a pen, and the deuce may take my productions. Virtue then, fared as badly with the Minister's Lady as a favorite young cat with a child. I will not speak of seasons of the day--but only of days of the week: I will suppose that on each day a different antichrist and arch-enemy of her virtue had, for visiting-card, sent his person: in that case it might have run somewhat thus: On Monday her virtue was in the beaming new moon for Herrn von A.,--on Tuesday, in full-moon for Herrn von B., who said: Between her and a Dèvote the only difference was age,--on Wednesday, in the last quarter for Herrn von C., who says: "je la touche dè'já," namely her arm,--on Thursday in the first quarter for Herrn von D., who says: "peutétre que"--and so on with the remaining enemies throughout the week; for each adversary saw on her, as his own rainbow, his own virtue. Honor and virtue were with her no empty words, but signified (quite in opposition to the school of Kant) the interval of time between her No and her Yes,--often merely the interval of space. I said above, she always had a swoon, when it was the Monday of her virtue. But this admits an explanation: her body and her virtue were born on the same day and of the same mother, and are true twins, like the brothers Castor and Pollux. Now the first, like Castor, is human and mortal, and the other, like Pollux, divine and immortal, and as that mythological brotherhood by a cunning device went halves in mortality and immortality, so as to share each other's society for a while, dead, and again for a while, living this cunning trick is repeated by her body and her virtue: both always die simultaneously, in order afterward to come to life again together. The artistic dying of such ladies may be regarded, on still another side: Such a woman can experience a joy over the strength and the proofs of her virtue, which may reach even the point of a swoon; moreover, a grief at the sufferings and defeats of the same, which may also amount to a swoon. Now one can imagine, whether under the combined attacks of two emotions, each of which alone may be mortal, a woman can still remain erect. Notoriously the honor of women of the world dies as little as the King of France, and that is a well-known fiction; at least the death of that honor is, like that of the Saints, a sleep which does not last over 12 hours. I know at one Court a kind of honor or virtue, which, like a polypus, nothing can kill: like the ancient Gods, it may be wounded, but not annihilated--like the horn-beetle it continues to writhe and wriggle on the needle and without any nourishment. Naturalists of rank often inflict upon such a virtue, as Fontana did to the infusoria, a thousand torments, under which citizenly female virtue would instantly give up the ghost,--not a bit! no thought of dying. It is a beneficent arrangement of Nature that precisely in the higher class of ladies virtue has such an Achillean power of life or of regeneration, that it may, in the first place, the more easily endure the simple and compound fractures, bone-shatterings and amputations, and generally the battlefield of that rank. Secondly, that those ladies (in reliance upon the immortality and long line of life belonging to their virtue) may need to set to their pleasures, whose physical limits are, besides, so narrow, at least no moral ones.

I come back to the virtuous swoons or erotic dying of the Minister's Lady; I will not, however, confine myself to remarking that as the ancient philosophy was the art of learning how to die, so also is the French Court philosophy, only of a more agreeable sort--nor will I merely say in a witty way: qui (quae) scit mori, cogi nequit--nor will I merely apply Seneca's expression about Cato to the Minister's Lady: majori animo repetitur mora quam initur; but I simply state the reason why she is universally called in Scheerau the Defaillante [or Fainting Lady]--and it is this: that a certain gentleman, on being asked how she had gained a certain weighty case despite the postponement of the term of closure, replied: en defaillante.

I return.... But I were a lucky man, if Time would sit down and let me come up with him; but as it is, I still follow him at a distance of several months, my freight of venture grows daily heavier; I must have paper enough for a double history--that which is already written and that which is all the time occurring. I worry myself to death and at last people have hard work to read me! But is there any help for it?----

Amandus, meanwhile, lay on the hardest bed in the world--the thorny and stony mattresses of the old monks feel like eider-down in the comparison--namely, on the sick bed: his desolate eve rested often on the door of his chamber, to see whether no Gustavus would open it, whether death might not enter in the form of a joy, a reconciliation, and with a love-pressure softly crush the flower of his life; but Gustavus, on his part, lay upon a magic bed to which a better God than Vulcan fastened him down with invisible fetters; he could hardly stir under his wiry coverlet.

On the morning when he was making ready to take the portrait and pay the visit to the Resident Lady, Oefel let off all around him a multitude of rockets of wit, and confessed to him, with the contentment with which a Belletrist always bears poverty in bodily goods and the sorer poverty in spiritual ones, in intellect and the like, so much as this,--that he had himself detected in Gustavus his penchant for the--Resident Lady, sooner perhaps than either of the two interested parties themselves. Every denial on the part of Gustavus was a new leaf in his laurel crown. "I will be more honest," he said; "I will be my own traitor, since I have no one outside of me. In the apartment where you have an altar, stands one for me; it is a Pantheon;[70] you kneel more before a God than a Goddess--but I find there my Venus (Beata). She wants nothing to make her a Venus de Medici than--position; but I know not which hand, in that position, I should kiss to her." ... Before Gustavus's pure soul, this lump of boue de Paris, happily flew by, into which at courts even good men step without reflection; even authors of this zone have something of this mud still sticking to them.

What pleased him about Beata (and in every maiden) was simply this, that he, as he thought, pleased her; of all the five hundred million women on the earth he would have loved every one if he had pleased them all; on the contrary not one of them, if not one of them liked him. He now related to Gustavus, through what window in the greenhouse of Beata's heart he had seen her love to him bloom out. Except a certain blockhead whom I knew in Leipsic, and a cat, who has nine lives, no man had more lives than this man; did he forfeit one--forthwith he had a fresh one; I mean he had more swoons than another had fancies. Such a mock suicide he could perpetrate at will, and whenever he needed it in his dramas, as an affecting theatre poet; oftenest, however, he and the Leipsic blockhead inflicted this death upon themselves in effigy, when among a lot of ladies they had singled out to visit that one who was most in love with them. For the whole body were distinguished from each other, the two blockheads said, not in the existence but simply in the degree of their love for both of the two fainting subjects. The highest degree of terror at the pantomimic apoplexy, said the swooning couple, is the notary's seal of the highest love. When, therefore, Oefel three weeks ago acted his masquerade death before Beata, under all the neckerchiefs present there beat no heart so tender and sympathetic as hers, which knew neither hardness of its own nor deception on the part of another. Indifferently Oefel put himself to the optical death; in love he rose again and with his pretended swoon had almost effected a real one. "Since then I have not been able so much as to speak to her on the subject," he said. Gustavus struggled with a great sigh, not at Oefel's unfeeling vanity, but over himself and Oefel's good fortune. "O Beata, in this bosom"--(his inner being addressed her)--"wouldst thou have found a more reserved and sincere heart, than is this which thou preferrest to it--it would have concealed its happiness, and now it does its sighs--it would have remained forever true to thee--ah, it will remain true to thee still!" Nevertheless he did not quite feel the disgusting element in Oefel's vanity, because a friend inoculates himself into our personality and grows into it to such an extent that we overlook his vanity as easily as our own and on like grounds.

As it may fare with Gustavus in my book as in real life, I ought to have made even before this the following observation: No one was easier to be misunderstood than he; all rays of his soul were broken by the cloudy veil of mild humility; nay, since Oefel had reproached him with wearing pride upon his countenance he had sought to appear just as humble as he was--his exterior was quiet, simple, full of love, without assumption, but also without any outburst of wit or humor. Fancy and understanding wrought in him, as in a solitary temple, altar-pieces in great masses, and consequently did not, like others, let snuff-box-pictures and medallions drop from the tongue--he was, as Descartes supposes the earth, an incrusted sun, but under the phosphorescing lights of the Court a dark earthly body--he was the extreme opposite of Ottomar, whose sun had burnt through his crust, and now stood before the people glistening, crackling, rending, calcining and hatching, Gustavus's soul was a temperate clime without storms, full of sunshine without solar heat, all overspread with green and blossoms, a magic Italy in Autumn; but Ottomar's was a polar land through which there passed in succession long scorching days, long frozen nights, hurricanes, ice-mountains, and luxuriant vales of Tempe.

To Gustavus's modesty, therefore, nothing appeared more natural than that Beata should place one who knew so well how to show off his mind and person, above him who could do neither, and who besides, had once vexed her father almost to death. Accordingly his blood crept slowly and sadly as he stole to the Resident Lady's. It seemed to him as if he could, to-day, look upon her as his friend--which he actually half did, when she, too, came to meet him with so mournful an air and face, like that in which a woman, a week after the loss of her beloved, with vacant eyes and cold cheeks, touches us most deeply. It was, she said, the anniversary day of her youngest brother's death, whom she most loved, and who loved her the most of all. She had herself painted in her mourning dross. Nothing has a greater effect than a gay person who for once falls into the semitones of sorrow. Gustavus had, indeed, too much predilection for persons in whose ears vibrated the knell of some bereavement; an unhappy person was to him a virtuous one. The Resident Lady told him she hoped he would paint away to-day's grief from her actual face and charm it into the pictured one--she had on that account assigned to-day for this distraction; to-morrow she would certainly be the better--she played carelessly, and merely with her right hand, a few dances, but only one or two measures, and with a vain struggle against her sadness. He must tell her some story before beginning, that he might not give to a face which she wore only one or two days in a year, an eternal life in his colors. But he had not yet acquired at Court either matter or manner for story-telling--at last she came upon the subject of his subterranean education. Only to her to-day's face was he capable, in the cloud-burst of heart-effusion, which since Amandus's grudge had been denied him, of such a narration. When he had ended, she said: "Now paint away; you should have told me something different."

She took her little Laura in her lap. To the Prince, who is an enthusiastic animal-painter, she must sit with a silk-haired poodle instead of the little girl. But what a group now falls upon his eye, his heart and his brush, to distract all three! At least they all tremble, while the mother arranges the little hands of Laura into a picturesque and child-like embrace--while she, silently and sadly, contending with the waves of the lips against the sorrow of the eye, looks pensively into his, and with the nearest hand playfully curls the hair of the little one--verily, he thought, ten times over! if an angel would fain put on a body, the human were not too poor for the purpose, and he might in this traveling-uniform make his appearance on any sun!

This sketch was so striking, that to the Resident Lady one or two unlikenesses would perhaps have been more agreeable--they would have announced a greater resemblance to her second image in him. She now passed on by gentle, not, as usual, sudden and sportive, transitions from his professional compensation and from the disadvantages of his training to his rôle in the legation--she disclosed to him, but with slow and confidential hand, his want of knowledge of the world--she offered him admission to her society and invited him to souper for to-morrow. But in the forenoon, she added smiling, you must not come; Beata absolutely refuses to be painted.

----The reader has not yet, in the whole book, been allowed to speak or write three words: I will now let him come up to the grating or into the parloir and will write down his questions. "What, then,"--he asks--"is in the Resident Lady's mind? Will she cut out of Gustavus a toothed cog-wheel, which she may put into some unknown machine or other?--Or is she constructing the hunter's screen and twisting the elastic net, to pounce upon and catch him? Is she, as does every coquette, becoming like him, who will not be like her, as, according to Plattner man becomes to such a degree that which he feels, that he bends down with the flower and lifts himself with the rocks?"

Let the reader observe, that the reader himself has wit, and proceed!

"Or," he therefore continues, "does the Resident Lady not go so far, but will she, from magnanimity, for the sake of which one often pardons the optical tricks of her coquetry, seek out and train up the most beautiful and disinterested youth on the most beautiful and disinterested grounds?--Or may not all be mere accidents--(and nothing is so obvious to me)--to which she, as racer through pleasure-groves, fastens, as she flies, the fluttering lasso of a half-formed plan, without taking the least look, the next day after the strangled prey of her snare?--Or am I wholly wrong, dear Author, and is perhaps not one of all these possibilities true?"--Or come, dear Reader, come, are they all true at once, and was this the cause of thy not guessing a capricious woman, that thou givest her credit for fewer contradictions than charms?--The reader confirms me in my observation, that persons who could never have the opportunity to give the great world lessons on the piano-forte (for example, unfortunately, the otherwise excellent reader) are capable, indeed, of pre-calculating all possible cases of any given character, but not of singling out the real one. For the rest, let the reader rely on me (one who would hardly without reason extenuate distinctions which attach to himself)--for the rest, he has far less cause to mourn his poverty in certain conventional graces, in certain light, fashionable and poisonous charms, which a court never denies, than other courtiers--the author could wish he were not reckoned among them--have really to bewail their wealth of the like species of poison; for in this way he remains an honest and healthy man, the respected reader; but whoever knows him would have stood security for it, that, in case all bands and bridles of the great world had tugged and pulled at him, he would, besides his honesty, have retained also his unlikeness to the fashionable gentry, who atone for the maltreatment of the fairest sex with loss of voice and loss of calves, as (according to the oldest theologians) that woman-tempter, the serpent, who could previously speak and walk, by his seductive industry played away speech and legs....


Souper and Cow-Bells.

To-day I am working in my shirt-sleeves like a blacksmith, so abominably long and heavy is this thirtieth section. When Gustavus learned from Oefel that a little souper at the Resident Lady's meant as much as the greatest does with us, he had already distributed in his head, before he began to dress it, persons and parts, and to himself the longest of all;--this single fault he always committed, that when, at last, he came upon the stage and had to play, he did not play. Before going into a large company he knew word for word what he meant to say; when he came out again he knew also (in the green-room) what he should have said--but in the salon itself he had really said nothing. It arose not from fear of man, for it was almost easier to him to say anything bold than anything witty; but it came from this, that he was the opposite of a woman. A woman lives more out of than in herself; her feeling snail of a soul, attaches itself almost externally to her variegated bodily conchylia, never draws back its threads and horns of feelers into itself, but touches with them every breath of air and curls up around every smallest leaflet--in three words, the sense which Dr. Stahl ascribes to the soul, of the whole constitution and condition of its body, is with her so lively, that she feels continuously how she sits or stands, how the lightest ribbon lies or sits upon her, what are the curves her hat-feather describes; in two words, her soul feels not only the tonus of all perceptible parts of the body, but also of the imperceptible, the hair and the dress; in one word, her inner world is only a hemisphere, an impression, of the outer.

But not so with Gustavus; his inner world stands far apart and abruptly separated from the outer; he cannot pass from either to the other; the outer is only the satellite and companion-planet of the inner. From his soul--imprisoned in the earthly globe which the hat covers--the diversified individual growths on which it cradles and forgets itself, shut out the view of objects external to its body, which cast only their shadows upon its fields of thought; it therefore sees the outer world then only when it remembers it; then the latter is transposed and transformed into the inner world. In short, Gustavus observes only what he thinks, not what he feels. Hence he never knows how to amalgamate his words and ideas with the words and ideas of other people that fly by him. The courtier winds up and turns his screws, and the cascades of his wit leap and sparkle--Gustavus, on the other hand, first throws the bucket into the well and proposes to draw up the draught at a proper time. A finer reason I assign below.

On the morning of this momentous souper Oefel boasted to him so much about Beata, how he would today see her cœur so perfectly balanced against the esprit of the Resident Lady--that he cursed all seeing, and got a second reason for carrying his heavy heart into the Still Land. His first was, that he always prepared himself for a great company by going first into the greatest--under the broad, blue heavens. Here, beneath the colossal stars, on the bosom of Infinity, one learns to exalt himself above metallic stars, sewed on beside the button-hole; from the contemplation of the earth one brings back with him thoughts through which one hardly sees the particles of dust, called men, whirling about; and the colored gold-bugs wherewith the realm of vegetable nature is mosaically spangled, are not surpassed by the gold-and-gem-embroidery of court splendor, but only imitated. The present author always paid a visit to the great terrestial and celestial circle before and after paying one to a smaller circle, that the great one might prevent and extinguish the impressions of the little.

I grow red, when I think how helplessly my Gustavus may have suffered himself to be ushered through two ante-chambers into a salon, where already sat opponents around at least seven card tables. Refinement of thought is a soil, refinement of expression is a fruit, to which not exactly court-gardeners are necessary; but finish of external behavior is nowhere to be gained but there, where it tells for everything--in the great world, full of microcosms. Should I have more to show up of the latter refinement than one commonly looks for in my legal class, I am never so vain as to trace it to any other source than my life at the Court of Scheerau. The Resident Lady (Beata never) played seldom, and very properly: a lady who can with her face take other hearts than those painted on cards, and who can take from men other heads than those stamped on metal, does ill if she contents herself with the lesser, unless she can shuffle and cut with the fairest fingers that I have yet seen in female gloves and rings. No lady should play before fifty, and after that only she whom her husband and daughter had cause to lose in the game. On the contrary, the poetical gladiator, Herr von Oefel, served in the army which (according to the Journal des Modes) every winter night is 12,000 strong in the front German Imperial Circles--namely with and against L'Hombre players. The Resident Lady was a brilliant Sun, whom Beata ever followed as Evening Star. Soft and gracious Hesper in Heaven! thou throwest the silver spangles of thy rays upon our earthly foliage and gently openest our hearts to charms which are as tender as thine! All the summer evenings which my eye has in dreams and remembrances lived through on thy lawns of innocence stretching high over my head, I repay thee for, fairest silvered dew-drop in the blue ethereal bell-flower of Heaven, when I make thee a type of the beautiful Beata! Oh! could I only project her saintly form out of my heart and present it here on these pages, that the reader might see, and not merely conceive, how from the Junonian Bouse, from whom all womanly charms stream forth, even rare disinterestedness, but not, however, innocence nor modest womanly reserve,--how all these wooden rays fall off from her, when by her side Beata not so much shows as veils herself,--Beata, who has gained the inner victory over the most passionate female wishes and yet betrays neither victory nor conflict,--who, without the Bouse's mourning array, and play of grief, gives thee a softened heart and irresistibly enchains thy sight, and with whom thou canst walk by moonlight, without enjoying her or the night-heavens upon the earth one whit the less! Gustavus felt even more than I; and I feel all again in my biographical hours more than I did once in my musical ones.

All in good time! When they are at table I shall take the opportunity to describe also the remaining guests. Amidst the social tumult, which bewildered Gustavus's senses as well as ideas, of course only half the sunny image of Beata sank into his soul. But afterward to be sure! At first, however, they were both standing under the arch of the window with the Resident Lady (who ironically excused Gustavus before Beata for not having brought his brush with him to-day),--not to mention a crowd of accidental interlocutors. Presently the Resident Lady was snatched away from them; their mutual nearness and the solitude of their position obliged both to talk, and Beata to stay. Gustavus, who had already, before the Assemblée, had it in his head what he would say, said nothing. But Beata finished the previous conversation about the sketching, and said: "Unless you have already excused me, I cannot excuse myself." Another person of more presence of mind would have said directly, "No," and so, in jest, which would have allowed no embarrassment, have wound the threads of the bird-spider around the poor humming-bird. Gustavus's feelings were too strong to let him jest here. With a multitude of weighty materials, of which you find all the handles break off, only that of jest holds fast, and with that you can manage them; particularly when you are talking with young women under a window arch.

Gustavus had long sought an opportunity to show other sides of his soul than had come to light in that affair of the corn; now he would have had the opportunity, but not the means, had not the park, with its evening splendors, lain encamped before the window. But the beauty of Nature was the only thing of which he could speak with inspiration with other beauties;--and he could with the most freshness compress all the charms of the universe into one morning, if he should describe his coming up out of the earth into the lofty world-mansion. Upon every word and image he uttered, or she uttered in reply, was stamped a soul which they had confided to each other. Suddenly he remained silent, with wide open, radiant eyes--it seemed to him as if in his soul a magic moon rose and shone over a broad twilight-land, and an angel of his childhood took him in his arms and clasped him so tightly to his bosom, that the heart of him dissolved.... And whereon rested this inner landscape-piece? Upon what the famed Strassburg clock-work rests on--namely, on the neck of an animal; the latter rests, as is well known, on the back of a Pegasus; his own was borne upon the necks of the herd of cows just then happening to pass by the palace on their way homeward, upon which hung bells that sounded like those of Regina's herd, and that consequently brought back the whole scene of youthful days with its tones before his soul.... In such a mood he could have discoursed in the National Assembly; the tumult also which enclosed them made both more solitary and confidential: in short, he narrated to her, with fire and with historical omissions, his pastoral time with one lamb on the mountain. This enthusiasm infected her (as all enthusiasm does all women) to such a degree that she began--to be silent.

Necessity now compelled both to bring some outward object (like a sword in the princely bed) between their confluent souls--they looked down at the two children of the gardener below, and indeed so eagerly did they gaze at them, that they saw nothing. The boy was saying: "The young lady [Beata] loves me so much," stretching apart his two arms to their full extent. The girl said: "The young gentleman [Gustavus] loves me with a love as big--as the palace." "And me," he replied, "with one as big as the garden." "And me," the girl rejoined, "with one as big as the whole world." Beyond that the boy's wings could not soar, though his tail-feathers had surmounted the eyrie of the Cathedral. Each enumerated to the other the love tokens which they had received from the party who were the delighted overhearers of their own several praises, and each said at every article: "Canst thou beat that?"

With the sudden jump children always take to a new game, the little girl said: "Now thou must be the gentleman [Gustavus]; and I will be the lady [Beata]. Now I will make love to thee; afterward thou must to me." She softly stroked his cheeks and then his eye-brows and finally his arm, and manipulated the gentleman. "Now me!" she said, suddenly dropping her arms. The youth threw his arms round her neck so tightly, that the two elbows crossed each other and formed a knot and extended beyond the love-knot as superfluous bows; he gave her a sound smack. Suddenly her critical file found a confounded anachronism in this historical play, and she said, inquiringly: "Yes, are not the young gentleman and lady really in love with each other?"

That was too much for the front box overhead, which was at once the auditory and the original of the little players, and was in great danger of becoming a copy of the same. Gustavus kept his eyelids open with all his might, in order that the water which stood in his eyes might not form into a visible tear and roll down his cheek, and the agitated Beata, with or without design, let her rose, broken off, fall fluttering to the ground; he stooped down for it and remained in that position long enough to let his tear melt away unobserved; but, as he handed the rose back to her, and both timidly hid and buried their sunken eyes in the flower, and when a ninny dancing along suddenly interrupted them--then, all at once, their uplifted eyes stood over against each other like the rising full moon confronting the setting sun, and then sank into each other, and in a moment of inexpressible tenderness their souls saw that they--were seeking each other.

The dancing ninny was Oefel, who wanted Beata's arm, to conduct her to the dining-room. And now, Reader, I serve up to thee, instead of living roses (such as our pair of souls is), nothing but roses seethed in butter. Twenty-six or twenty-seven covers, I think, there were. I will here furnish, instead of a bill of fare, a way-bill of the passengers. First; there were at table and in the palace two chaste persons--Beata and Gustavus; a proof that fair souls grow in all places, even the highest: thus the Emperor Joseph had several nightingales thrown every year into the park, that something might be heard there.

No. 2 was the Prince, who in his short life had seen more women around him than the ox apis, whose own life was as long as the Egyptian alphabet. He was, at this table, what he could not be at many a table d'hôte on his travels, Brother Orator and Cardinal Wind among sixty-three other side-winds. His crown had upon it ladies in mass.

No. 3 was his appanaged brother, whom the crowned one hated, not because he had and deserved too much love from his people, but because he was once mortally sick and did not die but lived on upon his portion. The skeleton of this brother would have persuaded the Prince, as every skeleton did the Greeks and Egyptians, to a more cheerful enjoyment of the banquet.

No. 4 was a Knight of the Order of St. Michael from Spa (Herr von D.), whose star of order still sent out rays in Scheerau after it had long been extinguished in Paris. So, according to Euler, a fixed star in the heavens may still, on account of its distance, continue to transmit its light, though it has long since been consumed to ashes.

No. 5 was Cagliostro, who, among so many playing heads, shared the fate of physicians and ghosts and lawyers, that his public deriders were at the same time his secret disciples and clients.

No. 6 was my manor Lord, von Röper, who, because he had something to say to the Prince, had remained behind. He was the only one in the whole gastronomic assembly who did these two things: first, he had submitted to him every sort of wine in the Bousian wine inventory, in order to convey to his stomach that distinct and clear idea, whereon the older logics so much insist, of all vinous goods of the Resident Lady--secondly, he made as much account of the fricasseed, pickled and the like viands, as if he gave instead of receiving the dinner, and he grew more and more courteous and obeisant in proportion as his obesity increased, like a sausage which crooks up when it is filled.

Nos. 7, 8 and 9 were two coarse government councillors * * * and a coarse president of exchequer * * * whereof the first two despised the whole court, because it had no other than literary Pandects, and the third because he pictured to himself how many pensions and salaries the whole court would have without the Chamber of Finance, i. e., without him, and all three because in their own opinion, they upheld the throne, though in reality they could have borne nothing except, in Solomon's Temple, the--Brazen sea.

No. 10 was the Resident Lady, who tuned herself after every one else's tone, and yet by her own was distinguished from all women;--like King Mithridates, she spoke the languages of all her subjects.

Nos. 11 and 12 were an abbess temporarily stopping on a journey and a widowed Princess von * *, who by virtue of their rank were monosyllabic and hautain.

No. 13 was the Defaillante whose greatest charms and powers of attraction were reduced to her small feet, where they resided, as in the two feet of an armed magnet. The head, her second pole, repelled what the lower attracted.

Nos. 00000 do not interest me; they were old female visages pickled in the saltpetre of rouge, to whom nothing was left from the shipwreck of their sunken life but a hard board on which they still sit and cruise round--namely, the gaming-table.

Nos. 00000 also have no interest for me, they were a sheaf of court dames, trimmed wall-plants on the tapestry, or rather borders set around fruit-bearing beds--they had wit, beauty, taste and behavior, and when one was out of the folding-doors, one had already forgotten them.

Nos. 0000 were a company of courtiers intersected with the red and blue order ribbons, which served a similar purpose on them to that of the red and blue colors of the spirit in the thermometer, that one might better see the height to which they rose,--who, like silver, shone and made everything they touched black--who could not imagine any higher or broader canopy of heaven than the throne canopy, or any greater day in the year than a court day--who were never in their lives fathers or children or husbands or brothers, but merely courtiers,--who had understanding without principles, knowledge without faith, passions without powers, complaisance without love and free-thinking as a joke--whose genuineness is tested like that of the emerald, by remaining cold, when one would warm it with the lips--and whom, to tell the truth, Satan may depict, not I....

Oefel was wedged in between Beata and the Swooning Sister; Gustavus sat opposite to them between two little witty ladies: but he forgot the neighborhood of his arms in that of his eyes. From Oefel's limbs shot sparks of wit, as if the silk in which he was enclosed helped electrize him. The Swooning Sister was so sure of her liege lordship over him, that she counted it no violation of allegiance, if her vassal said to Beata, his next-plate neighbor, the sweetest things; "He will," she thought, "be vexed enough, that out of politeness he cannot do otherwise." As to Herr von Oefel, he was concerned at bottom about nothing except Herr von Oefel; he praised, not in order to display his regard, but only his wit and taste; he suppressed neither flatteries nor satires, when they were good and groundless; he censured women, because he wanted to prove that he saw through them, and because he held that to be a difficult matter; and I held him to be a fool.

He generally applied to a maiden's heart three mountain-borers, in order to drill a hole into it, where he might insert the gunpowder with which he proposed to blow the mineralized vein of love into the air. His first mining-pit which he to-day, as always, loaded in the female heart, in the case of Beata, was, to talk with her a long time about her dress--it is all one to them, he asserted, whether one talks of their limbs or their clothes; but I affirm, the ugly woman wears her dress as her fruit, the coquette as the mere garden-ladder or the fruit-gatherer, and the good woman as the protecting foliage, Beata, like Eve, wore hers as leaf-work.

Secondly, he set up around Beata the cloth-and-yarn-walls of metaphor, in order to chase her into them--he asserted that maidens would sing what they never would say, (like those who cease to stutter the moment they begin to sing); thus they suffer in figures and allegories all those confessions of their inner being to be wormed out of them, which one could never bring from them with literal words, although they meant the same thing--I, on the contrary assert that such women are good-for-nothings, and that those who are worth as much as Beata cannot be caught with words, because their thoughts are never worse than their words. Of course, from a chamber (or heart) where there is fire and smoke within, the flame will blaze out through the first opening you make for it.

His third assertion and artifice was, that men felt the value of simplicity and the sublimity of ingenuousness and of the direct assurance: "I am in love with thee;" whereas maidens wanted tournure and refinement and circumlocution to be worked into this assurance; the Turkish mode of correspondence through natural flowers was more agreeable to them than that by flowers of poetic speech, a practical flattering more pleasing than a verbal--I, however, assert that--he is right. Hence, e. g., he made his repeating-watch always repeat before the Fainting Lady the hour of their last rendezvous, and pleased her thereby infinitely; hence he always looked upon a woman, when it was to be done and to be noticed, by peeping at her behind her back in the mirror--hence he was with Beata brimfull of deviltries, almost all of which I ought to name. I mention two only. In the first place he remembered that he had to forget himself, and in the fire of conversation to lay his hand on hers; thereupon he made believe recollect himself, and as if he reduced the weight of his hand half an ounce at a time with the intention of withdrawing it unobserved, so soon as it weighed no more than a finger-joint--"thus," he says to himself, "the finer delicatesse always manages; and I will see what it catches." His second piece of deviltry was, to squint at her face in the plate mirror at which he sat (his own he gave instead of the first prize only the second) and to admire it, when all the while, he had the original still nearer to him. Above the mirror a porcelain shepherdess was driving sheep: "I have never yet seen a lovelier shepherdess under glass," he said with double meaning; "but a lovelier sheep," said the Defaillante, meaning him.

This mirror-plate with its shepherdess, looking across a flowery shore into the glassy water, and with its lamb and shepherd, came very near to a likeness of Gustavus's childish play. Beata's eye involuntarily lost itself among these flowers, and took her ear with it, into which the Legation Counsellor with his military manœuvres of wit sought vainly to effect a breach. Gustavus's eyes sought and shunned only--eyes, not scenes; out of the social whirl under which his inner wings lay buried, he could fling himself upward only by some outward leaping-pole. For all, except those who were like him, so sorely tore and teased his inner being with their table-talk, that he was never in greater agony of embarrassment than to-day. I will set down the flying table-talk, so far as related to virtue, in divisions marked off by dashes, because several speakers joined in it, as in the peasant's table-grace the whole family pray antiphoniously.

"People have no virtue, but only virtues--Women have it, men wage war upon it--Virtue is nothing but an unwonted civility--Virtue is un pen de pavilion joint a beaucoup de culasse;[71] mats le moyen de n'être que l'un ou que l'autre?--It is, like Beauty, a different thing everywhere; here heads are peaked, there broad; so with the hearts that are below them--Beauty and Virtue scold and love each other like a pair of sisters and yet give each other their finery (an allusion)--One never thinks of Virtue with so much pleasure, as when one sees the rose-girls[72] in Salency." It is also crowned in other places (a second allusion) etc. In short, every tone and glance, not proved, but simply assumed, that virtue was nothing more than--the economus of the stomach, the refectorist of the senses, the officiating priestess and daughter of the body. Love fared like virtue. "The Julie of Jean Jacques," said one, "is like a thousand Julies, or like Jean Jacques himself; she begins with enthusiasm, ends with piety, but the fall is between the two."

No one but he who has once been in Gustavus's situation, who has once endured the desolating storm of an assault upon the possibility and divinity of virtue in a circle of witty and dogmatic people of rank; who, under such agitations, each of which was a breach into his soul, has been sickened by his own powerlessness to shame, to say nothing of converting, such besiegers of virtue and the saints; who under these Herodian revilings of his Saviour has not had even that pride to uphold him, which indeed loves to eat with us in our private apartment, but hurries to the table d'hôte out of our inner sanctum--only he, then, who has gasped and panted in such conditions can conceive the Alpine load which lay upon Gustavus in his.

Even Beata's countenance, which took the part of love and virtue, could not shield him from the frosty faces of those men of persiflage, out of which, as from the fissures of the glaciers at a change of weather, came blasts of cutting wind, and which philosophized the heart to pieces and annihilated all self-respect. At Gustavus's age the Gustavuses make two fundamentally false inferences--they seek, in the first place, under every virtuous tongue a virtuous heart, but, secondly, also, under every bad tongue a bad heart.

Gustavus would have been very little troubled at not being able to answer much, to say nothing of counter-questioning, had there not been sitting opposite to him two ears, that deserved better things than what they were compelled to hear. He always slipped off from the right key and struck consonances where dissonances stood written on the score, and vice versâ. Now he was astounded at other people's frank licenses, and anon his neighbors were astounded at his; and wit would have been easier for him than to hit a tone which seemed to him now too bold and now too cowardly. But this was not properly the trouble; his essential fault, which held his feet like the stocks, was--that his thoughts were logically correct.

This fault many have; and I myself have had to drill myself many a forenoon and go through ground and lofty tumblings of the soul, before I could in some degree think disconnectedly and with a hop-skip-and-jump, just as if I were half a fool. And even then it would at last all have come to nothing, had I not gone to school and sat on the seat of a pupil to women. They think far less logically, and whoso does not learn under them a good tone is one of whom nothing can be made--except a German metaphysician. Do they even, haply, answer Yes or No, instead of what does not pertain to the matter in hand? Do they express themselves upon the weightiest subject considerately and with lawyerlike diffuseness, or on the most frivolous subject frivolously? Do they dislike to use or to hear persiflage, or do they haply--ball-queens and governesses of the bureaux d'esprit of course excepted--ever lay the least accent or sign of value on their table talk, after-dinner talk, looking-glass talk, and the like? Or do they lay any upon truths? Happily this refinement of tone, which is the faculty-seal and tradesman's-salutation of women, increases with the fineness of the materials one has on. One or two little German towns, such as an Unter-Scheerau, or the like, must not set themselves up as objections to my position, where, of course, the women of the place, who would rather be called ladies, give out no audible sound except with the articulated fan and sweeping train, like insects, whose voice whizzes forth not out of the mouth, but from the whirring wing-work and belly-tympanum.

Many will expect of me that I should demonstrate in detail this resemblance of the female- and the court-tones: indeed, I have the pen in my hand and need only to dip it into the inkstand. A sopranist in the good style (I shall for the sake of euphony use the terms court style and good style interchangeably) will always know how to lead off and exhaust by points the lightning of truth, as the electric spark is by metallic ones. The practical sopranist cuts out of the eternal circle of truth fanciful arcs and segments, which hang and rest upon nothing, like the many-colored fragments cut out of a rainbow. He it is of whom one requires, that like the quicksilver of the looking-glass, he shall shadow forth in its shades of color all that glances by him; other people's characters and his own opinions; show everything without and hide everything within. Will it be enough for a man of the world--let it answer as it may for a man of learning--to be a field stuck round with satirical thorns, and must not these rather, instead of the enclosing ditch, fill all furrows and be more the fruit than the hedge of the lot? And who else but he and the sulphurate of potash--which, however, confines itself solely to metals--must know how to precipitate all saints and all devils black? Only, people who dare to make such lofty demands, do not always consider, that only a latitudinarian and indifferentist to all truths can satisfy them, i. e., a man who perhaps for years keeps the same opinions and breeches. Nothing so narrows the playground of wit as when individual opinions and love of truth stand therein as fixed, solid pillars.

These are just the means whereby the world's people understand how to represent others as well as themselves in the finest ridiculous light. The courtier can certainly make it a ground of reproach to the German theatrical managers, that they for the most part suffer the Attic salt and the fine comic element, which he contrives always to have about his person, to evaporate under their sweltering hands. He, the courtier, always makes himself ridiculous in a refined, never in a low way, and easily spices his person with a genuine high comic quality, suited to his high standing; but he may well ask, "Do the German dunces study me, or does Terence, whom they do study, salt his characters so delicately as I do my own?" ...

I think I have by my digressions adequately accounted for the circumstance in my story, that Gustavus at last, because he had to succumb to such quick-witted dames, and from his modest deference to other people's talents, and perhaps because the Resident Lady was withheld from him by her company, and Beata by her respected father--absolutely took himself away. But out of doors the drooping flower cannot revive itself under the cooling night-dew; in the Still Land he passed along before the four-cornered reflections which the chandeliers threw upon the grass without yearning, and turned round and round to take in at a full glance all the walls of the broad darkly-painted ball-room, where fate propels the sun-ball into great, and the ball of earth into little circles. When he there felt the great profile of day, the night, like that of a departed female friend, cool and comforting, on his bosom, then he thought, but without pride: "O to thee, great Nature, will I always come, when I am saddened in the midst of men; thou art my oldest friend and my truest, and thou shalt console me till I fall from thy arms at thy feet and need no solace more." ...

"Can you not inform me where young Herr von Falkenberg lodges hereabouts," a night-messenger accosted him. He handed him a letter, which he hurriedly ran through in the fixed-star-light of the far off chandeliers. But they seemed to-night to have to illumine only sad scenes. Amandus had therein written to him on the coverlet of his sick bed as follows:


The Sick Bed.--Eclipse of the Moon.--The Pyramid.

"If thou hast become my friend again, then hasten to thy friend who is soon to die. Make thy peace with me, ere I go to the eternally Silent Land, as we did the last time, before we went out into the earthly one. Ah, thou inexpressibly beloved one! I have indeed often offended, but always loved thee! O come, let not the short breath of my breaking heart, which has consisted on this earth of nothing but unsatisfied sighs, vanish with a last vain sigh for thee. Thou saw'st me for the first time when my eyes were blind; see me for the last time, when they are becoming so once more!"

This leaf, coming at an hour when the love of a human being was such a blessed thing for him, hurried him away from the palace, but the parts of his heart in which it touched him, were bleeding. Such a journey through the night bows down the soul, and on this short passage he saw his friend die more than ten times over. Every bird he chased out of its bed made him think, how will they in the darkness find their little bough again? Every dissolving light that trailed about at a distance through the gloom, made him think for what sighs, for what painful steps, will it just now illumine the weary ascent; and it seemed to him as if he saw the human life going. It did not make him more cheerful when he saw several chariots set round with a halo of torches, filled with the idle guests of the souper, which they, like himself, were leaving, roll along as hurriedly as if they were hasting to visit a dying friend. At last the slumbering city unswathed itself out of the shadows; the Pharos-lamp of the warder and a few widely scattered lights, which probably were measuring off with their sad and untrimmed beams the night of some invalid, fell on the mourning-ground of his soul.

Softly he knocked at the door of the sick house, softly it was opened, softly he went up the stairs; nothing broke the silence but the sound of the clock, pealing like a funeral knell into the dumb house of sorrow, with its twelve strokes, a voice which he had so often heard there. Ah! there lay suffering in bed a form, which one will forgive all, and which one hastens to love and to cheer a little longer, ere it shall stir no more. Not the unclean, shriveled sick face, not the hue of life corroded by fever, not the wrinkles of the lip--not all of these was it in Amandus (nor is it in other invalids) which rent utterly Gustavus's heart and hopes, but the heavily rolling, spasmodically flashing, wild and yet burnt-out glassy sick eye, upon which all sufferings of past nights and the nearness of the last were so legibly written.

Amandus stretched his dead hand far out to meet him, as if it were possible that any one else than he still remembered the black dyer's hand of another, which he had lately reached out to him. For him the reunion was sweeter than to Gustavus, who saw waiting behind it the long separation.

The morning and the joy arrested a little the curtain of his life as it fell. Gustavus took the place of the nurse; first, because she knew how to do everything so well and with so many circumstances and marginal notes, that she poured gall into his very last minutes; secondly, because, surely, in the hour when all nature in the company of death tears off from men with stern hand all finery and all articles of raiment which she had lent him, the only remaining solace for the impotent friends who cannot hold back this inexorable hand, is, during the unclothing, freezing and sinking to sleep of the friend, by unconditional compliance to all his whims, by indulgence of his capriciousness, to be still. Upon such services of heart and love toward poor dying men one looks back after many years with more satisfaction than upon those rendered to all well persons together--and yet the two classes are separated from each other by only a few hours; for thou dost not climb in and out of thy bed many times before thou ceasest to rise from it....

Dear Death! I think now of myself. If thou enterest one day into my lodging-room, pray do me the favor to shoot me down at my secretaire or writing-table dead on the spot; lay me not, dear Death, behind the curtains of the sick-bed, nor hunt slowly with thy ripping knife after every vein to amputate it from life, so that I shall be compelled to gaze whole nights' long into the dissecting face, or that during thy long unraveling of my souls raiment all shall be stepping up and looking on in good health: the Captain, the Pestilentiary and my good sister. But if the Evil One possesses thee, so that thou canst not listen to reason, then, dear Death, as no hell lasts forever, I will not, after a thousand vexations, vex myself about the last.

Doctor Fenk had not in his face the apprehension of a coming loss, but grief for a present one; he regarded his son as a shattered porcelain vase, whose shards one sets up again in its old combination on the toilet-table and which at the least agitation thereof will fall asunder. He therefore no longer forbade him anything. He even received some male patients, "because he had one in his house and would fain cure away the thought of him." The patient himself already heard the murmur of the evening-wind of his life. A few weeks before he had indeed still believed that in the spring he might drink the Scheerau mineral waters in Lilienbad, and then it would be quite different with him. (Poor, sick man! it has become different with thee sooner than that!) Only a certain fever-vision, which he did not reveal, pronounced sentence upon his sick life; and his superstitious reliance upon this dream was so firm that since that he had no longer watered his flower-bushes, had given away his birds, and extinguished all wishes excepting the wish for Gustavus.

The very next day happened to be market day. This tumult had too much life in it for years consecrated to the stillness of death, and Gustavus had to sit by his bed that during the talking and listening he might not be able to lend an ear to the din below. Gustavus was startled when at length he asked him suddenly and eagerly, did he still love Beata? He evaded the "Yes," but Amandus summoned up the little life that still glowed in his nerves, and said, though with long pauses after every sentence: "Ah, take not thy heart from her--O, if thou knowest her as I do--I was often with her father--I saw with what mute patience she bore his heat--how she took upon herself the faults of her mother--full of goodness, full of gentleness, full of tenderness, full of lowliness, full of intelligence--such she is--all, but for her image there had been little joy in my life--give me thy hand and say that thou lovest her more than me." He himself took it; but the taking pained his friend.

Suddenly there darted into the veins of his sunken cheeks perhaps the last flush of shame, which often, like a flush of morning redness, comes as the swift forerunner of a good deed; he asked for his father to be brought to him. To him he, with so much fire, with so much longing in eyes and lips, made the request--to fetch Beata, who surely could not refuse the last prayer of a dying man, that the father himself could not refuse it; but promised (despite the sense of impropriety) to drive over to her mother, and through her to persuade the daughter, and to bring them both. Fenk knew that in his whole sickness no refusal had done any good--that, if he should see his son lying there dead from the frustration of his last wish, he should not be able to bear the thought of having embittered for that dead one the dying moments which he still drained from the cup of life, and that mother and daughter were too good not to act toward his son like himself. In short, he started.

When the father was gone, the sick man looked upon his and our friend with such a stream of smilingly promising love, that Gustavus was fain to take of this faithful, gentle soul, whose departure was so near, the longest farewell in this life: "My lips," thought he, "shall only yet once be pressed to his and my bosom to his--only yet once will my arms clasp the warm corpse, while yet there is a soul therein to feel my embrace--only this once will I call after his retreating spirit, while I can still reach it, and tell him how I have loved and shall still love him." Amidst these wishes the fairest holy water man knows consecrated his eyes. But, nevertheless, he suppressed all, because he feared that under such a storm of closing life the rent bonds of the body might let loose the agitated soul and the weak one die on his lips....

This self-sacrificing tenderness, which will not come forth from the nun's-cell of the heart, pleases me more than a belles-lettrical and theatrical finale-tempest, where one feels in order to show it, in order to have a weeping and writing-fistula, as well as other people, in order to let a tip of his emotions, as well as of the handkerchief with which one dries them, hang out of his pocket.

The Doctor, whom nobody in Maussenbach had ever yet seen with a mournful face, had already gained by the veil that overspread his usual gaiety, his sad request. My landlord, who always forcibly dammed up his innate sympathy, because, like a parrot, it ran away with his money, surrendered everything in this case so much the more willingly to another's kindly stream of tears, because it carried away from him nothing except--his wife and daughter for an hour. The meaner man has a greater pleasure in a good deed which has been wrung from him than the better man. Röper wrote himself to his daughter the order to join the party, and briefly contributed the best reasons for it out of natural and theological ethics. But the best reason which the Doctor brought with him to the new palace to Beata was her mother; without her he would hardly have overcome her shy, politic and feminine apprehensions.

They arrived with prayerful emotions at the dying chamber, that sacristy of an unknown temple, which stands not on this earth. I proceed, although so much of what belongs here is too great for my heart and my speech.... When the sick man saw the beloved of his dying heart, then did his sunken youthful days, with their golden hopes, gleam up from far below the horizon, like the evening glow of a June sun toward the North; he pressed once more the hand of beauteous life, his pale cheeks glimmered once more with the breath of the last joy, and the angel of joy, with the cord of love, let him slowly down into the grave. A dying man sees men and their doings diminished in a low distance; to him our little rules of courtesy are no longer of much consequence--all is to him indeed henceforth nothing. He begged to be left alone with Gustavus and Beata; his soul still upheld the self-bowing body; with a broken, but healthy voice he addressed the trembling maiden: "Beata, I shall die, perhaps to-night--in my fairer days I have loved thee; thou hast not known it--I go with my love into eternity--O good soul! reach me thy hand" (she did so) "and weep not, but speak; it is so long that I have not seen nor heard thee--Nay, but weep both of you, if you will; your tears no longer weaken me; into my hot eyes, so long as I have I am here, none have ever come--O weep much by me; when one dreams that tears fall on a dead man, it means gain--Aye, ye two fair souls, ye find none like you, who can deserve your love, you are alone--O, Beata, Gustavus also loves you, and does not tell it--If thou still hast thy fair heart, give it to him--thou wilt make him and me happy, but give me no sign, if thou canst not love him." ... Then grasping the hand of Gustavus, whose feelings were conflicting tempests, he said, with uplifted eyes, as of Virtue herself in the act of benediction: "Thou infinite and gracious Being, that takest me to Thyself, bestow upon these two hearts all the lovely days which perhaps had been appointed me here--nay, deduct them from my future life, if haply I had in this world no more to expect!" ... Here the sinking body drew back the soaring soul; a drop in his eye revealed the sad memory of his shattered days; three hearts were intensely agitated; three tongues were struck dumb; it was too sublime a minute for the thought of love--the feeling of friendship and the sense of the other world were alone great enough for the great moment....

I am not just now in a condition to speak of the consequences of that hour, nor of any other person than the dying one. His unstrung nerves kept on quivering in an enervating slumber. Beata, exhausted and stunned, went away with her mother. Gustavus no longer saw anything, hardly her. The father had no consolation and no comforter. The feverish doze lasted on till after midnight. A total eclipse of the moon exalted the heavens and attracted upward the affrighted eyes of men. Gustavus, agitated and agonized, looked up with wet eyes to the heaven-reaching shadow of the earth which lay upon the moon as on a profile-board. He bade farewell to the earth, it was to him itself a shadow: "Ah!" thought he, "in this lofty, flying shadow-pyramid thousands of red eyes, wounded hands and disconsolate hearts will at this moment be waiting to be buried in it, that the dead may lie still more gloomily than the living. But does not, then, this shadowy Polyphemus (with the moon for its one eye) move daily around this earth, only we do not perceive it except when it lies upon our moon?... So, too, we think, death comes not upon our earth, till it mows down our garden ... and yet not a century, but every second is his scythe...." In this way he worried and consoled himself under the veiled moon--Amandus woke up in distress; the two were alone; the moon's glimmer fell upon his sick eye; "who, then, has cut the moon in pieces," he said in the heat of the death-agony, "she is dead all but one little sliver." All at once the ceiling of the chamber and the opposite houses grew flaming-red, because the funeral torches surrounding the body of a nobleman, which they were bearing to its burial, just then moved through the silent street. "A fire! a fire!" cried the dying man and sought to spring out of bed. Gustavus would fain conceal from him how like him was the one who for the last time passed through the street down below; but Amandus, as if the agony of death were already upon him, staggered half way across the chamber in Gustavus's arms ... but ere he could see the corpse, a nervous spasm laid him dead in those arms....

Gustavus, cold as the dead man himself, bore the mortal sleeper to the deserted bed--without a tear, without a sound, without a thought, he sat down in the obscured moonlight and the flickering corpse-light--the stiff, motionless friend lay before him--Amandus had flown sooner then the moon's orb out of the earth's shadow--Gustavus looked not at the dead, but at the moon (in the thickest gloom of the hour of bereavement one looks away from the proper object to the least one in the neighborhood): Stretch onward and upward (thought he) as thou wilt, shadow of this globe of dust! over me thou still hoverest ... but him thy summit reaches not ... all suns lie bare before him ... O vanity! O vapor! shadow! wherein I still abide!...

Suddenly the flute-clock struck one and played a morning-song of the eternal morning, so uplifting, so wafted over out of meadows above the moon, so pain-stilling, that the tears in which his heart was drowned broke through on all sides the dam of sorrow and left a bed for softer, less deadly emotions ... It seemed to him, as if his body also lay untenanted beside the cold corpse, and his soul flew, on the broad luminous way which ran through all suns, after the soul that had hastened on before.... he saw it speeding forward ... he saw clearly through the haze of the few years that lay between it and himself....

And with his soul in his face he repaired from the death-chamber to the apartment of his father and said with earthly sadness in his eye and heavenly radiance in his countenance: "Our friend has fought out his last fight during the eclipse of the moon and is up yonder."

Ah, his life in his worm-eaten body was itself, indeed, a true total eclipse; his exit out of life was the exit from the earth's shadow and his tarry in the shadow was but short.

No persuasion could keep Gustavus in the house of mourning. When the heart finds the body itself too confining, the four walls of a room will be so too. He went to Marienhof. Beneath the blue arch hung with crystallized sun-drops, and beneath the struggling moon, who, like him, came out glowing-red from her overshadowing, thoughts met him, which are as far exalted above human colors as they are above the earth. Whoso in such hours does not feel the baldness of this life and the necessity of a second so vividly that the need becomes a firm hope--with such let no one dispute about the highest things in our low life.

Amidst the confusion of the death-day, which else would have driven him to an utterly dark solitude, he still went to Marienhof; the departed one had begged him to bring it about that he might secure winter quarters for his bones on the hermitage-mountain, which he had so often ascended, and whose phenomena are well known to us. Gustavus hoped easily to obtain permission from the Resident Lady; all the more so, as she visited, and that but seldom, only certain parts of the Still Land. Oefel, however,--on the morrow, when in his presence the petition was presented--spoke in precisely the opposite tone, and said, if she were concerned about the park and its architectural graces, she must certainly be glad to have some actual burial there, because the best English gardens were so very deficient in dead bodies and real mausoleums, that they had mere cenotaphs and sham mausoleums. Oefel offered to design some decorations for the monument in a style which would suit the gout of the Court. Gustavus was simply in too tender a mood to-day to make a beginning of despising him. How very differently did the Resident Lady listen to his petition and his subdued voice, although he labored to give no sign of his sorrow! How sympathetically--with a look as of one who softly laid a rose in the dead man's hand--did she bestow upon the latter a little piece of ground for an anchorage! How sweetly did her full eyes accompany the gift with the gift out of her tender heart; and when another's grief gave back the victory to his own, with what sweet solace--never is woman's voice sweeter than in consoling--did she combat him. He felt here vividly the distinction between friendship and love; and he gave her the formerly entirely. He was glad not to find there the object of the latter, because he shrank from the embarrassment of the first glances. Beata lay sick.

He shut himself up; he opened his breast to that grief which does not pierce it with beneficent, bleeding wounds, but gives it dull blows--that grief, namely, which is our guest in the interval between the day of death and that of burial. This latter was a Sunday; the one when I sadly filled out my section with nothing but Ottomar's letter, and when I so mournfully closed. I did it exactly at the hour when the pale sleeper was borne from his little death bed to the great bed where all must lie, as the mother carries the children who have fallen asleep on benches to the larger resting-place. On Sunday Gustavus fled with veiled senses from the palace, where the noisy state-carriages and servants seemed as if they passed over his heart. He felt for the first time that he was a stranger on the earth; the sunlight seemed to him to be the twilight of a greater moon woven into our night. Although he could now no more on this earth either come near to the friend who was snatched away, or yet tear himself away from him, nevertheless his sorrow said it would be a consolation if it should embrace, though not the body, not the coffin, yet the bed of the grave which covered this seed of a fairer soil; and he therefore stationed himself on a distant hill, in order to see whether there were yet people on the hermitage-mountain.

His eye met the very greatest sorrow which this evening had for him here below; the white coffin was lifted out, gleaming through the dusk of evening. A rose dropping to pieces, a perforated chrysalis, a butterfly spreading his wings, who had, as caterpillar, just gnawed through it, were painted on the coffin-chrysalis and were lowered with their two archetypes into the earth; the childless father stood leaning his hand and head against the pyramid and heard behind his veiled eyes every clod of earth as if it were the flight of a downward piercing arrow--the cold night-wind came over to Gustavus from the mountain of the dead--birds of passage hurried away over his head like black specks, led by natural instinct, not by geographical knowledge, through cold clouds and nights to a warmer sun--the moon worked her way up out of a bloody sea of vapors, shorn of her rays. At last the living left the mountain and the dead man; Gustavus alone remained with him on the other hill; the night stretched its heavy pall over both.... Enough!

Spare me this grave-digger's scene! You know not what autumnal remembrances, in connection with it, make my blood creep as funereally slow as my pen. Ah! besides, I write into this story a leaf, a leaf of sorrow, whose broad, black border hardly leaves for lines and lamentations blotted with tears a narrow strip of white--this scene also I spare you, for I also know not, ye readers with the tenderer heart, whom ye have already lost; I know not what dear departed form, whose grave is already sunk as deep as itself, I may not, like a dream, raise up on its burial place and show anew to your tearful eyes, and of how many dead a single grave may be the reminder.

Vanished Amandus! in the vast army, which from century to century life sends to meet the last enemy, thou, too, didst march a few steps; often and early did he wound thee; thy comrades laid earth upon thy great wounds and on thy face,--they continue their warfare; in the heat of the conflict they will forget thee more and more from year to year--tears will come into their eyes, but none any longer for thee, but for them who are yet to die and be buried--and when thy lily-white mummy has crumbled to pieces, none will think of thee any longer; only the dream-genius will still gather up thy pastel-figure out of the earth into which it is incorporated, and will adorn with it, in the gray head of thy aged Gustavus, the meadows of his youth that repose behind the past years, and which, like the planet Venus, are the morning star in the heaven of life's morning and the evening star in the sky of life's evening, and glitter and tremble and replace the sun.... I would not say to thy soul's sheath, the corpse: Amandus! lie softly. Thou didst not lie softly in it; oh! even now I still pity thy immortal soul, that it had to live more in its narrow nerve-wrappage than in the wide building of the universe, that it could not lift its noble glance to sun-globes, but had to stoop to its tormenting blood-globules, and seldomer feel its emotions stirred by the grand harmony of the macrocosm, than by the discords of its own macrocosm! The chain of necessity cut into thee deeply; not merely its drag, but also its pressure, left upon thee scars.... So miserable is the living! How can the dead desire to be remembered by the living man when already even the very speaking of him makes the heart sink within us....

When Gustavus was at home again he wrote a letter to the Doctor; the agonizing grief, wherein the latter had stood leaning and holding on to the pyramid, affected him unspeakably; and in the letter he fell upon this wounded and shattered breast and aggravated its pangs by his love-pressure, as he begged him to accept him as his son and to be his paternal friend.

Let the high tide of sorrow be Gustavus's excuse that he, who had hitherto always concealed the paroxysms of his sensibilities for the good of another, now let them break out at another's expense. His grief went so far, that he desired of the father the every-day coat and hat of the deceased instead of his full-length picture; he felt, as I do, that one's every-day clothes are the best profiles, plaster-casts and crayon likenesses of a man whom one has loved and who has gone out of them and out of the body. The Doctor's answer runs thus:

* * * * *

"I have often leaned against the cushion of my medical carriage and represented and prefigured to myself, when I should one day have gray eyebrows and gray hair, or none at all; when all seasons should appear to me to grow shorter and all nights longer and longer, which is a symptom of the approach of the longest--if, then, I should go out in the first days of spring into the Still Land, to sun my cold, interpolated body--and I should then see in the outer world the clinging, forth-putting buds, beneath which lies a whole summer, and feel within me the eternal leaf-dropping and drooping, which no earthly spring can cure--then when I should still remember my own youth, my promenades and gallopades around Scheerau, and those in Pavia, and the people who went with me--then when I naturally looked round after those who might still be left standing as lofty ruins of the fallen temple of my youth--and then when, as I turned about to see, whether out of woods, across meadows, down from mountains, on so fair a day, no one would come to meet me, the thought should come upon me like a heart-beat, that in all the four corners of the world, toward which my sight was directed, lay church-yards and churches, in which they, who should now console and companion me, were lying under the opaque earth-crust and its flower-work, hid and imprisoned, with their arms laid straight by their side, and that I alone remained in this upper world and here in the spring-time carried round the autumn in my breast:--then I should not go at all into the Still Land, but go home all lonely and shut myself up and lay my head and bury my eyes on my arm, and wish my heart would break, as had those of my dear ones; I mean, I should wish it were all over. Then, beloved son, beloved friend, (thou who, as the youngest of my friends, wilt long survive me), then will thy form come before my sated and weary eyes; then will I wipe them dry and remind myself of all the past, and thy hand shall still conduct me into the Still Land. I shall enjoy the earthly spring so long as I can see it, and with a pressure of the hand I shall say to thy face: It does my heart good to-day, that I many years ago adopted thee as a son....

"To-morrow I will come to take my friend with me on a journey for some days to come, that we may go out of the way of those that are past."--The next morning it was done.


Consumption.--Funeral Sermon in the Church of the Still Land.--Ottomar.

It were perhaps even better for me, if I should endeavor to overtake the two travelers less with the pen than on foot. The reading world can now feast and junket on my things, while I await, with a cough, the Easter fair, because while at work upon these things as I sat crooked up at the writing-desk, I have written a fine, full-formed hectic case into the two lobes of my lungs. Not one of the whole public says to me, Thank you! that I have by thought and emotion deprived myself of my healthy breathing and my sedes: almost everything about me is shut up, and by reason of the double blockade little can in either of two opposite directions pass through me. I trudge along behind the plough-shares of the Auenthalers, in order to inhale the steam of the furrows, as the best British hectic patients do,[73] as a remedy for my air-stoppage and other stoppages. Nevertheless the simple public, in whose service I have made myself so miserable, would laugh at me if they should see me stalking like a crow after the ploughing oxen. Is that justice?--Must I not besides sleep all night between the arms of two poodles, whom I propose to infect with my consumption, like a married man of rank? But am I then, when I have by morning-and-evening-presents endowed the two bedfellows with my malady, myself rid of the malum, or does not rather M. Nadan de la Richebaudiere tell me I must buy and infect new dogs, because half a canine menagerie is needed as the lighter of a single man? In this way I may spend my whole pay upon mere dogs. I will even worry down the injury which my honesty suffers in the matter, because I must show myself as friendly toward the poor sucking dogs, whose lungs I propose to lame and cripple, as great folks do toward the victims of their salvation.

Meanwhile this is still the most annoying scandal, that I am at this present in a--cow-barn: for this (according to modern Swedish books) is said to furnish a dispensary and seaport against short breath. Mine has not yet, however, shown a disposition to grow longer, though I have been sitting here for three Trinities and given the world three long sections (as if so many Joseph's-children) at the birthplace of much stupider beings. One must himself have labored at such a place for consumption's sake in the juristic or æsthetic departments (and I am both belles-lettrist and counsellor at law) to know from experience, that there, oftentimes, the most tolerable ideas have much stronger voices against them than those of the literary and legal judges, and are thereby consigned to the devil.

While Fenk and Gustavus were working off in their journey more sorrow than money, although they did not stay away so long as all my filed papers, Oefel also went on, namely in his romantic Grand Sultan, and painted in with the greatest delight the affliction of his friend. Oefel thanked God for every misfortune, which would go into a verse, and he wished that, in order to the flourishing of polite literature, pestilence, famine and other horrors occurred oftener in Nature, so that the poet might work after these models, and thereby secure a greater illusion, as already the painters, who would paint beheaded people or blown up vessels, have had the archetypes fly to their assistance. As it was, however, he often had to be, for want of Academies, his own Academy, and was once compelled, for a whole day, to have virtuous emotions, because the like were to be depicted in his work--nay, often, he was compelled, for the sake of a single chapter, to go several times into B----, [Baireuth] which annoyed him exceedingly.

With other people also it fares just so; the object of knowledge remains no longer an object of feeling. The injuries under which the man of honor overflows and boils, are to the jurist a proof, a gloss, an illustration for the Pandect-title of injuries. The hospital physician calmly repeats, at the bedside of the patient over whom the flames of fever are raging and roaring, the few clippings from his clinic which may suit the case. The officer who, on the battle-field--the butcher's-block of humanity--strides away over mangled men, is thinking only of the evolutions and quarter-wheelings of his school of cadets, who were needed to cut out whole generations into physiognomic fragments. The battle-painter, who goes behind him, thinks and looks, indeed, upon the mangled men and upon every wound exposed to view there; but he is bent upon copying all for the Dusseldorf gallery, and the purely human feeling of this misery he only awakens by and by, through his battle-piece, in others and perhaps also in--himself. Thus does every kind of science spread a stony crust over our hearts, not the philosophic alone.

Beata almost sacrificed her eyes to the intense interest which she felt in no one else (as she thought) than the one who had gone hence. Her heavy looks were often turned toward the hermitage-mountain; at evening she herself visited it, and brought to the sleeper the last offering which friendship has then to give, in overmeasure. Thus, then, do the fangs of misfortune strike into tender hearts the most deeply; thus are the tears which man sheds so much the greater and swifter the less the earth can give him and the higher he stands above it, as the cloud which hangs higher than others over the earth, sends down the biggest drops. Nothing raised Beata up but the redoubling of the alms which she gave certain poor people weekly or after every pleasure, and her solitary intercourse with the Resident Lady, with her Laura and the two children of the gardener.

The two travelers were better off. As Doctor Fenk visited, ex-officio, the government physicians, who made medicines, together with the apothecaries, who employed reprisals and made receipts, he fortunately was so often vexed that he had no convenient season for indulging grief; in this way government physicians, who were always in the country (except just when epidemics happened to be prevalent), and midwives, who in extreme baptism still better provide for the regeneration of young non-Christians than for their birth, and whom Pharaoh ought to have had,--these two classes brought the afflicted Pestilentiary in some measure upon his legs again. Anger is so grand a purgative of sorrow, that legal persons, who seal and inventory for widows and orphans, cannot vex them enough; hence I shall hereafter leave by will to my heirs, whom my death will too sorely afflict, nothing but the remedy for that affliction--exasperation at the deceased!

At last the two came back with mutually opposite emotions, and their way led them by the resting-place, the manor of Ottomar and near the orphaned temple of the park. The temple, however, was lighted; it was far into the night. Around the temple hung a buzzing bee-swarm of hunting-dresses, in which were encased half the Court. Fenk and Gustavus elbowed their way therefore through greater and greater personages and horses, swept like comets by one star after another, and into the church: therein were one or two unexpected things--the Prince and a dead body--for the fighting thing behind at the altar was nothing unexpected, but the parson. Gustavus and Fenk had ensconced themselves in the confessional. Gustavus could hardly tear his eye away from the Prince, who, with that look of noble indifference which is seldom wanting in people of ton or from large cities and funeral-bidders, glanced far over the dead man--the Prince had that heart peculiar to the great folk, which is a petrifaction in the good sense, and is with them the first among their solid parts, and which betrays in the finest manner that they hold to the immortality of the soul, and that when they have one of their own connection buried, they are not at home--[are out of their element.]

All at once the Doctor laid his head upon the cushion of the confessional and covered his face; he stood up again and gazed with an eye which he could not keep dry, toward the uncovered corpse and sought in vain to see. Gustavus also looked that way and the form was known to him, but not the name, which he vainly asked of the speechless Doctor--at last the funeral preacher named the name. I need not, as if for the first time, say in double-black-letter, that the dead man on whom just now so many hard eyes and a pair of disconsolate ones rested, looked just like the Player Reinecke, whose noble figure also the heavy grave-stone crushes into confusion. I need not repeat after the pastor the name of Ottomar. The poor Doctor seemed for some time to have been determined that the anguish of his nerves should resolve itself into a nervous preparation, and was practising in that direction. Singularly enough, Gustavus took no interest in the dead, but only in the mourning friend.

The good Medical Counsellor shut to with a violent slam the hymn-book which lay in his hands; he heard not when the Prince, (who had been there only three minutes) rode away to get the death-certificate, but every word of the pastor he caught, for the sake of learning something of the history of his friend's last sickness; but he learned nothing except the cause of his death (burning fever). At last all was over, and he walked mutely and with staring eyes in between the funeral torches and up to the bier, shoved aside with his left hand without look or sound whatever might hinder him, and clutched at the sleeper's with his right. When at last he once held in his grasp the hand which Alps and years had torn from his, without however being any nearer to him for whom he had so long yearned, and without the joy of reunion, then did his anguish grow dense and dark, and spread heavily and formlessly over his whole soul. But when he found again on that hand two warts, which he had so often felt in grasping it, then did his sorrow assume the veiled form of the past; Milan passed before him with the bloom of its vineyards and the summits of its chestnut-trees and the lovely days spent among both, and looked mournfully on the two men, to whom nothing was left. And now he would have fallen with his two streaming eyes on the two that were dry, if the undertaker had not said: "One does not like to do that, it is not well." A lock was all the grave gave back of the whole friend of whom it had robbed him, a lock which for the eye is so little and for the touch of the finger so much. He tenderly laid down again the hand which had so sadly closed the last letter, upon the untouched one and took a last leave of his Ottomar for this world.

He had not observed that the dead man's Pomeranian dog and two tonsured strangers were there, one of whom had six fingers.--Once out of the church and on the road, one branch of which ran toward the palace of Ottomar and the other around the hermitage-mountain, Gustavus and Fenk looked upon each other with a mute, inconsolable inquiry--they answered each other by a leave-taking. The Doctor turned about and continued his journey--Gustavus went into the park and there at the foot of hermitage-mountain, reflected upon the fate--not of his friend, nor his own, but--that of all men....

And when am I writing this? On this 16th day of November, which is the baptismal day of the encoffined Ottomar.


Great Aloe-blooming of Love; or, the Grave.--The Dream.--The Organ.--Together with my Apoplectic Attack, Fur-boots and Ice-liripipium.[74]

In the soul of Gustavus the highest lights passed slowly over from the friend's image to that of the beloved. Now, for the first time, did her face, which at the death-bed had beamed eternal rays upon him, come forth out of the cypress-shadow. The solitary pyramid stood sublimely, as angel-watcher beside the buried one. He climbed the hill with still sad, but softened feelings; he had now, indeed, the indescribably sweet consolation of never having harmed the man lying under the ground there, and having often forgiven him; he wished Amandus had still oftener given occasion for his forgiveness; even this wrapped his wounded bosom in warm solace, that he at this moment so loved, so lamented him, unseen, unrequited.

At the summit he still trod upon some thorns of anguish, which make one cry out aloud; but soon, on the bridge of light, which ran from a lamp out of Beata's chamber across the garden over to the mountain, his yearning eyes flew like other butterflies toward her bright windows. He saw nothing except now the light and now a head which eclipsed it; but this head he dressed up within his far more beautifully than any woman does her own. He lay and leaned, half-kneeling and half-standing, with his eyes turned toward the long stream of light, on the pedestal of the pyramid. Weariness and sleepless nights had filled his tear-glands with those oppressive and yet enrapturing tears, which often without occasion and so bitterly and so sweetly stream out shortly before sickness or after exhaustion.--The same causes spread between him and the outer world the semblance of a dark misty day or yellow fog; his inner world on the contrary grew, without effort of his own, from a pen-and-ink-sketch to a glistening oil-painting, then to a mosaic, at last to an alto relievo.--Worlds and scenes moved up and down before him--at last dream shut up the whole outer world of sight with his eye-lids, and opened behind them a new-created paradisiacal one; like a dead man lay his slumbering body beside a grave-mound and his spirit in a heavenly meadow stretching over the whole abyss. I will presently relate the dream and its end, when I have shown the reader the person by whom the dream was at once prolonged and ended.

Namely Beata--she came. She could not know either of his return or of his last station. The recentness of the funeral-ceremonies for Ottomar, the withdrawal of Gustavus, whose image since that last scene had been impressed so deeply upon and almost through her heart, and the retiring of Summer, who daily rolled up her many-colored blooming picture some inches further,--all this had compressed itself in Beata's bosom to an oppressive sigh, which the noisy hunting-seat with its close atmosphere painfully confined, and with which she sought purer spheres of ether, in order to breathe it out upon a grave, and therefrom to breathe-in material for now ones. Enthusiastic heart! with thy feverish throbbings thou dost, indeed, send thy blood coursing in too torrent-like a circle and with thy gushing washest away shores, flowers and lives; but surely thy fault is fairer than if, with phlegmatic movement, thou shouldest, out of the stagnant water of the blood, cast up only a residuum of fatty slime!

The night-walker was startled when she saw the fair sleeper; she had not in all the garden, through which in these still minutes she had been roving, anticipated or found anyone. He lay, as he had sunk softly down, upon one knee; his pale face was irradiated by a lovely dream, by the rising moon and by Beata's eye. It did not occur to her that he was perhaps only feigning slumber; with trembling she therefore drew half a step nearer, in order, in the first place, to be certain who it was, and, secondly, to let her eye rest full upon the form, at which she had hitherto only ventured a side glance. During the gaze she could not properly tell just when she should end it. At last she turned her back upon her paradise, after she had once more stepped quite up to him; but while slowly walking backward it occurred to her (without alarm). "He surely cannot be actually dead." She therefore turned back again and heard his increasing respirations. Near him lay two small sharp stones about as large as my inkstand. She bent down twice close by him (she would not do it at once, or even with her foot) in order to remove them, that he might not fall upon their points....

Really I should have filled an alphabet, or twenty-three sheets, with this scene; fortunately it does not properly go on, until he awakes, and the reader is to-day the happiest of men....

By this time she had already, as a veteran, become more familiar with the danger, and was so sure he would not wake that she ceased to fear it, and almost began to wish it, for it occurred to her "the night-air might be injurious to him." It further occurred to her how sublime a thing it was that the two friends should so rest side by side; and her blue eye relieved itself of a dewdrop, as to which I know not whether it fell for the heart that beat above the ground or the one that lay motionless beneath it. At last she made serious arrangements to withdraw, in order, upon the whole, at a distance to awaken him by a rustling, and in order to indulge her emotions without fear of his waking. She would merely just pass by him (for she stood four and a half paces distant), because she must go down on the other side of the mountain (unless she chose the reverse). His smiles betrayed even increasing raptures, and she was, of course, curious to observe how the play of his features would end, but she must needs leave the smiling dreamer. When, therefore, she had approached two hesitating steps nearer to him, in order to withdraw to a distance of several, all at once the organ of the solitary church of the resting-place where Ottomar had to-day been buried, began to sound in the middle of the night so solemnly and sadly, as if Death were playing it; and the countenance of Gustavus became suddenly transfigured by the reflection of an inner Elysium, and he stood erect with closed eyes, snatched the hand of the motionless Beata, and said to her in the intoxication of drowsiness: "O take me wholly, blessed soul! Now I have thee, beloved Beata; I, too, am dead!"

The dream, which expired with these words, had been this: He sank away into an immense meadow, which extended away over fair earths placed one after another. A rainbow of suns, which had been strung in the manner of a pearl-necklace, encircled the earths and revolved around them. The circle of suns, going down, sank to the horizon and on the rim of the great round landscape stood a girdle of brilliants, composed of a thousand red suns, and the loving heaven had opened a thousand mild eyes.--Groves and alleys of giant flowers, as tall as trees, intersected the meadow in transparent zig-zag; the high-stemmed rose flung over it a gold-red shadow, the hyacinth a blue one, and the mingling shadows of all tinged it with a silver-hue. A magic evening glimmer hovered over the landscape like a flush of gladness between the shores of shadow and the stems of the flowers, and Gustavus felt that this was the evening of eternity and the rapture of eternity.--Blessed souls, far away from him and nearer the receding suns, plunged in the commingling evening rays, and a muffled murmur of joy hung in dying cadence, like an evening bell, over the heavenly Arcadia;--Gustavus alone lay forsaken in the silvery shadow of the flowers, with an endless yearning, but none of the exulting souls came over to him. At last two bodies in the air dissolved into a thin evening cloud and the falling cloud revealed two spirits, Beata and Amandus--the latter would fain lead the former into the arms of Gustavus, but could not gain an entrance into the silver shadow--Gustavus would fain fall into her arms, but could not extricate himself from the silver shadow--"Ah, it is only that thou art not yet dead;" (cried the soul of Gustavus) "but when the last sun is gone down, then will thy silver shadow float over all and thy earth will flutter away from thee, and thou will sink on the bosom of thy friend,"--one sun after another dissolved--Beata spread down her arms--the last sun sank from view--an organ-peal that might have shaken the worlds and their coffins to atoms, rang down like a flying heaven and by its far-reaching tremor loosed from him the fibrous wrappage and over the outspread silver-shadow floated a rapture which bore him upward and he took--the actual hand of Beata and said to her while he woke and still dreamed and saw not, these words: "O take me wholly, blessed soul; I have thee now, beloved Beata; I, too, am dead!" He held her hand as fast as the good man does virtue. Her endeavors to tear herself away drew him at last out of his Eden and his dream; his blessed eyes opened and exchanged heavens; before him stood sublimely the white ground flooded with moonlight, and the park-lawn and the thousand suns diminished to stars, and the beloved soul which until the setting of all the suns he could not reach.--Gustavus must needs think that the dream had passed over out of his sleep into real life, and that he had not slept; his spirit could neither move nor unite the great precipitous ideas before him. "What world are we in?" he said to Beata, but in an exalted tone, which almost answered the question. His hand had clung so that it almost grew to her struggling one. "You are still in a dream," said she softly, and trembling. This you and the voice thrust his dream at once away from the present into the background; but the dream had made the form which contended with his hand more dear and familiar to him, and the dreamed dialogue acted in him like a real one, and his spirit was a still vibrating chord into which an angel had struck his rapturous emotion--and now when, in the deserted temple over yonder, the organ by a fresh peal raised the scene above the earthly ground, on which the two souls now were; when Beata's position swayed to and fro, her lip quivered, her eye gave way--then again it seemed to him, as if the dream were true, as if the mighty tones drew him and her from the earth into the land of the embrace, his being reached on every side its limits: "Beata," he said to the lovely form dying away under conflicting emotions, "Beata, we are dying now--and when we are dead, I will tell thee my love and embrace thee--the dead man beside us has appeared to me in a dream and has again given me his hand...." She would fain have sunk down upon the grave--but he held up the falling angel in his arms--he let her head which had sunk to slumber fall under his and beneath her motionless heart glowed the throbs of his--it was a sublime moment, when, with his arm folded around a slumbering blessedness, he looked out alone upon the sleeping night of earth, was the sole listener to the organ, the only voice in the solitude, was the sole watcher in the circle of sleep....

The sublime moment passed, the most blissful began; Beata raised her head and showed to Gustavus and to heaven upon her backward bent face the wandering and wept-out eye, the exhausted soul, the transfigured features and all that Love and Virtue and Beauty can compress into one heaven on this earth.... Then came on the supernal moment, descending through thousand heavens upon the earth, in which the human heart lifts itself to the highest love and beats for two souls and two worlds--that moment united forever the lips on which all earthly words were extinguished, the hearts which wrestled with the oppressive rapture, the kindred souls which like two lofty flames pulsated into each other....

--Ask not of me any landscape picture of the blooming worlds they passed over, at a moment which hardly our feelings, not to say words, can grasp. I could as well give a silhouette of the sun.--After that moment Beata, whose body already collapsed under a great tear as a flowret under a rain-drop, sought to seat herself upon the grave; she softly waved him off from her with one hand, while she resigned to him the other. In this situation he opened to her his large soul, and told her all, his history and his dream and his conflicts. Never was a man more sincere in the hour of his fortune than he; never was love more coy after the moment of embrace than here with Beata, the oil of joy floated, as ever, thinly upon the water of tears; a coming sorrow stood before her and looked upon her with steady, dry eyes, but no remembered one nor any coming joy. She had now hardly the courage to speak, hardly the courage to recollect herself, hardly the courage to be enraptured. To him she only lifted up her shy glance, when the moon, that climbed up over a broken stairway of clouds stood overshadowed behind a little white cloudlet. But when a thicker cloud buried the lunar torch, then the two ended the loveliest day of their life, and in their parting they felt that there was for them no more parting forever.

Alone in her chamber, Beata could not think, nor feel, nor remember; she experienced what are tears of joy; she let them stream down, and when at length she would fain stay them, she could not, and when sleep came to close her eyes, they still lay glistening under heavenly drops....

Ye innocent souls, to you I can better say than to the dead one: sleep softly! We generally, that is I and the reader, take very little pleasure in the bravura and stilted parts of lovers in romances, because either the one party is not worthy to enjoy such rain-torrents of the light of joy, or the other to occasion them; but here we have neither of us anything to object.... If heaven would only, grant, ye loving ones, that your lame biographer could make his pen a Blanchard's wing and transport you thereby out of the mine-chambers and mine-damps of the court to some free poplar-island or other, whether in the Mediterranean or the Southern Seas!--As, however, I cannot do it, I nevertheless imagine it, and as often as I go to Auenthal or Scheerau, I picture it out to myself how much I should bestow upon you, if in that poplar or rose-vale, which I had set in water, you could, far from the German winter, amidst eternal blossoms, far from the cutting faces of the moral manufacturers, without any more dangerous murmur than that of the brooks, without any higher complications than those of intertangled flower bushes, or any influence of harder stars than the peaceful ones in heaven,--that you might draw breath in guiltless joy and peace--not, indeed, forever, but at least through the one or two flower-months of your first love.

But this is hard for mortals, and least of all am I the man for that. Such a bliss is hard to attain and for that very reason hard to keep. Rather let it be permitted here to bring forward a word upon the happiness of an authorial invalid, who, to be sure, would fain have one of his own also and who is the very describer of the foregoing felicity, I mean namely, a word about my own sick personality. From the cow barn I have come out again and of my lung complaint am happily cured; only symptoms of apoplexy have since set in, and it threatens to slay me like a mole, just when, as the latter does his hill, so I too am upheaving the Babel-tower of my literary fame. Fortunately I dabble a little just now in Haller's greater and lesser Physiology and in Nicolai's Materia Medica and in all the medical works of which I can get the loan, and can therefore keep up against the apoplexy a brisk fire of musketry (or cartridge-fire). The fire I make at my feet, by putting my long leg into a fur-boot as a purgatory and the shrunken one into a little laced boot. I have the oldest moon-doctors and Pestilentiaries on my side, in the idea, that I can like a Democrat, by these boots--and a broad mustard-plaster, wherewith, like sundry literati, I sole my feet--drive down the materia peccans out of the upper parts into the lower. Nevertheless I go farther, if I freeze. Namely: I scrape out and notch for myself a cap of ice[75] and think under the frozen night-cap; accordingly it can be no wonder if the apoplexy and its half-sister, the hemiplexy--attacking me throughout from above and below, at one pole through the hot sock of the foot, at the other through the icy knob or frozen martyr's-crown--should go back to where it came from, and give me to the earth, of which the one pole in like manner below has summer, while the other above has winter.... But let the reader for once turn from good books a philanthropic eye upon us, their authors. We authors make great exertions and produce catechisms, primers, funeral sermons upon murderers, periodicals or menstrua, extracts, and other confounded enlightening stuff; but in doing it we worry and wear away our worm-bags terribly--and yet no poor devil has a decent word for us. Thus I and the whole scribbling fraternity stand erect there and shoot off with gusto long rays across a whole hemisphere (for more than that, of worlds and other globes, cannot be illuminated at once,) and all America is lost to our keels (or quills) and all the while, nevertheless, we resemble the early Christians, by whom the light, wherewith they, shrouded in tarred linen, as living pitch-pine torches, shone over Nero's gardens, was given out at the same time with their very fat and life....

"And here"--(romance manufacturers say)--"here ensued a scene, which the reader may imagine, but which I cannot describe." This appears to me too stupid. Nor can I describe it, nevertheless. Have then authors so little honesty, that, when it comes to a scene for which the readers have been long turning over the leaves ahead, e. g., a death, for which all, parents and children, have been waiting and watching as for a feudal vacancy or a hanging-day, they should then jump up from their chairs and say: do that yourselves? It is just as if Schikaneder's[76] troop, before the most heart-rending scenes of Lear, should come to the foot-lights and beseech the audience to imagine Lear's countenance, for they on their part could not imitate it. Surely what the reader can imagine, the author can also--in the full pulse of all his powers--and still more easily imagine and consequently depict; moreover the reader's fancy, into whose spokes the previous scenes have once caught and set them in motion, will easily be impelled to the swiftest by my description of the last scene--only not by the miserable one, that it is not to be described.

As to myself, on the contrary, one may be assured that I make myself equal to all emergencies. I have therefore negotiated already with my publisher at the Easter fair, to have ready several pounds extra of dashes, a pound of interrogation and exclamation points, for the setting up of the most intense scenes, because I should not in the least worry myself in this case about my apoplectic head.



The next morning there was an alarm in the palace about a matter which Dr. Fenk learned a week later in a letter from--Ottomar.

Never have I begun a section or a Sunday so sadly as to-day; my declining body and the following letter to Fenk hang on me like a mourning hat-band. I could wish I did not understand the letter.--Ah in that case never would there have entered into my life a never-to-be-forgotten November hour, which, after so many others have passed away from me, still stands before me and gazes upon me forevermore. Gloomy hour! thou stretchest out thy shadow over whole years! Thou so picturest thyself before me, that I cannot see the phosphorescing nimbus of the earth glimmer and smoke behind thee! The eighty years of man look in thy shadow like the movement of the second-hand--ah take not so much away from me!... Ottomar had this same hour after his burial and describes it to the Doctor thus:

"I have since that been buried alive. I have talked with death and he has assured me, there is nothing else than he. When I was out of my coffin, he laid in the whole earth in my place and my little mite of joy on the top of it.... Ah, good Fenk! how am I altered! since that moment all hours have stretched on before me like empty graves, that are to catch me or my friends! I heard who it was that pressed my hand once more in the coffin.... Come right soon, dear man!

"Hast thou forgotten how I always dreaded a living burial? In the midst of going to sleep I often started up, because it occurred to me I might sink into a swoon and so be buried and then the lid of the coffin would hold down my upward-struggling arms. On journeys I always threatened, when I fell sick, that if they laid me away within eight days I would appear to them and haunt them as a ghost. This fear was my fortune; else had my coffin killed me.

"Weeks ago my old malady returned upon me: the burning fever. I hastened with it to my chamber and my first word to my housekeeper--as I could not have thee--was, so soon as I was lifeless to inter me, because the air of the vault more easily awakens one, but not to fasten either coffin or tomb--besides, the solitary church in the park stands always open. I also told him in any case to let my dog who never leaves me, go with me. That very night the fever came to its crisis; but my memory breaks off at the blood-letting. All I further remember is that I shuddered a little as I saw the blood curl round my arm and that I thought: 'That is the human blood, which we hold so sacred, which cements the card-house and frame-work of our personality, and in which the invisible wheels of life and our impulses move.' This blood sprinkled after that over all the fancies of my feverish nights; the immersed universe came up out of it blood-red and all human beings together seemed to me to shed a stream of blood upon a long shore, which leaped out over the earth down into a roaring deep--thoughts, odious thoughts passed along grinning before me, such as no healthy man knows, none can represent, none can endure and which bark only at souls prostrate with sickness. Were there no Creator, I must needs have quaked before the hidden chords of agony which are stretched in man and at which a malignant being might storm. But no! thou all gracious Being! Thou holdest thy hand upon our capacity for anguish and dissolvest the earthly heart over which these chords are stretched, when they tremble too violently!...

"The conflict of my nature passed over at last into a trance, out of which so many awake only to die under the ground. In that state I was carried to the solitary church. The Prince and my dog were with me there; but the former, only, went away again. I lay, it may have been half the night, before life thrilled through me. My first thought almost rent my soul asunder. By chance the dog stepped on my face; suddenly there came in upon me a sense of suffocation as if a giant hand bent my breast, and a coffin lid seemed to stand like an upheaved wheel above me.... The very description is painful, because the possibility of recovery distresses me.... I rose out of the hexagonal brooding-cell of the next life; death lay stretched far out before me with his thousand limbs, heads and bones. I seemed to myself to be standing in a chaotic abyss and far above me the earth moved on with its living men. Life and death alike disgusted me. Upon what lay near me, even on my mother, I looked coldly and rigidly as the eye of death, when he looks a life to atoms. A round iron grating in the church wall cut out of the whole heaven nothing but the glimmering, broken disk of the moon, which hung down like a heavenly coffin-lamp upon the coffin which is called the earth. The deserted church, that former market-place of a buzzing throng, stood there, dead and undermined with dead men--the tall church windows stretched their long shadows, projected by the moon, over the latticed pews--in the sacristy stood erect the black funeral crucifix, the cross of the order of death--the swords and spears of the knights reminded one of the crumbled limbs which no longer nerved them or themselves, and the death dance of the suckling with false flowers had accompanied hither the poor suckling, whose hand death had broken off, ere it could pluck any more--stone monks and knights imitated the long silenced prayer on the wall with their weatherwasted hands--no living thing spoke in the church save the iron movement of the pendulum of the clock in the tower, and it seemed to me as if I heard how Time with heavy step strode over the world and left graves as his foot-prints.... I sat down on a step of the altar; around me lay the moonlight with fleeting, saddening cloud-shadows; my spirit stood on high: I addressed the personality which I still was: 'What art thou? what is it that sits here and recollects itself and suffers torment?--Thou, I, something--whither, then, is it gone, the colored cloud, which for thirty years has swept by over this I and which I called childhood, youth, life?' Myself drifted along through this painted mist--but I could not overtake it,--at a distance from me it seemed something solid; close upon me drizzling mist-drops or so called moments--to live them, means to drop from one moment (that mist-globule of time) into another.... If, now, I had remained dead, then would all that which I now am have been the object on account of which I was created for this luminous earth and it for me? That were the end of the scenes?--and beyond the end----? Joy is perhaps yonder--here is none, because a past joy is none, and our moments thin out that present into thousand past ones--virtue, rather, is here; it is above time. Below me all sleeps; but I shall, also; and if I still make believe thirty years longer that I am living, still they will lay me here again--this night will return again, but I shall remain in my coffin: and then?... If now I had three minutes, one for birth, one for life, one for death, for what purpose then would I have them--this is what I would say?--But all that stands between the past and the future, is a moment--we, none of us, have but three.... Great Being of beings--I began and was about to pray--Thou hast eternity.... but before the thought of Him who is nothing but present, no human soul can stand erect, but bows itself down to the earth again. 'Oh ye departed loves,' I thought, 'you could not be too great for me; appear to me! lift oft the sense of nothingness from my heart, and show me the eternal breast which I can love, which can warm me.' Just then I happened to see my poor dog who was gazing at me; and this creature so moved me with his still briefer, still duller life, that I was softened even to tears and yearned for something with which I might increase and allay them.

"That something I found in the organ over my head. I went up to it as to a thirst-quenching fountain. And when with its mighty tones I shook the nightly church and the deaf and dumb dead, and when the dust flew around me which had hitherto lain upon their mute lips then did all the transitory beings that I had loved, with their transitory scenes, pass along before me; thou camest, and Milan, and the Still Land; I related to them in organ tones what had become a bare narration, I loved them all once more in their fleeting life, and would fain for love have died upon their bosoms and pressed my soul into their hands--but my hand pressed only wooden keys. I struck out fewer and fewer tones, which circled around me like a magnetic whirlpool--at last I laid the choral book upon a low tone and continued to press the bellows in order not to have to endure the mute interval between the tones--there streamed forth a humming sound, as if it were pursuing the wings of time--it bore all my memories and hopes, on its waves floated my throbbing heart.... As far back as I can remember a continued tremulous tone has always made me sad.

"I left my place of resurrection and looked toward the white pyramid of the hermitage-mountain, where nothing rose again and where life more soundly slept; the pyramid stood steeped in the moon-light and a long cloud-shadow traveled on with me.

"Leaves and trees were bent by the touch of autumn; over the prickly stubbles of the pastures the flowers danced no longer, it had perished in the mouths of the cattle; the snail encoffined itself in its house and bed with spittle; and when in the morning the earth turned round with full-blooded flecked clouds, toward the faint sun, I felt that I had no longer my former glad earth, but that I had left it forever in the sepulchre, and the people whom I found again seemed to me corpses, which Death had lent the upper world, and which Life set up and shoved along, in order to act with these figures in Europe, Asia, Africa and America....

"So I still think. And so long as I live, I shall carry round with me the mournful impression of this certainty, that I must die. For I have only known this within eight days; although I formerly gave myself very great credit for my sensibility at death-beds, theatres and funeral sermons. The child has no conception of death; every minute of his sportive existence interposes its dazzling light between him and his little grave. Busy men and pleasurelings comprehend it quite as little, and it is incomprehensible with what coldness thousands of people can say, life is short. It is incomprehensible, that one should not be able to get the benumbed multitude, whose talk is an articulate snoring, to lift up their heavy eyelids when one demands of them. Pray look through thy two or three years of life to the bed wherein thou art to lie--see thyself with the heavy hanging dead hand, with the mountainous sick face, with the white marble eye, let thy ear draw over into the present hour the jangling fancies of the last night--that great night which is ever stalking on to meet thee, and which every hour comes an hour nearer, and beneath which thou, the ephemeron, whether thou now hoverest round in the gleam of the evening sun or in the glow of the evening twilight, wilt certainly be crushed. But the two eternities tower up on both sides of our earth, and we creep and grub on in our deep narrow pass, stupid, blind, deaf, chewing, wriggling, without seeing any greater path than that which we plough with our chafer-heads into one ball of dirt.

"But since that there is also an end of my plans; one can complete nothing here below. Life is so small a thing to me, that it is almost the least thing I can sacrifice for a fatherland; I am merely moving on with a greater or lesser retinue of years toward the grave-yard. But with joy it is all over, as well; my rigid hand, which death has once touched like an electric eel, too easily rubs the butterfly dust from its four wings, and I merely let it flutter round me without seizing it. Only misfortune and occupation are opaque enough to shut out the future; and you shall be welcome to my house, especially if you come out from another, where the landlord would rather take in joy.--Oh! ye poor pale images made out of earthly colors, ye human creatures, I have now a redoubled love and toleration for ye; for what power but love raises us up again through the feeling of immortality out of the ashes of death? Who would make your two December days, which you call eighty years, still colder and shorter? Ah! we are only trembling shadows! and yet will one shadow tear another to pieces?

"Now I understand why a man, a king, in his latter days, goes into a cloister; what would he do at a court or on 'change, when the world of sense recedes from him and all looks like a great outstretched veil, while only the upper world, the world to come, hangs with its rays down into this blackness. Thus does the sky when one beholds from high mountains, lay aside its blue and become black, because the former is not its own color, but that of our atmosphere; but the sun is then stamped upon this night like a burning seal and keeps on blazing.

"I have just looked up to the starry heaven; but it no longer illumines my soul as once; its suns and planets wither just as this one does into which I crumble. Whether a minute insert its mite's tooth, or a millenium its shark's-tooth into a world, is all one, it is crushed in either case. Not merely the earth is vanity, but all which flies beside it through the heavens and is distinguished from it only in size. And thou thyself, fair sun, thou that like a mother, when her child says good-night, regardest us so tenderly, when the earth carries us away and draws the curtain of night around our beds, thou too shalt sink at last into thy night, into thy bed, and shalt need a sun to give thee rays!

"It is singular, therefore, that one should make higher stars or indeed planets and their daughter-lands to be the flower-pots, into which Death is to plant us, somewhat as the American hopes after death to go to Europe.[77] The European would reciprocate his delusion and hold America to be the Walhalla of the departed, if our second hemisphere, instead of being only one thousand miles[78] off, hung at a distance of sixty thousand, as that of the moon notoriously does. Oh my spirit craves something different from a warmed-over, newly laid-out earth, a different satisfaction from what grows on any dung-heap or fire-mound of the heavens, a longer life than a crumbling planet bears upon it; but I have no conception of it at all....

"Only come right down to my head from which thou hast taken the lock; so long as I live shall that side, on which thou hast committed the Rape of the Lock, in memory of what I was and am to be, remain undressed, etc."


Poetizing geniuses are in youth renegades and persecutors of taste, but afterward its proselytes and apostles, and age grinds down the distorting microscopic and macroscopic concave mirror to a flat one which merely duplicates nature, while painting it. Thus will the practical and passive geniuses from being enemies of principles and stormers of virtue, become greater friends of both than faultless people can ever be. Ottomar will one day surpass those who now may censure him. For the rest, I shall not in the sequel of this multo-biography treat him knavishly, but honorably, although he does not expect it; for before his journey, when I sometimes found myself in the hot focus of his faults, we fell out a little with each other. Since then he thinks I heartily hate him; but I think I heartily love him, only, like a hundred others, I take a peculiar pleasure in cherishing a secret and suffering love.


Days of Love.--Oefel's Love.--Ottomar's Palace and the Wax-figures.

I hasten to dip my pen again to-day into my biographic inkstand, because I shall now soon come up against the present moment with my building operations--by Christmas I hope to reach it;--furthermore because to-day is St. Andrew's and because my landlord has, amidst the screams and shouts of his children, installed a birch-tree in the sitting-room and in an old pot, that it may bear on Christmas eve the silver fruit which will be tied to it. In the presence of such things I forget court-days and law-terms.

Gustavus awoke, on the morning after the declaration of love, not from his sleep--for into that, after such a royal-shot in human life, only a human badger or badgeress could fall--but from the ring and roar of joy in his ears. Raptures danced a reel around his inner eye, and his consciousness was hardly equal to his enjoyment. What a morning! Never did the earth come before him in such bridal finery. Everything pleased him, even Oefel, even Oefel's bragging about Beata's love. Fate had to-day--except the loss of his love--no poisonous dart, no festering splinter, which he would not indifferently have received into his utterly blissful and tightly strung breast. Thus, oftentimes, is the extreme of warmth replaced by the extreme of coldness or apathy; and under the diving-bell of an intense idea--be it a fixed idea or a passionate or a scientific one--we stand panoplied against the whole outer ocean.

With Beata it fared just so. This soft still-vibrating joy was a second heart, which filled her veins, animated her nerves and colored her cheeks. For love--unlike other passions which assail us like earthquakes, like lightnings--stands in the soul like a still, transparent after-summer day with its whole heaven undisturbed. It gives us a foretaste of the blessedness of the poet, whose bosom a perennial, ever-blooming, singing, sparkling Paradise encircles, into which he can ascend at any moment, while his external body bears itself and the Eden over Polish filth, Dutch morasses and Siberian steppes.

Oh, ye voluptuaries in capital cities! When does the Present offer you so much as one minute of what the Past here presents my couple, whole days; you, whose hard hearts the highest fire of love, as the concave mirror does the diamond, only volatilizes, but cannot melt?

But as the red of evening twilight so floats round in the sky that it tinges the clouds of morning-redness, so on Beata's cheeks by the side of the red flush of joy stood that of shame--although no longer than until the form of the beloved, like an angel, flew through her heaven. Both longed to see each other; both dreaded to be seen by the Resident Lady; the discovery and still more the criticism of their emotions, they would gladly have avoided. There is a certain stinging glance, which dissolves and destroys soft sensibilities (as that of the sun does the little Alpine creature, the Sure;) the fairest love shuts the leaves of its flowers together before its very object, how should it stand the singeing look of a court?

The biographer, with insight, seizes this opportunity to praise in two words the marriages of great folk; for he can liken them to the innocent flowers. Like Flora's variegated children, great folk have no covering to their love--like them they marry without knowing or loving each other--like flowers they care not for their offspring--but hatch their posterity with the same sympathy with which a hatching-oven does it in Egypt. Their love is even as a flower frozen to the window which melts away in the heat. Among all chemical and physiological combinations therefore only the union of two persons in the upper classes has the advantage, that the parties who fly into a passionate fondness for each other and exchange rings diffuse a terrible chilliness; with this exception one finds the same singularity and coldness only in the union of mineral alkalies with nitric acid and M. de Morveau says with simplicity: "It is remarkable."

As Beata longed so much to see her hero and mine, accordingly, by way of disappointing her wish, she went for some days to her mother at Maussenbach. I will be her vindicator and speak for her. She did it because she wanted never to come upon him except accidentally; but at the Resident Lady's it would in any case have been designedly. She did it, because she loved to afflict herself, and like Socrates emptied the cup of joy before she put it to her lips. She did it, for a reason that would seldom have actuated another of her sex--in order to fall upon her mother's neck and tell her all. Finally she also did it, in order to hunt up at home the portrait of Gustavus, which the old man had sold at auction.

I learned all on the very day of her return, when I arrived at Maussenbach as an entire noble Rota (or juridical circle) not so much to punish as to examine a poor hostess, who--as in the Parisian opera they keep two or three sets of players in readiness for important parts--had taken the precaution to fill the prominent part of her spouse not with a double merely, but with twelve persons from the neighborhood, so that it might continue to be played as often as he himself was absent. And here was a case by which I could infer how little my manor lord was inclined to matrimonial infidelity, and how much more to virtue; he was really glad that the whole float of adulterous parishioners happened to come right by his shore and that he was made the instrument whereby justice could visit and thrash this secret society. Here he sought out with zest from the hostess, as in Jöcher's Literary Lexicon, the names of important authors and she was, to his virtuous ear, a Homer singing off the whole body of wounded heroes by name; he therefore out of sympathy, as she had absolutely nothing, remitted her entire fine; but the adulterous union and troop was brought to the tread-mill and the winepress, or pump-chambers and suction-works were applied to them.

So in Maussenbach at this pressing-out of this adulterous company the Lady of the Manor related to me what her daughter had related to her--in order to beg me, as former mentor of the lover, to draw the couple asunder, because her husband could not bear love. I could not tell her that I was engaged upon the biography of the couple and her own, and that love was the sticking-plaster and joiner's glue that held together the whole biography as well as the pair, and without which my whole book would fall to pieces, and that I should therefore offend the Jena reviewers if I should try to take his love away from him.--But so much I could well say to her: that it was impossible, for the love of such a couple was fire-proof and water-tight. I seemed to her, with my feeling, a little simple; for she thought of her own experience. I added cunningly: that the house of Falkenberg had for some years been rising and laying in fine capitals. To this she merely answered: "Fortunately her husband had never known it," (for a multitude of secrets she told everybody except her husband); "for he had already meditated for her Beata a different match." More than this I could not find out.

--But a fine broth is cooked here not merely for the hero, but also for his biographer; for the latter must certainly at last smart the worse for it on account of the portrayal of such intense scenes, and must often over such stormy sections cough away whole weeks. I will just confess to the reader candidly beforehand: such a steamy heat and tempest had already, last Friday, roared over the new palace and on Saturday swept through Auenthal and into my chamber, when Gustavus entered, all in a turmoil, and instituted the inquiry with me whither Mrs. Captain von Falkenberg, who with her mezzotinto cat occupies my first section and who is well known to be Gustavus's mother, whether she--was really such.... Meanwhile we must drive on briskly; for I know, too, that when I have built up my biographical Escurial and Louvre and sit at last on the roof with my dedicatory oration, I shall have put something into the book-shelves, the like of which the world does not often become possessed of, and which of course must charm reviewers as they pass by and make them say: "Day and night, summer and winter, even on work-days such a man must write; but who can tell whether it may not be a lady?"

Now, then, on all coming pages the barometer falls from one degree to another, ere the threatened tempest breaks forth. How Gustavus loved the absent Beata, everyone can guess, who has known by experience how love is never more tender, never more disinterested than during the absence of its object. Daily he went to the grave of his friend as to the holy sepulchre; to the birth-place of his happiness with a blissful trembling of every fibre; daily he did it half an hour later, because the moon, the only open eye at his soul's nuptials, rose half an hour later every day. The moon was and will forever be the sun of lovers, that soft decoration-painter of their scenes: she swells their emotions as she does the seas, and raises in their eyes also a flood-tide.--Herr von Oefel cast the look of an observer on Gustavus and said: "The Resident Lady has made of you what I made of Fraulein von Röper." Hereupon he reckoned up to my hero the whole pathognomy of love, the sighing, the silence, the distraction, which he had noticed in Beata and from which he deduced that her heart was no longer vacant--he himself was lodged there, he perceived. Oefel was a man whom a woman might treat as she would, in any case he concluded she was mortally in love with him.--Did she behave playfully, indulgently, familiarly with him, he would, say: "Nothing is more certain, but she ought to be a little more reserved;"--if she went to the opposite extreme, if she disdained to give him a look, a command, anything at most beyond her contempt and denied him even trifles; then he would swear, "Among one hundred men he could undertake to pick out the one she loved; it would be the only one she wouldn't look at."--If a woman struck into the middle way of indifference, then he observed: "Women understood so well the art of dissembling, that only Satan or love could find them out." It was impossible for him to provide room for all the women that wanted to get into the rotunda of his heart; hence he thrust the surplus (so to speak) into the pericardium, or heart's purse, wherein the heart also hangs, as into a partition--in other words, he transferred the scene of love from the heart to paper, and invented an epistolary and paper-love corresponding to the letter and paper-nobility. I have had many such chiromantic temperament-leaves of his in my hands, wherein he drives love, like butterflies, merely to poetic flowers;--whole volumes of such madrigals and Anacreontic poems to ladies, as have both the sweetness and the coldness of jellies. Such is Herr von Oefel and almost the whole belle-lettristic company.

Inasmuch as one praises himself only before people in whose presence one does not blush, such as common people, servants, wife and children: his vanity deserved a louder revenge than Gustavus visited upon him; he merely pictured to himself in silence how fortunate he was, in that, while others deceived themselves or made great efforts to gain the heart of his beloved, he could say confidently to himself, "she has given it to thee." But as to notifying his rival and messenger, or in fact any one, of this extra judicial gift, that not merely his position forbade but also his character; not even to me did he disclose it until he had quite other things to disclose to me and to disguise from me. I am well aware that this discretion is a fault, which modern romances, not unskillfully, labor to counteract; if in them a hero of romance or the writer has won a heart of a heroine of romance (and that she gives away as readily as if she had it on in front like a crop); then the hero or the writer (who are generally one and the same) forces the heroine to thrust her heart out and in as the cod does its stomach--nay, the hero himself draws forth the heart out of the breast that conceals it and shows up the captured globe to more than twenty persons, as the operator does an amputated excrescence--handles the ball as if it were a Lawrence's snuff-box--slips it off as if it were a cane-head, and hides another's heart as little as he does his own. I confess the traits of such goddesses cannot have been brought together from any worse models than were those after which the Greek artists created their goddesses, or the Romish painters their Madonnas, and it would imply very little knowledge of the world not to see that the princesses, duchesses, etc., in our romances would surely never have been hit off so well, if chambermaids, and still other damsels, had not sat to the author in their place; and thus, when the author had made himself the duke and his damsel the princess, the romance was done and his love immortalized, like that of the spiders which are likewise found paired and immortalized in amber. I say all this not to justify my Gustavus, but only to excuse him; for these romancers should surely also consider that the interesting rawness of manners, whose defects I seek vainly to cover up in him, would with them also show the same faults, if they, like him, had been spoiled by education, society, too nice a sense of honor and too fine reading (e. g., of the works of Richardson).

I am ashamed that Gustavus should have had such ignorance in love matters as to undertake to find out from some of the best romances whether he must now write a love-letter to Beata--nay, that her absence should have caused him anxiety about her disposition and embarrassment in regard to his own conduct. But the strength of the feelings makes the tongue poor and heavy, as well as the want of them. Fortunately little Laura often came skipping to meet him--not in the park (for nothing makes more ink-spots and coffee-stains on a fair skin than fair nature), but within four walls--and the pupil supplied the place of the teacher.

But a higher and newly risen form now entered upon the land of his love. Ottomar, of whose amphibious body--inhabitant of two worlds--there had hitherto been so much talk in ante-chambers, appeared there with it himself in the apartment of the Lady Resident. His first word to the latter was: "She must pardon him, for not having appeared sooner in her ante-chamber--he had been interred and consequently been unable to do so." But "he was the first," he said, "who so soon after death had come into Elysium" (here he looked round with a flattering smile at the landscape pieces of the tapestry), "and into the presence of the Divinities." This was mere satirical malice. Notoriously it is already an approved clause in the æsthetics of all elegants that they--and is my brother in Lyons in any other category?--have to take away entirely from the flatteries which they are obliged to say to women, the tone and look of sincerity, wherewith the ancient beaux used to provide their fleurettes [or flowery speeches]. In this mocking flattery he dressed up his disgust with women and courts. The women exasperated him because--as he fancied--they sought nothing in love but love itself,[79] whereas the man knows how to blend with it still higher, religious, ambitious sentiments--because their emotions are only couriers, and every feminine heat is only a transient one, and because, if Christ himself should be teaching in their presence, in the midst of the most affecting passages they would turn aside to peep at his vest and his stockings. The courts enraged him by their unfeelingness, by their representation in his brother, and by their oppression of the people, the sight of which filled him with insuperable pain. Hence his accounts of travels in other countries were a satire upon his own; and as the French authors in the characters of the Sultans and Bonzes of the Orient for some time painted and punished those of the Occident, so in his narratives was the South the bearer and Pasquino of the North. The mild humane tolerance which he had proposed to himself in his last letter, he kept no longer than till he had punctuated and sealed it--or so long as he went to walk--or during the gentle unscrewing of the nerves after a wine-debauch. Nor did he care much to be respected by those whom he did not himself respect; in the midst of great, philosophic, republican ideas or ideals, the trivialities of the present were to him invisible and contemptible, now especially, when the future world or worlds obscured the thin one from which he looked at them, as through the blackened spy-glass one sees no object but the sun. Thus, e. g., he spent five grotesque minutes at the Lady Resident's in the process--since the proper body of the soul is made up solely of brain and spinal marrow and nerves--of ideally stripping off the skin of the most intellectual court-ladies and the handsomest court-gentlemen, furthermore of drawing out their bones and removing in thought the little flesh and viscera that clothed them, till nothing was left sitting on the ottoman but a spinal tail with a cerebral knob at the top. Thereupon he let these reversed knockers or erected tails run at each other and act and utter fleurettes, and laughed inwardly at the most clever people of birth, whom he had himself scalped and scaled. This is what we may call the philosophic Pasquill.

From the new palace he hastened out into the old, to Gustavus, who seemed to shun him. But in what way he had long since become acquainted with Gustavus, how he had been able to give him the first letter, why he, like Gustavus (even now) regularly adapted himself to an unknown place, why he was shunned by him, and what the three hours' conversation was which they had had with each other in the old palace, and which closed with the warmest love in the hearts of both--on all this still rests a long veil, which my conjectures cannot raise; for I certainly have several different ones, but they sound so extraordinary that I dare not lay them before the public until I can justify them better. Every vein, every thought, as well as heart und eye, expanded and magnified themselves for a new world, as he talked with the genial man. O what are the hours of the most congenial reading, even the hours of solitary exaltation, compared with an hour when a great soul works upon thee livingly, and by its presence redoubles thy soul and thy ideals and embodies thy thoughts?

Gustavus proposed to himself to repair from the palace to Ottomar, in order to forget who else was still wanting there. It was a still disclouded evening, a shadow, not of the already far-withdrawn summer, but of the after-summer, when Gustavus set forth, after vainly waiting for the return and society of the Doctor. In the empty air through which no feathered tones, no beating hearts fluttered any longer, no living thing showed itself save the eternal sun, whom no earthly autumn pales and prostrates and who forever looks with open eye upon our ball of earth, while below him thousands of eyes open and thousands close. On such an evening the bandage of old wounds which we bear about in us flies open. Gustavus arrived at the village in silence; at the entrance of the garden which half enclosed Ottomar's palace, stood a boy, grinding out the sublime melody of a sublime song[80] on a hand-organ to the ear of a canary bird, which he was teaching to sing it. "I shall get a good deal, when he can whistle it," said the winsome organist. Leaning against a tree stood Ottomar, facing the far evening-redness and these evening tones; the sun of the outer world sank within him behind a great leaden cloud. Gustavus, before he reached him, had to pass by a dense niche and an old gardener who was in it, about whom there were two things that excited his wonder, first, that he said not a word of thanks for his Good Evening, and secondly, that so old and sensible a man had a child's garden in his cap on which his gaze was steadily fixed. Through the arbor he perceived on a grassy sun dial an elevation like a child's grave and a rainbow of flowers blooming round it and embowering it overhead; on the elevation lay the clothes of a child so arranged as if something lay in them and had them on. Ottomar received him with a tenderness which one finds in such an irresistible degree only in intense characters, and said with a low voice: "He celebrated the dying day of all the seasons, and to-day was that of the after-summer." On their way to the palace they passed by the gardener, who did not take off his hat--then by the empty clothes on the grave, which still lay under the flowers, and by the pianist who was still playing the song: "O youth adown the brook of time." As we find solemnity almost alone in books, seldom in life, in the latter it leaves so much the stronger an impression.

It must be further remarked that in Ottomar the expression of the strongest feelings, through a certain gentleness, wherewith his intercourse with the world and his age broke their force, moved on irresistibly into the silent abyss. He opened (children were the lackeys) a chamber of the third story. The chief thing there was not the pictures, with black grounds and white coffins, or the words over the coffins: "Herein is my father, herein my mother, herein my spring times," nor yet the very large painted coffin, above which was written: "Herein lie 6,000 years with all their human beings;" but the most important thing was the unpainted thing before which Gustavus bowed low, a fair woman bending down to a child, almost like our Gustavus, as if she was about to whisper something in his ear; further on he bowed before an old officer in uniform, who held a torn map, and before a handsome young Italian, who held an album. The child had a nosegay of forget-me-nots on his breast, the woman and the two men had a black bouquet. But what still more surprised him was Dr. Fenk at the window, with a rose on his breast.

Gustavus hastened up to him, but Ottomar held him back. "It is only wax," said he, not with the cold tone of one embittered against destiny, but in a tone of resignation. "All that in my lifetime has given me love and joy, stands and stays in this chamber--to any one who has died I give black flowers--in the case of my lost child, I am still uncertain, and his clothes lie out in the garden. Oh, he into whose bosom God has breathed peace, that it may enfold his naked heart and assuage its spasms,--he is as well off as those he mourns--softly and steadily he opens his eyes, when fate sends him fair forms, and when they go again and ugly ones come, he calmly closes them again."

O Ottomar! that canst thou not, before the heaving sea of thy powers has broken on the shore of age! open thy heart wider, as thou wilt, for three days, to rest and tranquillity; on the fourth the cramp of joy or sorrow shall contract and crush it to death.

Many people cannot see wax figures without shuddering, and Gustavus was one of them; he took Ottomar's hand, as if to cling to life against so many plays and apings of it.... Suddenly something tramped through the silent palace ... up the stairs into the chamber, .... and fell on Ottomar's neck.... It was Fenk, who was clasping him here for the first time since his resurrection from the dead, and to whom, under the close embrace, no distance from him, between whom and himself lands and years and death had lain, could now be small enough. Gustavus, whom Ottomar still held by the hand, was drawn also into the bond of love, and had Death himself passed by he could not have run his cold sickle through three closely, warmly, and speechlessly entwined hearts. "Speak, Ottomar," said the Doctor, "the last time thou wast dumb." Ottomar's tranquillity was now broken up: "They, too [the wax figures], are forever silent," he said with subdued voice,--"they are not even with us--we ourselves are not with each other--fleshy and bony gratings stand between the souls of men, and yet can man dream that there is an embracing on the earth, when only gratings come in mutual contact, and behind them the one soul only thinks the other?"

All were silent--the voice of the evening bell sounded away over the deepening hush of the village, and the tones went wailing up and down. Ottomar had again what he calls his terrible moment of annihilation; he stepped up to the waxen woman and took the black death-bouquet and placed it over his heart; he surveyed himself and his two friends and said coldly and monotonously: "So then we three are living--this is the so-called existence, what we are now doing--how still it is here, everywhere, all around the earth--an utterly dumb night hangs round about the earth and up among the fixed stars, it will not at any coming time be lighter." Fortunately at that moment the Prince came trotting and trumpeting by through the village with his hunting-retinue, and scared away the night out of the three men; so much do we depend upon our hearing, so much does the outer world give light and colors to our inner.[81]

Of all that they afterward did in other chambers I have nothing memorable to insert here, and of all they saw there only three things, viz., that Ottomar had hardly any but children for servants; had only quite young creatures and only flowers around him; for vehement characters have a peculiar fondness for what is gentle.

The little schoolmaster, Wutz, has just stepped into my chamber and says: for his part he has never written so much on any St. Andrew's day in all his life before. Well, then, it is time we stopped.


Conic Sections of the Bodies of Eminent Persons.--Birthday-Drama.-- Rendezvous (or, as Campe Expresses it, "Make Your Appearance") in the Looking-glass.

In the causeway to the new palace Beata feared she should find there her Gustavus; in the palace itself she wished the contrary, so soon as she heard he was in the Place of Rest. Her mother, while with her assistance she partly cut down, partly over-completed regiments of robes, mantles, etc., had meantime proved to her this much, that Beata was deceived by her own feelings and that the paradise of her most innocent love was, according to her maternal feeling, desperately bad, and, in fact, a Pontine marsh--the blossoming trees thereon were upas trees--the flower-carpet consisted partly of poisonous copper, partly of false porcelain flowers--on the grass banks therein one caught cold by sitting, and the gentle rocking of the enchanted ground was an earthquake. This forewarning against the oath after the oath of love might yet be heard; but when she went on to object Beata's youth--the most common, most simple, most ineffectual, and most exasperating objection to a live feeling--this began to weaken the slight impression of her week-day sermon, which the practical application entirely washed away; namely, that her father had already half and half chosen for her the object of her affections.... My manor-lady was very clever; but when she undertook to please my manor-lord, she was also very stupid.

Beata therefore brought with her over the causeway to Gustavus a heart which this dissection had made extremely soft and tender, and he, too, came with one of those wounded ones, on which not a trace of a callus longer remains. Ottomar's sermons-of-Solomon upon and against life had filled his veins and arteries with an infinite longing to love poor perishable human beings, and with his two arms, before they fell to the earth, to draw and press the fairest heart to his bosom, ere it sank under the earthly clods. Love fastens its parasitical roots to all other feelings.

It was time they came, on account of Herr von Oefel. For at Court one missed them, and in fact anyone, very little. A Russian Prince von * * *--a mestizzo and deponent between courtier and beast, whose visible extremes ended in the invisible extremes of culture and savageness--had been there, together with a herd of Frenchmen and Italians, who as a body had, like their head-master, the common-place singularity of the great world, that they--were not whole; for a man of the world now-a-days nothing is harder than not to make of his person what I properly make in my biography--a sector or section. In fact, this fragmentary division looked like a phalanx of cripples on their journey to a wonder-worker. Of the principal members which we do not recover at the resurrection, e. g., hair, stomach, flesh, etc.,[82]--whence, of course, the great Connor can easily demonstrate that a risen Christian will turn out no longer than a gad-fly--of such members the amputated Junta had already before the resurrection wholly, or in great part, relieved themselves.

I have often reflected upon the question, why the great folks do this and make them in a physical sense the small; but I was too ignorant to guess any other reasons than the following: The seat of anger (which, according to Winckelmann, the Greeks held to be the nose), cannot decay soon enough, because neither a courtier nor a Christian should show anger. Secondly, diminutive bodies are little different from crooked ones, even in size; but the latter, as we see in Esop, Pope, Scarron, Lichtenberg and Mendelssohn, have much wit. Now the man of the world ingeniously draws off the spirit out of the strong vessels of our progenitors into little corporeal bottles, and such sections and optical abridgements and electorates of the body make it impossible to be otherwise than witty, or at most stupid; so a flute which has become cracked, can give out no other tones but fine and high ones. But in the great world wit is notoriously prized, if not more, certainly not less than immorality. Thirdly, as the old patriarchs received a long life in order that they might people the earth, so with the same design have these cosmopolites proposed to themselves a short one, and cheerfully purchased the life of other beings by a Curtius'-leap into the fatal abyss. But it may still be questioned whether I am right. The fourth reason I learn from certain secret and mystic societies, whence these very segments of humanity have themselves derived it. Now-a-days every soul of rank must be disorganized and disembodied. For this now there are only two entirely different operations. The shortest and worst, in my opinion, is for a man--to hang himself, and for the soul thus to separate the body from itself like a wen. I should not blame any great man for this, did I not know that he has in view the far better and easier operation, whereby he can detach his body, as if it were the mould wherein the spiritual statue is cast, piece by piece. I will not fall here into the fault of brevity, but rather into the opposite. Thus, the body is, according to philosophers, who have also a soul, merely an instrument for developing their own and ours, and accustoming them to the renunciation of this instrument. The soul must gradually nibble off all the threads that bind it to the clod. This is to the soul what the cork cuirass[83] is to children learning to swim: it must seek daily to lessen this cuirass and finally to swim without it. The philosophic man of the world and the fellow of secret deorganizing societies at first therefore puts off of this swimming-panoply only the flesh on his legs and cheek-bones. Thus far little is done. Thereupon he burns away in a furnace-fire nerves and other stuff, because they have withstood the kitchen-fire. The hair or human fur every one gets rid of without difficulty. The most important step in this cuirass-reduction is this, that one can without Origen's razor effect as much as he did--only more gently. When this is done, one is not far from that perfect extinction, in which the whole cuirass is clean gone and the soul has learned at last to swim in the sea of existence, without the necessity of having on even so much of the swimming dress as one needs to cork a bottle. After that one is buried. Thus at least they set forth in secret societies of ton the process of human disembodiment.

This broken society covered our and every court as beautifully as broken porcelain vessels do Dutch garden beds; secondly, it had the politest way in the world of being coarse. If a certain je ne sais quoi did not constitute the difference in this gentry between humor and coarseness, between politeness and impudence, then there was none at all.

I said above that it was time our couple arrived, on Herr von Oefel's account. For the birthday fête of the Lady Resident was drawing near, and yet not a soul had memorized a page of his part. The reader, too, has quite as little of the birthday drama in his head as the players; therefore a thin decoction of this plant of Oefel's shall be set before him.

* * * * *

Decoction from the Birthday Drama.

"In a French village were two sisters, so good that each deserved to be the Rose-girl, and so disinterested that each wished the other to be. The day before the distribution of the prize-medal of roses they contended together who should--reject it; for they knew from good authority that to one of them alone the rose-crown would fall. Jeanne--played by the Minister's Lady--slipped away from under the leafy crown by the pretty conceit that she had her lover, Perrin--represented by Oefel--too often and too openly about her to entitle her to be a rose-competitor. Marie (Beata's part) could not therefore, it seemed, avert the crown from her head; however she begged her brother Henri (that was Gustavus) who was particularly fond of her, and who since his childhood had been away from their home on his travels,--she begged him to get her the victory in this disinterested rivalry. He sought to persuade her to the opposite victory; but at last, seeing the inexorableness of her sisterly love so decided, he promised, for a proper reward,--to spare her own feelings. 'But thou must have still greater love for me,' he said;--'a sister's,' said she;--'a still stronger,' said he;--'the most friendly affection,' said she;--'a far stronger yet,' said he;--'there cannot be a greater,' said she;--'O surely! I am not really thy brother,' said he, and with love-intoxicated eyes fell flown before her and gave her a paper, which relieved her of her former error and plunged her instead into a little swoon of joy. They all four appeared before the lord of the manor and crown-bestower (the Prince played this part even on the--boards) and each anticipated his choice by a petition and eulogy for her sister, and by neat invectives upon herself. The coquettish wight, Perrin, inquired: Could love need other roses than her own?--Marie gave a flying delineation of the merits to which such a coronation belonged, and which were in fact fine traits from the image of the Bouse. His Lordship said: 'This sisterly impartiality, which is as much to be admired as the merits which it seeks to reward, deserved two rose-crowns, one to receive, and one to confer, as a reward;' (no one, remarked Oefel seemingly in flattery of the ladies, but really of the Prince, more fitly distributes crowns than he who himself wears them and they would be distinguished from him in nothing but impartiality and beauty, if they in his place should happily choose as he would, upon whom the rose-wreath, ere the butterfly flew from it)--(one of the brilliants had been stuck with an egrette into the largest rose)--should be placed.... 'Upon our Rose Queen!' cried the sisters, and presented the crown to the lady Resident."

So far the Drama. To Oefel nothing was more agreeable and felicitous than the foil afforded by flattery bestowed on another. For the rest his piece looked like an idyl of Fontanelle's. The fancy that is to please people ground thin by culture must sparkle, but not burn; must tickle, but not move the heart; the boughs of such a fancy are not bowed down by the heavy mass of fruits, but by the weight of snow. In such court-poets and in earwigs the wings are, one may say, invisible and minute, but both find more easily the way to the ear. In German poems there is nothing; on the contrary most of the French smell not of the study lamp and economical light, but rather of perfumed garters, gloves, etc., and the less they have in them that interests man, so much the more they have that charms the man of the world, because they no longer depict Nature and Heaven and Hell, but one or two salons, and so not without ingenuity draw themselves back into narrower and narrower windings of the snail-house.

Oefel was at once theatre-poet, player and writer of the parts. He gave prominence in the drama to the rôle of Beata, which he had, with the most delicate allusions to their mutual understanding (he thought), or to his individual understanding (I think), set forth to the world. The most delicate hints he had disguised in those passages where he and Beata played together. He drew, therefore, in the transcribing, under many a fine declaration of love, or kindred sentiment, an exegetic line, and figured intelligently his thoroughbass. "The cunning jade will read this over a thousand times," he said to himself.

Thereupon, soon after her arrival he handed her her part, with far more respectful shyness than he was himself aware. Unfortunately for our good dramatizing poltroon, Beata fell into two faults at once, for a reason. The reason simply was, that Cupid had set up in her heart his laboratory and put in his chemical stoves and all; hence must needs arise her first fault, that she looked more beautiful than formerly without this glow; for every emotion and every inner conflict assumed on her face the form of a charm. From love came also her second mistake, that she demeaned herself to-day towards Oefel far more familiarly and frankly than usual; for a maiden who is in love has, in regard to other objects (i. e., from her own feelings in regard to them) nothing more to fear. But Herr von Oefel figured out on his parchment a quite different result; he took all as a sign of joy, that he was now again--to be had. He went on accordingly with a heart which Cupid had shot as full with his Lilliputian arrows as a pin-cushion with needles.

He said that very day: "When once the heart of a woman is so wide open, one has nothing to do, but just let her do." That was a charming thing for him; for it saved him--what might cause him some scruples--the trouble of inveigling her. As often as he read Lovelace's or the Chevalier's[84] letters, he wished his simple conscience would allow him to lead away a perfectly innocent and resisting maiden after a fine plan. But his conscience would hear no reason, and he was obliged to confine his piratical or privateering pleasures to the beguiling of such innocent persons as he caused to act in his head or in his romance; to such a degree, in weak people, does feeling prevail over the decisions of reason, even in philosophical women. Consequently Oefel's knowledge of women left him only the power of laying snares, not for innocence, but for guilt, and the only thing in which he could labor with renown was to be the seducer of seductresses.

Allow me to make a shrewd observation. The distinction between Lovelace and the Chevalier is the moral difference between their nations and decades. The Chevalier is a devil with such a philosophic coldness that he is to be ranked among those devils of Klopstock's, who cannot be converted. Lovelace, on the contrary, is a quite different man, a mere vain Alcibiades, whom a position in the State or a nuptial one might half amend. Even then, when his inexorableness to imploring, wrestling, weeping, kneeling innocence seems to give him a nearer likeness to models from hell, he softened his hypocritical blackness by a stroke of art which does some credit to his own conscience and the greatest honor to the genius of the poet, namely, that by way of beautifying his inexorableness, he regards the actual object of compassion, the kneeling, etc., Clarissa, as a theatrical, picturesque work of art, and in order not to be affected will not observe the bitterness of her tears, but only her beauty; not the distress, but only the picturesqueness of her attitude. In this way one can take pleasure in hardening himself against anything; hence beaux esprits, painters and their connoisseurs often have no tears or too many for actual misery, for the mere reason that they regard it as artistic.

But I must hasten on more speedily to the festal day of the Resident Lady, whose web touches and entangles our Gustavus with so many kinds of threads.

He committed to memory with great delight his part in the Drama, of which much will yet have to be said, and wished nothing, except that he did not yet know it by heart. Beata had the same feeling about hers: the reason was, that their parts on the stage were directed to each other, consequently their thoughts, now, were so, too; and for the shy Beata it was especially delicious, that she could with good conscience memorize tender thoughts of love for him, which she hardly dared to have, not to say express. In order not to be always thinking of him, she often diverted her mind by the labor of learning by heart the aforesaid part. Good soul! try always to deceive thyself; it is better to will it, than not to care about it at all! Her adoptive brother had hitherto been utterly unable to devise any way of meeting her; the Resident Lady had forgotten him and thereby the means of bringing it about, in her attention to the Russian section and torso; he himself had not persistency enough, still less the dignity which would make it piquant and charming--till Herr von Oefel said to him with a significant expression of countenance, that the Lady Resident wished to have him see some pictures which Knäse had left there. "Yes, I have been wanting this long time to begin copying in the cabinet," said he, and deceived hardly anyone except himself. Noticing his blush of confusion, Oefel said to himself: "I know all, my dear man!"

At last a fine forenoon brought the two souls, that could more easily find each other than their bodies could, together at the Lady Resident's. The light of day, their previous separation, the new situation, and love, made all the charms of both new, all their features fairer, and their heaven greater than their expectations--but do not look at each other too much, nor yet too little, for they are glancing at your glances! Well, do it as much as you like; thou canst not hide it from a Bouse, Gustavus, that thine eye which is not contracted by penetration, but opened wide with love, always detains itself among objects in the neighborhood of one at whom it would fain steal side glances;--nor does it help thee, Beata, that thou avoidest more than usual standing near him or giving him occasion for his voice and cheeks to be his traitors! It availed thee, naught, as thou thyself sawest, to seek to escape the repetition of the idolo del mio at his arrival; for did not the Lady Resident beg him to glide after thy voice with his fingers on the harpsichord, and to publish his inner storm of joy by the gleam of the eye and the pressure of the keys and the sins against time? Those of my readers who have frizzled or served or spoken with the Resident Lady, or actually loved her, can testify for me against other readers, that among other mantel-ornaments of her toilette-chamber--inasmuch as the grandees like nothing but finery to eat, occupy, wear, sit on and sleep on--there were also Swiss scenes, and among these a tragacanth copy of the hermitage-mountain; this Olympus of joy, before the eyes of Gustavus, Beata's could no longer climb, often as they had formerly shone upon this very mountain--at last the eyes of both grew moist, when the name of Amandus rang through both of them, with a sweeter and livelier emotion than one feels for a departed soul. In short, like all lovers, they would have betrayed themselves less, if they had concealed themselves less. The Lady Resident seemed to-day, what she always seemed; she had in her power a still, thoughtful, not impassioned dissimulation, and one saw not on her face the false looks chase away the true ones. The finest picture in the collection left by the Russian was not at home, but under the copying-paper of the Prince.

So dumb and yet so near was Gustavus compelled to remain vis-â-vis with his beloved; with only three words, with only a passing pressure of the hand; oh, if he only knew how to discharge his soul electrified with emotions!--Why do we long to transfer all our feelings from our own hearts into another's?--And why has the dictionary of sorrow so many quires, and that of rapture and of love so few leaves?--Only a tear, a pressure of the hand and a singing voice the genius of the universe gave to love and to rapture and said: "Speak with these!"--But had Gustavus's love a tongue, when (during a seven seconds' turning aside of the Resident Lady) in the looking-glass, to which he sat opposite at the harpsichord, with his thirsting eyes he kissed the hovering image of his dear songstress--and when the image looked upon him--and when the shy image under the fire-stream of his eyes shut its eyelids--and when he suddenly wheeled round toward the near original of the colored shadow that was looking away again, and as he sat there penetrated with his love into the drooping eye of his friend standing by him, and when in a moment which languages cannot paint, he dared not pour himself out in one, not so much as in one sound?--For there are moments when the treasure upraised, out of the depths of another's soul sinks back again, and disappears in the innermost recesses, if one speaks--nay, in which the tender, tremulous, swimming, burning picture of the whole soul can hardly protect itself in or beneath the transparent eye, as the fading pastel-form does under the glass....

For this reason he did just right in my view, to sit down at home and compose his love-letter forthwith. By such an insurance-policy of the heart the biographer has always in a proper sense deeded his love. But when Gustavus had finished it, he knew not how he should insinuate it, by what penny-post. He carried it round with him so long that at last he grew dissatisfied with it--then he wrote a new and better one and again carried that round until he had written the best one, which I will insert in the next section. I take this opportunity to announce to the public for next Easter my "expeditious and always ready love-letter-writer," which all parents should procure for their children. Apropos! The fur courier's-boot and the mustard-plaster and the icy-crown have happily sent the blood into my feet, and left no more in my head than it needs, in order to draw up agreeable abstracts or extracts for a German people.


Love-Letter.--Comedie.--Bal Paké.--Two Dangerous Midnight Scenes.--Practical Application.

I have at this joyous season no very joyous feelings; perhaps because my body, which threatens to fall to pieces, no more goes right than a longitude-watch or sea-chronometer--perhaps also the contents of this section lie on my brain--perhaps, too, at the sight of the universal joy of the children, the blood creeps so mournfully between the evergreen and autumnal flower age of the remembrance how it once was, how the joys of man roll away, how they mark their remoteness from us by a reflection gleaming over from distant shores, and how our longest days seldom give us so much as the shortest or Christmas night gives the child in the way of enjoyment or of hope.

I should not have spoken with so much levity as I did fourteen days ago of Gustavus's hearty letter. It runs thus:

* * * * *

"Before I wrote this, my inexpressibly dear one, you went with Laura up through the park to enjoy a little while the sinking sun, that shone down between two great clouds; at your side shadows of clouds flitted away, but the sunshine went with you. I thanked the foliage that it lay at your feet and could not hide you from me; but I would fain have plucked all the thorny leaves from the holly behind which you disappeared and went from me. 'O could I only'--thought I--'strew her autumnal way with young flowers and butterflies, could I encircle her with blossoms and nightingales, and cover the woods and the mountains before her with spring-time--but, if she then should tremble with joy and must needs look upon me and thank me.' ... But these blossoms, these nightingales, these springs you have given me; you have breathed over my life an eternal May, and wrung from a human eye tears of joy--but what have I to give? Ah, Beata, what can I give you for this whole Elysium wherewith you entwine and festoon the dark ground of my life, and for your whole, whole heart?--Mine--that indeed you already had for nothing, and that is all I have to give; for all fair hours, for all your charms, for all your love, for all that you give, have I nothing but this true, happy, warm heart....

"Yes, I have only this; but if the divine spark of the highest love can glow in the human heart it dwells in mine, and burns for one whom I can only love but not repay. Thou, higher spark, wilt gleam on for her in my heart when tears flood or misfortune crushes it, or death turns it to ashes.... Beata! no human being can, here on earth, tell another how he loves him. Friendship and love go with closed lips over this ball, and the inner man has no tongue. Ah, if man, out in the eternal temple, which arches upward even to infinity, amidst the circle of singing choirs, holy places, altars of sacrifice, will fain fall down dazed before an altar and pray, ah then does he, as well as his tear, sink to the ground and remain speechless! But the good soul knows who loves her and is silent; she overlooks not the still eye which follows her, she forgets not the heart which the more strongly it beats has the less power to speak, nor the sigh which seeks to hide itself. But, Beata, believe me!--when once this eye and this heart have ended their silence, when in the most blissful hour they have dared with all the energies of the loving nature to say to the beloved soul, 'I love thee,' then is it hard and painful to be mute again; so painful to press back again the upheaved, flaming, impetuous heart into a close, cold breast--then in the innermost soul will the silent joy dissolve into silent sorrow and gleam sadly into it, as does the moon into a rainbow which the night uprears.... Beata! I can proffer no petitions, I dare not have any; I can picture to myself the Eden which Beata's looks and words might give me, but I dare not crave it; I must with all my wishes fasten myself to the shore of the silver shadow, which even in dreams, and at this moment in life, like a broad stream divides us; but, darling, if I do not sometimes hear to whom the most precious heart has given itself, how shall I retain the courage to believe it? When I behold this gracious heart among so many good and exalted beings, and then am compelled to say to myself, ah, you all, nevertheless, have failed to deserve it; then does a joyful amazement come over me, that it has given itself to my soul, and I can hardly believe it. Beloved! thousands were more worthy of thee; but none could have been made happier by thee than I am!"

* * * * *

The hardest thing now was, to get the letter, on any other wings than those of a carrier-dove--Venus probably harnessed a span of carrier-doves to her gondola--to its destined place. Of such a thing he saw no possibility, because, among all possibilities, such a one is for him the hardest to see,--for my sister such a one is the easiest.

All came about in the rehearsal of the play.

Regular plays, we know, are not, like their sisters, the political ones, produced without rehearsal. I will willingly let as small a paper-interval as possible come between the rehearsal and the performance; but the reader must also, on his part, turn the leaves over nimbly, and not lay his hands in his lap so much as the book. The rehearsal took place in the old palace. Oefel did his part well enough--Beata still better--and Gustavus the very worst of all. For the faces of the Prince and the Fainting Lady, like salt and nitric acid, almost transformed his heart into an icicle; there are many people before whom one is nerveless and incapable of having inspired feelings. Singular! only his, but not Beata's, were chilled by this north-wind sweeping over the stage. And yet after all it is not singular; for love throws the young man out of his own self into other personalities around him, but repels the maiden from others back into her own. Slightly, if at all, did Beata notice the approaches of the reigning actor or acting Regent. Oefel, however, saw it, and anticipated his victory over the exalted rival--who made his approaches to him in no very large snail-line, as was his custom with the Court ladies, who only in youth give away their virtue a la minutia; in old age, on the contrary, drive a larger business with it in grosso. I said just now something about a snail-line, because I had in my head a conceit of this kind, that women of the world and the sun, under the appearance of leading the planets in a circle round their rays, in fact hurry them onward in a fine spiral (or snail-line) to their burning surface.

In the midst of the rehearsal, just as Gustavus (or Henry) handed Marie the blank paper as a certificate declaring their relationship null and void, something occurred to him as Henry which would have occurred to another long before as Gustavus, namely, that something might be written on the blank paper, and in fact the best something--his love-letter, which we have already long since read. In short, he proposed to himself to slip his letter into her hands in the play in the form of that certificate, if it could not be done otherwise. Even the romantic element in the resolve, to insinuate his real part into his theatrical one, and to put upon so many spectators another deception than the poetic one, did not repel, but rather impelled him. I will just confess, dear Gustavus--and though my confession should fall into thine own hands--on thy heavenly modesty the honey-dew of approbation, which in such a place thou wast justified in regarding not even as flattery, but merely as a façon of speech, had fallen with a disturbing influence! Of all things human, modesty is the most fumigated or brimstoned to death, and many a commendation is as harmful as a calumny. In the madhouse we see that man takes other people's word for it that he is crazy,[85] and in palaces we see that he takes their word for it when they call him wise. On the whole Gustavus--(for a man is often destined on an evening not merely to play one wretched part after another, but often also mere thoughtless pranks)--on the dramatic evening, was almost selected for the latter rôle.

... At length the Bouse's birthday fête has arrived.... O my Gustavus! To this very day thy eyes are wet with the remembrance!

The fête breaks into three courses--Comédie, Souper, and Bal paré. In reality, there is still a fourth course--a fall.

On the day of the performance, the new palace emptied itself into that of the Prince at Ober-Scheerau. Gustavus thought, while on the way (in Oefel's carriage), of his letter which he was going to deliver, and of good Doctor Fenk a little; but the shortened days gave him no time for visiting. His fault was, that for him the present, like a cataract, always drowned all distant sounds; and he would not perhaps even have come to me if my crowded legal work-table had allowed me to go to town.

He saw his Marie--ten hundred thousand new charms ... but I will restrain himself. So much is physiologically true, that a maiden of our familiar acquaintance in a strange place will appear to us somewhat as a stranger, but only the more interesting. Beata had this in common with the brilliant Lady Resident, but a certain breath of modest shyness adorned her alone with its veil. In what was Gustavus at this time distinguished from her? In this: man's bashfulness lies merely in his training and his circumstances; woman's lies deep in her nature--man has internal courage and often merely external helplessness; woman has not this, and is nevertheless shy--the former expresses his respect by pressing forward; the latter hers by drawing backward.

The Fainting Lady, the so-called Défaillante, the Ministress, to-day excepted! Her winking and blinking, her lisping and whispering, her wriggling and giggling, her fearing and daring, her coquetry and mockery--how shall the one-legged Jean Paul biographically copy all this in poor, common prose? Nevertheless, it is absolutely not otherwise to be done, and he must. If the variegated heads of women had to represent, in the great garden of nature, the blue, red, glass-globes on lacquered pedestals (which not one man in a hundred believes), I would go on in my portrayal thus: that of the Minister's Lady was hot bad, not gay; this head was a short, practical extract of ten other heads, that is to say, which had contributed hair, teeth, features, to the making-up of it. She was an antique of great beauty, but one which after the devastations of years and men was no more to be had in a sound state; she had, therefore, to be restored by skilful sculptors with new members--such as bosom, teeth, etc.

On the cheeks the alloying was done in red, the neighboring parts below were alloyed with white.[86]

Those teeth which place man in the class of ruminant animals, the incisors, were as white as ivory, and all the more so, because they were really such and came from the mouth of a graminivorous beast;--whether I mean by that an elephant or a common man, who seldom applies the teeth which, as scions, he grafts upon a nobler stem, to anything but vegetables; at all events so much is certain, that no other concluding clause will fit this period but the following: she had once more as many teeth as other Christian women, and two gold threads beside, because the dentist always had one part in the house and under the brush, while the others pronounced the dental letters.

As, according to the latest text-books trigonometry--and bosoms--can be divided only into plane and spherical, and as she had manifestly the entire alternative before her, her geometrical genius preferred for her those magnitudes which afford geometers the greatest power and the greatest pleasure--the spherical.

Her attire, from shoe-rosettes to hat-rosettes, sought its effect far less in form than in material, and consequently could be less appraised by the eyes than on jeweler's scales, less by lines of beauty than according to carats--there always remained a distinction therefore between her and her legislative doll; for the rest she, like every other woman, had to carry herself according to that standard. I will say just one timely word here on dolls.

* * * * *

The Word upon Dolls.

These bits of wood hold in their hands, as is well known, the law-giving power over the fairer portion of the female world; for they are the Legates and Vice-Queens, sent from Paris by the reigning line in the finery department, to rule over the female German Circles--and these wooden plenipotentiaries again send down their heads (of caps) as missi regii, to reign over the more common ladies of rank. If these reigning wooden heads [or blockheads] cannot come themselves, they then (as living Princes in the privy council supply their places by their portraits) send their laws and likenesses in Schmauss corpus of all imperial-decrees of fashion, which corpus we all have in our hands under the name of the Journal des Modes. In such circumstances--as one piece of wood plays into the hands of another--but more unselfishly than whole colleges; since, furthermore, new ones are elected annually as Proconsuls--I do not wonder that the system of government at the toilettes is well arranged and administered and that the whole female commonwealth which men cannot govern, is, by the electric female Regents sent in bass-viol cases, who stand and direct in this aristocracy from Lisbon to St. Petersburg, kept in excellent order and subjection.

I am not the man that needs to have it told him as a piece of news, that these dolls are the dressed wooden statues which are set up to (in the matter of dress) meritorious women;--nay, I am convinced that these public monuments, which are erected to attiring merit, have already quickened very many and it is to be hoped will yet stir up many more to a noble emulation, as a great man seldom does so much good as the respect paid to his statue; but a main point, without which all else limps, is manifestly this, that the statues must be--visible. Without that I would not give a button for the whole of them. What Socrates did for philosophy, I would do with the best dolls, namely, draw them down from the heaven of the great to the earth of the common people. I have a notion that, if one should take the images of the Virgin, or even the Saints and Apostles, which have hitherto, in Catholic churches, been dressed and undressed without the least profit or taste and should dress them up more rationally and advantageously, that is, just like the French dolls--if the church would regularly every month receive the Journal of Fashion, and according to its colored patterns re-dress the Marys (as ladies) and the Apostles (as gentlemen) and so set them around the altar, then would these people be imitated and venerated with more zest, and one would know, surely, for what one went to church, and what they wore in Paris and Versailles;--one would learn the fashions in good season, and even the common people would put on something more sensible, the Apostles would become the file-leaders of dress and Mary the true Queen of Heaven to the women. Thus must ecclesiastical benefits be utilized as state benefits; even so did the Dominican Monk Rocco in Naples (according to Münter) apply the extravagance of burning lamps in the streets at the altar of Mary to the multiplication of these altars and--the lighting of the streets.

End of the Word upon Dolls.

I still owe the reader the reason why the Minister's Lady insisted on taking the part of Jeanne--it was because that part allowed her a shorter skirt--or, in other words, because she could then display more easily her graceful Lilliputian feet. They were the only thing immortal about her beauty, as in Achilles the feet were the only thing mortal; in fact, they might, like the fallow-deer's, have served for tobacco-pipe stoppers.

How much better did Oefel appear by contrast. He is a downright fool, but in a proper measure. The Resident Lady surpassed the other in every bending of the arm, which a painter--and in every lifting of the foot, which a goddess--seemed to move; even in the laying on of the rouge, whereto the Bouse had to accustom her cheeks under a princess who used to require this fleeting flesh-tint of all her court-ladies--her rouge, like the reflection of a red parasol, only tinged her with a slight mezzotint.... In respect to beauty, hers was distinguished from the ministerial as virtue is from hypocrisy....

The drama was born into the world, through the five players, not in the opera house, but in a hall of the palace, which favored the Resident Lady's coronation. I was not there; but all was reported to me. The good Marie, Beata, had too much sensibility to show it; she felt that she was dramatizing the duplicate of her destiny, and she possessed too many of the good principles of the feminine character, to expose it before so many eyes. Her best part she therefore played inwardly. Henri (Gustavus), beside his inner one, played the outward one also very well, for the same reason. The letter which he was going to deliver confounded his part with his history which I am writing, and the false praise which the Minister's Lady had bestowed on his recent rehearsed part, from the very same unconvinced affectation in which she exaggerated her own, helped him reap true praise. The man who is the most bashful when much fancy glimmers under his actions, is the most courageous when it blazes forth.

It would be ridiculous, if my praise of the warmth of his playing should include the refinement of his performance; but the spectators gladly forgave him because poverty in refinement[87] was coupled with wealth and heartiness, by way of drawing them into the illusion that he was from the country and merely Henri.

He needed this fervor, when, at the place where he reveals to her the brotherly relation, he would hand his beloved Beata the real love-letter--she unfolded it as her part required--with infinite grace he had spoken those words in which his whole life was infolded: "O believe me, indeed I am not thy brother"--she glanced at his name there--she had already half guessed the truth from the manner of his delivering the paper (for no maiden, be sure, ever yet was found wanting when she had to complete a man's stratagem)--but it was impossible for her to fall into a feigned fainting fit--for a true one seized her--the swoon overdid the part a little. Gustavus took it all for acting, so did the Minister's Lady, who envied her the gift of illusion. Henri brought her to merely by the means which his written part prescribed, and in a state of confusion, produced by the conflict of all emotions, love, consternation and nervous tension, and in a quite other than theatrical glorification, she played to the end Henri's beloved, in order not to play Gustavus's. After the performance she was obliged to renounce all the remaining festivities of the evening, and in a chamber which the Prince, as well as the Doctor, with much empressement, urged upon her, to seek rest for her still agitated nerves and in the letter unrest for her throbbing bosom. I lift the curtain still higher, dear soul, which then still veiled that which now robs thy nerves and thy bosom of peace!

Gustavus saw nothing; at the table, where he missed her, he had not the courage to inquire after her of the ladies sitting near him. Of other things he asked to-day more boldly; not merely had the applause he had gained been an iron-and-steel-cure to his courage, but the wine also, which he did not drink, but ate at the absurd Olla Podridas of the great folk. This eaten beverage fired him actually to publish the bon mots which he used once to say only to himself. And here I publicly testify, how it afflicts me to this very moment that I once on my entrance into the great world was a similar simpleton, and thought things which I should have spoken. Particularly do I repent this, that I did not say to the wife of a trench-major, who had by the hand her little girl and in her bosom a rose with a little one out of the midst of it: Vous voila! and point to the rose, though I had the whole bon mot lying all ready cast in my head. I afterward carried round the saillie for a long time in the chambers of my brain, watching my chance, but finally let it off in the stupidest way, and dare not here so much as name the person.

As there stood among the show-dishes, the optical parade-dishes of the great folks, a winter-landscape with an artificial frost, which melted in the warmth of the room and disclosed a leafy spring, Gustavus had a fine conceit about that, which no one has been able to remember and report to me. Nevertheless, although he ate under the finest ceiling-piece and in the neatest chair, he still, as a mere court-novice, took an interest in all he said and in every one he talked with; to thee, thou blessed one, no truth and no person were as yet indifferent. But there yet awaits thee that bitter transition from hate and love to indifference, which all have to undergo who concern themselves with many persons or many things to which they must needs remain cold!

The Resident Lady drew out to-day more than usual his shy talents to light, and easily graced the interest she took in him with the acknowledgment of his theatrical claims upon her gratitude. At length the third spectacle began, wherein more could shine than in either of the others--the ball came on. Dancing is to the female world what the play is to the great world--a fine vacation-time of tongues, which often become awkward, often dangerous. For a brain like Gustavus's, which to-day for the first time had experienced so many assaults upon his senses, a ball-room was a New Jerusalem. In fact any ball-room is something; look into this one, where Gustavus skips round! Every stringed and wind instrument becomes a lever which lifts the heart out of this niggardly, mistrustful, every-day life; dances shuffle men and women like cards in and out among each other, and the ringing atmosphere around them binds the intoxicated mass into one--so many human beings, and they linked together for such a joyous purpose, dazed by the surrounding chiaro-oscuro, inspired by their beating hearts, must at least commend the cup of joy which Gustavus drained, for he, to whom every lady is a Dogessa, was inspired by every touch of a hand, and the outer tumult so awoke one in his whole inner being that the music, as by reverberation, left its outward birthplace and seemed to spring up only in his own soul amidst and beside his thoughts, and from there to sound outward....

Verily, when one bears about his ideas around a blazing chandelier, they cast back a quite other light than when one crouches with them before an economical lamp! In men of lively fancy, as in hot lands or on high mountains, all extremes lie nearer together: with Gustavus rapture tended every moment to become melancholy; and joy, love, and all the emotions with which the fair dancers inspired him, he would fain bear to his one darling, who staid apart in solitude. It seemed to him, however, as if not all of these made her place good so much as the Resident Lady. Even the play, which was associated with her and in which he had acted for her coronation, made her more dear to him; nay, this her birthday was in his eyes one of her charms. Not otherwise, nor more reasonably than thus, do man's feelings ever act. In short, the Resident Lady gained in all respects in which the absence of Beata to-day bereaved him. To-day was the first time that he had touched anything more of the Resident Lady, for whom he had an extraordinary respect, than a glove--to-day he touched her arm and back, in other words the dress which covered them: on arm and back, but not on the hands, clothing is as good as none. Gustavus! philosophize and sleep rather....

The Bal Paré is over--but the devil's play now begins. Oefel's carriage followed the Bouse's; a neglected axle of the latter took fire from its unnecessary speed. Of course it was an accident, but certain men know no such thing as a mischance, and their plans use every one as a nucleus. Oefel had to offer her his carriage. The good Beata had been left in her sick chamber with a little circle of female attendants. He took a horse from the carriage of the Resident Lady; he left with her (I know not whether from gallantry toward her sex or from sharp-sightedness and friendship for his own and for his romance) my hero and hers. I would offer to prove before an academical senate that nothing is more critical, for one who is meaning yet to become an angel, than to drive home by night from a ball-room with a woman whom he regards as one already--nevertheless not a hair of my hero's head was hurt, nor did he hurt another's.

But he grew more in love, without knowing with whom.

Beata had not quite so dangerous a midnight or after-midnight; but I will despatch his first. He arrived with the Resident Lady at her apartment. He could not and would not tear himself away from to-day's scenes. This room represented to him all that had passed there, and in the strings of the harpsichord lurked a far-distant and beloved voice, and behind the foil of the mirror a far-distant and beloved form. Longing attached itself as a dark flower to the variegated festoon of joy: the Resident Lady gained a new charm by this dark flower also. She was not one of the coquettes who seek to move the senses before the heart; she fell upon this first with the whole array of her charms and from this afterward, as into an enemy's country, carried the war in to them. She herself was not to be conquered otherwise than according to her own tactics. If women of the upper class, like epigrams, are divisible into those that have wit and those that have sensibility, she resembled rather the Greek than the Gallic sententious poem, though the resemblance to the Greek grew daily less. The May air of her earlier life had once wafted a white blossom of noble love to her heart, as a blossom-leaf often comes fluttering down into the midst of the macerated feathers or flower-brilliants of a lady's hat--but her station soon metamorphosed her bosom into a pot pourri, on which are painted flowers of love and within a decaying heap of leaves. All her missteps kept, however, within those narrower and fairer limits to which the invisible hand of an inextinguishable sentiment restricted them. This sentiment the Minister's Lady had never had, and the tablets of her heart grew more and more soiled the more she wrote upon them and rubbed out again. The latter could never possibly delude a noble man; the former lady could.

After this digression the reader can no longer be perplexed, if the Bouse's behavior toward Gustavus is neither sincere nor dissembled, but both. She showed him the night-piece which the Russian-Prince had left with her, and which for the sake of better light she had hung in her cabinet. It represented simply a night, a rising moon, an Indian woman worshipping it on a mountain, and a youth also directing his prayer and his arms toward the moon, but his eyes upon the beloved suppliant at his side; in the background a glow faintly lighted a moonless spot. They remained in the cabinet; the Resident Lady was absorbed in the pictured night, Gustavus talked about it; at last she suddenly woke out of her gaze and silence with the drowsy words: "My birthday festivals always made me sad." In justification she disclosed to him almost all the darker parts of her history; the mournful picture took its colors from her eye and lip and its soul from her tone, and she ended by saying: "Here every one suffers alone." In the inspiration of sympathy he seized her hand and perhaps remonstrated by a slight pressure.

She left her hand in his with a look of entire indifference; but presently took up a lute lying near them, as an apparent pretext for drawing back the fair hand. "I was never unhappy," she continued with emotion, "while my brother still lived." She now drew forth, after a slight but unavoidable unveiling, the image of him which she wore on her sisterly bosom and allowed his eyes a partial view of it, but devoured it with her own. Although Gustavus at the unveiling of such different mysteries, looked merely at the painted bust--even this my Conrector and his fox-skin coat criticise in the most rational manner, for he conceives that there is no fairer rounding than that of his periods, and no more modern Eve's apple than that in the Old Testament. My skin-dressed Conrector may prescribe as he will; but Gustavus, sitting opposite to the mourning Resident Lady, who, formerly let only the form, never the color of that embowered forbidden fruit be divined, will have hard work to learn the lesson.

Very few would have been able, like me and the Conrector, to have hung the picture in its place again with their own hands.

"I love this cabinet," said she, "when I am sad. Here my Alban (name of the brother) surprised me, when he came from London--here he wrote his letters--here he wanted to die, but the doctor would not let him leave his chamber." Unconsciously she let a chord escape from her lute and die away in the air. She looked dreamily on Gustavus, her eyes assumed a more and more moist glimmer. "Your sister is still happy," said she in that sorrowful tone, which is omnipotent when one hears it for the first time from fair and usually laughing lips. "Ah!" said he with sympathetic sadness, "would that I had a sister!" She looked at him with a slightly searching glance of wonder, and said: "On the stage to-day you played the precisely reverse part toward the same person." She meant there he had falsely given himself out as a brother to Beata; here, falsely, as not her brother, or rather here he revealed to her his love. His inquiring look of astonishment hung on her lips and hovered anxiously between his tongue and his ear. She went on indifferently: "To be sure, they say, own brother and sister seldom love each other; but I am the first exception; you will be the second." His astonishment became amazement....

It would be just so with the public, did I not make a sudden break and inform them, that the Resident Lady may well have actually believed (in fact must have) the lie which she told him. People of her station, into whose ears the furioso of the concert of gaieties is ever sounding, hear un-contemporary news with only a deaf, if indeed with more than half an ear--she may therefore, even more easily than the reader (and who will answer for him?) have confounded the lost son of Madam Röper and Falkenberg with the present son of Falkenberg and the Captain's lady. Her behavior hitherto is no more against my supposition than that of the alleged brother and sister was against hers; however I may be mistaken.

But this mistake is rendered quite improbable by her subsequent conduct. His embarrassment repeated itself in hers; she regretted her precipitancy in having praised a brother and sister as loving and happy who avoided each other and disliked to speak of their mutual relations. She concealed not with her looks her design, of diverting the conversation, but took pains to show it; but to her sorrow in having no brother, was joined the sorrowful reflection that Gustavus had indeed a sister, but did not love her, and she expressed her sympathy with the like misfortune more and more touchingly and tenderly on her lute. Over the soul of Gustavus, above which to-day's festival still hung with all its splendor, rolled the heaviest and most heterogeneous waves--mistrust never entered into his heart, although in his head he thought he had enough of it--at this moment he had the choice between the throne and the grave of to-day's joy.

For strong souls know no half way between heaven and hell--no purgatory, no limbus infantium.

The Resident Lady decided his wavering soul. She took his chaos of looks (or it seemed so, for I have not the heart to be the tribunal and last appeal of so many thousand readers) for the two-fold confusion and concern at the coldness with which his (alleged) sister treated him, and at his family history. She had hitherto found in his eyes a longing which sought finer charms than did other courtly eyes--she had retained in her sensitive heart the morning when he petitioned for the grave of Amandus, and the loving eyes, which he had dried in her presence--accordingly she shed the tenderest look upon his ardent face--drew from her lute-strings the tenderest voice of her sympathetic bosom--sought to cover her beating heart--and could not even hide its beatings--and while he made a movement expressive of the most intense affection, she fell, transported, lost, with quivering eye, with overwhelmed heart, with distracted soul and with the single, slow, deep-drawn sigh: "Brother!"--on his breast.

And he on hers!... For the first time in her court-life she felt such an embrace; he for the first time a reciprocated one; for on Beata's pure heart he had never felt her arms around him. O Bouse! couldst thou only have resembled her and remained a sister! but, thou gavest more than thou didst get, and thou didst charm thy victim to take what thou gavest--thou hurriedst him and thyself into a darkening hurricane of feeling--on thy bosom he lost sight of thy face--thy heart--his own--and as all the senses assailed with their first energies, he lost all, all....

Guardian angel of my Gustavus! Thou canst no longer save him; but heal him, if he is lost, if he has lost all, his virtue and his Beata! Draw with me the mourning curtain around his fall and say, even to the soul which is as good as his is: "Be better!"

Before we go to the soul to whom he says it, to Beata, we will hear at least a single advocate for poor Gustavus, that he may not be so severely condemned. The Vindicator suggests for our reflection simply this: if women are so easy to overcome, it is because in all military relations the assailant has the advantage over the party assailed; but let the case be once reversed, a temptress come upon the scene instead of a tempter, then will the same tempted man, who never would have assailed another's innocence, lose his own in the unwonted reversal of relations, and indeed the more easily, in proportion as female temptation is finer, more delicate and penetrating than that of man. Hence men, it is true, lead astray; but young men are generally in the beginning led astray--and one seductress creates ten seducers.

Pardon us all, pure Beata, the transition to thyself! Thou keepest at this late hour of the night a chamber of the princely palace, all alone, but with joy upon joy; for thou hadst Gustavus's letter to thee in thy hands and on thy bosom; and in the whole palace the sickest soul was the happiest; for the letter which she could at length read, kiss, and without inner and outer tempests enjoy thoroughly, beamed more mildly on her tender eye than the presence of the object, whose fiery glow only by distance sank to a fanning warmth; his presence oppressed her with too great a load of enjoyment, and she then embraced every moment the genius of her virtue, while she fancied she was merely embracing her friend. In this spring-time of rapture, when she held the letter in one hand and by the other the genius of virtue, she was disturbed by the--Prince of Scheerau. So crawls a toad on his belly into a bed of flowers.

In such a case a woman only then finds it difficult to decide her line of conduct, when she still wavers irresolutely between indifference and love; or else when, despite all coldness, she would fain from vanity allow just so much, that virtue may lose, and love gain, nothing;--on the contrary, in the case of a complete virtuous resolve, she can freely resign herself to the inner virtue which fights for her, and she needs hardly watch over lips and looks, because these fall under suspicion precisely when they desire a guard. Beata's way of putting up the letter was the only little semi-tone in this full harmony of an armed virtue. The incumbent of the Scheerau throne excused his appearance on the score of anxiety about her health. He made up his following conversation out of the French language--the best when one would talk with the women and witlings--and of those turns of phrase whereby one can say all one will without boring himself or the other party, and which communicate all only in half, and of this half again a quarter in jest, and all more politely than flatteringly and more boldly than sincerely.

"Thus have I"--he said with a polite admiration--"this whole evening, in my mind's eye seen you pictured; my fancy has taken nothing from you, except actual presence. If fate suffered herself to be reasoned with, I should have scolded at her all through the Ball for having denied to the person who has given us to-day so much pleasure, the enjoyment of her own."

"O!" said she, "a kind destiny has given me to deny more pleasure than I could impart." Although the Prince is one of those persons with whom one would rather not talk about anything, still she said this with a feeling which, however, was nothing but a thanking of destiny for the previous happy reading hour.

"You are," said he with a fine look, which was meant to put another meaning upon Beata's words, "a little of an egotist--that is not your talent.--Yours must be not to be alone. You have hitherto concealed your face as well as your heart; think you that at my court no one is worthy to admire and to see both?" For Beata, who fancied she had no need to be modest, but only humble, such a praise was too great for her not to think of refusing it. His look seemed to require an answer, but she gave one, on the whole, as seldom as possible, because every step carries the old noose along with it into a new one. He had at first sought her hand with the air with which one takes that of a patient; she had carelessly let him have it, but she had let it lie bedded in his like a dead glove--all his feelers could not detect in it the least sensitiveness; she withdrew it at the next opportunity, neither slowly nor hurriedly, out of the rusty sheath.

The dance, the events of the day, the night, the stillness gave his words to-day more fire than usual. "The lots," said he, playing, as one piqued, with a coin in his waist-coat pocket, by way of supplying the place of the escaped hand, "have fallen unluckily. Persons who have the talent of inspiring sensations, have unhappily often the disagreeable one of reciprocating none, themselves." Suddenly he fixed his glance upon her breast-pin, on which gleamed a pearl with the word, "Amitiè;" from that he turned his eyes to his Bolognese coin, on which, as on all coins of Bologna, was inscribed the word "Libertas." "You deal with friendship as Bologna with Freedom--both of you wear that as a legend which you have not in fact." The nobler class of persons cannot hear the words Friendship, Feeling, Virtue, even from the most ignoble, without being reminded by the words of the greatness of which their hearts are capable. Beata covered with her heaving breast a sigh which would fain say, only too plainly, what joys and sorrows, feeling and friendship gave her, but it touched not the Prince.

His searching glance, which was owing not to his sex, but to his station, overtook the sigh which he had not heard. He made at once, contrary to the nature of an appeal and of nature itself, a leap in the dialogue: "Do you not understand me?" he said, in a tone full of expectant homage. She said with more coldness than the sigh promised, that she could not to-day do anything with her sick head than rest it on--her arm, and that alone made it difficult for her to express with equal strength the reverence of a subject, and the difference between her opinions and his. Like beasts of prey, where creeping effected nothing, he resorted to leaps. "Oh, believe me," said he, adopting as his own Henri's declaration of love; "Marie, indeed I am not thy brother!" A woman gains nothing by long refusing to understand certain declarations, except--the most unmistakable ones. Besides, he still lay before her in Henri's attitude. "Permit me," she answered, "the alternative of regarding it either as earnest or as jest--off the stage I am less capable of deserving the rose-prize or of neglecting it; but it is you who in all cases have merely to give it."--"But to whom?" said he (and this shows that against such persons no reasons are of any avail)--"I forget in the presence of the beautiful all ugly ones, and all beauties in the presence of the most beautiful--I give you the prize of virtue, give me that of sensibility--or may I take it myself?" and his lips hastily darted toward her cheeks, on which hitherto were more tears than kisses; but with a cold astonishment, which he had found warmer in all other women, she drew herself away from him neither an inch too much nor too little, and in a tone in which were contained at once the respect of a subject, the repose of a virtuous and the coldness of an inexorable soul; in short, a tone as if her request had no connection with what had gone before--She presented to him her submissive petition that he would most graciously be pleased (inasmuch as the Doctor had assured her she could not do anything worse than keep awake) to retire--or as I should have expressed it--go to the devil. Before going so far he indulged in a little more badinage, in which he almost got back to his old tone, filed his inhesive pro-counter-protests and withdrew.

Nothing but the peace which she derived from the hands of virtue and love and Gustavus's letter ensured her the happy result that this Jacob, or Jack, sprained his hip in wrestling with this angel--which, of course, vexed the mortified Jacques so much the more in proportion as the angel grew more beautiful during the wrestling, as every excitement in a woman is notoriously a momentary cosmetic.

In your whole life, Gustavus and Beata, never have you opened your eyes upon a morning with such different feelings as on this, when Beata had nothing to reproach herself with and Gustavus everything. Over the whole sunken spring-time of his life there settled down a long winter; out of himself he had no pleasure, within himself no consolation, and before him, instead of hope, remorse.

He tore himself away, with as much forbearance as his despair allowed him, from the objects of his anguish and hurried with his boiling blood towards Auenthal, to Wutz--into my lodgings. I saw no remaining sign of life about him, save the rain-storm from his eyes. He made a vain attempt to begin:--what with blood, ideas and tears, his words were drowned--at last, in a flame of emotion, he turned away from me toward the window, and with his eye fixed on one spot related to me how low he had fallen from himself. Thereupon, in order to avenge himself upon himself by his mortification, he made himself visible, but only held out till he came to the name of Beata; here, when for the first time he brought before me the vanished flower-garden of his first love, he was compelled to cover his face, and said: "Oh, I was altogether too happy and am quite too miserable."

The delusion of the Resident Lady in taking him for the brother of Beata I could easily explain to him by the resemblance between the likenesses of himself and of the first son. First of all I endeavored to restore to him the weightiest credit--that which he must find in himself: whoever ascribes to himself no moral strength, at last forfeits it in reality. His fall was owing merely to his new situation; nothing is so dangerous about a temptation as its novelty; men and clocks go most correctly in a uniform temperature. For the rest, I beg the romancers, who find it far easier than feeling and experience attest, for two quite pure, enthusiastic souls to change their love into a fall, not to take my hero as proof of their position; for here the second pure soul was wanting; on the contrary, the union of all the colors of two fair souls (Gustavus's and Beata's) will never produce any other than the white of innocence.

His determination was this, to tear himself away from Beata forever by a letter--to leave the palace with all objects that reminded him of his fair days or his unhappy ones--to live through or sigh through the winter with his parents, who always spent it in the city, and then in summer to shuffle the cards anew with Oefel for the game of life, in order to see what there might still be, when repose of soul is lost, to gain or to forfeit.... Unhappy darling! why does thy present history, just at the very moment when I might bring my written one into coincidence with it, put on a mourning veil? Why must thy short, sad days fall precisely upon the short, sad days of the almanac? O in this winter of sorrow no Jacob's ladder of enthusiasm will lift me to the heights whence I may survey and sketch the blooming landscape of thy life, and I shall write about thee little, in order to take thee the of oftener in my arms!

And you, ye frightful souls, who count a misstep of which Gustavus feels as if he must die, as among your distinctions and delights, you who, not like him, lose you own innocence, but murder that of others, dare I defile him by your neighborhood on my paper? What will you yet make out of our century? You crowned, starred, knighted, mitred eunuchs! Of you I speak not, and have never complained that you burn out and precipitate, with as much furnace fire as you can get together, out of your own ranks the so-called virtue (i. e., the semblance of it), which is so brittle an alloy in your female metals--for in your rank temptation has no longer a name, no significance, no evil consequences, and you do little or no harm there--but swoop not down upon our middle class, upon our lambs, with your vulture claws! With us you are yet an epidemic (I fall, like you, into a confusion, but only of metaphors), which sweeps away the more victims by reason of its newness. Rob and kill there anything else rather than female virtue! Only in a century like ours, in which all fine feelings are strengthened except the sense of honor, can one trample under foot that of woman, which consists merely in chastity, and, like the savage hack down a tree forever in order to get its first and last fruits. The robbery of a woman's honor is as much as that of a man's, i. e., thou destroyest the escutcheon of a higher nobility, breakest the sword, takest off the spurs, tearest to shreds the diploma of nobility and the ancestral register; that which the executioner does to a man thou executest upon a poor creature who loves this hangman, and only cannot control her disproportionate imagination. Abominable! And of such victims, whom men's hands had fastened with an everlasting iron collar to disgrace, there are in the streets of Vienna two thousand, in those of Paris thirty thousand, in those of London fifty thousand--Horrible! Death-angel of vengeance! count not the tears which our sex wrings from woman's eyes and causes to fall burning on the frail female heart! Measure not the sighs and the agonies under which the filles de joie expire, and which awaken no regrets in the iron fils de joie, except because he must betake himself to another bed which is not a death-bed!

Tender, true, but weak sex! Why are all the faculties of thy soul so great and brilliant, that thy considerateness is so small and pale in the comparison? Why does there stir in thy heart an inborn respect for a sex which spares not thine own? The more ye adorn your souls, the more graces you make of your limbs, the more love you have heaving in your bosoms and beaming from your eyes, the more you transform yourselves by enchantment into angels; so much the more do we seek to hurl these angels down out of their heaven, and in the very century of your highest transfiguration, authors, artists and nobles all conspire to form a forest of upas-trees under which you are doomed to die, and we exalt each other in proportion to the number of well-poisonings and beaker-poisonings we have prepared for your lips!


Night Music.--Farewell Letter.--My Groans and Grievances.

I had planned for to-day to play the joke of calling my biography a printed New Year's Wish to the reader, and then, instead of wishes, send out in sport New Year's curses and more of the like. But I cannot do it, and on the whole shall soon be absolutely unable to do it any more. What a heavy, burnt-out heart must those people have, who in the face of the first day which ushers them into the procession of 364 other lowly, serious, wailing and weeping ones, can prefer the noisy, riotous pleasure of beasts to the still, tender and almost tearful joy of man! You cannot know what the words first and last say, if in their presence, whether they refer to a day, a book, or a person, you do not draw a deeper breath; still less can you know what preëminence man has over the beast, if within you the interval is so great between joy and longing, and if both are not within you blended in one tear! Thou Heaven and thou Earth, your present form is an image (as if a mother) of such a union; that world of light looking so consolingly into our freezing eyes--the Sun,--transforms the blue ether around it into a blue night, which casts a still deeper shadow of itself over the glittering sun-face of the snow-clad earth, and man sees with yearning eyes a night sweep across his heaven and one fissure of light, the deep opening and street stretching away toward brighter worlds....

The past night still leads my pen. It is, namely, in Auenthal, as in many other places, the custom, that in the last solemn night of the year there shall be sounded out from the mouths of bugles, as it were an echo of days that have departed, or a funeral music of the buried year. When I heard my good Wutz with some assistants in the room below me making some stir and a few experimental tones, I arose and went with my sister, who had been long awake, to the narrow window. In the still night one could hear the steps of the people going up. Above our window lay that beam under which one must listen and look out in prophetic night, in order to see and hear the cloudy forms of futurity. And in fact I saw, in a literal sense, what superstition is fain to see. I saw, as it does, coffins on roofs, and funeral trains at one door and wedding-guests and bridal wreath at another, and a human year passed through the village and held on its right maternal breast the little joys which play with man, and on its left the sorrows which bark at him; fain would it nourish both, but they fell off dying, and as often as a sorrow or a joy withered and dropped, so often did one of the two clappers strike its signal on the bells of the steeple.... I looked over toward the white wood behind which lay the dwellings of my friends, O young year, I said, repair to my friends and lay in their arms the joys thou hast in thine, and take with thee the lingering and tenacious sorrows of the old year, which will not die! Go into all the four quarters of the world and distribute the sucklings of thy right breast, and leave me only one--health!

The tones of the steeple welled out into the far moonless night, which was a great summit sprinkled over with starry blossoms. Art thou happy or unhappy, little Schoolmaster Wutz, that thou standest on thy tower opposite the White Wall and a white stone of the Auenthal churchyard and yet thinkest not whom wall and stone enclose, the same namely, who once, in thy place, in just so still a night greeted like thee the new year: thy father, who in his turn, just as calmly as thou blew his bugle-blast out over the deaf and dead ears of his mouldering kinsfolk?... More tranquil, indeed, art thou, that on this New Year's eve thinkest on no other diminution than that of the nights; but dearer to me is my Philippina, who here beside me lives her life over anew and sure more seriously than the first time, and in whose bosom the heart is not merely doing lady's work, but sometimes also rises on the swell of emotion to feel how little man is, how much he comes to be, and how truly the earth is a church-yard wall and man the detonizing saltpetre which crystallizes upon it! Good, weeping sister, at this moment thy brother cares not that thou to-morrow--wilt care very little about this; at this moment he pardons it in thee and in thy whole sex, that your hearts so often resemble precious stones, in which the fairest colors are often found side by side with--a fly or a bit of moss; for what can man, as he surveys and sighs over this wasting life and its decaying possessions--what can he do better in the midst of this feeling than love them right heartily, and cherish a true patience with them, a true.... Let me embrace thee, Philippina, and if I should ever fail to forgive thee, remind me of this embrace!...

My biography should now move on again; but I cannot possibly lend my head and my hand to the work, unless I would on the spot write myself out of the learned world into the world to come. It is better for me to make myself merely the compositor of this history and copy off the painful letter which Gustavus sent to his forfeited friend.

* * * * *

"Faithful, virtuous soul! Let the present dark moment, which I only have deserved, but not thou, not torment thee long, but soon be veiled from sight! O! fortunate, indeed, it is, that thou canst not see my eye, nor my lips quivering with anguish, nor my shattered heart, wherewith I now make an end to all my fair days. If thou shouldst see me here as I sit writing, then would the tenderest soul that ever administered solace on the earth, place itself between me and my heaving sorrow and seek to cover and comfort me; she would cast upon me a healing look and ask what ailed me.... Ah, good, true heart! ask it not of me; I should have to answer: my anguish, my deathless rack, my viper-wound is lost innocence.... Theefn would thy eternal innocence turn away affrighted and give me no consolation; I should be left lying alone, and the sorrow would stand erect beside me with the scourge in its hand. Ah! I could not once raise my head, to cast a forlorn look back upon all the good hours which had departed from me in thy person.--Ah, it is indeed so, and thou art already gone!--Amandus! does heaven cut me off entirely from thee, and canst thou, who gavest me the lily-hand of Beata, not see my polluted one, which belongs no more to that purest?--All, hadst thou been still living, then should I, indeed, have lost thee also.... O, that there can be hours here below, which are suffered to bear the full beaker of a whole life's joy, and with one fall to shatter it to pieces and spill the refreshing draught of all, all years!

"Beata! now we part; thou deservest a more faithful heart than mine has been; I deserved not thine--I have nothing left that thou couldst love--my image in thy heart must be broken in pieces--thine abides forever immovable in my own; but it looks upon me no longer with the eye of love, but with a downcast eye that weeps over the place where it resides.... Ah, Beata, I can hardly end my letter; so soon as its last line is written, we are torn from one another, and never more hear or know each other.--Oh, God! how little avail penitence and tears! No one restores the hot heart of man, when there is nothing left therein, save the great, hard sorrow, which it strives, as a volcano laboring with a mass of rock, to cast up and out of itself, and which forever plunges back again into the blazing kettle; nothing can heal us, nothing can give back again to leafless man his fallen foliage; Ottomar, after all, is right in saying that the life of man passes, like a full moon, over nothing but nights....

"Ah well, it must needs be! Farewell, friend! Gustavus was not worthy of the hour which thou wilt have. Thy holy heart, which he has wounded, may an angel bind up, and bear thou it silently in the bond of friendship! My last, joyful letter, wherein I could not content myself with my overflowing happiness, lay in this inconsolable one, in which I have nothing more left me, and burn them both together. Let no officious person tell thee in future after many years, that I am still living, that I have pressed the long grief, with which I expiate my sunken happiness, like thorns into my forlorn bosom, and that in my sad day of life the night comes the sooner which lies between two worlds! When one day thy brother falls with a fairer heart upon thy breast, tell him not, tell it not to thyself, who looked like him--and when one day thy tearful eye rests upon the white pyramid, turn it away and forget that I was there so happy. Ah! but I forget not, I turn not my eyes away, and if man could die of remembrance, I would go to the grave of Amandus and die--Beata, Beata, in no human breast wilt thou find stronger love than mine was, though thou easily mayest stronger virtue--but when thou hast one day found that virtue, then remember not me, not my fall, repent not our short love, nor do him wrong who once under the starry heaven reclined upon thy noble breast.... O, thou my, my Beata! at the present instant thou dost indeed still belong to me, because thou dost not yet know me; at the present moment my spirit may, with its hand upon its wounds and stains come before thine and fall upon it and say to thee with stifled sighs: love me!... After this moment, no more.--After this moment I am alone, without love and without solace--a long life stretches away before me far and void, and there is no Thou in it----but this human life and its errors will pass away. Death will give me his hand and lead me away--the days beyond the earth will purify me for virtue and thee----then come, Beata, then, when an angel shall have borne thee through thy earthly evening twilight into the second world, then at last will a heart, broken here below, but healed up yonder, meet thine and sink on thy bosom and yet not die with rapture, and I shall say once more: 'Take me again, beloved soul, I, too, am blessed!'--all earthly wounds will vanish, the circle of Eternity will embrace and bind us together!... Ah, we must indeed first part, and this life still continues--live longer than I, weep less than I, and--yet do not wholly forget me.--Ah, hast thou, then, loved me very much, thou precious one, thou whom I have trifled away?...

"Gustavus F."

At evening while he was in the act of sealing the letter, Beata passed in at the palace-gate. As he saw her bright form, which was so soon to be bathed in such a flood of tears, alight from the carriage, he started back, wrote the address, went to bed and drew the curtains, and softly----wept. Particularly eager was he to be out of the way of the romance-builder and stone-mason, Oefel, because his looks and tones were nothing but ignoble triumphs of his prophetic glance; and even Gustavus's dejection be still more ignobly counted among his own triumphs....

Actually, I would the Devil had all the four quarters of the world and would take them off and himself, too; for he has half got me. Few know that he will not let me bring this biography to an end. I am now convinced that I shall not die of apoplexy (as I lately fancied under my frozen head-piece) nor of consumption (which was a true maggot of the brain); but insure me against this, that I shall not be wrecked upon a polypus of the heart, to which all human probability points?--Happily I am not so obstinate as Musaeus in Weimar, who did not believe in the existence of his, which he fed and fostered as I do mine, with cold coffee, until the polypus choked his noble heart and cheated him of all his birthday festivals and all his wishes for those of his spouse. I say, I note more wisely the forerunners of polypus in the heart; I do not conceal from myself what lies hid behind a remittent pulse, namely, this very heart-polypus, the slow-match of death. The cursed literary secret tribunal, the reviewing-guild, creeps with its nooses round us good, easy simpletons, who keep on writing, and like butterflies die in the embrace of the Muses--but not a penny-piece, not a line, should we publish for such conscienceless birds of prey; what thanks do I get for setting up scenes which almost kill the scene-painter, and for writing biographical sketches which operate upon me not much better than poisoned letters? Who knows--for I seldom come to Scheerau now-a-days--who knows, except my sister, that in this biographical summer-house, which will be my mausoleum, I often paint over chambers and walls, which stop my pulse and breath to such an extent, that some day I must be found lying dead beside my work? Must I not, when I thus come within the electric range of death, jump up, circulate through my chamber, and in the midst of the tenderest or sublimest passages break off and black the boots on my feet or brush my hat and breeches, merely that it may not take my breath away, and yet go at it again, and in this cursed style alternate between emotion and boot-blacking?--A curse upon you critics in a body!

To this are added also a thousand pieces of drudgery which for some time have been pestering me all the oftener, because they somehow perceive that the polypus will soon give me the finishing stroke, and they will not much longer have any chance with me. My Maussenbach lobster, who is continually taking me between his legal shears and who thinks a poor justice has no right to die of anything else than labors, exofficio,--this Egyptian task-master I will pass over; my sister and Wutz, also, beneath me, both of whom are merry beyond all reason or measure, and sing me almost to death. But what oppresses me, is the oppressor of his subjects, the metallic press-work which they call our Prince.

I came near, lately, writing myself, in a paper of exceptions, into an honorable arrest. But here on the biographic paper I can even throw my oranges at the crowned head without danger of imprisonment. Fie! is it for this thou art Prince, that thou mayst be a waterspout, which sucks up everything over which it passes into its crater? And if thou wilt some time rob us, do it with no other hands than thine own, drive round begging through the country from house to house and raise thyself the regular taxes into thy carriage; but just as it has always been, our payments, after the transit-toll which they must give into the hands of all thy revenue-officers, arrive at last lean as far-traveled herrings at thy coffers, so that in fact thou dost get no more out of the heavy sums than convenient logarithms. Princes, like the East Indian crabs, have one gigantic pair of shears for seizing, and one dwarf-pair for carrying the prey to the mouth.

And so is it with the whole metropolis, where everyone regards himself as fellow-regent, and yet every one cries out at others meddling with the administration, and that children creep under the ermine as under the paternal dressing-gown and jointly act the father--where the palaces of the great are built of lapis infernalis [lunar caustic], and like leprous houses eat out smaller ones--where the Minister bears the Prince on his unfelt hand as the falconer does the falcon on his gloved one--where one regards the vices of the people as the revels of their superiors, and merely coat over with wax all moral carrion as the bees do their material, instead of carrying it out of the hive, i. e. where the police proposes to take the place of morals--where, as at every court, a moral figure is found to be as intolerable and stiff as a geometric one is in painting--where the devil is fully loose and the holy spirit is in the wilderness, and where people who, in Auenthal or elsewhere, hold crooked probes in their hand, whereby they would fain draw out foreign bodies and splinters from the wounds of the State, are told to their faces, they are not quite in their right minds....

I would it were true, then I should at least be perfectly sound. After such clump of personalities which, like so many monads, make up a body politic, mine is too puny to be taken out and looked at. Else I could now, after my anxieties about the State, enumerate those relating to myself.

And yet I will communicate to the reader my agonies or seven words on the cross, although to the very cross under which he will pity me, he himself has helped nail me. In fact no devil concerns himself much about my sickness. I sit here and represent to myself, out of unrequited love to the reader, all day long, that fire may be cried, which, like an author's stove, shall lay all my biographic paper in ashes and perhaps the author too. I further torment myself with imagining that this book may in the mail-coach or in the printing-office be so spoiled, that the public shall be as good as cheated out of the whole work, and that even after the printing it may find its way into a baiting-house and torture-chamber, where a critical provider and general of the reviewing order has his reviewer sitting with their long teeth, to tear off from my tender Beata and her lover clothes and flesh, and whose room is like that room full of spiders which a certain Parisian kept, and which at his entrance always darted down from the ceiling to suck the bleeding doves' feathers which he had pulled out, and from whose operations he with great pains managed to obtain yearly a silk stocking.... All these torments I put upon myself, merely on the reader's account, who would be the greatest loser if he did not have me to read; but it is all one to this hard man, what they have to undergo who minister to his gratification. When at last I have freed my hands from these nails of the cross, still life itself wearies me as such a miserable tedious monochord of a thing that it must distress every one who reckons up how often he has to draw breath and heave his breast up and down until it stiffens, or how often before his death he will be obliged to lift himself up on his boot-jack or stand before his shaving-glass. I often contemplate the greatest misery in a whole life, namely, that which results if one had to dispatch all the shavings, frizzlings, dressings, sedes in succession, which are now scattered through a life-time. The gloomiest night-thought which broods over my still somewhat blooming prospect, is this, that death may in this nocturnal life, where existence and friends move like widely sundered lights in the dark mine, snatch my precious loved ones out of my powerless hands and lock them up forever in close coffins, to which no mortal, but only the greatest and most invisible hand, has the key.... For hast thou not torn so much from me already? Would I speak of sorrow or of the vanity of life, if the gay youthful circle were not yet broken in pieces, if the colored band of friendship, which still fastens the earth and its enamel to man, had not yet been sawed asunder to within one or two threads? O thou whom I even now hear weeping from a far distance, thou art not unhappy on whose breast a beloved heart has grown cold, but thou art so who thinkest of the corrupting element, when thou wouldst rejoice in the love of the living friend, and who in the most blissful embrace askest thyself: "How long shall we continue to feel each other?"


Now at last the case has become desperate; my disease has taken at once the biographical and the legal pen out of my hand, and despite all Easter Fair's and Fatalia, it is impossible for me to put pen to paper on any subject....


An attack of amaurosis, to all appearances, in addition to my other maladies, is threatening me; for sparks, and specks, and spider-webs dance for hours about my eyes; and these (according to Plempins and Chevalier Zimmerman) are premonitory symptoms of the said disease. Squinting (says Richter, the cataract-operator, not the patient--in his Surgical Science. B. III p. 426) is an unmistakable forerunner of amaurosis. How very much I squint, every one can see, because I always look and aim at everything to the right and left at once. Now when I actually become as stone-blind as a mole, then it is all up with my bit of biographical writing....


I have a couple of fevers at once, which with other more fortunate persons cannot generally bear each other's company. The three-days' fever, the quartan-fever, and then an Autumnal or Spring fever in general. Meanwhile I will, so long as I am yet uncoffined, write something every Sunday for the public to read, two or three lines at least, if my plan should succeed. Even my style suffers terribly; here are the two verbs rhyming....


Ye pleasant biographical Sundays! I shall never spend another. In addition to the ills which I have already mentioned, there is a live lizard has taken up his abode in my stomach, whose spawn I must have swallowed in an unfortunate draught last summer....


Of cherry-stones sprouting in the stomach as well as peas in the ear, there are examples. But I have never yet read of an instance, in which the seed of gooseberries, which we usually swallow with the fruit, has germinated in the bowels, when these by constipation had become the forcing vat of the aforesaid vegetable. Good heavens! what will be the final upshot of my malady, whose invisible claw seizes, cramps, distends, rends asunder my nerves and my vitals...!


If there is a malady which is a compilation of all maladies, all chapters of pathology at once, nobody has it but I. Apoplexy--hectic--cramp in the stomach or a lizard--three kinds of fever--polypus in the heart--sprouting gooseberry bushes:--such are the few visible constituents and ingredients which I have thus far been able to announce of my malady; a judicious deeper section of my poor body will, when both classes of constituents shall have laid it low, add to these the invisible ones also....


An ominous pleurisy--if one may put any faith in the entire system of semeiology and the hard beatings of the pulse and strictures in the chest--has grasped and held me since day before yesterday and threatens to make an end of my maltreated life and of this biography--unless by a fortunate cure death should be softened into an empyema[88]--or into a phthisis--or vomica [abscess] or into a scirrhus [glandular induration], or else into an ulcer.----After such a heating, one has only to bore into my breast, so as to draw out, from that source whence there once came a book full of the milk of human kindness, life and the morbid matter together....


You good readers! who have followed me with your indulgent eyes from the chess-board of the first section to the death-bed of the last, my road and our acquaintance are at an end--may life never be a burden to you--may your practical eye never forget in the little field the great one; in this first life the next; in men, yourselves--may dreams crown your life and may none affright your dying hour ... My sister shall conclude all.... Live happily and sink happily to sleep!...


My good and martyred brother will have it that I should finish this book. Ah, his sister would not be able to do it for grief, if it should become necessary. But I hope to heaven that my brother is not so sick as he fancies. After dinner indeed he has such a notion. And I, if we are both to have any peace, must needs confirm him in it, and acknowledge him to be just as sick as he imagines himself. Yesterday the schoolmaster had to rap on his chest, that he might hear whether it rang, because a certain Avenbrügger in Vienna had written that this ringing showed sound lungs. Unfortunately it rang but little, and he therefore gives himself up; but I will, without his knowledge, write to Dr. Fenk, that he may allay his qualms. I have further to state that young Mr. von Falkenberg is sick at the house of his parents in Ober-Scheerau, and that my friend Beata is also sick with hers.... It is a gloomy winter for us all. May the spring heal every heart and restore to me and the readers of this book my dear brother!


The Pounding Cousin.--Cure.--Bathing.--Caravan.

Once more you are to have him--the Brother and Biographer! In freedom and gladness I come forth again; the winter and my craziness are over and clear joy dwells in every second, on every octavo page, in every drop of ink.

It happened thus: Every imagined sickness presupposes an actual: nevertheless there are imaginary causes of sickness. My alternation between health and sickness, between merry and mournful, soft and stern moods, had reached, in its rapidity and its contrasts, the maximum point; I could no longer, for want of breath, dictate a protocol, and as to the scenes of this biography I could not so much as conceive them; when on a ruddy, glowing winter evening, I sallied out and strode round through the rosy-tinted snow, and in this snow lighted on the word heureusement.

I shall never cease to think of this word on the wax-tablet of the snow; it was beautifully engraved in the lapidary style with a bamboo-cane. "Fenk;" I exclaimed mechanically. "Thou canst not be far away," thought I; for as every European (even on his plantations) tries the nib of his pen on a special word, and as the Doctor had already filled whole sheets with the trial-word heureusement as first impression of his pen, I knew at once how it was. And he sat down with me and laughed at me (to be sure more at my sister's history of the sickness than at my invalid appearance) till I, not knowing whether I ought to laugh or be angry, did, as well as I could, one after the other. But soon he fell into my own condition and was obliged himself to do one after the other--when we came to a history which put us, namely the whole hypochondriacal committee of safety, to shame; which I nevertheless relate.

There happened to be, namely in the room with us, a near cousin of mine, named Fedderlein, who is both cobbler and steeple-warder of Scheerau; he cares for the boots and for the safety of the city and has to do both with leather and (on account of his ringing) with chronology. My near cousin was coal-black and troubled, not on account of my sickness, but on account of his wife, who had died of it. This case of sickness and death he would fain communicate to me and the doctor, by way of enlightening the latter and affecting the former. And he would have succeeded, had he not unfortunately snatched a ripping-knife from my Philippina and in the absorption of his own attention to the tale of mortality, pounded vehemently on the table. I immediately proposed to myself not to suffer it. My hand therefore crept along--my eyes meanwhile holding his fixed--nearer and nearer to the said hammer in order to stop it.

But my cousin's hand politely evaded it and kept on pounding. I would gladly have been profoundly moved, for he came nearer and nearer to the last hours of my deceased kinswoman--but I could not withdraw my ears from the foundry-work of the knife-handle. Fortunately I saw little Wutz standing there, and hurriedly borrowed the unlucky knife of the hammerer and with it in my nervousness cut out for the child one or two halves of fastnight-cracknels.

So there I stood rescued and had the knife to myself. But now he began drumming with his disarmed fingers upon the key-board of the table, and provided his wife in his novel with the holy supper. I tried to subdue myself and my ears; but as, partly the internal conflict, partly my intense attention to his drumming fingers, which I could hear only with the greatest difficulty, drew me wholly away from my good cousin, who was certainly a wife and a steeple-wardress such as few are, I soon had enough of it and caught at his organ-playing hand of torture, put it under arrest, and broke out: "O my dear, worthy cousin Fedderlein!" He surmised that I was affected: and became himself still more so, forgot himself, and with the still unarrested fingers of his left hand continued to tap too vigorously on the table.

I undertook, like a stoic, to help myself out from this station of misery by an internal effort, and while the outward tinkling went on behind me, placed before my mind my good cousin and her deathbed: "and so then," I eloquently soliloquized, "thou liest there, poor faded flower, stiff and motionless, and, so to speak, dead!"--At this moment the trip-hammer became quite furious. I could not help it, but I took the left hand of the historian prisoner also and pressed it partly with emotion. "You can both imagine," said he, "how I felt, as if the steeple fell upon me, when one had to take her up on his back like a sack, and so carry her down the seven stairs." I was beside myself, first at the thought of that, and secondly, because I felt in my hand the effort of his toward a new tattooing; I broke down and said: "for heaven's sake, my dear cousin, for the sake of the good deceased saint, if one has any regard for his own cousin ..."

"I will come to an end presently," said he, "if it takes such a hold of you." "No;" said I, "only I beg you not to drum so! But such a cousin we two shall neither of us be likely soon to have again!" For I was fairly beside myself.

And yet life, like a miniature painting, is made up of such points, of such moments. Stoicism can often keep off the club of the hour, but not the gnat-sting of the second.

My doctor--(while my cousin put the question: "What was my worthy cousin's meaning?")--took me out of the room and said gravely: "Dear Jean Paul, thou art my true friend, a government-advocate, a Maussenbach audienza, an author in the biographical department--but a fool nevertheless, I mean a hypochondriae."

In the evening he demonstrated the double proposition. O, on that evening, good Fenk, thou didst draw me out of the laws and the poison-fangs of hypochondria, which sprinkle their pungent juice over all moments! Thy whole dispensary lay on thy tongue! Thy prescriptions were satires, and thy cure enlightenment!

"Set it down in thy biography"--he began, and thrust his hands into his muff--"that there is in thy case do imitating Herr Thümmel and his doctor and their medical college, which consisted half of the patient and half of the physician--that I even scold thee; for that is in fact what I am going to do. Tell me, where has thy reason been all this time; nay, where hast thou kept thy conceptive faculty that thou hast been, bodily, in the devil's hands? Don't answer me that the learned are here of too many different opinions--['Who shall decide when doctors disagree?']--that Willis places conception in the corpus callosum--Posidonius, on the contrary, in the front chamber, as does Ætius also--and Glaser in the oval centrum. The thing is only a lively figure of speech; but inasmuch as thou confusest me thereby, I will attack thee in another quarter. Tell me--or do you tell me, dear Philippina, how could you allow the patient hitherto to have so many exalted, touching or poetic emotions and to write them down for other people? Could you not have overturned his inkstand or coffeepot, or the whole writing-table? The strain of sentimental fancy is of all intellectual processes the most enervating; an algebraist always outlives a tragic poet."

"And a physiologist, too," said I, "Haller's cursed and yet admirable physiology came near working me into the grave; the eight volumes here."

"For that very reason," he continued, "this anatomical octupla fastens the fancy, which was wont to hover only over fleeting poetic pastures, to sharply defined and minute objects; hence...."

"Fortunately," I interrupted him, "I could always recover myself and my fancy tolerably well by brown beer,[89] which I had to take (if I would get my breath) so long as I sat over Herrn von Haller. In this vehicle, and in this diluted form, I could more easily get down that medicine of the mind, physiology. I cannot possibly, therefore, unless I would become the greatest of drinkers, become the greatest physiologist."

"That is well," said he impatiently, and pulled the tail out of his muff, "but it comes to nothing. Thou and I stand here talking mere digressions, instead of consecutive and logical paragraphs: the reviewers of thy biography must think me very unsystematic.

"I will now talk like a book or like a doctor's dissertation; besides I ought to write one for a medical candidate with a passion for the doctorate, and I would therein go through with the nervus ischiaticus or the nervus sympatheticus; I will let all that be and speak here and in the dissertation of weak nerves generally.

"Every physician must have a favorite malady, which he sees oftener than any other--mine is nervous debility. Sensitive, weak, overstrained nerves, hysterical conditions and thy hypochondria,--are different baptismal names of my one darling malady.

"One can get it as early as an hereditary nobility--even the hereditary nobility itself, almost all the higher women and highest children have it at first hand--then not all doctors hats can remove it, any more than they can the eternal torments, but only alleviate it.

"But thou hast gained it, like the bought-nobility, by merit."

"Say rather, it is itself a merit," said I, "and a hypochondriac is own brother to a learned man, if he is not in fact that very one; just as the measles, which attack monkeys as well as men, set the seal upon their relationship to our race."

"But thy merit," he continued, "is much easier to cure. If one should take from thee three kinds of thing, namely, thy pathological fever-dreams, thy medicine-glasses and thy books, then would the entire sickness go with them. I am always forgetting that I was to discourse like a dissertation. Then for the fever-visions. The most miserable semeiology or diagnosis is certainly not the Chinese, but the hypochondriacal. Thy malady and a stoical virtue are alike in this, that whoever has one has all. Thou stoodst there as a pawn-bearing statue, on which pathology hung all her insignia and signs--miserably hast thou been trudging round, under thy medical armor-bearing and thy semeiotic land-freight of heart-polypus, macerated lung-lobes, stomach-inhabitants, etc."

"Ah!" I replied; "all is discharged, and I bear nothing more upon my brain but a capillary or hair-net of swollen veins, or such a kind of diver's-cap of death as the people commonly call a stroke of apoplexy."

"A fool's cap thou hast on, in thy inner man; for this is the way the thing stands. In the hypochondriac all nerves are weak, but those are the weakest which he has most abused. Now, as one mostly contracts this weakness by sitting, studying and writing, and consequently deprives the bowels, which yet must be the Moloch of these intellectual children, of all the motion which is given to the fingers; one confounds the sick bowels with sick nerves and hopes that Kämpf's visceral-syringe will prove a double-barreled musket against the one and the other. Believe it not, however; a hypochondrical chest may rest upon a vigorous abdomen. It is not that the lobes of the lungs are impaired, if they sometimes flag, but that the lung-nerves are exhausted of animation, by which the lung-wings should be lifted, or else the nerves of the cuticle. If my gastric nerves are unstrung, then thou hast as much dizziness and nausea, as if there were actually a dietetic sediment in the stomach or a flow of blood on the brain. Even a weak stomach is not always a consequence of weak nerves; only observe how greedily a faint hectic patient eats and digests half an hour before death. Hence, thy yellow, autumnal color, thy fleshless petrifaction of the bones, thy remittent pulse, even thy fainting have--nothing to say, my dear Paul."

"Ha! the devil!" said the patient!

"For," said the doctor, "as all is carried on by the nerves, whereof the learned class to which I belong often do not so much as know the definition, accordingly the periodical and movable, but fleeting, cramps and exhaustion of the nerves gradually run through the whole semeiology, but not the entire pathology. Now comes on the second paragraph of my gold-edged dissertation."

"What then has become of the first?" I asked.

"That was it: accordingly the second throws all medicine-vials into the street, blows all powders into the air, with lightnings of excommunication lays all cursed stomach medicines in ashes, empties even warm and often cold bath-tubs, and shoves Kämpf's clyster-machines under the sick-bed and is exceeding mad. For the nerves can no more be strengthened in a week (even by the best iron-cure) than they can be exhausted in a week (by the greatest excess); their strength returns with as slow steps as it departed. Medicine must therefore be changed into food--and as this is injurious--consequently food must be changed into medicine."

"I eat very few things."

"That is the most blamable intemperance; and the stomach exercises then according to its powers a kind of skepticism, or Fabiism, or at least apathy. Invert rather the literary rule (multum non multa) and eat many kinds of things, but not much. Dietetics have no commands to give as to the kind, in eating, drinking, sleeping, etc., but only as to degree. At most, every one has his own rainbow, his own belief, his own stomach and his own--system of diet. And yet all this is not my third candidate's paragraph; but here it is first presented: Simple movement of the body is the first assistant physician against hypochondria; and--as I have already seen hypochondria and motion united in a movable tiers état--simple absence of all motion of the soul is the first body-physician against the entire devil. Passions are as unwholesome as their enemy, thinking, or their friend, poetizing; only the complete coalition of them all is more poisonous still.

"Under the influence of the passions," he continued, "grief, like thawy weather, dissolves all the powers, just as enjoyment is the strongest of all levers of the nerves. I will now bring all thy medicinal blunders and illegalities into a heap that thou mayst just hear a true account of thyself."

"I pay no attention to it," said I.

"But thou hast nevertheless, like all hypochondriacs and all weak women, acted outrageously and oiled now the stomach, now the lungs, i. e., now the cog-wheel, now the lever-wheel, now the dial-plate-wheel, while the propelling weight lay broken off or run down, on the ground. Like the one-legged mussel, thou hast adhered by suction to thy study rock; and--this was in fact the one only bad thing about it--with the burning and languid breast of a brooding hen, thou satst upon thy biographical eggs and sections and wouldst fain keep up with the living. Where all the while was thy conscience, thy sister, thy scholarly fame, thy stomach?"

"Don't wag thy muff-tail so violently, Fenk, but rather throw it into bed."

"My doctor's dissertation and thy sickness, too, are both over, when thy activity, as in a state, decreases from above downward;--the head inactive, the heart beating gaily, the feet on the run; and then let March come on as soon as it will." ...

I followed his directions some months in succession, in order to restore my poor body in integrum--and when I had once renounced the yellow ratsbane and mildew of the nerves, namely coffee and wit, and substituted for these two brown beer and my Wutz, all at once my room grew bright, Auenthal and the heavens radiant, men laid aside their faults, all surfaces grew green, all throats warbled, all hearts smiled, I sneezed for light and delight, and thought: Either a goddess has come or Spring--it was in fact both, and the goddess was Heath.

And on thy altar alone will I in future write my biographical leaves!--the Pestilentiary will not have it otherwise; his conclusions and recipes are these: "I would"--said he--"in my biography, like the Torrid Zone, skip over the whole winter with all its incidents, especially as, like the winter in that zone, it consists only in rain (from the eyes). I would, if I were in thy place, say Doctor Fenk will not have it, will not suffer it, will not read it; I must, instead of wheezing along and harrowing with my pen at a distance of three hundred and sixty-five hours after the actual history which has stridden ahead scattering its seed, rather keep hard behind the present and press it upon the silhouette board and so sketch it off at once. I would"--Fenk continued--"advise the reader just to attack Dr. Fenk, who is alone to blame that I have given of the whole winter only the following wretched extract:"--The good Gustavus pined away the winter in Professor Hoppedizel's house with his parents, who had there their usual winter quarters--he exhausted his brain in order to exhaust his heart and to forget another; repented his fault, but also his over hasty farewell letter; exposed his wounds to the philosophical north wind of the Professor, who played on a delicate instrument like Gustavus as on a pedal, with his feet; and by confinement, thought and yearning, consumed those blossoms of life which even spring can hardly call forth or paint over again.

Beata--whose womanly eye probably found again with ease the goddess and disposer of her joys, from whom she had without difficulty separated herself under the pretext of sickness by her furnished--would have dismantled and bowed herself even more, had it not been for my romancing colleague Oefel; who sufficiently annoyed her and infused into her cup of sorrow refreshing drops of anger, by coming constantly and, in the loveliest veiled and desolate eye of forsaken love, detecting and demanding a love that belonged to himself. At this moment she is drinking, at Fenk's command, the waters of Lilienbad and lives alone with a chambermaid--God grant that May may lift up the drooping flower-bud of thy spirit, which thy pale form encloses and weighs down, like flowers under new-fallen snow and from whose flower-leaves the snow-crust will melt away only under the vernal sun of the remote second heaven!

Ottomar has scolded away and fought through the winter; has a large correspondence; pleads, like myself, but against every poisonous ancestral tree and dog-star on the coat, most of all against the princely hat of his brother; which the latter throws at subjects and catches them like so many butterflies. He thinks an advocate is the only tribune of the people against the administration; only that the reading of advocates has hitherto been worse than their spelling, which the late Heinecke decried as worse than original sin and the pestilence. I might also hold him to be the author of a satire upon the Prince, which was laid before the throne during the winter, and which was the god-father's letter of a robber accompanied by the prayer that the Prince would give his little thief's-dauphin his name, as if he were a minister, and would adopt him in case his parents should be hanged. I was most struck with certain satirical touches, which betrayed a finer hand; e. g., that the State was a human pyramid, such as is often formed by rope-dancers, the top or which was made by a boy.--That the people was tough and flexible like grass, was not broken by the tread of the foot, and grew up again, even if it were bitten off or cut off, and the pleasantest height it could reach for a monarch's eye was the smooth-shorn level of the park grass.--Thieves and robbers were accounted as separatists and dissenters in the State, and lived under a heavier yoke than that of the Jews, without any civil honor, excluded from office, in caves, like the first Christians, and exposed to similar persecutions; such citizens, however, who promoted luxury and circulation of money and trade more effectually than any ambassador, were dealt with severely as they are for the simple reason that this religious sect held peculiar opinions about the seventh commandment, which in fact differed only in expression from those of other sects, etc., etc.

The author may however even be an actual member of this secret society, which on the whole steals more humorously and harmlessly than any other. They lately stopped the mail-coach and took nothing from it except a count's diploma, which was on its way to some one who was hardly worth the freight of it--furthermore, they demanded on one occasion, like a higher tribunal, of the extra-coach certain important papers, of which I may not venture here to speak--and a fortnight ago their privateers stopped before the gates of the theatrical and masquerade wardrobe and threw out their nets over the personages hanging therein; there remained afterward no dresses for acting and masking except those of peasants. I take them to be the same ones who, as the reader knows, abstracted long ago the black coverings from the mourning pulpits and altars.

Thus, then, would the biographical winter be done away and melted off. When thou hast written so much--said Fenk--then journey to Lilienbad and use the springs and the doctor of the springs--myself--and the guest of the springs--Gustavus; for the latter cannot get well there without the lily-water and the lily-country; I must persuade him thither, whoever may be already there. Rejoice, we are going to see a paradise, and thou art the first author in the paradise, not Adam.

"The finest bed in this Eden"--said I--"is that my work is no romance; otherwise the critics would not let five such persons as we are come at once to the baths, they would pretend it was improbable that we should all meet at once in such a heaven. But as it is I have the actual good fortune of simply composing a description from the life, and that I and the rest in a body really exist, even out of my head."

The reader can now learn the birthday of this section: it is just a day later than our good fortune--in short tomorrow we set out, I and Philippina, and to-day I write to him [the reader], Gustavus is simply borne away by a stream of friendly and medical representations, and to-morrow is carried by us to his destination. Fortuna has this time no vapors nor one-sided headaches; everything favors us; all is packed up; my dilatory pleas are written--no one can come from Maussenbach to disturb me--the heavens are heavenly-blue, and I need not believe my eyes, but the cyanometer[90] of M. von Saussure--I look as blooming as the spring and its fluttering butterflies--in short, nothing were wanting to my happiness excepting that to-day's section were happily written, which I have been playing out up to this very day in order to have the whole past behind me, and not to have to describe anything to-morrow except tomorrow....

And as that, now, is also done--now then, blue May! spread out thy loving arms, open thy heavenly-blue eyes, unveil thy virgin-face, and walk the earth that all creatures, intoxicated with bliss, may fall upon thy cheeks, into thy arms, at thy feet and the biographer too may lie down somewhere!


The Fog.--Lilienbad.

Receive us with thy flowery Eden, veiled Lilienbad, me, Gustavus and my sister, give our dreams an earthly floor that they may play before us, and be thou as beautiful in thy twilight haze as a Past!

To-day we made our entry and our avant-courier was a sporting butterfly which we drove before us from one flowery station to another. And the path of my pen, also, shall lead over no less charming ground.

The morning of to-day had submerged the whole Auenthal landscape under a sea of fog. The cloudy heavens rested low down upon our flowers. We sallied forth and went into these fluid heavens, into which, generally, only the Alps carry us up. Overhead on this globe of mist the sun painted itself like a paling mock-sun; at last the white ocean ran off into long streams--on the woods lay hanging mountains, every low place was covered with gleaming clouds, overhead the blue celestial circle opened wider and wider, till at length the earth took off from the heavens its tremulous veil and gazed joyfully into the great, eternal face--the white raiment of heaven (as my sister said) laid together by itself still fluttered on the trees, and the fleeces of cloud still overhung blossoms and floated as blond-laces around flowers--at last the landscape was sprinkled with the glittering gold-grains of the dew, and the meadows were overlaid as with magnified wings of butterflies. A cleansed and exhilarating May air cooled as with ice the draught of the lungs, the sun looked down joyously upon our sparkling spring and gazed and glowed into all globules of dew, as God does into all souls.... Oh, if I, this morning, when all things seemed to embrace us and when we sought to embrace all, could not answer myself, when I asked myself: "Was ever thy virtue as pure as thy enjoyment and for what hours does this one come to reward thee?"--still less can I now answer, when I see that man can renew his joys, but not his deserts by remembrance, and that the fibres of our brains are the chords of an Æolian harp, which under the breath of a long-forgotten hour begin again to sound. The great Spirit of the Universe could not transform for us the whole stubborn chaotic mass with flowers; but he gave our spirits the power to make out of the second more ductile chaos, out of the globe of the brain, nothing but rose-fields and sunny shapes. Fortunate Rousseau--more fortunate than thou thyself knowest! The heaven which thou hast now won will differ in nothing from that which thy fancy here laid out, except in this, that thou inhabitest it not alone....

But just that makes the infinite difference; and where could I have felt it more sweetly, than by the side of my sister, whose glances have been the reflection of our sky, whose sighs the echo of our brotherly and sisterly harmony. Only be thou always so, precious darling! who hast suffered as much from the sick man as I from the sickness! Besides I know not which I oftener take back from thee, my blame or my praise!

Full of unuttered thoughts we arrived at Unter-Scheerau and found our pale traveling-companion all ready, my Gustavus. He was silent much of the time and his words lay under the pressure of his thoughts; the outer sunshine paled to inner moonlight, for no man is cheery when he is seeking or hoping to find the best that one can lose here below--Health and Love. As in such cases the chords of the soul do not fail to be put out of tune save under the lightest fingers, i. e., those of woman, accordingly I let mine rest and female fingers play, those of my sister.

When, at length, we had waded through many a stream of fragrance--for one often, out in the air, goes along by little flower-gales, without knowing whence they blow;--and when all the haze of the day's joy had condensed, before the eye, into an evening-dew and sunk with the sun; when that part of the sky over which the sun flamed began to glow white before glowing red, whereas the eastern quarter came forth in dark blue to meet the night; when we had followed with our eyes every bird and butterfly and traveler going in the direction of Lilienbad;--then at last did the lovely vale, into which we brought with us so many hopes as seeds of future joys, open to us its bosom. Our entry was at the eastern end; at the western the sun looked at us along the earth toward which he was going down, and as if from rapture over his well-spent day, melted into an evening-redness which floated through the whole valley and ascended even to the summits of the trees. I never saw the like; it lay, as if it had fallen in drops, in the bushes, on the grass and foliage and painted sky and earth to the likeness of one rosy cup. Single cottages, sometimes pairs of them, embowered themselves with trees; living lattices of twigs pressed themselves up on the prospects of the chambers and overspread the happy one who looked out at these pictures of bliss with shadows, perfumes, blossoms and fruits. The sun had gone down: the vale, like a widowed princess, put on a veil of white fragrant mist, and with its thousand throats sank into silence.

Oh, if our days in Lilienbad should be destined one day to die on thorns; if, instead of sections of joy, I should have to write sections of sorrow; if this is one day to be, then the reader will know it beforehand in the fact of my leaving off from the section the word "joy," and instead of the superscription make only crosses. But it is impossible; I can conclude my sheet in peace. Beata still breathes a low evening-song into her chorded echo; when both have died away then will sleep extinguish the light of the senses in the dwellers of Lilienbad and spread out the night-piece of dream in the twilight of souls....


The Springs.--The Wail of Love.

I went to sleep in the first heaven and woke up in the third. One should never wake up in any but strange places--nor in any chambers except those into which the morning-sun flings its first flames--and before only those windows where the green shadows burn like a traced name in the heavenly firework, and where the bird screams among the leaves through which he is skipping....

I could wish my future reviewer were living with me in my chamber at Lilienbad; he would not (as he does) break over my joy-sections the æsthetic staff, but an oak-twig to crown their father....

That father is just now a ladies' tailor, but merely in the following sense: in the centre of Lilienbad is the medicinal spring, from which is drawn the dispensary gushing out or the earth; from this spring radiate in regular symmetry the artificial peasants'-cottages, which the bathing guests occupy; each of these little cottages is decorated in jest with the hung-out emblem or signature of one or another trade. My little house holds out a pair of shears as a technical insigne, to announce that its occupant (myself) drives the trade of a ladies' tailor. My sister (to judge by the exponent of a wooden stocking) is a stocking-weaver; next door to her swings a wooden boot or a wooden leg (who can tell which?) which tells us as plainly as a journeyman's greeting, that the occupant is a shoemaker, who is no other than my Gustavus.

Against Beata's cottage, which like ladies of the present day has on a hat or roof of straw, rests a long ladder, which indicates the fair peasant-woman dwelling within, and is the Jacob's ladder, at the foot of which is seen at least one angel.

It is well known even in foreign parts, that our principality has and must have its healing springs as well as any one on the princely bench, for everyone of them must carry round with it such a pharmaceutic well as a flask, to smell of, against financial fainting; further, it may be well known that once many guests came hither, and now not a cat--and for this, not the springs, but the Chamber of Finance is to blame, which has built too much into the place and wants to get too much out of it, and which began at as dear a rate as the Selter's springs ended--that consequently our springs will end as cheaply as those began--and that our Lilienbad, with all its medicinal virtues, has not after all the more important one of making people as sick as a chamber-maid--I said, that is all sufficiently well known, and therefore I need not in fact have said it at all.

To be sure, it is not a merit in other healing springs, if they are popular resorts of the sick, around which the whole great and rich world stands in priestly attitude; had we only here in Lilienbad also such female angels as in other watering-places, to agitate the pool of Bethesda and impart to it a medicinal virtue, which is the reverse of that of the Biblical one; had we players who should compel the guests to sit, attendant physicians who should force them to swig, not sip, the eau-de-vie, then would our springs be as capable as any others in Germany of putting the tippling guests into such a state that they would come again every year. But as it is, our Board of Inspection will have to see again and again the sick phalanx of the great world roll by us and throng to other springs; as the wild beasts do round one in Africa; and if Pliny[91] explains by these animal-conventions the proverb in the note, I too would find a key to similar novelties in the mineral-spring-congresses.

The Exchequer is after all the most to be pitied, that in our Valley of Jehosaphat, nothing is to be found but Nature, Blessedness, Temperance and Resurrection.

To-day we all drank, at the Baquet (or water-trough) the water drawn off over iron, amidst the noise of birds and leaves, and swallowed down the image of the sun that gleamed up out of it and its fire too. The winter of sorrow has drawn around the eyelids of Beata and around her mouth the inexpressibly tender lines and letters of her faded grief; her large eye is a sunny heaven, from which escape glistening drops. As a maiden can unfold the peacock's-mirror of her charms with another maiden more easily than with a male person, so she gained greatly by her play with my sister. Gustavus--was invisible, he drank his water after the rest and lost himself amidst the charms of the country, in order, strictly speaking, to escape the greater charms of its fair inhabitant. Except the happiness of seeing her he knew no greater than that of not seeing her. She never speaks of him, nor he of her; his thoughts of her which yearn outward do not grow into words, but only into blushes. Would to Heaven I were composing a romance instead of a biography! then would I bring you, fair souls, nearer together and reconstruct a friendly circle out of its segments; then should we both secure even here such a heaven, that if death should come along looking for us, that worthy man would not know whether we were already settled there or whether we were still waiting for him to get us in....

I acted at once judiciously and delicately, in bringing before Gustavus at this time, as I now do before my readers, a certain sketch which Beata made in the winter and which I came by in an equally honorable and ingenious manner. It is addressed to the picture of her brother and consists of questions. Grief lies upon woman's heart, which yields patiently to its burden, far more heavily than on man's, which by throbbing and thumping labors to shake it off; as on the motionless fir-peaks all the snow piles itself up, whereas on the lower twigs, which are always in motion, none remains.

"To the Picture of my Brother.

"Why dost thou look on me so smilingly, thou precious image? Why dost thy pictured eye remain forever dry, when mine is so full of tears before thee? Oh, how I would love thee, wert thou painted mourning!

"Ah, Brother! dost thou not still long for a sister, does thy heart never tell thee that there is in the desolate world yet another which loves thee so unspeakably?-~Ah had I but once set my eyes upon thee, clasped thee in my arms ... we could never forget each other! But now, if thou too art forsaken like thy sister, if thou too, like her, ploddest on under a rainy heaven and over a dreary earth, and findest no friend in the hours of sorrow--ah, in that case, thou hast not even a sister's likeness, before which thy heart may bleed to death! Oh, Brother! if thou art good and unhappy, then come to thy sister and take her whole heart--it is torn, but not asunder, and only bleeds! Oh, it would love thee so! Why dost thou not long for a sister? O thou unseen one, if thou too art abandoned, art deceived, art forgotten by strangers, why dost thou not long for a faithful sister? When can I tell thee, how often I have passed thy mute image to my heart, how often I have gazed upon it for hours together, and imagined my tears into its painted eyes, till I myself have burst into a flood of real tears at the thought?--Tarry not so long that thy sister with her worn-out heart shall repose under the coffin-lid, and with all her vain yearnings, her vain tears, her vain love, shall have crumbled into cold, forgotten earth! Nor tarry so long that our youthful meadows shall meanwhile have been mowed down and snowed over, and the heart has stiffened, and years and sorrows have become too many. There comes all at once over my soul so sad, so bitter a feeling.... Art thou perhaps already dead, dear one?--Ah, the thought benumbs my heart--turn thine eyes away, if thou art in bliss, from thy orphaned sister, and behold not her sorrows--ah, I put to myself the heavy question in my bleeding heart: What have I left to love me? and I give myself no answer...."

* * * * *

The reader has the courage to divine from this more to Gustavus's advantage than he himself can. To him, as the hero of this book, this leaf must be a welcome one; but I, as his mere biographer, have nothing from it but two or three more heavy scenes, which however I gladly despatch out of true love for the reader--billions of them would I work out for his pleasure. Only it does my whole biography harm, that the persons whom I have set to work at the same time set me to work, and that the writer of this history or protocol is himself one of the heroes and parties. I should perhaps be more impartial, too, if I composed this history two or three decades or centuries after its birth, as they will have to do who shall in future draw from me. The artists direct the portrait-painter to sit three times as far off from the original as it is tall--and as Princes are so great and consequently can only be drawn by authors who sit at a distance from them, of place or time, equal to such greatness--accordingly it were to be desired that I did not stand so near to the Prince, so that I might portray less partially than I do....


Sunday Morning.--Open Table.--Tempest.--Love.

What a Sunday!--To-day is Monday. I know no means of discharging myself, I who (as we all have by our insulation), have become an electrophorus of joy, except by writing, unless, indeed, I should dance. Gustavus makes himself heard over here: he has for a conductor a harpsichord and plays on it. The harpsichord will lighten this section for me and fling out to me many sparks of thought. I have often wished only to be rich enough to keep (as the Greeks did) a fellow of my own who should make music as long as I was writing. Heavens! what opera omnia would bloom out! The world would at least experience the pleasurable result, that whereas, hitherto, so many pieces of poetical patchwork (e. g. the Medea) have become the occasion of musical masterpieces, the case would be reversed, and that musical blanks would produce poetical prizes.

Yesterday, before day, we rose from our beds, I and my musical souffleur. "We must," I said to him, "stir round out of doors four good hours before we go to church."--Namely, to Ruhestatt, where the excellent Herr Bürger of Grossenhayn[92] was to appear as invited preacher. So said, so done. Up to this hour I know not whether to prefer a tepid summer night or a cold summer morning: in the former the melted[93] heart dissolves in longing; the latter consolidates the glowing heart to joy and steels its throbbings. In order to reproduce our four hours one would have to bring together the minutes from a hundred summer-houses and hunting-lodges, and even then the description would limp. Morning twilight is to the day what spring is to summer, evening twilight to the night, autumn to winter. We saw and heard and smelt and felt, how one bit of the day gradually woke up after another--how the morning passed over lawn and garden and perfumed them like the morning-chambers of the great with flowers and blossoms--how it opened (so to speak) all windows, that a cooling draught of air might sweep through the whole theatre--how every throat woke every other and invited it into the breezy heights, that they might, with intoxicated bosom, soar to meet the low and rising sun and sing him a welcome--how the changeable sky ground and melted a thousand colors and touched and painted its drapery of clouds.... So far had the morning advanced, when we were still walking in the dewy vale. But when we passed out from its eastern gate into an immense meadow mosaically laid out with growing garlands and stirring foliage, whose soft wave-line sank into deeps and flowed up into heights, so as to keep its charms and flowers moving upward and downward--when we stood before all this--then uprose the storm of bliss and of the living day, and the east wind moved along beside it, and the great sun stood and throbbed like a heart in heaven and set all streams and drops of life whirling around him.

(Gustavus plays at this moment more softly, and his tones arrest my breath which passes over more and more easily into hypochondriacal intensity.)

Now when the mill of Creation roared and stormed with all its wheels and streams, in our sweet intoxication we hardly cared to go on, everywhere we were delighted; we were rays of light, broken on their way by every medium; we journeyed with the bee and the ant and followed every fragrance to its very source, and walked around every tree; every creature was a pole-star that led our needle into deflections and inflections. We stood in a circle of villages, whose roads were all bringing out joyous churchgoers and whose bells were ringing in the holy fair. At last we too followed the devout pilgrimage and entered the cool Ruhestatt church.

If a maître de plaisirs should draw up for a Prince a plan of decoration for an opera-house, to consist of a rising sun, a thousand Leipsic larks, twenty ringing bells, whole meadows and floras of silken flowers, the Prince would say, it cost too much~-but the master of pleasures should reply, costs a walk--or a crown, say I, because such an entertainment requires not the Prince, but the man.

In the church I seated myself on the organ-stool in order to fire off the clumsy organ, to the astonishment of most of the souls present. When Gustavus stepped into a pew of the nobility, there sat in the opposite one--Beata; for she was as fond of a sermon as other maidens are of a dance. Gustavus bent down with drooping eyes and rising blushes before her and was deeply touched by the pale, afflicted form, which once had glowed before him. She was equally affected by his, on which she read all the mournful recollections which had been on either his or her soul. Their four eyes turned back again from the object of love to that of the general attention, Herrn Brüger of Grossenhayn. He began--I had intended, as temporary organist, not to give heed to him at all--a chorister makes as little out of a sermon as a man of ton;--but Herr Brüger with his first words preached the singing-book, in which I was going to read, out of my hands. He took for his theme the forgiveness of human faults--how hard men were on one side and how frail on the other; how surely, too, and how bloodily every fault avenged itself upon man, and like a hairworm ate its way through him whom it inhabited; and how little reason, therefore, another had to exercise the judicial office of inexorableness; how little merit there was in forgiving faults of heedlessness, little or venial errors, and now very much all merit centered in the overlooking of such faults as reasonably exasperated us, etc. When at last he pointed to the blessedness of love to man, then did the burning and streaming eyes of Gustavus unconsciously rest on Beata's countenance; and when, finally, their eyes, directed toward the preacher, filled with the true solvent of joy and sorrow, and when, during the drying of them, she turned to Gustavus, then did they open upon each other mutually their eyes and their innermost being; the two disembodied souls gazed full into each other and a moment of the tenderest enthusiasm flying over chained their eyes together by a spell.... But suddenly they sought the old place again, and Beata's remained fixed upon the pulpit.

I cannot assert whether he, Herr Brüger, has yet inserted this practical discourse in his printed volume; nevertheless, this commendation shall not prevent my confessing that his sermons, however good in themselves, are perhaps wanting in the proper soporific power, a defect which one perceives in reading as well as in hearing. I will here, for the benefit of other clergymen, interpolate some extra pages upon the false style of church architecture.

Extra lines on the false architecture of Churches.

I have already delivered this lecture before the Consistory and the building inspector; but it had no effect. We and they all know that every church, a cathedral as well as a chapel of ease, has to care for the head or brain of the diocese, i. e., for its sleep, because, according to Brinkmann, nothing strengthens the former so much as the latter. It were ridiculous if I should set to work to elaborate the point, that this disorganizing sleep can be induced in a cheaper way and for fewer pence and less opium, than it is done among the Turks; for our opium, like quicksilver, is rubbed in outwardly and applied mainly at the ears. Now, no one knows so well as I what has been already done in the whole matter. As in Constantinople (according to De Tott) there are special baths and seats for opium eaters, but only near the Mosques; so with us they are actually in them and are called church pews. Further, regular night-lamps burn on the altar. The window-panes have in Catholic temples, glass paintings, which answer for shade as well as window-curtains. Sometimes the columns are so arranged or multiplied that they help toward that darkening of the church which is such a promoter of sleep. As the sleeping-chambers in France have only dull and dead colors, so in the great canonical dormitory is at least so much provision made for sleeping, that those parts of the church at least on which the eye chiefly rests: altar, preacher, chorister, and pulpit, are painted black. It will be seen that I omit no good point, and if I censure it is in no censorious spirit.

But still much is wanting to make a temple a true dormitory. I have in Italy and even in Paris, stood (I might say lain) in many theater boxes, which were rationally arranged and furnished; one could in them (for everything was provided for the purpose) sleep, play, eat, and--so forth.... One had his female friends with him also. Now this the great folks have been accustomed to; how shall one expect them to go to church and sleep there when their money can procure them all friends sooner than sleep? With the tiers ètat, with poor and burghers, even with the college of burgomasters, which wears itself out through the week with voting, it is no wonder, of course, that it should be easy enough to induce them to fall asleep in any pew, in any loft; I do not deny it; but the libertine, the sleeper on eider-down, will not (even were a Consistorial Counsellor preaching) sleep on any back seat; he therefore prefers not to go to church at all. For such people of ton regular church-beds must therefore be made up in the boxes, so that the thing may succeed; just as gaming-tables, eating-tables, ottomans, female friends, and the like, are such indispensable things in a court-chapel, that they might better be left out in any other place than there.

One may therefore without offending me and the truth, call it no flattery if I contend that nothing but the stupid church architecture and the want of all house and kitchen utensils, all beds, etc., is to blame, and not the well and philosophically or mystically elaborated sermons of clever court university--barrack--Vesper-preachers, that people of rank are able to sleep in them far less than one hopes to.

End of the Extra Pages.

After church we all met in the vestry. I pass over trivialities and come at once to the point, that we all withdrew in a body and that Gustavus gave his arm to our fair Dauphiness and took hers. It was a quiet walk under the festal sun and beneath the blossoms of the bushes. The finery of the female peasantry, the wainscoted foreheads, the front locks stretched across them like the hairs of the fiddle-bow, the frocks lying one over another in layers, like the skins of an onion, all this, together with their laughing faces prefigured Sunday to us more vividly than whole parüres of city dames could. On Sunday, too, I find much more beautiful faces than on the six work days which disguise everything in smut.

The conversation must have been indifferent, I think, even at the forget-me-not. Beata, namely, found one lying in the grass, and ran up to it and--lo, it was made of silk: "Oh, it's a false one," said she. "Only a dead one," said Gustavus, "but a durable." Among persons of a certain refinement everything easily turns to allusion! Good nature is therefore indispensable to them, that they may infer no allusions but kindly ones. Nothing delighted me so much all through the little pilgrimage as the feeling that I was the back-ground and fair wind that followed them; for if I had gone ahead I should have failed to see the most beautiful gait in which the most beautiful female soul that ever was manifested itself through the body--Beata's. Nothing is more characteristic than a woman's gait, especially when it has to be accelerated.

In the vale we found, beside shade and noontide, something still finer, Doctor Fenk. He had arranged a little dinner-concert-spirituel among the flowers, where we all, like princes and players, kept open table, but only before seated and musical spectators, the birds. We made no complaint, that occasionally a blossom fluttered down into the saucepan, or a leaf into the vinegar cruet, or that a puff of wind blew the powdered sugar sidewise out of the sugar-bowl; per contra, the greatest plat de ménage, Nature, lay around our joyous table, and we were ourselves a part of the show-dish. Fenk said, as he played with a branch which he had drawn down: "Our table had at least one advantage over the tables of the great world, that the guests at ours knew each other, whereas the great ones in Scheerau and Italy, i. e., feasted more people than they became acquainted with; as in the fat of the animal which was so much abhorred and irritated by the Jews mice lived, without the creatures noticing it."

A physician may be ever so delicate in expression, he is so only to the mind of physicians.

During the coffee my dear Pestilentiary asserted that all pots, like coffee-pots, chocolate-pots, tea-pots, pitchers, etc., had a physiognomy which was too little studied; and if Melancthon[94] had been the missionary and cabinet preacher of pots, still they stood in need of a Lavater.

He had once known a coffee-pot in Holland, the nose of which was so faint and flat, its profile so shallow and Dutch, that he told the ship's-physician with whom he was drinking, there certainly must be just as miserable a soul in that pot, or all physiognomy was mere wind; on pouring it out, he found the stuff was not fit to drink. He said, in his own house, not a milk pitcher was bought of which he had not at first, as Pythagoras did of his pupils, made a physiognomical inspection.

"To whom have we to ascribe it," he went on in his humorous enthusiasm, "that around our faces and figures not so many lines of beauty are described as around the Greek,--unless it be to the cursed tea-pots and coffee-pots, which often have hardly human conformation, and which nevertheless our women gaze at all through the week and thereby copy in their children? The Greek women, on the other hand, were watched only by beautiful statues, nay, the Spartan women had the likenesses of fair youths hung up even in their sleeping-chambers."--(I must however say in justification of many hundred dames, that they certainly do the same with the originals, and that something is to be done even in that way.)--

As in this family-spectacle I have respect for no Goddess but that of Truth; I cannot sacrifice her even to my sister, although her sex and her youth place her, too, among the Goddesses. It vexes me, that it will not vex her, to read herself here printed and censured, because she makes more account of the gain to her vanity by the printing, than of the loss to her pride by the censure.

Pride is in our strategic century the most faithful patron-saint and guardian of female virtue. No one, to be sure, will require me to name publicly the ladies of my acquaintance who would certainly like Milan (according to Keissler) have been besieged forty times and taken twenty, had they not been bravely proud, nay, had not one of them, in a single evening full of dances, been proud two and a half times; but I could not name her, if I would.

Thou teachest me, dear Philippina, that the noblest feelings do not always exclude vanity, and that, except the business of loving thee, I can have no better than that of scolding thee--and thy medical adviser, Fenk, too, who indulges toward thee in too great a degree his reckless humor; fortunately she is still at an age, when maidens always love the one they have talked with longest, and when their heart, like the magnet, lets the old iron drop, when one applies to it a new one.

Beata and Gustavus touched each other's sore souls like two snow-flakes; even in the voice and in the movement was pictured a tender, forbearing, honorable, self-sacrificing reserve. O if even the denials of coquetry itself give so much, how much more must the present ones of virtue give!

The afternoon had sped away on the wings of the butterflies, which sought by our side their lower flowers; the conversation like the eyes, increased in interest, and we sauntered (or shall I write sawntered?)[95] along on the terraced alley which winds round the mountain like a girdle and in which the eye can pass over the hedges of the vale into the pastures. Toward the west a tempest strode across the heavens with its thunder-tread and hung its bier-cloth of black cloud over the sun. The country looked like the life of a great but unhappy man; one mountain glowed under the sun's fiery glance, the other darkled under the descending night of a cloud--over in the western region there pealed forth in the heavens instead of the song of birds the heavenly pedal, the thunder, and in rows of white water-columns the warm rain came down from heaven and filled again its flower-cups and summits out of which it had ascended--it was to the soul as solemn as if a throne were set up for God and all were waiting for him to come down and sit thereon.

Gustavus and Beata, swallowed up in this heaven, went forward on the terrace; the Doctor, my sister, and I at a little distance behind them. At last single rain drops pattered down on the foliage of the alley, which flew and fell over us out of the border of the broad storm-cloud; thus does a thundering, lightning-flashing calamity of a neighborhood only sprinkle the distant lands with a few tears, that steal from the eye of sympathy. We all betook ourselves to the shelter of the nearest trees. Gustavus and Beata stood, for the first time, again in many months, alone beside each other, without ear-witnesses, though with eye-witnesses not far off. They faced the west and were silent. There are situations, in which man feels himself too great to start a conversation, or to be polite or to make allusions. Both remained mute, till Gustavus in the hottest solstice of his emotions turned round from the deluged western country toward the eyes of Beata--hers raised themselves slowly and openly to his and the lips beneath them remained quiet and her soul was with no one but God and virtue.

The cloud had emptied itself and disappeared. The Doctor had to hurry home. No one could break from his blissful silence. In this perfect silence we had all come down the terrace--and everything had already gone from under its leafy umbrella--when, all at once, the low sun blazed through the black cloud canopy and rent it asunder, and flung the funereal veil of the tempest far back and gleamed over us and over the glistening thickets and every fiery bush.... All birds screamed, all human creatures were mute--the earth became a sun--the heavens trembled tearfully over the earth for joy and embraced her with hot, immeasurable rays of light.

The landscape burned around us in the heavenly rain of fire; but our eyes saw it not and hung blindly on the great sun. In the effort to set the heart free from blood and joy, Gustavus's hand sank into Beata's--he knew not what he took--she knew not what she gave--and their present feelings were exalted far above insignificant refusals. At last the thunder-beset sun laid himself down like a philosopher under the cool earth, his evening glow calmly reposed under the flashes of the retiring tempest, he seemed like a soul gone to God and a clap of thunder followed his death.

Twilight came on.... Nature was a mute prayer.... Man stood more sublime therein, like a sun; for his heart apprehended the speech of God.... But when that language comes into the heart and it grows too great for its breast and its world, then does the great genius whom it thinks and loves breathe the tranquillizing love of humanity into the stormy bosom and the infinite lets himself be tenderly loved by us in the person of the finite....

Gustavus felt the hand which pulsed in his and struggled to escape from it--he held it more faintly and looked back into the loveliest eyes--his own begged Beata in an infinitely touching manner for forgiveness of the past days and seemed to say: "O! in this blissful hour take my last sorrow away also!"--And now when, in a tone that was as much as a good deed, he asked softly: "Beata?" and when he could say no more and she turned her blushing face to the earth and ceased to draw her hand out of his, and with deep emotion looked up again and showed him the tear that said to him: "I will forgive thee;" then the two souls which were still greater than the nature around them became two angels and they felt the heaven of the angels; they stood silent, lost in endless gratitude and rapture. At length, agitated with reverent joy, he took her trembling arm and joined us.

The Sabbath closed with silent thoughts, silent raptures, silent recollections and a still rain out of all discharged tempests.


The Dream of Heaven.---Hoppedizel's Letter.

Since I have, beside my biographical business, also driven the trade of a Ladies' Tailor, a wholly new life has grown up in me. Nevertheless the future Shröckh who shall offer to hang me up also in his picture-gallery of famous men, must be advised to be moderate and not deduce everything from my tailoring, but something from my imagination. This latter has during the last winter and autumn so strengthened itself by the painting of so many scenes in nature, that the present spring finds quite other eyes and ears in me than I have ever had before. This is what we all, I and the reader, should have considered before now. If the attraction of certain vices becomes through the daily growing efforts of the imagination, insuperable, why do we not give her irresistible pencil worthy subjects? Why do we not direct her in winter to sketch or rather to create the spring? For one enjoys in nature not what one sees (else the Forester and the Poet would find out of doors the same kind of enjoyment) but what one's poetic sense imparts to the visible, and the feeling for nature is at bottom the fancy for it.

But in no brain did more graceful shades of dream and fancy crystallize than in Gustavus's. His health and his happiness have come back to him; this is shown by his nights, wherein dreams like violets open again their spring-chalices. Such an Eden-fragrance floats around the following dream.

* * * * *

"He died," it seemed to him, "and was to play out the interval before his new incarnation in mere dreams. He sank into a tossing sea of blossoms, which was the conflux of the starry heavens; on the ground of immensity all stars bloomed white and neighborly blossom-leaves tossed against each other. But why did this flower-field growing from the earth up even to heaven intoxicate with the exhaling spirit of a thousand cups all souls that flew over it and sunk down in bewildering ecstasy? Why did a juggling wind mingle souls together with souls and flowers amidst a snow-flurry of sparks and many-colored flakes of fire? Why did so sweet and so sportive a dream envelop deceased men?--O, for this reason; the gnawing wounds of life were to be closed by the balmy breath of this immeasurable spring, and man, still bleeding from the blows of the former earth, was to be healed under the flowers for the future heaven where the greater virtue and knowledge demand a healthy soul. For ah! the soul suffers here indeed, quite too much! When on every snow-field one soul embraced another, then out of love they walked into one glowing dew-drop; then it trembled downward and alighted on a flower, which breathed it up again, rent asunder, as holy incense. High over the blooming field stood God's paradise, out of which the echo of its heavenly tones, in the form of a brook, flowed down to the plain; its melody wandered through all the windings of the lower paradise and the intoxicated souls plunged in their ecstasy from the flowery shore into the stream of flute-music; in the resonance of paradise all their senses expired, and the too finite soul, dissolved into a bright tear or joy, floated on upon the running waves. This flowery field rose and rose incessantly, to meet the uplifted paradise, and the heavenly air, through which it flew, swept from above downward, and its descending undulations unfolded all flowers and did not bend them. But often, in the darkest height, God passed far away above the waving meadows; then when the Infinite One veiled his infinity overhead in two clouds, the one charged with lightning, or the Eternal Truth, and the other a warm one, trickling down on everything and weeping, or the Eternal Love; then they stood arrested, the soaring meadow, the sinking ether, the echoing brook, the quivering leaf of the flower; then God gave the signal that he was passing by, and an immeasurable love constrained all souls in this lofty stillness to embrace each other, and none sank upon one, but all on all--a blissful slumber fell like a dew on the embrace. Then when they awoke out of each other's arms, lightnings flashed out of the whole field of flowers, all blossoms exhaled, all leaves sank under the drops of the warm cloud, all windings of the melodious brook rang in unison, the whole paradise gleamed with heat-lightning above them and nothing was mute but the loving souls which were too blessed...."

Gustavus awoke into a nearer world, which was a beautiful counterpart of his dreamed one; the sun was transformed into a single glowing ray, and this ray also broke off on the earth; the cloud of twilight gathered round, flowers and birds hung their drowsy heads in the dew and only the evening-wind still stirred round in the leaves and stayed up all night....

Thus do our green hours creep through our unvisited vale, they glide with an unheard, butterfly's pinion through our atmosphere, not with the buzzing wing-sheath of a chafer--joy lights upon us softly as an evening-dew and does not rattle down like a rushing rain. Our happy bath-time will refresh our spirits, our powers of work and of endurance, for a long time, forever; the green Lilienbad will remain in our fancy a green oasis, whereon, if ever the years shall have buried in deep snow all Elysian fields, the whole landscape of our joy, under its warm breath all the snow will melt and which will ever look green to us, that we may thereon, as painters do on green cloth, refresh our old eyes.... I wish you, my readers, for your old age very many such places left open, and every sick man his Lilienbad.

Were I not doing it to please the German public, I should hardly for very joy succeed in describing it. And yet I will not begin a new joy-section before Beata's birthday. This is celebrated in the little Molucca, Teidor, whither we are all invited by the Doctor; he has his country-seat on that island; the weather, too, will continue fine. This much I can easily foresee without any great prophetic talent, that the Birthday, or Teidor section, will not so much combine as fully surpass all the fine things that were ever burnt up in the Alexandrian library or mouldered in Imperial ones or have ever been kept in all others.

In the following letter inviting me to the Molucca Island, the Doctor writes me a piece of news which deserves a place here, in so far as there is use for it, and I would gladly have my section full, inasmuch as I merely transcribe.

"Professor Hoppedizel, who, except philosophizing and flogging, loves nothing so much as practical joking, will, so soon as the moon by-and-by rises later, play a new one, namely play the rogue. I found him several days ago with a long beard which he had been stiffening and straightening for himself; moreover he had concealed crowbars and chosen masks. I asked him into what redoubt he was going to steal? He said into that of Maussenbach--in short, he proposes by breaking in with a small band and instead of plundering, turning it into a joke, to drive thy Legal Chief into a theatrical and artificial fright. It were to be wished that this artistic and satirical robber-captain might be taken for a real one, and be bundled into a police-wagon with his burglar's tools and publicly marched in--not that the good Hoppedizel might be injured in the matter, but only that this stoical corsair might be brought to the rack and thereby place three persons at once in full light: first, himself, since he would confess not so much a crime as his stoical principles--secondly, the Pestilentiary or myself, since I, on the rack (as we do in all sufferings) should prescribe regard to his health--thirdly, the justiciary, or thyself, who couldst show that thou hadst thy academical criminal-sheets already--in thy trunk...."

I fancy it will fare with the reader as with me, that on the flowery shore amidst the melodies of nature this sea-fight on the great sea of the world and the firing during it seems to create a screaming dissonance.


The Morning.--The Evening.--The Night.

To-day is Beata's festival, and is growing finer and finer--my writing-desk is nine million square miles broad, namely the earth--the sun is my lamp of Epictetus, and instead of the portable library the leaves of the whole book of nature rustle before me.... But to begin at the beginning--merely adding here that I am already ensconced on the island of Teidor.

The days preceding foul weather are, meteorologically also, the fairest. As we to-day--being the most pacific quadruple alliance that exists--went out through our tuneful valley ere yet the morning-rays had entered it, so as to arrive comfortably at the Molucca island before 9 o'clock--a whole crystalline day, clear as a sparkling well, lay stretched out on the broad meadows before us--we had hitherto been used to the beautiful, but not to the most beautiful. The earthly ball seemed a bright lunar globe compacted out of airs and mists--the summits of hills and woods stood bare in the deep blue, unpowdered (so to speak) with fogs--all prospects had drawn nearer to us and the mist was wiped away from the glass through which we looked; the air was not sultry, but it lay in motionless repose on the fragrant meadows and the leaf nodded, but not the twig, and the hanging flower swayed a little, but only under two fighting butterflies.... It was the Sabbath of the Elements--the Siesta of Nature. Such a day, when the very morning has the nature of a rapturous evening and when even it reminds us of our hopes, our past and our longings, comes not often, comes not to many, to the few into whose swelling hearts it does shine may not venture to come often, because it makes the poor human beings, who open their hearts to it like leaves of flowers, too glad, and transports them from the financial feudal soil, where one must mow more flowers than he smells, too suddenly and too far into the magic Arcadia. But ye financiers and economists and leaseholders, if almost all seasons of the year minister to the skin and the stomach, why shall not one day--especially for guests of the springs--belong merely to the too tender heart? If one forgives you for hardness, why will you not forgive any softness? Oh, you offend enough besides, you unfeeling souls! the fairer, finer soul is to you simply insignificant and ridiculous; but you are to it a torment and wound it constantly. Singular it is, that we sometimes concede to others superiority of talents, but never superiority in sentiment, and that we admit errors in our own judgment, but never in our own taste.

A transparent balustrade of forest-trees was now all that remained between us and the Indian Ocean, wherein lay the green Teidor, when our path led through the high grass which grew in over it, along by a hermitage or an isolated house, which lay too enchantingly in this flowery ocean for it to be possible one should walk or ride by it. We reclined on a spot of mown grass, on the right side of the house, to the left of a little round garden, which hid itself away in the middle of the meadow. In this poor little garden were and supported themselves (as in a tolerant state) on the same bed, beans and peas and lettuce and cabbages; and yet in this dwarf-garden a child had also his little infusorial garden. In the little red and dazzling bird-house a nimble woman was just carrying on her fragrant field-bakery; and two children's-shirts hung on the garden-hedge and two stood at the house-door, in which latter couple two brown children played and watched us--nothing gave them pleasure this morning but the sun on their hare feet. O Nature! O Blessedness! thou, like benevolence, lovest to seek out poverty and obscurity!

The cleverest thing I have said, or probably shall say, to-day, was certainly the grass-discourse in the morning beside the little house. As I stood there and observed the steadfast sky, the lull of wind and leaves, in which the vertical wing of the butterfly and the hair of the caterpillar remained unbent, then I said: "We and this little worm stand in and under three almighty seas, the aërial sea, the watery sea and the electric sea; and yet the roaring waves of these oceans, these mile-long waves, that can tear a land to pieces, are so smoothed so tamed, that this Sabbath-day comes forth, in which not a breath of air moves the broad wing of the butterfly or plucks from it a particle of feathered dust, and in which the child toys and smiles so peacefully among the elemental leviathans. If no infinite genius had compelled this, if we may not trust this genius with the harmonious ordering of our future world and our future destiny ...

"O infinite genius of the earth! in thy bosom we will bury our childish eyes, when the tempest breaks loose from its chain--on thy almighty heart will we sink back, when iron death puts us to sleep in passing by!"

So we sauntered on in innocent contentment, without haste or heat, toward the waves which rippled around Fenk's country-seat. Singular it is, there are days, when we willingly let our still, continuous enjoyment of outward objects suffice us (wherewith we rarely repel genuine stoicism)--still more singular is it, that many a day really does this. What I mean is, a certain gentle, water-level contentedness--not earned by virtue, not won by reflection--is sometimes supplied us by a day, by an hour, when all the miserable trifles and ravelings of which our puny and petty life is sewed together, harmonize with our pulses and do not run contrary to our blood--e. g., when (as happened to-day) the sky is cloudless, the wind asleep, the ferryman at hand to carry us over to Teidor, the master of the country-house, Doctor Fenk, ready and waiting for us an hour ago, the water smooth, the boat dry, the landing-haven deep and everything just right.... Verily we are all on such a foolish footing, that among human pleasures, upon which the Consistorial Counsellor of Zerbst, Sintenis, has composed two volumes, may be reckoned--in Germany (though far less in Italy and Poland)--the catching now and then of one or another flea.... If, then, one would experience such a day of paradise, then must there not so much as a trifle, such as one strides over in hours of stoical energy, lie in the way; just as when one will draw down the sun with a burning-glass, not the thinnest cloud must intrude before his face.... I am now on fire, and assure the reader I cannot possibly think of anything more foolish than our life, our earth, and its inhabitants, and our remarking upon this folly....

The Indian Ocean was a noisy market-place, resembling a Chinese river; on every side it was crowded with joy, life and splendor, from its upper surface to its bottom, where the second hemisphere of the heavens with its sun was tremulously reflected. In the country-house the walls were white, because (said Fenk) for a man who comes in from a nature that stands in a blaze of fire and light into a narrow cell, no coloring of this cell can be bright enough to counteract a mournful and confined impression.

Then we rested, changing our position from one shaded grassy bank of the island to another, fanned by birch-leaves and Indian waves--then we made music--then dined; first, at the table of a host who knows how to be refined and delicate, in a jovial manner; secondly, at the windows which opened to all four points of the compass, and drew us more than ever into all the vortices of joyous nature, and thirdly, each of us by himself, with a hand that knew how to pluck the soft berry of enjoyment without crushing it. At evening comes Ottomar--the two maidens have lost themselves among flowers and Gustavus among shadows--the biographer lies here, like the jurist Bartolus, on the tossing grass depicting it all--Fenk is arranging for the evening. Not till evening does our to-day's joy come out into full light; and I thank heaven that I have now overtaken, with my biographical pen, the actual course of things, and that no one knows more than I report; whereas heretofore I always knew more, and embittered for myself the biographical enjoyment of the happiest scenes by the knowledge of the most mournful. But now, though in the next quarter of an hour the sea might swallow us all up, in the present one we looked out on it with a smile.

As I am so quiet and care not to go to walk, I will talk about taking walks--a thing which so often occurs in my work--and not without keenness. A man of understanding and logic would, in my opinion, distribute all walkers, like the East Indians, into four castes.

In the first caste trot along the most miserable ones, who do it from vanity or fashion, and want to show either their feeling or their clothes or their gait.

In the second caste run the fat and the scholarly, who do it for the sake of getting a motion, and not so much to enjoy as to digest what they have enjoyed already; into this innocent, passive department they are also to be thrown, who do it without reason and without enjoyment, or as companions, or from an animal satisfaction with fine weather.

The third caste comprise those in whose heads are the eyes of the landscape-painter, whose hearts are penetrated by the grand outlines of the universe, and whose eyes trace the immeasurable line of beauty which flows with ivy-tendrils around all created things--which rounds the sun and the drop of blood and the pea, and cuts out all leaves and fruits into circles. Oh, how few such eyes rest on the mountains and on the setting sun and the closing flower!

A fourth and better caste, one would think, could hardly be produced after the third; but there are persons who look upon creation not merely with an artistic but with a holy eye--who transplant into this blooming world the world to come, among the creatures find the Creator--who kneel down amidst the rustling and roaring of the thousand-twigged, thickly-leaved tree of life, and are fain to speak with the genius whose presence pervades it, they themselves being only leaves that tremble thereon--who use the profound temple of Nature--not as a villa full of pictures and statues, but as a holy place of worship--in snort, who go to walk not merely with the eye, but with the heart....

I know no greater praise than being able to glide over easily from such persons to our loving couple--their love is such a walk; the life of high-minded persons is also such a walk. I will only add, before rising from the crushed grass, the single remark, that Gustavus's love quite fits the practical definition of it which is to be made in a rapturous summer-midnight. The noblest love (as one may define it) is simply the tenderest, deepest, most substantial respect, revealed less by what is done than by what is left undone, which is divined by both parties mutually, which stretches across both souls (in an astonishing degree) the same chords, which exalts the noblest feelings with a new glow, which will always sacrifice, never gain, which takes away nothing from love for the whole sex, but gives all through the individual; this love is a respect, in which the pressure of hand and lips are not indispensable constituents and good actions are quite essential; in short, a respect which must be laughed to scorn by the majority of men and profoundly honored by the smallest part. Such a heart-exalting respect was the love of Gustavus, which not only endured, but even gladdened and warmed noble eye-witnesses, because it was without that innocently-sensuous toying with lips and hands, in which the spectator can take no more interest than in the artificial, theatrical viands of the players. A sign of virtuous esteem or love is this, when the spectator takes the more interest in it, the greater it is. Gustavus's love had--since his Peter's-fall, and still more since the forgiveness of this fall (for many faults one feels most deeply, only when they are pardoned)--gained such an access of tenderness, of reserve, and sense of another's worth, that he won more hearts than the tenderest one, and ruled other eyes than the fairest, those of Beata, before which his glances fell, like snow-flakes in the blue under the cloudless sun, pure, sparkling, trembling and melting away.

All have just arrived, Ottomar and the rest.

My clock strikes two in the morning, and still the birthday festival of Beata and of paradise is not yet closed; for I am just come over to this position to describe it; that is to say, if I remain in my chair and do not sally forth again into the blue vault, which throws over the so great multitude of to-day's joys its starry rays.

Towards evening Ottomar flew hither over the water. He always looks like a man who is thinking of something distant, who is just now only resting, who plucks the flower of joy that hangs over his path, because his flying gondola hurries him along by it, not because he is thinking of it at all. He still retains his sublimely-low voice and that eye of his which has seen death. He is still as much of a Zahouri[96] as ever, who sees through all flower-beds and grass-plots of the earth and down to the motionless dead, who sleep beneath it. So soft and stormy, so humorous and melancholy, so obliging and unconstrained and free! He asserted that most vices were owing to the flying from vices--for fear of acting badly we did nothing and had no longer courage for anything great--we all had so much love for man that we had no longer any honor--out of humane tolerance and love we had no sincerity, no uprightness, we could not hurl down a traitor, a tyrant or the like.

He wondered at Beata, who took not the customary constrained, but a heightening interest in our talk: for he has a notion that one may talk with a woman about heaven and hell, God and the Fatherland, and yet she will be thinking of nothing all the while she listens, but her figure, her attitude, her dress. "I except," said Fenk, "in the first place, everything, and secondly, physiognomy also; to this they all listen, because they can all immediately apply it."

The magic evening drove more and more shadows before it; at last it took up all creatures into its rocking lap and clasped them to its bosom, in order to make them tranquil, tender and glad. We five islanders became so, too. We went out in a body up to a little artificial eminence that we might escort the sun even to the last stairway, before he sailed across the ocean to America. Suddenly, over in another island, five Alpine horns pealed forth, and went on rising and falling with their simple strains. One's condition has more influence on music, than music on one's condition. In our situation and where one's ear places him already at the Alpine fountain, and his eye on the evening-gilded glacier-peak, and around the hut of the herdsman, lie Arcadia and Tempe and youth's pastures, and when we let these fancies fly before the sinking sun and after the fairest day--in such a case the heart follows an Alp-horn with intenser throbs than a concert hall full of gaily bedizened hearers. Oh the admission ticket to joy is a good, and then a tranquil heart! The dark, cloudy, dimly gleaming ideas, which the universal philosopher demands of all sensations, must glide slowly over the soul or stand perfectly still, if it is to enjoy itself; just as clouds that move slowly betoken fair weather, while flying ones indicate foul. "There are," said Beata, "virtuous days when one pardons everything and has all power over one's self, when joy seems to kneel down in the heart and pray that it may remain there longer, and when all is cleared up and illumined within us;--then when one weeps over it for joy this grows so great that all is gone by again."

"I," said Ottomar, "love better to throw myself into the rocking arms of the tempest. We enjoy only glancing, glowing moments; this coal must be violently whirled round, that the burning circle of rapture may appear."

"And yet," said he, "I am to-day so glad in thy presence, setting sun!... The gladder I have been in any hour, or week, so much the stormier was the next. Like flowers is man: the more violent the tempest is going to be, so much the more perfume do they exhale." "You must not invite us any more, Herr Doctor," said Beata smiling, but her eye swam, however, in something more than joy.

Amidst the deepening red of the heavens the sun stepped upon his last stair, environed with tinted clouds. He and the Alpine horns vanished in the same instant. One cloud paled after another and the highest still hung transfused with the evening-glow. Beata and my sister talked playfully, after the manner of maidens, about what these illuminated clouds might be--the one resolved them into Christmas lambs with rosy-red ribbons, or a red heavenly scarf--the other into fiery eyes or cheeks under a veil--red and white cloud-roses--a red sun-hat, etc....

Punch, I think, was brought at last for the gentlemen, one of whom took it in such moderation that he can even now, at 2½ o'clock, compose this section. Then we sauntered round under the rustling and refreshing tree of night, whose blossoms are suns and its fruits worlds. Our enjoyment now led us apart, now brought us together again, and each was equally capable of enjoying himself greatly, with or without company. Beata and Gustavus forgot their own peculiar love and joy out of respect and sympathy for that of others, and where all were friends became simply friends to each other. O, preach out of the world, I pray, the sadness which makes the heart as thick as blood, but not the joy, which in its dance of ecstasy, stretches out its arms not merely after a partner, but also after a tottering unfortunate, and which, as it flies by, takes the tear from the eye of the weeping spectator! To-day we would fain pardon each other everything, although we found nothing to pardon. There was nothing there to forgive, I say; for as one star after another welled out from the depth of shadow, and when Ottomar and I had turned about before a warbling nightingale in order to hear her wails, softened by distance, and when we stood alone together, encompassed by nothing but tones and shapes of love, and when I could no longer contain myself, but, under the great present and future heavens, opened my heart to him, whose own I had long ago seen and loved; then was such a frame of spirit no forgiveness and reconciliation, but.... of that, day after to-morrow....

In alternating groups--now the two maidens alone, now with a third person, now all together--we walked over the grass-embosomed flowers and passed along between two rival nightingales, the one of which sang the praises and inspired the air of the one island, aim the other of the neighboring one. In this musical pot-pourri the leaves of the flowers had covered the fragrant pot-pourris, but all the birch-leaves had put on their own and we separated from one another on purpose, so as not to be able to embark hurriedly from an enchanting Otaheite.

At last we met by chance under a silver-poplar, whose snow-white leaves had by their gleam through the dark gathered us around it. "It is high time we took our leave!" said Beata. Only just as we were, or should have been, on the eve of doing it, the moon came up; behind a latticed fan of flowers she opened so modestly her cloudy eyelids, as she silently floated across the blind night, and her eye streamed, and she looked upon us like sincerity itself, and sincerity looked upon her too. "If we would only tarry," said Ottomar, in whose hot hand of friendship we would willingly dispense with every female hand--"till it grows lighter on the water and the moon can shine in upon the vales--who knows when we can have things so again?" At length he added: "Besides, Gustavus and I start on our journey early to-morrow morning, and this weather cannot last long." He referred to the unknown seven-weeks' journey, in regard to which I here gladly take back all those conjectures which have hitherto represented it as so weighty and mysterious.

We again postponed our departure; the conversation grew monosyllabic, our thoughts polysyllabic, and our hearts too full, just as the waning moon on the threshold of its rising appeared to us full also. When a company that has once had its hand on the door-latch, draws it away again, this delay excites the expectation of greater enjoyments, and this expectation excites embarrassment; but we were merely more silent about each other, and concealed our sighs over the falcon-flight of joyous hours, and perhaps many an averted eye presented to the moon the offering which the saddest or the gladdest soul finds it so hard to refuse.

Just at this moment I made my way out into its rays and came back again to my writing table, and thank the veil of night, which stretches double around the Universe, that it also folds itself over the greatest sorrows and joys of men.... We were, therefore, on our island as sadly silent as at the gate of a joyous eternity; the land-embracing spring, with its majesty--with its warm, sunken moon--with its twinkling star of Venus--with its sublime midnight-red--with its heavenly nightingales--swept by before five human beings; it flung and heaped up in these five too happy ones, its buds and its blossoms, and its dimly gleaming outlooks and hopes, and its thousand heavens, and took nothing away from them for it, but their speech. O spring! O thou earth of God! O thou boundless sky! O that to-day, in all dwellers upon thee, the heart heaved in joyous throbbings, till we all fell down beside each other beneath the stars, and poured out our hot breath in one jubilant voice and all our joys in prayers, and lifted our aspiring hearts to the lofty blue of heaven, and in our ecstasy sent up sighs, not of sorrow, but of bliss, whose way to heaven was as long as ours to the grave!... O bitter thought! of being often the one happy among none but the unhappy! sweeter thought, of being among only happy ones the sole afflicted!

At last the dark slags floated away from before the silvery glance of the rising moon; she stood like an ineffable rapture higher in the night of the heavens, painted out of the background into the foreground. The frogs pierced the night like a mill, and their continuous, many-voiced din had the effect of a silence. O what man whom death had changed into an angel flying over the earth, would not have fallen down upon it, and under the earthly foliage and on the earthly ground, silvered over by the moon (as by the sun it is gilded over), and thought upon the heaven he had left behind and upon his old human pastures, his old spring-times down below here, and of his former hopes among the blossoms?

Ye reviewers! forgive me this once and let me go on! At last we stepped into a gondola as into a Charon's bark, and rapturously and reluctantly cleared the bushy shore and the reflection streaming from the water upon its leaves. The greatest enjoyment, the highest gratitude, send, not horizontally but vertically, their hidden and grasping roots into the heart; we could not therefore say much to Fenk, who was not to go away to-night from the scene of joy. Thou friend! dearer to me than all others, perhaps when all is more quiet and the moon is higher and purer, and the night more eternal, toward morning, thou wilt begin to weep over both--what the earth has given thee and what it has taken away. Beloved! if thou doest it now, at this moment--then I shall surely do so too!...

With our first step into the boat the Alp-horns (probably under Fenk's direction) again pierced the night; every tone rang through it like a past, every chord like a sigh for a spring-time of the other world; the night-mist played and smoked over woods and mountains and drew itself out, like the boundary lines of men, like morning-clouds of the future world, around our spring-awakened earth. The Alp-horns died away, like the voice of first love, in our ears and grew louder in our souls; the rudder and boat cut the water in two into a gleaming milky way; every wave was a trembling star; the fluctuating water reflected tremulously the moon, which we would rather have multiplied a thousand-fold than doubled, and whose soft lily-face bloomed still paler and more sweetly under the waves. Encircled with four heavens--the one in the blue above, on the earth, in the water and within us--we sailed on through the swimming blossoms. Beata sat at one end of the boat, facing the other, the moon, and the friend of her tender soul--her glance glided easily up and down between the moon and him--he was thinking of his morrow's journey and of his longer tour as ambassador, and begged us all for written souvenirs, that he might always have a good abiding among us as now, and reminded Beata of her promise to give him one also. She had already written it and gave it to him to-day at their parting. The happy day, the happy evening, the heavenly night filled her eyes with a thousand souls and with two tears that lingered there. She covered and dried one eye with her white handkerchief and looked upon Gustavus with the other, with a glance as pure and calm as an image in a mirror.... Thou fanciedst, thou good soul, that thou wast also hiding thy open eye!

At last--O thou everlasting, unceasing At Last!--our silvery course through the waves broke also upon its shore. The opposite one lay there deserted and overshadowed. Ottomar tore himself away in the most melancholy inspiration and amidst the dying echoes of the Swiss tones my renewed friend said: "It is all over again--all tones die away--all waves sink to rest--the fairest hours strike their last and the sands of life run out. There is surely and absolutely nothing, thou vast heaven above us, that can fill or bless us! Farewell! I shall take leave of you all along my way."

The Alpine echoes sounded back far into the night and sank to a murmuring breath, which resembled a memory, not out of youth, but out of the depths of childhood. We reeled, filled full of enjoyment, through dew-dripping bushes and through drooping, drowsy and dew-drunken meadows, from which we plucked slumbering flowers, in order to see on the morrow their folded form in sleep. We thought upon the sunless paths of this day's morning; we passed along without a sound before the little Lilliputian house and garden, and the children and the bread-baking housewife were clasped and entwined in the deathlike arms of slumber. The hours had rolled the moon, like a stone of Sysiphus, up the steep of heaven, and let it roll down again.[97] In the east stars rose, in the west stars set, in mid-heaven little starlets sent off from the earth exploded into fragments--but eternity stood dumb and great beside God, and all passed away before it and all arose before its face. The field of life and of infinity hung down near and low above us, like one flash, and all that is great, all that is immortal, all the dead and all angels lifted the human spirits into their blue circle and sank to meet it....

At last, I taking the hand of my sister and Gustavus that of Beata, we entered our little Lilienbad stiller, fuller, holier, than we had left it in the morning. Gustavus took leave of me first, saying: "In five days we meet again." He led Beata to her cottage, which blazed in Luna's silver flames. The white summit of the pyramid on the hermitage mount glimmered across out of the depth of its seclusion over the long green avenue to the vale and through the darkness of the night. Beside this pyramid the two happy ones had first given each other their hearts, beside it a friend rested from the toil of life, and its white peak pointed to the place where blooms a fairer spring. They heard the leaves of the terrace whisper, and the Tree of Life under which after set of sun, they had for the second time given their souls to each other.... O ye two good and over-happy beings! at this moment a good seraph is drawing up for you a silvery minute out of the sea of joy which lies in a fairer earth--on this fleeting drop glances the whole perspective of the Eden wherein the angel is; the minute will run down to you, but ah! so soon will it pass by!

Beata gave Gustavus, as a hint for departure, the desired leaf--he pressed the hand from which it came to his mute lips--he could not speak either thanks or farewell--he took her other hand and all within him cried and repeated: "She is truly once more thine and remains so forever," and he must needs weep over his bliss. Beata looked into his overflowing heart, and hers ran over into a tear and yet she knew it not: but when the tear of the holiest eye trickled down the rosy cheek and hung on that rose-leaf with trembling glimmer--when his locking and her locked hands could not wipe it away--when with his flaming face, with his too blissful, bursting heart, he was about to wipe the tear, and bent toward the fairest object on earth like a rapture bending toward virtue, and touched her face with his--then did the angel who loves the earth draw the two purest lips together into an inextinguishable kiss--then did all trees sink out of sight, all suns passed away, all heavens fled, and Gustavus held heaven and earth in a single heart clasped to his breast;--then didst thou, seraph, pass into the beating hearts and gavest them the flames of the immortal love--and thou heardst the breathed sounds fly from the hot lips of Gustavus: "O thou dear! thou undeserved one! and so good! so good!"

Enough--the lofty moment has flown by--the earthly day sends up already its morning-redness into the heavens--let my heart return to its rest and every other heart likewise!


Day After This Night.--Beata's Leaf.--Something Memorable

I ask pardon of the critics, if I made last night too many metaphors and too much fire and noise: a section of joy (as well as the critique upon it) must content itself with the like, when once the author contents himself with a like over-freight of lemon-juice, tea-blossoms, sugar-cane and arrack, as I did.

I did not lie down again to-day; the birds had already begun to sing again, and when my dreams had hardly reproduced the past spectacle some forty times over before my closed eyes, I opened them again, because the sun was blazing around me.

A night through which one has been awake and enjoying himself leaves behind a morning when in a sweet languor one not so much feels and fantasies, when the nightly tones and dances still sound on in our inner ears, when the persons with whom we spent it float before our inner eyes in a lovely twilight, which charms our hearts. In fact, we never love a woman more than after such a night, in the morning before one has breakfasted.

I have thought a thousand times to-day upon my Gustavus, who before day-break began his five days' journey, and of my Ottomar who goes with him. Would that you might never come upon any thorns but such as are hidden under the rose, might never pass under any cloud except one that leaves you the whole blue sky and takes away merely the blazing disc, and that your joys might want one only, namely, that of being able to relate it to us!

All sunlight merely encircled with a magic spell and overflowed like a lofty moonlight before me all the shaded avenues of Lilienbad: the past night seemed to me to reach over into the present day, and I cannot tell how the moon, which was still sinking with its wiped-out luster, like a snow-flake, low in the west, became so welcome and so dear to me. O, pale friend of need and of night! I still think even now of thy Elysian splendor, of thy cooled off rays, wherewith thou accompanyest us by brooks and in leafy lanes, and wherewith thou transformest the sad night into a day seen afar! Magical scene-painter of the future world for which we mourn and weep, as a dead man becomes beautiful, so dost thou paint the second world upon our earthly one, when with all its flowers and people it sleeps or looks up to thee with silent gaze!

I would give up the most distinguished visit to-day in exchange for it, if I could make one to the happy parties of yesterday, but it is not practicable. Even Beata had one to-day from her mother; and my eyes were not able to get a glimpse of anything about her except the five white fingers with which she turned round a flower-pot at her window out of the shadow of a twig. O if our old life and our walks begin again and all live together again, what things the republic of letters will then get to read!

To-day I deliver into its hands nothing more than Beata's safe conduct to Gustavus, because that I have only to copy off. Then I slip out again into the open air, steer once more by a chart I have in my head yesterday's course and, in gathering up as after-flora the scattered flowers our full hands let fall yesterday, I find the higher ones also. One will pardon Beata some passages in the following composition, when I premise that she, perhaps imposed upon by her heart, as well as by her father, who was only a nominal renegade of Catholicism--believed more of the angels and of their worship, than Nicolai and the Smalcald (mercantile) articles can admit. For weak and so often helpless woman, who dares not soar far above this earth, so loves in the hour of need to lay down her prayers and her sighs before a Mary, a saint, an angel; but more self-reliant man will indulgently forbear to censure a delusion which can be so consoling.

"Wishes for my friend.

"It is no delusion, that angels, in the midst of their joys, watch over threatened children of men, as the mother amidst her joys and labors guards her children. O ye unknown immortals! does a single and separate heaven shut you in? Do you never pity the defenceless son of earth? Can you never have wiped away greater tears than ours? Ah, if the creator has breathed his love into you as into us, then you certainly descend to this earth and console the besieged heart beneath the moon, hover around the oppressed soul, cover with your hand the parching wound and think on poor human creatures!

"And if here below there walks a spirit who will one day be like you, can you forget your brother?--Angel of joy! be with my friend and thine, when the sun comes, and let fair, holy mornings bloom around him! Be with him when the sun mounts higher--and when toil weighs him down!--Oh take the distant sigh of a sister and friend and cool his therewith! Be with him when the sun declines, and direct his eye to the moon as she rises in white morning-dress and to the broad heavens wherein the moon and thou walk!...

"Angel of tears and of patience! Thou that art oftener about men! Oh, forget my heart and my eye and let them bleed--indeed they do so willingly;--but tranquillize, like death, the heart and the eye of my friend, and show them on the earth nothing but the heavens beyond it. Ah, angel of tears and of patience! Thou knowest the eye and the heart, which pours itself out for him, thou wilt bring his soul before them, as one sets out flowers under the summer rain! But do it not, if it makes him too sad! O, angel of patience! I love thee! I know thee! I shall die in thy arms!

"Angel of friendship!--perhaps thou art the former angel?... Oh!... let thy heavenly wing cover his heart and warm it more tenderly than a human being can--ah, thou on another earth and I on this would weep, if his heart should, like the warm hand pressed upon freezing iron, cleave to a cold heart and tear itself away bleeding!... O shield him! but if thou canst not do it, then let me not learn his misery.

"Oh ye ever blessed ones in other worlds' with you nothing dies, you lose nothing and have all! what you love you clasp to an eternal breast, what you have you hold in eternal hands. Can you then feel in your shining heights above there, in your eternal bond of souls, that human beings here below are torn asunder, that we reach our hands to one another only out of coffins, before they sink; ah, that death is not the only, not the most painful thing that parts human beings?--Ere that snatches us from one another, many a colder hand breaks in and severs soul from soul----then indeed does the eye fail and the heart sink in anguish, just as much as if death had divided them, as in a total eclipse of the sun no less than in the longer night the dew falls, the nightingale mourns, the flower closes in death!

"May all that is good, all that is fair, all that blesses and exalts man be with my friend; and all my wishes are summed up in my silent prayer."

* * * * *

In all which I join, not merely for Gustavus, but for every good soul of my acquaintance and for all others too.

Though it is already eleven o'clock at night, still I must report to the reader something of melancholy beauty, which has just gone by. A singing person passed through our valley, concealed, however, by leaves and shadows, because the moon was not yet up. The voice sang more sweetly than any I ever heard before:

---- No one, nowhere, never.
---- The tear that falls.
---- The angel that shines.
---- There is silence.
---- It suffers.
---- It hopes.
---- I and thou.

Evidently half of each line is wanting, and to every answer the question. It has already occurred to me several times that the Genius who educated our friend under the ground, left him at his departure questions and dissonances, whose answers and solutions he took away with him; I think, too, I have said as much to the reader. Would that Gustavus were here. But I have not the courage to conceive what would be our delight if the Genius himself should introduce himself into our garland of joy at Lilienbad! I still forever hear the long drawn flute-tones from that unknown bosom wail behind the blossoms; but they make me sad. Here lie the ever-sleeping flowers, which I collected today on the path of our last night's ramble, beside the unfolded, waking ones which I have just palled up--they too sadden me. There is nothing I and my readers need more than to begin a new section of joy, so that we may continue our old life.

O Lilienbad! thou appearest only once in the world; and if thou still once more becomest visible thy name is B----zka.


* * * * *

Alas for us unhappy guests of the Spring! It is all over with the pleasures of Lilienbad. The above superscription my brother could still make, before hurrying off to Maussenbach. For there Gustavus lies in prison. It is all incomprehensible. My friend Beata sinks under the news we have received and which came to-day in the following letter to my brother from Dr. Fenk. Probably the following Job's-post will conclude this whole book as well as our previous happy days.

* * * * *

"I will not, as a woman would, spare thee, my dear friend, but relate to thee at once the whole extraordinary blow which has smitten our happy hours and most of all those of our two friends.

"Three days after our charming night--dost thou still remember a certain remark of Ottomar about the danger of raptures?--Professor Hoppedizel undertakes to carry out his inconsiderate joke of breaking into the palace of Maussenbach. The sly hunter Robisch was just then away from home; but had gone for fun with thy predecessor, the Government Counsellor Kolb, on a cruise after thieves. Observe, a multitude of persons and circumstances are involved here, which can hardly have been brought together by accident.

"The Professor comes with six comrades, and brings a ladder with him, in order to set it up against a window which had been broken for years and which looks over towards Auenthal. But when he comes up under the window--lo! one is already standing there. He takes it as the most fortunate accident and they go up in a body, almost on each other's heels. At the top a hand reaches out a silver sword-belt as if offering it to some one--the Professor seizes both and leaps in at the window. There he found what appeared to be a thief, who was expecting accomplices on the ladder. The thievish realist, in the fury of desperation falls upon the nominalist--the gallery on the ladder tumbles in after him and increases the fighting melèe. The thumps upon the floor startle the listening Röper less out of his sleep than out of his bed--he alarms the whole house and they his tipstaff--to tell all in a word: in a few minutes, with the fury of a miser saving and clutching his goods, he had made both the humorous and the serious thieves prisoners, however much the true thief might lay about him and however much the Professor might argue. And now all are sitting fast and waiting for thee.

"--Ah! wilt thou be able to bear it--if I tell thee all? The scouts of Kolb and Robisch find around Maussenbach the associates of the captured thief--they penetrate the woods, they go to a cave, as if they knew it led to something--they find a subterranean human world. Oh, that of all men thou to thy sorrow shouldst have been destined to be found there, thou innocent and unfortunate one! Now thy tender heart beats even against a prison wall!--Must I name to thee thy friend Gustavus?--Haste, haste, that the course of things may be changed!

"Lo! not merely on thy breast, but upon mine also has this day laid a heavy load. Canst thou endure that I should tell thee more still?--that it is the merest chance that Ottomar still lives. I carried him the news of our misfortune. With a frightful struggle of his nature, in which every fibre battled with a different horror, he heard me through, and then asked me whether no one had been taken prisoner who had six fingers. 'I took a solemn oath,' said he, 'in that hole in the woods, never to reveal to a soul our subterranean league, until an hour before my death. Fenk, I will now divulge the whole secret. My supplications and struggles availed nothing; he told me all, 'Gustavus must be vindicated,' said he. But this history is nowhere safe, hardly in the most faithful bosom, least of all on this paper. Ottomar was attacked by his so-called moment-of-annihilation. I let not his hand go out of mine, so that he might outlive his hour and break his oath. There is nothing higher than a man who despises life; and in this lofty position my friend stood before me, who, in his cave, had risked more and lived better than all they in Scheerau. I saw upon him the sign that he meant to die. It was right. We were in the chamber where the wax mummies stand with the black garlands, to remind man how little he was, and how little he is. 'Bend thy head aside,' said he (for I chained myself to him), 'that I may look into Sirius--that I may see out into the infinite heavens and have a solace--that I may transport myself over an earth more or less. O friend, make not dying so bitter to me--and be neither angry nor sad. O, see how all heaven gleams from one infinity to another, how it lives and nothing is dead up yonder; the human originals of all these waxen corpses dwell there in that blue.--O ye departed ones, to-day I too join you, into whatever sun my human spark of light may fly, when the body melts away from it. I shall find you again.'"

"The striking of every quarter of an hour had up to this time pierced my heart; but the last quarter struck upon my ear like a funeral knell; I watched anxiously his hands and steps; he fell on my neck: 'No! no!' said I, 'here is no parting--I shall hate thee into the very grave, if thou hast any design--embrace me not.' He had already done it; his whole being was a throbbing heart; he would fain expire in the very emotion of friendship; I pressed his bosom to mine, and his soul to mine: 'I embrace thee,' said he, 'on the earth; into whatever world death may cast me, never shall I forget thee; I shall there look toward the earth and spread out my arms after the earthly friend and nothing shall fill these arms but the faithful, heavy-laden breast which here has suffered with me, here with me has endured the earth.... Behold! thou weepest and yet wouldst not embrace me! O beloved!--on thy bosom I feel not the vanity of earth----thou too wilt die!... Mighty Being above the earth!' ... Here he tore himself away from me and fell on his knees and prayed: 'Destroy me not, punish me not! I go away from this earth; thou knowest what man comes to; thou knowest what earthly life is and our earthly condition. But, O God! man has a second heart; a second soul, his friend! Give me again the friend, together with my life--when one day all human hearts and all human blood molder in graves; O gracious, loving Being! then breathe thou over men and show Eternity their love!' A leap upward--a sudden dart towards me--a crushing embrace--a blow upon the wall--a shot from it.--

"But he still lives.



1: The German word for the dash is Gedanken-strich: Thought-stroke: (or Pause for Reflection).--(Tr.)

2: He would not have known that, had he not got it from the new Tacticians, Messrs. Hahn & Müller, who teach the young officer the Differential Calculus in order that it may not be hard for him in the heat of battle to calculate the right base angle in wheeling and deploying. Even so have I a hundred times wanted to write a book in which to enable the poor-aiming billiard player merely by a few solutions in mechanics and higher mathematics to carom with his eyes shut.

3: An allusion to an imagined mystic virtue in the number 4.--(Tr.)

4: Lit. "Knee-piece."--(Tr.)

5: Famous grammarian and purist.--(Tr.)

6: Stieck, oder Steckte, is the German, quizzing the grammatical purists of the day.

7: Cambyses took Pelusium by storm, by interspersing among his soldiers sacred animals, cats, etc., at which the Egyptian garrison did not dare to shoot, and discharged prayers instead of arrows.

8: The "one-leg" is myself. I have made the Preface, which every one will have skipped and this note which must not be, for the purpose of making known that I have only one leg, leaving out of account the abridged one, and that in my neighborhood they call me by no other name than the "one-leg" or "one-legged author," whereas my proper name is Jean Paul. See the Baptismal Register and the Preface.

9: By which the physicians mean; 1, sleeping and waking; 2, eating of drinking; 3, motion; 4, breathing; 5, discharges; 6, passions.

10: Rastriven means literally to rule a staff for music.--(Tr.)

11: Gross-gezogen and Kleingezogen is Jean Paul's contrast.--(Tr.)

12: Ohr-rose (ear-rose.)--(Tr.)

13: In Haller's great physiology it is stated that man according to Sanctorius sheds his old body every eleven years--according to Bernouilli and Blumenbach every three years--according to the Anatomist Keil every year.

14: According to the Rabbins, the devil helped build the temple, and the worm gnawed the stones smooth.

15: The butterflies of Spring have (through the celibate) lingered over from the former year; the Autumn ones are this year's children.

16: Affirmant idem corpus existens in duobis locis habere posse utrobique, formas absolutas non dependentes--ita ut hic moveater localiter, illic non, hic calidum sit, illic frigidum, etc. hic moriatur, illic vivat, hic eliceret actus vitales tum sensitivos tum intellectivos, illic non. Vœtii disp. throl. T. 1, p. 632. Bekanas with philosophic acumen limits it so far as to say that such body--ergo a woman--cannot be pious in one place and godless in another at the same time; which is also clear to my mind.

17: Wolfe's lect. memorab. Cent. XVI. p. 994 etc.

18: Loco cit.

19: Loco cit.

20: Common to several denominations.--(Tr.)

21: A Linnæan class with hermaphrodite flowers having five stamens.--(Tr.)

22: Of Saint Theresa.--(Tr.)

23: Even children in the mother's womb. See Allgem. Deutsch. Bilb., Bd. 67 S. 138.

24: With which insects make the hole to lay their eggs in.--(Tr.)

25: "Aufgelüftet"--the word luft (Scotch, lift) gives a double sense here: lifting to give air.--(Tr.)

26: I mean a harpsichord disguised under the form of a table.

27: In Scheerau, as in some States even at this day, all mourning was forbidden the subjects.

28: Fou' is the Scotch for tipsy. See Burns. A German proverb runs: "Voll-toll." These are Jean Paul's words, "Full and foolish."--(Tr.)

29: Pantheon?--(Tr.)

30: This remark has in the la««t twenty years, if not in France yet in Germany, become much less extensively applicable.

31: "Gild refined gold." etc.--(Tr.)

32: In a child's story-telling there is the same contempt of finery, of side-glances and brevity, the same naiveté, which often seems to us caprice and yet is not, and the same forgetting of the narrator in the narrative, that we find in the stories of the Bible, the elder Greeks, etc.

33: What the moderns write in the taste of the ancients is little understood; and can it be that the ancients themselves are so frequently understood?

34: Do all Germans, then, feel the Messiah who are at home in the German language and Biblical history?

35: Lit.: "Philanthropin." A natural system of education instituted by Basidow.--(Tr.)

36: A word coined by Harvey, signifying a corrupt condition of the fluids of the body--hence ill-humor.--(Tr.)

37: The Vehmgericht.--(Tr.)

38: Stunde means both hour and league.--(Tr.)

39: "Nature's soft nurse."--Shakespeare.--(Tr.)

40: Glove, in German, is Hand-shoe.--(Tr.)

41: Gustavus's courage in kissing is, on the whole, natural. Our sex runs through three periods of boldness toward the other--the first is that of childhood, when one is yet daring with the female sex from want of feeling, etc.--the second is the era of enthusiasm, when one poetizes, but does not dare--the third is the last, in which one has experience enough to be frank and feeling enough to spare and respect the sex. Gustavus's kiss fell in the first period.

42: Apotheke--from the Greek--literally a depository.--(Tr.)

43: Frederick Jacobi in Düsseldorf. Whoever, in reading his Woldemar, the best that has yet been written upon and against the Encyclopedia; or his Allwill--in which he balances the storms of feeling with the sunshine of principle; or his Spinoza and Hume--the best upon philosophy, for and against--has admired the too great condemnation (the effect of the oldest acquaintance with all systems) or the profundity, or the fancy, or some other traits which elevate certain rarer men; such a one's ear will be sorely shocked by the first yelp, amidst which Jacobi had to enter the temple of German fame; but he has only to remember, that in Germany (not in other countries) new energetic geniuses meet always a different reception at the threshold of the temple (e. g. from barking Cerberuses) from what they find in the temple itself, where the Priests are; and even a Klopstock, a Goethe, a Herder did not fare otherwise. Nor, in fact, thou, poor Hamann in Königsberg! How many Mordecais have in the Universal German Library and in other journals, helped build thy gallows and spin for thy hangman's rope: Meanwhile thou hast happily come down from the gallows only seemingly dead.

44: Heaven grant that the reader may understand all this and still remember in some measure the first sections, where he was informed that the wife of the commercial agent Röper had been the first love of Captain Falkenberg and had brought the agent her first-born child by the Captain as a marriage morning present.

45: "Si ad illam quae cum virtute degatur, ampulla aut strigilis accedat, sumpturum sapientum eam vitam potius qua haec adjecta sint, nec beatiorem tamen ob eam causam fore." Cic. de. fin. bon. et mal. L. IV.

46: The fourth finger.--(Tr.)

47: Zum Sterben schon.--"Awfully beautiful."--(Tr.)

48: I. e., Day-board.--(Tr.)

49: A Russian title answering nearly to Baron.--(Tr.)

50: Leuterirt--lit.: referred back for explanation--(a law term)--(Tr.)

51: Bank means bench in German.--(Tr.)

52: The picture of the lost little one, which he brought with him on his neck from his abductress, and which looked so like himself.

53: Elementary maxims of the law--a Scotch term.--(Tr.)

54: General experts.--(Tr.)

55: The whole career of his father, Maria Wutz, I have appended to Vol. II. of this work. But although it is an episode, which has no other connection with the main work than is given by the thread and paste of the binder, still I trust the world will do me the favor to read it immediately after reading this note.

56: I have preferred to render word for word what seems to mean a chronic sickness or soreness.--(Tr.)

57: This name was given to the English garden around Marienhof, which the spouse of the dead Prince had laid out in a romantic, sentimental spirit, and one that went beyond all rules of art. Some one suggested to her the name and plan of the Silent Land. But, now even this land is too noisy for her dying soul, and she lives in-doors. Readers who were never there I shall oblige by a description of the garden.

58: I cannot help it, that my hero is so stupid as to hope to be useful. I am not, but I show in the sequel that the medical treatment of a cacochymic body-politic (e. g., better political, educational, and other institutions, special edicts, etc.) is like the taking of medicine by a patient of weak nerves, who works against the symptoms and not against the essence of the malady, and undertakes now to sweat off, now to vomit out, or to evacuate, or wash away his sickness by bathing.

59: The reader will remember that she had journeyed hither from the Resident Lady von Bouse's merely to join in celebrating the paternal birthday.

60: These few parts I describe but briefly: The Place of Rest is a burnt-out village with a standing church, both of which had to remain as they were, after the Princess had indemnified the inhabitants for the loss of the place and all within a quarter of a league's radius, at the greatest expense and with the help of Herr von Ottomar, to whom it belongs and who is not yet arrived there. The Flower Islands are single, separate, turf-hillocks in a pond, each decked with one different flower. The Realm of Shadows consists of a manifold lattice-and-nest-work of shadow, thrown by great and small foliage, by branches and trellises, bushes and trees in various colors on a ground of pebbles, grass or water. She had arranged the deepest and the brightest parts of shadow, some for the waning noon, and others for the evening twilight. The Dumb Cabinet was a miserable little house with two opposite doors over each of which hung a veil and which no hand whatever was permitted to unlock, except that of the Princess. To this day no one knows what is therein, but the veils are destroyed.

61: A bed invented by one Dr. Graham for lifting the invalid during change of sheets.-(Tr.)

62: See how Jean Paul has elaborated this same idea in Titan, 21st Cycle.--(Tr.)

63: See this sentiment also worked out still more fully and finely in the last paragraph of the 8th Jubilee of Titan.--(Tr.)

64: "Erectos ad sidera tollere vultus."--(Tr.)

65: "The human face divine."--(Tr.)

66: A Prince Rupert's-drop.--(Tr.)

67: A refusal.--(Tr.)

68: Aus der Luft: the German phrase for "out of the whole cloth."--(Tr.)

69: For, notoriously, man's breast is much harder and more inflexible, and like that which it sometimes encloses.--It is singular that parents let their daughters sing, with all feeling, things which they would not allow to be read to them.

70: In the Roman Pantheon there stand only two divinities: Mars and Venus.

71: As in well known, the pebble or mountain crystal concealed in the setting on a doublette, is called a culasse and the diamond blazing over it a pavillon.

72: The Rose-maiden is the one who gains the garland for her distinguished virtue.--(Tr.)

73: The three cures which, as above stated, I use against my lung disease, I have from three nations--following in freshly ploughed furrows the English advise--strengthening by a dog's bedfellowship is the advice of a Frenchman (de la Richebandiere)--breathing the air of cow-barns is prescribed to Swedish consumptives.

74: Or "Liripoop, a long tail or tippet of a hood, passing round the neck, and hanging down before."--(Worcester's Dictionary.)

75: Hollowed ice is, as is well known, applied to the head in case of headache, vertigo or madness.

76: Shakespeare's Prologues to the Henrys.--(Tr.)

77: An odd forerunner of our modern local quiz, that good Bostonians hope, when they die, to go to Paris (short for Paradise)--(Tr.)

78: Of course, German miles.--(Tr.)

79: So much the finer is it, that they keep the sentiment of love pure, thereby omnipotent; other feelings float therein, but dissolved and opaque; with men the latter merely stand beside it and independent of it.


"O youth adown time's winding brook,
Toward life's vast ocean-grave I look."

The beginning runs originally:

"A wanderer sate by the rivulet's side,
And sadly the fleeting waters eyed."


81: "Das Abendroth im ernsten Sinne glühn." (Faust.)--(Tr.)

82: According to the older theologians (e. g., Gerhard, Loc. Theol., T. VIII. p. 116, r.--) we rise without hair, stomach, lacteal vessels, etc. According to Origen we rise without finger-nails also, and what he himself had lost even in this life. According to Connor, Med. Mystic, Art. 13, we come out of the grave with no more flesh than we had at birth or conception.

83: Zückert in his Dietetics proposes a cork cuirass, which keeps one erect above water, and which, as fast as the ability to float on the top increases, may be cut off.

84: In the "Liaisons dangereuses."

85: For one might make a man crazy by insisting that he was so. The friends of the younger Crebillon once agreed, on an evening of social gaiety, not to laugh at one of his jokes, but only to maintain a pitying silence, as if he had now lost all his wit and wits. And the thing was even made credible to him. Other writers again are still more vividly deluded by their friends into the opposite error of believing that they have wit. [A curious illustration of this is given in a story in Roscoe's "Italian Novelists."--Tr.]

86: Alloying gold with copper is called the red; with silver the white.

87: That is, merely in the conventional; for there is a certain better sort, by which not always that, but cultivated goodness of heart is always accompanied.

88: A settling of blood in some cavity of the body, especially in the thorax.--(Tr.)

89: As no readers understand sober earnest less than those who cannot take a joke. I remark in a note for that class that the fact stated above is really so, and that I (as an equally intemperate water and coffee drinker) have never found any other means of bracing the nerves against suspension of pulse and breath and other weaknesses, which made all inner effort painful, of so much efficiency as--hop-beer.

90: An instrument for measuring the blue of the atmosphere.

91: According to the ancients the rare springs gathered about them all wild beasts, and these meetings, like those in masquerades, gave occasion to still more extraordinary ones, and to the proverb, "Always something new from Africa," or to miscarriages.

92: His sermons, printed a year ago, will still be to the taste of every one who shares mine.

93: "Sweet hour, that wakes the wish and melt's the heart."--Byron. (Tr.)

94: A name meaning literally black clay.--(Tr.)

95: "Schlenterten (or is it written with a soft D?)" (Original).

96: The Zahuri in Spain see through the earth down to its treasures, its lead, its metals, etc.

97: Only not on the same side, as did the original.--(Tr.)

The End.

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