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The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. by Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

Part 3 out of 10

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and a few reeling friends even asserted that he merrily shook his bald
head, which caused the great unsteadiness of the floor of our room.

* * * * *

During this crazy scene, in which plates learned to dance and glasses to
fly, there sat opposite me two youths, beautiful and pale as statues,
one resembling Adonis, the other Apollo. The faint rosy hue which the
wine spread over their cheeks was scarcely noticeable. They gazed on
each other with infinite affection, as if the one could read in the eyes
of the other, and in those eyes there was a light as though drops of
light had fallen therein from the cup of burning love, which an angel on
high bears from one star to the other. They conversed softly with
earnest trembling voices, and narrated sad stories, through all of which
ran a tone of strange sorrow. "Lora is dead now too!" said one, and,
sighing, proceeded to tell of a maiden of Halle who had loved a student,
and who, when the latter left Halle, spoke no more to any one, ate but
little, wept day and night, gazing over on the canary-bird which her
lover had given her. "The bird died, and Lora did not long survive it,"
was the conclusion, and both the youths sighed as though their hearts
would break. Finally the other said, "My soul is sorrowful; come forth
with me into the dark night! Let me inhale the breath of the clouds and
the moon-rays. Companion of my sorrow! I love thee; thy words are
musical, like the rustling of reeds and the flow of rivulets; they
reecho in my breast, but my soul is sad!"

Both of the young men arose. One threw his arm around the neck of the
other, and thus they left the noisy room. I followed, and saw them enter
a dark chamber, where the one by mistake, instead of the window, threw
open the door of a large wardrobe, and both, standing before it with
outstretched arms, expressing poetic rapture, spoke alternately. "Ye
breezes of darkening night," cried the first, "how ye cool and revive my
cheeks! How sweetly ye play amid my fluttering locks! I stand on the
cloudy peak of the mountain; far below me lie the sleeping cities of
men, and blue waters gleam. List! far below in the valley rustle the
fir-trees! Far above yonder hills sweep in misty forms the spirits of
our fathers. Oh, that I could hunt with ye on your cloud-steeds through
the stormy night, over the rolling sea, upwards to the stars! Alas! I am
laden with grief, and my soul is sad!" Meanwhile, the other had also
stretched out _his_ arms toward the wardrobe, while tears fell from his
eyes as he cried to a pair of yellow leather pantaloons which he mistook
for the moon, "Fair art thou, daughter of heaven! Lovely and blessed is
the calm of thy countenance. Thou walkest in loveliness! The stars
follow thy blue path in the east! At thy glance the clouds rejoice, and
their dark forms gleam with light. Who is like unto thee in heaven, thou
the night-born? The stars are ashamed before thee, and turn away their
sparkling eyes. Whither, ah, whither, when morning pales thy face, dost
thou flee from thy path? Hast thou, like me, thy Halle? Dwellest thou
amid shadows of sorrow? Have thy sisters fallen from heaven? Are they
who joyfully rolled with thee through the night now no more? Yea, they
have fallen down, oh! lovely light, and thou hidest thyself often to
bewail them! Yet the night must come at last when thou too will have
passed away, and left thy blue path above in heaven. Then the stars,
that were once ashamed in thy presence, will raise their green heads and
rejoice. But now art clothed in thy beaming splendor and gazest down
from the gate of heaven. Tear aside the clouds, oh! ye winds, that the
night-born may shine forth and the bushy hills gleam, and that the
foaming waves of the sea may roll in light!"

* * * * *

I can bear a tolerable quantity--modesty forbids me to say how many
bottles--and I consequently retired to my chamber in tolerably good
condition. The young merchant already lay in bed, enveloped in his
chalk-white night-cap and saffron yellow night-shirt of sanitary
flannel. He was not asleep, and sought to enter into conversation with
me. He was from Frankfurt-on-the-Main, and consequently spoke at once of
the Jews, declared that they had lost all feeling for the beautiful and
noble, and that they sold English goods twenty-five per cent. under
manufacturers' prices. A fancy to humbug him came over me, and I told
him that I was a somnambulist, and must beforehand beg his pardon should
I unwittingly disturb his slumbers. This intelligence, as he confessed
the following day, prevented him from sleeping a wink through the whole
night, especially since the idea had entered his head that I, while in a
somnambulistic state, might shoot him with the pistol which lay near my
bed. But in truth I fared no better myself, for I slept very little.
Dreary and terrifying fancies swept through my brain....

From this confusion I was rescued by the landlord of the Brocken, when
he awoke me to see the sun rise. On the tower I found several people
already waiting, and rubbing their freezing hands; others, with sleep
still in their eyes, stumbled up to us, until finally the whole silent
congregation of the previous evening was reassembled, and we saw how,
above the horizon, there rose a little carmine-red ball, spreading a
dim, wintry light. Far around, amid the mists, rose the mountains, as if
swimming in a white rolling sea, only their summits being visible, so
that we could imagine ourselves standing on a little hill in the midst
of an inundated plain, in which here and there rose dry clods of earth.
To retain what I saw and felt, I sketched the following poem:

In the east 'tis ever brighter,
Though the sun gleams fitfully;
Far and wide the mountain summits
Swim above the misty sea.

Had I seven-league boots for travel,
Like the fleeting winds I'd rove
Over valley, rock, and river,
To the home of her I love.

From the bed where now she's sleeping
Soft the curtain I would slip;
Softly kiss her childlike forehead,
Kiss the ruby of her lip.

Yet more softly would I whisper
In the little lily ear,
"Think in dreams we still are loving,
Think I never lost thee, dear."

Meanwhile my longing for breakfast was also great, and, after paying a
few compliments to my ladies, I hastened down to drink coffee in the
warm public room. It was full time, for all within me was as sober and
as sombre as in the St. Stephen's Church at Goslar. But with the Arabian
beverage, the warm Orient thrilled through my limbs, Eastern roses
breathed forth their perfumes, sweet bulbul songs resounded, the
students were changed to camels, the Brocken housemaids, with their
Congreverocket-glances, became _houris_, the Philistine noses, minarets,

But the book which lay near me, though full of nonsense, was not the
Koran. It was the so-called "Brocken-book," in which all travelers who
ascend the mountain write their names--most inscribing their thoughts,
or, in default thereof, their "feelings." Many even express themselves
in verse. In this book one may observe the horrors which result when the
great Philistine host on opportune occasions, such as this on the
Brocken, becomes poetic. The palace of the Prince of Pallagonia never
contained such absurdities as are to be found in this book. Those who
shine in it with especial splendor are Messrs. the excise collectors,
with their moldy "high inspirations;" counter-jumpers, with their
pathetic outgushings of the soul; old German revolution dilettanti with
their Turner-Union phrases, and Berlin school-masters with their
unsuccessful efforts at enthusiasm. Mr. Snobbs will also for once show
himself as author. In one page the majestic splendor of the sunrise is
described, in another complaints occur of bad weather, of disappointed
hopes, and of the mists which obstruct the view. A "Caroline" writes
that in climbing the mountain her feet got wet, to which a naive
"Nanny," who was impressed by this, adds, "I too, got wet while doing
this thing." "Went up wet without and came down wet within," is a
standing joke, repeated in the book hundreds of times. The whole volume
smells of beer, tobacco and cheese; we might fancy it one of Clauren's

* * * * *

And now the students prepared to depart. Knapsacks were buckled, the
bills, which were moderate beyond all expectation, were settled, the
susceptible housemaids, upon whose countenances the traces of successful
amours were plainly visible, brought, as is their custom, their
Brocken-bouquets, and helped some to adjust their caps; for all of which
they were duly rewarded with either kisses or coppers. Thus we all went
down the mountain, albeit one party, among whom were the Swiss and
Greifswalder, took the road toward Schierke, and the others, about
twenty men, among whom were my fellow "countrymen" and myself, led by a
guide, went through the so-called "Snow Holes" down to Ilsenburg.

Such a head-over-heels, break-neck piece of business! Halle students
travel quicker than the Austrian militia. Ere I knew where I was, the
bald summit of the mountain, with groups of stones strewed over it, was
behind us, and we went through the fir-wood which I had seen the day
before. The sun poured down a cheerful light on the merry Burschen, in
gaily colored garb, as they merrily pressed onward through the wood,
disappearing here, coming to light again there, running across marshy
places on trunks of trees, climbing over shelving steeps by grasping the
projecting tree-roots; while they thrilled all the time in the merriest
manner and received as joyous an answer from the twittering wood-birds,
the invisibly plashing rivulets, and the resounding echo. When cheerful
youth and beautiful nature meet, they mutually rejoice.

[Illustration: THE FALLS OF THE ILSE]

The lower we descend the more delightfully did subterranean waters
ripple around us; only here and there they peeped out amid rocks and
bushes, appearing to be reconnoitring if they might yet come to light,
until at last one little spring jumped forth boldly. Then followed the
usual show--the bravest one makes a beginning, and then to their own
astonishment the great multitude of hesitators, suddenly inspired with
courage, rush forth to join the first. Myriads of springs now leaped in
haste from their ambush, united with the leader, and finally formed
quite an important brook, which, with its innumerable waterfalls and
beautiful windings, ripples down the valley. This is now the Ilse--the
sweet, pleasant Ilse. She flows through the blest Ilse vale, on whose
sides the mountains gradually rise higher and higher, being clad even to
their base with beech-trees, oaks, and the usual shrubs, the firs and
other needle-covered evergreens having disappeared; for that variety of
trees grows preferably upon the "Lower Harz," as the east side of the
Brocken is called in contradistinction to the west side or Upper Harz.
Being in reality much higher, it is therefore better adapted to the
growth of evergreens.

It is impossible to describe the merriment, simplicity, and charm with
which the Ilse leaps down over the fantastically shaped rocks which rise
in her path, so that the water strangely whizzes or foams in one place.
amid rifted rocks, and in another pours forth in perfect arches through
a thousand crannies, as if from a giant watering-pot, and then, lower
down, trips away again over the pebbles like a merry maiden. Yes, the
old legend is true; the Ilse is a princess, who, in the full bloom of
youth, runs laughing down the mountain side. How her white foam garment
gleams in the sunshine! How her silvered scarf flutters in the breeze!
How her diamonds flash! The high beech-trees gaze down on her like grave
fathers secretly smiling at the capricious self-will of a darling child;
the white birch-trees nod their heads like delighted aunts, who are,
however, anxious at such bold leaps; the proud oak looks on like a not
over-pleased uncle, who must pay for all the fine weather; the birds
joyfully sing their applause; the flowers on the bank whisper, "Oh, take
us with thee, take us with thee, dear sister!" But the merry maiden may
not be withheld, and she leaps onward and suddenly seizes the dreaming
poet, and there streams over me a flower-rain of ringing gleams and
flashing tones, and my senses are lost in all the beauty and splendor,
and I hear only the voice, sweet pealing as a flute--

I am the Princess Ilse,
And dwell in Ilsenstein;
Come with me to my castle,
Thou shalt be blest--and mine!

With ever-flowing fountains
I'll cool thy weary brow;
Thou'lt lose amid their rippling
The cares which grieve thee now.

In my white arms reposing,
And on my snow-white breast,
Thou'lt dream of old, old legends,
And sing in joy to rest.

I'll kiss thee and caress thee,
As in the ancient day
I kissed the Emperor Henry,
Who long has passed away.

The dead are dead and silent,
Only the living love;
And I am fair and blooming--
Dost feel my wild heart move!

And as my heart is beating,
My crystal castle rings,
Where many a knight and lady
In merry measure springs.

Silk trains are softly rustling,
Spurs ring from night to morn,
And dwarfs are gaily drumming,
And blow the golden horn.

As round the Emperor Henry,
My arms round thee shall fall;
I held his ears--he heard not
The trumpet's warning call.

We feel infinite happiness when the outer world blends with the world of
our own soul, and green trees, thoughts, the songs of birds, gentle
melancholy, the blue of heaven, memory, and the perfume of herbs, run
together in sweet arabesques. Women best understand this feeling, and
this may be the cause that such a sweet incredulous smile plays around
their lips when we, with scholastic pride, boast of our logical
deeds--how we have classified everything so nicely into subjective and
objective; how our heads are provided, apothecary-like, with a thousand
drawers, one of which contains reason, another understanding, the third
wit, the fourth bad wit, and the fifth nothing at all--that is to say,
the _Idea_.

As if wandering in dreams, I scarcely observed that we had left the
depths of the Ilsethal and were now again climbing uphill. This was
steep and difficult work, and many of us lost our breath; but, like our
late lamented cousin, who now lies buried at Moelln, we thought in
advance of the descent, and were all the merrier in consequence. Finally
we reached the Ilsenstein.

This is an enormous granite rock, which rises boldly on high from out a
glen. On three sides it is surrounded by high woody hills, but on the
fourth, the north side, there is an open view, and we gazed past the
Ilsenburg and the Ilse lying below us, far away into the low lands. On
the towerlike summit of the rock stands a great iron cross, and in case
of need there is also room here for four human feet. And as Nature,
through picturesque position and form, has adorned the Ilsenstein with
fantastic charms, so legend likewise has shed upon it a rosy shimmer.
According to Gottschalk, "People say that there once stood here an
enchanted castle, in which dwelt the rich and fair Princess Ilse, who
still bathes every morning in the Ilse. He who is fortunate enough to
hit upon the exact time and place will be led by her into the rock where
her castle lies and receive a royal reward." Others narrate a pleasant
legend of the lovers of the Lady Ilse and of the Knight of Westenberg,
which has been romantically sung by one of our most noted poets in the
_Evening Journal_. Others again say that it was the Old Saxon Emperor
Henry who had a royal good time with the water-nymph Ilse in her
enchanted castle.

A later author, one Niemann, Esq., who has written a _Guide to the Harz_
in which the height of the hills, variations of the compass, town
finances, and similar matters are described with praiseworthy accuracy,
asserts, however, that "what is narrated of the Princess Ilse belongs
entirely to the realm of fable." Thus do all men speak to whom a
beautiful princess has never appeared; but we who have been especially
favored by fair ladies know better. And the Emperor Henry knew it too!
It was not without cause that the Old Saxon emperors were so attached to
their native Harz. Let any one only turn over the leaves of the fair
_Lueneburg Chronicle,_ where the good old gentlemen are represented in
wondrously true-hearted woodcuts sitting in full armor on their mailed
war-steeds, the holy imperial crown on their beloved heads, sceptre and
sword in firm hands; and then in their dear mustachiod faces he can
plainly read how they often longed for the sweet hearts of their Harz
princesses, and for the familiar rustling of the Harz forests, when they
sojourned in distant lands--yes, even when in Italy, so rich in oranges
and poisons, whither they, with their followers, were often enticed by
the desire of being called Roman emperors, a genuine German lust for
title, which finally destroyed emperor and empire.

I, however, advise every one who may hereafter stand on the summit of
the Ilsenstein to think neither of emperor nor empire nor of the fair
Ilse, but simply of his own feet. For as I stood there, lost in thought,
I suddenly heard the subterranean music of the enchanted castle, and saw
the mountains around begin to stand on their heads, while the red-tiled
roofs of Ilsenburg were dancing, and green trees flew through the air,
until all was green and blue before my eyes, and I, overcome by
giddiness, would assuredly have fallen into the abyss, had I not, in the
dire need of my soul, clung fast to the iron cross. No one who reflects
on the critically ticklish situation in which I was then placed can
possibly find fault with me for having done this.


* * * * *


By Heinrich Heine

Translated by Charles Godfrey Leland

The town of Duesseldorf is very beautiful, and if you think of it when
far away, and happen at the same time to have been born there, strange
feelings come over your soul. I was born there, and feel as if I must go
straight home. And when I say _home_ I mean the _Bolkerstrasse_ and the
house in which I was born. This house will some day be a great
curiosity, and I have sent word to the old lady who owns it that she
must not for her life sell it. For the whole house she would now hardly
get as much as the tips which the distinguished green-veiled English
ladies will one day give the servant girl when she shows them the room
where I was born, and the hen-house wherein my father generally
imprisoned me for stealing grapes, and also the brown door on which my
mother taught me to write with chalk--O Lord! Madame, should I ever
become a famous author, it has cost my poor mother trouble enough.


But my fame as yet slumbers in the marble quarries of Carrara; the
waste-paper laurel with which they have bedecked my brow has not yet
spread its perfume through the wide world, and the green-veiled English
ladies, when they come to Duesseldorf as yet leave the celebrated house
unvisited, and go directly to the market-place and there gaze on the
colossal black equestrian statue which stands in its midst. This is
supposed to represent the Prince Elector, Jan Wilhelm. He wears black
armor and a long wig hanging down his back. When a boy, I heard the
legend that the artist who made this statue became aware, to his
horror, while it was being cast, that he had not metal enough to fill
the mold, and then all the citizens of the town came running with all
their silver spoons, and threw them in to make up the deficiency; and I
often stood for hours before the statue wondering how many spoons were
concealed in it, and how many apple-tarts the silver would buy.
Apple-tarts were then my passion--now it is love, truth, liberty, and
crab-soup--and not far from the statue of the Prince Elector, at the
theatre corner, generally stood a curiously constructed bow-legged
fellow with a white apron, and a basket girt around him full of
delightfully steaming apple-tarts, whose praises he well knew how to
call out in an irresistible high treble voice, "Here you are! hot
apple-tarts! just from the oven--smelling deliciously!" Truly, whenever
in my later years the Evil One sought to get the better of me, he always
spoke in just such an enticing high treble voice, and I should certainly
have never remained twelve full hours with the Signora Giulietta, if she
had not thrilled me with her sweet perfumed apple-tart tones. And, in
fact, the apple-tarts would never have so sorely tempted me if the
crooked Hermann had not covered them up so mysteriously with his white
apron; and it is aprons, you know, which--but I wander from the subject.
I was speaking of the equestrian statue which has so many silver spoons
in it, and no soup, and which represents the Prince Elector, Jan

He was a brave gentleman, 'tis reported, a lover of art and handy
therein himself. He founded the picture-gallery in Duesseldorf; and in
the observatory there, they still show us an extremely artistic piece of
work, consisting of one wooden cup within another which he himself had
carved in his leisure hours, of which latter he had every day


In those days princes were not the harassed creatures they now are.
Their crowns grew firmly on their heads, and at night they drew
nightcaps over them besides and slept in peace, and their people
slumbered calmly at their feet; and when they awoke in the morning they
said, "Good morning, father!" and the princes replied, "Good morning,
dear children!"

But there came a sudden change over all this, for one morning when we
awoke in Duesseldorf and wanted to say, "Good morning, father!" the
father had traveled away, and in the whole town there was nothing but
dumb sorrow. Everywhere there was a sort of funereal atmosphere, and
people crept silently through the market and read the long placard
placed on the door of the City Hall. The weather was dark and lowering,
yet the lean tailor Kilian stood in the nankeen jacket, which he
generally wore only at home, and in his blue woolen stockings, so that
his little bare legs peeped out dismally, and his thin lips quivered as
he murmured the words of the placard to himself. An old invalid soldier
from the Palatine read it in a somewhat louder tone, and at certain
phrases a transparent tear ran down his white, honorable old mustache. I
stood near him, and wept with him, and then asked why we wept; and he
replied, "The Prince Elector has abdicated." Then he read further, and
at the words "for the long-manifested fidelity of my subjects," "and
hereby release you from your allegiance," he wept still more. It is a
strange sight to see, when so old a man, in faded uniform, with a
scarred veteran's face, suddenly bursts into tears. While we read, the
Princely Electoral coat-of-arms was being taken down from the City Hall,
and everything began to appear as oppressively desolate as though we
were waiting for an eclipse of the sun. The city councilors went about
at an abdicating, slow gait; even the omnipotent beadle looked as though
he had had no more commands to give, and stood calmly indifferent,
although the crazy Aloysius again stood upon one leg and chattered the
names of French generals, with foolish grimaces, while the tipsy,
crooked Gumpertz rolled around the gutter, singing, "Ca ira! Ca ira!"
But I went home, weeping and lamenting because "the Prince Elector had
abdicated!" My mother tried hard to comfort me, but I would hear
nothing. I knew what I knew, and went weeping to bed, and in the night
dreamed that the world had come to an end--that all the fair flower
gardens and green meadows were taken up from the ground and rolled away,
like carpets; that a beadle climbed up on a high ladder and took down
the sun, and that the tailor Kilian stood by and said to himself, "I
must go home and dress myself neatly, for I am dead and am to be buried
this afternoon." And it grew darker and darker--a few stars glimmered
meagrely on high, and these too, at length, fell down like yellow leaves
in autumn; one by one all men vanished, and I, poor child, wandered
around in anguish, and finally found myself before the willow fence of a
deserted farmhouse, where I saw a man digging up the earth with a spade,
and near him an ugly, spiteful-looking woman, who held something in her
apron like a human head--but it was the moon, and she laid it carefully
in the open grave--and behind me stood the Palatine invalid, sighing,
and spelling out "The Prince Elector has abdicated."

When I awoke the sun shone as usual through the window, there was a
sound of drums in the street, and as I entered the sitting-room and said
"good morning" to my father, who was sitting in his white dressing-gown,
I heard the little light-footed barber, as he dressed his hair, narrate
very minutely that allegiance would be sworn to the Grande Duke Joachim
that morning at the City Hall. I heard, too, that the new ruler was of
excellent family, that he had married the sister of the Emperor
Napoleon, and was really a very respectable man; that he wore his
beautiful black hair in flowing locks, that he would shortly make his
entrance into the town, and, in fine, that he was sure to please all the
ladies. Meanwhile the drumming in the streets continued, and I went out
before the house-door and looked at the French troops marching in that
joyous people of glory, who, singing and playing, swept over the world,
the serious and yet merry-faced grenadiers, the bear-skin shakoes, the
tri-colored cockades, the glittering bayonets, the _voltigeurs_, full of
vivacity and _point d'honneur_, and the omnipotent giant-like
silver-laced tambour major, who could cast his _baton_ with a gilded
head as high as the first story, and his eyes even to the second, where
also there were pretty girls sitting at the windows. I was so glad that
soldiers were to be quartered in our house--in which my mother differed
from me--and I hastened to the market-place. There everything looked
changed, somewhat as though the world had been newly whitewashed. A new
coat-of-arms was placed on the City Hall, its iron balconies were hung
with embroidered velvet drapery. French grenadiers stood as sentinels;
the old city councilors had put on new faces, and donned their Sunday
coats, and looked at each other Frenchily, and said, "_Bonjour!_" Ladies
gazed from every window, curious citizens and glittering soldiers filled
the square, and I, with other boys, climbed on the great bronze horse of
the Prince Elector, and thence stared down on the motley crowd.

Our neighbors, Pitter and the tall Kunz, nearly broke their necks in
accomplishing this feat, and it would have been better if they had been
killed outright, for the one afterwards ran away from his parents,
enlisted as a soldier, deserted, and was finally shot at Mayence; while
the other, having made geographical researches in strange pockets, was
on this account elected active member of a public treadmill institute.
But having broken the iron bands which bound him to the latter and to
his fatherland, he safely crossed the channel, and eventually died in
London through wearing an all too tight neck-tie which automatically
drew together, when a royal official removed a plank from beneath his

Tall Kunz told us that there was no school today on account of the
ceremonies connected with taking the oath of allegiance. We had to wait
a long time ere these commenced. Finally, the balcony of the City Hall
was filled with gaily dressed gentlemen, with flags and trumpets, and
our burgomaster, in his celebrated red coat, delivered an oration, which
stretched out like Indian rubber, or like a knitted nightcap into which
one has thrown a stone--only that it was not the philosopher's
stone--and I could distinctly understand many of his phrases--for
instance, that "we are now to be made happy;" and at the last words the
trumpets sounded out, the flags were waved, the drums were beaten, the
people cried, Hurrah! and while I myself cried hurrah, I held fast to
the old Prince Elector. And it was really necessary that I should, for I
began to grow giddy. It seemed to me as if the people were standing on
their heads, because the world whizzed around, while the old Prince
Elector, with his long wig, nodded and whispered, "Hold fast to me!" and
not till the cannon reechoed along the wall did I become sobered, and
climbed slowly down from the great bronze horse.

As I went home, I saw the crazy Aloysius again dancing on one leg, while
he chattered the names of French generals, and I also beheld crooked
Gumpertz rolling in the gutter and growling, "Ca ira, ca ira," and I
said to my mother, "We are all to be made happy; on that account there
is no school today."


The next day the world was again all in order, and we had school as
before, and things were learned by heart as before--the Roman kings,
dates, the _nomina_ in _im_, the _verba irregularia_, Greek, Hebrew,
geography, German, mental arithmetic--Lord! my head is still giddy with
it!--all had to be learned by heart. And much of it was eventually to my
advantage; for had I not learned the Roman kings by heart, it would
subsequently have been a matter of perfect indifference to me whether
Niebuhr had or had not proved that they never really existed. And had I
not learned those dates, how could I ever, in later years, have found
out any one in big Berlin, where one house is as like another as drops
of water or as grenadiers, and where it is impossible to find a friend
unless you have the number of his house in your head! At that time I
associated with every acquaintance some historical event, which had
happened in a year corresponding to the number of his house, so that the
one recalled the other, and some curious point in history always
occurred to me whenever I met any one whom I visited. For instance, when
I met my tailor, I at once thought of the battle of Marathon; when I saw
the well-groomed banker, Christian Gumpel, I immediately remembered the
destruction of Jerusalem; when I caught sight of a Portuguese friend,
deeply in debt, I thought at once of the flight of Mahomet; when I met
the university judge, a man whose probity is well known, I thought of
the death of Haman; and as soon as I laid eyes on Wadzeck, I was at once
reminded of Cleopatra. Ah, heaven! the poor creature is dead now; our
tears are dry, and we may say of her with Hamlet, "Taken all in all, she
was an old woman; we oft shall look upon her like again!" But, as I
said, dates are necessary. I know men who had nothing in their heads but
a few dates, and with their aid knew where to find the right houses in
Berlin, and are now already regular professors. But oh, the trouble I
had at school with the multitude of numbers; and as to actual
arithmetic, that was even worse! I understood best of all subtraction,
and for this there is a very practical rule: "Four can't be taken from
three, therefore I must borrow one"; but I advise all in such a case to
borrow a few extra groschen, for no one can tell what may happen.

But oh, the Latin! Madame, you can really have no idea of how
complicated it is. The Romans would never have found time to conquer the
world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin. Lucky dogs! they
already knew in their cradles which nouns have their accusative in _im_.
I, on the contrary, had to learn them by heart, in the sweat of my brow,
but still it is well that I know them. For if I, for example, when I
publicly disputed in Latin in the College Hall of Goettingen, on the 20th
of July, 1825--Madame, it was well worth while to hear it--if I on that
occasion had said _sinapem_ instead of _sinapim_, the blunder would have
been evident to the Freshmen, and an endless shame for me. _Vis, buris,
sitis, tussis, cucumis, amussis, cannabis, sinapis_--these words, which
have attracted so much attention in the world, effected this, inasmuch
as they belonged to a distinct class, and yet withal remained an
exception; therefore I highly respect them, and the fact that I have
them ready at my fingers' ends when I perhaps need them in a hurry,
often affords me in life's darkened hours much internal tranquillity and
consolation. But, Madame, the _verba irregularia_--they are
distinguished from the _verbis regularibus_ by the fact that the boys in
learning them got more whippings--are terribly difficult. In the musty
archways of the Franciscan cloister near our schoolroom there hung a
large Christ--crucified of grey wood, a dismal image, that even yet at
times rises in my dreams and gazes sorrowfully on me with fixed bleeding
eyes. Before this image I often stood and prayed, "Oh, Thou poor and
also tormented God, I pray Thee, if it be possible, that I may get by
heart the irregular verbs!"

I will say nothing of Greek, otherwise I should vex myself too much. The
monks of the Middle Ages were not so very much in the wrong when they
asserted that Greek was an invention of the devil. Lord knows what I
suffered through it! It went better with Hebrew, for I always had a
great predilection for the Jews, although they crucify my good name up
to the present hour, and yet I never could get as far in Hebrew as my
watch did, which had much intimate intercourse with pawnbrokers and in
consequence acquired many Jewish habits--for instance, it would not go
on Saturday, and it also learned the sacred language, subsequently even
studying it grammatically; for often when sleepless in the night I have,
to my amazement, heard it industriously ticking away to itself: _katal,
katalta, katalti, kittel, kittalta, katalti-pokat, pokadeti-pikat, pik,

Meanwhile I learned more of German than of any other tongue, though
German itself is not such child's play, after all. For we poor Germans,
who have already been sufficiently vexed with having soldiers quartered
on us, military duties, poll-taxes, and a thousand other exactions, must
needs, over and above all this, bag Mr. Adelung and torment one another
with accusatives and datives. I learned much German from the old Rector
Schallmeyer, a brave, clerical gentleman, whose protege I was from
childhood. But I also learned something of the kind from Professor
Schramm, a man who had written a book on eternal peace, and in whose
class my school-fellows quarreled and fought more than in any other.

And while I have thus been writing away without a pause and thinking
about all sorts of things, I have unexpectedly chattered myself back
among old school stories, and I avail myself of this opportunity to
mention, Madame, that it was not my fault if I learned so little of
geography that later in life I could not make my way in the world. For
in those days the French displaced all boundaries; every day the
countries were recolored on the world's map; those which were once blue
suddenly became green, many indeed were even dyed blood-red; the old
stereotyped souls of the school-books became so confused and confounded
that the devil himself would never have recognized them. The products of
the country were also changed; chickory and beets now grew where only
hares and country gentlemen pursuing them were once to be seen; even the
character of the nations changed; the Germans became pliant, the French
paid compliments no longer; the English ceased making ducks and drakes
of their money, and the Venetians were not subtle enough; there was
promotion among princes, old kings received new uniforms, new kingdoms
were cooked up and sold like hot cakes; many potentates were chased, on
the other hand, from house and home, and had to find some new way of
earning their bread, and some therefore went at once into trade, and
manufactured, for instance, sealing wax, or--Madame, this paragraph
must be brought to an end, or I shall be out of breath--in fine, in such
times it is impossible to advance far in geography.

I succeeded better in natural history, for there we find fewer changes,
and we always have standard engravings of apes, kangaroos, zebras,
rhinoceroses, etc., etc. And having many such pictures in my memory, it
often happens that at first sight many mortals appeared to me like old

I also did well in mythology, and took a real delight in the mob of gods
and goddesses who, so jolly and naked, governed the world. I do not
believe that there was a schoolboy in ancient Rome who knew the
principal points of his catechism--that is, the loves of Venus--better
than I. To tell the plain truth, it seems to me that if we must learn
all the heathen gods by heart, we might as well have kept them from the
first; and we have not, perhaps, gained so much with our New-Roman
Trinity or still less with our Jewish unity. Perhaps the old mythology
was not in reality so immoral as we imagine, and it was, for example, a
very decent idea of Homer to give to much-loved Venus a husband.

But I succeeded best in the French class of the Abbe d'Aulnoi, a French
_emigre_, who had written a number of grammars, and wore a red wig, and
jumped about very nervously when he lectured on his _Art poetique_ and
his _Histoire Allemande_. He was the only one in the whole gymnasium who
taught German history. Still, French has its difficulties, and to learn
it there must be much quartering of troops, much drumming, much
_apprendre par coeur_, and, above all, no one must be a _bete
allemande_. There was here, too, many a hard nut to crack; and I can
remember as plainly as though it happened but yesterday that I once got
into a bad scrape through _la religion_. I was asked at least six times
in succession, "Henry, what is French for 'the faith?'" And six times,
with an ever increasing inclination to weep, I replied, "It is called
_le credit_." And after the seventh question the furious examinator,
purple in the face, cried, "It is called _la religion_"--and there was a
rain of blows and a thunder of laughter from all my schoolmates. Madame,
since that day I never hear the word _religion_ without having my back
turn pale with terror, and my cheeks turn red with shame. And to tell
the honest truth, _le credit_ has during my life stood me in the better
stead than _la religion_. It occurs to me just at this instant that I
still owe the landlord of The Lion in Bologna five dollars. And I pledge
you my sacred word of honor that I would willingly owe him five dollars
more if I could only be certain that I should never again hear that
unlucky word, _la religion_, as long as I live.

_Parbleu_, Madame! I have succeeded tolerably well in French; for I
understand not only _patois_, but even patrician, governess French. Not
long ago, when in an aristocratic circle, I understood nearly one-half
of the conversation of two German countesses, each of whom could count
at least sixty-four years, and as many ancestors. Yes, in the _Cafe
Royal_ in Berlin, I once heard Monsieur Hans Michel Martens talking
French, and could understand every word he spoke, though there was no
understanding in anything he said. We must know the _spirit_ of a
language, and this is best learned by drumming. _Parbleu_! how much do I
not owe to the French drummer who was so long quartered in our house,
who looked like a devil, and yet had the good heart of an angel, and
withal drummed so divinely!

He was a little, nervous figure, with a terrible black mustache, beneath
which red lips sprang forth defiantly, while his wild eyes shot fiery
glances all round.

I, a young shaver, stuck to him like a burr, and helped him to clean his
military buttons till they shone like mirrors, and to pipe-clay his
vest--for Monsieur Le Grand liked to look well--and I followed him to
the guard house, to the roll-call, to the parade-ground--in those times
there was nothing but the gleam of weapons and merriment--_les jours de
fete sont passes_! Monsieur Le Grand knew but a little broken German,
only the three principal words, "Bread," "Kiss," "Honor"--but he could
make himself very intelligible with his drum. For instance, if I knew
not what the word _liberte_ meant, he drummed the _Marseillaise_--and I
understood him. If I did not understand the word _egalite_, he drummed
the march--

"Ca ira, ca ira, ca ira,
Les aristocrats a la lanterne!"

and I understood him. If I did not know what Betise meant, he drummed
the Dessauer March, which we Germans, as Goethe also declares, drummed
in Champagne--and I understood him. He once wanted to explain to me the
word _l'Allemagne_ (or Germany), and he drummed the all too _simple_
melody which on market-days is played to dancing-dogs, namely,
_dum-dum-dum_! I was vexed, but I understood him for all that!

In like manner he taught me modern history. I did not understand, it is
true, the words which he spoke, but as he constantly drummed while
speaking, I knew what he meant. This is, fundamentally, the best method.
The history of the storming of the Bastile, of the Tuileries, and the
like, cannot be correctly understood until we know how _the drumming_
was done on such occasions. In our school compendiums of history we
merely read: "Their Excellencies the Barons and Counts and their noble
spouses, their Highnesses the Dukes and Princes and their most noble
spouses were beheaded. His Majesty the King, and his most illustrious
spouse, the Queen, were beheaded."--But when you hear the red march of
the guillotine drummed, you understand it correctly for the first time,
and with it the how and the why. Madame, that is really a wonderful
march! It thrilled through marrow and bone when I first heard it, and I
was glad that I forgot it. People are apt to forget things of this kind
as they grow older, and a young man has nowadays so much and such a
variety of knowledge to keep in his head--whist, Boston, genealogical
registers, decrees of the Federal Council, dramaturgy, the liturgy,
carving--and yet, I assure you that really, despite all the jogging up
of my brain, I could not for a long time recall that tremendous time!
And only to think, Madame! Not long ago I sat one day at table with a
whole menagerie of counts, princes, princesses, chamberlains,
court-marshalesses, seneschals, upper court mistresses, court keepers of
the royal plate, court hunters' wives, and whatever else these
aristocratic domestics are termed, and _their_ under-domestics ran about
behind their chairs and shoved full plates before their mouths; but I,
who was passed by and neglected, sat idle without the least occupation
for my jaws, and kneaded little bread-balls, and drummed with my
fingers, from boredom, and, to my astonishment, I found myself suddenly
drumming the red, long-forgotten guillotine march.

"And what happened?" Madame, the good people were not in the least
disturbed, nor did they know that _other_ people, when they can get
nothing to eat, suddenly begin to drum, and that, too, very queer
marches, which people have long forgotten.

Is drumming now an inborn talent, or was it early developed in me?
Enough, it lies in my limbs, in my hands, in my feet, and often
involuntarily manifests itself. At Berlin, I once sat in the
lecture-room of the Privy Councilor Schmaltz, a man who had saved the
state by his book on the _Red and Black Coat Danger_. You remember,
perhaps, Madame, that in Pausanias we are told that by the braying of an
ass an equally dangerous plot was once discovered, and you also know
from Livy, or from Becker's _History of the World_, that geese once
saved the Capitol, and you must certainly know from Sallust that by the
chattering of a loquacious _putaine_, the Lady Fulvia, the terrible
conspiracy of Catiline came to light. But to return to the mutton
aforesaid. I was listening to the law and rights of nations, in the
lecture-room of the Herr Privy Councilor Schmaltz, and it was a lazy
sleepy summer afternoon, and I sat on the bench, and little by little I
listened less and less--my head had gone to sleep--when all at once I
was awakened by the noise of my own feet, which had _not_ gone to sleep
and had probably heard that just the contrary of the law and rights of
nations was being taught and constitutional principles were being
reviled, and which with the little eyes of their corns had seen better
how things go in the world than the Privy Councilor with his great Juno
eyes--these poor dumb feet, incapable of expressing their immeasurable
meaning by words, strove to make themselves intelligible by drumming,
and they drummed so loudly that I thereby came near getting into a
terrible scrape.

Cursed, unreflecting feet! They once played me a little trick, when I,
on a time in Goettingen, was temporarily attending the lectures of
Professor Saalfeld, and as this learned gentleman, with his angular
agility, jumped about here and there in his desk, and wound himself up
to curse the Emperor Napoleon in regular set style--no, my poor feet, I
cannot blame you for drumming _then_--indeed, I would not have blamed
you if in your dumb _naivete_ you had expressed yourselves by still more
energetic movements. How dare I, the scholar of Le Grand, hear the
Emperor cursed? The Emperor! the Emperor! the great Emperor!

When I think of the great Emperor, all in my memory again becomes
summer-green and golden. A long avenue of lindens in bloom arises before
me, and on the leafy twigs sit nightingales, singing; the waterfall
murmurs, in full round beds flowers are growing, and dreamily nodding
their fair heads. I was on a footing of wondrous intimacy with them; the
rouged tulips, proud as beggars, condescendingly greeted me; the nervous
sick lilies nodded to me with tender melancholy, the wine-red roses
laughed at me from afar; the night-violets sighed; with the myrtle and
laurel I was not then acquainted, for they did not entice with a shining
bloom, but the mignonette, with whom I am now on such bad terms, was my
very particular friend.--I am speaking of the Court garden of
Duesseldorf, where I often lay upon the grass and piously listened there
when Monsieur Le Grand told of the martial feats of the great Emperor,
beating meanwhile the marches which were drummed while the deeds were
performed, so that I saw and heard it all vividly. I saw the passage
over the Simplon--the Emperor in advance and his brave grenadiers
climbing on behind him, while the scream of frightened birds of prey
sounded around, and the glaciers thundered in the distance; I saw the
Emperor with glove in hand on the bridge of Lodi; I saw the Emperor in
his grey cloak at Marengo; I saw the Emperor on horseback in the battle
of the Pyramids, naught around save powder, smoke, and Mamelukes; I saw
the Emperor in the battle of Austerlitz--ha! how the bullets whistled
over the smooth, icy road! I saw, I heard the battle of Jena-dum, dum,
dune; I saw, I heard the battle of Eylau, of Wagram--no, I could hardly
stand it! Monsieur Le Grand drummed so that my own eardrum nearly burst.


But what were my feelings when my very own eyes were first blessed with
the sight of him, _him_--Hosannah! the Emperor.

It was precisely in the avenue of the Court garden at Duesseldorf. As I
pressed through the gaping crowd, thinking of the doughty deeds and
battles which Monsieur Le Grand had drummed to me, my heart beat the
"general march"--yet at the same time I thought of the police regulation
that no one should dare ride through the middle of the avenue under
penalty of five dollars fine. And the Emperor with his _cortege_ rode
directly through the middle of the avenue. The trembling trees bowed
toward him as he advanced, the sun-rays quivered, frightened, yet
curious, through the green leaves, and in the blue heaven above there
swam visibly a golden star. The Emperor wore his unpretentious-green
uniform and the little world-renowned hat. He rode a white palfrey,
which stepped with such calm pride, so confidently, so nobly--had I then
been Crown Prince of Prussia I would have envied that horse. The
Emperor sat carelessly, almost laxly, holding his rein with one hand,
and with the other good-naturedly patting the neck of the horse. It was
a sunny marble hand, a mighty hand--one of the pair which subdued the
many headed monster of anarchy, and regulated the conflict of
nations--and it good-naturedly patted the neck of the horse. Even the
face had that hue which we find in the marble Greek and Roman busts, the
traits were as nobly proportioned as those of the ancients, and on that
countenance was plainly written "Thou shalt have no gods before me!" A
smile, which warmed and tranquilized every heart, flitted over the
lips--and yet all knew that those lips needed but to whistle _et la
Prusse n'existait plus_--those lips needed but to whistle and the entire
clergy would have stopped their ringing and singing--those lips needed
but to whistle, and the entire Holy Roman Empire would have danced. And
these lips smiled, and the eye too smiled. It was an eye clear as
heaven; it could read the hearts of men; it saw at a glance all things
in the world at once, while we ordinary mortals see them only one by
one, and then only their colored shadows. The brow was not so clear, the
phantoms of future battles were nestling there, and from time to time
there was a quiver which swept over this brow, and those were the
creative thoughts, the great seven-league-boots thoughts, wherewith the
spirit of the Emperor strode invisibly over the world; and I believe
that every one of those thoughts would have furnished a German author
plentiful material to write about all the days of his life.

The Emperor rode calmly, straight through the middle of the avenue; no
policeman stopped him; behind him proudly rode his cortege on snorting
steeds and loaded with gold and ornaments. The drums rolled, the
trumpets pealed; near me crazy Aloysius spun round, and snarled the
names of his generals; not far off bellowed the tipsy Gumpert, and the
multitude cried with a thousand voices, "Es lebe der Kaiser!"--Long live
the Emperor!


The Emperor is dead. On a waste island in the Indian Sea lies his
lonely grave, and he for whom the world was too narrow lies silently
under a little hillock, where five weeping willows shake out their green
hair, and a gentle little brook, murmuring sorrowfully, ripples by.
There is no inscription on his tomb; but Clio, with unerring style, has
written thereon invisible words, which will resound, like ghostly tones,
through the centuries.

Britannia, the sea is thine! But the sea hath not water enough to wash
away the shame which that mighty one hath bequeathed to thee in dying.
Not thy wind bag, Sir Hudson--no; thou thyself wert the Sicilian bravo
whom perjured kings lured that they might secretly revenge on the man of
the people that which the people had once openly inflicted on one of
themselves. And he was thy guest, and had seated himself by thy hearth.

Until the latest times the boys of France will sing and tell of the
terrible hospitality of the _Bellerophon_, and when those songs of
mockery and tears resound across the strait, there will be a blush on
the cheek of every honorable Briton. But a day will come when this song
will ring thither, and there will be no Britannia in existence--when the
people of pride will be humbled to the earth, when Westminster's
monuments will be broken, and when the royal dust which they inclosed
will be forgotten. And St. Helena is the holy grave whither the races of
the east and of the west will make their pilgrimage in ships, with
pennons of many a hue, and their hearts will grow strong with great
memories of the deeds of the worldly savior, who suffered and died under
Sir Hudson Lowe, as it is written in the evangelists, Las Cases,
O'Meara, and Autommarchi.

Strange! A terrible destiny has already overtaken the three greatest
enemies of the Emperor: Londonderry has cut his throat, Louis XVIII has
rotted away on his throne, and Professor Saalfeld is still, as before,
professor in Goettingen.

* * * * *





The sallow man stood near me on the deck, as I gazed on the green shores
of the Thames, while in every corner of my soul the nightingales awoke
to life. "Land of Freedom!" I cried, "I greet thee! Hail to thee,
Freedom, young sun of the renewed world! Those older suns, Love and
Faith, are withered and cold, and can no longer light or warm us. The
ancient myrtle woods, which were once all too full, are now deserted,
and only timid turtle-doves nestle amid the soft thickets. The old
cathedrals, once piled in towering height by an arrogantly pious race,
which fain would force its faith into heaven, are crumbling, and their
gods have ceased to believe in themselves. Those divinities are worn
out, and our age lacks the imagination to shape others. Every power of
the human breast now tends to a love of Liberty, and Liberty is,
perhaps, the religion of the modern age. It is a religion not preached
to the rich, but to the poor, and has in like manner its evangelists,
its martyrs, and its Iscariots!"

"Young enthusiast," said the sallow man, "you will not find what you
seek. You may be in the right in believing that Liberty is a new
religion which will spread over all the world. But as every race of old,
when it received Christianity, did so according to its requirements and
its peculiar character, so, at present, every country adopts from the
new religion of liberty only that which is in accordance with its local
needs and national character.

The English are a domestic race, living a sequestered, peaceable, family
life, and the Englishman seeks in the circle of those connected with and
pertaining to him that easy state of mind which is denied to him through
his innate social incapacity. The Englishman is, therefore, contented
with that liberty which secures his most personal rights and guards his
body, his property, and his conjugal relations, his religion, and even
his whims, in the most unconditional manner. No one is freer in his home
than an Englishman, and, to use a celebrated expression, he is king and
bishop between his four walls; and there is much truth in the common
saying, 'My house is my castle.'

"If the Englishman has the greatest need of personal freedom, the
Frenchman, in case of necessity, can dispense with it, if we only grant
him that portion of universal liberty known as equality. The French are
not a domestic, but a social, race; they are no friends to a silent
_tete-a-tete_, which they call _une conversation anglaise;_ they run
gossiping about from the _cafe_ to the casino, and from the casino to
the _salons_; their light champagne-blood and inborn talent for company
drive them to social life, whose first and last principle, yes, whose
very soul, is equality. The development of the social principle in
France necessarily involved that of equality, and if the ground of the
Revolution should be sought in the Budget, it is none the less true that
its language and tone were drawn from those wits of low degree who lived
in the _salons_ of Paris, apparently on a footing of equality with the
high _noblesse_, and who were now and then reminded, it may have been by
a hardly perceptible, yet not on that account less exasperating, feudal
smile, of the great and ignominious inequality which lay between them.
And when the _canaille roturiere_ took the liberty of beheading that
high _noblesse_, it was done less to inherit their property than their
ancestry, and to introduce a noble equality in place of a vulgar
inequality. And we are the better authorized to believe that this
striving for equality was the main principle of the Revolution, since
the French speedily found themselves so happy and contented under the
dominion of their great Emperor, who, fully appreciating that they were
not yet of age, kept all their _freedom_ within the limits of his
powerful guardianship, permitting them only the pleasure of a perfect
and admirable equality.

"Far more patient than the Frenchman, the Englishman easily bears the
glances of a privileged aristocracy, consoling himself with the
reflection that he has a right which renders it impossible for others to
disturb his personal comfort or his daily requirements. Nor does the
aristocracy here make a show of its privileges, as on the Continent. In
the streets and in places of public resort in London, colored ribbons
are seen only on women's bonnets, and gold and silver signs of
distinction on the dresses of lackeys. Even that beautiful, colored
livery which indicates with us military rank is, in England, anything
but a sign of honor, and, as an actor after a play hastens to wash off
the rouge, so an English officer hastens, when the hours of active duty
are over, to strip off his red coat and again appear like a gentleman,
in the plain garb of a gentleman. Only at the theatre of St. James are
those decorations and costumes, which were raked from the off-scourings
of the Middle Ages, of any avail. There we may see the ribbons of orders
of nobility; there the stars glitter, silk knee-breeches and satin
trains rustle, golden spurs and old-fashioned French styles of
expression clatter; there the knight struts and the lady spreads
herself. But what does a free Englishman care for the Court comedy of
St. James, so long as it does not trouble him, and so long as no one
interferes when he plays comedy in like manner in his own house, making
his lackeys kneel before him, or plays with the garter of a pretty
cook-maid? _'Honi soit qui mal y pense!'_

"As for the Germans, they need neither freedom nor equality. They are a
speculative race, ideologists, prophets, and sages, dreamers who live
only in the past and in the future, and who have no present. Englishmen
and Frenchmen have a _present_; with them every day has its field of
action, its struggle against enemies, its history. The German has
nothing for which to battle, and when he began to realize that there
might be things worth striving for, his philosophizing wiseacres taught
him to doubt the existence of such things. It cannot be denied that the
Germans love liberty, but it is in a different manner from other people.
The Englishman loves liberty as his lawful wife, and, even if he does
not treat her with remarkable tenderness, he is still ready in case of
need to defend her like a man, and woe to the red-coated rascal who
forces his way to her bedroom--let him do so as a gallant or as a
catchpoll. The Frenchman loves liberty as his bride. He burns for her;
he is a flame; he casts himself at her feet with the most extravagant
protestations; he will fight for her to the death; he commits for her
sake a thousand follies. The German loves liberty as though she were his
old grandmother."

Men are strange beings! We grumble in our Fatherland; every stupid
thing, every contrary trifle, vexes us there; like boys, we are always
longing to rush forth into the wide world, and, when we finally find
ourselves there, we find it too wide, and often yearn in secret for the
narrow stupidities and contrarieties of home. Yes, we would fain be
again in the old chamber, sitting behind the familiar stove, making for
ourselves, as it were, a "cubby-house" near it, and, nestling there,
read the _German General Advertiser_. So it was with me in my journey to
England. Scarcely had I lost sight of the German shore ere there awoke
in me a curious after-love for the German nightcaps and forest-like wigs
which I had just left in discontent; and when the Fatherland faded from
my eyes I found it again in my heart. And, therefore, it may be that
my voice quivered in a somewhat lower key as I replied to the sallow
man--"Dear sir, do not scold the Germans! If they are dreamers, still
many of them have conceived such beautiful dreams that I would hardly
incline to change them for the waking realities of our neighbors. Since
we all sleep and dream, we can perhaps dispense with freedom; for our
tyrants also sleep, and only dream their tyranny. We awoke only
once--when the Catholic Romans robbed us of our dream-freedom; then we
acted and conquered, and laid us down again and dreamed. O sir! do not
mock our dreamers, for now and then they speak, like somnambulists,
wondrous things in sleep, and their words become the seeds of freedom.
No one can foresee the turn which things may take. The splenetic Briton,
weary of his wife, may put a halter round her neck and sell her in
Smithfield. The flattering Frenchman may perhaps be untrue to his
beloved bride and abandon her, and, singing, dance after the Court dames
(_courtisanes_) of his royal palace (_palais royal_). But the German
will never turn his old grandmother quite out of doors; he will always
find a place for her by his fireside, where she can tell his listening
children her legends. Should Freedom ever vanish from the entire
world--which God forbid!--a German dreamer would discover her again in
his dreams."

While the steamboat, and with it our conversation, swam thus along the
stream, the sun had set, and his last rays lit up the hospital at
Greenwich, an imposing palace-like building which in reality consists of
two wings, the space between which is empty, and a green hill crowned
with a pretty little tower from which one can behold the passers-by. On
the water the throng of vessels became denser and denser, and I wondered
at the adroitness with which they avoided collision. While passing, many
a sober and friendly face nodded greetings--faces whom we had never seen
before, and were never to see again. We sometimes came so near that it
was possible to shake hands in joint welcome and adieu. One's heart
swells at the sight of so many bellying sails, and we feel strangely
moved when the confused hum and far-off dance-music, and the deep voices
of sailors, resound from the shore. But the outlines of all things
vanished little by little behind the white veil of the evening mist, and
there remained visible only a forest of masts, rising long and bare
above it.

The sallow man still stood near me and gazed reflectively on high, as
though he sought for the pale stars in the cloudy heaven. And, still
gazing aloft, he laid his hand on my shoulder, and said in a tone as
though secret thoughts involuntarily became words--"Freedom and
equality! they are not to be found on earth below nor in heaven above.
The stars on high are not alike, for one is greater and brighter than
another; none of them wanders free, all obey a prescribed and iron-like
law--there is slavery in heaven as on earth!"

"There is the Tower!" suddenly cried one of our traveling companions, as
he pointed to a high building which rose like a spectral, gloomy dream
above the cloud-covered London.

* * * * *


I have seen the greatest wonder which the world can show to the
astonished spirit; I have seen it, and am still astonished; and still
there remains fixed in my memory the stone forest of houses, and amid
them the rushing stream of faces of living men with all their motley
passions, all their terrible impulses of love, of hunger, and of
hatred--I mean London.

Send a _philosopher_ to London, but, for your life, no poet! Send a
philosopher there, and station him at a corner of Cheapside, where he
will learn more than from all the books of the last Leipzig fair; and as
the billows of human life roar around him, so will a sea of new thoughts
rise before him, and the Eternal Spirit which moves upon the face of the
waters will breathe upon him; the most hidden secrets of social harmony
will be suddenly revealed to him; he will hear the pulse of the world
beat audibly, and see it visibly; for if London is the right hand of the
world--its active, mighty right hand--then we may regard that route
which leads from the Exchange to Downing Street as the world's pyloric

But never send a poet to London! This downright earnestness of all
things, this colossal uniformity, this machine-like movement, this
troubled spirit in pleasure itself, this exaggerated London, smothers
the imagination and rends the heart. And should you ever send a German
poet thither--a dreamer, who stares at everything, even a ragged
beggar-woman, or the shining wares of a goldsmith's shop--why, then, at
least he will find things going right badly with him, and he will be
hustled about on every side, or perhaps be knocked over with a mild "God
damn!" _God damn!_--damn the knocking about and pushing! I see at a
glance that these people have enough to do. They live on a grand scale,
and though food and clothes are dearer with them than with us, they must
still be better fed and clothed than we are--as gentility requires.
Moreover, they have enormous debts, yet occasionally, in a vainglorious
mood, they make ducks and drakes of their guineas, pay other nations to
box about for their pleasure, give their kings a handsome _douceur_ into
the bargain; and, therefore, John Bull must work to get the money for
such expenditure. By day and by night he must tax his brain to discover
new machines, and he sits and reckons in the sweat of his brow, and runs
and rushes, without much looking around, from the Docks to the Exchange,
and from the Exchange to the Strand; and therefore it is quite
pardonable if he, when a poor German poet, gazing into a print-shop
window, stands bolt in his way on the corner of Cheapside, should knock
the latter sideways with a rather rough "God damn!"

But the picture at which I was gazing as I stood at Cheapside corner was
that of the French crossing the Beresina.

And when I, jolted out of my gazing, looked again on the raging street,
where a parti-colored coil of men, women, and children, horses,
stagecoaches, and with them a funeral, whirled groaning and creaking
along, it seemed to me as though all London were such a Beresina Bridge,
where every one presses on in mad haste to save his scrap of life; where
the daring rider stamps down the poor pedestrian; where every one who
falls is lost forever; where the best friends rush, without feeling,
over one another's corpses; and where thousands in the weakness of
death, and bleeding, grasp in vain at the planks of the bridge, and are
shot down into the icy grave of death.

How much more pleasant and homelike it is in our dear Germany! With what
dreaming comfort, in what Sabbath-like repose, all glides along here!
Calmly the sentinels are changed, uniforms and houses shine in the quiet
sunshine, swallows flit over the flagstones, fat Court-counciloresses
smile from the windows; while along the echoing streets there is room
enough for the dogs to sniff at each other, and for men to stand at ease
and chat about the theatre, and bow deeply--oh, how deeply!--when some
small aristocratic scamp or vice-scamp, with colored ribbons on his
shabby coat, or some Court-marshal-low-brow struts along as if in
judgment, graciously returning salutations.

I had made up my mind in advance not to be astonished at that immensity
of London of which I had heard so much. But I had as little success as
the poor schoolboy who determined beforehand not to feel the whipping
which he was to receive. The facts of the case were that he expected to
get the usual blows with the usual stick in the usual way on the back,
whereas he received a most unusually severe licking on an unusual place
with a cutting switch. I anticipated great palaces, and saw nothing but
mere small houses. But their very uniformity and their limitless extent
impress the soul wonderfully.

These houses of brick, owing to the damp atmosphere and coal smoke, are
all of an uniform color, that is to say, of a brown olive-green, and are
all of the same style of building, generally two or three windows wide,
three stories high, and finished above with small red tiles, which
remind one of newly extracted bleeding teeth; while the broad and
accurately squared streets which these houses form seem to be bordered
by endlessly long barracks. This has its reason in the fact that every
English family, though it consist of only two persons, must still have a
house to itself for its own castle, and rich speculators, to meet the
demand, build, wholesale, entire streets of these dwellings, which they
retail singly. In the principal streets of the city, where the business
of London is most at home, where old-fashioned buildings are mingled
with the new, and where the fronts of the houses are covered with signs,
yards in length, generally gilt, and in relief, this characteristic
uniformity is less striking--the less so, indeed, because the eye of the
stranger is incessantly caught by the new and brilliant wares exposed
for sale in the windows. And these articles do not merely produce an
effect, because the Englishman completes so perfectly everything which
he manufactures, and because every article of luxury, every astral lamp
and every boot, every teakettle and every woman's dress, shines out so
invitingly and so _finished_. There is also a peculiar charm in the art
of arrangement, in the contrast of colors, and in the variety of the
English shops; even the most commonplace necessities of life appear in a
startling magic light through this artistic power of setting forth
everything to advantage. Ordinary articles of food attract us by the new
light in which they are placed; even uncooked fish lie so delightfully
dressed that the rainbow gleam of their scales attracts us; raw meat
lies, as if painted, on neat and many-colored porcelain plates,
garlanded about with parsley--yes, everything seems painted, reminding
us of the highly polished yet modest pictures of Franz Mieris. But the
human beings whom we see are not so cheerful as in the Dutch paintings,
for they sell the jolliest wares with the most serious faces, and the
cut and color of their clothes is as uniform as that of their houses.

On the opposite side of the town, which they call the West End--"_the
west end of the town_"--and where the more aristocratic and less
occupied world lives, the uniformity spoken of is still more dominant;
yet here there are very long and very broad streets, where all the
houses are large as palaces, though anything but remarkable as regards
their exterior, unless we except the fact that in these, as in all the
better class of houses in London, the windows of the first _etage_ (or
second story) are adorned with iron-barred balconies, and also on the
_rez de chaussee_ there is a black railing protecting the entrance to
certain subterranean apartments. In this part of the city there are also
great "squares," where rows of houses like those already described form
a quadrangle, in whose centre there is a garden, inclosed by an iron
railing and containing some statue or other. In all of these places and
streets the eye is never shocked by the dilapidated huts of misery.
Everywhere we are stared down on by wealth and respectability, while,
crammed away in retired lanes and dark, damp alleys, Poverty dwells with
her rags and her tears.

The stranger who wanders through the great streets of London, and does
not chance right into the regular quarters of the multitude, sees little
or nothing of the fearful misery existing there. Only here and there at
the mouth of some dark alley stands a ragged woman with a suckling babe
at her weak breast, and begs with her eyes. Perhaps, if those eyes are
still beautiful, we glance into them, and are shocked at the world of
wretchedness visible within. The common beggars are old people,
generally blacks, who stand at the corners of the streets cleaning
pathways--a very necessary thing in muddy London--and ask for "coppers"
in reward. It is in the dusky twilight that Poverty and her mates, Vice
and Crime, glide forth from their lairs. They shun daylight the more
anxiously since their wretchedness there contrasts more cruelly with the
pride of wealth which glitters everywhere; only Hunger sometimes drives
them at noonday from their dens, and then they stand with silent,
speaking eyes, staring beseechingly at the rich merchant who hurries
along, busy, and jingling gold, or at the lazy lord who, like a
surfeited god, rides by on his high horse, casting now and then an
aristocratically indifferent glance at the mob below, as though they
were swarming ants, or rather a mass of baser beings, whose joys and
sorrows have nothing in common with his feelings. Yes--for over the
vulgar multitude which sticks fast to the soil there soars, like beings
of a higher nature, England's nobility, to whom their little island is
only a temporary resting-place, Italy their summer garden, Paris their
social salon, and the whole world their inheritance. They sweep along,
knowing nothing of sorrow or suffering, and their gold is a talisman
which conjures into fulfilment their wildest wish.

Poor Poverty! how agonizing must thy hunger be, where others swell in
scornful superfluity! And when some one casts with indifferent hand a
crust into thy lap, how bitter must the tears be wherewith thou
moistenest it! Thou poisonest thyself with thine own tears. Well art
thou in the right when thou alliest thyself to Vice and Crime! Outlawed
criminals often bear more humanity in their hearts than those cool,
reproachless town burghers of virtue, in whose white hearts the power of
evil, it is true, is quenched--but with it, too, the power of good. And
even vice is not always vice. I have seen women on whose cheeks red vice
was painted, and in whose hearts dwelt heavenly purity. I have seen
women--I would that I saw them again!--


The man has the bad fortune to meet with good fortune everywhere, and
wherever the greatest men in the world were unfortunate; and that
excites us, and makes him hateful. We see in him only the victory of
stupidity over genius--Arthur Wellington triumphant where Napoleon
Bonaparte is overwhelmed! Never was a man more ironically gifted by
Fortune, and it seems as though she would exhibit his empty littleness
by raising him high on the shield of victory. Fortune is a woman, and
perhaps in womanly wise she cherishes a secret grudge against the man
who overthrew her former darling, though the very overthrow came from
her own will. Now she lets him conquer again on the Catholic
Emancipation question--yes, in the very fight in which George Canning
was destroyed. It is possible that he might have been loved had the
wretched Londonderry been his predecessor in the Ministry; but it
happens that he is the successor of the noble Canning--of the much-wept,
adored, great Canning--and he conquers where Canning was overwhelmed.
Without such an adversity of prosperity, Wellington would perhaps pass
for a great man; people would not hate him, would not measure him too
accurately, at least not with the heroic measure with which a Napoleon
and a Canning are measured, and consequently it would never have been
discovered how small he is as man.

He is a small man, and smaller than small at that. The French could say
nothing more sarcastic of Polignac than that he was a Wellington without
celebrity. In fact, what remains when we strip from a Wellington the
field-marshal's uniform of celebrity?

I have here given the best apology for Lord Wellington--in the English
sense of the word. My readers will be astonished when I honorably
confess that I once praised this hero--and clapped on all sail in so
doing. It is a good story, and I will tell it here:

My barber in London was a Radical, named Mr. White--poor little man in
a shabby black dress, worn until it almost shone white again; he was
so lean that even his full face looked like a profile, and the sighs in
his bosom were visible ere they rose. These sighs were caused by the
misfortunes of Old England--by the impossibility of paying the National

"Ah!" I generally heard him sigh, "why need the English people trouble
themselves as to who reigns in France, and what the French are a-doing
at home? But the high nobility, sir, and the High Church were afraid of
the principles of liberty of the French Revolution; and to keep down
these principles John Bull must give his gold and his blood, and make
debts into the bargain. We've got all we wanted out of the war--the
Revolution has been put down, the French eagles of liberty have had
their wings cut, and the High Church may be cock-sure that none of these
eagles will come a-flying over the Channel; and now the high nobility
and the High Church between 'em ought to pay, anyway, for the debts
which were made for their own good, and not for any good of the poor
people. Ah! the poor people!"

Whenever Mr. White came to the "poor people" he always sighed more
deeply than ever, and the refrain then was that bread and porter were so
dear that the poor people must starve to feed fat lords, stag-hounds,
and priests, and that there was only one remedy. At these words he was
wont to whet his razor, and as he drew it murderously up and down the
strop, he murmured grimly to himself, "Lords, priests, hounds!"


But his Radical rage boiled most fiercely against the Duke of
Wellington; he spat gall and poison whenever he alluded to him, and as
he lathered me he himself foamed with rage. Once I was fairly frightened
when he, while barbering away at my neck, burst out in wonted wise
against Wellington, murmuring all the while, "If I only had him _this_
way under my razor, _I'd_ save him the trouble of cutting his own
throat, as his brother in office and fellow-countryman, Londonderry,
did, who killed himself that-a-way at North Cray in Kent--God damn

I felt that the man's hand trembled and, fearing lest he might imagine,
in his excitement, that I really was the Duke of Wellington, I
endeavored to allay his violence, and, in an underhand manner to soothe
him, I called up his national pride; I represented to him that the Duke
of Wellington had advanced the glory of the English, that he had always
been an innocent tool in the hands of others, that he was fond of
beefsteak, and that he finally--but the Lord only knows what fine things
I said of Wellington as I felt that razor tickling around my throat!

What vexes me most is the reflection that Wellington will be as immortal
as Napoleon Bonaparte. It is true that, in like manner, the name of
Pontius Pilate will be as little likely to be forgotten as that of
Christ. Wellington and Napoleon! It is a wonderful phenomenon that the
human mind can at the same time think of both these names. There can be
no greater contrast than the two, even in their external appearance.
Wellington, the dumb ghost, with an ashy-gray soul in a buckram body, a
wooden smile on his freezing face--and, by the side of _that_, think of
the figure of Napoleon, every inch a god!

That figure never disappears from my memory. I still see him, high on
his steed, with eternal eyes in his marble-like, imperial face, glancing
calm as destiny on the Guards defiling past--he was then sending them to
Russia, and the old Grenadiers glanced up at him so terribly devoted, so
all-consciously serious, so proud in death--

"Te, Caesar, morituri, salutant."

There often steals over me a secret doubt whether I ever really saw him,
if we were ever contemporaries, and then it seems to me as if his
portrait, torn from the little frame of the present, vanished away more
proudly and imperiously in the twilight of the past. His name even now
sounds to us like a word of the early world, and as antique and as
heroic as those of Alexander and Caesar. It has already become a
rallying word among races, and when the East and the West meet they
fraternize on that single name.

I once felt, in the deepest manner, how significantly and magically that
name can sound. It was in the harbor of London, at the India Docks, and
on board an East India-man just arrived from Bengal. It was a giant-like
ship, fully manned with Hindoos. The grotesque forms and groups, the
singularly variegated dresses, the enigmatical expressions of
countenance, the strange gestures, the wild and foreign ring of their
language, their shouts of joy and their laughter, with the seriousness
ever rising and falling on certain soft yellow faces, their eyes like
black flowers which looked at me as with wondrous woe--all of this awoke
in me a feeling like that of enchantment; I was suddenly as if
transported into Scherezade's story, and I thought that broad-leaved
palms, and long-necked camels, and gold-covered elephants, and other
fabulous trees and animals must forthwith appear. The supercargo who was
on the vessel, and who understood as little of the language as I myself,
could not, in his truly English narrow-mindedness, narrate to me enough
of what a ridiculous race they were, nearly all pure Mohammedans
collected from every land of Asia, from the limits of China to the
Arabian Sea, there being even some jet-black, woolly-haired Africans
among them.

To one whose whole soul was weary of the spiritless West, and who was as
sick of Europe as I then was, this fragment of the East which moved
cheerfully and changingly before my eyes was a refreshing solace; my
heart enjoyed at least a few drops of that draught which I had so often
tasted in gloomy Hanoverian or Royal Prussian winter nights, and it is
very possible that the foreigners saw in me how agreeable the sight of
them was to me, and how gladly I would have spoken a kind word to them.
It was also plain from the very depths of their eyes how much I pleased
them, and they would also have willingly said something pleasant to me,
and it was a vexation that neither understood the other's language. At
length a means occurred to me of expressing to them with a single word
my friendly feelings, and, stretching forth my hands reverentially as if
in loving greeting, I cried the name, "Mohammed!"

Joy suddenly flashed over the dark faces of the foreigners, and, folding
their arms as reverentially in turn, as a cheerful greeting they
exclaimed, "Bonaparte!"

* * * * *

LAFAYETTE[57] (1833)



PARIS, January 19, 1832.

The _Temps_ remarks today that the _Allgemeine Zeitung_ now publishes
articles which are hostile to the royal family, and that the German
censorship, which does not permit the least remark to be leveled at
absolute kings, does not show the least mercy toward a citizen-king. The
_Temps_ is really the shrewdest and cleverest journal in the world! It
attains its object with a few mild words much more readily than others
with the most blustering polemics. Its crafty hint is well understood,
and I know of at least one liberal writer who no longer considers it
honorable to use, under the permission of the censorship, such inimical
language of a citizen-king as would not be allowed when applied to an
absolute monarch. But in return for that, let Louis Philippe do us one
single favor--which is to remain a citizen-king; for it is because he is
becoming every day more and more like an absolute king that we must
complain of him. He is certainly perfectly honorable as a man, an
estimable father of a family, a tender spouse and a good economist, but
it is vexatious to see how he allows all the trees of liberty to be
felled and stripped of their beautiful foliage that they may be sawed
into beams to support the tottering house of Orleans. For that, and that
only, the Liberal press blames him, and the spirits of truth, in order
to make war on him, even condescend to lie. It is melancholy and
lamentable that through such tactics even the family of the King must
suffer, although its members are as innocent as they are amiable. As
regards this, the German Liberal press, less witty but much kinder than
its French elder sister, is guilty of no cruelties. "You should at least
have pity on the King," lately cried the good-tempered _Journal des
Debats_. "Pity on Louis Philippe!" replied the _Tribune_. "This man asks
for fifteen millions and our pity! Did he have pity on Italy, on
Poland?"--_et cetera_.

I saw a few days ago the young orphan of Menotti, who was hanged in
Modena. Nor is it long since I saw Senora Luisa de Torrijos, a poor
deathly-pale lady, who quickly returned to Paris when she learned on the
Spanish frontier the news of the execution of her husband and of his
fifty-two companions in misfortune. Ah! I really pity Louis Philippe.

_La Tribune_, the organ of the openly declared Republican party, is
pitiless as regards its royal enemy, and every day preaches the
Republic. The _National_, the most reckless and independent journal in
France, has recently chimed in to the same air in a most surprising
manner. And terrible as an echo from the bloodiest days of the
Convention sounded the speeches of those chiefs of the _Societe des Amis
du Peuple_ who were placed last week before the court of assizes,
"accused of having conspired against the existing Government in order to
overthrow it and establish a republic." They were acquitted by the jury,
because they proved that they had in no way conspired, but had simply
uttered their convictions publicly. "Yes, we desire the overthrow of
this feeble Government, we wish for a republic." Such was the refrain of
all their speeches before the tribunal.

While on one side the serious Republicans draw the sword and growl with
words of thunder, the _Figaro_ flashes lightning, and laughs and swings
its light lash most effectually. It is inexhaustible in clever sayings
as to "the best republic," a phrase with which poor Lafayette is mocked,
because he, as is well known, once embraced Louis Philippe before the
Hotel de Ville and cried, "Vous etes la meilleure republique!" The _Figaro_
recently remarked that we of course now require no republic, since we
have seen the best. And it also said as cruelly, in reference to the
debates on the civil list, that "_la meilleure republique coute quinze
millions_." The Republican party will never forgive Lafayette his blunder
in advocating a king. They reproach him with this, that he had known
Louis Philippe long enough to be aware beforehand what was to be expected
of him. Lafayette is now ill--_malade de chagrin_--heart-sick. All! the
greatest heart of two worlds must feel bitterly the royal deception. It
was all in vain that he in the very beginning continually insisted on the
_Programme de l'Hotel de Ville_, on the republican institutions with
which the monarchy should be surrounded, and on similar promises. But he
was out-cried by the _doctrinaire_ gossips and chatterers, who proved
from the English history of 1688 that people in Paris in July, 1830, had
fought simply to maintain the Charter, and that all their sacrifices and
struggles had no other object than to replace the elder line of the
Bourbons by the younger, just as all was finished in England by putting
the House of Orange in place of the Stuarts. Thiers, who does not think
with this party, though he now acts as their spokesman, has of late
given them a good push forward. This indifferentist of the deepest dye,
who knows so admirably how to preserve moderation in the clearness,
intelligence, and illustration of his style, this Goethe of politics, is
certainly at present the most powerful defender of the system of Perier,
and, in fact, with his pamphlet against Chateaubriand he well-nigh
annihilated that Don Quixote of Legitimacy, who sat so pathetically on
his winged Rosinante, whose sword was more shining than sharp, and who
shot only with costly pearls instead of good, piercing, leaden bullets.

In their irritation at the lamentable turn which events have taken, many
of the enthusiasts for freedom go so far as to slander Lafayette. How
far a man can go astray in this direction is shown by the book of
Belmontet, which is also an attack on the well-known pamphlet by
Chateaubriand, and in which the Republic is advocated with commendable
freedom. I would here cite the bitter passages against Lafayette
contained in this work, were they not on one side too spiteful, and on
the other connected with a defense of the Republic which is not suitable
to this journal. I therefore refer the reader to the work itself, and
especially to a chapter in it entitled "The Republic." One may there see
how evil fortune may make even the noblest men unjust.

I will not here find fault with the brilliant delusion of the
possibility of a republic in France. A royalist by inborn inclination, I
have now, in France, become one from conviction. For I am convinced that
the French could never tolerate any republic, neither according to the
constitution of Athens or of Sparta, nor, least of all, to that of the
United States. The Athenians were the student-youths of mankind; their
constitution was a species of academic freedom, and it would be mere
folly to seek to introduce it in this our matured age, to revive it in
our senile Europe. And how could we put up with that of Sparta, that
great and tiresome manufactory of patriotism, that soldiers' barrack of
republican virtue, that sublimely bad kitchen of equality, in which
black broth was so vilely cooked that Attic wits declared it made men
despise life and defy death in battle? How could such a constitution
flourish in the very _foyer_ of gourmands, in the fatherland of Very, of
Vefour, and of Careme? This latter would certainly have thrown himself,
like Vatel, on his sword, as a Brutus of cookery and as the last
gastronome. Indeed, had Robespierre only introduced Spartan cookery, the
guillotine would have been quite superfluous, for then the last
aristocrats would have died of terror, or emigrated as soon as possible.
Poor Robespierre! you would introduce stern republicanism to Paris--to a
city in which one hundred and fifty thousand milliners and dressmakers,
and as many barbers and perfumers, exercise their smiling, curling, and
sweet-smelling industries!

The monotony, the want of color, and the petty domestic citizens' life
of America would be even more intolerable in the home of the "love of
the spectacular," of vanity, fashion, and novelties. Indeed, the passion
for decorations flourishes nowhere so much as in France. Perhaps, with
the exception of August Wilhelm Schlegel, there is not a woman in
Germany so fond of gay ribbons as the French; even the heroes of July,
who fought for freedom and equality, afterward wore blue ribbons to
distinguish themselves from the rest of the people. Yet, if I on this
account doubt the success of a republic in Europe, it still cannot be
denied that everything is leading to one; that the republican respect
for law in place of veneration of royal personages is showing itself
among the better classes, and that the Opposition, just as it played at
comedy for fifteen years with a king, is now continuing the same game
with royalty itself, and that consequently a republic may be for a short
time, at least, the end of the song. The Carlists are aiding this
movement, since they regard it as a necessary phase which will enable
them to reestablish the absolute monarchy of the elder branch; therefore
they now bear themselves like the most zealous republicans. Even
Chateaubriand praises the Republic, calls himself a Republican from
inclination, fraternizes with Marrast, and receives the accolade from
Beranger. The _Gazette_--the hypocritical _Gazette de France_--now
yearns for republican state forms, universal franchise, primary
meetings, _et cetera_. It is amusing to see how these disguised
priestlings now play the bully-braggart in the language of
Sans-culottism, how fiercely they coquet with the red Jacobin cap, yet
are ever and anon afflicted with the thought that they might forgetfully
have put on in its place the red cap of a prelate; they take for an
instant from their heads their borrowed covering and show the tonsure
unto all the world. Such men as these now believe that they may insult
Lafayette, and it serves as an agreeable relaxation from the sour
republicanism, the compulsory liberty, which they must assume.

But let deluded friends and hypocritical enemies say what they will,
Lafayette is, after Robespierre, the purest character of the French
Revolution, and, next to Napoleon, its most popular hero. Napoleon and
Lafayette are the two names which now bloom most beautifully in France.
Truly their fame is each of a different kind. The latter fought for
peace, not victory; the former rather for the laurel wreath than for
that of oak leaves. It would indeed be ridiculous to measure the
greatness of the two heroes with the same metre, and put one on the
pedestal of the other, even as it would be absurd to set the statue of
Lafayette on the Vendome column--that monument made of the cannon
conquered on so many fields of battle, the sight of which, as Barbier
sings, no French mother can endure. On this bronze column place
Napoleon, the man of iron, here, as in life, standing on his fame,
earned by cannon, rising in terrible isolation to the clouds, so that
every ambitious soldier, when he beholds him, the unattainable one,
there on high, may have his heart humbled and healed of the vain love of
celebrity, and thus this colossal column of metal, as a lightning
conductor of conquering heroism, will do much for the cause of peace in

Lafayette has raised for himself a better column than that of the Place
Vendome, and a better monumental image than one of metal or marble.
Where is there marble as pure as the heart of old Lafayette, or metal as
firm as his fidelity? It is true that he was always one-sided, but
one-sided like the magnetic needle, which always points to the north,
and never once veers to south or west. So he has for forty years said
the same thing, and pointed constantly to North America. He is the one
who opened the Revolution with the declaration of the rights of man; to
this hour he perseveres in this belief, without which there is no
salvation and no health to be hoped for--the one-sided man with his
one-sided heavenly region of freedom. He is indeed no genius, as was
Napoleon, in whose head the eagles of inspiration built their nests,
while the serpents of calculation entwined in his heart; but then he was
never intimidated by eagles nor seduced by serpents. As a young man he
was wise as a graybeard, as a graybeard fiery as a youth, a protector of
the people against the wiles of the great, a protector of the great
against the rage of the people, compassionating yet combating, never
arrogant and never discouraged, equally firm and mild--the unchangeable
Lafayette! and so, in his one-sidedness and equanimity, he has remained
on the same spot from the days of Marie Antoinette to the present hour.
And, as a trusty Eckart of liberty, he still stands leaning on his sword
before the entrance to the Tuileries, warning the world against that
seductive Venusberg, whose magic tones sing so enticingly, and from
whose sweet snares the poor wretches who are once entangled in them can
never escape.

It is certainly true that the dead Napoleon is more beloved by the
French than is the living Lafayette. This is perhaps because he is dead,
which is to me the most delightful thing connected with him; for, were
he alive, I should be obliged to fight against him. The world outside of
France has no idea of the boundless devotion of the French people to
Napoleon. Therefore the discontented, when they determine on a decided
and daring course, will begin by proclaiming the young Napoleon, in
order to secure the sympathy of the masses. Napoleon is, for the French,
a magic word which electrifies and benumbs them. There sleep a thousand
cannon in this name, even as in the column of the Place Vendome, and the
Tuileries will tremble should these cannon once awake. As the Jews never
idly uttered the name of their God, so Napoleon is here very seldom
called by his, and people speak of him as _l'homme_, "the man." But his
picture is seen everywhere, in engravings and plaster casts, in metal
and wood. On all boulevards and carrefours are orators who praise and
popular minstrels who sing him--the Man--and his deeds. Yesterday
evening, while returning home, I came into a dark and lonely lane, in
which there stood a child some three years old, who, by a candle stuck
into the earth, lisped a song praising the Emperor. As I threw him a sou
on the handkerchief spread out, something slid up to me, begging for
another. It was an old soldier, who could also sing a song of the glory
of the great Emperor, for this glory had cost him both legs. The poor
man did not beg in the name of God, but implored with most believing
fervor, "_Au nom de Napoleon, donnez-moi un sou._" So this name is the
best word to conjure with among the people. Napoleon is its god, its
cult, its religion, and this religion will, by and by, become tiresome,
like every other.

Lafayette, on the contrary, is venerated more as a man or as a guardian
angel. He, too, lives in picture and in song, but less heroically;
and--honorably confessed!--it had a comic effect on me when, last year,
on the 28th July, I heard in the song of _La Parisienne_ the words--

"Lafayette aux cheveux blancs,"

while I saw him in person standing near me in his brown wig. It was the
Place de la Bastille; the man was in his right place, but still I needs
must laugh to myself. It may be that such a comic combination brings him
humanly somewhat nearer to our hearts. His good-nature, his _bonhomie_,
acts even on children, and they perhaps understand his greatness better
than do the grown people. And here I will tell a little story about a
beggar which will show the characteristic contrast between the glory of
Lafayette and that of Napoleon. I was lately standing at a street corner
before the Pantheon, and as usual lost in thought in contemplating that
beautiful building, when a little Auvergnat came begging for a sou, and
I gave him half-a-franc to be rid of him. But he approached me all the
more familiarly with the words, "_Est-ce que vous connaissez le general
Lafayette?_" and as I assented to this strange question, the proudest
satisfaction appeared on the naive and dirty face of the pretty boy, and
with serio-comic expression he said, _"Il est de mon pays,"_ for he
naturally believed that any man who was generous enough to give him ten
sous must be, of course, an admirer of Lafayette, and judged me worthy
that he should present himself as a compatriot of that great man. The
country folk also have for Lafayette the most affectionate respect, and
all the more because he chiefly busies himself with agriculture. From
this, result the freshness and simplicity which might be lost in
constant city life. In this he is like one of those great Republicans of
earlier days who planted their own cabbages, but who in time of need
hastened from the plough to the battle or the tribune, and after combat
and victory returned to their rural work. On the estate where Lafayette
passes the pleasant portion of the year, he is generally surrounded by
aspiring young men and pretty girls. There hospitality, be it of heart
or of table, rules supreme; there are much laughing and dancing; there
is the court of the sovereign people; there any one may be presented who
is the son of his own works and has never made mesalliance with
falsehood--and Lafayette is the master of ceremonies. The name of this
country place is Lagrange, and it is very charming when the hero of two
worlds relates to the young people his adventures; then he appears like
an epos surrounded by the garlands of an idyll.

But it is in the real middle-class more than any other, that is, among
tradespeople and small shop-keepers, that there is the most veneration
for Lafayette. They simply worship him. Lafayette, the establisher of
order, is their idol. They adore him as a kind of Providence on
horseback, an armed tutelary patron of public peace and security, as a
genius of freedom, who also takes care in the battle for freedom that
nothing is stolen and that everybody keeps his little property. The
great army of public order, as Casimir Perier called the National Guard,
the well-fed heroes in great bearskin caps into which small shopmen's
heads are stuck, are drunk with delight when they speak of Lafayette,
their old general, their Napoleon of peace. Truly he is the Napoleon of
the small citizen, of those brave folks who always pay their
bills--those uncle tailors and cousin glove-makers who are indeed too
busy by day to think of Lafayette, but who praise him afterward in the
evening with double enthusiasm, so that one may say that it is about
eleven o'clock at night, when the shops are shut, that his fame is in
full bloom.

I have just before used the expression "master of ceremonies." I now
recall that Wolfgang Menzel has in his witty trifling called Lafayette a
master of ceremonies of Liberty. This was when the former spoke in the
_Literaturblatt_ of the triumphal march of Lafayette across the United
States, and of the deputations, addresses, and solemn discourses which
attended such occasions. Other much less witty folk wrongly imagine that
Lafayette is only an old man who is kept for show or used as a machine.
But they need hear him speak only once in public to learn that he is not
a mere flag which is followed or sworn by, but that he is in person the
_gonfaloniere_ in whose hands is the good banner, the oriflamme of the
nations. Lafayette is perhaps the most prominent and influential speaker
in the Chamber of Deputies. When he speaks, he always hits the nail, and
his nailed-up enemies, on the head.

When it is needed, when one of the great questions of humanity is
discussed, then Lafayette ever rises, eager for strife as a youth. Only
the body is weak and tottering, broken by age and the battles of his
time, like a hacked and dented old iron armor, and it is touching when
he totters under it to the tribune and has reached his old post, to see
how he draws a deep breath and smiles. This smile, his delivery, and the
whole being of the man while speaking on the tribune, are indescribable.
There is in it all so much that is winsome and yet so much delicate
irony, that one is enchained as by a marvelous curiosity, a sweet,
strange enigma. We know not if these are the refined manners of a French
marquis or the straightforward simplicity of an American citizen. All
that is best in the _ancien regime_, the chivalresque courtesy and tact,
are here wondrously fused with what is best in the modern _bourgeoisie_,
love of equality, simplicity, and honesty. Nothing is more interesting
than when mention is made, in the Chamber, of the first days of the
Revolution, and some one in _doctrinaire_ fashion tears some historical
fact from its true connection and turns it to his own account in speech.
Then Lafayette destroys with a few words the erroneous deduction by
illustrating or correcting the true sense of such an event by citing the
circumstances relating to it. Even Thiers must in such a case strike
sail, and the great historiographer of the Revolution bows before the
outburst of its great and living monument, General Lafayette.

There sits in the Chamber, just before the tribune a very old man, with
long silvery hair falling over his black clothing. His body is girted
with a very broad tricolored scarf; he is the old messenger who has
always filled that office in the Chamber since the beginning of the
Revolution, and who in this post has witnessed the momentous events of
the world's history from the days of the first National Assembly till
the _juste milieu_. I am told that he often speaks of Robespierre, whom
he calls _le bon Monsieur Robespierre_. During the Restoration the old
man suffered from colic, but since he has wound the tricolored scarf
round his waist he finds himself well again. His only trouble now, in
the dull and lazy times of the _juste milieu_, is drowsiness. I once
even saw him fall asleep while Mauguin was speaking. Indeed, the man
has, doubtless, in his time heard better than Mauguin, who is, however,
one of the best orators of the Opposition, though he is not found to be
very startling or effective by one _qui a beaucoup connu ce bon Monsieur
de Robespierre_. But when Lafayette speaks, then the old messenger
awakes from his twilight drowsiness, he seems to be aroused like an old
war-horse of hussars when he hears the sound of a trumpet--there rise
within him sweet memories of youth, and he nods delightedly with his
silver-white head.

* * * * *




But what was the Romantic School in Germany? It was nothing else but the
reawakening of the poetry of the Middle Ages, as it had shown itself in
its songs, images, and architecture, in art and in life. But this poetry
had risen from Christianity; it was a passion-flower which had sprung
from the blood of Christ. I do not know whether the melancholy
passion-flower of Germany is known by that name in France, or whether
popular legend attributes to it the same mystical origin. It is a
strange, unpleasantly colored blossom, in whose calyx we see set forth
the implements which were used in the crucifixion of Christ, such as the
hammer, pincers, and nails--a flower which is not so much ugly as
ghostly, and even whose sight awakens in our soul a shuddering pleasure,
like the convulsively agreeable sensations which come from pain itself.
From this view the flower was indeed the fittest symbol for Christianity
itself, whose most thrilling chain was the luxury of pain.

Though in France only Roman Catholicism is understood by the word
Christianity, I must specially preface that I speak only of the latter.
I speak of that religion in whose first dogmas there is a damnation of
all flesh, and which not only allows to the spirit power over the flesh,
but will also kill this to glorify the spirit. I speak of that religion
by whose unnatural requisitions sin and hypocrisy really came into the
world, in that by the condemnation of the flesh the most innocent
sensuous pleasures became sins, and because the impossibility of a man's
becoming altogether spiritual naturally created hypocrisy. I speak of
that religion which, by teaching the doctrine of the casting away of all
earthly goods and of cultivating a dog-like, abject humility and angelic
patience, became the most approved support of despotism. Men have found
out the real life and meaning (_Wesen_) of this religion, and do not
now content themselves with promises of supping in Paradise; they know
that matter has also its merits, and is not all the devil's, and they
now defend the delights of this world, this beautiful garden of God, our
inalienable inheritance. And therefore, because we have grasped so
entirely all the consequences of that absolute spiritualism, we may
believe that the Christian Catholic view of the world has reached its
end. Every age is a sphinx, which casts itself into the abyss when man
has guessed its riddle.

Yet we do in no wise deny the good results which this Christian Catholic
view of the world established in Europe. It was necessary as a wholesome
reaction against the cruelly colossal materialism which had developed
itself in the Roman realm and threatened to destroy all spiritual human
power. As the lascivious memoirs of the last century form the _pieces
justificatives_ of the French Revolution, as the terrorism of a _comite
du salut public_ seems to be necessary physic when we read the
confessions of the aristocratic world of France, so we recognize the
wholesomeness of ascetic spiritualism when we read Petronius or
Apuleius, which are to be regarded as the _pieces justificatives_ of
Christianity. The flesh had become so arrogant in this Roman world that
it required Christian discipline to chasten it. After the banquet of a
Trimalchion, such a hunger-cure as Christianity was a necessity.

Or was it that as lascivious old men seek by being whipped to excite new
power of enjoyment, so old Rome endured monkish chastisement to find
more exquisite delight in torture and voluptuous rapture in pain? Evil
excess of stimulant! it took from the body of the state of Rome its last
strength. It was not by division into two realms that Rome perished. On
the Bosphorus, as by the Tiber, Rome was devoured by the same Jewish
spiritualism, and here, as there, Roman history was that of a long dying
agony which lasted for centuries. Did murdered Judea, in leaving to
Rome its spiritualism, wish to revenge itself on the victorious foe, as
did the dying centaur who craftily left to the son of Hercules the
deadly garment steeped in his own blood? Truly Rome, the Hercules among
races, was so thoroughly devoured by Jewish poison that helm and harness
fell from its withered limbs, and its imperial war-voice died away into
the wailing cadences of monkish prayer and the soft trilling of
castrated boys.

But what weakens old age strengthens youth. That spiritualism had a
healthy action on the too sound and strong races of the North; the too
full-blooded barbarous bodies were spiritualized by Christianity, and
European civilization began. The Catholic Church has in this respect the
strongest claims on our regard and admiration, for it succeeded by
subduing with its great genial institutions the bestiality of Northern
barbarians and by mastering brutal matter.

The Art-work of the Middle Ages manifests this mastery of mere material
by mind, and it is very often its only mission. The epic poems of this
period may be easily classed according to the degree of this subjection
or influence. There can be no discussion here of lyrical and dramatic
poems, for the latter did not exist, and the former are as like in every
age as are the songs of nightingales in spring.

Although the epic poetry of the Middle Ages was divided into sacred and
profane, both were altogether Christian according to their kind; for if
sacred poesy sang of the Jewish race and its history, the only race
which was regarded as holy, or of the heroes and legends of the Old and
New Testaments, and, in brief, the Church--still all the life of the
time was reflected in profane poetry with its Christian views and
action. The flower of the religious poetic art in the German Middle Ages
is perhaps _Barlaam and Josaphat_, in which the doctrine of abnegation,
of abstinence, and the denial and contempt of all worldly glory, is set
forth most consistently. Next to this I would class the _The Eulogium of
St. Hanno (Lobgesang auf den heiligen Anno)_ as the best of the
religious kind; but this is of a far more secular character, differing
from the first as the portrait of a Byzantine saint differs from an old
German one. As in those Byzantine pictures, so we see in _Barlaam and
Josaphat_ the utmost simplicity; there is no perspective side-work, and
the long, lean, statue-like forms and the idealistic serious faces come
out strongly drawn, as if from a mellow gold ground. On the other hand,
in the song of praise of St. Hanno, the side-work or accessories are
almost the subject, and, notwithstanding the grandeur of the plan, the
details are treated in the minutest manner, so that we know not whether
to admire in it the conception of a giant or the patience of a dwarf.
But the evangel-poem of Ottfried, which is generally praised as the
masterpiece of sacred poetry, is far less admirable than the two which I
have mentioned.

In profane poetry we find, as I have already signified, first the cycle
of sagas of the _Nibelungen_ and the _Heldenbuch_, or _Book of Heroes_.
In them prevails all the pre-Christian manner of thought and of feeling;
in them rude strength has not as yet been softened by chivalry. There
the stern Kempe-warriors of the North stand like stone images, and the
gentle gleam and the more refined breath of Christianity have not as yet
penetrated their iron armor. But little by little a light dawns in the
old Teutonic forest; the ancient idolatrous oak-trees are felled, and we
see a brighter field of battle where Christ wars with the heathen. This
appears in the saga-cycle of Charlemagne, in which what we really see is
the Crusades reflecting themselves with their religious influences. And
now from the spiritualizing power of Christianity, chivalry, the most
characteristic feature of the Middle Ages, unfolds itself, and is at
last sublimed into a spiritual knighthood. This secular knighthood
appears most attractively glorified in the sagacycle of King Arthur, in
which the sweetest gallantry, the most refined courtesy, and the most
adventurous passion for combat prevail. Among the charmingly eccentric
arabesques and fantastic flower-pictures of this poem we are greeted by
the admirable Iwain, the all-surpassing Lancelot du Lac, and the bold,
gallant, and true, but somewhat tiresome, Wigalois. Nearly allied and
interwoven with this cyclus of sagas is that of the Holy Grail, in which
the spiritual knighthood is glorified; and in this epoch we meet three
of the grandest poems of the Middle Ages, the _Titurel_, the _Parsifal_,
and the _Lohengrin_. Here indeed we find ourselves face to face with
Romantic Poetry. We look deeply into her great sorrowing eyes; she
twines around us, unsuspectingly, her fine scholastic nets, and draws us
down into the bewildering, deluding depths of medieval mysticism.

At last, however, we come to poems of that age which are not
unconditionally devoted to Christian spiritualism; nay, it is often
indirectly reflected on, where the poet disentangles himself from the
bonds of abstract Christian virtues and plunges delighted into the world
of pleasure and of glorified sensuousness; and it is not the worst poet,
by any means, who has left us the principal work thus inspired. This is
_Tristan and Isolde_; and I must declare that Gottfried von Strassburg,
the composer of this most beautiful poem of the Middle Ages, is perhaps
also its greatest poet, towering far above all the splendor of Wolfram
von Eschenbach, whom we so admire in _Parsifal_ and the fragments of
_Titurel_. We are at last permitted to praise Gottfried unconditionally,
though in his own time his book was certainly regarded as godless, and
similar works, among them the _Lancelot_, were considered as dangerous.
And some very serious results did indeed ensue. The fair Francesca da
Polenta and her handsome friend had to pay dearly for the pleasure of
reading on a summer day in such a book; but the trouble came not from
the reading, but from their suddenly ceasing to read.

There is in all these poems of the Middle Ages a marked character which
distinguishes them from those of Greece and Rome. We characterize this
difference by calling the first Romantic and the other Classic. Yet
these appellations are only uncertain rubrics, and have led hitherto to
the most discouraging, wearisome entanglements, which become worse since
we give to antique poetry the designation of "Plastic," instead of
"Classic." From this arose much misunderstanding; for, justly, all poets
should work their material plastically, be it Christian or heathen; they
should set it forth in clear outlines; in short, plastic form should be
the main desideratum in modern Romantic art, quite as much as in the
ancient. And are not the figures in the _Divina Commedia_ of Dante or in
the pictures of Raphael as plastic as those in Virgil? The difference
lies in this, that the plastic forms in ancient art are absolutely
identical with the subject or the idea which the artist would set forth,
as, for example, that the wanderings of Ulysses mean nothing else than
the journeyings of a man named Odysseus, who was son of Laertes and
husband of Penelope; and further, that the Bacchus which we see in the
Louvre is nothing else than the graceful, winsome son of Semele, with
audacious melancholy in his eyes and sacred voluptuousness on his soft
and arching lips. It is quite otherwise in Romantic art, in which the
wild wanderings of a knight have ever an esoteric meaning, symbolizing
perhaps the erring course of life. The dragon whom he overcomes is sin;
the almond which from afar casts comforting perfume to the traveler is
the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, which
are three in one, as shell, fibre, and kernel make one nut. When Homer
describes the armor of a hero, it is a good piece of work, worth such
and such a number of oxen; but when a monk of the Middle Ages describes
in his poems the garments of the Mother of God, one may be sure that by
this garb he means as many virtues, and a peculiar significance lies
hidden under this holy covering of the immaculate virginity of Maria,
who, as her son is the almond-kernel, is naturally sung as the
almond-flower. That is the character of the medieval poetry which we
call Romantic.

Classic art had only to represent the finite or determined, and its
forms could be one and the same with the idea of the artist. Romantic
art had to set forth, or rather signify, the infinite and purely
spiritual, and it took refuge in a system of traditional, or rather of
parabolistic symbols, as Christ himself had sought to render clear his
spiritualistic ideas by all kinds of beautiful parables. Hence the
mystical, problematic, marvelous, and transcendental in the artwork of
the Middle Ages, in which fantasy makes her most desperate efforts to
depict the purely spiritual by means of sensible images, and invents
colossal follies, piling Pelion on Ossa and _Parsifal_ on _Titurel_ to
attain to heaven.

Among other races where poetry attempted to display the infinite, and
where monstrous fancies appeared, as, for instance, among the
Scandinavians and Indians, we find poems which, being romantic, are
given that classification.

We cannot say much as to the music of the Middle Ages, for original
documents, which might have served for our guidance, are wanting. It was
not till late in the sixteenth century that the masterpieces of Catholic
church music, which cannot be too highly praised, appeared. These
express in the most exquisite manner pure Christian spirituality. The
recitative arts, which are spiritual from their very nature, could
indeed flourish fairly in Christianity, yet it was less favorable to
those of design, for as these had to represent the victory of mind over
matter, and yet must use matter as the means wherewith to work, they had
to solve a problem against Nature. Hence we find in sculpture and
painting those revolting subjects--martyrdoms, crucifixions, dying
saints, and the flesh crushed in every form. Such themes were martyrdom
for sculpture; and when I contemplate those distorted images in which
Christian asceticism and renunciation of the senses are expressed by
distorted, pious heads, long thin arms, starveling legs, and awkwardly
fitting garments, I feel an indescribable compassion for the artists of
that time. The painters were indeed more favored, for the material for
their work, because of its susceptivity to varied play of color, did not
antagonize spirituality so obstinately as the material of the sculptors,
and yet they were obliged to load the sighing canvas with the most
repulsive forms of suffering. In truth, when we regard many galleries
which contain nothing but scenes of bloodshed, scourging, and beheading,
one might suppose that the old masters had painted for the collection of
an executioner.

But human genius can transform and glorify even the unnatural; many
painters solved this problem of making what was revolting beautiful and
elevating--the Italians, especially, succeeding in paying tribute to
beauty at the expense of spirituality, and in rising to that ideality
which attained perfection in so many pictures of the Madonna. As regards
this subject the Catholic clergy always made some concession to the
physical. This image of immaculate beauty which is glorified by maternal
love and suffering had the privilege of being made famous by poets and
painters, and adorned with all charms of the sense, for it was a magnet
which could attract the multitude to the lap of Christianity. Madonna
Maria was the beautiful _dame du comptoir_ of the Catholic Church, who,
with her beautiful eyes, attracted and held fast its customers,
especially the barbarians of the North.

Architecture had in the Middle Ages the same character as the other
arts, as indeed all the manifestations of life then harmonized so
marvelously with one another. The tendency to parable shows itself here,
as in poetry. When we now enter a Gothic cathedral, we hardly suspect
the esoteric sense of its stone symbolism; only a general impression
pierces our soul; we realize an elevation of feeling and mortification
of the flesh. The interior is a hollow cross, and we wander among the
instruments of martyrdom itself; the variegated windows cast on us red
and green light, like blood and corruption; funeral songs wail about
us; under our feet are mortuary tablets and decay; and the soul soars
with the colossal columns to a giddy height, tearing itself with pain

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