• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Reisebilder
 London
 Wellington
 The liberation
 Jan Steen
 The romantic school
 Religion and philosophy
 Florentine nights
 Don Quixote
 Gods in exile
 Confessions
 Advertising














Group Title: prose writings of Heinrich Heine
Title: The prose writings of Heinrich Heine
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 Material Information
Title: The prose writings of Heinrich Heine
Physical Description: xx, 327 p. : ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Heine, Heinrich, 1797-1856
Publisher: W. Scott
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1887
Copyright Date: 1887
 Subjects
Genre: autobiography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00023409
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAB3143
notis - ADB7857
oclc - 02804044
alephbibnum - 000589085
lccn - 02029383

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page iii
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    Table of Contents
        Page v
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    Introduction
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    Reisebilder
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    London
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    Wellington
        Page 52
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    The liberation
        Page 57
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    Jan Steen
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    The romantic school
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    Religion and philosophy
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    Florentine nights
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    Don Quixote
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    Gods in exile
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    Confessions
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Full Text

THE PROSE WRITINGS OF
HEINRICH HEINE: EDITED,
WITH AN INTRODUCTION, BY
HAVELOCK ELLIS.





U. OF F. LIBRARY






LONDON: WALTER SCOTT, LTD.
PATERNOSTER SQUARE.










UNIVERSITY
OF FLORIDA
LIBRARIES





/ISHIL.









CONTENTS.


PAGE
REISEBILDER I
LONDON 47
WELLINGTON 52
THE LIBERATION 57
JAN STEEN 65
THE ROMANTIC SCHOOL 68
RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY 142
FLORENTINE NIGHTS 179
DON QUIXOTE 243
GODS IN EXILE 268
CONFESSIONS 290







U. OF F. LIBRARY













































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*
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I,











HEINE.


I.
D EINE gathers up and focuses for us in one vivid
point all those influences of his own time which
are the forces of to-day. He appears before us,
to put it in his own way, as a youthful and
militant Knight of the Holy Ghost, tilting
against the spectres of the past and liberating the imprisoned
energies of the human spirit. His interest from this point of
view lies, largely, apart from his interest as a supreme lyric
poet, the brother of Catullus and Villon and Burns ; we here
approach him on his prosaic-his relatively prosaic-side.
One hemisphere of Heine's brain was Greek, the other
Hebrew. He was born when the genius of Goethe was at
its height; his mother had absorbed the frank earthliness,
the sane and massive Paganism, of the Roman elegies,
and Heine's ideals in all things, whether he would or not,
were always Hellenic-using that word in the large sense
in which Heine himself used it-even while he was the first in
rank and the last in time of the Romantic poets of Germany.
He sought, even consciously, to mould the modern emotional
spirit into classic forms. He wrought his art simply and
lucidly, the aspirations that pervade it are everywhere sen-
suous, and yet it recalls oftener the turbulent temper of Catullus
than any serener ancient spirit.
For Heine arose early in active rebellion against a merely
passive classicism; just as fiercer and more ardent cries, as
from the Orient, pierce through the songs of Catullus. The
mischievous Hermes was irritated by the calm and quiet







IEINE.


activities of the aged Zeus of Weimar. And then the earnest
Hebrew nature within him, liberated by Hegel's favourite
thought of the divinity of man, came into play with its large
revolutionary thirsts. Thus it was that he appeared before the
world as the most brilliant leader of a movement of national or
even world-wide emancipation. The greater part of his prose
works, from the youthful Reisebilder onwards, and a considerable
portion of his poetic work, record the energy with which he
played this part.
But whether the Greek or the Hebrew element happened to
be most active in Heine, the ideal that he set up for life
generally was the equal activity of both sides-in other words,
the harmony of flesh and spirit. It is this thought which
dominates The Hislory of Religion and Philosophhy in Ger-
many, his finest achievement in this kind. That book was
written at the moment when Heine touched the highest point
of his enthusiasm for freedom and his faith in the possibility
of human progress. It is a sort of programme for the
immediate future of the human spirit, in the form of a brief and
bold outline of the spiritual history of Germany and Germany's
great emancipators, Luther, Lessing, Kant, and the rest. It
sets forth in a fresh and fascinating shape that Everlasting
Gospel which, from the time of Joachim of Flora down-
wards, has always gleamed in dreams before the minds of
men as the successor of Christianity. Heine's vision of a
democracy of cakes and ale, founded on the heights of religious,
philosophical, and political freedom, still spurs and thrills us
--even now-a-days, when we have wearied of stately bills
of fare for a sulky humanity that will not feed at our bid-
ding, no, not on cakes and ale. Heine is wise enough to
see, however imperfectly, that it is unreasonable to expect
the speedy erection of any New Jerusalem ; for, as he
expresses it in his own way, the holy vampires of the middle
ages have sucked away so much of our life-blood that the world
has become a hospital. A sudden revolution of fever-stricken
or hysterical invalids can effect little of permanent value ; only
a long and invigorating course of the tonics of life can make







HEINE.


free from danger the open-air of nature. Our first duty," he
asserted in this book, is to become healthy."
Heine confesses that he too was among the sick and decrepit
souls. In reality he was at no period so full of life and health,
so harmoniously inspired and upborne by a great enthusiasm.
He laughs a little at Goethe ; he fails to see that the Phidian
Zeus, at whose confined position he jests, was the greatest
liberator of them all ; but for the most part his mocking sarcasm
is here silent. It was not until ten years later, when the subtle
seeds of disease had begun to appear, and when, too, he had
perhaps gained a clearer insight into the possibilities of life, that
Heine realized that the practical reforming movements of his
time were not those for which his early enthusiasm had been
aroused. And then he wrote Atta Troll.
With the slow steps of that consuming disease, and after the
revolution of 1848. Heine ceased to recognize as of old any
common root for his various activities, or to insist on the
fundamental importance of religion. Everything in the world
became the sport of his intelligence. The brain still functioned
brilliantly in the atrophied body; the lightning-like wit still
struck unerringly ; it spared not even himself. The Confessions
are full of irony, covering all things with laughter that is half
reverence, or with reverence that is more than half laughter-
and woe to the reader who is not at every moment alert In
the romantic, satirical poem of Atta Troll, written at the
commencement of this last period, this, his final altitude, is most
completely revealed. It needs a little study to-day, even for a
German, but it is well worth that study.
Atta Troll, the history of a dancing bearwho escapes from
servitude, is a protest against the radical party, with their narrow
conceptions of progress, their tame ideal of bourgeois equality,
their little watchwords, their solemnity, their indignation at
the human creatures who smile even in their enthusiasm."
All these serious concerns of the tribunes of the people are
bathed in soft laughter as we listen to the delicious child-
like monotonous melody in which the old bear, surrounded
by his family, mumbles or mutters of the future. Alta 7Troll
(t-I







HEINE.


is not, as many have thought, a sneer at the most sacred
ideals of men. It is, rather, the assertion of those ideals
against the individuals who would narrow them down to
their own petty scope. There are certain mirrors, Heine
said, so constructed that they would present even Apollo as
a caricature. But we laugh at the caricature, not at the god
It is well to show, even at the cost of some misunderstanding,
that above and beyond the little ideals of our political progress,
there is built a yet larger ideal city, of which also the human
spirit claims citizenship. The defence of the inalienable rights
of the spirit, Heine declares, had been the chief business of
his life.
In the history of Germany it was her two great intellectual
liberators, Luther and Lessing, to whom Heine looked up with
the most unqualified love and reverence. By his later vindica-
tion of the rights of the spirit, not less than by his earlier fight
for religious and political progress, he may be said to have
earned for himself a place below, indeed, but not so very
far below, those hearty and sound-cored iconoclasts.


II.

To reach the root of the man's nature we must glance at the
chief facts of his life. He was born at Diisseldorf on the Rhine,
then occupied by the French, probably on the i3th of Decem-
ber 1799.* He came, by both parents, of that Jewish race
which is, as he said once, the dough whereof gods are kneaded.
The family of his mother, Betty van Geldern, had come from
Holland a century earlier ; Betty herself received an excellent
education ; she shared the studies of her brother, who became

There are three German biographies of Heine, those of Strodtmann,
Karpeles, and Proelss ; a new edition of his works in six volumes, with a
biography and notes by Dr. Elster, has lately been announced. Mr.
Matthew Arnold, by his well-known essay and poem, has done much to
stimulate English interest in Heine. A careful critical estimate by Mr,
Charles Grant (Contemporary, Sept. 1880) may be mentioned with praise.







1tHELVE.


a physician of repute; she spoke and read English and French;
her favourite books were Rousseau's Emile and Goethe's ele-
gies. Some letters written during her twenty-fourth year reveal
a frank, brave and sweet nature ; she was a bright, attractive
little person, and had many wooers. In the summer of 1796
Samson Heine, bearing a letter of introduction, entered the
house of the Van Gelderns. He was the son of a Jewish
merchant settled in Hanover, and he had just made a campaign
in Flanders and Brabant, in the capacity of commissary with the
rank of officer, under Prince Ernest of Cumberland. He was a
large and handsome man, with soft blond hair and beautiful
hands ; there was something about him, said his son, a little
characterless and feminine. After a brief courtship he married
Betty and settled at Diisseldorf as an agent for English
velveteens. Harry (so he was named after an Englishman) was
the first child. While from his rather weak and romantic
father came whatever was loose and unbalanced in Heine's tem-
perature, it was his mother, with her strong and healthy nature,
well developed both intellectually and emotionally, who, as
he himself said, played the chief part in the history of his
evolution.
Harry was a quick child ; his senses were keen, though he
was not physically strong ; he loved reading, and his favourite
books were Don Quixote and Gulliver's Travels. He used to
make rhymes with his only and much-loved sister Lotte, and at
the age of ten he wrote a ghost-poem which his teachers con-
sidered a masterpiece. At the Lyceum he worked well, at night as
well as by day. Only once, at the public ceremony at the end of a
school year, he came to grief ; he was reciting a poem, when his
eyes fell on a beautiful, fair-haired girl in the audience ; he hesi-
tated, stammered, was silent, fell down fainting. So early he
revealed the extreme cerebral irritability of a nature absorbed
in dreams and taken captive by visions. It was not long
after this, at the age of seventeen, when his rich uncle at Ham-
burg was trying in vain to set him forward on a commercial
career, that Heine met the woman who aroused his first
and last profound passion, always unsatisfied except in so far







HfEINE.


as it found exquisite embodiment in his poems. He never
mentioned her name ; it was not till after his death that the
form standing behind this Maria, Zuleima, Evelina of so many
sweet, strange, or melancholy songs was known to be that of his
cousin, Amalie Heine.
With his uncle's help he studied law at Bonn, Gbttingen and
Berlin. At Berlin he fell under the dominant influence of
Hegel, the vanquisher of the romantic school of which Schelling
was the philosophic representative. Heine afterwards referred
to this period as that in which he "herded swine with the
Hegelians ;" it is certain that Hegel exerted great and perma-
nent influence over him. At Berlin, in 1821, appeared his first
volume of poems, and then he began to take his true place.
At this period Heine is described as a good-natured and
gentle youth, but reserved, not caring to show his emotions.
He was of middle height and slender, with rather long light
brown hair (in childhood it was red, and he was called Rother
Harry ") framing the pale and beardless oval face, the bright
blue short-sighted eyes, the Greek nose, the high cheek-bones,
the large mouth, the full-half cynical, half sensual-lips. He
was not a typical German; like Goethe, he never smoked;
he disliked beer, and until he went to Paris he had never tasted
sauerkraut.
For some years he continued, chiefly at Gbttingen, to study
law. But he had no liking and no capacity for jurisprudence,
and his spasmodic fits of application at such moments as he
realized that it was not good for him to depend on the
generosity of his rich and kind-hearted uncle Solomon, failed
to carry him far. A new idea, a sunny day, the opening of
some flower-like lied, a pretty girl-and the Pandects were
forgotten.
Shortly after he had at last received his doctor's diploma he
went through the ceremony of baptism in hope of obtaining an
appointment from the Prussian Government. It was a step
which he immediately regretted, and which, far from placing
him in a better position, excited the enmity both of Christians
and Jews, although the Heine family had no very strong views







HEINE.


on the matter ; Heine's mother, it should be said, was a Deist,
his father indifferent, but the Jewish rites were strictly kept up.
He still talked of becoming an advocate, until, in 1826, the
publication of the first volume of the Reisebilder gave him a
reputation throughout Germany by its audacity, its charming and
picturesque manner, its peculiarly original personality. The
second volume, bolder and better than the first, was received
with delight very much mixed with horror, and it was prohibited
by Austria, Prussia, and many minor states. At this period
Heine visited England ;* he was then disgusted with Germany
and full of enthusiasm for the "land of freedom," an enthusiasm
which naturally met with many rude shocks, and from that
time dates the bitterness with which he usually speaks of
England. He found London-although, owing to a clever abuse
of uncle Solomon's generosity, exceedingly well supplied with
money-" frightfully damp and uncomfortable;" only the
political life of England attracted him, and there were no
bounds to his admiration of Canning. He then visited Italy, to
spend there the happiest days of his life ; and having at length
realized that his efforts to obtain any government appointment
in Germany would be fruitless, he emigrated to Paris. There,
save for brief periods, he remained until his death.
This entry into the city which he had called the New Jerusa-
lem was an important epoch in Heine's life. He was thirty-one
years of age, still youthful, and eager to receive new impressions;
he was apparently in robust health, notwithstanding constant
headaches ; Gautier describes him as in appearance a sort of
German Apollo. He was still developing, as he continued to
develop, even up to the end ; the ethereal loveliness of the early
poems vanished, it is true, but only to give place to a closer grasp
of reality, a larger laughter, a keener cry of pain. He was now
heartily welcomed by the extraordinarily brilliant group then
living and working in Paris, including Victor Hugo, George
Sand, Balzac, Michelet, Alfred de Musset, Gautier, Chopin,
Louis Blanc, Dumas, Sainte-Beuve, Quinet, Berlioz, and many


* He lodged at 32, Craven Street, Strand.







HEINE.


others, and he entered with eager delight into their manifold
activities. For a time also he attached himself rather closely to
the school of Saint-Simon, then headed by Enfantin ; he was
especially attracted by their religion of humanity, which seemed
the realisation of his own dreams. Heine's book on Religion
and Philosophy in Germany was written at Enfantin's suggestion,
and the first edition dedicated to him ; Enfantin's name was,
he said, a sort of Shibboleth, indicating the most advanced party
in the liberation war of humanity." In 1855 he withdrew the
dedication ; it had become an anachronism; Enfantin was
no longer ransacking the world in search of la femme ibre;
the marytrs of yesterday no longer bore a cross-unless it
were, he added characteristically, the cross of the Legion of
Honour.
A few years after his arrival in Paris Heine entered on a
relationship which occupied a large place in his life. Mathilde
Mirat, a lively grisette of sixteen, was the illegitimate daughter
of a man of wealth and position in the provinces, and she had
come up from Normandy to serve in her aunt's shoe-shop.
Heine often passed this shop, and an acquaintance, at first
carried on silently through the shop window, gradually ripened
into a more intimate relationship. Mathilde could neither read
nor write ; it was decided that she should go to school for a time ;
after that they established a little common household, one of
those manages farisiens, recognized as almost legitimate, for
which Heine had always had a warm admiration, because, as he
said, he meant by marriage something quite other than the
legal coupling effected by parsons and bankers. As in the case
of Goethe, it was not until some years later that he went through
the religious ceremony, as a preliminary to a duel in which he
had become involved by his remarks on Borne's friend, Madame
Strauss ; he wished to give Mathilde an assured position in
case of his death. After the ceremony at St. Sulpice he invited
to dinner all those of his friends who had contracted similar
relations, in order that they might be influenced by his example.
That they were so influenced is not recorded.
It is not difficult to understand the strong and permanent







HEINE.


attraction that drew the poet, who had so many intellectual and
aristocratic women among his friends, to this pretty, laughter-
loving grisette. It lay in her bright and wild humour, her
childlike impulsiveness, not least in her charming ignorance.
It was delightful to Heine that Mathilde had never read a line of
his books, did not even know what a poet was, and loved him
only for himself. He found in her a continual source of
refreshment.
He had need of every source of refreshment. In the
years that followed his formal marriage in 1841, the dark
shadows, within and without, began to close round him.
Although he was then producing his most mature work, chiefly
in poetry-Atta Troll, Romancero, Deutschland-his income
from literary sources remained small. Mathilde was not a
good housekeeper; and even with the aid of a considerable
allowance from his uncle Solomon, Heine was frequently in
pecuniary difficulties, and was consequently induced to
accept a small pension from the French government, which
has sometimes been a matter of concern to those who care for
his fame. As years passed, the enmities that he suffered from
or cherished increased rather than diminished, and his bitter-
ness found expression in his work. Even Mathilde was not an
unalloyed source of joy; the charming child was becoming a
middle-aged woman, and was still like a child. She could not
enter into Heine's interests ; she delighted in theatres and cir-
cuses, to which he could not always accompany her: and he
experienced the pangs of an unreasonable jealousy more keenly
than he cared to admit. Then uncle Solomon died, and his
son refused, until considerable pressure was brought to bear
on him, to continue the allowance which his father had intended
Heine to receive. This was a severe blow, and the excitement
it produced developed the latent seeds of his disease. It
came on with alarming symptoms of paralysis, which even in
a few months gave him, he says, the appearance of a dying man.
During the next two years, although his brain remained clear,
the long pathological tragedy was unfolded.
He went out for the last time in May 1848. Half blind and







HEINE.


half lame, he slowly made his way out of the streets, filled with
the noise of revolution, into the silent Louvre, to the shrine
dedicated to the goddess of beauty, our dear lady of Milo.'
There he sat long at her feet; he was bidding farewell to his
old gods ; he had become reconciled to the religion of sorrow ;
tears streamed from his eyes, and she looked down at him,
compassionate but helpless : Dost thou not see, then, that
I have no arms, and cannot help thee ?"
On e*t dit un Apollon .germanique-so Gautier said of the
Heine of 1835 ; twenty years later an English visitor wrote of
him-" He lay on a pile of mattresses, his body wasted so that
it seemed no bigger than a child under the sheet which covered
him-his eyes closed, and the face altogether like the most
painful and wasted 'Ecce Homo' ever painted by some old
German painter."
His sufferings were only relieved by ever larger doses of
morphia ; but although still more troubles came to him, and
the failure of a bank robbed him of his small savings, his spirit
remained unconquered. "He is a wonderful man," said one of
his doctors; "he has only two anxieties-to conceal his con-
dition from his mother, and to assure his wife's future." His
literary work, though it decreased in amount, never declined in
power ; only, in the words of his friend Berlioz, it seemed as
though the poet was standing at the window of his tomb, looking
around on the world in which he had no longer a part.
He saw a few friends, of whom Ferdinand Lassalle, with his
exuberant power and enthusiasm, was the most interesting to
him, as the representative of a new age and a new social faith ;
and the most loved, that girl-friend who sat for hours or days
at a time by the "mattress-grave in the Rue d' Amsterdam,
reading to him or writing his letters or correcting proofs. To
the last the loud, bright voice of Mathilde, when he chanced to
hear it, scolding the servants or in other active exercise, often
made him stop speaking, while a smile of delight passed over
his face. He died on the 16th of February 1856. He was
buried, silently, in Montmartre, according to his wish; for, as
he said, it is quiet there.







HEINE.


III.
Throughout and above all Heine was a poet. From first to
last he was led by three angels who danced for ever in his
brain, and guided him, singly or together, always. They were
the same as in Atta Troll he saw in the moonlight from the
casement of Uraka's hut-the Greek Diana, grown wanton, but
with the noble marble limbs of old ; Abunde, the blond and
gay fairy of France ; [Herodias, the dark Jewess, like a palm of
the oasis, and with all the fragrance of the East between her
breasts: 0, you dead Jewess, I love you most, more than the
Greek goddess, more than that fairy of the North."*
Those genii of three ideal lands danced for ever in his brain,
and that is but another way of indicating the opposition that
lay at the root of his nature. From one point of view, it may
well be, he continued the work of Luther and Lessing, though
he was less great-hearted, less sound at core, though he had
not that element of sane Philistinism which marks the Shake-
speares and Goethes of the world. But he was, more than
anything else, a poet, an artist, a dreamer, a perpetual child.
The practical reformers among whom at one time he placed
himself, the men of one idea, were naturally irritated and
suspicious; there was a flavour of aristocracy in such idealism.
In the poem called "Disputation" a Capuchin and a Rabbi
argued before the King and Queen at Toledo concerning the
respective merits of the Christian and Jewish religions. Both
spoke at great length and with great fervour, and in the end the
King appealed to the beautiful Queen by his side. She replied
that she could not tell which of them was right, but that she

C'est le Bible, plus que tout autre livre," a distinguished French
critic wrote lately, qiu a faionn6 le g6nie po6tique de Heine, en lui
donnant sa forme et sa couleur. Seas vritables maitres, ses vrais in.
spirateurs sont les glorieux inconnus qui ont 6crit 1'Ecclesiaste et les
Proverbes, le Cantique des cantiques, le livre de Job et ce chez d'ceuvre
d'ironie discrete intitule: le livre du prophet Jonas. Celui qui
s'appelait un rossignol Allemand nich6 dans la perruque de Voltaire fut A
la fois le moins 6vang6lique des homes et le plus vraiment biblique des
pontes modernes."







HEINE.


did not like the smell of either; and Heine was generally of the
Queen's mind. He sighed for the restoration of Barbarossa,
the long-delayed German Empire, and his latest biographer
asserts that he would have greeted the discovery of Barbarossa
under the disguise of the King of Prussia, with Bismarckian
insignia of blood and iron, as the realisation of all his dreams.
It is doubtful, however, whether the meeting would be very
cordial on either side. It would probably be the painful duty
of the Emperor, as of the Emperor of the vision in Deutschland,
to tell Heine, in very practical language, that he was wanting
in respect, wanting in all sense of etiquette; and Heine would
certainly reply to the Emperor, as under the same circum-
stances he replied to the visionary Barbarossa, that that
venerable gentleman had better go home again, that during his
long absence Emperors had become unnecessary, and that,
after all, sceptres and crowns made admirable playthings for
monkeys.
"We are founding a democracy of gods," he wrote in 1834,
" all equally holy, blessed and glorious. You desire simple
clothing, ascetic morals, and unseasoned enjoyments; we, on
the contrary, desire nectar and ambrosia, purple mantles,
costly perfumes, pleasure and splendour, dances of laughing
nymphs, music and plays.-Do not be angry, you virtuous
republicans ; we answer all your reproaches in the words of one
of Shakespeare's fools : Dost thou think that because thou art
virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale ?' What could
an austere republican, a Puritanic Liberal, who scorned the
vision of roses and myrtles and sugar-plums all round, say to
this? B6rne answered, I can be indulgent to the games of
children, indulgent to the passions of a youth, but when on the
bloody day of battle a boy who is chasing butterflies gets be-
tween my legs ; when at the day of our greatest need, and we
are calling aloud on God, the young coxcomb beside us in the
church sees only the pretty girls, and winks and flirts-then,
in spite of all our philosophy and humanity, we may well grow
angry. . Heine, with his sybaritic nature, is so effeminate that
the fall of a roseleaf disturbs his sleep; how, then, should he







HEINE.


rest comfortably on the knotty bed of freedom? Where is there
any beauty without a fault ? Where is there any good thing
without its ridiculous side ? Nature is seldom a poet and never
rhymes ; let him whom her rhymeless prose cannot please turn
to poetry I Borne was right ; Heine was not the man to plan
a successful revolution, or defend a barricade, or edit a popular
democratic newspaper, or represent adequately a radical con-
stituency-all this was true. Let us be thankful that it was true;
Bornes are ever with us, and we are grateful: there is but one
Heine.
The same complexity of nature that made Heine an artist
made him a humorist. But it was a more complicated com-
plexity now, a cosmic game between the real world and the
ideal world; he could go no further. The young Catullus
of 1825, with his fiery passions crushed in the wine-press of
life and yielding such divine ambrosia, soon lost his faith in
passion. The militant soldier in the liberation-war of
humanity of 1835 soon ceased to flourish his sword. It was
only with the full development of his humour, when his spinal
cord began to fail and he had taken up his position as a
spectator of life, that Heine attained the only sort of unity
possible to him-the unity that comes of a recognized and
accepted lack of unity. In the lambent flames of this
unequalled humour he bathed all the things he counted dearest;
to its service he brought the secret of his poet's nature, the
secret of speaking with a voice that every heart leaps up to
answer. It is scarcely the humour of Aristophanes, though it is
a greater force, even in moulding our political and social ideals,
than B6rne knew ; it is oftener a modern development of the
humour of the mad king and the fool in Lear-that humour
which is the last concentrated word of the human organism
under the lash of Fate.
And if it is still asked why Heine is so modern, it can only be
said that these discords out of which his humour exhaled are
those which we have nearly all of us known, and that he speaks
with a voice that seems to arise from the depth of our own souls.
He represents our period of transition ; he gazed, from what




















xx HEINE.

appeared the vulgar Pisgah of his day, behind on an Eden that
was for ever closed, before on a promised land he should never
enter. While with clear sight he announced things to come, the
music of the past floated up to him ; he brooded wistfully over
the vision of the old Olympian gods, dying, amid faint music of
cymbals and flutes, forsaken, in the mediaeval wilderness ; he
heard strange sounds of psaltries and harps, the psalms of
Israel, the voice of Princess Sabbath, sounding across the remote
waters of Babylon.-In a few years this significance of Heine
will be lost ; that it is not yet lost the eagerness with which
his books are read and translated sufficiently testifies.

HAVELOCK ELLIS.










HEINE'S PROSE WORKS.



REISEBILDER.

IDEAS, OR THE BOOK LE GRAND.

[The Ideas, of which the chief portion is here presented, was
published in 1826 in the second volume of the JReisebildcr,.or Travel.
Pictures. The German title has been retained, as Heine himself
retained it in the French translation. The translation here given is
founded on Mr. Leland's ; it has been carefully revised.]

CHAPTER I,
She was lovable, and he loved her. But lie was not lovable, and she
, did not love him. -Old Play.
MADAME, do you know the old play ? It is quite an
extraordinary play, only a little too melancholy. I once
played the leading part in it myself, so that all the ladies
wept; only one did not weep, not even a single tear, and
that was the point of the play, the whole catastrophe.
Oh, that single tear! it still torments my thoughts.
When Satan wishes to ruin my soul, he hums in my ear a
ballad of that unwept tear, a deadly song with a more
deadly tune. Ah such a tune is only heard in Hell !
You can readily form an idea, Madame, of what life is
like in Heaven, the more readily as you are married.
There people amuse themselves altogether superbly, every
sort of entertainment is provided, and one lives in mere
desire and delight. One eats from morning to night, and
358







REISEBILDER.


the cookery is as good as Jagor's; roast geese fly round with
gravy-boats in their bills, and feel flattered if any one eats
them; tarts gleaming with butter grow wild like sun-
flowers; everywhere there are brooks of bouillon and
champagne, everywhere trees on which napkins flutter, and
you eat and wipe your lips and eat again without injury to
your stomach; you sing psalms, or flirt and joke with the
dear, delicate little angels, or take a walk on the green
Hallelujah-Meadow, and your white flowing garments fit
very comfortably, and nothing disturbs the feeling of
blessedness, no pain, no vexation-even when one accident-
ally treads on another's corns and exclaims, "1Excusez /" he
smiles as if enraptured, and assures, Thy foot, brother,
did not hurt in the least, quite au contraire, a deeper thrill
of heavenly rapture shoots through my heart I "
But of Hell, Madame, you have no idea. Of all the
devils you know, perhaps, only the little Amor, the pretty
Croupier of Hell, Beelzebub, and you know him only from
Don Juan, and doubtless think that for such a betrayer of
innocence Hell can never be made hot enough, though our
praiseworthy theatre directors spend upon him as much
flame, fiery rain, powder, and colophonium as any Christian
could desire in Hell.
But things in Hell look much worse than our theatre
directors know, or they would not bring out so many bad
plays. For in Hell it is infernally hot, and when I was
there, in the dog-days, it was past endurance. Madame,
you can have no idea of Hell We have very few official
returns from that place. Still, it is rank calumny to say
that down there all the poor souls are compelled to read, the
the whole day long, all the dull sermons that are printed on
earth. Bad as Hell is, it has not come to that; Satan will
never invent such refinements of torture. On the other







REISEBILDER.


hand, Dante's description is too mild on the whole, too
poetic. Hell appeared to me like a great kitchen, with an
endlessly long stove, on which stood three rows of iron pots,
and in these sat the damned, and were cooked. In one row
were placed Christian sinners, and, incredible as it may
seem, their number was anything but small, and the devils
poked the fire up under them with especial good-will. In
the next row were Jews, who continually screamed and
cried, and were occasionally mocked by the fiends, which
sometimes seemed very amusing, as, for instance, when a
fat, wheezy old pawnbroker complained of the heat, and a
little devil poured several buckets of cold water on his head,
that he might realise what a refreshing benefit baptism was.
In the third row sat the heathen, who, like the Jews, could
take no part in salvation, and must burn forever. I heard
one of these, as a burly devil put fresh coals under his
kettle, cry out from his pot, Spare me I I was Socrates,
the wisest of mortals. I taught Truth and Justice, and
sacrificed my life for Virtue." But the stupid, burly devil
went on with his work, and grumbled, Oh, shut up,
there All heathens must burn, and we can't make an
exception for the sake of a single man." I assure you,
Madame, the heat was terrible, with such a screaming,
sighing, groaning, quacking, grunting, squealing-and
through all these terrible sounds rang distinctly the deadly
tune of the song of the unwept tear.


CHAPTER II.
She was lovable, and he loved her. But he was not lovable, and
she did not love him."-Old Play.
Madame 1! that old play is a tragedy, though the hero in
it is neither killed nor commits suicide. The eyes of the







REISEBILDER.


heroine are beautiful-very beautiful-Madame, do you
smell the perfume of violets 1-very beautiful, and yet so
piercing that they struck like poignards of glass through
my heart and probably came out through my back-and
yet I was not killed by those treacherous, murderous eyes.
The voice of the heroine was also sweet-Madame, did you
hear a nightingale just then ?-a soft, silken voice, a sweet
web of the sunniest tones, and my soul was entangled in it,
and choked and tormented itself. I myself-it is the
Count of Ganges who now speaks, and the story goes on in
Venice-I myself soon had enough of these tortures, and
had thoughts of putting an end to the play in the first act,
and of shooting myself through the head, fool's-cap and all.
I went to a fancy shop in the Via Burstah, where I saw a
pair of beautiful pistols in a case- I remember them per-
fectly well-near them stood many pleasant playthings of
mother-of-pearl and gold, steel hearts on gilt chains, por-
celain cups with delicate devices, and snuff-boxes with pretty
pictures, such as the divine history of Susannah, the Swan
Song of Leda, the Rape of the Sabines, Lucretia, a fat,
virtuous creature, with naked bosom, in which she was
lazily sticking a dagger; the late Bethmann, la belle
Ferroniere-all enrapturing faces-but I bought the pistols
without much ado, and then I bought balls, then powder,
and then I went to the restaurant of Signor Somebody, and
ordered oysters and a glass of Hock.
I could eat nothing, and still less could I drink. The
warm tears fell in the glass, and in that glass I saw my
dear home, the holy, blue Ganges, the ever-gleaming
Himalaya, the giant banyan woods. amid whose broad
arcades calmly wandered wise elephants and white-robed
pilgrims, strange dream-like flowers gazed on me with
meaning glance, wondrous golden birds sang wildly, flashing







REISEBILDER.


sun-rays and the sweet, silly chatter of monkeys pleas-
antly mocked me, from far pagodas sounded the pious prayers
of priests, and amid all rang the melting, wailing voice of
the Sultana of Delhi-she ran impetuously around in her
carpetted chamber, she tore her silver veil, with her peacock
fan she struck the black slave to the ground, she wept, she
raged, she cried. I could not, however, hear what she said ;
the restaurant of Signor Somebody is three thousand miles
distant from the Harem of Delhi, besides the fair Sultana
had been dead three thousand years-and I quickly drank
up the wine, the clear, joy-giving wine, and yet my soul
grew darker and sadder-I was condemned to death.
As I left the restaurant I heard the bell of poor
sinners ring, a crowd of people swept by me; but I placed
myself at the corner of the Strada San Giovanni, and
recited the following monologue :-

In ancient tales they tell of golden castles,
Where harps are sounding, lovely ladies dance,
And gay attendants gleam, and jessamine,
Myrtle, and roses spread theii soft perfume-
And yet a single word of sad enchantment
Sweeps all the glory of the scene to naught,
And there remain but ruins old and grey,
And screaming birds of night and foul morass.
Even so have I, with but a single word,
Enchanted Nature's blooming loveliness.
There lies she now, lifeless and cold and pale,
Just like a monarch's corse laid out in state,
The royal deathly cheeks fresh stained with rouge,
And in his hand the kingly sceptre laid,
Yet still his lips are yellow and most changed,
For they forgot to dye them, as they should,
And mice are jumping o'er the monarch's nose,
And mock the golden sceptre in his grasp."
It is everywhere agreed, Madame, that one should deliver







REISEBILDE'R.


a soliloquy before shooting himself. Most men, on such
occasions, use Hamlet's "To be, or not to be." It is an
excellent passage, and I would gladly have quoted it-but
charity begins at home, and when a man has written
tragedies himself, in which such farewell-to-life speeches
occur, as, for instance, in my immortal Almansor, it is very
natural that one should prefer his own words even to
Shakespeare's. At any rate, the delivery of such speeches
is a very useful custom ; one gains at least a little time.
And so it came to pass that I remained a rather long time
standing at the corner of the Strada San Giovanni-and as
I stood there like a condemned criminal awaiting death, I
raised my eyes, and suddenly beheld her.
She wore her blue silk dress and rose-red hat, and her
eyes looked at me so mildly, so death-conqueringly, so
life-givingly-Madame, you well know, out of Roman
history, that when the vestals in ancient Rome met on their
way a malefactor led to death, they had the right to pardon
him, and the poor rogue lived. With a single glance she
saved me from death, and I stood before her revived, and
dazzled by the sunbeams of her beauty, and she passed on
-and left me alive.


CHAPTER IlI.
And she left me alive, and I live, which is the main
point.
Others may, if they choose, enjoy the good fortune of
having their lady-love adorn their graves with garlands and
water them with the tears of fidelity. Oh, women hate
me, laugh at me, jilt me-but let me live Life is all too
laughably sweet, and the world too delightfully bewildered;
it is the dream of an intoxicated god, who has taken French







REISEBILDER.

leave of the carousing multitude of immortals, and has laid
himself down to sleep in a solitary star, and knows not
himself that he creates all that he dreams-and the dream
images form themselves in such a mad variegated fashion,
and often so harmoniously reasonable-the Iliad, Plato, the
battle of Marathon, Moses, Medician Venus, Strasburg
Cathedral, the French Revolution, Hegel, the steamboat,
etc., etc., are single good thoughts in this divine dream-
but it will not last long, and the god awakes and rubs his
sleepy eyes, and smiles-and our world has run to nothing
-yes, has never been.
No matter I live. If I am but a shadowy image in a
dream, still this is better than the cold, black, void annihila-
tion of Death. Life is the greatest good and death the
worst evil. Berlin lieutenants of the guard may sneer and
call it cowardice, because the Prince of Homburg shudders'
when he beholds his open grave. Henry Kleist* had,!
however, as much courage as his high-breasted, tightly-i
laced colleagues, and has, alas! proved it. But all strong
men love life. Goethe's Egmont does not part willingly
from "the cheerful wont of being and working." Immer-I
man's Edwin clings to life "like a little child to its mother'sl
breast," and though he finds it hard to live by strange4
mercy, he still begs for mercy: "For life and breath i4
still the highest."
When Odysseus in the under-world sees Achilles as the
leader of dead heroes, and extols his renown among the living,
and his glory even among the dead, Achilles answers :-
No more discourse of death, consolingly, noble Odysseus A
Rather would I in the field as daily labourer be toiling,
Slave to the meanest of men, a pauper and lacking possessions,
Than mid the infinite host of long-vanished mortals be ruler."
He committed suicide.-ED.








REISEBILDER.


Yes, when Major Duvent challenged the great Israel
Lyon to fight with pistols and said to him, "If you do
not meet me, Mr. Lyon, you are a dog ; the latter replied,
"I would rather be a live dog than a dead lion and he
was right. I have fought often enough, Madame, to dare
to say this-God be praised I live I Red life pulses in
my veins, earth yields beneath my feet, in the glow of love
I embrace trees and statues, and they live in my embrace.
Every woman is to me the gift 'of a world. I revel in
the melody of her countenance, and with a single glance of
my eye I can enjoy more than others with their every limb
through all their lives. Every instant is to me an eternity.
I do not measure time with the ell of Brabant or of Ham-
burg, and I need no priest to promise me a second life, for
I can live enough in this life, when I live backwards in the
life of those who have gone before me, and win myself an
eternity in the realm of the past.
And I live The great pulsation of nature beats too in
my breast, and when I carol aloud, I am answered by a
thousand-fold echo. I hear a thousand nightingales.
Spring has sent them to awaken Earth from her morning
slumber, and Earth trembles with ecstasy; her flowers are
hymns, which she sings in inspiration to the sun-the sun
moves far too slowly; I would fain lash on his steeds that
they might advance more rapidly. But when he sinks
hissing in the sea, and the night rises with her great
passionate eyes, oh then true pleasure first thrills through
me, the evening breezes lie like flattering maidens on my
wild heart, and the stars wink to me, and I rise and sweep
over the little earth and the little thoughts of men.







REISEBILDER.


/ CHAPTER IV.
But a day will come when the fire in my veins will be
quenched, when winter will dwell in my heart, when his
snow flakes will whiten my locks, and his mists will dim
my eyes. Then my friends will lie in their lonely graves,
and I alone shall remain like a solitary stalk forgotten by
the reaper. A new race will have sprung up with new
desires and new ideas; full of wonder I shall hear new
names and listen to new songs, for the old names will be
forgotten, and I myself forgotten, perhaps still honoured
by a few, scorned by many and loved by none! And
then the rosy-cheeked boys will spring around me and
place the old harp in my trembling hand, and say, laugh-
ing, "You have been long silent, you greybeard; sing us
again songs of your youthful dreams!"
Then I will grasp the harp, and my old joys and sorrows
will awake, tears will again spring from my dead eyes;
there will be Spring again in my breast, sweet tones of
sorrow will tremble on the harpstrings, I shall see again
the blue stream and the marble palaces and the lovely
faces of women and girls-and I will sing a song of the
flowers of Brenta.
It will be my last song; the stars will gaze on me as in
the nights of my youth, the loving moonlight will once
more kiss my cheeks, the spirit chorus of nightingales long
dead will sound from afar, my sleep-drunken eyes will close,
my soul will echo with the notes of my harp ; I shall smell
the flowers of Brenta.
A tree will shadow my grave. I would gladly have it a
palm, but that tree will not grow in the North. It will be
a linden, and on summer evenings lovers will sit there and
caress; the green-finch, who rocks himself on the branches,







REISEBILDER.


will be listening silently, and my linden will rustle tenderly
over the heads of the happy ones, who will be so happy that
they will have no time to read what is written on the white
tombstone. But when later the lover has lost his love,
then he will come again to the well-known linden, and
sigh, and weep, and gaze long and oft upon the stone, and
read the inscription-" He loved the flowers of Brenta."



CHAPTER V.
Madame I have deceived you. I am not the Count of
the Ganges. Never in my life have I seen the holy stream,
nor the lotus flowers which are mirrored in its sacred waves.
Never did I lie dreaming under Indian palms, nor in
prayer before the Diamond Deity Juggernaut, who with his
diamonds might have easily aided me out of my difficulties.
I have no more been in Calcutta than the turkey, of which
I ate yesterday at dinner, had ever been in the realms of
the Grand Turk. Yet my ancestors came from Hindostan,
and therefore I feel so much at my ease in the great forest
of song of Valmiki. The heroic sorrows of the divine
Ramo move my heart like familiar griefs ; from the flower
lays of Kalidasa the sweetest memories bloom; and when a
few years ago a gentle lady in Berlin showed me the beauti-
ful pictures which her father, who had been Governor in
India, had brought from thence, the delicately-painted,
holy, calm faces seemed as familiar to me as though I were
gazing at my own family gallery.
Franz Bopp-Madame, you have of course read his
Nalus and his System of Sanscrit Conjugations-gave me
much information relative to my ancestry, and I now know
with certainty that I am descended from Brahma's head,







REISEBILDER.


and not from his corns. I have also good reason to believe
that the entire AMahabarata, with its two hundred thousand
verses, is merely an allegorical love letter which my first
fore-father wrote to my first fore-mother. Oh they loved
dearly, their souls kissed, they kissed with their eyes, they
were both but one single kiss.
An enchanted nightingale sits on a red coral bough in
the silent sea, and sings a song of the love of my ancestors;
the pearls gaze eagerly from their shells, the wonderful
water-flowers tremble with sorrow, the cunning sea-snails,
bearing on their backs many-coloured porcelain towers,
come creeping onwards, the ocean-roses blush with shame,
the yellow, sharp-pointed starfish, and the thousand-hued
glassy jelly-fish quiver and stretch, and all swarm and
listen.
Unfortunately, Madame, this nightingale song is far too
long to be set down here ; it is as long as the world itself,
even its dedication to Anangas, the God of Love, is as
long as all Scott's novels, and there is a passage referring to
it in Aristophanes, which in German* reads thus :-

"Tiotio, tiotio, tiotiux,
Totototo totototo tototinx."
(Voss's Translation.)

No, I was not born in India. I first beheld the light of
the world on the shores of that beautiful stream, in whose
green hills folly grows and is plucked in Autumn, laid
away in cellars, poured into barrels, and exported to
foreign lands. In fact, only yesterday I heard some one
speaking a piece of folly which, in the year 1811, was
imprisoned in a bunch of grapes, which I myself then
saw growing on the Johannisburg. But much folly is also
Or in English.







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consumed at home, and men are the same there as every-
where : they are born, eat, drink, sleep, laugh, cry, slander
each other, are greatly troubled about the propagation of
their race, try to seem what they are not and to do what
they cannot, never shave until they have a beard, and often
have beards before they get discretion, and when they at
last have discretion, they drink it away in white and red
folly.
Mon dieus if I had faith, so that I could remove moun-
thins-the Johannisburg would be just the mountain which
I would carry with me everywhere. But as my faith is
not strong enough, imagination must aid me, and she quickly
sets me by the beautiful Rhine.
Oh, that is a fair land, full of loveliness and sunshine.
In the blue stream are mirrored the mountain shores, with
their ruined towers, and woods, and ancient towns. There,
before the house-door, sit the good townspeople, of a summer
evening, and drink out of great cans, and gossip confidentially
about how the wine-the Lord be praised !-thrives, and
how justice should be free from all secrecy, and how Marie
Antoinette's being guillotined is none of our business,
and how dear the tobacco tax makes tobacco, and how all
mankind are equal, and what a glorious fellow Goerres is.
I have never troubled myself about such conversation,
and sat rather with the maidens in the arched window, and
laughed at their laughter, and let them throw flowers in
my face, and pretended to be ill-natured until they told me
their secrets, or some other important stories. Fair
Gertrude was half wild with delight when I sat by her.
She was a girl like a flaming rose, and once, as she fell on
my neck, I thought that she would burn away into perfume
hi my arms. Fair Katharine flamed into sweet music
when she talked with me, and her eyes were of a pure,







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internal blue, which I have never seen in men or animals,
and very seldom in flowers-one gazed so gladly into them,
and could then think such sweet things. But the beautiful
Hedwig loved me, for when I came to her she bowed her
head till her black curls fell down over her blushing face,
and her bright eyes shone like stars from the dark heaven.
Her bashful lips spoke not a word, and I too could say
nothing to her. I coughed and she trembled. She often
begged me, through her sisters, not to climb the rocks so
rashly, or to bathe in the Rhine when I was hot with
running or drinking wine. Once I overheard her pious
prayer before the Virgin Mary, which she had adorned
with gold leaf and illuminated with a lamp, and which
stood in a corner at the entrance. I plainly heard her
pray to the Mother of God to keep him from cliinbing,
drinking, and bathing. I should certainly have been
desperately in love with her if she had been indifferent to
me, and I was indifferent to her because I knew that she
loved me.--Madame, to win my love, I must be treated en
canaille.
Johanna was the cousin of the three sisters, and I was
glad to be with her. She knew the most beautiful old
legends, and when she pointed with her white hand through
the window out to the mountains where all had happened
which she narrated, I became enchanted; the old knights
rose visibly from the ruined castles and hewed away at
each other's iron clothes, the Lorely sat again on the
mountain summit, singing a-down her sweet, seductive song,
and the Rhine rippled so reasonably soothing-and yet
so mockingly horrible-and the fair Johanna looked at
me so strangely, with such enigmatic tenderness, that she
seemed herself one with the legend that she told. She was
a slender, pale girl, sickly and musing, her eyes were clear as







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truth itself, her lips piously arched, in her face lay a great
story-was it a love legend ? I know not, and I never had
the courage to ask. When I looked at her long, I grew
calm and cheerful-it seemed to me as though it was
Sunday in my heart and the angels held service there.
In such happy hours I told her tales of my childhood,
and she listened earnestly, and, strangely, when I could
not think of the names she remembered them. When I
then asked her with wonder how she knew the names, she
would answer with a smile that she had learned it of the
birds that had built a nest on the sill of her window-and
she tried to make me believe that these were the same birds
which I once bought with my pocket-money from a hard-
hearted peasant boy, and then let fly away. But I
believed that she knew everything because she was so pale,
and really soon died. She knew, too, when she would die,
and wished that I would leave Andernach the day before.
When I bade her farewell she gave me both her hands-
they were white, sweet hands, and pure as the Host-and
she said, You are very good, and when you are not, think
of the little dead Veronica.
Did the chattering birds also tell her this name 7 Often
in hours of remembrance I had wearied my brain in trying
to think of that dear name, but could not.
And now that I have it again, my earliest infancy shall
bloom into memory again-and I am again a child, and
play with other children in the Castle Court at Disseldorf
on the Rhine.


CHAPTER VI.
Yes, Madame, there was I born, and I am particular in
calling attention to the fact, lest after my death seven







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cities-those of Schilda, Krihwinkel, Polkwitz, Bockum,
Diilken, Gdttingen, and Sch6ppenstadt*-should contend
for the honour of being my birthplace. Dusseldorf is a
town on the Rhine; sixteen thousand people live there,
and many hundred thousands besides are buried there.
And among them are many of whom my mother says it
were better if they were still alive-for example, my grand-
father and my uncle, the old Herr von Geldern, and the
young Herr von Geldern, who were both such celebrated
doctors, and saved the lives of so many men, and yet must
both die themselves. And pious Ursula, who carried me
as a child in her arms, also lies buried there, and a rose-
bush grows over her grave-she loved rose-perfume so
much in her life, and her heart was all rose-perfume and
goodness. And the shrewd old Canonicus also lies there
buried. Lord, how miserable he looked when I last saw
him He consisted of nothing but soul and plasters, and
yet he studied night and day as though he feared lest the
worms might find a few ideas missing in his head. Little
William also lies there-and that is my fault. We were
schoolmates in the Franciscan cloister, and were one day
playing on that side of the building where the Diissel flows
between stone walls, and I said, William, do get the
kitten out, which has just fallen in and he cheerfully
climbed out on the board which stretched over the brook,
and pulled the cat out of the water, but fell in himself,
and when they took him out he was cold and dead. The
kitten lived to a good old age.
The town of Diisseldorf is very beautiful, and if you
think of it when in foreign lands, and happen at the same
time to, have been born there, strange feelings come over
Heine at this period was never tired of laughing at Gattingeu, and
here couples it with six particularly insignificant towns.-En.







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the soul. I was born there, and feel as if I must go
directly home. And when I say home, I mean the Volker-
strasse and the house where I was born. This house will
be some day very remarkable, 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 present which the green-veiled distinguished English
ladies will give the servant 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. Ah me should I ever become a famous author, it
has cost my poor mother trouble enough.
But my fame still slumbers in the marble quarries of
Carrara ; the waste paper laurel with which they have be-
decked my brow has not yet spread its perfume through the
wide world, and when the green-veiled distinguished English
ladies visit Diisseldorf, they leave the celebrated house
unvisited, and go direct to the Market Place, and there
gaze on the colossal black equestrian statue which stands
in its midst. This represents .the Prince Elector, Jan
Wilhelm. Hie wears black armour and a long, hanging
wig. When a boy, I was told that the artist who made
this statue observed with terror while it was being cast
that he had not metal enough, and then all the citizens of
the town came running with all their silver spoons, and
threw them in to fill the mould; and I often stood for
hours before the statue puzzling my head as to how many
spoons were sticking in it, and how many apple-tarts all
that silver would buy. Apple-tarts were then my passion
-now it is love, truth, freedom, and crab-soup-and not
far from the statue of the Prince Elector, at the theatre
corner, generally stood a curiously constructed sabre-legged






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rascal with a white apron, and a basket girt around him
full of smoking apple-tarts, which he knew how to praise
with an irresistible treble voice. "Apple tarts quite
fresh !, so delicious Truly, whenever in my later years
the Evil One sought to win me, he always cried in just
such an enticing treble, and I should certainly have
never remained twelve hours by the Signora Guilietta, if
slie had not thrilled me with her sweet, fragrant, apple-
tart-tones. And, in fact, the apple-tarts would never have so
enticed 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 its body and no soup, and which represents the
Prince Elector, Jan Wilhelm.
He must have been a brave gentleman, very fond of
art, and skilful himself. He founded the picture gallery
in DUsseldorf, and in the observatory there they show
a very artistic piece of woodwork, which he, himself, had
carved in his leisure hours, of which latter he had every
day four-and-twenty.
In those days princes were not the persecuted wretches
which they now are; the crowns grew firmly on their
heads, and at night they drew their night-caps over it and
slept peacefully, and their people slumbered peacefully at
their feet, and when they awoke in the morning they said,
" Good morning, father and he replied, Good morning,
dear children "
But there came a sudden change over all this. One
morning when we awoke in Dusseldorf and would say,
"Good morning, father the father had travelled away,
and in the whole town there was nothing but dumb sorrow.
Everywhere there was a funeral-like expression, and people
359







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slipped silently to the market and read the long paper
on the door of the Town Hall. It was bad weather, yet
the lean tailor Kilian stood in his nankeen jacket, which
he generally wore only at home, and his blue woollen stock-
ings hung down so that his little bare legs peeped out in
a troubled way, and his thin lips quivered as he murmured
the placard. An old invalid soldier from the Palatine
read it rather louder, and at some words a clear tear ran
down his white honourable old moustache I stood near
him, crying too, and asked why we were crying 3 And he
replied The Prince Elector has abdicated." And then lie
read further, and at the words, for the long manifested
fidelity of my subjects," "and hereby release you from
allegiance," he wept still more. It is a strange sight to see,
when an old man, in faded uniform, and scarred veteran's
face, suddenly bursts into tears. While we read, the
Princely Electoral coat of arms was being taken down from
the Town Hall, and everything began to appear as
anxiously dreary as though we were waiting for an eclipse
of the sun. The town councillors went about at an
abdicating, wearisome gait; even the omnipotent beadle
looked as though he had no more commands to give, and
stood calmly indifferent, although the crasy Aloysius
stood upon one leg and chattered the names of French
generals with foolish grimaces, while the tipsy, crooked
Gumpertz rolled around in the gutter, singing ca ira
ca ira /
But I went home crying and lamenting, "The Prince
Elector has abdicated." My mother might do what she
would, I knew what I knew, and went crying to bed, and
in the night dreamed that the world had come to an end-
the fair flower gardens and green meadows of the world
were taken up and rolled away like carpets from the floor,







REISEBILDER.


the beadle climbed up on a high ladder and took down the
sun, and 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 on high, and even these fell down
like yellow leaves in autumn, men gradually vanished, and
I, poor child, wandered in anguish around, until before the
willow fence of a deserted farm-house 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
soldier sobbing, and spelling, 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 our sitting-room and wished my father-who sat in
his white dressing-gown-good morning, I heard the little
light-footed barber, as he made up his hair, narrate very
minutely that homage would that morning be offered at the
Town Hall to the Arch Duke Joachim. 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
curls, that he would shortly enter the town, and would
certainly please all the ladies. Meanwhile, the drumming
in the streets continued, and I stood before the house-door
and looked at the French troops marching, those joyous and
famous people who swept over the world, singing and
playing, the merry, serious faces of the grenadiers, the bear-
skin shakoes, the tri-coloured cockades, theglitteringbayonets,
the voltigeurs full of vivacity and point d'honneur, and the
giant-like silver-laced Tambour Major, who cast his bdton







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with the gilded head as high as the first storey, and his eyes
to the second, where pretty girls gazed from the windows.
I was so glad that soldiers were to be quartered in our
house-my mother was not glad-and I hastened to the
market-place. There everything looked changed ; it was as
though the world had been new whitewashed. A new coat
of arms was placed on the Town Hall, its iron balconies
were hung with embroidered velvet drapery, French
grenadiers stood as sentinels, the old town councillors had
put on new faces and Sunday coats, and looked at each
other French fashion, and said, Bon jour/" ladies peeped
from every window, inquisitive citizens and soldiers filled
the square, and I, with other boys, climbed on the shining
Prince Elector's great bronze horse, and looked down on the
motley crowd.
Neighbour Peter and Long Conrad nearly broke their
necks on this occasion, and that would have been well, for
the one afterwards ran away from his parents, enlisted as a
soldier, deserted, and was finally shot in Mayence, while
the other, having made geographical researches in strange
pockets, became a working member of a public tread-mill
institute. But having broken the iron bands which bound
him to his fatherland, he passed safely beyond sea, and
eventually died in London, in consequence of wearing a
much too long cravat, one end of which happened to be
firmly attached to something, just as a royal official removed
a plank from beneath his feet.
Long Conrad told us there was no school to-day on
account of the homage. We had to wait a long time till
this was over. At last the balcony of the Council House
was filled with gay gentlemen, flags and trumpets, and our
burgomaster, in his celebrated red coat, delivered an oration,
which stretched out like India rubber, or like a night-cap







REISEBILDER.


into which one has thrown a stone-only that it was not
the stone of wisdom-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 and
drums sounded, and the flags waved, and the people cried
Hurrah !-and as I myself cried Hurrah -I held fast to the
old Prince Elector. And that was necessary, for I began
to grow giddy ; it seemed to me that the people were stand-
ing on their heads while the world whizzed around, and the
Prince Elector, with his long wig, nodded and whispered,
" Hold fast to me! "-and not till the cannon re-echoed
along the wall did I become sobered, and climbed slowly
down from the great bronze horse.
As I went home I saw crazy Aloysius again dancing on
one leg, while he chattered the names of French generals,
and crooked Gumpertz was rolling in the gutter drunk, and
growling Va ira, fa ira-and I said to my mother that we
were all to be made happy, and so there was no school
to-day.


CHAPTER VII.
The next day the world was again all in order, and we
had school as before, and things were got by heart as before
-the Roman kings, chronology-the nomina in im, the
verba irregularia-Greek, Hebrew, geography, German,
mental arithmetic-Lord my head is still giddy with it I-
all must be learnt by heart. And much of it was eventually
to my advantage. For had I not learnt 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
learnt chronology,. how could I ever, in later years, have







REISEBILDER.


found out anyone in 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. Therefore I associated with every
friend 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 an acquaintance. For
instance, when I met my tailor I at once thought of the
Battle of Marathon; if I saw the well-dressed banker,
Christian Gumpel, I remembered the destruction of Jeru-
salem ; if a Portuguese friend, deeply in debt, of the flight of
Mahomet; if the University Judge, a man whose probity
is well known, of the death of Haman ; and if Wadzeck, I
was at once reminded of Cleopatra.-Ach, lieber Himmel I
the poor creature is dead now, our tears are dry, and we
may say of her, with Hamlet, Take her for all in all, she
was a hag-we oft shall look upon her like again 1 As I
said, chronology is necessary. I know men who have
nothing in their heads but a few years, yet who know
exactly where to look for the right houses, and are, more-
over, regular professors. But oh, the trouble I had at
school with dates!-and it went even worse with arith-
metic. I understood subtraction best, and for this I had a
very practical rule-" Four from three won't go, I must
borrow one"-but I advise everyone, in such a case, to
borrow a few extra shillings, for one never knows.
But as for the Latin, Madame, you can really have no
idea how muddled it is. The Romans would never have
found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged
first to learn Latin. Those happy people knew in their
cradles the nouns with an accusative in im. I, on the
contrary, had to learn them by heart, in the sweat of my







_REISE9BILDER .


brow, but still it is well that I knew them. For if, for
example, when I publicly disputed in Latin, in the College
Hall of GSttingen, on the 20th of July 1825-Madame, it
was well worth while to hear it-if, I say, I 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, because they belonged to a determined
class, and yet were exceptions; on that account I value
them highly, and the fact that I have them ready at my
finger's ends when I perhaps need them in a hurry affords
me in many dark hours of life much internal tranquillity
and consolation. But, Madame, the verba irregularia-
they are distinguished from the verbis regularibus by the
fact that in learning them one gets more whippings-are
terribly difficult. In the damp arches of the Franciscan
cloister near our school-room there hung a large crucified
Christ of grey wood, a dismal image, that even yet at times
marches through my dreams and gazes sorrowfully on me
with fixed bleeding eyes-before this image I often stood
and prayed, Oh thou poor and equally tormented God, if
it be possible for thee, see that I get by heart the irregular
verbs "
I will say nothing of Greek ; I should irritate 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 to this
very hour have crucified my good name ; but I never could
get so far in Hebrew as my watch, which had an intimate
intercourse with pawnbrokers, and in consequence acquired







REISEBILDER.


many Jewish habits-for instance, it would not go on
Saturday-and learned the holy language, and was subse-
quently occupied with its grammar, for often when sleep-
less in the night I have to my amazement heard it
industriously repeating : katal, katalta, katalki kittel,
kittalta, kittalti--pokat, pokadeti-pikat-pik-pik.
Meanwhile I learned much more German, and that is not
such child's play. For we poor Germans, who have already
been sufficiently plagued with soldiers quartered on us,
military duties, poll-taxes, and a thousand other exactions,
must needs, over and above all this, torment each other
with accusatives and datives. I learned much German
from the old Rector Schallmeyer, a brave, clerical gentle-
man, whose protLg6 I was from childhood. Something of
the matter I also learned from Professor Schramm, a man
who had written a book on Eternal Peace, and in whose
class my school-fellows fought with especial vigour.
And while thus dashing on in a breath, and thinking of
everything, I have unexpectedly found myself back among
old school stories, and I avail myself of this opportunity to
show you, Madame, that it was not my fault if I learned
so little geography, that later in life I could not make my
way in the world. For in those days the French had
deranged all boundaries, every day countries were re-
coloured; those which were once blue suddenly became
green, many even blood-red; the old established rules were
so confused and confounded that no Devil would recognize
them. The products of the country also changed, chickory
and beets now grew where only hares and hunters running
after them were once to be seen ; even the characters of
different races changed-the Germans became pliant, the
French paid compliments no longer, the English ceased
making ducks and drakes of their money, and the Venetians







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were not subtle enough; there was promotion among
princes, old kings obtained new uniforms, new kingdoms
were cooked up and sold like hot cakes, many potentates,
on the other hand, were chased from house and home, and
had to find some new way of earning their bread, while
others went at once at a trade, and manufactured, for
instance, sealing-wax, or-Madame, this sentence must be
brought to an end, or I shall be out of breath-in short, it
is impossible in such times 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. And having
many such pictures in my memory, it often happens that
at first sight many mortals appear to me like old
acquaintances.
I did well in mythology; I took real delight in the mob
of gods and goddesses who ruled the world in joyous naked-
ness. I do not believe that there was a schoolboy in
ancient Rome who knew the chief articles of his catechism
-that is, the loves of Venus-better than I. To tell the
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 made so much out of our
New Roman Trinity or even our Jewish monotheism.
Perhaps that mythology was not in reality so immoral
as we imagine, and it was, for example, a very decent
thought of Homer's to give the much-loved Venus a
husband.
But I succeeded best of all in the French class of the
Abb6 d'Aulnoi, a French emigre who had written a number
of grammars, and wore a red wig, and jumped about very
nervously when he recited his Art poitique, and his Histoire
Allemande. He was the only one in the whole gymnasium







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who taught German history. Still French has its difficul-
ties, and to learn it there must be much quartering of
troops, much drumming in, much apprendre par coeur, and
above all, no one should be a b6te allemande. Thus many
bitter words came in. I remember still, as though it
happened yesterday, the scrapes I got into through la
religion. Six times came the question :-" Henry, what is
the French for the faith I'" And six times, ever more
tearfully, I replied, It is called le credit." And at the
seventh question, with a deep cherry-red face, my furious
examiner cried, It is called la religion "-and there was a
rain of blows, and all my school-fellows laughed. Madame !
-since that day I can never hear the word religion but
my back turns pale with terror, and my cheeks red with
shame. And to speak truly, le credit has during my life
stood me in better stead than la religion. It occurs to me
at this moment that I still owe the landlord of the Lion, in
Bologna, five thalers. And I pledge you my word of
honour that I would owe him five thalers more if I could
only be certain that I should never again hear that unlucky
word, la religion.
Parbleu, Madame I have succeeded well in French I
understand not only patois, but even aristocratic nurse-
maid French. Not long ago, when in noble society, I
understood full 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 Cafi Royal, at
Berlin, I once heard Monsieur Hans Michel Martens talk-
ing French, and understood every word, though there was
no understanding in it. 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,







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and yet had the heart of an angel, and who drummed so
excellently.
He was a little, nervous figure, with a terrible black
moustache, beneath which the red lips turned suddenly
outwards, while his fiery eyes glanced around.
I, a youngster, stuck to him like a burr, and helped him
to rub his military buttons like mirrors, and to pipe-clay
his vest-for Monsieur Le Grand liked to look well-and I
followed him to the watch, to the roll-call, to the parade-
in those times there was nothing but the gleam of weapons
and merriment-les jours de fte sont passes Monsieur Le
Grand knew only a little broken German, only the chief
expressions-" Bread," Kiss," Honour "-but he could
make himself very intelligible with his drum. For instance,
if I did not know what the word liberty meant, he
drummed the Mfarseillaise-and I understood him. If I
did not understand the word egalitg, he drummed the
march, 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, have drummed in Champagne-and I
understood him. He once wanted to explain to me the
word l'Allemagne, and he drummed the all too simple
primeval melody, which on market days is played to
dancing dogs-namely, dum-dum-dum.* I was vexed,
but I understood him.
In the same way he taught me modern history. I did
not understand the words, it is true, but as he constantly
drummed while speaking, I knew what he meant. At
bottom this is the best method. The history of the
storming of the Bastille, of the Tuilleries, and the like, we
understand first when we know how the drumming was
I)unm in German means stupid.







REISEBILDER.


done. In our school compendiums of history we merely
read : "Their excellencies, the Baron and Count, with the
most noble spouses of the aforesaid, were beheaded. Their
highnesses the Dukes, and Princes, with the most noble
spouses of the aforesaid, were beheaded. His Majesty the
King, with his most sublime spouse, the Queen, was
beheaded." But when you hear the red guillotine march
drummed, you understand it correctly, for the first time,
and you know the how and the why. Madame, that is
indeed a wonderful march! It thrilled through marrow
and bone when I first heard it, and I was glad that I forgot
it. One forgets so much as one grows older, and a young
man has now-a-days so much other knowledge to keep in
his head-whist, Boston, genealogical tables, parliamentary
data, dramaturgy, the liturgy, carving-and yet, notwith-
standing all jogging up of my brain, I could not for a long
time recall that tremendous tune! But, only think,
Madame! not long ago I sat at table with a whole
menagerie of Counts, Princes, Princesses, Chamberlains,
Court-marshallesses, 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 without the least occupation
for my jaws, and I kneaded little bread-balls, and drummed
for ennui with my fingers-and, to my astonishment, I
suddenly drummed the red, long-forgotten guillotine march!
And what happened 7 Madame, the good people were
not disturbed in their eating, nor did they know that other
people, when they have nothing to eat, suddenly begin
to drum, and that, too, very queer marches, which people
thought long forgotten.







REISE BUILDER.


Is drumming, now, an inborn talent, or was it early
developed in me I-enough, it lies in my limbs, in my
hands, in my feet, and often manifests itself involun
tarily. I once sat at Berlin in the lecture-room of the
Privy Councillor Schmaltz, a man who had saved the state
by his book on the Red and Black Coat Danger."-You
remember, perhaps, Madame, out of Pausanias, 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 a loquacious
putain, the Lady Livia, brought the terrible conspiracy of
Cataline to light. But to return to the mutton aforesaid.
I listened to international law in the lecture-room of the
Herr Privy Councillor Schmaltz, and it was a sleepy
summer afternoon, and I sat on the bench and heard less
and less-my head had gone to sleep-when all at once I
was wakened by the noise of my own feet, which had
stayed awake, and had probably observed that the exact
opposite of international law and constitutional tendencies
was being preached, and my feet which, with the little
eyes of their corns, had seen more of how things go in the
world than the Privy Councillor with his 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
nearly came to grief.
Cursed, unreflecting feet They once played me
a similar trick, when I on a time in Gittengen
sponged without subscribing on the lectures of Professor
Saalfeld, and as, with his angular activity, he jumped
about here and there in his pulpit, and heated himself
in order to curse the Emperor Napoleon in regular







REISEBILDER.


set style,-no, my poor feet, I cannot blame you for
drumming then; indeed, I would not have blamed you if in
your dumb naivet6 you had expressed yourselves by still
more energetic movements. How could I, the scholar of
Le Grand, hear the Emperor cursed 7 The Emperor the
Emperor the great Emperor !
When I think of the great Emperor, my thoughts again
grow summer-green and golden; a long avenue of lindens
rises blooming around, on the leafy twigs sit singing
nightingales, the water-fall rustles, flowers are growing from
full round beds, dreamily nodding their fair heads-I was
once wondrously intimate with them; the rouged tulips,
proud as beggars, condescendingly greeted me, the nervous
sick lilies nodded with melancholy tenderness, the drunken
red roses laughed at me from afar, the night-violets sighed
-with the myrtles and laurels I was not then acquainted,
for they did not entice with a shining bloom, but the
mignonette, with whom I now stand so badly, was very
intimate. I am speaking of the court garden of Diisseldorf,
where I often lay upon the bank, and piously listened
while Monsieur Le Grand told of the warlike feats of the
great Emperor, beating meanwhile the marches which were
drummed during the deeds, so that I saw and heard all to
the life. I saw the passage over the Simplon-the
Emperor in advance and his brave grenadiers climbling on
behind him, while the scream of frightened birds of prey
sounded around, and avalanches thundered in the distance
-I saw the Emperor with flag in hand on the bridge of
Lodi-I saw the Emperor in his grey cloak at Marengo-
I saw the Emperor mounted 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







REISEBILDER.


the battle of Jena--dum, dum, dum.--I saw, I heard the
battles of Eylau, of Wagram--ah, I could hardly bear it !
Monsieur Le Grand drummed so that the drums of my ears
nearly burst.


CHAPTER VIII.
But what were my feelings when I saw with my own
highly-graced eyes himself 7 Hosannah the Emperor !
It was in that very avenue of the Court Garden at
Diisseldorf. 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 avenue
under penalty of a fine of five thalers. And the Emperor
with his retinue rode directly down the avenue. The
trembling trees bowed towards him as he advanced, the
sunbeams quivered, frightened, yet curious, through the
green leaves, and in the blue heaven above there swam
visibly a golden star. The Emperor wore his invisible-
green uniform and the little world-renowned hat. He rode
a white steed, which stepped with such calm pride, so con-
fidently, so nobly-had I then been Crown Prince of
Prussia I would have envied that steed. Carelessly,
almost lazily, sat the Emperor, holding his rein with one
hand, and with the other good-naturedly patting the horse's
neck. It was a sunny, marble hand, a mighty hand-one
of those two hands which bound fast the many-headed
monster of anarchy, and ordered the war of races-and
it good-naturedly patted the horse's neck. Even the face
had that hue which we find in the marble of Greek and
Roman busts; the traits were as nobly cut as in the antique,







RE SEBILDE R.


and on that face was written, "Thou shalt have no Gods
before me." A smile, which warmed and soothed every
heart, flitted over the lips-and yet all knew that those
lips needed but to whistle-et la Prusse n'existalt 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 those lips smiled and the eye
smiled too. It was an eye clear as Heaven; it could read
the hearts of men, it saw at a glance all the things of this
world, while we others see them only one by one and by
their coloured shadows. The brow was not so clear, the
phantoms of future battles were nestling there; there was
a quiver which swept over that brow, and those were the
creative thoughts, the great seven-mile-boot thoughts, where-
with the spirit of the Emperor strode invisibly over the
world-and I believe that every one of those thoughts
would have given to a German author full material
wherewith to write, all the days of his life,
The Emperor rode quietly straight through the avenue.
No policeman opposed him; proudly, on snorting horses
and laden with gold and jewels, rode his retinue; the
drums were beating, the trumpets were sounding ; close to
me the wild Aloysius was muttering his general's name;
not far away the drunken Gumpertz was grumbling, and
the people shouted with a thousand voices, Long live the
Emperor! "


CHAPTER IX.
The Emperor is dead. On a waste island in the Atlantic
ocean is his lonely grave, and he for whom the world was
too narrow lies quietly under a little hillock, where five






REIVELWID-ER.


weeping willows hang their green heads, and a little brook,
murmuring sorrowfully, ripples by. There is no inscription
on his tomb ; but Clio, with a just pen, has written thereon
invisible words, which will resound, like spirit-tones, through
thousands of years.
Britannia the sea is thine. But the sea has not water
enough to wash away the shame with which the death of
that Mighty One has covered thee. Not thy windy Sir
Hudson-no, thou thyself wert the Sicilian bravo with
whom perjured kings bargained, that they might revenge
on the man of the people that which the people had once
inflicted on one of themselves.-And he was thy guest, and
had seated himself by thy hearth.
Until far ages 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
Channel, the cheeks of every honourable Briton will blush.
Some day, however, this song will ring thither, and Britan-
nia will be no more; the people of pride will be humbled
to the earth, Westminster's monuments will be broken, and
the royal dust which they enclosed 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
flags of many a colour, and their hearts will grow strong
with great memories of the deeds of the worldly Saviour,
who suffered and died under 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 Professor in Gottingen.







REISEBILDER.


CHAPTER X.
On a clear, frosty autumn morning, a young man of
student-like appearance slowly loitered through the avenue
of the Diisseldorf Court Garden, often, with child-like
pleasure, kicking aside the leaves which covered the ground,
and often sorrowfully gazing towards the bare trees, on
which a few golden-hued leaves still hung. As he thus
gazed up, he thought on the words of Glaucus-
" Like the leaves in the forests, so are the races of mortals;
Leaves are blown down to the earth by the wind, while others are
shooting [tide;
Again in the green budding wood, when fresh up-liveth the spring.
So are the races of man-this grows and the other departeth."
In earlier days the youth had gazed with far different
eyes on the same trees. He was then a boy, and sought
birds' nests or summer insects, which delighted him as they
merrily hummed around, and were glad in the beautiful
world, and contented with a sap-green leaf and a drop of
water, with a warm sunbeam and the sweet perfumes of
the grass. In those times the boy's heart was as gay as
the fluttering insects. But now his heart had grown older,
its little sunbeams were quenched, all its flowers had faded,
even its beautiful dream of love had grown dim 3 in that
poor heart was nothing but pride and care, and, saddest of
all, it was my heart.
I had returned that day to my old father-town, but I
would not remain there over night, and I longed for Godes-
berg, that I might sit at the feet of my girl-friend and tell
of the little Veronica. I had visited the dear graves. Of
all my living friends I had found but an uncle and an
aunt. Even when I met once known forms in the street
they knew me no more, and the town itself gazed on me with







REISEBILDER.


strange glances. Many houses were coloured anew, strange
faces gazed on me through the window-panes, worn-out
old sparrows hopped on the old chimneys, everything looked
dead and yet fresh, like a salad growing in a graveyard;
where French was once spoken I now heard Prussian ; even
a little Prussian court had taken up its retired dwelling
there, and the people bore court titles. My mother's old
hair dresser had now become the Court Hair dresser, and
there were Court-Tailors, Court-Shoemakers, Court-Bed-
Bug-Destroyers, Court-Grog-Shops-the whole town seemed
to be a Court-Asylum for Court-lunatics. Only the old
Prince Elector knew me, he still stood in the same old
place; but he seemed to have grown thinner. For just
because he stood in the Market Place, he had had a full
view of all the miseries of the time, and people seldom
grow fat on such sights. I was in a dream, and thought of
the legend of the enchanted city, and hastened out of the
gate, lest I should awake too soon. I missed many a tree
in the Court Garden, and many had grown crooked with age,
and the four great poplars, which once seemed to me like
green giants, had become smaller. Pretty girls were walk-
ing here and there, dressed as gaily as wandering tulips.
And I had known these tulips when they were but little
buds ; for ah! they were the neighbours' children with
whom I had once played Princes in the Tower." But
the fair maidens, whom I had once known as blooming roses,
were now faded roses, and in many a high brow whose
pride had once thrilled my heart, Saturn had cut deep
wrinkles with his scythe. And now for the first time, and
alas! too late, I understood what those glances meant,
which they had once cast on the adolescent boy; for I had
meanwhile in other lands fathomed the meaning of similar
glances in other lovely eyes. I was deeply moved by the







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humble bow of a man whom I had once known as wealthy
and respectable, and who had since become a beggar.
Everywhere in the world we see that men when they once
begin to fall, do so according to Newton's law, ever faster
and faster as they descend to misery. One, however, who
did not seem to be in the least changed was the little baron,
who tripped merrily as of old through the Court Garden,
holding with one hand his left coat-skirt on high, and with
the other swinging hither and thither his light cane ;-he
still had the same genial face as of old, its rosy bloom now
somewhat concentrated towards the nose, but he had the
same comical hat and the same old queue behind, only that
the hairs which peeped from it were now white instead of
black. But merry as the old baron seemed, it was still
evident that he had suffered much sorrow-his face would
fain conceal it, but the white hairs of his queue betrayed
him behind his back. Yet the queue itself seemed striving
to lie, so merrily did it shake.
I was not weary, but a fancy seized me to sit once more
on the wooden bench, on which I had once carved the name
of my love. I could hardly discover it there, so many new
names were cut around. Ah I once I slept upon this bench,
and dreamed of happiness and love. "Dreams are foam."
And the old games of childhood came again to my
memory, and with them old and beautiful stories ; but a
new treacherous game, and a new terrible tale ever resounded
through them, and it was the story of two poor souls who
were untrue to each other, and went so far in their untruth,
that they were at last untrue to the dear God himself. It
is a sad story, and when one has nothing better to do, one
can weep over it. Oh, Lord once the world was so
beautiful, and the birds sang thy eternal praise, and little
Veronica looked at me with silent eyes, and we sat by the







REISEBILDER.


marble statue before the castle court; on one side lies an
old ruined castle, wherein ghosts wander, and at night a
headless lady in long, trailing black-silken garments sweeps
around, and on the other side is a high, white dwelling, in
whose upper rooms gay pictures gleamed beautifully in their
golden frames, while below stood thousands of mighty
books, which Veronica and I beheld with longing when the
good Ursula lifted us up to the window. In later years, when
I had become a great boy, I climbed every day to the very
top of the library ladder, and brought down the topmost
books, and read in them so long, that finally I feared
nothing-least of all ladies without heads-and became so
wise that I forgot all the old games and stories and pictures
and little Veronica, even her name.
But while I sat upon the old bench in the Court Garden,
and dreamed my way back into the past, there was a sound
behind me of the confused voices of men lamenting the ill-
fortune of the poor French soldiers, who, having been taken
prisoners in the Russian war and sent to Siberia, had there
been kept prisoners for many a long year, though peace
had been re-established, and who now were returning
home. As I looked up, I beheld in reality these orphan
children of Fame. Through their tattered uniforms peeped
naked misery, deep sorrowing eyes were couched in their
desolate faces, and though mangled, weary, and mostly
lame, something of the military manner was still visible in
their mien. Singularly enough, they were preceded by a
drummer who tottered along with a drum, and I shuddered
as I recalled the old legend of soldiers, who had fallen
in battle, and who by night rising again from their graves
on, the battle-field, and with the drummer at their head,
marched back to their native city. And of them the old
ballad sings thus-







REISEBILDER.


He beat on the drum with might and main,
To their old night-quarters they go again ;
Through the lighted street they come;
Trallerie-trallerei-trallera,
They march before Sweetheart's home.

And their bones lie there at break of day,
As white as tombstones in cold array,
And the drummer he goes before;
Trallerie-trallerei-trallera,
And we see them come no more."

Truly the poor French drummer seemed to have risen but
half repaired from the grave. He was but a little shadow
in a dirty patched grey capote, a dead yellow countenance,
with a great moustache which hung down sorrowfully over
his faded lips, his eyes were like burnt-out tinder, in which
but a few sparks still gleamed, and yet by one of those
sparks I recognized Monsieur Le Grand.
He too recognized me and drew me to the turf, and we
sat down together as of old, when he taught me French and
Modern History on the drum. He had still the well-known
old drum, and I could not sufficiently wonder how he had
preserved it from Russian plunderers. And he drummed
again as of old, but without speaking a word. But though
his lips were firmly pressed together, his eyes spoke all the
more, flashing fiercely and victoriously as he drummed the
old marches. The poplars near us trembled, as he again
thundered forth the red guillotine march. And he
drummed as before the old war of freedom, the old battles,
the deeds of the Emperor, and it seemed as though the
drum itself were a living creature which rejoiced to speak
out its inner soul. I heard once more the thunder of
cannon, the whistling of balls, the riot of battle; I saw
once more the death rage of the Guards,-the waving







REISEBILDER.


flags, again, the Emperor on his steed-but little by
little there fell a sad tone in amid the most stirring con-
fusion, sounds rang from the drum, in which the wildest
hurrahs and the most fearful grief were mysteriously
mingled; it seemed a march of victory and a march of
death. Le Grand's eyes opened spirit-like and wide, and I
saw in them nothing but a broad white field of ice covered
with corpses-it was the battle of Moscow.
I had never thought that the hard old drum could give
forth such wailing sounds as Monsieur Le Grand had drawn
from it. They were tears which he drummed, and they
sounded ever softer and softer, and, like a troubled echo,
deep sighs broke from Le Grand's breast. And he became
ever more languid and ghost-like, his dry hands trembled,
as if from frost, he sat as in a dream, and stirred with his
drum-stick nothing but the air, and seemed listening to
voices far away, and at last he gazed on me with a deep,
entreating glance-I understood him-and then his head
sank down on the drum.
In this life Monsieur Le Grand never drummed more.
And his drum never gave forth another sound; it was not
destined to serve the enemies of liberty for their servile
roll calls. I had well understood Le Grand's last entreat-
ing glance, and at once drew the sword from my cane, and
pierced the drum.


CHAPTER XI.

Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas, Madame /
But life is in reality so terribly serious, that it would be
insupportable without such union of the pathetic and the
comic ; as our poets well know. The most harrowing







-R-EIS-BILDE.R.


forms of human madness Aristophanes exhibits only in the
laughing mirror of wit; Goethe only presumes to set forth
the fearful pain of thought comprehending its own nothing-
ness in the doggerel of a puppet show; and Shakespeare puts
the most deadly lamentation over the misery of the world
into the mouth of a fool, who rattles his cap and bells
in agony.
They have all learned from the great First Poet, who, in
his World Tragedy in thousands of acts, knows how to
carry humour to the highest point, as we see every day.
After the departure of the heroes, the clowns and graciosos
enter with their baubles and wooden swords, and after the
bloody scenes of the Revolution there came waddling on
the stage the fat Bourbons, with their stale jokes and
tender legitimate bon mots, and the old noblesse with
their starved laughter hopped merrily before them, while
behind all swept the pious Capuchins with candles, cross,
and banners of the Church. Yes, even in the highest
pathos of the World Tragedy, bits of fun slip in. The
desperate republican, who, like Brutus, plunged a knife to
his heart, perhaps smelt it first to see whether some one had
not split a herring with it-and on this great stage of the
world all passes exactly the same as on our beggarly
boards. On it, too, there are tipsy heroes, kings who
forget their part, scenes which obstinately stay up in the
air, prompters' voices sounding above everything, danseuses
who create astonishing effects with the poetry of their legs,
and costumes which are the main thing. And high in
Heaven, in the first row of the boxes, sit the clear little
angels, and keep their lorgnettes on us comedians here
down below, and the blessed Lord himself sits seriously
in his great box, and, perhaps, finds it dull, or calculates
that this theatre cannot be kept up much longer because







REISEBILDER.


this one gets too high a salary, and that one too little, and
that they all play much too badly.
Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas, Madame I As
I ended the last chapter, narrating to you how Monsieur
Le Grand died, and how I conscientiously executed the
testamentum militaire which lay in his last glance, some one
knocked at my door, and there entered a poor old lady,
who asked if I were not a Doctor. And as I assented, she
kindly asked me to go home with her and cut her husband's
corns.
LAST WORDS (REISEBILDER).
Written 29th November 1830.
It was a depressed, an arrested time in Germany when I
wrote the second volume of the Reisebilder, and had it printed
as I wrote. But before it appeared something was whispered
about it; it was said that my book would awaken and
encourage the cowed spirit of freedom, and that measures
were being taken to suppress it. When such rumours were
afloat, it was advisable to advance the book as quickly as
possible, and drive it through the press. As it was necessary,
too, that it should contain a certain number of leaves, to
escape the requisitions of the estimable censorship, I
followed the example of Benvenuto Cellini, who, in founding
his Perseas, was short of bronze, and to fill up the mould
threw into the molten metal all the tin plates he could lay
his hands on. It was certainly easy to distinguish between
the tin-especially the tin termination of the book-and
the better bronze ; anyone, however, who understands the
craft will not betray the workman.
But as everything in this world is liable to turn up again,
so it came to pass that, in this very volume, I found myself
again in the same scrape, and I have been obliged to again







REISEBILDER.


throw some tin into the mould-let me hope that this
renewed melting of baser metal will simply be attributed to
the pressure of the times.
Alas! the whole book sprang from the pressure of the
times, as well as the earlier writings of similar tendency.
The more intimate friends of the writer, who are acquainted
with his private circumstances, know well how little his
own vanity forced him to the tribune, and how great were
the sacrifices which he was obliged to make for every
independent word which he has spoken since then and-if
God will !-which he still means to speak. Now-a-days, a
word is a deed whose consequences cannot be measured, and
no one knows whether he may not in the end appear as
witness to his words in blood.
For many years I have waited in vain for the words of
those bold orators, who once in the meetings of the German
Burschenschaft so often claimed a hearing, who so often
overwhelmed me with their rhetorical talent, and spoke a
language spoken so oft before; they were then so forward
in noise-they are now so backward in silence. How they
then reviled the French and the foreign Babel, and the un-
German frivolous betrayers of the Fatherland, who praised
French-dom. That praise verified itself in the great week !
Ah, the great week of Paris! The spirit of freedom,
which was wafted thence over Germany, has certainly upset
the night-lamps here and there, so that the red curtains
of several thrones took fire, and golden crowns grew hot
under blazing night-caps ; but the old catch-polls, in whom
the royal police trusted, are already bringing out the fire-
buckets, and now scent around all the more suspiciously,
and forge all the more firmly their secret chains, and I
mark well that a still thicker prison vault is being invisibly
arched over the German people.







REISEBILDER.


Poor imprisoned people! be not cast down in your need.
Oh, that I could speak catapults I Oh, that I could
shoot falarica from my heart!
The distinguished ice-rind of reserve melts from my
heart, a strange sorrow steals over me-is it love, and love
for the German people Or is it sickness 2-my soul
quivers and my eyes burn, and that is an unfortunate
occurrence for a writer, who should command his material,
and remain charmingly objective, as the art school requires,
and as Goethe has done-he has grown to be eighty years
old in so doing, and a minister, and portly-poor German
people that is thy greatest man!
I still have a few octavo pages to fill, and I will there-
fore tell a story-it has been floating in my head since
yesterday-a story from the life of Charles the Fifth.* But
it is now a long time since I heard it, and I no longer re-
member its details exactly. Such things are easily for-
gotten, if one does not receive a regular salary for reading
them every half-year from his lecture books. But what
does it matter if places and dates are forgotten, so long as
one holds their significance, their moral meaning, in his
memory. It is this which stirs my soul and moves me even
to tears. I fear I am getting ill.
The poor emperor was taken prisoner by his enemies, and
lay in stern imprisonment. I believe it was in Tyrol.
There he sat in solitary sorrow, forsaken by all his knights
and courtiers, and no one came to his help. I know not if
he had even in those days that cheese-yellow complexion
with which Holbein painted him. But the misanthropic
under-lip certainly protruded, even more then than in his
portraits. He must have despised the people who fawned
In the French edition Heine rightly substituted The Emperor
Maximilian."







REISEBILDER.


around him in the sunshine of prosperity, and who left him
alone in his bitter need. Suddenly the prison door opened,
and there entered a man wrapped in a cloak, and as he
cast it aside, the emperor recognized his trusty Kunz von
der Rosen, the court-fool. One brought him consolation
and counsel-and it was the court-fool.
0, German Fatherland dear German people I am thy
Kunz von der Rosen. The man whose real office was pas-
time, and who should only make thee merry in happy days,
forces his way into thy prison, in time of need; here,
beneath my mantle, I bring thee thy strong sceptre and the
beautiful crown-dost thou not remember me, my emperor?
If I cannot free thee, I will at least console thee, and thou
shalt have some one by thee who will talk with thee about
thy most pressing oppressions, and will speak courage to
thee, and who loves thee, and whose best jokes and best
blood are ever at thy service. For thou, my people, art the
true emperor, the true lord of the land-thy will is
sovereign and more legitimate than that purple Tel est notre
plaisir, which grounds itself upon divine right, without any
better guarantee than the quackery of shaven jugglers-thy
will, my people, is the only righteous source of all power.
Even though thou liest down there in fetters, thy good
right will arise in the end, the day of freedom draws near,
a new time begins-my emperor, the night is over, and the
dawn shines outside.
"Kunz von der Rosen, my Fool, thou errest. Thou hast
perhaps mistaken a bright axe for the sun, and the dawn is
nothing but blood."
No, my Emperor, it is the sun, though it rises in the
west-for six thousand years men have always seen it rise
in the east-it is high time that it for once made a change
in its course."












-REISEBIIDE-R.


"Kunz von der Rosen, my Fool, thou hast lost the bells
from thy red cap, and it now has such a strange look, that
red cap!"
Ah, my Emperor, I have shaken my head. in such mad
earnest over your distress that the fool's bell fell from my
cap ; but it is none the worse for that "
Kunz von der Rosen, my Fool, what is that breaking
and cracking outside there 1"
Hush! it is the saw and the carpenter's axe ; the doors
of your prison will soon be broken in, and you will be free,
my Emperor! "
Am I then really Emperor ? Alas it is only the Fool
who tells me so "
"Oh, do not sigh, my dear lord, it is the air of the
dungeon which so dispirits you; when you have once
regained your power, you will feel the bold imperial blood
in your veins, and you will be proud as an emperor, and
arrogant, and gracious, and unjust, and smiling, and
ungrateful as princes are."
"Kunz von der Rosen, my Fool, when I am free again,
what wilt thou be doing "
I will sew new bells on my cap."
And how shall I reward thy fidelity 1."
Ah! dear master-do not let me be put to death i











ENGLISH FRAGMENTS.



[The English Fragments, from which three chapters have been selected
l'or this volume, were published in 1828 in a German magazine of
which Heine was one of the editors. They were collected and
published with important additions (including the following chapters)
in 1831. Mr. Leland's translation, revised throughout, has been
here used.]

LONDON.

I IAVE seen the greatest wonder which the world can show
to the astonished spirit; I have seen it, and am more
astonished then ever-and still there remains fixed in my
memory that stone forest of houses, and amid them the
rushing stream of faces, of living human faces, with all their
motley passions, all their terrible impulses of love, of hunger,
and of hate-I am speaking of London.
Send a philosopher to London, but no poet! Send a
philosopher there, and stand him at a corner of Cheapside,
he will learn more there than from all the books of the last
Leipzig fair ; and as the human waves 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-







LONDON.


then we may regard that that which leads from the
Exchange to Downing Street is the world's radial artery.
But send no poet to London This downright earnest-
ness of all things, this colossal uniformity, this machine-like
movement, this moroseness even in pleasure, this exagger-
ated London, smothers the imagination and rends the heart.
And should you ever send a German poet thither-a
dreamer, who stands staring at every single phenomenon,
even a ragged beggar-woman, or a shining jeweller's shop-
why, then he will find things going badly with him,
and he will be hustled about on every side, or even
be knocked over with a mild God damn/" God damn!
-the damned pushing! I soon saw that these people have
much to do. They live on a large 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 oc-
casionally in a vain-glorious mood they make ducks and
drakes of their guineas, pay other nations to fight for their
pleasure, give their respective kings a handsome douceur
into the bargain-and, therefore, John Bull must work day
and night to get the money for such expenses; 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 looking about much from the Docks to
the Exchange, and from the Exchange to the Strand, and,
therefore, it is quite pardonable if, when a poor German
poet, gazing into a print-shop window, stands in his way at
the corner of Cheapside, he should knock him aside with a
rather rough "God damn "
But the picture at which I was gazing as I stood at the
corner of Cheapside, was that of the passage of the French
across the Beresina.







LONDON


And when, jolted out of my gazing, I looked again
on the raging street, where a parti-coloured coil of men,
women, and children, horses, stage-coaches, 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 pedes-
trian, where every one who falls is lost forever ; where the
best friends rush, without feeling, over each other's corpses,
and where thousands, weak and bleeding, grasp in vain at
the planks of the bridge, and slide down into the ice-pit of
death.
How much more pleasant and homelike it is in our dear
Germany! How dreamily comfortable, how Sabbatically
quiet all things glide along here Calmly the sentinels
are changed, uniforms and houses shine in the quiet sun-
shine, swallows flit over the flag-stones, fat court-councillor-
esses 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 low-oh, how low !-when some small
aristocratic scamp or vice-scamp, with coloured ribbons on
his shabby coat, or some powdered and gilded court-marshal
struts by, graciously returning salutations !
I had made up my mind not to be astonished at that im-
mensity of London of which I had heard so much. But it
happened to me as to the poor school-boy, who had made up
his mind not to feel the whipping 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 thrashing on
an unusual place with a slender switch. I anticipated
great palaces, and saw nothing but mere small houses. But






LONDON.


their very uniformity and their limitless extent are
wonderfully impressive.
These houses of brick, owing to the damp atmosphere
and coal smoke, become uniform in colour, that is to say, of
a brown olive green; they are all of the same style of build-
ing, generally two or three windows wide, three storeys high,
and adorned above with small red tiles, which remind one
of newly-extracted bleeding teeth; so that the broad and
accurately-squared streets 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 names and 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 articles ex-
posed 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 tea kettle and every woman's dress, shines out so
invitingly and so finished ;" there is a peculiar charm in
the art of arrangement, in the contrast of colours, and in
the variety of the English shops ; even the most common-
place necessaries 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
361







LONDON.


so delightfully dressed that the rainbow gleam of their
scales attracts us ; raw meat lies, as if painted, on neat and
many-coloured porcelain plates, garlanded about with
parsley-yes, everything seems painted, reminding us of the
brilliant, yet modest pictures of Franz Mieris. Only the
people are not so cheerful as in the Dutch paintings; they
sell the most delightful playthings with the most serious
faces, and the cut and colour of their clothes is as uniform
as that of their houses.
At the opposite side of the town, which they call the
West End, where the more aristocratic and less-occupied
world lives, this uniformity is still more dominant ; yet
here there are very long and very broad streets, where all
the houses are large as palaces, though outwardly anything
but distinguished, unless we except the fact that in these,
as in all the better class of houses in London, the windows
of the first storey are adorned with iron-barred balconies,
and also on the ground floor there is a black railing pro-
tecting the entrance to certain cellar apartments buried in
the earth. 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 en-
closed by a black iron railing, and containing some statue
or other. In all of these squares and streets the eye is
never shocked by the dilapidated huts of misery. Every-
where 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 people, sees little or nothing of the misery
there. Only here and there, at the mouth of some dark
alley, stands a ragged woman with a suckling babe at her







LONDON.


wasted breast, and begs with her eyes. Perhaps if those
eyes are still beautiful, one glances into them and shrinks
back at the world of wretchedness within them. The com-
mon 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 with
her mates, Vice and Crime, glide forth from their lairs.
They shun daylight the more anxiously, the more cruelly
their wretchedness contrasts 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,
at all events, a mass of baser beings, whose joys and
sorrows have nothing in common with his feelings. Yes,
over the vulgar multitude which sticks fast to the soil, soar,
like beings of a higher nature, England's nobility, who
regard their little island as only a temporary resting-place,
Italy as their summer garden, Paris as their social saloon,
and the whole world as 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 agonising 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. /







WELLING TON.


Outlawed criminals often bear more humanity in their
hearts than those cold, blameless citizens of virtue, in whose
white hearts the power of evil is quenched; but also
the power of good. I have seen women on whose cheeks
red vice was painted, and in whose hearts dwelt heavenly
purity. I have seen women-I would I saw them
again!-



WELLINGTON.

THms man has the bad fortune to meet with good fortune
wherever the greatest men in the world were unfortunate,
and that angers us, and makes him hateful. We see in
him only the victory of stupidity over genius-Arthur
Wellington triumphant where Napoleon Bonaparte was
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 overwhelmed. It is possible
that he might have been loved had the wretched London-
derry been his predecessor in the ministry ; but he is the
successor of the noble Canning, of the much-wept, adored,
great Canning-and he conquers where Canning was over
whelmed. Without so unlucky a luck, 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 is







WEL LING TON


measured, and consequently it would never have been
discovered how small a man he is.
He is a small man, and less than small. 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, however, when I honourably confess that I
once clapped on all sail in praise of this hero. It is a good
story, and I will tell it here.
My barber in London was a radical named Mr. White,
a poor little man in a shabby black dress, worn until it
almost shone white; he was so lean that even his full face
looked like a profile, and the sighs in his bosom were visible
before they rose. These sighs were caused by the mis-
fortunes of Old England, and by the impossibility of paying
the National Debt.
Ah !" I often heard him sigh, "why need the English
people trouble themselves as to who reigns in France, and
what the French are doing at home'? But the nobility, sir,
and the 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 Church
may be quite sure that none of them will come flying over
the Channel; and now the nobility and the Church ought
to pay for the debts which were made for their own good,
and not for any good of the poor people. Ah!-the poor
people! "







WELLINGTON


Whenever Mr. White came to the poor people," he
always sighed more deeply than ever, and the refrain then
was, that bread and beer 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 muttered 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 just at my neck, burst out against Wellington,
murmuring all the while, "If I only had him so 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 way at North Cray, in Kent-
God damn him !"
I felt already that the man's hand trembled, and fear-
ing lest he might imagine in his excitement that I really
was the Duke of Wellington, I endeavoured to allay his
violence, and in an underhanded 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
-but the Lord only knows what fine things I said of
Wellington as that razor tickled my throat.
What vexes me most is the reflection that Arthur Welling-
ton will be as immortal as Napoleon Bonaparte. It is true
that in like manner the name of Pontius Pilate is as little
likely to be forgotten as that of Christ. Wellington and
Napoleon! It is a wonderful phenomenon that the human







WELLINGTON.


mind can at the same time think of both these names.
There can be no greater contrast than these two, even in
their external appearance. Wellington, the dull ghost,
with an ashy grey soul in a buckram body, a wooden smile
on his freezing face-and by the side one thinks of the
figure of Napoleon, every inch a god !
That figure never disappears from my memory. I still
see him, high on his horse, with eternal eyes in his marble,
imperial face, gazing down 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
consciously serious, so proud in death-

Te, Cmsar, morituri salutant "
There often steals over me a secret doubt whether I ever
really saw him, if we were really his 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, as antique
and heroic as those of Alexander and Caesar. It has
become a rallying word among races, and when the East
and the West meet, they fraternise through that single
name.
How significant and magical that name can sound I
once felt in the deepest manner in the harbour of London,
at the India Docks, as I stood on board an East Indiaman
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 expres-
sions, the strange gestures, the wild and foreign ring of
their language, their shouts of joy and their laughter, and
the seriousness ever rising and falling on certain soft,







I WELLINGTON.


yellow faces, their eyes like black flowers which looked at
me as with melancholy woe-all this awoke in me a feeling
like that of enchantment; I was suddenly as if transported
into Scheherezade's story, and I thought that broad-leaved
palms, and long-necked camels, and gold-covered elephants,
and other fable-like 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 genuine English narrowness, narrate to me enough of
what a ridiculous race they were, nearly all Mahometans
collected from every land of Asia, from the limits of China
to the Arabian sea, even jet black, woolly-haired Africans.
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 chang-
ingly before my eyes was a refreshing solace, my heart
enjoyed at least a few drops of that draught which I had
so often longed for in gloomy Hanoverian or Prussian winter
nights, and it is very possible that the foreigners saw 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 depths of their eyes that I pleased them
well, and they would also have willingly said something
pleasant to me, and it was a vexation that neither under-
stood 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 reverently, as if in
loving greeting, I cried the name, "Mahomed!" Joy
suddenly flashed over the dark faces of the foreigners;
they folded their arms reverently in turn, and greeted me
back with the exclamation, Bonaparte "







THE LIBERAL TIONA


THE LIBERATION.

SHOULD the time for leisurely research ever return to me, I
will prove in the most tiresomely fundamental manner that
it was not India, but Egypt which originated that system
of castes which has for two thousand years disguised itself
in the garb of every country, and has deceived every age
in its own language, which is now perhaps dead, yet which,
counterfeiting the appearance of life, wanders about among
us evil-eyed and mischief-making, poisoning our blooming
life with its corpse vapour-yes, like a vampire of
the Middle Ages, sucking the blood and the light from
the heart of nations. From the mud of the Nile sprang
not merely crocodiles which well could weep, but also
priests who understand it far better, and that privileged
hereditary race of warriors, who in their lust of murder and
ravenous appetites far surpass any crocodiles.
Two deeply-thinking men of the German nation discovered
the soundest counter-charm to the worst of all Egyptian
plagues, and by the black art-by gunpowder and the art
of printing-they broke the force of that spiritual and
worldly hierarchy which had formed itself from the union
of the priesthood and the warrior caste-that is to say, from
the so-called Catholic Church, and from the feudal nobility,
which enslaved all Europe, body and spirit. The print-
ing-press burst asunder the dogma-structure inwhich the arch-
priest of Rome had imprisoned souls, and Northern Europe
again breathed free, delivered from the nightmare of that
clergy which had indeed abandoned the form of Egyptian
inheritance of rank, but which remained all the truer to
the Egyptian priestly spirit, since it presented itself, with
greater sternness and asperity, as a corporation of old







THE LIBERATION


bachelors, continued not by natural propagation, but un-
naturally by a Mameluke system of recruiting. In like
manner we see how the warlike caste has lost its power
since the old routine of the business is worth nothing in the
modern methods of war. For the strongest castles are now
thrown down by the trumpet-tones of the cannon as of old
the walls of Jericho; the iron harness of the knight is no
better protection against the leaden rain than the linen blouse
of the peasant; powder makes men equal; a citizen's
musket goes off just as well as a nobleman's-the people rise,
The earlier efforts of which we read in the history of the
Lombard and Tuscan republics, of the Spanish communes,
and of the free cities in Germany and other countries, do
not deserve the honour of being classed as movements on
the part of the people; they were not efforts to attain
liberty, but merely liberties; not battles for right, but for
municipal rights; corporations fought for privileges, and all
remained fixed in the bonds of gilds and trades unions.
Not until the days of the Reformation did the battle
assume general and spiritual proportions, and then liberty
was demanded, not as an imported, but as an aboriginal
right; not as inherited, but as inborn. Principles were
brought forward instead of old parchments; and the
peasants in Germany, and the Puritans in England, fell
back on the gospel whose texts then were of as high
authority as the reason, even higher, since they were
regarded as the revealed reason of God. There it stood
legibly written that men are of equal birth, that the pride
which exalts itself will be damned, that wealth is a sin, and
that the poor are summoned to enjoyment in the beautiful
garden of God, the common Father.
With the Bible in one hand and the sword in the other,
the peasants swept over South Germany, and announced to







THE LIBERATION.


the insolent burghers of high-towered Nuremberg, that in
future no house should be left standing which was not a
peasant's house. So truly and so deeply had they com-
prehended equality. Even at the present day in Franconia
and in Suabia we see traces of this doctrine of equality,
and a shuddering reverence of the Holy Spirit creeps over
the wanderer when he sees in the moonshine the dark
ruins of the days of the Peasant's War. It is well for him,
who, in sober, waking mood, sees naught besides; but if one
is a "Sunday child "-and every one familiar with history
is that-he will also see the high hunt in which the German
nobility, the rudest and sternest in the world, pursued their
victims. He will see how unarmed men were slaughtered
by thousands: racked, speared, and martyred; and from
the waving corn-fields one will see the bloody peasant-heads
nodding mysteriously, and above one hears a terrible lark
whistling, piping revenge, like the Piper of Helfenstein.
The brothers in England and Scotland were rather more
fortunate; their defeat was not so disgraceful and so un-
productive, and even now we see there the results of
their rule. But they did not obtain a firm foundation for
their principles, the dainty cavaliers ruled again just as
before, and amused themselves with merry tales of the stiff
old Roundheads, which a friendly bard had written so
prettily to entertain their leisure hours. No social over-
throw took place in Great Britain, the framework of civil
and political institutions remained undisturbed, the tyranny
of castes and of corporations has remained there till the
present day, and though drunken with the light and
warmth of modern civilisation, England is still congealed
in a medioival condition, or rather in the condition of
a fashionable Middle Age. The concessions which have
there been made to liberal ideas, have been with difficulty







THE LIBERATION.


wrested from this medieval rigidity, and all modern im-
provements have there proceeded, not from a principle, but
from actual necessity, and they all bear the curse of that
halfness system which inevitably makes necessary new
exertion and new conflicts to the death, with all their
attendant dangers. The religious reformation in England
is consequently but half completed, and one finds himself
much worse off between the four bare prison walls of the
Episcopal Anglican Church than in the large, beauti-
fully-painted, and softly-cushioned spiritual dungeon of
Catholicism. Nor has the political reformation succeeded
much better; popular representation is in England as
faulty as possible, and if ranks are no longer distinguished
by their coats, they are at least divided by differences in
legal standing, patronage, rights of court presentation,
prerogatives, customary privileges, and similar misfortunes;
and if the rights of person and property depend no longer
upon aristocratic caprice, but upon laws, still these laws
are nothing but another sort of teeth with which the
aristocratic brood seizes its prey, and another sort of
daggers wherewith it assassinates people. For in reality,
no tyrant upon the Continent squeezes, by his own
arbitrary will, so many taxes out of his subjects as the
English people are obliged to pay by law; and no tyrant
was ever so cruel as England's Criminal Law, which daily
commits murder for the amount of one shilling, and that
with the coldest formality. Although many improvements
have recently been made in this melancholy state of affairs
in England ; although limits have been placed to temporal
and clerical avarice, and though the great falsehood of a
popular representation is, to a certain degree, occasional
modified by transferring the perverted electoral voice of a
rotten borough to a great manufacturing town; and







TJE LIBERAL [TION


although the harshest intolerance is here and there softened
by giving certain rights to other sects, still it is all a
miserable patching up which cannot last long, and the
stupidest tailor in England can foresee that, sooner or
later, the old garment of state will be rent asunder into
wretched rags.
No man seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment;
else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the
old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new
wine into old bottles; else the new wine doth burst the
bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be
marred ; but new wine must be put into new bottles."
The deepest truth blooms only out of the deepest love,
and hence comes the harmony of the views of the elder
Preacher in the Mount, who spoke against the aristocracy
of Jerusalem ; and those later preachers of the mountain,
who, from the summit of the Convention in Paris, preached
a tri-coloured gospel, according to which, not merely the
form of the State, but all social life should be, not patched,
but formed anew, newly founded ; yes, born again.
I speak of the French Revolution, that epoch of the
w orld in which the doctrines of freedom and of equality rose
so triumphantly from those universal sources of knowledge
which we call reason, and which must, as an unceasing
revelation which repeats itself in every human head, and
founds a distinct branch of knowledge, be far preferable to
that transmitted revelation which makes itself known only
in a few elect, and which, by the multitude, can only be
I lived. The privileged aristocracy, the caste-system with
their peculiar rights, were never able to combat this last-
mentioned sort of revelation (which is itself of an aristo-
cratic nature) so safely and surely as reason, which is
democratic by nature, now does. The history of the







THE LIBERAL TION.


Revolution is the military history of this strife, in which we
have all taken a greater or lesser part; it is the death-
struggle with Egyptianism.
Though the swords of the enemies grow duller day by
day, and though we have already conquered the best
positions, still we cannot raise the song of victory until the
work is perfected. We can only during the night, when
there are armistices, go forth with the lantern on the field
of death to bury the dead. Little avails the short burial
service! Calumny, the vile insolent spectre, sits upon the
noblest graves.
Oh, that the battle were only with those hereditary foes
of truth who so treacherously poison the good name of their
enemies, and who even humiliated that first Preacher of
the Mount, the purest hero of freedom; for as they could
no longer deny that he was the greatest of men, they made
of him the least of gods. He who fights with priests may
make up his mind to have his poor good name torn and
befouled by the most infamous lies and the most cutting
slanders. But as those flags which are most rent by shot,
or blackened by powder-smoke, are more highly honoured
than the whitest and soundest recruiting banners, and as
they are at last laid up as national relics in cathedrals, so
at some future day the names of our heroes, the more they
are torn and blackened, will be all the more enthusiastically
honoured in the holy St. Genvibve of Freedom.
The Revolution itself has been slandered, like its heroes,
and represented as a terror to princes, and as a popular
scare-crow, in libels of every description. All the so-called
"horrors of the Revolution" have been learned by heart
by children in the schools, and at one time nothing was seen
in the public fairs but harshly-coloured pictures of the
guillotine. It cannot be denied that this machine, which







THE LIBERATION.


was invented by a French physician, a great world
orthopedist, Monsieur Guillotin, and with which stupid
heads are easily separated from evil hearts, this wholesome
machine has indeed been applied rather frequently, but still
only in incurable diseases, in such cases, for example, as
treachery, falsehood, and weakness, and the patients were
not long tortured, not racked and broken on the wheel as
thousands upon thousands of roturiers and vilains, citizens
and peasants were tortured, racked, and broken on the
wheel in the good old time. It is, of course, terrible that
the French, with this machine, once even amputated the
head of their State, and no one knows whether they ought
to be accused, on that account, of parricide or of suicide;
but on more thorough reflection, we find that Louis of
France was less a sacrifice to passion than to circumstances,
and that those men who forced the people on to such a
sacrifice, and who have themselves, in every age, poured
forth princely blood far more abundantly, should not
appear solely as accusers. Only two kings, both of them
rather kings of the nobility than of the people, were sacri-
ficed by the people, and that not in a time of peace, or to
subserve petty interests, but in the extremest needs of war,
when they saw themselves betrayed, and when they least
spared their own blood. But certainly more than a
thousand princes were treacherously slain, on account of
avarice or frivolous interests, by the dagger, by the sword,
and by the poison of nobility and priests. It really seems
as though these castes regarded regicide as one of their
privileges, and therefore bewail the more selfishly the death
of Louis the XVI. and of Charles I. Oh that kings at
last would perceive that they could live more safely as
kings of the people, and protected by the law, than under
the guard of their noble body-murderers.







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But not only have the heroes of our revolution and the
revolution itself been slandered, but even our entire age
has been parodied with unheard-of wickedness; and if one
hears or reads our vile traducers and corners, then he will
learn that the people are the canaille-the vile mob-that
freedom is insolence, and with heaven-bent eyes and pious
sighs, our enemies complain and bewail that we were
frivolous and had, alas no religion. Hypocritical, sneak-
ing souls, who creep about bent down beneath the burden
of their secret vices, dare to vilify an age which is, perhaps,
holier than any of its predecessors or successors, an age
that sacrifices itself for the sins of the past and for the
happiness of the future, a Messiah among centuries, which
could hardly endure its bloody crown of thorns and heavy
cross, did it not now and then trill a merry vaudeville, and
crack a joke at the modern Pharisees and Sadducees. Its
colossal pains would be intolerable without such jesting and
persiflage Seriousness shows itself more majestically
when laughter leads the way. And the age in this shows
itself exactly like its children among the French, who have
written very terribly wanton books, and yet have been
very strong and serious when strength and seriousness were
necessary, as, for instance, Laclos, and even Louvet de
Couvray, who both fought for freedom with the self-sacrifice
and boldness of martyrs, and yet who wrote in a very
frivolous and indecent way, and, alas had no religion !
As if freedom were not as good a religion as any other !
And since it is ours, we may, meeting with the same
measure, declare its contemners to be themselves frivolous
and irreligious.
Yes, I repeat the words with which I began these pages
freedom is a new religion, the religion of our age. If
Christ is not the God of this religion, he is still one of its






JAN STEEN. 65

high-priests, and his name shines consolingly in the hearts
of its children. But the French are the chosen people of
the new religion, the first gospels and dogmas were penned
in their language. Paris is the New Jerusalem, and the
Rhine is the Jordan which separates the land of Freedom
from the land of the Philistines.



JAN STEEN.
[This fragment-newly translated-is taken from the Memoirn des
Herrn von Schnabelwol)ski, which was written in 1831, and published
in 1834, in the first volume of the Salon. The Memoirs of Schnabel-
wopski consist simply of the hero's light sketches of Hamburg,
Amsterdam, and Leyden, and his experiences in those towns; they
have generally excited the anger of Heine's German critics and
biographers, who appear to detect a tone of irreverent levity about
them, which they attribute to Parisian influences. Wagner obtained
the story of his Flying Dutchman from a chapter of Schnabelwopski's
Mlcmoirs. ]
IN the house I lodged at in Leyden there once lived Jan
Steen, the great Jan Steen, whom I hold to be as great as
Raphael. Even as a sacred painter Jan was as great, and
that will be clearly seen when the religion of sorrow has
passed away, and the religion of joy has torn off the thick
veil that covers the rose-bushes of the earth, and the
nightingales dare at last to sing joyously out their long-
concealed raptures.
But no nightingale will ever sing so joyously as Jan
Steen painted. No one has understood so profoundly as
lihe that there shall be an eternal festival on the earth ; he
comprehended that our life is only the pictured kiss of God,
and he felt that the Holy Ghost is revealed most gloriously
in light and in laughter.







JAN STEEN.


His eye laughed into the light, and the light mirrored
itself in his laughing eye. And Jan remained always a
dear, good child. The stern old Pastor of Leyden sat near
him by the hearth, and delivered a lengthy discourse con-
cerning his jovial life, his laughing, unchristian conduct, his
love of drinking, his disorderly domestic affairs, his obdurate
gaiety ; and Jan listened quietly for two long hours, and
betrayed not the slightest impatience at the lengthy sermon;
only once he broke in with the words-" Yes, Domine,
that light is far better; yes, Domine, I beg of you to draw
your stool a little nearer to the fire, so that the flame may
cast its red gleam over your whole face, and leave the rest
of the figure in shade--"
The Domine stood up wrathful and departed. But Jan
seized his palate and painted the stern old man, just as in
that sermon on vice he had unconsciously furnished a
model. The picture is excellent, and hung in my bed-room
at Leyden.
Now that I have seen so many of Jan Steen's pictures in
Holland, I seem to know the whole life of the man.
I know all his relations, his wife, his children, his mother,
all his cousins, his enemies, his various connections-yes, I
know them all by sight. These faces greet us out of all
his pictures, and a collection of them would be a biography
of the painter. He has often with a single stroke revealed
the deepest secrets of his soul. As I think, his wife re-
proached him far too often about drinking too much. For
in the picture which represents the bean-feast, where Jan
and his family are sitting at table, we see his wife with a
large jug of wine in her hand, and eyes beaming like a
Bacchante's. I am convinced, however, that the good
lady never indulged in too much wine ; only the rogue
wanted us to believe that it was his wife, and not he, who













JAN STEEN. 67

was too fond of drinking. That is why he laughs so
joyously out of the picture. He is happy; he sits in the
midst of his family ; his little son is bean-king, and, with
his tinsel crown, stands upon a stool ; his old mother, with
the happiest smirk of satisfaction in the wrinkles of her
countenance, carries the youngest grandchild upon her
arm ; the musicians play their maddest dance melodies;
and the frugal, sulky housewife is painted in, an object of
suspicion to all posterity, as though she were inebriated.
How often, during my stay at Leyden, did I think myself
back for whole hours into the household scenes in which
the excellent Jan must have lived and suffered. Many a
time I thought I saw him bodily, sitting at his easel, now
and then grasping the great jug, "reflecting and therewith
drinking, and then again drinking without reflecting." It
was no gloomy Catholic spectre that I saw, but a modern
bright spirit of joy, who after death still visited his old
wook-room to paint merry pictures and to drink. Only such
ghosts will our children sometimes see, in the light of day,
while the sun shines through the windows, and from the spire
no black, hollow bells, but red, exulting trumpet tones.
nunnounce the pleasant hour of noon.












THE ROMANTIC SCHOOL.




[The Romantic School, one of Heine's chief works, of which the most
interesting portions are here given, was published in 1833. It was
first written in French, as a counterblast to Madame de Stael's De
I'Allemagne, forming a series of articles in the Europe Litteraire. Not-
withstanding many errors of detail, and some occasional injustice, it
remains by far the best account of the most important aspect of
German literature. Indirectly Heine wished to lay down the pro-
gramme of the future, for he regarded himself as the last of the
Romantic poets, and the inaugurator of a new school. The following
translation is Mr. Fleishman's ; it has been carefully revised.]


MADAME de Stael's work, De l'Allemagne, is the only com-
prehensive account of the intellectual life of Germany
which has been accessible to the French ; and yet since her
book appeared a considerable period has elapsed, and an
entirely new school of literature has arisen in Germany.
Is it only a transitional literature ? Has it already reached
its zenith ? Has it already begun to decline ? Opinions
are divided concerning it. The majority believe that with
the death of Goethe a new literary era begins in Germany;
that with him the old Germany also descended to its grave;
that the aristocratic period of literature was ended, and the
democratic just beginning ; or, as a French journal recently







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phrased it, "The intellectual dominion of the individual
has ceased,-the intellectual rule of the many has
commenced."
So far as I am concerned, I do not venture to pass so
decided an opinion as to the future evolutions of German
intellect. I had already prophesied many years in advance
the end of the Goethean art-period, by which name I was
the first to designate that era. I could safely venture the
prophecy, for I knew very well the ways and the means of
those malcontents who sought to overthrow the Goethean
art-empire, and it is even claimed that I took part in those
seditious outbreaks against Goethe. Now that Goethe is
dead, the thought of it fills me with an overpowering
sorrow.
While I announce this book as a sequel to Madame de
Stael's De l'Allemagne, and extol her work very highly as
being replete with information, I must yet recommend a
certain caution in the acceptance of the views enunciated
in that book, which I am compelled to characterise as a
coterie-book. Madame de Stael, of glorious memory,
here opened, in the form of a book, a salon in which she
received German authors and gave them an opportunity to
make themselves known to the civilised world of Fra'nce.
But above the din of the most diverse voices, confusedly
discoursing therein, the most audible is the delicate treble
of Herr A. W. Schlegel. Where the large-hearted woman
is wholly herself,-where she is uninfluenced by others,
and expresses the thoughts of her own radiant soul, dis-
playing all her intellectual fireworks and brilliant follies,-
there the book is good, even excellent. But as soon as she
yields to foreign influences, as soon as she begins to glorify
a school whose spirit is wholly unfamiliar and incompre-
hensible to her, as soon as through the commendation of







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this school she furthers certain Ultramontane tendencies
which are in direct opposition to her own Protestant
clearness, just so soon her book becomes wretched and
unenjoyable. To this unconscious partisanship she adds
the evident purpose, through praise of the intellectual
activity, the idealism, of Germany, to rebuke the realism
then existing among the French, and the materialistic
splendours of the Empire. Her book De l'Allemagne re-
sembles in this respect the Germania of Tacitus, who per-
haps likewise designed his eulogy of the Germans as an
indirect satire against his countrymen. In referring to the
school which Madame de Steal glorified, and whose
tendencies she furthered, I mean the Romantic School.
That this was in Germany something quite different from
that which was designated by the same name in France,
that its tendencies were totally diverse from those of the
French Romanticists, will be made clear in the following
pages.
But what was the Romantic School in Germiny 1
It was nothing else than the reawakening of the poetry
of the middle ages as it manifested itself in the poems,
paintings, and sculptures, in the art and life of those
times. This poetry, however, had been developed out of
Christianity; it was a passion flower which had blossomed
from the blood of Christ. I know not if the melancholy
flower which in Germany we call the passion-flower is
known by the same name in France, and if the popular
tradition has ascribed to it the same mystical origin. It is
that motley-hued, melancholic flower in whose calyx one
may behold a counterfeit presentment of the tools used at
the crucifixion of Christ-namely, hammer, pincers, and
nails. This flower is by no means unsightly, but only
spectral: its aspect fills our souls with a dread pleasure,







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like those convulsive, sweet emotions that arise from grief.
In this respect the passion-flower would be the fittest
symbol of Christianity itself, whose most awe-inspiring
charm consists in the voluptuousness of piin.
Although in France Christianity and Roman Catholicism
are synonymous terms, yet I desire to emphasise the fact,
that I here refer to the latter only. I refer to that
religion whose earliest dogmas contained a condemnation
of all flesh, and not only admitted the supremacy of the
spirit over the flesh, but sought to mortify the latter in
order thereby to glorify the former. I refer to that
religion through whose unnatural mission vice and
hypocrisy came into the world, for through the odium
which it cast on the flesh the most innocent gratification of
the senses were accounted sins ; and, as it was impossible
to be entirely spiritual, the growth of hypocrisy was
inevitable. I refer to that religion which, by teaching the
renunciation of all earthly pleasures, and by inculcating
abject humility and angelic patience, became the most
efficacious support of despotism. Men now recognize the
nature of that religion, and will no longer be put off
with promises of a Heaven hereafter ; they know that
the material world has also its good, and is not wholly
given over to Satan, and now they vindicate the
pleasures of the world, this beautiful garden of the gods,
our inalienable heritage. Just because we now compre-
hend so fully all the consequences of that absolute
spirituality, we are warranted in believing that the
Christian-Catholic theories of the universe are at an end;
for every epoch is a sphinx which plunges into the abyss
as soon as its problem is solved.
We by no means deny the benefits which the Christian-
Catholic theories effected in Europe. They were needed







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as a wholesome reaction against the terrible colossal
materialism which was developed in the Roman Empire,
and threatened the annihilation of all the intellectual
grandeur of mankind. Just as the licentious memoirs of
the last century form the pieces justificatives of the French
Revolution; just as the reign of terror seems a necessary
medicine when one is familiar with the confessions of the
French nobility since the regency ; so the wholesomeness
of ascetic spirituality becomes manifest when we read
Petronius or Apuleius, books which may be considered as
pieces justificatives of Christianity. The flesh had become
so insolent in this Roman world that Christian discipline
was needed to chasten it. After the banquet of a
Trimalkion, a hunger-cure, such as Christianity, was
required.
Or did, perhaps, the hoary sensualists seek by scourgings
to stimulate the cloyed flesh to renewed capacity for enjoy-
ment? Did aging Rome submit to monkish flagellations
in order to discover exquisite pleasure in torture itself,
voluptuous bliss in pain ?
Unfortunate excess! it robbed the Roman body-politic
of its last energies. Rome was not destroyed by the
division into two empires. On the Bosphorus as on the
Tiber, Rome was eaten up by the same Judaic spiritualism,
and in both Roman history became the record of a slow
dying-away, a death agony that lasted for centuries. Did
perhaps murdered Judea, by bequeathing its spiritualism to
the Romans, seek to avenge itself on the victorious foe, as
did the dying centaur, who so cunningly wheedled the son
of Jupiter into wearing the deadly vestment poisoned with
his own blood 7 In truth, Rome, the Hercules among
nations, was so effectually consumed by the Judaic poison
that helm and armour fell from its decaying limbs, and its







THE ROMANTIC SCHOOL.


imperious battle tones degenerated into the prayers of
snivelling priests and the trilling of eunuchs.
But that which enfeebles the aged strengthens the young.
That spiritualism had a wholesome effect on the over-robust
races of the north ; the ruddy barbarians became spirit-
ualised through Christianity; European civilisation began.
This is a praiseworthy and sacred phase of Christianity.
The Catholic Church earned in this regard the highest title
to our respect and admiration. Through grand, genial
institutions it controlled the bestiality of the barbarian
hordes of the North, and tamed their brutal materialism.
The works of art in the middle ages give evidence of this
mastery of matter by the spirit; and that is often their
whole purpose. The epic poems of that time may be easily
classified according to the degree in which they show that
mastery. Of lyric and dramatic poems nothing is here to
be said ; for the latter do not exist, and the former are
comparatively as much alike in all ages as are the songs of
the nightingales in each succeeding spring.
Although the epic poetry of the middle ages was divided
into sacred and secular, yet both classes were purely
Christian in their nature ; for if the sacred poetry related
exclusively to the Jewish people and its history, which
alone was considered sacred ; if its themes were the heroes
of the Old and the New Testaments, and their legends-in
brief, the Church-still all the Christian views and aims of
that period were mirrored in the secular poetry. The
flower of the German sacred poetry of the middle ages is,
perhaps, Barlaam and Josaphat, a poem in which the
dogma of self-denial, of continence, of renunciation, of the
scorn of all worldly pleasures, is most consistently expressed.
Next in order of merit I would rank Lobgesang auf den
Heiligen Anno, but the latter poem already evinces a







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marked tendency towards secular themes. It differs in
general from the former somewhat as a Byzantine image
of a saint differs from an old German representation. Just
as in these Byzantine pictures, so also do we find in
Barlaam and Josaphat the greatest simplicity; there is no
perspective, and the long, lean, statue-like forms, and the
grave, ideal countenances, stand severely outlined, as
though in bold relief against a background of pale gold.
In the Lobgesang auf den Heiligen Anno, as in the old
German pictures, the accessories seem almost more pro-
minent than the subject; and, notwithstanding the bold
outlines, every detail is most minutely executed, and one
knows not which to admire most, the giant-like conception
or the dwarf-like patience of execution. Ottfried's Evan-
qeliengedicht, which is generally praised as the masterpiece
of this sacred poetry, is far inferior to both of these
poems.
In the secular poetry we find, as intimated above, first,
the cycle of legends called the Nibelungenlied, and the Book
of Heroes. In these poems all the ante-Christian modes of
thought and feelings are dominant; brute force is not yet
moderated- into chivalry ; the sturdy warriors of the North
stand like statues of stone, and the soft light and moral
atmosphere of Christianity have not yet penetrated their
iron armour. But dawn is gradually breaking over the old
German forests, the ancient Druid oaks are being felled,
and in the open arena Christianity and Paganism are
battling: all this is portrayed in the cycle of traditions of
Charlemagne; even the Crusades with their religious
tendencies are mirrored therein. But now from this
Christianised, spiritualised brute force is developed the
peculiar feature of the middle ages, chivalry, which finally
becomes exalted into a religious knighthood. The earlier







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knightood is most felicitously portrayed in the legends of
King Arthur, which are full of the most charming gallantry,
the most finished courtesy, and the most daring bravery.
From the midst of the pleasing, though bizarre, arabesques,
and the fantastic, flowery mazes of these tales, we are
greeted by the gentle Gawain, the worthy Lancelot of the
Lake, by the valiant, gallant, and honest, but somewhat
tedious, Wigalois. By the side of this cycle of legends we
find the kindred and connected legends of the Holy Grail,
in which the religious knighthood is glorified, and in which
are to be found the three grandest poems of the middle
ages, Titurel, Parcival, and Lohengrin. In these poems
we stand face to face, as it were, with the muse of romantic
poetry ; we look deep into her large, sad eyes, and ere we
are aware she has ensnared us in her network of scholasti-
cism, and drawn us down into the weird depths of medinvai
mysticism. But further on in this period we find poems
which do not unconditionally bow down to Christian spirit-
uality; poems in which it is even attacked, and in which
the poet, breaking loose from the fetters of an abstract
Christian morality, complacently plunges into the delight-
ful realm of glorious sensuousness. Nor is it an inferior
poet who has left us Tristan and Isolde, the masterpiece of
this class. Verily, I must confess that Gottfried von
Strasburg, the author of this, the most exquisite poem of
the middle ages, is perhaps also the loftiest poet of that
period. He surpasses even the grandeur of Wolfram von
Eschilbach, whose Parcival, and fragments of Titurel, are
so much admired. At present, it is perhaps permissible to
praise Meister Gottfried without stint, but in his own time
his book and similar poems, to which even Lancelot
belonged, were considered Godless and dangerous.
Francesca da Polenta and her handsome friend paid dearly







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for reading together such a book;-the greater danger, it is
true, lay in the fact that they suddenly stopped reading.
All the poetry of the middle ages has a certain definite
character, through which it differs from the poetry of the
Greeks and Romans. In reference to this difference the
former is called Romantic, the latter Classic. These names,
however, are misleading, and have hitherto caused the most
vexatious confusion, which is even increased when we call
the antique poetry plastic as well as classic. In this,
particularly, lay the germ of misunderstandings ; for artists
ought always to treat their subject-matter plastically.
Whether it be Christian or pagan, the subject ought to be
portrayed in clear contours. In short, plastic configuration
should be the main requisite in the modern romantic as
well as in antique art. And, in fact, are not the figures
in Dante's Divine Comedy or in the paintings of Raphael
just as plastic as those in Virgil or on the walls of
Herculaneum ?
The difference consists in this,-that the plastic figures
in antique art are identical with the thing represented, with
the idea which the artist seeks to communicate. Thus, for
example, the wanderings of the Odyssey mean nothing elso
than the wanderings of the man who was a son of Laertes
and the husband of Penelope, and was called Ulysses.
Thus, again, the Bacchus which is to be seen in the Louvre
is nothing more than the charming son of Semele, with a
daring melancholy look in his eyes, and an inspired volup-
tuousness on the soft arched lips. It is otherwise in
romantic art: here the wanderings of a knight have an
esoteric signification; they typify, perhaps, the mazes of life
in general. The dragon that is vanquished is sin; the
almond-tree, that from afar so encouragingly wafts its
fragrance to the hero, is the Trinity, the God-Father, God-







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Son, and God-Holy-Ghost, who together constitute one,
just as shell, fibre, and kernel together constitute the
almond. When Homer describes the armour of a hero, it
is naught else than a good armour, which is worth so many
oxen ; but when a monk of the middle ages describes in his
poem the garments of the Mother of God, you may depend
upon it, that by each fold of those garments he typifies
some special virtue, and that a peculiar meaning lies hidden
in the sacred robes of the immaculate Virgin Mary; as her
Son is the kernel of the almond, she is quite appropriately
described in the poem as an almond-blossom. Such is the
character of that poesy of the middle ages which we
designate romantic.
Classic art had to portray only the finite, and its forms
could be identical with the artist's idea. Romantic art had
to represent, or rather to typify, the infinite and the
spiritual, and therefore was compelled to have recourse to
a system of traditional, or rather parabolic, symbols, just
as Christ himself had endeavoured to explain and make
clear his spiritual meaning through beautiful parables.
Hence the mystic, enigmatical, miraculous, and transcen-
dental character of the art-productions of the middle ages.
Fancy strives frantically to portray through concrete
images that which is purely spiritual, and in the vain
endeavour invents the most colossal absurdities; it piles
Ossa on Pelion, Parcival on Titurel, to reach heaven.
Similar monstrous abortions of imagination have been
produced by the Scandinavians, the Hindoos, and the other
races which likewise strive through poetry to represent the
infinite ; among them also do we find poems which may be
regarded as romantic.
Concerning the music of the middle ages little can be
said. All records are wanting. It was not until late in







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the sixteenth century that the masterpieces of Catholic
Church music came into existence, and, of their kind, they
cannot be too highly prized, for they are the purest
expression of Christian spirituality. The recitative arts,
being spiritual in their nature, quite appropriately flourished
in Christendom, But this religion was less propitious for
the plastic arts, for as the latter were to represent the
victory of spirit over matter, and were nevertheless com-
pelled to use matter as a means to carry out this repre-
sentation, they had to accomplish an unnatural task.
Hence sculpture and painting abounded with such revolt-
ing subjects as martyrdoms, crucifixions, dying saints, and
physical sufferings in general. The treatment of such
subjects must have been torture for the artists themselves;
and when I look at those distorted images, with pious heads
awry, long, thin arms, meagre legs, and graceless drapery,
which are intended to represent Christian abstinence and
ethereality, I am filled with an unspeakable compassion for
the artists of that period. It is true the painters were
somewhat more favoured, for colour, the material of their
representation, in its intangibility, in its varied lights and
shades, was not so completely at variance with spirituality
as the material of the sculptors. But even they, the
painters, were compelled to disfigure the patient canvas
with the most revolting representations of physical suffer-
ing. In truth, when we view certain picture galleries,
and behold nothing but scenes of blood, scourgings,
and executions, we are fain to believe that the old masters
painted these pictures for the gallery of an executioner.
But human genius can transfigure deformity itself, and
many painters succeeded in accomplishing the unnatural
task beautifully and sublimely. The Italians, in particular,
glorified beauty,-it is true, somewhat at the expense of







TIE ROMANTIC SCHOOL.


spirituality,-and raised themselves aloft to an ideality
which reached its perfection in the many representations of
the Madonna. Where it concerned the Madonna, the
Catholic clergy always made some concessions to sensuality.
This image of an immaculate beauty, transfigured by
motherly love and sorrow, was privileged to receive the
homage of poet and painter, and to be decked with all the
charms that could allure the senses. For this image was a
magnet, which was to draw the great masses into the pale
of Christianity. Madonna Maria was the pretty dame du
comptoir of the Catholic Church, whose customers, especially
the barbarians of the North, she attracted and held fast by
her celestial smiles.
During the middle ages architecture was of the same
character as the other arts ; for, indeed, at that period all
manifestations of life harmonised most wonderfully. In
architecture, as in poetry, this parabolising tendency was
evident. Now, when we enter an old cathedral, we have
scarcely a hint of the esoteric meaning of its stony
symbolism. Only the general impression forces itself on
our mind. We feel the exaltation of the spirit and the
abasement of the flesh. 'The interior of the cathedral is a
hollow cross, and we walk here amid the instruments of
martyrdom itself. The variegated windows cast on us their
red and green lights, like drops of blood and ichor; requiems
for the dead resound through the aisles; under our feet are
gravestones and decay; in harmony with the colossal
pillars, the soul soars aloft, painfully tearing itself away
from the body, which sinks to the ground like a cast-off
garment. When one views from without these Gothic
cathedrals, these immense structures, that are built so
airily, so delicately, so daintily, as transparent as if carved,
like Brabant laces made of marble, then only does one







THE ROMANTIC SCHOOL.


realise the might of that art which could achieve a mastery
over stone, so that even this stubborn substance should
appear spectrally etherealised, and be an exponent of
Christian spiritualism.
But the arts are only the mirror of life ; and when
Catholicism disappeared from daily life, so also it faded
and vanished out of the arts. At the time of the Refor-
mation Catholic poetry was gradually dying out in Europe,
and in its place we behold the long-buried Grecian style of
poetry again reviving. It was, in sooth, only an artificial
spring, the work of the gardener and not of the sun ; the
trees and flowers were stuck in narrow pots, and a glass
sky protected them from the wind and cold weather.
In the world's history every event is not the direct
consequence of another, but all events mutually act and
react on one another. It was not alone through the Greek
scholars who, after the conquest of Constantinople, im-
migrated over to us, that the love for Grecian art, and the
striving to imitate it, became universal among us ; but in
art as in life, there was stirring a contemporary Protestant-
ism. Leo X., the magnificent Medici, was just as zealous
a Protestant as Luther; and as in Wittenburg protest was
offered in Latin prose, so in Rome the protest was made
in stone, colours, and ottava rime. For do not the vigorous
marble statues of Michael Angelo, Giulio Romano's laugh-
ing nymph-faces, and the life-intoxicated merriment in the
verses of Master Ludovico,* offer a protesting contrast to
the old, gloomy, withered Catholicism 7 The painters of
Italy combated priestdom more effectively, perhaps, than
did the Saxon theologians. The glowing flesh in the
paintings of Titian,-all that is simple Protestantism. The


* i.e. Ariosto.-ED.






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limbs of his Venus are much more fundamental theses
than those which the German monk nailed to the
church door of Wittenburg. Mankind felt itself suddenly
liberated, as it were, from the thraldom of a thousand
years; the artists, in particular, breathed freely again when
the Alp-like burden of Christianity was rolled from off
their breasts ; they plunged enthusiastically into the sea
of Grecian mirthfulness, from whose foam the goddess of
beauty again rose to meet them ; again did the painters
depict the ambrosial joys of Olympus ; again did the
sculptors, with the olden love, chisel the heroes of antiquity
from out the marble blocks ; again did the poets sing of
the house of Atreus and of Laios ; a new era of classic
poetry arose.
In France, under Louis XIV., this neo-classic poetry
exhibited a polished perfection, and, to a certain extent,
even originality. Through the political influence of the
grand monarque this new classic poetry spread over the
rest of Europe. In Italy, where it was already at home, it
received a French colouring; the Anjous brought with
them to Spain the heroes of French tragedy ; it accom-
panied Madame Ilenriette to England ; and, as a matter of
course, we Germans modelled our clumsy temple of art
after the bepowdered Olympus of Versailles. The most
famous high priest of this temple was Gottsched, that old
periwigged pate, whom our dear Goethe has so felicitously
described in his memoirs.
Lessing was the literary Arminius who emancipated our
theatre from that foreign rule. Hle showed us the vapid-
ness, the ridiculousness, the tastelessness, of those apings
of the French stage, which itself was but an imitation of
the Greek. But not only by his criticism, but also
through his own works of art, did he become the founder
363







THE ROMANTIC SCHOOL.


of modern German original literature. All the paths of the
intellect, all the phases of life, did this man pursue with
disinterested enthusiasm. Art, theology, antiquarianism,
poetry, dramatic criticism, history,-he studied these all
with the same zeal and with the same aim. In all his
works breathes the same grand social idea, the same pro-
gressive humanity, the same religion of reason, whose
John he was, and whose Messiah we still await. This
religion he preached always, but alas! often quite alone
and in the desert. Moreover, he lacked the skill to trans-
mute stones into bread. The greater portion of his life
was spent in poverty and misery-a curse which rests on
almost all the great minds of Germany, and which probably
will only be overcome by the political emancipation.
Lessing was more deeply interested in political questions
than was imagined,-a characteristic which we entirely
miss in his contemporaries. Only now do we comprehend
what he had in view by his description of the petty
despotisms in Emilia Galotti. At that time he was con-
sidered merely a champion of intellectual liberty and an
opponent of clerical intolerance ; his theological writings
were better understood. The fragments "Concerning the
Education of the Human race," which have been trans-
lated into French by Eugene Rodrigue, will perhaps suffice
to give the French an idea of the wide scope of Lessing's
genius. His two critical works which have had the most
influence on art are his Hamburger Dramaturgie and his
Laocobn, or Concerning the Limits of Painting and
Poetry. His best dramatic works are Emilia Galotti,
Mlinna von Barnhelm, and Nathan the Wise.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was born January 22nd,
1729, at Kamenz, in Upper Lusatia, and died February
15th, 1781, at Brunswick. He was a whole man, who,




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