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Title: The Invisible Lodge
Author: Jean Paul, 1763-1825
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Invisible Lodge" ***

Transcriber's Notes:
   1. Page scan source:

   2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].


                            INVISIBLE LODGE

                         _FROM THE GERMAN OF_

                      JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER


                           CHARLES T. BROOKS

                                NEW YORK
                       UNITED STATES BOOK COMPANY
                             SUCCESSORS TO
                         JOHN W. LOVELL COMPANY
                        142 TO 150 WORTH STREET

                            Copyright, 1883
                            Henry Holt & Co.



                         TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

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

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

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

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

"Baireuth, Oct. 1825."

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

Newport, Oct. 1882.

                             FIRST SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ernestina goes on with her letter:

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

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

"_12 o'clock at night_.--I am beside myself. Who would have believed it
of my father? My game could hardly have stood better--by my father's
second-hand watch, which lay near the chess-board, it was already
considerably more than half-past eleven--he had only two officers and I
still had all mine; one flying streak of red after another darted
across his whole face. It grew at last really oppressive, and even the
Doctor no longer spoke a playful word--only my white pussy marched
round purring on the table. Naturally no human being is thinking of the
cat, and for the first time in the game he gives me check. Just then he
(or was it I, for I _sometimes_ beat such little trills on the table)
might have made some such slight drumming with his fingers on the edge
of the board. Like lightning the creature flew at it, thinking probably
it was a mouse, and knocked our whole game into pi and there we sat.
Imagine the scene:--I half glad that this middle person had relieved
him of the shame of the formal basket; he with a face full of
disconsolateness and wrath; my father with one full of wrath and
confusion; and the Doctor looking round the room and snapping his
fingers and swearing: 'The Captain would have beaten as sure as Amen!'
Not a foot budged from the spot; the Doctor did not stay a minute on
his, and finally in a fit of enthusiasm which our embarrassed silence
more and more intensified, threw himself on his knees before a white
bust of Cupid, before a miniature of my father, and before his own
image in the looking-glass, and prayed: 'Holy Herr von Knör! holy
Cupid! holy Fenk! pray for the Captain, and strike the cat dead! Ah!
were you three images alive, then would Cupid surely assume the form of
Dr. Fenk, and Cupid who had thus come to life would grasp the hand of
the now animated Knör, and place in it that of the female player; then
would his give hers to still a third. Ye saints! pray, I beseech you,
for the Captain, who would have won the game!' But that is not true;
only, unfortunately, the interval was too short to begin a new one."

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

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

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

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

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

                            SECOND SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           FIRST EXTRA LEAF.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                             THIRD SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            FOURTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                             FIFTH SECTION.


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

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

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

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

                             SIXTH SECTION.

       Forcible Abduction of the Fair Face.--Important Portrait.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           SECOND EXTRA LEAF.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            SEVENTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            EIGHTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                        Are Women Female Popes?

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

                        _End of the Extra-Leaf_.

                               *   *   *


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

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

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

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

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

                             NINTH SECTION.

                    Viscera Without Body.--Scheerau.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                             TENTH SECTION.

                       Croup.--Prince's Feathers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                               *   *   *

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

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

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

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

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

                       _End of the Extra Lines_.

                               *   *   *

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  Extra-Thoughts Upon Regents' Thumbs.

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

                     _End of the Extras-thoughts_.

                               *   *   *

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

                           ELEVENTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

                            TWELFTH SECTION.

              Concert.--The Hero Gets a Fashionable Tutor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          THIRTEENTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But there is no fourth reason that I know of.

                          FOURTEENTH SECTION.

                  Connubial Ordeals.--Five Biters Bit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will now explain why the Captain came near staying.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           FIFTEENTH SECTION.

                         The Fifteenth Section.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           SIXTEENTH SECTION.

                         Educational Programme.

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

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

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

"My dear Mr. Tutor!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namely, for this one.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          SEVENTEENTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          EIGHTEENTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

                            NUMBER SIXTEEN.

                Spice Islands and Moluccas in Scheerau.

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

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

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

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

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

                        _End of Number Sixteen_.

                               *   *   *

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

                           NUMBER TWENTY-ONE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                             _Fenk to Me_.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          NINETEENTH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           TWENTIETH SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Merely a few defamations," I replied.


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

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

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

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it turned out stupidly for Oefel. Gustavus declined and said:
"_Never!_" whether from a dread of courts, fear of his father, from
being ashamed to change, or from love of quiet; in short Oefel stood
there dumbfounded gazing after the floating fragments of his wrecked
building-plan. It is true, there was still left him this advantage from
it all, that he could work the whole shipwreck into his romance, only,
however, the Secretary was gone! He had also, not unreasonably, voted
him already in advance to the Secretaryship of the Embassy; for the
throne of Scheerau has a ladder leaning against it, with the lowest and
the highest rungs of honor, but the steps are so near together that one
can place his left foot on the lowest round and yet reach with his
right the highest--once indeed we might almost have created an upper
field marshal. Secondly, in courts, as in nature, all things hang and
join together, and professors might properly call it the cosmological
nexus: every one is at once bearer and burden; thus the iron ruler
sticks to the magnet, a little ruler to that, to that a needle, and to
that steel-filings. At most only what sits upon the throne and what
lies down below under it, has not nexus enough with the efficient
company; so in the French opera only the flying gods and the shuffling
_beasts_ are made of Savoyards, all the rest of the regular company.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                           Ottomar's Letter.

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

All passions deceive themselves, not in respect to the _kind_, or the
_degree_, but in respect to the _object_ of the feeling; namely thus:

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

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

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


                     _Diner_ at the Schoolmaster's.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

                          _Gustavus's Letter_.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                           *   *   *   *   *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                       Paintings.--Resident Lady.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                         Souper and Cow-Bells.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The night-walker was startled when she saw the fair sleeper; she had
not in all the garden, through which in these still minutes she had
been roving, anticipated or found anyone. He lay, as he had sunk softly
down, upon one knee; his pale face was irradiated by a lovely dream, by
the rising moon and by Beata's eye. It did not occur to her that he was
perhaps only feigning slumber; with trembling she therefore drew half a
step nearer, in order, in the first place, to be certain who it was,
and, secondly, to let her eye rest full upon the form, at which she had
hitherto only ventured a side glance. During the gaze she could not
properly tell just when she should end it. At last she turned her back
upon her paradise, after she had once more stepped quite up to him; but
while slowly walking backward it occurred to her (_without_ alarm). "He
surely cannot be actually dead." She therefore turned back again and
heard his increasing respirations. Near him lay two small sharp stones
about as large as my inkstand. She bent down _twice close by him_ (she
would not do it at once, or even with her foot) in order to remove
them, that he might not fall upon their points....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

                  _Decoction from the Birthday Drama_.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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

All came about in the rehearsal of the play.

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

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

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

The fête breaks into three courses--_Comédie_, _Souper_, and _Bal
paré_. In reality, there is still a fourth course--a fall.

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

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

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

On the cheeks the _alloying_ was done in _red_, the neighboring parts
below were alloyed with _white_.[86]

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

                          The Word upon Dolls.

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

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

                     _End of the Word upon Dolls_.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For strong souls know no half way between heaven and hell--no
purgatory, no _limbus infantium_.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

                           *   *   *   *   *

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

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

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

                                         "Gustavus F."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

                   FORTIETH, OR 2d EPIPHANY, SECTION.

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

                 FORTY-FIRST, OR 3d EPIPHANY, SECTION.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

                     FORTY-EIGHTH, OR MAY, SECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Ha! the devil!" said the patient!

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

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

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

"I eat very few things."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                          The Fog.--Lilienbad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                   FIFTIETH, OR SECOND JOY, SECTION.

                    The Springs.--The Wail of Love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To-day we all drank, at the _Baquet_ (or water-trough) the water drawn
off over iron, amidst the noise of birds and leaves, and swallowed down
the image of the sun that gleamed up out of it and its fire too. The
winter of sorrow has drawn around the eyelids of Beata and around her
mouth the inexpressibly tender lines and letters of her faded grief;
her large eye is a sunny heaven, from which escape glistening drops. As
a maiden can unfold the peacock's-mirror of her charms with another
maiden more easily than with a male person, so she gained greatly by
her play with my sister. Gustavus--was invisible, he drank his water
after the rest and lost himself amidst the charms of the country, in
order, strictly speaking, to escape the greater charms of its fair
inhabitant. Except the happiness of seeing her he knew no greater than
that of not seeing her. She never speaks of him, nor he of her; his
thoughts of her which yearn outward do not grow into words, but only
into blushes. Would to Heaven I were composing a romance instead of a
biography! then would I bring you, fair souls, nearer together and
reconstruct a friendly circle out of its segments; then should we both
secure even here such a heaven, that if death should come along looking
for us, that worthy man would not know whether we were already settled
there or whether we were still waiting for him to get us in....

I acted at once judiciously and delicately, in bringing before Gustavus
at this time, as I now do before my readers, a certain sketch which
Beata made in the winter and which I came by in an equally honorable
and ingenious manner. It is addressed to the picture of her brother and
consists of questions. Grief lies upon woman's heart, which yields
patiently to its burden, far more heavily than on man's, which by
throbbing and thumping labors to shake it off; as on the motionless
fir-peaks all the snow piles itself up, whereas on the lower twigs,
which are always in motion, none remains.

                    "_To the Picture of my Brother._

"Why dost thou look on me so smilingly, thou precious image? Why dost
thy pictured eye remain forever dry, when mine is so full of tears
before thee? Oh, how I would love thee, wert thou painted mourning!

"Ah, Brother! dost thou not still long for a sister, does thy heart
never tell thee that there is in the desolate world yet another which
loves thee so unspeakably?-~Ah had I but _once_ set my eyes upon thee,
clasped thee in my arms ... we could never forget each other! But now,
if thou too art forsaken like thy sister, if thou too, like her,
ploddest on under a rainy heaven and over a dreary earth, and findest
no friend in the hours of sorrow--ah, in that case, thou hast not even
a sister's likeness, before which thy heart may bleed to death! Oh,
Brother! if thou art good and unhappy, then come to thy sister and take
her whole heart--it is torn, but not asunder, and only bleeds! Oh, it
would love thee so! Why dost thou not long for a sister? O thou unseen
one, if thou too art abandoned, art deceived, art forgotten by
strangers, why dost thou not long for a faithful sister? When can I
tell thee, how often I have passed thy mute image to my heart, how
often I have gazed upon it for hours together, and imagined my tears
into its painted eyes, till I myself have burst into a flood of real
tears at the thought?--Tarry not so long that thy sister with her
worn-out heart shall repose under the coffin-lid, and with all her vain
yearnings, her vain tears, her vain love, shall have crumbled into
cold, forgotten earth! Nor tarry so long that our youthful meadows
shall meanwhile have been mowed down and snowed over, and the heart has
stiffened, and years and sorrows have become too many. There comes all
at once over my soul so sad, so bitter a feeling.... Art thou perhaps
already dead, dear one?--Ah, the thought benumbs my heart--turn thine
eyes away, if thou art in bliss, from thy orphaned sister, and behold
not her sorrows--ah, I put to myself the heavy question in my bleeding
heart: _What have I left to love me?_ and I give myself no answer...."

                           *   *   *   *   *

The reader has the courage to divine from this more to Gustavus's
advantage than he himself can. To him, as the hero of this book, this
leaf must be a welcome one; but I, as his mere biographer, have nothing
from it but two or three more heavy scenes, which however I gladly
despatch out of true love for the reader--billions of them would I work
out for his pleasure. Only it does my whole biography harm, that the
persons whom I have set to work at the same time set me to work, and
that the writer of this history or protocol is himself one of the
heroes and parties. I should perhaps be more impartial, too, if I
composed this history two or three decades or centuries after its
birth, as they will have to do who shall in future draw from me. The
artists direct the portrait-painter to sit three times as far off from
the original as it is tall--and as Princes are so great and
consequently can only be drawn by authors who sit at a distance from
them, of place or time, equal to such greatness--accordingly it were to
be desired that I did not stand so near to the Prince, so that I might
portray less partially than I do....


             Sunday Morning.--Open Table.--Tempest.--Love.

What a Sunday!--To-day is Monday. I know no means of discharging
myself, I who (as we all have by our insulation), have become an
electrophorus of joy, except by writing, unless, indeed, I should
dance. Gustavus makes himself heard over here: he has for a conductor a
harpsichord and plays on it. The harpsichord will lighten this section
for me and fling out to me many sparks of thought. I have often wished
only to be rich enough to keep (as the Greeks did) a fellow of my own
who should make music as long as I was writing. Heavens! what _opera
omnia_ would bloom out! The world would at least experience the
pleasurable result, that whereas, hitherto, so many pieces of poetical
patchwork (_e. g_. the Medea) have become the occasion of musical
masterpieces, the case would be reversed, and that musical blanks would
produce poetical prizes.

Yesterday, before day, we rose from our beds, I and my musical
_souffleur_. "We must," I said to him, "stir round out of doors four
good hours before we go to church."--Namely, to _Ruhestatt_, where the
excellent Herr Bürger of Grossenhayn[92] was to appear as invited
preacher. So said, so done. Up to this hour I know not whether to
prefer a tepid summer night or a cold summer morning: in the former the
melted[93] heart dissolves in longing; the latter consolidates the
glowing heart to joy and steels its throbbings. In order to reproduce
our four hours one would have to bring together the minutes from a
hundred summer-houses and hunting-lodges, and even then the description
would limp. Morning twilight is to the day what spring is to summer,
evening twilight to the night, autumn to winter. We saw and heard
and smelt and felt, how one bit of the day gradually woke up after
another--how the morning passed over lawn and garden and perfumed them
like the morning-chambers of the great with flowers and blossoms--how
it opened (so to speak) all windows, that a cooling draught of air
might sweep through the whole theatre--how every throat woke every
other and invited it into the breezy heights, that they might, with
intoxicated bosom, soar to meet the low and rising sun and sing him a
welcome--how the changeable sky ground and melted a thousand colors and
touched and painted its drapery of clouds.... So far had the morning
advanced, when we were still walking in the dewy vale. But when we
passed out from its eastern gate into an immense meadow mosaically laid
out with growing garlands and stirring foliage, whose soft wave-line
sank into deeps and flowed up into heights, so as to keep its charms
and flowers moving upward and downward--when we stood before all
this--then uprose the storm of bliss and of the living day, and the
east wind moved along beside it, and the great sun stood and throbbed
like a heart in heaven and set all streams and drops of life whirling
around him.

(Gustavus plays at this moment more softly, and his tones arrest my
breath which passes over more and more easily into hypochondriacal

Now when the mill of Creation roared and stormed with all its wheels
and streams, in our sweet intoxication we hardly cared to go on,
everywhere we were delighted; we were rays of light, broken on their
way by every medium; we journeyed with the bee and the ant and followed
every fragrance to its very source, and walked around every tree; every
creature was a pole-star that led our needle into deflections and
inflections. We stood in a circle of villages, whose roads were all
bringing out joyous churchgoers and whose bells were ringing in the
holy fair. At last we too followed the devout pilgrimage and entered
the cool Ruhestatt church.

If a _maître de plaisirs_ should draw up for a Prince a plan of
decoration for an opera-house, to consist of a rising sun, a thousand
Leipsic larks, twenty ringing bells, whole meadows and floras of silken
flowers, the Prince would say, it cost too much~-but the master of
pleasures should reply, costs a walk--or a crown, say I, because such
an entertainment requires not the Prince, but the man.

In the church I seated myself on the organ-stool in order to fire off
the clumsy organ, to the astonishment of most of the souls present.
When Gustavus stepped into a pew of the nobility, there sat in the
opposite one--Beata; for she was as fond of a sermon as other maidens
are of a dance. Gustavus bent down with drooping eyes and rising
blushes before her and was deeply touched by the pale, afflicted form,
which once had glowed before him. She was equally affected by his, on
which she read all the mournful recollections which had been on either
his or her soul. Their four eyes turned back again from the object of
love to that of the general attention, Herrn Brüger of Grossenhayn. He
began--I had intended, as temporary organist, not to give heed to
him at all--a chorister makes as little out of a sermon as a man of
_ton_;--but Herr Brüger with his first words preached the singing-book,
in which I was going to read, out of my hands. He took for his theme
the forgiveness of human faults--how hard men were on one side and how
frail on the other; how surely, too, and how bloodily every fault
avenged itself upon man, and like a hairworm ate its way through him
whom it inhabited; and how little reason, therefore, another had to
exercise the judicial office of inexorableness; how little merit there
was in forgiving faults of heedlessness, little or venial errors, and
now very much all merit centered in the overlooking of such faults as
reasonably exasperated us, etc. When at last he pointed to the
blessedness of love to man, then did the burning and streaming eyes of
Gustavus unconsciously rest on Beata's countenance; and when, finally,
their eyes, directed toward the preacher, filled with the true solvent
of joy and sorrow, and when, during the drying of them, she turned to
Gustavus, then did they open upon each other mutually their eyes and
their innermost being; the two disembodied souls gazed full into each
other and a moment of the tenderest enthusiasm flying over chained
their eyes together by a spell.... But suddenly they sought the old
place again, and Beata's remained fixed upon the pulpit.

I cannot assert whether he, Herr Brüger, has yet inserted this
practical discourse in his printed volume; nevertheless, this
commendation shall not prevent my confessing that his sermons, however
good in themselves, are perhaps wanting in the proper soporific power,
a defect which one perceives in reading as well as in hearing. I will
here, for the benefit of other clergymen, interpolate some extra pages
upon the false style of church architecture.

          _Extra lines on the false architecture of Churches_.

I have already delivered this lecture before the Consistory and the
building inspector; but it had no effect. We and they all know that
every church, a cathedral as well as a chapel of ease, has to care for
the head or _brain_ of the diocese, _i. e_., for its _sleep_, because,
according to Brinkmann, nothing strengthens the former so much as the
latter. It were ridiculous if I should set to work to elaborate the
point, that this disorganizing sleep can be induced in a cheaper way
and for fewer pence and less opium, than it is done among the Turks;
for our opium, like quicksilver, is rubbed in outwardly and applied
mainly at the ears. Now, no one knows so well as I what has been
already done in the whole matter. As in Constantinople (according to De
Tott) there are special baths and seats for opium eaters, but only near
the Mosques; so with us they are actually in them and are called
church pews. Further, regular _night-lamps_ burn on the altar. The
window-panes have in Catholic temples, glass paintings, which answer
for shade as well as window-curtains. Sometimes the columns are so
arranged or multiplied that they help toward that darkening of the
church which is such a promoter of sleep. As the sleeping-chambers in
France have only dull and dead colors, so in the great canonical
dormitory is at least so much provision made for sleeping, that those
parts of the church at least on which the eye chiefly rests: altar,
preacher, chorister, and pulpit, are painted black. It will be seen
that I omit no good point, and if I censure it is in no censorious

But still much is wanting to make a temple a true dormitory. I have in
Italy and even in Paris, stood (I might say _lain_) in many theater
boxes, which were rationally arranged and furnished; one could in them
(for everything was provided for the purpose) sleep, play, eat, and--so
forth.... One had his female friends with him also. Now this the great
folks have been accustomed to; how shall one expect them to go to
church and sleep there when their money can procure them all friends
sooner than sleep? With the _tiers ètat_, with poor and burghers, even
with the college of burgomasters, which wears itself out through the
week with voting, it is no wonder, of course, that it should be easy
enough to induce them to fall asleep in any pew, in any loft; I do not
deny it; but the libertine, the sleeper on eider-down, will not (even
were a Consistorial Counsellor preaching) sleep on any back seat; he
therefore prefers not to go to church at all. For such people of _ton_
regular church-beds must therefore be made up in the boxes, so that the
thing may succeed; just as gaming-tables, eating-tables, ottomans,
_female friends_, and the like, are such indispensable things in a
court-chapel, that they might better be left out in any other place
than there.

One may therefore without offending me and the truth, call it no
flattery if I contend that nothing but the stupid church architecture
and the want of all house and kitchen utensils, all beds, etc., is to
blame, and not the well and philosophically or mystically elaborated
sermons of clever court university--barrack--Vesper-preachers, that
people of rank are able to sleep in them far less than one hopes to.

                       _End of the Extra Pages_.

After church we all met in the vestry. I pass over trivialities and
come at once to the point, that we all withdrew in a body and that
Gustavus gave his arm to our fair Dauphiness and took hers. It was a
quiet walk under the festal sun and beneath the blossoms of the bushes.
The finery of the female peasantry, the wainscoted foreheads, the front
locks stretched across them like the hairs of the fiddle-bow, the
frocks lying one over another in layers, like the skins of an onion,
all this, together with their laughing faces prefigured Sunday to us
more vividly than whole parüres of city dames could. On Sunday, too, I
find much more beautiful faces than on the six work days which disguise
everything in smut.

The conversation must have been indifferent, I think, even at the
forget-me-not. Beata, namely, found one lying in the grass, and ran up
to it and--lo, it was made of silk: "Oh, it's a false one," said she.
"Only a dead one," said Gustavus, "but a durable." Among persons of a
certain refinement everything easily turns to allusion! Good nature is
therefore indispensable to them, that they may infer no allusions but
kindly ones. Nothing delighted me so much all through the little
pilgrimage as the feeling that I was the back-ground and fair wind that
followed them; for if I had gone ahead I should have failed to see the
most beautiful gait in which the most beautiful female soul that ever
was manifested itself through the body--Beata's. Nothing is more
characteristic than a woman's gait, especially when it has to be

In the vale we found, beside shade and noontide, something still finer,
Doctor Fenk. He had arranged a little dinner-_concert_-_spirituel_
among the flowers, where we all, like princes and players, kept open
table, but only before seated and musical spectators, the birds. We
made no complaint, that occasionally a blossom fluttered down into the
saucepan, or a leaf into the vinegar cruet, or that a puff of wind blew
the powdered sugar sidewise out of the sugar-bowl; _per contra_, the
greatest _plat de ménage_, Nature, lay around our joyous table, and we
were ourselves a part of the show-dish. Fenk said, as he played with a
branch which he had drawn down: "Our table had at least one advantage
over the tables of the great world, that the guests at ours knew each
other, whereas the great ones in Scheerau and Italy, _i. e_., feasted
more people than they became acquainted with; as in the fat of the
animal which was so much abhorred and irritated by the Jews mice lived,
without the creatures noticing it."

A physician may be ever so delicate in expression, he is so only to the
mind of physicians.

During the coffee my dear Pestilentiary asserted that all pots, like
coffee-pots, chocolate-pots, tea-pots, pitchers, etc., had a
physiognomy which was too little studied; and if Melancthon[94] had
been the missionary and cabinet preacher of pots, still they stood in
need of a Lavater.

He had once known a coffee-pot in Holland, the nose of which was so
faint and flat, its profile so shallow and Dutch, that he told the
ship's-physician with whom he was drinking, there certainly must be
just as miserable a soul in that pot, or all physiognomy was mere wind;
on pouring it out, he found the stuff was not fit to drink. He said, in
his own house, not a milk pitcher was bought of which he had not at
first, as Pythagoras did of his pupils, made a physiognomical

"To whom have we to ascribe it," he went on in his humorous enthusiasm,
"that around our faces and figures not so many lines of beauty are
described as around the Greek,--unless it be to the cursed tea-pots and
coffee-pots, which often have hardly human conformation, and which
nevertheless our women gaze at all through the week and thereby copy in
their children? The Greek women, on the other hand, were watched only
by beautiful statues, nay, the Spartan women had the _likenesses_ of
fair youths hung up even in their sleeping-chambers."--(I must however
say in justification of many hundred dames, that they certainly do the
same with the _originals_, and that something is to be done even in
that way.)--

As in this family-spectacle I have respect for no Goddess but that of
Truth; I cannot sacrifice her even to my sister, although her sex and
her youth place her, too, among the Goddesses. It vexes me, that it
will not vex her, to read herself here _printed_ and _censured_,
because she makes more account of the gain to her vanity by the
printing, than of the loss to her pride by the censure.

Pride is in our strategic century the most faithful patron-saint and
guardian of female virtue. No one, to be sure, will require me to name
publicly the ladies of my acquaintance who would certainly like Milan
(according to Keissler) have been besieged forty times and taken
twenty, had they not been bravely proud, nay, had not one of them, in a
single evening full of dances, been proud two and a half times; but I
could not name her, if I would.

Thou teachest me, dear Philippina, that the noblest feelings do not
always exclude vanity, and that, except the business of loving thee, I
can have no better than that of scolding thee--and thy medical adviser,
Fenk, too, who indulges toward thee in too great a degree his reckless
humor; fortunately she is still at an age, when maidens always love the
one they have talked with longest, and when their heart, like the
magnet, lets the old iron drop, when one applies to it a new one.

Beata and Gustavus touched each other's sore souls like two
snow-flakes; even in the voice and in the movement was pictured a
tender, forbearing, honorable, self-sacrificing reserve. O if even the
denials of coquetry itself give so much, how much more must the present
ones of virtue give!

The afternoon had sped away on the wings of the butterflies, which
sought by our side their lower flowers; the conversation like the eyes,
increased in interest, and we sauntered (or shall I write
sawntered?)[95] along on the terraced alley which winds round the
mountain like a girdle and in which the eye can pass over the hedges of
the vale into the pastures. Toward the west a tempest strode across the
heavens with its thunder-tread and hung its bier-cloth of black cloud
over the sun. The country looked like the life of a great but unhappy
man; one mountain glowed under the sun's fiery glance, the other
darkled under the descending night of a cloud--over in the western
region there pealed forth in the heavens instead of the song of birds
the heavenly pedal, the thunder, and in rows of white water-columns the
warm rain came down from heaven and filled again its flower-cups and
summits out of which it had ascended--it was to the soul as solemn as
if a throne were set up for God and all were waiting for him to come
down and sit thereon.

Gustavus and Beata, swallowed up in this heaven, went forward on the
terrace; the Doctor, my sister, and I at a little distance behind them.
At last single rain drops pattered down on the foliage of the alley,
which flew and fell over us out of the border of the broad storm-cloud;
thus does a thundering, lightning-flashing calamity of a neighborhood
only sprinkle the distant lands with a few tears, that steal from the
eye of sympathy. We all betook ourselves to the shelter of the nearest
trees. Gustavus and Beata stood, for the first time, again in many
months, alone beside each other, without ear-witnesses, though with
eye-witnesses not far off. They faced the west and were silent. There
are situations, in which man feels himself too great to start a
conversation, or to be polite or to make allusions. Both remained mute,
till Gustavus in the hottest solstice of his emotions turned round from
the deluged western country toward the eyes of Beata--hers raised
themselves slowly and openly to his and the lips beneath them remained
quiet and her soul was with no one but God and virtue.

The cloud had emptied itself and disappeared. The Doctor had to hurry
home. No one could break from his blissful silence. In this perfect
silence we had all come down the terrace--and everything had already
gone from under its leafy umbrella--when, all at once, the low sun
blazed through the black cloud canopy and rent it asunder, and flung
the funereal veil of the tempest far back and gleamed over us and over
the glistening thickets and every fiery bush.... All birds screamed,
all human creatures were mute--the earth became a sun--the heavens
trembled tearfully over the earth for joy and embraced her with hot,
immeasurable rays of light.

The landscape burned around us in the heavenly rain of fire; but our
eyes saw it not and hung blindly on the great sun. In the effort
to set the heart free from blood and joy, Gustavus's hand sank into
Beata's--he knew not what he took--she knew not what she gave--and
their present feelings were exalted far above insignificant refusals.
At last the thunder-beset sun laid himself down like a philosopher
under the cool earth, his evening glow calmly reposed under the flashes
of the retiring tempest, he seemed like a soul gone to God and a clap
of thunder followed his death.

Twilight came on.... Nature was a mute prayer.... Man stood more
sublime therein, like a sun; for his heart apprehended the speech of
God.... But when that language comes into the heart and it grows too
great for its breast and its world, then does the great genius whom it
thinks and loves breathe the tranquillizing love of humanity into the
stormy bosom and the infinite lets himself be tenderly loved by us in
the person of the finite....

Gustavus felt the hand which pulsed in his and struggled to escape
from it--he held it more faintly and looked back into the loveliest
eyes--his own begged Beata in an infinitely touching manner for
forgiveness of the past days and seemed to say: "O! in this blissful
hour take my last sorrow away also!"--And now when, in a tone that was
as much as a good deed, he asked softly: "Beata?" and when he could say
no more and she turned her blushing face to the earth and ceased to
draw her hand out of his, and with deep emotion looked up again and
showed him the tear that said to him: "I will forgive thee;" then the
two souls which were still greater than the nature around them became
two angels and they felt the heaven of the angels; they stood silent,
lost in endless gratitude and rapture. At length, agitated with
reverent joy, he took her trembling arm and joined us.

The Sabbath closed with silent thoughts, silent raptures, silent
recollections and a still rain out of _all_ discharged tempests.

                          FOURTH JOY SECTION.

              The Dream of Heaven.---Hoppedizel's Letter.

Since I have, beside my biographical business, also driven the
trade of a Ladies' Tailor, a wholly new life has grown up in me.
Nevertheless the future Shröckh who shall offer to hang me up also in
his picture-gallery of famous men, must be advised to be moderate and
not deduce everything from my tailoring, but something from my
imagination. This latter has during the last winter and autumn so
strengthened itself by the painting of so many scenes in nature, that
the present spring finds quite other eyes and ears in me than I have
ever had before. This is what we all, I and the reader, should have
considered before now. If the attraction of certain vices becomes
through the daily growing efforts of the imagination, insuperable, why
do we not give her irresistible pencil worthy subjects? Why do we not
direct her in winter to sketch or rather to create the spring? For one
enjoys in nature not what one sees (else the Forester and the Poet
would find out of doors the same kind of enjoyment) but what one's
poetic sense imparts to the visible, and the feeling for nature is at
bottom the fancy for it.

But in no brain did more graceful shades of dream and fancy crystallize
than in Gustavus's. His health and his happiness have come back to him;
this is shown by his nights, wherein dreams like violets open again
their spring-chalices. Such an Eden-fragrance floats around the
following dream.

                           *   *   *   *   *

"He died," it seemed to him, "and was to play out the interval before
his new incarnation in mere dreams. He sank into a tossing sea of
blossoms, which was the conflux of the starry heavens; on the ground of
immensity all stars bloomed white and neighborly blossom-leaves tossed
against each other. But why did this flower-field growing from the
earth up even to heaven intoxicate with the exhaling spirit of a
thousand cups all souls that flew over it and sunk down in bewildering
ecstasy? Why did a juggling wind mingle souls together with souls and
flowers amidst a snow-flurry of sparks and many-colored flakes of fire?
Why did so sweet and so sportive a dream envelop deceased men?--O, for
this reason; the gnawing wounds of life were to be closed by the balmy
breath of this immeasurable spring, and man, still bleeding from the
blows of the former earth, was to be healed under the flowers for the
future heaven where the greater virtue and knowledge demand a healthy
soul. For ah! the soul suffers here indeed, quite too much! When on
every snow-field one soul embraced another, then out of love they
walked into _one_ glowing dew-drop; then it trembled downward and
alighted on a flower, which breathed it up again, rent asunder, as holy
incense. High over the blooming field stood God's paradise, out of
which the echo of its heavenly tones, in the form of a brook, flowed
down to the plain; its melody wandered through all the windings of the
lower paradise and the intoxicated souls plunged in their ecstasy from
the flowery shore into the stream of flute-music; in the resonance of
paradise all their senses expired, and the too finite soul, dissolved
into a bright tear or joy, floated on upon the running waves. This
flowery field rose and rose incessantly, to meet the uplifted paradise,
and the heavenly air, through which it flew, swept from above downward,
and its descending undulations unfolded all flowers and did not bend
them. But often, in the darkest height, God passed far away above the
waving meadows; then when the Infinite One veiled his infinity overhead
in two clouds, the one charged with lightning, or the Eternal Truth,
and the other a warm one, trickling down on everything and weeping, or
the Eternal Love; then they stood arrested, the soaring meadow, the
sinking ether, the echoing brook, the quivering leaf of the flower;
then God gave the signal that he was passing by, and an immeasurable
love constrained all souls in this lofty stillness to embrace each
other, and none sank upon one, but all on all--a blissful slumber fell
like a dew on the embrace. Then when they awoke out of each other's
arms, lightnings flashed out of the whole field of flowers, all
blossoms exhaled, all leaves sank under the drops of the warm cloud,
all windings of the melodious brook rang in unison, the whole paradise
gleamed with heat-lightning above them and nothing was mute but the
loving souls which were too blessed...."

Gustavus awoke into a nearer world, which was a beautiful counterpart
of his dreamed one; the sun was transformed into a single glowing ray,
and this ray also broke off on the earth; the cloud of twilight
gathered round, flowers and birds hung their drowsy heads in the dew
and only the evening-wind still stirred round in the leaves and stayed
up all night....

Thus do our green hours creep through our unvisited vale, they glide
with an unheard, butterfly's pinion through our atmosphere, not with
the buzzing wing-sheath of a chafer--joy lights upon us softly as an
evening-dew and does not rattle down like a rushing rain. Our happy
bath-time will refresh our spirits, our powers of work and of
endurance, for a long time, forever; the green Lilienbad will remain in
our fancy a green oasis, whereon, if ever the years shall have buried
in deep snow all Elysian fields, the whole landscape of our joy, under
its warm breath all the snow will melt and which will ever look green
to us, that we may thereon, as painters do on green cloth, refresh our
old eyes.... I wish you, my readers, for your old age very many such
places left open, and every sick man his Lilienbad.

Were I not doing it to please the German public, I should hardly for
very joy succeed in describing it. And yet I will not begin a new
joy-section before Beata's birthday. This is celebrated in the little
Molucca, Teidor, whither we are all invited by the Doctor; he has his
country-seat on that island; the weather, too, will continue fine. This
much I can easily foresee without any great prophetic talent, that the
Birthday, or Teidor section, will not so much combine as fully surpass
all the fine things that were ever burnt up in the Alexandrian library
or mouldered in Imperial ones or have ever been kept in all others.

In the following letter inviting me to the Molucca Island, the Doctor
writes me a piece of news which deserves a place here, in so far as
there is use for it, and I would gladly have my section full, inasmuch
as I merely transcribe.

"Professor Hoppedizel, who, except philosophizing and flogging, loves
nothing so much as practical joking, will, so soon as the moon
by-and-by rises later, play a new one, namely play the rogue. I found
him several days ago with a long beard which he had been stiffening and
straightening for himself; moreover he had concealed crowbars and
chosen masks. I asked him into what redoubt he was going to steal? He
said into that of Maussenbach--in short, he proposes by breaking in
with a small band and instead of plundering, turning it into a joke, to
drive thy Legal Chief into a theatrical and artificial fright. It were
to be wished that this artistic and satirical robber-captain might be
taken for a real one, and be bundled into a police-wagon with his
burglar's tools and publicly marched in--not that the good Hoppedizel
might be injured in the matter, but only that this stoical corsair
might be brought to the rack and thereby place three persons at once in
full light: first, himself, since he would confess not so much a crime
as his stoical principles--secondly, the Pestilentiary or myself, since
I, on the rack (as we do in all sufferings) should prescribe regard to
his health--thirdly, the justiciary, or thyself, who couldst show that
thou hadst thy academical criminal-sheets already--in thy trunk...."

I fancy it will fare with the reader as with me, that on the flowery
shore amidst the melodies of nature this sea-fight on the great sea of
the world and the firing during it seems to create a screaming

                     OR BIRTHDAY OR TEIDOR-SECTION.

                 The Morning.--The Evening.--The Night.

To-day is Beata's festival, and is growing finer and finer--my
writing-desk is nine million square miles broad, namely the earth--the
sun is my lamp of Epictetus, and instead of the portable library the
leaves of the whole book of nature rustle before me.... But to begin at
the beginning--merely adding here that I am already ensconced on the
island of Teidor.

The days preceding foul weather are, meteorologically also, the
fairest. As we to-day--being the most pacific quadruple alliance that
exists--went out through our tuneful valley ere yet the morning-rays
had entered it, so as to arrive comfortably at the Molucca island
before 9 o'clock--a whole crystalline day, clear as a sparkling well,
lay stretched out on the broad meadows before us--we had hitherto been
used to the beautiful, but not to the most beautiful. The earthly ball
seemed a bright lunar globe compacted out of airs and mists--the
summits of hills and woods stood bare in the deep blue, unpowdered (so
to speak) with fogs--all prospects had drawn nearer to us and the mist
was wiped away from the _glass_ through which we looked; the air was
not sultry, but it lay in motionless repose on the fragrant meadows and
the leaf nodded, but not the twig, and the hanging flower swayed a
little, but only under two fighting butterflies.... It was the Sabbath
of the Elements--the Siesta of Nature. Such a day, when the very
morning has the nature of a rapturous evening and when even it reminds
us of our hopes, our past and our longings, comes not often, comes not
to many, to the few into whose swelling hearts it does shine may not
venture to come often, because it makes the poor human beings, who open
their hearts to it like leaves of flowers, too glad, and transports
them from the financial feudal soil, where one must mow more flowers
than he smells, too suddenly and too far into the magic Arcadia. But ye
financiers and economists and leaseholders, if almost all seasons of
the year minister to the skin and the stomach, why shall not _one_
day--especially for guests of the springs--belong merely to the too
tender heart? If one forgives you for hardness, why will you not
forgive any softness? Oh, you offend enough besides, you unfeeling
souls! the fairer, finer soul is to you simply insignificant and
ridiculous; but you are to it a torment and wound it constantly.
Singular it is, that we sometimes concede to others superiority of
_talents_, but never superiority in _sentiment_, and that we admit
errors in our own judgment, but never in our own taste.

A transparent balustrade of forest-trees was now all that remained
between us and the Indian Ocean, wherein lay the green Teidor, when our
path led through the high grass which grew in over it, along by a
hermitage or an isolated house, which lay too enchantingly in this
flowery ocean for it to be possible one should walk or ride by it. We
reclined on a spot of mown grass, on the right side of the house, to
the left of a little round garden, which hid itself away in the middle
of the meadow. In this poor little garden were and supported themselves
(as in a tolerant state) on the same bed, beans and peas and lettuce
and cabbages; and yet in this dwarf-garden a child had also his little
infusorial garden. In the little red and dazzling bird-house a nimble
woman was just carrying on her fragrant field-bakery; and two
children's-shirts hung on the garden-hedge and two stood at the
house-door, in which latter couple two brown children played and
watched us--nothing gave them pleasure this morning but the sun on
their hare feet. O Nature! O Blessedness! thou, like benevolence,
lovest to seek out poverty and obscurity!

The cleverest thing I have said, or probably shall say, to-day, was
certainly the grass-discourse in the morning beside the little house.
As I stood there and observed the steadfast sky, the lull of wind and
leaves, in which the vertical wing of the butterfly and the hair of the
caterpillar remained unbent, then I said: "We and this little worm
stand in and under three almighty seas, the aërial sea, the watery sea
and the electric sea; and yet the roaring waves of these oceans, these
mile-long waves, that can tear a land to pieces, are so smoothed so
tamed, that this Sabbath-day comes forth, in which not a breath of air
moves the broad wing of the butterfly or plucks from it a particle of
feathered dust, and in which the child toys and smiles so peacefully
among the elemental leviathans. If no infinite genius had compelled
this, if we may not trust this genius with the harmonious ordering of
our future world and our future destiny ...

"O infinite genius of the earth! in thy bosom we will bury our childish
eyes, when the tempest breaks loose from its chain--on thy almighty
heart will we sink back, when iron death puts us to sleep in passing

So we sauntered on in innocent contentment, without haste or heat,
toward the waves which rippled around Fenk's country-seat. Singular it
is, there are days, when we willingly let our still, continuous
enjoyment of _outward_ objects suffice us (wherewith we rarely
repel genuine stoicism)--still more singular is it, that many a day
really does this. What I mean is, a certain gentle, water-level
contentedness--not earned by virtue, not won by reflection--is
sometimes supplied us by a day, by an hour, when all the miserable
trifles and ravelings of which our puny and petty life is sewed
together, harmonize with our pulses and do not run contrary to our
blood--_e. g_., when (as happened to-day) the sky is cloudless, the
wind asleep, the ferryman at hand to carry us over to Teidor, the
master of the country-house, Doctor Fenk, ready and waiting for us an
hour ago, the water smooth, the boat dry, the landing-haven deep and
everything just right.... Verily we are all on such a foolish footing,
that among _human pleasures_, upon which the Consistorial Counsellor of
Zerbst, _Sintenis_, has composed two volumes, may be reckoned--in
Germany (though far less in Italy and Poland)--the catching now and
then of one or another flea.... If, then, one would experience such a
day of paradise, then must there not so much as a trifle, such as one
strides over in hours of stoical energy, lie in the way; just as when
one will draw down the sun with a burning-glass, not the thinnest cloud
must intrude before his face.... I am now on fire, and assure the
reader I cannot possibly think of anything more foolish than our life,
our earth, and its inhabitants, and our remarking upon this folly....

The Indian Ocean was a noisy market-place, resembling a Chinese river;
on every side it was crowded with joy, life and splendor, from its
upper surface to its bottom, where the second hemisphere of the heavens
with its sun was tremulously reflected. In the country-house the walls
were white, because (said Fenk) for a man who comes in from a nature
that stands in a blaze of fire and light into a narrow cell, no
coloring of this cell can be bright enough to counteract a mournful and
confined impression.

Then we rested, changing our position from one shaded grassy bank of
the island to another, fanned by birch-leaves and Indian waves--then we
made music--then dined; first, at the table of a host who knows how to
be refined and delicate, in a jovial manner; secondly, at the windows
which opened to all four points of the compass, and drew us more than
ever into all the vortices of joyous nature, and thirdly, each of us by
himself, with a hand that knew how to pluck the soft berry of enjoyment
without crushing it. At evening comes Ottomar--the two maidens have
lost themselves among flowers and Gustavus among shadows--the
biographer lies here, like the jurist Bartolus, on the tossing grass
depicting it all--Fenk is arranging for the evening. Not till evening
does our to-day's joy come out into full light; and I thank heaven that
I have now overtaken, with my biographical pen, the actual course of
things, and that no one knows more than I report; whereas heretofore I
always knew more, and embittered for myself the biographical enjoyment
of the happiest scenes by the knowledge of the most mournful. But now,
though in the next quarter of an hour the sea might swallow us all up,
in the present one we looked out on it with a smile.

As I am so quiet and care not to go to walk, I will talk about taking
walks--a thing which so often occurs in my work--and not without
keenness. A man of understanding and logic would, in my opinion,
distribute all walkers, like the East Indians, into four castes.

In the first caste trot along the most miserable ones, who do it from
vanity or fashion, and want to show either their feeling or their
clothes or their gait.

In the second caste run the fat and the scholarly, who do it for the
sake of getting a _motion_, and not so much to enjoy as to digest what
they have enjoyed already; into this innocent, passive department they
are also to be thrown, who do it without reason and without enjoyment,
or as companions, or from an animal satisfaction with fine weather.

The third caste comprise those in whose heads are the eyes of the
landscape-painter, whose hearts are penetrated by the grand outlines of
the universe, and whose eyes trace the immeasurable line of beauty
which flows with ivy-tendrils around all created things--which rounds
the sun and the drop of blood and the pea, and cuts out all leaves and
fruits into circles. Oh, how few such eyes rest on the mountains and on
the setting sun and the closing flower!

A fourth and better caste, one would think, could hardly be produced
after the third; but there are persons who look upon creation not
merely with an artistic but with a holy eye--who transplant into this
blooming world the world to come, among the creatures find the
Creator--who kneel down amidst the rustling and roaring of the
thousand-twigged, thickly-leaved tree of life, and are fain to speak
with the genius whose presence pervades it, they themselves being only
leaves that tremble thereon--who use the profound temple of Nature--not
as a villa full of pictures and statues, but as a holy place of
worship--in snort, who go to walk not merely with the eye, but with the

I know no greater praise than being able to glide over easily from such
persons to our loving couple--their love is such a walk; the life of
high-minded persons is also such a walk. I will only add, before rising
from the crushed grass, the single remark, that Gustavus's love quite
fits the practical definition of it which is to be made in a rapturous
summer-midnight. The noblest love (as one may define it) is simply the
tenderest, deepest, most substantial respect, revealed less by what is
done than by what is left undone, which is divined by both parties
mutually, which stretches across both souls (in an astonishing degree)
the same chords, which exalts the noblest feelings with a new glow,
which will always sacrifice, never gain, which takes away nothing from
love for the whole sex, but gives all through the individual; this love
is a respect, in which the pressure of hand and lips are not
indispensable constituents and good actions are quite essential; in
short, a respect which must be laughed to scorn by the majority of men
and profoundly honored by the smallest part. Such a heart-exalting
respect was the love of Gustavus, which not only endured, but even
gladdened and warmed noble eye-witnesses, because it was without that
innocently-sensuous toying with lips and hands, in which the spectator
can take no more interest than in the artificial, theatrical viands of
the players. A sign of virtuous esteem or love is this, when the
spectator takes the more interest in it, the greater it is. Gustavus's
love had--since his Peter's-fall, and still more since the forgiveness
of this fall (for many faults one feels most deeply, only when they are
pardoned)--gained such an access of tenderness, of reserve, and sense
of another's worth, that he won more hearts than the tenderest one, and
ruled other eyes than the fairest, those of Beata, before which his
glances fell, like snow-flakes in the blue under the cloudless sun,
pure, sparkling, trembling and melting away.

All have just arrived, Ottomar and the rest.

My clock strikes two in the morning, and still the birthday festival of
Beata and of paradise is not yet closed; for I am just come over to
this position to describe it; that is to say, if I remain in my chair
and do not sally forth again into the blue vault, which throws over the
so great multitude of to-day's joys its starry rays.

Towards evening Ottomar flew hither over the water. He always looks
like a man who is thinking of something distant, who is just now only
resting, who plucks the flower of joy that hangs over his path, because
his flying gondola hurries him along by it, not because he is thinking
of it at all. He still retains his sublimely-low voice and that eye of
his which has seen death. He is still as much of a Zahouri[96] as ever,
who sees through all flower-beds and grass-plots of the earth and down
to the motionless dead, who sleep beneath it. So soft and stormy, so
humorous and melancholy, so obliging and unconstrained and free! He
asserted that most vices were owing to the flying from vices--for fear
of acting badly we did nothing and had no longer courage for anything
great--we all had so much love for man that we had no longer any
honor--out of humane tolerance and love we had no sincerity, no
uprightness, we could not hurl down a traitor, a tyrant or the like.

He wondered at Beata, who took not the customary constrained, but a
heightening interest in our talk: for he has a notion that one may talk
with a woman about heaven and hell, God and the Fatherland, and yet she
will be thinking of nothing all the while she listens, but her figure,
her attitude, her dress. "I except," said Fenk, "in the first place,
everything, and secondly, physiognomy also; to this they all listen,
because they can all immediately apply it."

The magic evening drove more and more shadows before it; at last it
took up all creatures into its rocking lap and clasped them to its
bosom, in order to make them tranquil, tender and glad. We five
islanders became so, too. We went out in a body up to a little
artificial eminence that we might escort the sun even to the last
stairway, before he sailed across the ocean to America. Suddenly, over
in another island, five Alpine horns pealed forth, and went on rising
and falling with their simple strains. One's condition has more
influence on music, than music on one's condition. In our situation and
where one's ear places him already at the Alpine fountain, and his eye
on the evening-gilded glacier-peak, and around the hut of the herdsman,
lie Arcadia and Tempe and youth's pastures, and when we let these
fancies fly before the sinking sun and after the fairest day--in such a
case the heart follows an Alp-horn with intenser throbs than a concert
hall full of gaily bedizened hearers. Oh the admission ticket to joy is
a good, and then a tranquil heart! The dark, cloudy, dimly gleaming
_ideas_, which the universal philosopher demands of all sensations,
must glide slowly over the soul or stand perfectly still, if it is to
enjoy itself; just as clouds that move slowly betoken fair weather,
while flying ones indicate foul. "There are," said Beata, "virtuous
days when one pardons everything and has all power over one's self,
when joy seems to kneel down in the heart and pray that it may remain
there longer, and when all is cleared up and illumined within us;--then
when one weeps over it for joy this grows so great that all is gone by

"I," said Ottomar, "love better to throw myself into the rocking arms
of the tempest. We enjoy only glancing, glowing moments; this coal must
be violently whirled round, that the burning circle of rapture may

"And yet," said he, "I am to-day so glad in thy presence, setting
sun!... The gladder I have been in any hour, or week, so much the
stormier was the next. Like flowers is man: the more violent the
tempest is going to be, so much the more perfume do they exhale." "You
must not invite us any more, Herr Doctor," said Beata smiling, but her
eye swam, however, in something more than joy.

Amidst the deepening red of the heavens the sun stepped upon his last
stair, environed with tinted clouds. He and the Alpine horns vanished
in the same instant. One cloud paled after another and the highest
still hung transfused with the evening-glow. Beata and my sister talked
playfully, after the manner of maidens, about what these illuminated
clouds might be--the one resolved them into Christmas lambs with
rosy-red ribbons, or a red heavenly scarf--the other into fiery eyes or
cheeks under a veil--red and white cloud-roses--a red sun-hat, etc....

Punch, I think, was brought at last for the gentlemen, one of whom took
it in such moderation that he can even now, at 2½ o'clock, compose this
section. Then we sauntered round under the rustling and refreshing tree
of night, whose blossoms are suns and its fruits worlds. Our enjoyment
now led us apart, now brought us together again, and each was equally
capable of enjoying himself greatly, with or without company. Beata and
Gustavus forgot their own peculiar love and joy out of respect and
sympathy for that of others, and where all were friends became simply
friends to each other. O, preach out of the world, I pray, the sadness
which makes the heart as thick as blood, but not the joy, which in its
dance of ecstasy, stretches out its arms not merely after a partner,
but also after a tottering unfortunate, and which, as it flies by,
takes the tear from the eye of the weeping spectator! To-day we would
fain pardon each other everything, although we found nothing to pardon.
There was nothing there to forgive, I say; for as one star after
another welled out from the depth of shadow, and when Ottomar and I had
turned about before a warbling nightingale in order to hear her wails,
softened by distance, and when we stood alone together, encompassed by
nothing but tones and shapes of love, and when I could no longer
contain myself, but, under the great present and future heavens, opened
my heart to him, whose own I had long ago seen and loved; then was such
a frame of spirit no forgiveness and reconciliation, but.... of that,
day after to-morrow....

In alternating groups--now the two maidens alone, now with a third
person, now all together--we walked over the grass-embosomed flowers
and passed along between two rival nightingales, the one of which sang
the praises and inspired the air of the one island, aim the other of
the neighboring one. In this musical _pot-pourri_ the leaves of
the flowers had covered the fragrant _pot-pourris_, but all the
birch-leaves had put on their own and we separated from one another on
purpose, so as not to be able to embark hurriedly from an enchanting

At last we met by chance under a silver-poplar, whose snow-white leaves
had by their gleam through the dark gathered us around it. "It is high
time we took our leave!" said Beata. Only just as we were, or should
have been, on the eve of doing it, the moon came up; behind a latticed
fan of flowers she opened so modestly her cloudy eyelids, as she
silently floated across the blind night, and her eye streamed, and she
looked upon us like sincerity itself, and sincerity looked upon her
too. "If we would only tarry," said Ottomar, in whose hot hand of
friendship we would willingly dispense with every female hand--"till
it grows lighter on the water and the moon can shine in upon the
vales--who knows when we can have things so again?" At length he added:
"Besides, Gustavus and I start on our journey early to-morrow morning,
and this weather cannot last long." He referred to the unknown
seven-weeks' journey, in regard to which I here gladly take back all
those conjectures which have hitherto represented it as so weighty and

We again postponed our departure; the conversation grew monosyllabic,
our thoughts polysyllabic, and our hearts too full, just as the waning
moon on the threshold of its rising appeared to us _full_ also. When a
company that has once had its hand on the door-latch, draws it away
again, this delay excites the expectation of greater enjoyments, and
this expectation excites embarrassment; but we were merely more silent
about each other, and concealed our sighs over the falcon-flight of
joyous hours, and perhaps many an averted eye presented to the moon the
offering which the saddest or the gladdest soul finds it so hard to

Just at this moment I made my way out into its rays and came back again
to my writing table, and thank the veil of night, which stretches
double around the Universe, that it also folds itself over the greatest
sorrows and joys of men.... We were, therefore, on our island as sadly
silent as at the gate of a joyous eternity; the land-embracing spring,
with its majesty--with its warm, sunken moon--with its twinkling star
of Venus--with its sublime midnight-red--with its heavenly
nightingales--swept by before five human beings; it flung and heaped up
in these five too happy ones, its buds and its blossoms, and its dimly
gleaming outlooks and hopes, and its thousand heavens, and took nothing
away from them for it, but their _speech_. O spring! O thou earth of
God! O thou boundless sky! O that to-day, in all dwellers upon thee,
the heart heaved in joyous throbbings, till we all fell down beside
each other beneath the stars, and poured out our hot breath in one
jubilant voice and all our joys in prayers, and lifted our aspiring
hearts to the lofty blue of heaven, and in our ecstasy sent up sighs,
not of sorrow, but of bliss, whose way to heaven was as long as ours to
the grave!... O bitter thought! of being often the one happy among none
but the unhappy! sweeter thought, of being among only happy ones the
sole afflicted!

At last the dark slags floated away from before the silvery glance of
the rising moon; she stood like an ineffable rapture higher in the
night of the heavens, painted out of the background into the
foreground. The frogs pierced the night like a mill, and their
continuous, many-voiced din had the effect of a silence. O what man
whom death had changed into an angel flying over the earth, would not
have fallen down upon it, and under the earthly foliage and on the
earthly ground, silvered over by the moon (as by the sun it is gilded
over), and thought upon the heaven he had left behind and upon his old
human pastures, his old spring-times down below here, and of his former
hopes among the blossoms?

Ye reviewers! forgive me this once and let me go on! At last we stepped
into a gondola as into a Charon's bark, and rapturously and reluctantly
cleared the bushy shore and the reflection streaming from the water
upon its leaves. The greatest enjoyment, the highest gratitude, send,
not _horizontally_ but _vertically_, their hidden and grasping roots
into the heart; we could not therefore say much to Fenk, who was not to
go away to-night from the scene of joy. Thou friend! dearer to me than
all others, perhaps when all is more quiet and the moon is higher and
purer, and the night more eternal, toward morning, thou wilt begin to
weep over both--what the earth has given thee and what it has taken
away. Beloved! if thou doest it now, at this moment--then I shall
surely do so too!...

With our first step into the boat the Alp-horns (probably under Fenk's
direction) again pierced the night; every tone rang through it like a
past, every chord like a sigh for a spring-time of the other world; the
night-mist played and smoked over woods and mountains and drew itself
out, like the boundary lines of men, like morning-clouds of the future
world, around our spring-awakened earth. The Alp-horns died away, like
the voice of first love, in our ears and grew louder in our souls; the
rudder and boat cut the water in two into a gleaming milky way; every
wave was a trembling star; the fluctuating water reflected tremulously
the moon, which we would rather have multiplied a thousand-fold than
doubled, and whose soft lily-face bloomed still paler and more sweetly
under the waves. Encircled with four heavens--the one in the blue
above, on the earth, in the water and within us--we sailed on through
the swimming blossoms. Beata sat at one end of the boat, facing the
other, the moon, and the friend of her tender soul--her glance glided
easily up and down between the moon and him--he was thinking of his
morrow's journey and of his longer tour as ambassador, and begged us
all for written souvenirs, that he might always have a good abiding
among us as now, and reminded Beata of her promise to give him one
also. She had already written it and gave it to him to-day at their
parting. The happy day, the happy evening, the heavenly night filled
her eyes with a thousand souls and with two tears that lingered there.
She covered and dried one eye with her white handkerchief and looked
upon Gustavus with the other, with a glance as pure and calm as an
image in a mirror.... Thou fanciedst, thou good soul, that thou wast
also hiding thy open eye!

At last--O thou everlasting, unceasing At Last!--our silvery course
through the waves broke also upon its shore. The opposite one lay there
deserted and overshadowed. Ottomar tore himself away in the most
melancholy inspiration and amidst the dying echoes of the Swiss tones
my renewed friend said: "It is all over again--all tones die away--all
waves sink to rest--the fairest hours strike their last and the sands
of life run out. There is surely and absolutely nothing, thou vast
heaven above us, that can fill or bless us! Farewell! I shall take
leave of you all along my way."

The Alpine echoes sounded back far into the night and sank to a
murmuring breath, which resembled a memory, not out of youth, but out
of the depths of childhood. We reeled, filled full of enjoyment,
through dew-dripping bushes and through drooping, drowsy and
dew-drunken meadows, from which we plucked slumbering flowers, in order
to see on the morrow their folded form in sleep. We thought upon the
sunless paths of this day's morning; we passed along without a sound
before the little Lilliputian house and garden, and the children and
the bread-baking housewife were clasped and entwined in the deathlike
arms of slumber. The hours had rolled the moon, like a stone of
Sysiphus, up the steep of heaven, and let it roll down again.[97] In
the east stars rose, in the west stars set, in mid-heaven little
starlets sent off from the earth exploded into fragments--but eternity
stood dumb and great beside God, and all passed away before it and all
arose before its face. The field of life and of infinity hung down near
and low above us, like _one_ flash, and all that is great, all that is
immortal, all the dead and all angels lifted the human spirits into
their blue circle and sank to meet it....

At last, I taking the hand of my sister and Gustavus that of Beata, we
entered our little Lilienbad stiller, fuller, holier, than we had left
it in the morning. Gustavus took leave of me first, saying: "In five
days we meet again." He led Beata to her cottage, which blazed in
Luna's silver flames. The white summit of the pyramid on the hermitage
mount glimmered across out of the depth of its seclusion over the long
green avenue to the vale and through the darkness of the night. Beside
this pyramid the two happy ones had first given each other their
hearts, beside it a friend rested from the toil of life, and its white
peak pointed to the place where blooms a fairer spring. They heard the
leaves of the terrace whisper, and the Tree of Life under which after
set of sun, they had for the second time given their souls to each
other.... O ye two good and over-happy beings! at this moment a good
seraph is drawing up for you a silvery minute out of the sea of joy
which lies in a fairer earth--on this fleeting drop glances the whole
perspective of the Eden wherein the angel is; the minute will run down
to you, but ah! so soon will it pass by!

Beata gave Gustavus, as a hint for departure, the desired leaf--he
pressed the hand from which it came to his mute lips--he could not
speak either thanks or farewell--he took her other hand and all within
him cried and repeated: "She is truly once more thine and remains so
forever," and he must needs weep over his bliss. Beata looked into his
overflowing heart, and hers ran over into a tear and yet she knew it
not: but when the tear of the holiest eye trickled down the rosy cheek
and hung on that rose-leaf with trembling glimmer--when his locking and
her locked hands could not wipe it away--when with his flaming face,
with his too blissful, bursting heart, he was about to wipe the tear,
and bent toward the fairest object on earth like a rapture bending
toward virtue, and touched her face with his--then did the angel who
loves the earth draw the two purest lips together into an
inextinguishable kiss--then did all trees sink out of sight, all suns
passed away, all heavens fled, and Gustavus held heaven and earth in a
single heart clasped to his breast;--then didst thou, seraph, pass into
the beating hearts and gavest them the flames of the immortal love--and
thou heardst the breathed sounds fly from the hot lips of Gustavus: "O
thou dear! thou undeserved one! and so good! so good!"

Enough--the lofty moment has flown by--the earthly day sends up already
its morning-redness into the heavens--let my heart return to its rest
and every other heart likewise!


       Day After This Night.--Beata's Leaf.--Something Memorable.

I ask pardon of the critics, if I made last night too many metaphors
and too much fire and noise: a section of joy (as well as the critique
upon it) must content itself with the like, when once the author
contents himself with a like over-freight of lemon-juice, tea-blossoms,
sugar-cane and arrack, as I did.

I did not lie down again to-day; the birds had already begun to sing
again, and when my dreams had hardly reproduced the past spectacle some
forty times over before my closed eyes, I opened them again, because
the sun was blazing around me.

A night through which one has been awake and enjoying himself leaves
behind a morning when in a sweet languor one not so much feels and
fantasies, when the nightly tones and dances still sound on in our
inner ears, when the persons with whom we spent it float before our
inner eyes in a lovely twilight, which charms our hearts. In fact, we
never love a woman more than after such a night, in the morning before
one has breakfasted.

I have thought a thousand times to-day upon my Gustavus, who before
day-break began his five days' journey, and of my Ottomar who goes with
him. Would that you might never come upon any thorns but such as are
hidden under the rose, might never pass under any cloud except one that
leaves you the whole blue sky and takes away merely the blazing disc,
and that your joys might want one only, namely, that of being able to
relate it to us!

All sunlight merely encircled with a magic spell and overflowed like a
lofty moonlight before me all the shaded avenues of Lilienbad: the past
night seemed to me to reach over into the present day, and I cannot
tell how the moon, which was still sinking with its wiped-out luster,
like a snow-flake, low in the west, became so welcome and so dear to
me. O, pale friend of need and of night! I still think even now of thy
Elysian splendor, of thy cooled off rays, wherewith thou accompanyest
us by brooks and in leafy lanes, and wherewith thou transformest the
sad night into a day seen afar! Magical scene-painter of the future
world for which we mourn and weep, as a dead man becomes beautiful, so
dost thou paint the second world upon our earthly one, when with all
its flowers and people it sleeps or looks up to thee with silent gaze!

I would give up the most distinguished visit to-day in exchange for it,
if I could make one to the happy parties of yesterday, but it is not
practicable. Even Beata had one to-day from her mother; and my eyes
were not able to get a glimpse of anything about her except the five
white fingers with which she turned round a flower-pot at her window
out of the shadow of a twig. O if our old life and our walks begin
again and all live together again, what things the republic of letters
will then get to read!

To-day I deliver into its hands nothing more than Beata's safe conduct
to Gustavus, because that I have only to copy off. Then I slip out
again into the open air, steer once more by a chart I have in my head
yesterday's course and, in gathering up as after-flora the scattered
flowers our full hands let fall yesterday, I find the higher ones also.
One will pardon Beata some passages in the following composition, when
I premise that she, perhaps imposed upon by her heart, as well as by
her father, who was only a nominal renegade of Catholicism--believed
more of the angels and of their worship, than Nicolai and the Smalcald
(mercantile) articles can admit. For weak and so often helpless woman,
who dares not soar far above this earth, so loves in the hour of need
to lay down her prayers and her sighs before a Mary, a saint, an angel;
but more self-reliant man will indulgently forbear to censure a
delusion which can be so consoling.

                        "_Wishes for my friend_.

"It is no delusion, that angels, in the midst of their joys, watch over
threatened children of men, as the mother amidst her joys and labors
guards her children. O ye unknown immortals! does a single and separate
heaven shut you in? Do you never pity the defenceless son of earth? Can
you never have wiped away greater tears than ours? Ah, if the creator
has breathed his love into you as into us, then you certainly descend
to this earth and console the besieged heart beneath the moon, hover
around the oppressed soul, cover with your hand the parching wound and
think on poor human creatures!

"And if here below there walks a spirit who will one day be like you,
can you forget your brother?--Angel of joy! be with my friend and
thine, when the sun comes, and let fair, holy mornings bloom around
him! Be with him when the sun mounts higher--and when toil weighs him
down!--Oh take the distant sigh of a sister and friend and cool his
therewith! Be with him when the sun declines, and direct his eye to the
moon as she rises in white morning-dress and to the broad heavens
wherein the moon and thou walk!...

"Angel of tears and of patience! Thou that art oftener about men! Oh,
forget my heart and my eye and let them bleed--indeed they do so
willingly;--but tranquillize, like death, the heart and the eye of my
friend, and show them on the earth nothing but the heavens beyond it.
Ah, angel of tears and of patience! Thou knowest the eye and the heart,
which pours itself out for him, thou wilt bring his soul before them,
as one sets out flowers under the summer rain! But do it not, if it
makes him too sad! O, angel of patience! I love thee! I know thee! I
shall die in thy arms!

"Angel of friendship!--perhaps thou art the former angel?... Oh!... let
thy heavenly wing cover his heart and warm it more tenderly than a
human being can--ah, thou on another earth and I on this would weep, if
his heart should, like the warm hand pressed upon freezing iron, cleave
to a cold heart and tear itself away bleeding!... O shield him! but if
thou canst not do it, then let me not learn his misery.

"Oh ye ever blessed ones in other worlds' with you nothing dies, you
lose nothing and have all! what you love you clasp to an eternal
breast, what you have you hold in eternal hands. Can you then feel in
your shining heights above there, in your eternal bond of souls, that
human beings here below are torn asunder, that we reach our hands to
one another only out of coffins, before they sink; ah, that death is
not the only, not the most painful thing that parts human beings?--Ere
that snatches us from one another, many a colder hand breaks in and
severs soul from soul----then indeed does the eye fail and the heart
sink in anguish, just as much as if death had divided them, as in a
_total eclipse of the sun_ no less than in the longer _night_ the dew
falls, the nightingale mourns, the flower closes in death!

"May all that is good, all that is fair, all that blesses and exalts
man be with my friend; and all my wishes are summed up in my silent

                           *   *   *   *   *

In all which I join, not merely for Gustavus, but for every good soul
of my acquaintance and for all others too.

Though it is already eleven o'clock at night, still I must report to
the reader something of melancholy beauty, which has just gone by. A
singing person passed through our valley, concealed, however, by leaves
and shadows, because the moon was not yet up. The voice sang more
sweetly than any I ever heard before:

            ---- No one, nowhere, never.
            ---- The tear that falls.
            ---- The angel that shines.
            ---- There is silence.
            ---- It suffers.
            ---- It hopes.
            ---- I and thou.

Evidently half of each line is wanting, and to every answer the
question. It has already occurred to me several times that the _Genius_
who educated our friend under the ground, left him at his departure
questions and dissonances, whose answers and solutions he took away
with him; I think, too, I have said as much to the reader. Would that
Gustavus were here. But I have not the courage to conceive what would
be our delight if the Genius himself should introduce himself into our
garland of joy at Lilienbad! I still forever hear the long drawn
flute-tones from that unknown bosom wail behind the blossoms; but they
make me sad. Here lie the ever-sleeping flowers, which I collected today
on the path of our last night's ramble, beside the unfolded, waking
ones which I have just palled up--they too sadden me. There is nothing
I and my readers need more than to begin a new section of joy, so that
we may continue our old life.

O Lilienbad! thou appearest only once in the world; and if thou still
once more becomest visible thy name is B----zka.

                             LAST SECTION.

                           *   *   *   *   *

Alas for us unhappy guests of the Spring! It is all over with the
pleasures of Lilienbad. The above superscription my brother could still
make, before hurrying off to Maussenbach. For there Gustavus lies in
_prison_. It is all incomprehensible. My friend Beata sinks under the
news we have received and which came to-day in the following letter to
my brother from Dr. Fenk. Probably the following Job's-post will
conclude this whole book as well as our previous happy days.

                           *   *   *   *   *

"I will not, as a woman would, spare thee, my dear friend, but relate
to thee at once the whole extraordinary blow which has smitten our
happy hours and most of all those of our two friends.

"Three days after our charming night--dost thou still remember a
certain remark of Ottomar about the danger of raptures?--Professor
Hoppedizel undertakes to carry out his inconsiderate joke of breaking
into the palace of Maussenbach. The sly hunter Robisch was just then
away from home; but had gone for fun with thy predecessor, the
Government Counsellor Kolb, on a cruise after thieves. Observe, a
multitude of persons and circumstances are involved here, which can
hardly have been brought together by accident.

"The Professor comes with six comrades, and brings a ladder with him,
in order to set it up against a window which had been broken for years
and which looks over towards Auenthal. But when he comes up under the
window--lo! one is already standing there. He takes it as the most
fortunate accident and they go up in a body, almost on each other's
heels. At the top a hand reaches out a silver sword-belt as if offering
it to some one--the Professor seizes both and leaps in at the window.
There he found what appeared to be a thief, who was expecting
accomplices on the ladder. The thievish realist, in the fury of
desperation falls upon the nominalist--the gallery on the ladder
tumbles in after him and increases the fighting melèe. The thumps upon
the floor startle the listening Röper less out of his sleep than out of
his bed--he alarms the whole house and they his tipstaff--to tell all
in a word: in a few minutes, with the fury of a miser saving and
clutching his goods, he had made both the humorous and the serious
thieves prisoners, however much the true thief might lay about him and
however much the Professor might argue. And now all are sitting fast
and waiting for thee.

"--Ah! wilt thou be able to bear it--if I tell thee all? The scouts
of Kolb and Robisch find around Maussenbach the associates of the
captured thief--they penetrate the woods, they go to a cave, as if they
knew it led to something--they find a subterranean human world. Oh,
that of all men thou to thy sorrow shouldst have been destined to be
found there, thou innocent and unfortunate one! Now thy tender heart
beats even against a prison wall!--Must I name to thee thy friend
Gustavus?--Haste, haste, that the course of things may be changed!

"Lo! not merely on thy breast, but upon mine also has this day laid a
heavy load. Canst thou endure that I should tell thee more still?--that
it is the merest chance that Ottomar still lives. I carried him the
news of our misfortune. With a frightful struggle of his nature, in
which every fibre battled with a different horror, he heard me through,
and then asked me whether no one had been taken prisoner who had _six_
fingers. 'I took a solemn oath,' said he, 'in that hole in the woods,
never to reveal to a soul our _subterranean league_, until an hour
before my death. Fenk, I will now divulge the whole secret. My
supplications and struggles availed nothing; he told me all, 'Gustavus
must be vindicated,' said he. But this history is nowhere safe, hardly
in the most faithful bosom, least of all on this paper. Ottomar was
attacked by his so-called moment-of-annihilation. I let not his hand go
out of mine, so that he might outlive his hour and break his oath.
There is nothing higher than a man who despises life; and in this lofty
position my friend stood before me, who, in his cave, had risked more
and lived better than all they in Scheerau. I saw upon him the sign
that he meant to die. It was right. We were in the chamber where the
wax mummies stand with the black garlands, to remind man how little he
was, and how little he is. 'Bend thy head aside,' said he (for I
chained myself to him), 'that I may look into Sirius--that I may see
out into the infinite heavens and have a solace--that I may transport
myself over an earth more or less. O friend, make not dying so bitter
to me--and be neither angry nor sad. O, see how all heaven gleams from
one infinity to another, how it lives and nothing is dead up yonder;
the human originals of all these waxen corpses dwell there in that
blue.--O ye departed ones, to-day I too join you, into whatever sun my
human spark of light may fly, when the body melts away from it. I shall
find you again.'"

"The striking of every quarter of an hour had up to this time pierced
my heart; but the last quarter struck upon my ear like a funeral knell;
I watched anxiously his hands and steps; he fell on my neck: 'No! no!'
said I, 'here is no parting--I shall hate thee into the very grave, if
thou hast any design--embrace me not.' He had already done it; his
whole being was a throbbing heart; he would fain expire in the very
emotion of friendship; I pressed his bosom to mine, and his soul to
mine: 'I embrace thee,' said he, 'on the earth; into whatever world
death may cast me, never shall I forget thee; I shall there look toward
the earth and spread out my arms after the earthly friend and nothing
shall fill these arms but the faithful, heavy-laden breast which here
has suffered with me, here with me has endured the earth.... Behold!
thou weepest and yet wouldst not embrace me! O beloved!--on thy bosom I
feel not the vanity of earth----thou too wilt die!... Mighty Being
above the earth!' ... Here he tore himself away from me and fell on his
knees and prayed: 'Destroy me not, punish me not! I go away from this
earth; thou knowest what man comes to; thou knowest what earthly life
is and our earthly condition. But, O God! man has a second heart; a
second soul, his friend! Give me again the friend, together with my
life--when one day all human hearts and all human blood molder in
graves; O gracious, loving Being! then breathe thou over men and show
Eternity their love!' A leap upward--a sudden dart towards me--a
crushing embrace--a blow upon the wall--a shot from it.--

"But he still lives.



[Footnote 1: The German word for the dash is _Gedanken-strich_:
_Thought-stroke_: (or _Pause for Reflection_).--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 2: He would not have known that, had he not got it from the
new Tacticians, Messrs. Hahn & Müller, who teach the young officer the
Differential Calculus in order that it may not be hard for him in the
heat of battle to calculate the right base angle in wheeling and
deploying. Even so have I a hundred times wanted to write a book in
which to enable the poor-aiming billiard player merely by a few
solutions in mechanics and higher mathematics to carom with his eyes

[Footnote 3: An allusion to an imagined mystic virtue in the number

[Footnote 4: Lit. "Knee-piece."--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 5: Famous grammarian and purist.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 6: _Stieck, oder Steckte_, is the German, quizzing the
grammatical purists of the day.]

[Footnote 7: Cambyses took Pelusium by storm, by interspersing among
his soldiers sacred animals, cats, etc., at which the Egyptian garrison
did not dare to shoot, and discharged prayers instead of arrows.]

[Footnote 8: The "one-leg" is myself. I have made the Preface, which
every one will have skipped and this note which must not be, for the
purpose of making known that I have only one leg, leaving out of
account the abridged one, and that in my neighborhood they call me by
no other name than the "one-leg" or "one-legged author," whereas my
proper name is Jean Paul. See the Baptismal Register and the Preface.]

[Footnote 9: By which the physicians mean; 1, sleeping and waking; 2,
eating of drinking; 3, motion; 4, breathing; 5, discharges; 6,

[Footnote 10: _Rastriven_ means literally to rule a staff for

[Footnote 11: _Gross-gezogen_ and _Kleingezogen_ is Jean Paul's

[Footnote 12: Ohr-rose (ear-rose.)--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 13: In Haller's great physiology it is stated that
man according to Sanctorius sheds his old body every eleven
years--according to Bernouilli and Blumenbach every three
years--according to the Anatomist Keil every year.]

[Footnote 14: According to the Rabbins, the devil helped build the
temple, and the worm gnawed the stones smooth.]

[Footnote 15: The butterflies of Spring have (through the celibate)
lingered over from the former year; the Autumn ones are this year's

[Footnote 16: Affirmant idem corpus existens in duobis locis habere
posse utrobique, formas absolutas non dependentes--ita ut hic moveater
localiter, illic non, hic calidum sit, illic frigidum, etc. hic
moriatur, illic vivat, hic eliceret actus vitales tum sensitivos tum
intellectivos, illic non. V[oe]tii disp. throl. T. 1, p. 632. Bekanas
with philosophic acumen limits it so far as to say that such body--ergo
a woman--cannot be pious in one place and godless in another at the
same time; which is also clear to my mind.]

[Footnote 17: Wolfe's lect. memorab. Cent. XVI. p. 994 etc.]

[Footnote 18: Loco cit.]

[Footnote 19: Loco cit.]

[Footnote 20: Common to several denominations.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 21: A Linnæan class with hermaphrodite flowers having five

[Footnote 22: Of Saint Theresa.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 23: Even children in the mother's womb. See Allgem. Deutsch.
Bilb., Bd. 67 S. 138.]

[Footnote 24: With which insects make the hole to lay their eggs

[Footnote 25: "Aufgelüftet"--the word _luft_ (Scotch, _lift_) gives a
double sense here: _lifting_ to give _air_.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 26: I mean a harpsichord disguised under the form of a

[Footnote 27: In Scheerau, as in some States even at this day, all
mourning was forbidden the subjects.]

[Footnote 28: _Fou_' is the Scotch for _tipsy_. See Burns. A German
proverb runs: "Voll-toll." These are Jean Paul's words, "Full and

[Footnote 29: Pantheon?--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 30: This remark has in the la««t twenty years, if not in
France yet in Germany, become much less extensively applicable.]

[Footnote 31: "Gild refined gold." etc.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 32: In a child's story-telling there is the same contempt of
finery, of side-glances and brevity, the same naiveté, which often
seems to us caprice and yet is not, and the same forgetting of the
narrator in the narrative, that we find in the stories of the Bible,
the elder Greeks, etc.]

[Footnote 33: What the moderns write in the taste of the ancients is
little understood; and can it be that the ancients themselves are so
frequently understood?]

[Footnote 34: Do all Germans, then, feel the _Messiah_ who are at home
in the German language and Biblical history?]

[Footnote 35: Lit.: "Philanthropin." A natural system of education
instituted by Basidow.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 36: A word coined by Harvey, signifying a corrupt condition
of the fluids of the body--hence ill-humor.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 37: The Vehmgericht.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 38: _Stunde_ means both _hour_ and _league_.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 39: "Nature's soft nurse."--Shakespeare.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 40: _Glove_, in German, is _Hand-shoe_.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 41: Gustavus's courage in kissing is, on the whole, natural.
Our sex runs through three periods of boldness toward the other--the
first is that of childhood, when one is yet daring with the female sex
from want of feeling, etc.--the second is the era of enthusiasm, when
one poetizes, but does not dare--the third is the last, in which one
has experience enough to be frank and feeling enough to spare and
respect the sex. Gustavus's kiss fell in the first period.]

[Footnote 42: _Apotheke_--from the Greek--literally a

[Footnote 43: Frederick Jacobi in Düsseldorf. Whoever, in reading his
Woldemar, the best that has yet been written upon and against the
Encyclopedia; or his Allwill--in which he balances the storms of
feeling with the sunshine of principle; or his Spinoza and Hume--the
best upon philosophy, for and against--has admired the too great
condemnation (the effect of the oldest acquaintance with all systems)
or the profundity, or the fancy, or some other traits which elevate
certain _rarer_ men; such a one's ear will be sorely shocked by the
first yelp, amidst which Jacobi had to enter the temple of German fame;
but he has only to remember, that in Germany (not in other countries)
new energetic geniuses meet always a different reception at the
threshold of the temple (_e. g_. from barking Cerberuses) from what they
find in the temple itself, where the Priests are; and even a Klopstock,
a Goethe, a Herder did not fare otherwise. Nor, in fact, thou, poor
Hamann in Königsberg! How many Mordecais have in the _Universal German
Library_ and in other journals, helped build thy gallows and spin for
thy hangman's rope: Meanwhile thou hast happily come down from the
gallows only seemingly dead.]

[Footnote 44: Heaven grant that the reader may understand all this and
still remember in some measure the first sections, where he was
informed that the wife of the commercial agent Röper had been the first
love of Captain Falkenberg and had brought the agent her first-born
child by the Captain as a marriage morning present.]

[Footnote 45: "Si ad illam quae cum virtute degatur, _ampulla aut
strigilis_ accedat, sumpturum sapientum eam vitam potius qua haec
adjecta sint, nec beatiorem tamen ob eam causam fore." Cic. de. fin.
bon. et mal. L. IV.]

[Footnote 46: The fourth finger.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 47: _Zum Sterben schon_.--"Awfully beautiful."--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 48: _I. e_., Day-board.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 49: A Russian title answering nearly to Baron.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 50: _Leuterirt_--lit.: _referred back for explanation_--(a
law term)--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 51: _Bank_ means bench in German.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 52: The picture of the lost little one, which he brought with
him on his neck from his abductress, and which looked so like himself.]

[Footnote 53: Elementary maxims of the law--a Scotch term.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 54: General experts.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 55: The whole career of his father, _Maria Wutz_, I have
appended to Vol. II. of this work. But although it is an episode, which
has no other connection with the main work than is given by the thread
and paste of the binder, still I trust the world will do me the favor
to read it _immediately_ after reading this note.]

[Footnote 56: I have preferred to render word for word what seems to
mean a _chronic sickness or soreness_.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 57: This name was given to the English garden around
Marienhof, which the spouse of the dead Prince had laid out in a
romantic, sentimental spirit, and one that went beyond all rules of
art. Some one suggested to her the name and plan of the Silent Land.
But, now even this land is too noisy for her dying soul, and she lives
in-doors. Readers who were never there I shall oblige by a description
of the garden.]

[Footnote 58: I cannot help it, that my hero is so stupid as to hope to
be useful. I am not, but I show in the sequel that the medical
treatment of a cacochymic body-politic (_e. g_., better political,
educational, and other institutions, special edicts, etc.) is like the
taking of medicine by a patient of weak nerves, who works against the
symptoms and not against the essence of the malady, and undertakes now
to sweat off, now to vomit out, or to evacuate, or wash away his
sickness by bathing.]

[Footnote 59: The reader will remember that she had journeyed hither
from the Resident Lady von Bouse's merely to join in celebrating the
paternal birthday.]

[Footnote 60: These few parts I describe but briefly: The _Place of
Rest_ is a burnt-out village with a standing church, both of which had
to remain as they were, after the Princess had indemnified the
inhabitants for the loss of the place and all within a quarter of a
league's radius, at the greatest expense and with the help of Herr von
Ottomar, to whom it belongs and who is not yet arrived there. The
_Flower Islands_ are single, separate, turf-hillocks in a pond, each
decked with _one_ different flower. The _Realm of Shadows_ consists of
a manifold lattice-and-nest-work of shadow, thrown by great and small
foliage, by branches and trellises, bushes and trees in various colors
on a ground of pebbles, grass or water. She had arranged the deepest
and the brightest parts of shadow, some for the waning noon, and others
for the evening twilight. The _Dumb Cabinet_ was a miserable little
house with two opposite doors over each of which hung a veil and which
no hand whatever was permitted to unlock, except that of the Princess.
To this day no one knows what is therein, but the veils are destroyed.]

[Footnote 61: A bed invented by one Dr. Graham for lifting the invalid
during change of sheets.-(Tr.)]

[Footnote 62: See how Jean Paul has elaborated this same idea in Titan,
21st Cycle.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 63: See this sentiment also worked out still more fully and
finely in the last paragraph of the 8th Jubilee of Titan.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 64: "Erectos ad sidera tollere vultus."--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 65: "The human face divine."--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 66: A Prince Rupert's-drop.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 67: A refusal.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 68: _Aus der Luft_: the German phrase for "out of the whole

[Footnote 69: For, notoriously, man's breast is much harder and more
inflexible, and like that which it sometimes encloses.--It is singular
that parents let their daughters _sing_, with all feeling, things which
they would not allow to be read to them.]

[Footnote 70: In the Roman Pantheon there stand only two divinities:
Mars and Venus.]

[Footnote 71: As in well known, the pebble or mountain crystal
concealed in the setting on a _doublette_, is called a _culasse_ and
the diamond blazing over it a _pavillon_.]

[Footnote 72: The Rose-maiden is the one who gains the garland for her
distinguished virtue.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 73: The three cures which, as above stated, I use against my
lung disease, I have from three nations--following in freshly ploughed
furrows the English advise--strengthening by a dog's bedfellowship is
the advice of a Frenchman (de la Richebandiere)--breathing the air of
cow-barns is prescribed to Swedish consumptives.]

[Footnote 74: Or "_Liripoop_, a long tail or tippet of a hood, passing
round the neck, and hanging down before."--(Worcester's Dictionary.)]

[Footnote 75: Hollowed ice is, as is well known, applied to the head in
case of headache, vertigo or madness.]

[Footnote 76: Shakespeare's Prologues to the Henrys.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 77: An odd forerunner of our modern local quiz, that
good Bostonians hope, when they die, to go to Paris (short for

[Footnote 78: Of course, German miles.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 79: So much the finer is it, that they keep the sentiment of
love pure, thereby omnipotent; other feelings float therein, but
dissolved and opaque; with men the latter merely stand _beside_ it and
independent of it.]

[Footnote 80:

           "O youth adown time's winding brook,
            Toward life's vast ocean-grave I look."

The beginning runs originally:

           "A wanderer sate by the rivulet's side,
            And sadly the fleeting waters eyed."


[Footnote 81: "Das Abendroth im ernsten Sinne glühn." (Faust.)--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 82: According to the older theologians (_e. g_., Gerhard,
Loc. Theol., T. VIII. p. 116, r.--) we rise without hair, stomach,
lacteal vessels, etc. According to Origen we rise without finger-nails
also, and what he himself had lost even in this life. According to
Connor, Med. Mystic, Art. 13, we come out of the grave with no more
flesh than we had at birth or conception.]

[Footnote 83: Zückert in his Dietetics proposes a cork cuirass, which
keeps one erect above water, and which, as fast as the ability to float
on the top increases, may be cut off.]

[Footnote 84: In the "Liaisons dangereuses."]

[Footnote 85: For one might make a man crazy by insisting that he was
so. The friends of the younger Crebillon once agreed, on an evening of
social gaiety, not to laugh at one of his jokes, but only to maintain a
pitying silence, as if he had now lost all his wit and wits. And the
thing was even made credible to him. Other writers again are still more
vividly deluded by their friends into the opposite error of believing
that they have wit. [A curious illustration of this is given in a story
in Roscoe's "Italian Novelists."--Tr.]]

[Footnote 86: Alloying gold with copper is called the _red_; with
silver the _white_.]

[Footnote 87: That is, merely in the conventional; for there is a
certain better sort, by which not always that, but cultivated goodness
of heart is always accompanied.]

[Footnote 88: A settling of blood in some cavity of the body,
especially in the thorax.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 89: As no readers understand sober earnest less than those
who cannot take a joke. I remark in a note for that class that the fact
stated above is really so, and that I (as an equally intemperate water
and coffee drinker) have never found any other means of bracing the
nerves against suspension of pulse and breath and other weaknesses,
which made all inner effort painful, of so much efficiency

[Footnote 90: An instrument for measuring the blue of the atmosphere.]

[Footnote 91: According to the ancients the rare springs gathered about
them all wild beasts, and these meetings, like those in masquerades,
gave occasion to still more extraordinary ones, and to the proverb,
"Always something new from Africa," or to miscarriages.]

[Footnote 92: His sermons, printed a year ago, will still be to the
taste of every one who shares mine.]

[Footnote 93: "Sweet hour, that wakes the wish and melt's the
heart."--Byron. (Tr.)]

[Footnote 94: A name meaning literally black clay.--(Tr.)]

[Footnote 95: "_Schlenterten_ (or is it written with a soft D?)"

[Footnote 96: The Zahuri in Spain see through the earth down to its
treasures, its lead, its metals, etc.]

[Footnote 97: Only not on _the same side_, as did the original.--(Tr.)]

The End.

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