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Title: The Campaner Thal and Other Writings
Author: Jean Paul, 1763-1825
Language: English
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                          RICHTER'S WRITINGS.

TITAN. A Romance. 2 vols. 16mo. $3.00.

FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 2 vols. 16mo. $2.75.

LEVANA; Or, The Doctrine of Education. 1 vol. 16mo. $1.50.

THE CAMPANER THAL, and Other Writings. 1 vol. 16mo. $1.50.

HESPERUS. 2 vols. 16mo. _Preparing_.

       _The above volumes are printed in uniform size and style_.

                               IN PRESS.

LIFE OF JEAN PAUL. By Eliza Buckminster Lee. New Edition, Revised. 1

                    TICKNOR AND FIELDS, Publishers.


                             CAMPANER THAL,


                            OTHER WRITINGS.

                          _From the German of_

                      JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER.

                          TICKNOR AND FIELDS.

                            University Press:
                      Welch, Bigelow, and Company,


                          _THE CAMPANER THAL_.


                             501st STATION.

The Diversities of Life.--The Dirge as Billet-Doux.--The Cavern.--The

                             502d STATION.

The Thundering Morning.--The Short Trip after the Long One.--The

                             503d STATION.

Lampoon on the Chaplain.--Praise of Him.--The Diamond.--Opinions
against Immortality.--Eden Jokes.

                             504th STATION.

Flower Toying.

                             505th STATION.

The Ephemera.--Relative Conclusions.--Doubts of the Length of the Chain
of Living Beings.--The Wart-Eaters.--The Cure.

                             506th STATION.

Objections to Immortality.--The Second Childhood of the Outer and Inner

                             507th STATION.

The Theft of the Souvenir.--Answers to previous Stations.--On the
Emigration of the Dead to the Planets.--The Threefold World in
Man.--Grief without Hope.--The Seal of Immortality.--The
Country-Seat.--The Balloons.--Ecstasy.

                        LIFE OF QUINTUS FIXLEIN.

Letter to my Friends, instead of Preface.

                           FIRST LETTER-BOX.

Dog-Day's' Vacation.--Visits.--An Indigent of Quality.

                           SECOND LETTER-BOX.

Frau von Aufhammer.--Childhood-Resonance.--Authorcraft.

                           THIRD LETTER-BOX.

Christmas Recollections.--New Occurrence.

                           FOURTH LETTER BOX.

Office-Brokage.--Discovery of the promised Secret.--Hans von Füchslein.

                           FIFTH LETTER-BOX.

Cantata-Sunday.--Two Testaments.--Pontac; Blood; Love.

                           SIXTH LETTER-BOX.

Office-Impost.--One of the most important of Petitions.

                          SEVENTH LETTER-BOX.

Sermon.--School Exhibition.--Splendid Mistake.

                           EIGHTH LETTER-BOX.

Instalment in the Parsonage.

                           NINTH LETTER-BOX.

Or to the Marriage.

                           TENTH LETTER BOX.

St. Thomas's-Day and Birthday.

                          ELEVENTH LETTER BOX.

Spring; Investiture; and Childbirth.

                          TWELFTH LETTER-BOX.

Steeple-Ball Ascension.--The Toy-Press.

                         THIRTEENTH LETTER BOX.


                         FOURTEENTH LETTER-BOX.

                             CHAPTER LAST.

                    _SCHMELZLE'S JOURNEY TO FLÄTZ_.


Circular Letter of the proposed Catechetical Professor Attila Schmelzel
to his Friends; containing some Account of a Holidays' Journey to
Flätz, with an Introduction, touching his Flight, and his Courage as
former Army-Chaplain.

Journey to Flätz.

First Stage; from Neusattel to Vierstädten.

Second Stage; from Vierstädten to Niederschöna.

Third Stage; from Niederschöna to Flätz.

First Day in Flätz.

First Night in Flätz.

Second Day in Flätz.

                        _ANALECTS FROM RICHTER_.

The Happy Life of a Parish Priest in Sweden.

Dream upon the Universe.

Complaint of the Bird in a darkened Cage.

On the Death of Young Children.

The prophetic Dew-Drops.

On Death.

Imagination untamed by the coarser Realities of Life.

Satirical Notice of Reviewers.

Female Tongues.


The Grandeur of Man in his Littleness.


The Stars.


The Quarrels of Friends.


Two Divisions of Philosophic Minds.

Dignity of Man in Self-Sacrifice.


                        _MISCELLANEOUS PIECES_.

Reminiscences of the best Hours of Life for the Hour of Death.

The New-Year's Night of an Unhappy Man.

The Death of an Angel.

A Dream and the Truth.

The Beauty of Death in the Bloom of Youth.


                             CAMPANER THAL;



                     TRANSLATED BY JULIETTE BAUER.

"Report also, we regret to say, is all that we know of the _Campaner
Thal_, one of Richter's beloved topics, or rather the life of his whole
philosophy, glimpses of which look forth on us from almost every one of
his writings. He died while engaged, under recent and almost total
blindness, in enlarging and remodelling this _Campaner Thal_. The
unfinished manuscript was borne upon his coffin to the burial vault;
and Klopstock's hymn, _Auferstehen wirst du!_ 'Thou shalt arise, my
soul!' can seldom have been sung with more appropriate application than
over the grave of Jean Paul."--From _Carlyle's Miscellanies_.


In my distilling processes, I frequently precipitated the phlegma
of our earthball--its polar deserts, its Russian forests, its
icebergs--and from the sediments extracted a beautiful by-earth, a
small satellite. If we extract and regulate the charms of this old
world, we can form a delightful though minutely condensed world.

For the caves of this miniature or ditto-earth, we will take the
caves of Antiparos and of Baumann, for its plains, the Rhine
provinces--Hybla, Thabor, and Mont Blanc shall be its mountains--its
islands, the Friendly, the Holy, and the Palm isles. Wentworth's park
and Daphne's grotto, and some corner-pieces from the Paphian, we have
for its forests--for a charming valley, the Seifer's-dorfer and that of
Campan. Thus we possess, besides this dirty, weary world, the most
beautiful by or after-world--an important dessert service--an
Ante-Heaven between Ante-Hells.

I have purposely included this valley of Campan in my extract and
decoction, as I know none other in which I would rather awake, or die,
or love than in this one; if I had to command, I would not permit my
valley to be mixed up or placed beside the vale of Tempe or the Rose
Valley, perhaps with Utopia. The reader must have known this valley in
his geographical lessons, or in the works of Arthur Young, who praises
it even more than I do.[1]

I must take for granted, that in July, 1796, the Goddess of Fortune
descended from her throne to our earth, and placed in my hand--not
mammon, nor garters, nor golden sheep--nothing but her own, and led
me--by this I recognized the goddess--to the Campan vale. Truly, man
needs but look into it, and he will have--as I had--more than the Devil
_offered_ to Christ and Louis XIV., and _gave_ to the popes.

The test of enjoyment is memory. Only the paradises of the imagination
willingly remain, and are never lost, but always conquered. Poetry
alone reconciles the past to the future, and is the Orpheus's lyre
which commands these two destroying rocks to rest.[2]

As stated, in the year 1796, I made a trip through France, with my
friend H. Karlson. He is honorary master of horse in the * * * service.
The wise public cares little for true names, it always treats them as
fictitious ones, by way of literary taxation; and the existing
characters, at least those of any importance, may prefer not to be torn
over the wheel of criticism, and dragged piecemeal through libraries
and reading-clubs. At almost every milestone, I despatched the best
hourly bulletin to my friend Victor: when I had sent him the following
valley-piece, he persecuted me until I promised to grant this
illuminated portrait of nature, not alone to the letter, but also to
the printing-press. Therefore I do it. I know already, my poor Victor
sees, that in our days no green branch is left as a spinning-hut
for the man-caterpillar, and that inimical divers try to cut our
anchor-rope, sunk in the sea of death. Therefore he thinks more of the
conversations on immortality, than of the valley in which they took
place. I know this, because he calls me the counterpart of Claude
Lorraine, who only drew the landscape, while another drew the human
beings in it. Truly such a valley deserves that the mining and
sabbath-lamp of truth should be lowered into the suffocating air of the
grave, in place of our _self_, merely to see if that _self_ can breathe
at such a depth.

I have jokingly divided my letters into stations. I of course omit 500,
and commence at the 501st, wherein I appear in the valley.

                             CAMPANER THAL.

                             501st STATION.

        The Diversities of Life.--The Dirge as Billet-Doux.--The
                         Cavern.--The Surprise.

                                               _Campan, 23d July_.

Here have I been since the day before yesterday. After descent into
hell and purgatory, and passage through _limbos infantum et patrum_,
man must at last reach heaven. But I owe you yet our exit from our inn
on the 20th. Never can the head have a harder couch than when we hold
it in our hands. The reason that this happened to Karlson and myself
was, that in the rooms adjoining ours a wedding-dance was taking place,
and that below, the youngest daughter of our _maître d'hôtel_, who had
not only the name, but also the charms of _Corday_, with two white
roses on her cheeks, and two red ones in her hair, was being interred,
and that human beings with pale faces and heavy hearts waited on happy
and blooming ones. When fate harnesses to Psyche's car, the merry and
the mourning steed together, the mourning one ever takes the lead;
i. e. if the muses of Mirth and Sorrow play on the same stage in the
same hour, man does not, like Garrick,[3] follow the former; he does
not even remain neuter, but takes the side of the mourning one. Thus we
always paint, like Milton, our lost Paradise more glowing than the
regained one,--like Dante, hell better than purgatory. In short, the
silent corpse made us cold to the warm, joyful influence of the
dancers. But is it not absurd, my dear Victor, that a man who, like
myself, knows nothing better than that every hour unfolds at once
morning bloom and evening clouds; that here an Ash Wednesday and there
a black Monday commence; that such a man, who grieves little that
dancing music and funeral marches should sound at the same time on the
broad national theatre of humanity, should yet hang his head and grow
pale, when, in a side scene, this double music sounds in his ears? Is
not this as absurd as all his other doings?

Into Karlson's eyes something of this cloud had fallen. It was to him
the restirred ashes of a funeral urn. He can withstand all sorrows, but
not their recollection. He has replaced his years by lands, and the
space he has travelled over must be called his time. But the firm youth
changed color when he came to tell that the lover of the pale Corday
had torn her folded taper hands asunder, and, on his knees, had dragged
them to his burning lips.

He perceived his paleness in the glass; and to explain it, he imparted
the last and most secret leaf of his life's Robinsonade to me. You see
what an opaque gem this youth is, who follows his friends through all
France, without opening to his communicative friend and travelling
companion, even a fold or a loophole in his relation to them. Now only
from emotion on entering the Campan Vale, he draws the key from the
keyhole, which shall become a prompter's hole for you.

That he had accompanied the Baron Wilhelmi and his betrothed Gione,
with her sister Nadine, to Lausanne, in order to celebrate their
Arcadian marriage in the Campan Vale, you know already; that he had
left them suddenly at Lausanne, and returned to the Rhine fall at
Shaffhausen, you know also, but not the reason, which will now be
related to you by me and by him.

By daily contact Karlson had at last penetrated the thickly-woven veil,
magically colored by betrothed love, thrown over the strong, firm, and
kindred mind of Gione. Probably others discovered him ere he had
discovered himself. His heart became like the so-called world's eye[4]
in water, first bright, then varying its colors, then dull and misty,
and at last transparent. Not to cloud their beautiful intimacy, he
addressed the suspicious part of his attentions to Nadine. He did not
explain to me clearly whether he had led her into a beautiful error,
without taking a beautiful truth from Gione.

The sword of death seemed likely to separate all these stage knots.
Gione, the healthy and calm Gione, was suddenly attacked by a nervous
disorder. One evening, Wilhelmi, with his usual poetic ardor, entered
Karlson's chamber weeping, and, embracing him, could only sob forth the
words, "She is no more."

Karlson said not a word, but in the tumult of his own and others'
griefs, departed that night for Shaffhausen, and probably fled at the
same time from a beloved and a loving one,--from Gione and from Nadine.
By this eternal waterspout of the Rhine, this onward pressing, molten
avalanche, this gleaming perpendicular milky-way, his soul was slowly
healed; but he was long imprisoned in the dark, cold, serpent's-nest of
envenomed pains; they entwined and crawled over him, even to his
heart. For he believed, as most world-men among whom he had grown up
do,--perhaps, also, too much accustomed to analyzed ideas and opinions
by his favorite study, chemistry,--that our last sleep is annihilation,
as in the epopee the first man imagined the first sleep to be the first

To Wilhelmi he only sent the name of his retreat and a poem, entitled,
"Grief-without Hope," which declared his disbelief, for he had never
broken the Ambrosia, whose delights a trust in immortality affords. But
just that strengthened his enfeebled heart, that the muses led him to
Hippocrene's spring of health.

Wilhelmi answered, that he had read his beautiful requiem to the
deceased, or the immortal one. A long swoon had occasioned the painful
mistake. Gione and he entreated him to follow speedily. Karlson
replied: "Fate had separated him from their beautiful feast by the
Alpine Wall, but as it would, like the Campan Vale, ever renew its
springs, he hoped to lose nothing but time by his delay."

Now that the next world had cast its supernatural light on Gione's
countenance, Karlson loved her too much to be capable of assisting at
the ceremony of losing her forever. I will give you the opinion I
formed of her by listening to his description.

Even by a love and a praise in a person's absence we may be won; how
much more, then, if both are thrown to us as farewell kisses after the
ascent to Heaven! Therefore the idea of the future funeral procession
behind my gay, richly decorated dust, onion and relic box is only
another incentive, not only to drug, but also to absolve myself, for
when older we are less missed. And even you, who so seldom hang us, or
drive us all to the Devil, I mean, how seldom soever the tempest of
anger sours the beer-barrel of your breast! Even you have no more
efficacious morsel of white chalk, no better _oleum tartari per
deliquium_,[5] with which you can sweeten your internal fluids, than
the thought how we shall all turn pale round your death-bed, and be
dumb at your grave-mound, and how none will forget you! I cannot
possibly believe that there exists one being who, when death draws him
into the diving-bell of the grave, will not leave _one_ weeping eye,
_one_ bending head behind, and therefore each one can love the soul
which will some time weep for him.

When I think now of the convalescent Gione, with her wounded heart,
which had received a new sensitiveness in the hot electric atmosphere
of the sinking thunderbolt of Death, I need not measure her emotion at
Karlson's poem, by the dew and hygrometer, nor with the loadstone of
her love. But not Wilhelmi's brilliant riches, nor his still more
brilliant conduct, her first choice, her first promise, forbade her
even to touch the diamond scales.

When Karlson told me all this, he turned Gione's ring-portrait upwards
on his finger, and pressed the hard edge of the ring-finger with his
tearful eyes, till the adorned hand was unconsciously touched by the
lip's kiss. The bashfulness of his grief moved me so much, that I
offered to take another route into the Vale, under the pretence that
the dreams of it had lessened the desire for the reality, and that we
should disturb the newly-affianced in their first rose-honey days, as
they had probably waited for the mild late spring. He divined my
intention; but his promise to come to-morrow dragged him by chains.
Right gladly would I have missed the new spring-filled Eden, and drawn
from my friend's feet the Jacob's ladder from which he might gaze on
his former glad heaven, but could not ascend to it. On the other hand,
I rejoiced at his firm, promise-keeping character, which opposed its
strong nature to the thorns and boring-worms of sorrow; as with the
increase of moonlight, tempests decrease. Unperceived, I now added
Gione, not only Karlson, to the list of rare beings, who, like
Raphael's and Plato's works, uncloud themselves only on earnest
contemplation, and who, as both, resemble the Pleiades, which to the
naked eye seems only to have seven suns, but with a telescope discloses
more than forty.

On the 20th, we started towards the Vale. On the way, I looked too
often into Karlson's faithful, heavenly, deep-blue eyes. I descended
into his heart, and sought the scene of the day on which the holy
church tie would tear the noble Gione forever from out his pure muse
and goddess-warmed heart. I confess I can imagine no day on which I
regard my friend with deeper emotion that on that never-to-be-forgotten
one, on which Fate gives him the brother kiss, the hand-pressure, the
land of love and Philadelphia and Vaucluse's spring, united in one
female heart.

The day before yesterday, at ten in the evening, we arrived at
Wilhelmi's Arcadian dwelling, which pressed its straw roof against a
green marble wall. Karlson found it easily from its proximity to the
famed Campan Cave, from which he had often broken stalactites. The sky
was clouded with colored shadows, and on the green cradle of slumbering
children night threw her star-embroidered cradle-cover, fastened to the
summits of the Pyrenees. From out Wilhelmi's hermitage advanced some
men in _black_ attire, with torches in their hands, who seemed to be
waiting for us, and told us the baron was in the Cave. By heaven, under
such circumstances, it is easier to imagine the most circumscribed,
than the _largest_ and most _beautiful_ Cave! The sable attendants
carried the flame before them, and drew the flying smoke-picture from
oak-top to oak-top, and led us, stooping, through the catacomb
entrance. But how splendidly was arched the high and wide grotto,[6]
with its crystal sides, shining like an illumined ice Louvre, a
gleaming sub-terrestrial heaven vault. Wilhelmi threw away a handful of
gathered spars, and joyfully hastened into his friend's arms. Gione,
with her sister, advanced from behind a connected stalactite and
stalagmite. The gleaming of the torches gave her an undecided outline,
but at length Wilhelmi advanced to her, and said, "Here is our friend."
Bending low, Karlson kissed the warm living hand, and was dumb with
emotion. But the firm features of Gione's earnest face, which wanted
but Nadine's juvenile bloom, changed into a shining joy, greater than
he dared to return or reward. "We have long expected and missed you in
this paradise," she said, with unshaken voice; and her clear, calm eye
opened a view into a richly-gifted, steadfast soul. "Welcome to the
infernal regions," said Nadine; "you believe in reunion and Elysium
now?" Though she received him with an assemblage or Flora of wit, or
was it grace? for they were difficult to distinguish, this cheerfulness
of character and acquirement seemed not to be the cheerfulness of a
contented or reposeful mind.

My friend introduced me properly, that no supermember or _hors
d'[oe]uvre_ should remain in this corporation of friendship.

To all of us--even to me--for around me never before seen beings
floated in silver reflections--it seemed as if the world had ceased,
Elysium had opened, and the separated, covered, sub-terrestrial regions
cradled only tranquil, but happy souls.

There was a certain heartfulness in the joyous interest which this
affectionate trinity took in Karlson's appearance, which generally
accompanies the last step before the disclosure of some hidden plan,
but this plan was concealed. To speak something also to me, Nadine
said, that there was a critical philosopher and arguer with them, who
would rejoice to hear any one _for_ or _against_ his opinions,--namely,
the house-chaplain. When we stepped from the illumined diamond and
magic cave into the dark night, we saw the cloak of Erebus hang in
thick cloudy folds over the earth, and pale lightning shot from the
nightly mist, the flowers breathed from covered calysses, and under the
fast approaching storm the nightingales raised their melodious voices
behind their blooming hedges.

Suddenly Gione walked more slowly by Karlson's side, and said, with
much warmth, but without hesitation: "I heartily love truth, even at
the expense of stage-like effect: I must, in the name of the Baron,
discover to you that he and I will to-morrow be forever united. You
must forgive _your_ friend that he would not celebrate this ceremony
without _his_."

I think that now, in Karlson's heart, the cooled lava immediately
became fluid and glowing. Suddenly lightning flashed from a cloud
around the rising moon, and illumined the rain-drops, intended for
darkness, in Gione's and in Karlson's eyes. Wilhelmi asked, "Can you
not forgive me?" Karlson pressed him warmly and lovingly to his
grateful heart: this lofty confidence of friendship, and this
affectionate proof of it, raised his strengthened soul above all
desires, and another's virtue spread in his breast the calm
tranquillity of his own. We took shelter for the night in three Thabor
huts,--the ladies in the first, Wilhelmi with the critical philosopher
in the second, Karlson and myself in the third,--which the Baron had
hired for us. The fatigue of the journey, and even of our feelings,
deferred our joys and confidences for another night. But I cannot tell
you how nobly sorrow changed into exaltation in my friend's
countenance, how grief fell like a cloud from his heaven, and
discovered the serene blue beneath. The sacrifices and virtues of our
beloved ones belong to the inexpressible joys which the soul at least
can count and appreciate; which it can imitate.

His and my eyes overflowed with holy gladness from a singularly elysian
mood of harmony in anticipation of the coming day. Ah, my Victor!
nations and men are only the _best_ when they are the gladdest, and
deserve Heaven when they enjoy it. The tear of grief is but a diamond
of the second water, but the tear of joy of the first. And therefore
fatherly fate, thou spreadest the flowers of joy, as nurses do lilies
in the nursery of life, that the awakening children may sleep the
sounder! O, let philosophy, which grudges our _pleasures_, and blots
them out from the plans of Providence, say by what right did torturing
_pain_ enter into our frail life? Have we not already an eternal right
to a warm down bed? I think not now of the deepest mattress in the
earth, because we are so pierced with stigmas of the past, so covered
with its wounds.

You once said to me: "In your early years, you have been drawn and
driven from the stoic philosophy by Sorites; for if the sensation of
pleasure be as little as the stoics pretend, it were wiser to convert
than to benefit your neighbor,--wiser to preach morality from pulpit
and desk than to practise it in the work-rooms,--wiser to turn towards
your neighbor the dirt-balls and _soap-pills_ of moral philosophy, than
the enlarged marble _soap-bubbles_ of joy. Further, that it is a
mistake to assert that virtue makes more worthy of happiness, if
happiness possessed not an eternal, independent value in itself; for
else it might be maintained that virtue would make the possessor of a
straw, &c. worthy--"

You said this once. Do you believe it yet?--I do.

                             502d STATION.

           The Thundering Morning.--The Short Trip after the
                     Long One.--The Sofa-cushions.

Through the whole night, a half-lost thundering was heard, as though it
murmured in its sleep. In the morning, before sunrise, Karlson and
myself stepped out into the wide cloud-tapestried bridal-chamber of
nature. The moon approached the double moment of its waning and its
fulness. The sun, standing on America as on a burning altar, drove the
cloudy incense of its _feu de joie_ high and red into the air; but a
morning tempest boiled angrily above it, and darted its fierce
lightnings to meet his ascending rays. The oppressive heat of nature
drew longer and louder plaints from the nightingales, and evanescent
aroma from the long flower-meads. Heavy warm drops were pressed from
the clouds, and beat loudly on the stream and on the foliage. Only the
Mittagshorn, the pinnacle of the Pyrenees, stood brightly and clearly
in the heavenly blue. Now a gust of wind from the waning moon dispersed
the raging storm, and the sun stood victoriously under a triumphal arch
of lightnings. The wind restored the heaven's blue, and dashed the rain
behind the earth, and around the dazzling sun-diamond there lay only
the silvered fringes of the once threatening clouds.

O my Victor, what a new-born day was now on earth, encamped in the
glorious valley. The nightingales and the larks loudly sung its
welcome, the rosechafers rustled round its lily garlands, and the
eagle, riding on the highest cloud, surveyed it from mountain
to mountain. How rurally all things surrounded the serpentine
field-embracing Adour. The marble walls, not raised by human skill,
surround its flower-beds like large vases, and the Pyrenees, with their
high tops, watch over and protect the lowly scattered shepherd huts.
Tranquil Tempe! May a storm never disturb thy gardens and thy murmuring
Adour. May a stronger one never visit thee, than would gently rock the
cradle of nature, or dash a bee from the honey-dew of the wheat-sheaf,
or force but a single drop from the waterfall upon the flowers of thy

You must not think that I am placing my paintbrushes at my side to copy
the heavenly rounded valley by the measure of art for you; I will let
you peep into this picture-book of nature as chance shall turn each
succeeding page. My stations will lead you through its different
chambers, in which the rich dowry of Spring, like that of a king's
daughter, is placed for show. But truly it is a more glorious thing to
see the whole dowry disposed over the person of the royal bride

A servant seeking the chaplain, roused us both from our reverie. We saw
him advance towards a gentleman standing on the banks of the Adour, who
slowly turned down his rolled-up shirt-sleeves. It was the chaplain,
who had been catching crabs during the storm, and had subsequently
fished. As I knew that his hairy hand had worked for the food of the
critical, as well as his own philosophy, with trowel and mortar, with
pen and ink, I boldly advanced towards him, and told him what I was
writing. But the coarse, obstinate, yet timid free-mason, coldly
welcomed me in a language as broad as his own frosty visage.

He despises biographers; for the windows of a philosophical audience
are too high,--perhaps, as in ancient temples, in the roof,--so that
they cannot see into the streets of real life, as, according to
Winkelmann, the Roman windows were architecturally as high. Lord
Rochester is said to have been continually drunk during a whole
quintennium; but such a chaplain is capable of being _sober_ for an
entire decennium. A man like this bites the buds of all powerful
truths, experiences, and fictions, as ants bite the buds from
corn-seeds, that they may not fructify, but wither and die and form
building materials.

When the Chaplain left me to join the Baron, as consecrator of the
marriage sacrament, I found Karlson in the dustrain of a near cascade.
Round him, almost close to our windows, the hermitages of the farmers
waded in green foliage, with the fresh harvest wreath roofed by faded
ones; and inside, there bloomed families, outside, elms. He showed me
Gione's card, which, he said, she had given him before her marriage.
But it was not so; he had found it on the moss near the cascade. It
represented a Roman landscape, and beside the living fountain was the
pictured one of Tivoli, and on a stone in the foreground Gione's name
was written. Such a printed trifle, a beloved name shortly before its
sublunar annihilation, moves the whole heart with a succession of
pleasing reflections.

Karlson went to the ceremony. I remained alone under the splendid blue
heaven, and rejoiced that all the inhabitants of Campan wore its
livery, the blue, which we had yesterday mistaken for black.

I will not hide from you that during the coupling, softened by the many
beauties of spring, I lost myself in Nadine's equally charming ones,
which were an undiscovered Central Africa for me, while I wished she
were as warm. After eight or ten dreams, I saw the beautiful couples
cross my path. How earnestly glad and serene we all stood under the
spring music of flutes and pipes, and harps and warbling, which were
living around us, with and without wings. Gione and Karlson concealed
an equal emotion, as at an almost equal fate. Wilhelmi, who is, as a
comet, sometimes in the burning, sometimes in the freezing point of a
sun, requires no joys than those of others to make him happy. But a
tear stood in Nadine's bright eye, which could not be smiled or looked
away. Her heart seemed to me to resemble the earth, whose exterior is
cold, but which carries in its centre a latent heat. And yesterday her
whole being seemed so mirthful and so gay!

We never make more erroneous conclusions in our opinions on any subject
than on woman's cheerfulness. Oh! how many of these charming beings
there are, who decay unvalued, who, while jesting, despair, and while
joking, bleed to death; who hide their merry laughing eyes behind a
wall, as behind a fan, to give glad vent to their long-restrained
tears; who pay for a merry day by a tearful night, just as an unusually
clear, transparent, and fogless air betokens rain. Remember the
beautiful N. N., and also her youngest sister. In the mean time, the
charming, sun-variegated dew-drop under Nadine's eye was balanced by a
wart of half the size, the solitaire among her personal charms.

Wilhelmi's lyric and dithyrambic head was filled with projects for
pleasure, and with the eagerness of delight, he demanded a hasty
determination concerning the proper use and enjoyment of the day. "O
yes," said I, quickly and impertinently, "life flies to-day on a
minute-hand, like an alarum it winds off; but how shall we form a plan,
a good plan?" Nadine, who had arranged everything beforehand with the
bridegroom, replied: "I think we need none for such a delightful day,
and such a charming valley. We will pilgrimize carelessly along the
banks of the Adour, the length of the Vale, and rest at every new
flower, and at every bud, and in the evening we will sail back by
moonlight! That would be quite Arcadian and shepherd-like in this
Arcadia. Will you all? You certainly will, dearest sister?" "O yes,"
said Gione, "for I think we are as yet all strangers to the charms of
this paradise." The Baron seemed to hesitate before giving his consent,
and said: "It depends whether the ladies can walk two and a quarter
miles in one day."[7] I was mad with joy, and cried, "Charming!" Such a
long horizontal heaven-journey, such a melodious Arpeggio through the
chords of delight was an old innate wish of my youth. I imparted my
delight to the Chaplain, to whose feelings this _voyage pitturesque_
was as repugnant as a Good Friday procession, and to whom, instead of
this heaven-way, that of Höfer[8] would have been more acceptable,
because he would rather have remained at home to read, and because he
did not enjoy the Epopee of nature as a man, nor scan it as a
naturalist, but like an usher, separated and divided it, for practice
in building up again. I said to him: "If we two will be shepherds,
representing the old Myrtil and Phylax, it would be interesting. You
know best that whims should be ten times less bold before ladies and
refined ears than on print, and that for such people it has to be
filtered through so many filtering-papers and strainers, that I would
not give a proof-sheet for it after the process."

A hired country-house, at the end of the valley, was the architectural
Eden with which Wilhelmi intended to surprise and delight his bride in
this botanic one. But Nadine alone knew it.

In as many moments as a swan would take to spread his wings and rise,
we were all ready. I do not blame man for making preparations for the
examination for death, but for no (shorter) journey. The long _hunt_
destroys the game of enjoyment. I, for my part, never think of starting
until I am on the road.

Wilhelmi loaded himself with his bride's guitar; Karlson carried a
portable ice-cellar. The ladies had their parasols; the Chaplain and I
had nothing. I whispered to the shallow Phylax,--so I can now call him,
and myself the old Myrtil,--"Sir Chaplain, we rebel against all good
manners if we follow empty-handed." He immediately offered himself to
Gione, as pack-horse, wagon, and carrier for her--parasol. But clever
genius prompted me to return to Karlson's chamber, and bring two
cushions from the sofa, and I returned with these twins in my arms;
nothing could have been more appropriate, as the ladies sat down a
thousand times on the way, and could not have dipped their silken
elbows in the juicy paint of the flowers. To his vexation, Phylax was
obliged to carry the soft block in his arms; I hung the other one, like
a stick, to my thumb. At last we started.

We advanced towards the Pyrenees. Corn-fields, waterfalls, shepherd
huts, marble blocks, woods and grottoes, animated by the vascular
system of the many-branched Adour, passed beautifully before our eyes,
and we were forced to leave them behind, like the bright years of youth
changed into dreams by the stern hand of Time.

Ah, Victor, travelling alone is life, as life, on the contrary, is only
a journey. And if, like certain shell-fish, I could only push myself on
with one foot, or, like sea-nettles and women, I could only progress
six lines in a quarter of an hour, or if I lived under Fritz II. or
Fritz I. (Lycurgus), who both forbade a long journey, I would make a
short one, that I might not perish like the loach, which languishes in
every vessel, if not shaken.

How spirited, how poetical, how inventive can we not be while we run
onwards. As Montaigne, Rousseau, and the sea-nettle only shine when
they move on. By Heaven! it is no wonder that man rises and will go on;
for does not the sun follow the pedestrian from tree to tree? does not
its reflected likeness swim after him in the water? do not landscapes,
mountains, hills, men, rapidly changing, come and go? and does not
Freedom's breath blow on the ever-varying Eden, when, released from the
neck and heart-breaking chains of narrow circumstances, we fly freely
and gladly, as in dreams, over ever-new scenes.

For unfortunately the bell-glass over men and melons, which at first is
covered by a broken bottle, must always be raised higher and higher,
and at last removed entirely. At first, a man will go into the next
town, then to the university, then to an important residency, then--if
he has only written twenty lines--to Weimar, and finally, to Italy or
to heaven. And if the planets were stringed together on a cord, and
near each other, or if the rays of light were roads, and the atoms of
light bridges, then surely would post-houses be erected in Uranus, and
the insatiable inner man--for the outer one is so very satiable--would
go longing and roaming from planet to planet.----

Therefore, my Victor, nothing is confined in so many prison-walls as is
this our human self. And our cages are enclosed, onion-like, one in the
other. Tour and my _self_ are imprisoned not only on this earth, but in
this King's Bench are the town walls; in these our four walls surround
us; in the four walls, the arm-chair or the bed; in this again, the
shirt or the coat, or both; and lastly, the body. And, to be minute
(according to Sömmering), in the brain crevices, the duck's
pond.---- Start at the fatal many-sided suite of houses of correction
which surround thy_self_?----

                             503d STATION.

    Lampoon on the Chaplain.--Praise of Him.--The Diamond.--Opinions
                   against Immortality.--Eden Jokes.

We two fellow-carriers formed the rear-guard. I wished to enter into
discourse, but Phylax had a very poor opinion of me; at most he thought
me a fickle sentimentalist who only portrays feelings. Yet feelings are
the sponge of atmospheric air, which the poet, on his high Parnassus,
as well as the philosophical diver in his depths, _must_ hold in his
mouth, and yet poetry has cast an earlier light on many obscure works
of nature than philosophy, as the dark _new moon_ borrows light from

But the philosopher sins against poets more than you sin against the
followers of Kant, from whom you seem to expect that they shall write
pleasingly. Your arguments are ideas, not reasonings, when you say that
philosophy's attendants are like those of Turkish ladies, mute, black,
and deformed; that the philosophical market-place is a _forium
morionum_,[9] and that beauty is forbidden to philosophers, as it was
to the Helots, who were killed for possessing it. Is it not evident
that a certain barbarous, un-German, far-fetched language is more an
ornament than a detriment to it. Oracles despise grace, _vox dei
sol[oe]cismus_, i. e. a Kantist cannot be read,--he must be studied.
Further, it is not beneath a philosopher to enrich the language instead
of the science. For some other may seek the ideas for the terms, and
find them, as animals were found for the Ammonites. Therefore the
Greeks have the same term for _word_ and _knowledge_, which combination
was at last deified. The philosopher should always write over his door
_pour l'oudalgie_,[10] instead of "here lives a dentist." This is the
best reason, except a second one, why the philosopher, especially the
Kantist, as I saw in Phylax, needs not books, nor men, nor experience,
nor chemistry, botany, the fine arts, nor natural history. He can and
must decipher the positive, the material, the given number, the unknown
X. He creates the term, and sucks, as children often do,--it may
suffocate them,--his own blistered tongue.

I must return to the company! As the Chaplain carried his
walking-stick, or rather walking-tree of a cushion, with the greatest
indifference towards me, I wished to prejudice him for me by a
panegyric at the expense of Kant. I said to him: "It surprised me that
the philosophers should have suffered Kant to have made so great a
distinction between them and artists, and only allowed the merit of
genius to the latter. He says, in § 47 of his 'Kritik der
Urtheilkraft,' 'In sciences, the greatest inventor is only
distinguished from the most labored imitator and apprentice by
gradation; but from, those whom nature has gifted for beautiful nature,
he is specifically distinguished.' This is derogatory, Sir Chaplain,
and besides, not true. Why can Kant, then, only make Kantists, but no
Kants?[11] Are new systems discovered by syllogisms, yet they are
proved and tried by them? Can, then, the connection of a new
philosophical idea with the old one better explain or facilitate its
comprehension than the same connection which each new poetic one must
have with old ones, which are the means of its creation. Sir Chaplain,
I know not whom Kant has most sinned against, Truth, himself, or his
school. Leibnitz's 'Monadology,' _harmonia præstabilita_, &c., are as
much pure, brilliant emanations of genius, as any beaming form in
Shakespeare or Homer. Besides, Leibnitz is a genial almighty Demiurg in
the philosophical world, its greatest and first circumnavigator, and
who, happier than Archimedes, found in his genius the standing-point
from which he might move the philosophical _universa_, and play with
worlds. He was an extraordinary spirit, he threw new chains on the
earth, but he himself bore none: I think you agree with me, Sir
Chaplain!" He replied, He did not, that the critical philosophy knew
what to make of Leibnitz's experiments, his immaterial world, the
asserted approximation of the definite to the indefinite line, and how
to honor genius. In short, I had rather angered than conquered him.

Karlson, whom even Amor's torch could not blind to the philosophical
one, took as much interest in our war as could be taken with the ears.
Fortunately we all stood still. A small diamond had fallen from
Nadine's necklace, and she sought for the silver petrified spark in the
grass. Strange that a man always hopes to find a thing on the spot
where he perceives his loss. Nadine looked for her hardened dew-drop on
the sparkling, spangled mead. As a bright diamond of the first water,
it was so easily mistaken for a dew-drop, that I remarked, seeing one
in Nadine's breast-rose, "Everything is covered with soft diamonds, and
who will find the hard one? The dew in your rose sparkles as brightly
as the lost stone." She looked down, and in the rose-cup lay the
sought-for gem! It was thought I had been clever, and I was angry with
myself for having been so stupid. But Nadine liked me no less for it,
and that was reward enough.

As the Adour bent, not an arm, but a finger, around this gay moss-bank
and bees' sugar-field, the whole company sat among the bees and the
flowers, and the cushion-bearers laid down their burdens. Nadine said,
playfully, "If flowers have souls, the bees, whose nurses they are,
must seem to them like dear sucking children." "They have," said
Karlson, "souls like frozen window flowers, or like the tree of
Petit,[12] which I once showed to you, or like pyramids of alum." "O,
you always destroy, sir," said Gione. "Nadine and I once painted to
ourselves an elysium for the souls of faded flowers." "I believe in a
middle path for flowers after their death," said Wilhelmi, seriously;
"the souls of lilies probably go into woman's forehead; hyacinth and
forget-me-not souls into woman's eyes, and rose souls into lips and
cheeks." I added, "It is a fortunate coincidence for this hypothesis,
that a girl has perceptibly more color from the departing soul at the
moment when she breaks or kills a rose."

Joyfully and affectionately we continued our journey. Only into my
carrier-companion the souls of thistles and sloes seemed to have
entered. This play of ideas and this politeness in argument provoked
him. Only Karlson pleased him.

At last the Chaplain said to me: "No immortality but that of moral
beings can be discussed, and with them it is a postulate or
apprenticeship of practical sense. For as a full conformity of the
human will to the moral law, with which the just Creator never can
dispense, is quite unattainable by a finite being, an eternally
continuing progress, i. e. an unceasing duration, must contain and
prove this conformity in God's eyes, who overlooks the everlasting
course. Therefore our immortality is necessary."

Karlson stood still at Gione's side, that we might approach, and said:
"Dear philosopher, pray take from this proof the boldness or the
indistinctness which it has for laymen. How can we imagine the
supervision, i. e. the termination, of an infinite, a never-ending
course? or how will you make the eternity of time harmonize with the
eternity of the moral requirements. How can a righteousness, scattered
and dispersed over an interminable period of time, satisfy Divine
Justice, which must require this righteousness in each portion of the
period. And has the constant approximation of man towards this state of
purity been proved? And will not the number, if not the grossness of
faults, in this infinite space, increase with the number of virtues?
And what comparison will the list of faults bear to that of the virtues
at the examination? But let us leave that also. Will, in the sight of
the Divine eye, the moral purity of two different beings--for instance,
a seraph and a man, or of two different men, as Robespierre and
Socrates--be equally contained in two equally long, i. e. eternal,
courses of time? If on comparing the two, a difference appear, then one
of them cannot have attained the so-called perfection, and must still
be mortal."

The Chaplain answered: "But Kant does not intend to demonstrate
immortality by this argument. He says even, that it has been left so
uncertain in order that free, pure will, and no selfish views, shall
prompt our aspirations to immortality." "Strange," said Karlson. "But
as we have now discovered this intention, its object would be defeated.
Philosophers ought then to imitate me, and attack immortality to the
advantage of virtue. It is a strange axiom to presuppose the truth of
an opinion from its indemonstrability. Either immortality can be
proved, then one half of your argument is right, or it cannot, then the
whole of it is wrong. Besides, if the belief in immortality makes
virtue selfish, the experience of it in the next world would make it
more so. Does the belief in it deter the common man from doing what his
confessor forbids, and forgives him? As little as the first stroke of
apoplexy deters the drunkard from rushing to the second."

                             504th STATION.

                             Flower Toying.

Karlson joined the others in conversation, and Phylax was enraged that
he could not triumph,--not even dispute. I said to him, that my
opinions agreed with his, though not on the same grounds, and that,
uniting, we would subsequently together issue forth and attack Karlson.

I then went with my silken club to Nadine, and on a rose-bush showed
her the flying light-magnets, the shining will-o'-the-wisps of night,
the brown glowworms which she had never seen by day. I colonized a box
with them for a living firework in the evening. Chance had romantically
bent a bright rose-bush between graceful bluebells, on a green marble
boundary stone; its foliage had the appearance of being seamed with
black glowworms;[13] the lily-chafer hung like gold embroidery on the
pale, ripe roses; long-legged, shining gnats ran glittering over the
thorns; the flower-divers and nectary treasure-diggers, the bees,
covered the rose-cups with new thorns; the butterflies, like moving
tints, like Epicurean colors, gently floated round the branch's gay
world. I cannot tell you how this glance, turned from the vast whole on
to a beautiful small portion, gave a warmer glow to our hearts and to
nature. Instead of the hand, we could only hold, like children, the
fingers of the great mother of life, and reverently kiss them. By the
creation, God became human for men, as therefore for angels an
angel,--like the sun whose bright immensity the painter gently divides
into the beauties of a human face.

Wilhelmi said, that, to rise into Eden or Arcadia, he would need no
larger wings than the four of a butterfly. What a poetical,
paradisaical existence, like the papilio, to roam without stomach or
hunger, among buds and flowers, to suffer no long night, no winter, and
no storm, to toy away one's life in a delightful chase for another
papilio, or to nestle, like the flower-colored bird of paradise, among
lemon-blossoms, to float round blooming honey-cups, and to be rocked in
silken cradles!

Blissfully we proceeded on our way, and each new step drove an exciting
blood-drop to our warmed hearts. I said to the Chaplain, that the
temple of nature had been changed into a concert-hall for me, and every
vocal into instrumental music. Victor! should not philosophy and the
philosophers imitate electric bodies, which not only enlighten, but
also attract? The soul's wine will indeed ever taste of the bodily
barrel-hoops, but the soul is scarcely spirit-like enough only to serve
as a body to another soul.

                             505th STATION.

   The Ephemera.--Relative Conclusions.--Doubts of the Length of the
     Chain of Living Beings.--The Wart-Eaters.--The Cure.

The sun and the valley surrounded us with their burning-glasses, and it
was pleasant to sit down in a shady spot, and eat; and as just opposite
to us was a marble-quarry, and close to the iron rock-wall a sap-green
meadow, and beside us a group of elms and a little shining solitary
white house, we asked at it for as much food as a roaming, contented
quintet requires. The mistress of the house was alone, the husband was
at work (as most Campanians are, in Spain), four children waited on us;
our ice-cellar was opened, and with its contents the soul was warmed
and the body cooled. The white glowing keystone of the heaven arch
awoke with its flames the noonday wind, which slept on the cold summit
of the Pyrenees.

Little or nothing would taste well to poor Phylax, to whom it was more
important to prove that he would be eternal. Fortunately, the French
wine armed him more with French customs, and he asked the Baron
politely: "I believe I owe M. Karlson some proofs of our immortality.
Might I be allowed to give them?" Wilhelmi sent him to Gione, saying,
"Ask there." Gione willingly granted his request, and said, "Why should
not recollections of immortality ornament our joys as much as monuments
do English gardens?" Nadine threw in the question, "But if men quarrel
about the hopes of humanity, what remains for women?" "Her heart and
its hopes, Nadine," said Gione. Wilhelmi said, smiling: "The owl of
Minerva, as all other owls, is said to forebode destruction to a
household, by settling on its roof. But I hope it is not so." I added,
"The lives of all our beloved ones are tied to the obelisk of
immortality, as to that of Rameses,[14] that the danger may double our
strength; for they will be destroyed if it rebound."

In the mean time, Karlson had taken an ephemeral fly from a neighboring
elm, to which it had clung, in order to cast off its super body before
death. The ephemera should not be an embodiment of our immortality,[15]
but of our unfolding; for, unlike other insects, after all its
transformations, and when already furnished with wings, it changes its
shape once more before death. He held it before us, and said: "In my
opinion, a philosophical ephemera would argue thus. What! I should have
uselessly accomplished all my various changes, and the Creator had no
other intention in calling me from the egg to the grub, then to a
chrysalis, and at last to a flying being, whose wings must burst
another covering before death, with this long range of spiritual and
corporeal developments, he should have had no other aim than a six
hours' existence, and the grave must be the only goal of so long a long
a course?" The Chaplain opportunely answered, "Your argument proves
against yourself, for it is _petitio principii_ to presuppose mortality
amongst ephemera."

I confess I am an enemy to these relative conclusions, because they
take as much from truth as they give to eloquence, for contrary
opinions can be proved by them. To one whose eyes are hurt by a grain
of sand, I can prove that he is comparatively happy, as there are many
in the world who suffer from sand-blisters and gravel; and also that he
is unfortunate, as Sultanic eyes are never pressed by anything harder
than Circassian eyelids--or two rosy lips. Thus I can make the world
immense in comparison to bullets, grains of poison, or round puddings,
or minute, if placed beside Jupiter, the sun, or the milky-way. If the
ephemera on the ladder of existence would turn its back on the
brilliant development of the beings above it, and only count the
important ones on the steps beneath it, it would increase in its own
importance. In short, our oratorical fantasy continually mistakes the
distinction between more and less for that of something or nothing; but
every relative conclusion must be based on something positive, which
only eternal eyes, which can measure the whole range of innumerable
degrees, can truly weigh. Indeed, there must be some bodily substance,
and were it even the earth; for every comparison, every measurement,
presupposes a fixed, unchanging standard. Therefore, the ephemeral
development is a true one, and the conclusions on it are the same as on
a seraphic one. The difference in the degrees can only bring forth
_relative_, not _opposite_ conclusions. And here, in this letter--for
in print I would not dare to do it--I will acknowledge a doubt. No one
has ever _seen_ the steps of the ladder of beings above us,--no one has
_counted_ those beneath us. What if the former were less, the latter
greater, than we have hitherto imagined. The eternal promotion of souls
from angels to archangels, in short, the nine philosophical hierarchies
have only been asserted, but not proved. The common opinion, that the
immense difference between man and the Eternal must be filled up by a
chain of spiritual giants, is false; as no chain can shorten the
distance, much less fill it, for it will ever retain the same width;
and the seraph, i. e. the highest finite being according to human
thoughts, must imagine just as many, if not more, beings above him, as
I do beneath me. Astronomy, this sawing machine of suns, this ship's
wharf and laboratory of earths, would persuade us that the
_enlargement_ of worlds and beings is a sign of their improvement. But
over the whole sky there hang only earth and fire-balls, and all things
on them, from milk-way to milk-way, are less than the wishes and
longings of our hearts. Then why should our earth alone, why not every
other also, be progressing? why should they, rather than we, have the
start in this inaugural eternity? In short, it may be disputed if in
the whole universe there are other angels and archangels than Victor
and Jean Paul. It seems scarcely credible to me. But truly the
_melodious_ progression to sublime beings has hitherto been merely
taken for granted. I believe in a _harmonious_ one, in an eternal
ascension, but in no created culmination.

I presume Karlson intended to answer my argument, not on the seraphs,
but on ephemera, when Nadine, who had borrowed the fly in order to
examine it, held it too near her eyes, and thereby disturbed and
extinguished our Mendelssohn-Platonic conversation. For Madame Berlier
(such was the noble name of our temporary hostess) stepped up to
Nadine, and said: "It is a pity for the pain. You must take the
wart-locust, I have proofs," do you understand? It is this. The
so-called wart-eater, a locust with light brown spots, takes away a
wart in a very short time by a single bite. Dame Berlier, over whom, as
over most Southrons, beauty had greater power than self-love and sex,
had falsely imagined that Nadine wished to annihilate the only fault in
her charming form with the fly. The Chaplain had scarcely heard the
wart-eater mentioned, when he vanished among the green, and commenced a
hunt for wart-locusts. I was vexed that I had known the remedy as well
as Dame Berlier, and never thought of it. For a shabby simile I should
have easily recollected it, but not for a useful cure. Fortune
permitted him soon to return with the winged wart-operator; this
excited my envy. When he gave it to Nadine, the officious Phylax had
squeezed, with the letter and paper press of his hands, like in a good
calendar-press, the brown spotted vegetable-eater to--death. The animal
could bite no more; I immediately darted off in search of another, and
soon returned, holding one by the tips of its wings, and said, I would
myself hold it over the wart until he would operate on it. While
performing the action I praised it. Every great deed, I said, is only
accomplished in the soul, at the moment of determination; when it comes
outward and is repeated by the body,--which holds the locust,--it
disperses into insignificant movements and thirds; but when it is done,
as now the operation, it becomes great again, and, ever increasing,
flows onward through all time. Thus the Rhine rushes like a giant from
its summit, disperses in the fog, falls as rain upon the plain, then it
forms itself into clouds, and roams over the sands, and carries suns
instead of rainbows.

It need not be concealed from you that it affected me to look into the
retina of two such bright and warm, upturned eyes, without mentioning
the whole warlike array of curls and lips, and forehead, and the
Waterloo landscapes of the cheeks. Nadine's terror at the teeth of the
brown little doctor made her more charming, and the danger of my
situation greater. After holding it for some time, when I thought the
operation was finished, she told me the locust had not yet touched her,
as I held it two or three Parisian feet too far from the wart. It is
true, I had lost myself in her net skin; but I remarked that the cure
could not be accomplished, if I did not rest the ball of my right hand
slightly on her cheek, in order to hold the wart-eater more firmly over
the wart. Now he bit the required wound, and propelled into it as much
of his corrosive fluid as he carried with him. I artfully diverted
Nadine's pain, which resembled that of a pin pricking, by
philosophizing. Man, I said, finds the stoic theory true and forcible
for all pain, only not for the present. And when he bleeds from cut
wounds, he imagines bruises heal more easily. He therefore defers his
practice of the stoic-school until his own schooling is over. O, but
then he stands by a running stream, waiting until the waters shall have
passed. True firmness bears the bite of a locust, and rejoices at the

Now the operation was happily accomplished, which could easily excite
an illness in me. It is true that her countenance had inflicted a
deeper wound on me than the wart-eater upon it,--I should fear and
examine whether mine, which was just as near to hers, had done as much
damage; but Nadine is exceedingly--young. The hearts of young girls,
like new waterbutts, at first let everything drop through, until in
time, the vessels swell and thus retain their contents.

                             506th STATION.

        Objections To Immortality.--The Second Childhood of the
                          Outer and Inner Man.

We broke up and proceeded. On high, light feathers floated through the
sky, like the loose-flowing hair of the sun, which could not veil it.
The day became hotter and stiller. But our path lay beneath a green
roof, and each branch spread over us a parasol of broad fresh leaves.

Gione asked, "Can we not continue our conversation in walking?" O, your
Clotilde should know her; she has, excepting her charms, half her soul.
No discord exists between her outer and inner harmony; her earnest,
generous soul resembles the palm-tree, which has neither bark nor
branches, but which bears broad foliage and buds on its summit.
"Gione," said Nadine, "these arguments unsettle our minds, instead of
removing our doubts." "No one," she replied, "has yet given his
opinion; if we even have the firmest convictions, still by their
beautiful conformity with another's convictions our own become more
beautiful and firm." "Just as water-plants, surrounded by their water,
are yet as much refreshed by rain as land plants are," said Myrtil (I
am Myrtil).

Wilhelmi said, just as we were passing through the Midsummer's-day
night of a grotto cooled by oakshade and cascades: "Our conversation
would better suit a total eclipse of the sun. I would that I could see
one, when the moon hangs beauteously before the midday sun, when the
noisy day is suddenly hushed, when the nightingales sing, the flowers
fade, and when nightly mists and shuddering cold and dew fall." Phylax
had now let slip his sofa-cushion into a murmuring spring; Nadine saw
it, and, not to confuse him in the act of drawing it out, she, with
charming zeal, drove us back to our conversation. Her intercourse with
the world had given her a playful, light, ever-joyous exterior. But
Gione's style, like the highest Grecian, is, artistically speaking,
somewhat meagre and spare,--and the ball-rooms had made her, as
mahogany presses make dresses, more agreeable. But her exterior charms
did not contradict or injure her interior beauty.

I said to Karlson, "Pray, prove to us the spiritual mortality, this
soul's death." "M. Karlson needs not do that," answered the stupid
Phylax, vexed at the wet cushion, "only the assertor must prove."

"Very well," I said, "I call proofs objections, but I shall certainly
give you only two;--firstly, the proof or objection: the simultaneous
decay and destruction of the body and of the soul; secondly, the
absolute impossibility of ascertaining the mode of life of a future
existence, or as the Chaplain would say, to see into the spiritual
world from the sensuous one. Now, M. Karlson, throw your two bombs into
the greatest possible angles, which, according to Hennert, is 40
degrees, but according to Bezout, 43 degrees."

He aimed well. He showed how the spiritual Dryad flowered, burst and
dispersed with the corporeal bark, how the noblest impulses are chained
to the lead--earth, revolving wheel of the body; how memory,
imagination, and madness only feed on the egg-yolk of the brain,--how
bravery and mildness stand in as opposite degree to blood as leeches
and Jews;[16] how, in age, the inner and outer man together bend
towards the grave, together petrify, together, like metal compositions,
_slowly_ cool, and at last together die!

He then asked why, with the continual experience that every bodily
down-bending digs a spiritual wound, and with this unceasing parallel
of body and soul, we give to the latter, after death, everything which
we have seen annihilated in the former. He said, and I believe it, that
neither Bonnet's underbody, nor the incorporated soul corsets of
Plattner (the "second soul organ") can diminish the difficulty of the
question, for as both soul's under-garments or night-gowns and
pinafores, always share, in life, the good and bad fate of the coarse,
corporeal coat and martyr-cloak, and as in us double-cased English
watches, the works, and the first and second cases (Bonnet's and
Plattner's) always suffered and gained together, it would be absurd to
seek the Iliad of the future world in the narrow hazel-nut shell of the
_revived_ little body which has first stood and fallen with the coarse
outward one.

I then asked him to aim his second ball in the angle of forty degrees
also. I added, that "I would have begged leave to give a long
parliamentary speech on it, but that long speeches have a life and
reproducing power, as, according to Reaumür, long animals more easily
re-form themselves, when cut, than short ones." Though certainly it
occurs to me, that Unzer says, tall persons do not live as long as
short ones. But Karlson needed little time or power to prove the
uncertainty of the next world. The Sun-land behind the hillocks of the
God's acre, behind the pest-cloud of Death, is covered by a complete,
an impenetrable darkness of twelve inches, or of as many holy nights.
He showed, and not badly, what an immense leap beyond all terrestrial
analogies and experiences it is, to hope for, i. e. to create, a world,
a transcendent Arcadia, a world of which we know neither copy nor
original, which wants no less than a form and a name, map and globe,
another Vespucius Americus, of which neither chemistry nor astronomy
can give us the compounds or the quarters; a universe of air, on which,
from the leaf-stripped, faded soul, a new body will bud forth, i. e. a
nothing on which nothing is to embody itself.

O, my good Karlson! how could your noble soul omit a second world which
is already contained in this physical first one, like bright crystals
in dark earth, namely, the sun-world of _Virtue_, _Truth_, and
_Beauty_,[17] glowing in our souls, whose golden vein inexplicably
extends its ramification through the dark, dirty clump of the sensuous

It was now my turn to answer: "I will lessen your two difficulties, and
then I will give my innumerable proofs. You are no materialist,[18] you
therefore take for granted that bodily and mental activity only
accompany and mutually excite each other. Yes, the body represents the
keys of the inner Harmonica through all its scales. Hitherto only the
corporeal outward signs have been called feelings, as the swelling
heart and the slowly-beating pulse--longing; the outpouring of gall,
anger, and so on. But the net-like texture, the anastomy between the
inner and outer man, is so life-full, so warm, that to every _picture_,
every _thought_,--a nerve, a fibre must move. We should also observe,
and put into the notes of speech all the bodily after sounds of
poetic, algebraic, artistic, numismatic, and anatomic ideas. But the
sounding-board of the body is neither the soul's scale nor its
harmony. Grief has no resemblance to a tear,--shame, none to the
cheek-imprisoned blood,--wit, none to champagne,--the idea of this
valley, none to its portrait on the retina. The inner man, this God,
hidden in the statue, is not of marble as it is, but in the stony
limbs, the living ones grow and ripen in an unknown life. We do not
sufficiently mark how the inner man even tames and forms the outer one;
how, for example, the passionate body which, according to physiology,
should ever increase in heat, is gradually cooled and extinguished by
principles,--how terror, anger, holds the dividing texture of the body
in a spiritual grasp. When the whole brain is paralyzed, every nerve
rusty and exhausted, and the soul carrying leaden weights, man needs
but to _will_ (which he can do every moment), he needs only a letter, a
striking idea, and the fibre-work of the soul's mechanism proceeds
again without help from the body."

Wilhelmi said, "Then the soul is but a watch which winds itself."
"There must always be some _perpetuum mobile_," I said, "for all things
have moved for an eternity already. The question is, either the soul
never winds off, or it is its own watchmaker. I return to the subject.
If a ruptured life-vein in the fourth brain-chamber of a Socrates place
the whole land of his ideas and moral tendencies in a blood-bath, these
ideas and moral tendencies will surely be covered with blood-water, but
not spoilt by it; because not the drowned brains were virtuous and
wise, but his _self_ was, and because the dependence of a watch on its
case for protection from dust, &c. does not prove the identity of the
two, or that the watch consists only of cases. As spiritual exertions
are not bodily ones, but only _precede_ or _follow_ them; and as every
spiritual activity leaves traces, not only in the soul, but also in the
body; must, then, if apoplexy or age destroy corporeal activity,--must
the soul's fire be therefore quenched? Is there no difference between
the soul of a _childish_ old man, and that of a _child_? Must the soul
of Socrates, imprisoned in Borgia's body as in a mud-bath, lose its
moral powers, and does it suddenly change its virtuous qualities for
vicious ones? Or shall in left-handed wedlock (which has no common
property of body and soul) the one conjugal half only share the gains,
not also the losses of the other? Shall the ablactated soul feel only
the blooming, not also the faded body? And if it does, the earth
surrounding it must, as our earth does to the superior planets, give it
the reflection of our advancing and retrograding. If we shall ever be
disembodied, the slow hand of time, that is, ever encroaching age, must
do it. If our course is not to be concluded in one world, the gulf
between it and the second must always appear to us a grave. The _short_
interruption to our progress by age, and the _longer_ one by death,
destroy this progress as little as the _shortest_ interruption by
sleep. We anxiously suppose--as the first man did--the _total_
sun-eclipse of sleep to be the _night_ of death, and this again the
_doomsday_ of the world."

"That must yet be proved, although I believe it," replied Phylax.

New beauties prevented my answering, and closed the 506th Station.

(P. S.--I have been told the Chaplain has declared that he had
purposely not replied to several of my arguments, but he hoped he could
see them in print, and then he would publish his opinions. But he will
scarcely live until this letter is printed, and he will answer it.)

                             507th STATION.

   The Theft of the Souvenir.--Answers to Previous Stations.--On the
     Emigration of the Dead to the Planets.--The Threefold World in
     Man.--Grief without Hope.--The Seal of Immortality.--The
     Country-seat.--The Balloons.--Ecstasy.

When it is three o'clock, and a wandering Arcadian council is very well
but somewhat warm, when the narrowing Adour, which has its source at
the end of the Valley, flows round a projecting tongue of land, and
draws its silver gauze cover over the pale moon reposing on its
breast,[19] when round this slip of earth, this flowery anchoring
place, half water scene, half bowling green, a broadleaved oak arcade
grows, beneath which trembles a sun-gilt shadow, gliding from between
the branches of the trees, on to the grass, embroidered by the
restless, roving, gay-colored sand, on the book of nature--its insects,
when the hammering in the shining marble blocks, the living Alp-horns,
the bleating pasture-sheep, and the murmuring of waves fill the heart
to its topmost branches and up to the brim with life-balsam, and the
head with life-spirit; and when so many beauties are heard and
seen,--living beauties who walk are inclined to sit down on the slip of
earth, after the cushion-carriers have placed their burdens as
resting-places for their arms.

My dear Victor! all this came to pass.

While sitting, long speeches were not as practicable as while walking.
Even before, when we, from some distance, were choosing this spot for a
resting-place, they had suffered considerably. I remained on the shore
near Nadine, whose cheeks, reflected in the shadow-painted waves,
appeared a charming pale red, as though a cochineal had bled to death
on them. The walk and her red parasol had been too great colorists.

My dear brother, I am preparing to fall in love. The operation on the
wart was unimportant as a corner-piece of vexation, as negative
electricity; but warts have their good points.

Nadine plucked roses and other flowers. I drew an empty jewel-box from
my pocket,--it was empty, like the 9th Kurstuhl, the Elias chair,[20]
or the _limbus patrum_,--and held it under them, begging her to shake
the flowers, that I might catch the millipeds,[21] which, like tallow
candles, are more suitable for the eye than the nose. I caught a whole
germanic diet of these creatures from the fragrant flower-cups, and
imprisoned them in the box.

During the flower-toying, which brought us nearer to each other, a
small cockchafer fell on my skin. I looked round for the flowers and
could find nothing till I saw, protruding from Nadine's left pocket, a
souvenir, filled with sweet-smelling herbs. To steal from a beautiful
woman is often nothing else than to give to her. I thought it
fit, secretly to take the scented pocket-book in order to make a
scent-bottle, and a joke of it in future. I so arranged the theft, that
the Baron perceived my hand, holding the book, retreating from the

The souvenir, thought I, may occasion some scene; meanwhile I can smell
at it. I indemnified her for the loss of the scent-bag by the
millipeds, whose prison I immediately insinuated into her pocket. The
Baron was witness.

Wilhelmi said, when we rose: "In the evening we shall be separated and
deafened by the carriages. If something has yet to be decided--"

"Something?" replied Phylax,--"everything has to be decided. M. Jean
Paul, you have yet to raise M. Karlson's second difficulty." "Raise?" I
asked, "I am to raise the cover of the whole future world? I am but
going _towards_ it, not coming _from_ it. But this dissimilarity
between the present and the future world, its inconceivable magnitude,
has made many apostates. Not the bursting of our bodily doll-skin in
death, but the wide disparity between the present autumn and the future
spring, raises such overwhelming doubts in our poor, timid breasts.
This is shown by the savages, who consider the future life merely as
the second volume, the new testament of the first, and make no greater
distinction between the first and second life than between youth and
age: they easily believe in all their hopes; your _first_ difficulty,
the bursting and fading of the bodily polish, does not deprive the
savage of the hope to bud anew in another flower-vase. But your second
difficulty daily increases itself, and its advocates, for by the
increasing proofs and apparatus of chemistry and physiology, the future
world is daily more effectually annihilated and dispersed, as it cannot
be brought within play of a sun-microscope or of a chemical furnace. In
fact, not only the reality, but also the theory of the body, not only
the practised measurement of its longings, but also the pure moral
philosophy of its spirit-world, must darken and make difficult the
prospect on the inner world from the outer one. Only the moralist, the
physiologist, the poet, and the artist more readily comprehend our
inner world; but the chemist, the physician, and the mathematician want
both seeing and hearing faculties for it, and in time, even eyes and

"On the whole, I find fewer men than one would imagine who decidedly
believe in, or deny, the existence of a future world. Few dare to deny
it, as for them this life would then lose all unity, form, peace, and
hope;--few dare to believe it, for they are startled at their own
purification and at the destruction of the lessened earth. The
majority, according to the promptness of alternating feelings, waver
poetically between both beliefs.

"As we paint Devils more easily than Gods, Furies than Venus Urania,
Hell than Heaven, we can more easily believe in the former than in the
latter,--in the greatest misfortune than in the greatest happiness.
Must not our spirit, used to misgivings and earth chains, be startled
at a Utopia against which earth will be shipwrecked, that the lilies of
it, like the Guernsey lilies,[22] may find the shore to bloom on, which
saves and satisfies, elevates and makes blessed, our much tormented

"I now come to your difficulty. I imagine, if even we were to take the
grave to be merely the moat of communication between allied globes, our
ignorance concerning the second world should not terrify us, and we
need not take for granted that the mountain ridge of humanity does not
continue under the Dead Sea, merely because we cannot see through its
waters, for do not all mountain ridges continue on the bottom of the
ocean? What! man will guess at _worlds_, when he cannot even guess
_world-quarters_! Would the Greenlander paint a Negro, a Dane, a Greek,
in his mind's eye, without ever having seen one? Can the political
genius divine the inner versifications of the poetic one, without
experience? Can the Abderite imagine the architecture of the sage?
Would we have guessed the existence of but one of the animal creations
of Anthropomorphism which copy the human figure in all animals, and yet
change it? Or could a bodiless self, placed in a vacuum, with all
existing logic and metaphysic, ever have conceived but a single vein of
its present embodification and humanification?"

"But what are you asserting or denying?" asked Wilhelmi.

"I only assert that a second life on another planet cannot be denied,
merely because we are unable to map out the planet, and portray its
inhabitants. But we need no other planet."

The Baron said: "O, I have often dreamed delicious dreams of this
'_grande tour_' through the stars! It seemed the progression of a
student from one class to another,--the classes being worlds."

"But," replied Karlson, "to all these worlds, as upon our own, you will
be refused admittance if you arrive without a body. By what miracle
will you obtain one?"

"_By a repeated one_," I answered. "For by a miracle we have our
present body. But we can say in favor of this planet wandering, that
our eyes too widely separate the worlds of which each one is but an
_element_ of the infinite _integral whole_. The different worlds
and their satellites above and around us, are only far removed
world-quarters. The moon is but a smaller, more distant America, and
space is the ocean."

Nadine said: "One day I so pictured the inhabitants of a lemon-tree to
myself. The worm on the leaf may think it is on the green earth, the
second worm on the white bud is on the moon, and the one on the lemon
believes itself to be upon the sun."

"And yet this," said I, "is but a tree of immeasurable life. As around
the earth-kernel cling wider and finer covers,--the earth, the seas,
the air and space,--so the giant of one world is surrounded by
increasingly large ones, with ever larger arms. The longest shell is
the finest one, as light and the attractive power. The beauteous
covering elongates and rarefies itself from iron bands to pearl ties,
from flower-chains to rainbows and milky-ways."

"Will we not now descend from the milky-way," said Karlson, "for we
cannot ascend it. It is precisely this uniformity of the universe which
forbids the rambling of emigrants from the earth. Every planet already
has its own crew; more dense ones, as for instance Mercury, may be
peopled with real sailors."

"Precisely as Kant supposes!" said Phylax.

"Finer, less solid ones, as e. g. Uranus, only with the most tender
beings, perhaps only with women and nuns who love not the sun. He who
intends to rectify the so-called soul or spirit by distilling it from
one planet to the other, may with as much justice assert, that the
spirits of the slacked Mercury receive their dephlegmation in a
distilling process through our earth,--in short, that the earth is the
second world for Mercury and Venus. The dead of the arctic zones could
even pass into the temperate ones (it would be _distillatio per
latus_), for on all planets there can be no other than coarser or finer
_human beings_[23] like ourselves."

Karlson waited for an answer and a contradiction, but I said his
opinion was also mine. "I have still a stronger reason," I continued,
"against emigration to, and voyage picturesque through, the planets,
because we carry and lock up a heaven of starry light in our own
breasts, for which no dirty earth-ball is clean or large enough. But on
this subject I must have permission to speak uninterruptedly, at least
until we have passed all these cornfields."

Our pleasure-trip now was an alley of magic gardens, our passage
through a golden sea of corn-blades, was accompanied and surrounded on
all sides by a promised land, in which solitary houses reposed beneath
picturesquely grouped leaf groves, as in Italy sleepers take their
siestas on shaded meads. I was permitted to speak.

"There is an inner, heart-contained spirit-world, which breaks through
the dark clouds of the body-world as a warm sun. I mean the inner
universe of _virtue_, _beauty_, and _truth_; three soul-worlds and
heavens, which are neither parts, nor shoots, nor cuttings, nor copies
of the outer one. We are less astonished at the inexplicable existence
of these three transcendent heavens, because they are ever floating
before us, and because we foolishly imagine we _create_ them, while we
merely _recognize_ them. After which copy, with what plastic material,
and of what, could we create and insert in ourselves[24] this same
spirit-world? Let the atheist ask himself how he conceived the giant
ideal of a God, which he either denies or embodies? An idea which has
not been built upon comparative greatness and degrees, for it is the
contrary of every measure and of every created greatness. In short, the
atheist denies the great _original_ of the _copy_.[25]

"As there are idealists of the outer world who believe that perception
makes objects, instead of that objects cause perception, so there are
idealists of the inner world, who deduct the _being_ from the
_seeming_, the _sound_ from the _echo_, the _fact_ from its
_appearance_; instead of, on the contrary, the seeming from the being,
our consciousness from the objects of it. We mistake our power of
analyzing our inner world, for its preformation, i. e. the genealogist
thinks himself both originator and founder.

"This inner universe, which is still more glorious and admirable than
the outer one, needs another heaven than the one above us, and a higher
world than one a sun now shines upon. Therefore we rightly say, not a
second earth or globe, but a second _world_,--another beyond the

Gione already interrupted me: "And every virtuous and wise being is in
himself a proof of immortality." "And every one," added Nadine,
quickly, "who suffers innocently."

"Yes, it is that," said I, with emotion, "which extends our line of
life through countless ages. The chord of _Virtue_, _Truth_, and
_Beauty_, taken from the music of the spheres, calls us from this dark
oppressive earth, and announces to us the nearness of a more melodious
existence. _Why_, and _from whence_ were these _super-earthly_ wants
and longings created in us, if only, like swallowed diamonds, slowly to
cut through our earthy shell. Why was a being endowed with wings of
light chained to this dirty clump of earth, if it were to rot in its
birth-clod, without ever being freed from it by means of its ethereal

Wilhelmi said, "I also like to dream the dream of a second life in the
sleep of this first one. But may not our beautiful spiritual powers
have been given to us for the _enjoyment_ and _preservation_ of the
present life?"

"For its preservation?" I said. "Then an angel has been locked in the
body to be the mute servant and fire-lighter, butler, cook, and porter
of the stomach? Would not brutish souls have sufficed to drive
man-bodies to the fruit-tree and the spring? Shall the pure ethereal
flame only dry and bake the bodily patent stove with life-warmth, while
it now slakes and dissolves it? For every tree of knowledge is the
poison-tree of the body, and every mental refinement a slow-poison
chalice. But, on the contrary, want is the iron key of freedom, the
stomach is the manure-filled hot-house or manufactory of human blood,
and the various animal instincts are but the earthy, soiled steps to
the Grecian temple of our spiritual elevation.

"For _enjoyment_ you said also. That means, we received the palate and
appetite of a god, with the food for an animal. That portion of us
which is of earth, and creeps on worm-folds, may and can, like the
earthworm, be fed and fattened on earth. Exertion, bodily pain, the
burning hunger of necessity, and the tumult of our senses exclude and
choke the spiritual autumn bloom of humanity in nations and classes.
All these conditions of terrestrial existence must be fulfilled ere the
soul may claim its due. To the unhappy, therefore, who must be the
business men and carriers of their bodily wants, the whole inner world
seems but as an imaginary gilt cobweb, like the man who, breathing only
the electrical _atmosphere_, instead of feeling the spark, thinks to
grasp an invisible web. But when our necessary _animal servitude_ is
over, when the barking inner dog-kennel is fed, and the dog-fight
finished, then the inner man demands his nectar and ambrosia, and if he
is turned off with earth-food only, he changes to an angel of Death,
and a Hellfiend, driving himself to suicide, or makes of him a
poison-mixer who destroys all joy.[26] The eternal hunger _in_ man, the
insatiability of his heart, wants not a _richer_, but a _different_
food, fruit, not grass. If our wants referred but to the degree, not to
the quality, then the imagination, at least, might paint a _degree of
satiety_. But imagination cannot make us happy, by showing us
innumerable heaps of treasures, if they be other than _Virtue_,
_Truth_, and _Beauty_."

"But the more beautiful soul?" asked Nadine. I answered, "This
discrepancy between our wishes and our circumstances, the heart and the
earth, will remain, an _enigma_, if we are immortal, and would be a
blasphemy if we decay. Ah! how could the beautiful soul be happy?
Strangers, born on mountains and living in lowland places, pine in an
incurable homesickness. We belong to a higher place, and therefore an
eternal longing consumes us, and every music is our soul's Swiss _ranz
des vaches_. In the morning of life, the joys which hearken to the
anxious wishes of our hearts are seen blooming for us in later years.
When we have attained these years, we turn on the deceitful spot, and
see behind us, pleasure blooming in the strong hopeful youth, and we
enjoy instead of our _hopes_, the _recollections of our hopes_. Joy in
this also resembles the rainbow, which in the morning shines over
evening, and in the evening arches over the east. The _eye_ may reach
the _light_, but the arm is short, and holds but the fruit of the

"And this proves?" asked the Chaplain.

"Not that we are unhappy, but that we are immortal, and that the second
world in us demands, and proves a second world beyond us. O, how much
might not be said of this second life whose commencement is so clearly
shown in the first one, and which so strangely doubles us! Why is
Virtue too exalted to make us, and, what is more, others (sensually)
happy? Why does the incapability of being useful on earth (as the
expression is) increase with a certain higher purity of character, as,
according to Herschel, there are suns which have no earth? Why is our
heart tortured, dried, consumed, and at last broken by a slow burning
fever of ceaseless love for an unattainable object, only alleviated by
the hope that this _consumption_, like a physical one, must one day be
sheltered and raised by the _ice cover_ of death?"

"No," said Gione, with more emotion in her eye than in her voice, "it
is not ice, but lightning. When our heart lies a sacrifice on the
altar, fire from heaven consumes it as a proof that the offering is

I know not why her calm voice so painfully disturbed my whole soul (not
only my argument). Even Nadine's eyes, which triumphed over her own
sorrows, were suffused with tears by her sister's, and, although she is
generally more timid and fastidious than Gione, in passing a little
garden, she raised from a projecting hairy potato-stalk, a large moth,
and showed it to us with a firm mouth, which should have been softened
by a smile.

It was the so-called Death's-head. I stroked the flat, drooping wings,
and said, "It come? from Egypt, the land of mummies and graves; it
bears a _memento mori_ on its back, and a _miserere_ in its plaintive
voice." "In the mean time it is a butterfly, and visits the nectaries,
which we day-birds will do also," appropriately observed Wilhelmi; but
he took the words out of my mouth.

Gione's countenance again expressed thoughtful calmness, and to me she
became immeasurably beautiful and grand by the stillness of her grief.
You once said that the female soul, though it be pierced with burning
shafts, must never beat its wings convulsively together, else, like
other butterflies, it would destroy their beauty. How true is this!

Nadine's eyes seldom shone without at last overflowing, and every
sorrowful emotion remained long in her heart, because she tried to
guard against it. She resembled those springs which take a temperature
opposed to the time of day, and which are warmest in the cool evening.
She turned to me and said, putting her hand in her left pocket, "I will
show you some poetry which will prove your prose." While she was
seeking it, she stood still with her companion Wilhelmi. He guessed
before I did, that she intended to give me something from the Souvenir,
and when, in its stead, she took the milliped's prison from her pocket,
he obligingly said, "If not with my hands yet with my eyes I assisted
at the theft, and as accomplice I beg for mercy." The serious apology
for this foolishness scarcely suited our earnest tone of mind. I said,
"I wished to cause a more useless, than pardonable joke, but I--" She
did not allow me to conclude, but mildly and unchanged (except by a
reproving and a forgiving smile) she showed me in the aromatic book the
noble Karlson's requiem on the death of the exalted Gione. I willingly
give you the prosaic echo of it, from my prosaic memory.

                          GRIEF WITHOUT HOPE.

What cloud is that, which like the clouds of the tropics, passes from
morn to eve, and then sets? It is humanity. Is that the magnet-mountain
covered with the nails of wrecked ships? No, it is the great Earth,
strewed with the bones of fallen men.

Ah! why did I love? I had not then lost so much!

Nadine, give me thy grief, for it contains hope. Thou standest by thy
crushed sister, who dissolves even beneath the winding-sheet, and
lookest upwards to the trembling stars, and thinkest: Above, O dearest
one, thou dost reside, and on the suns we find again our hearts, and
the small tears of life will be over.

But mine remain, and burn in the dim eye. My cypress alley is not open,
and discloses no heaven. Human blood paints the fluid figure called man
on the monument, as oil on marble forms forests; Death wipes away the
man, and leaves the stone. O Gione! I would have some consolation, if
thou wert but far away from us all, on a clouded forest, in a cave of
the Earth, or on the most distant world in space. But thou art gone,
thy soul is dead, not only thy life and thy body.

See, Nadine, on the judgment-seat of Time lies the crushed angel, with
the death color of the spirit-world. Gione has lost all her virtues,
her love, her patience, her strength, her all-embracing heart, and her
rich mind: the thunderbolt of Death has destroyed the diamond, and now
the wax statue of the body slowly melts beneath the soil.

Serpent of Eternity, quickly take away the beautiful form, as the
larger serpent first poisons and then devours man. But I, Gione, stand
beside your ruins with unalleviated pain, with undestroyed soul; and
grieving, think of you until I also dissolve. And my grief is noble and
deep, for I have no hope! May thy invisible shadow-picture, like the
new moon with the sun,[27] arise to heaven in my soul! And may the
creative wheel of Time, which raises innumerable hearts, and fills them
with blood, only to pour them again into the grave, and let them die,
pour out my life slowly, for long time would I mourn for thee, thou
lost one!

I cannot tell you, dearest Victor, how horrible and fearful the eternal
snow of annihilating death seemed to me, placed beside the noble form
it should have covered; how frightful the thought: if Karlson is right,
the last day has torn this never happy, innocent soul from the prisons
upon the earth to the closer ones beneath it: man too often carries his
errors as his truths only as word arguments, not as feelings. But let
the disbeliever of immortality imagine a life of sixty minutes instead
of sixty years, and let him try if he can bear to see loved, noble, or
wise men only aimless, hour-long air-phantoms, hollow thin shadows
which fly towards the light and are consumed by it, and who, without
path, trace, or aim, after a short flight, dissolve into their former
night. No; even over him steals a supposition of immortality. Else a
black cloud would forever hang over his soul, and the earth would quake
beneath him when he trod on it, as if he were a Cain.

I continued, but all arguments were poetized into feelings. "Yes, if
all forests of this earth were pleasure grottoes, all valleys Campan,
all islands holy, all fields Elysian, and all eyes sparkling, yes,
then--no, even then the Eternal One would have given to our souls the
promise of a future life, even in the blessedness of the present one.
But now, O God! when so many houses are mourning ones, so many fields
battle-fields, so many cheeks pale, and when we pass so many sunken,
red, torn, closed eyes,--O, can death be but the last destroying
whirlwind? And when at last, after thousand, thousand years, our earth
is dried up by the sun's heat, and every living sound on its surface
silenced, will an immortal spirit look down on the silent globe, and,
gazing on the empty hearse moving slowly on, say: 'There the churchyard
of humanity flies into the crater of the sun; on that burning heap many
shadows, and dreamers, and wax-figures, have wept and bled, but now
they are all melted and consumed: Fly into the sun, which will also
dissolve thee, thou silent desert with thy swallowed tears, with thy
dried-up blood!' No, the crushed worm dares raise himself to his
Creator, and say: 'Thou canst not have made me only to suffer.'"

"And who gives the worm the right to this demand?" asked Karlson.

Gione answered, gently, "The Eternal One himself, who gives us charity
and who speaks in all our souls to calm us, and who alone has created
in us our demands to Him and our hope in Him."

This good sweet word could still not calm all the waves of my excited
soul. From a distant house, turtle-doves sent after us trembling,
soul-felt plaints. About my tear-filled inward eye assembled all those
forms whose hearts were without guilt and without joy,[28] who attained
no single wish here below, and who, sinking under the frost and
snow-storm of fate, only longed, like persons freezing to death, to
sleep; and all those forms who have loved too deeply, and lost too
much, and whose wounds were never cured until death had widened them,
like a cracked bell which retains its hollow sound until the crevice is
made larger, and the beings nearest me, and many other female ones,
whose exquisitely tender souls fate most consecrates to torture, as
Narcissus is consecrated to the God of Hell. I also remembered your
true remark, that you had never pronounced the words _pain_ and _the
past_ before a woman, without hearing an almost inaudible sigh at the
union of the two words, from the suffering heart; for woman on the
narrower stage of her plans, with idealized wishes and desires built on
others' worth, rather than on her own, has a thousand times more
disappointments to suffer than we men.

The sun sank deeper behind the mountains, and giant shadows, like
mighty birds of prey, came coldly down upon us from the eternal snow. I
took Karlson's hand in mine, and looked with tearful eyes into his
manly, beautiful countenance, and said, "O Karlson! on what a blooming,
grand world you throw an immeasurable gravestone, which no time can
lift! Are two difficulties,[29] based too on the _necessary ignorance_
of man, sufficient to overthrow a belief, which explains thousand
greater difficulties, without which our existence is without aim, our
sufferings without explanation, and the holy Trinity in our breast
three furies, and three terrible contradictions? A tending God's hand,
leading and feeding the inner man (the child of the outer one),
teaching him to go and to speak, educating, refining him, is shown in
all things, from the shapeless earthworm to the brilliant human face,
from the chaotic nations of the primitive ages to the present century,
from the first faint pulsation of the invisible heart to its full,
bold, throbbing pulse in manhood,--and why? That when man stands
upright and exalted, a beautiful demi-god, even amid the ruins of his
old body temple, the club of Death may annihilate the demi-god forever?
And on the eternal sea, on which the least drop throws immeasurable
rings, on this sea a life-long rising and a life-long falling of the
soul should have the same termination, namely, the end of all
things,--annihilation?[30] And as, from the same cause, the souls of
all other worlds must fall and die with ours, and of this shroud and
crape-veiled immeasurability nothing remain but the ever-sowing and
never-reaping solitary world-spirit, who sees one eternity mourn for
another, there can be no aim and no object in the whole spiritual
universum, for the purpose of the development of succeeding or
successive ephemera is no progress for the vanished ephemera, scarcely
even for the last one which can never exist.[31] And you take for
granted all these enigmas and contradictions by which all the strings
of creation, not only its harmony, are torn, because two difficulties
present themselves to you, which _cannot any better_ explain mortality
... Dearest Karlson, you would bring your eternally jarring discord
into this harmony of the spheres! See how calmly the day goes, how
grandly the night sets in; did you not think that our spirit will rise
one day from its grave of ashes, when you saw the mild pale moon rise
grandly from the crater of Vesuvius?" ... The sun stood on the
mountains, about to plunge into the sea and swim to the new world.
Nadine embraced her sister with emotion, and said, "O, we love each
other forever and immortally, dearest sister." Karlson accidentally
touched the chords of the lyre which he carried: Gione took it from him
with one hand, gave him the other, and said, "You are the only one
among us who is tormented by this melancholy belief,--and you deserve
to have one so beautiful!"

This word of concealed love overpowered his long-filled heart, and two
burning drops fell from the blinded eyes, and the sun gilded the holy
tears, and he said, looking towards the mountains: "I can bear no
annihilation but my own,--my whole heart is of your opinion, and my
head must slowly follow."

I will not again mention a man whom I have blamed so often.

We now stood before a mansion, the windows of which were silvered, and,
when it was darker, gilt by girandoles. Aloft over its Italian balcony
hung two balloons, one at its eastern, the other at its western
extremity. Without those beautiful globes, the counterpart, as it were,
of the two glorious ones in heaven, the sun and the moon, I should have
scarcely paid heed to the scene on earth, in the splendor of the one on

Dearest friend, how beautiful was the place and the time. Around us,
in their majesty, reposed the Pyrenees, half robed in night and half
in day, not stooping, like man, beneath the load of years, but
erect--forever; and I felt why the great ancients had thought the
mountains were a breed of giants. On the mountain heads hung wreaths of
roses cloud-woven; but each time that a star appeared upon the clear,
deep sea of ether and sparkled on its azure waves, a rose from the
mountain's chaplet faded and dropped away. The Mittaghorn, alone, like
a higher spirit, gazed long after the sinking lonely sun, and glowed
with ecstasy. Down beneath us an amphitheatre of lemon-trees, by its
perfumes, brought us back to the veiled earth, and made a dusky
paradise of it. And Gione, in calm rapture, struck the chords of her
guitar, and softly did Nadine's voice accompany the gliding tones. The
nightingale in the rose-hedges by the lake awoke, and the plaintive
tones from its tiny heart pierced deep into the great heart of man; and
shining glowworms flew from rose-bush to rose-bush, but in the mirror
of the lake they were but as golden sparks, floating over pale yellow
flowers. But when we looked again towards the heavens, lo! all its
stars were gleaming, and in place of rose-woven wreaths, the mountains
were clad in extinguished rainbows, and the giant of the Pyrenees was
crowned with stars instead of roses. O my beloved Victor! in this
moment it was with each of our enraptured souls as if from its
oppressed heart earth's load had dropped away; as if from her mother's
arms, the earth were giving us, matured in the Father arms of the
infinite Creator; as if our little life were over! To ourselves, we
seemed the immortal, the exalted. We fancied that our speech of man's
immortality had been the prophecy of our own, as with two great and
noble men.[32] But though we entered the brilliant rooms, the storm of
new joys could not destroy the old ones. We were not yet able to be
without the great night around us, and we ascended the platform, that
from this little throne we might better contemplate the higher throne
of creation beneath the eternal canopy; although kneeling would have
been a higher ascension for the moved soul.

There were night-violets in a glass box, which traced Gione's name in
blooming colors. I remembered the glowworms and millipeds. I let the
former fly down upon the rose-bushes in confused star-pictures; with
the latter I fired Gione's beautiful flower namesake.

Gione looked longingly towards the eastern Mongolfière. Wilhelmi
understood her. Her soul was as bold as it was calm, she had already
visited many of the magic caves of earth, and had ascended to the
summits of the highest Alps; she wished now to rise in the air, and to
float in the heavens above this beautiful country, and on this
beauteous night; but the enjoyment of the prospect was not her only
motive. Wilhelmi asked who should be her companion. Solitude was her
chief desire. The breadth and depth of the boat under the globe, a
chair in it, and the cords by which she would be raised and lowered,
secured the trip from all danger.

Like a celestial being she rose beneath the stars,--the night and the
height threw a mist over her rising form. A slight zephyr rocked the
blooming Aurora, and crowned the moving goddess with alternate
constellations. Now her countenance appeared surrounded by pale
supernatural rays. It seemed bright as an angel rising towards its
kindred stars through the rich dark blue space. An unusual tremor
seized on Wilhelmi and Karlson; it was as if they saw their beloved one
again carried from them on the wings of the angel of Death.

When she returned to us her eyes were red with weeping; she had
ascended, that she might in an unseen moment, shed her old heavy tears
near the stars. O the Celestial one! She smiled strangely in the
slumber of this life at higher joys than earthly ones, as sleeping
children smile when they see Angels.

It was now impossible to repress my longing for the stars, and my
petition to be allowed to ascend. Permission to use the western
Mongolfière was willingly bestowed. Nadine, emboldened by the safe
return of her sister, and by the companion in the danger, skipped into
the boat, with her usual impulsive warmth, to refresh her thirsting
soul with the majestic immeasurability of night.

And now the suns raised us. The heavy earth sank down as the past;
wings such as man has in happy dreams bore us upwards.

The mighty vacancy and silence of space lay stretched before us even up
into the stars;--as we rose higher, the dark forests seemed but clouds,
and snow-girt mountaintops like snow-flakes. The ascending globe bore
us nearer to the harmless, silent lightning of the moon, in whose
bright satellite we seemed cradled, and which stood as a calm Elysium
beneath the heavens, and high above the thick fog air, the light heart
beating more quickly, seemed to pant with ethereal gladness to have
left the earth with out discarding its shell covering. Our ascent was
suddenly arrested--we looked down into the valley, half concealed by
distance and the darkness of the night. Only the lights from the
mansion were visible to us,--a western cloud hung like a white fog
before us, and a black eagle flew like an angel of death from the east
through the cloud pillar, seeking its summit, and a cool breeze
playfully drew us towards the mist-island. The evening red had already
passed the earth at midnight, and wandered over charming France as its
future Aurora. O, how the soul was raised towards the stars, and how
lightly did our hearts beat above the earth!

But now from the bright mansion arose sweet harmony, and the subdued
echo of the voices of our beloved ones calling upon us. And when Nadine
looked down, her lonely heart broke with longing after those dear ones;
and when she glanced into the silvered valley, over which the moon had
risen, and where the trembling waterfalls danced beside the flowing
archings of the stream and the green marble caves, and the white paths
between poplars and wheat-ears, and the whole enchanting path of our
day's journey lay silvered beneath her inconstant rays,--bright,
shining tears flowed unrestrained from her mild eyes, and she looked
imploringly to me, as if begging for consideration and secrecy, and
said expressively, "We are yet so far from the cruel earth."

When our little globe was drawn back to the shining meadows and the
merry music, she looked inquiringly at me, to ask if the traces of
tears yet remained in her eyes. She dried them more quickly, but in
vain. Silently we descended; I took her burning hand in mine, and
looked into her weeping eyes, but could not speak.... --And how could I
speak better now, dearest friend!



                            QUINTUS FIXLEIN.

                             EXTRACTED FROM

                         FIFTEEN LETTER-BOXES.

                     TRANSLATED BY THOMAS CARLYLE.

                         LETTER TO MY FRIENDS,
                          INSTEAD OF PREFACE.

Merchants, Authors, young Ladies, and Quakers, call all persons, with
whom they have any business, Friends; and my readers accordingly are my
table and college Friends. Now, at this time, I am about presenting so
many hundred Friends with just as many hundred gratis copies; and my
Bookseller has orders to supply each on request, after the Fair, with
his copy--in return for a trifling consideration and _don gratuit_ to
printers, pressmen, and other such persons. But as I could not, like
the French authors, send the whole Edition to the binder, the blank
leaf in front was necessarily wanting; and thus to write a
complimentary word or two upon it was out of my power. I have therefore
caused a few white leaves to be inserted directly after the title-page;
on these we are now printing.

My Book contains the Life of a Schoolmaster, extracted and compiled
from various public and private documents. With this Biography, dear
Friends, it is the purpose of the Author not so much to procure you a
pleasure as to teach you how to enjoy one. In truth, King Xerxes should
have offered his prize-medals, not for the invention of new pleasures,
but for a good methodology and directory to use the old ones.

Of ways for becoming happier (not happy) I could never inquire out more
than three. The first, rather an elevated road, is this: to soar away
so far above the clouds of life, that you see the whole external world,
with its wolf-dens, charnel-houses, and thunder-rods, lying far down
beneath you, shrunk into a little child's garden. The second is: simply
to sink down into this little garden; and there to nestle yourself so
snugly, so homewise, in some furrow, that, in looking out from your
warm lark-nest, you likewise can discern no wolf-dens, charnel-houses,
or thunder-rods, but only blades and ears, every one of which, for the
nest-bird, is a tree, and a sun-screen, and a rain-screen. The third,
finally, which I look upon as the hardest and cunningest, is that of
alternating between the other two.

This I shall now satisfactorily expound to men at large.

The Hero, the Reformer, your Brutus, your Howard, your Republican, he
whom civic storm, or genius poetic storm, impels; in short, every
mortal with a great Purpose, or even a perennial Passion (were it but
that of writing the largest folios); all these men fence themselves in
by their internal world against the frosts and heats of the external,
as the madman in a worse sense does; every _fixed_ idea, such as rules
every genius, every enthusiast, at least periodically, separates and
elevates a man above the bed and board of this Earth, above its
Dog's-grottoes, buckthorns, and Devil's-walls; like the Bird of
Paradise, he slumbers flying; and, on his outspread pinions, oversleeps
unconsciously the earthquakes and conflagrations of Life, in his long,
fair dream of his ideal Mother-land.--Alas! To few is this dream
granted; and these few are so often awakened by Flying Dogs![33]

This skyward track, however, is fit only for the winged portion of the
human species, for the smallest. What can it profit poor quill-driving
brethren, whose souls have not even wing-shells, to say nothing of
wings? Or these tethered persons with the best back, breast, and
neck-fins, who float motionless in the wicker Fish-box of the State,
and are not allowed to swim, because the Box or State, long ago tied to
the shore, itself swims in the name of the Fishes? To the whole
standing and writing host of heavy-laden State-domestics, Purveyors,
Clerks of all departments, and all the lobsters packed together heels
over head into the Lobster-basket of the Government office-rooms, and
for refreshments, sprinkled over with a few nettles; to these persons,
what way of becoming happy _here_ can I possibly point out?

My _second_ merely; and that is as follows: to take a compound
microscope, and with it to discover, and convince themselves, that
their drop of Burgundy is properly a Red Sea, that butterfly-dust is
peacock-feathers, mouldiness a flowery-field, and sand a heap of
jewels. These microscopic recreations are more lasting than all
costly watering-place recreations.--But I must explain these metaphors
by new ones. The purpose for which I have sent _Fixlein's Life_
into the Messrs. Lübeks' Warehouse, is simply that in this same
_Life_--therefore in this Preface it is less needful--I may show to the
whole Earth that we ought to value little joys more than great ones, the
night-gown more than the dress-coat; that Plutus's heaps are worth less
than his handfuls, the plum than the penny for a rainy day; and that
not great, but little good-haps can make us happy.--Can I accomplish
this, I shall, through means of my Book, bring up for Posterity a race
of men finding refreshment in all things; in the warmth of their rooms
and of their night-caps; in their pillows; in the three High Festivals;
in mere Apostles' days; in the Evening Moral Tales of their wives, when
these gentle persons have been forth as ambassadresses visiting some
Dowager Residence, whither the husband could not be persuaded; in the
bloodletting-day of these their newsbringers; in the day of
slaughtering, salting, potting against the rigor of grim winter; and in
all such days. You perceive, my drift is, that man must become a little
Tailor-bird, which, not amid the crashing boughs of the storm-tost,
roaring, immeasurable tree of Life, but on one of its leaves, sews
itself a nest together, and there lies snug. The most essential sermon
one could preach to our century were a sermon on the duty of staying at

The _third_ skyward road is the alternation between the other two. The
foregoing _second_ way is not good enough for man, who here on Earth
should take into his hand not the Sickle only, but also the Plough. The
_first_ is too good for him. He has not always the force, like
Rugendas, in the midst of the Battle to compose Battle-pieces; and,
like Backhuisen in the Shipwreck, to clutch at no board but the
drawing-board to paint it on. And then his pains are not less lasting
than his _fatigues_. Still oftener is Strength denied its Arena; it is
but the smallest portion of life that, to a working soul, offers Alps,
Revolutions, Rhine-falls, Worms Diets, and Wars with Xerxes; and for
the whole it is better so; the longer portion of life is a field beaten
flat as a threshing-floor, without lofty Gothard Mountains; often it is
a tedious ice-field, without a single glacier tinged with dawn.

But even by walking, a man rests and recovers himself for climbing; by
little joys and duties, for great. The victorious Dictator must
contrive to plough down his battle Mars-field into a flax and carrot
field; to transform his theatre of war into a parlor theatre, on which
his children may enact some good pieces from the _Children's Friend_.
Can he accomplish this, can he turn so softly from the path of poetical
happiness into that of household happiness,--then is he little
different from myself, who even now, though modesty might forbid me to
disclose it--who even now, I say, amid the creation of this Letter,
have been enabled to reflect, that, when it is done, so also will the
Roses and Elder-berries of pastry be done, which a sure hand is
seething in butter for the Author of this Work.

As I purpose appending to this Letter a Postscript (at the end of the
Book), I reserve somewhat which I had to say about the Third[34]
half-satirical, half-philosophical part of the Work till that

Here, out of respect for the rights of a Letter, the Author drops his
half anonymity,[35] and for the first time subscribes himself with his
whole true name,

                              Jean Paul Friedrich Richter.

_Hof in Voigtland, 29th June_, 1795.

                        LIFE OF QUINTUS FIXLEIN,
                         DOWN TO OUR OWN TIMES.
                        IN FIFTEEN LETTER-BOXES.

                           FIRST LETTER-BOX.

         Dog-days' Vacation.--Visits.--An Indigent of Quality.

Egidius Zebedäus Fixlein had just for eight days been Quintus,[36] and
fairly commenced teaching duties, when Fortune tabled out for him four
refreshing courses and collations, besprinkled with flowers and sugar.
These were the four canicular weeks. I could find in my heart, at this
hour, to pat the cranium of that good man who invented the Dog-days'
Vacation. I never go to walk in that season, without thinking how a
thousand down-pressed pedagogic persons are now erecting themselves in
the open air; and the stiff knapsack is lying unbuckled at their feet,
and they can seek whatsoever their soul desires; butterflies,--or roots
of numbers,--or roots of words,--or herbs,--or their native villages.

The last did our Fixlein. He moved not, however, till Sunday,--for you
like to know how holidays taste in the city; and then, in company with
his Shock and a Quintaner, or Fifth-Form boy, who carried his Green
nightgown, he issued through the gate in the morning. The dew was still
lying; and as he reached the back of the gardens, the children of the
Orphan Hospital were uplifting with clear voices their morning hymn.
The city was Flachsenfingen, the village Hukelum, the dog Schil, and
the year of Grace 1791.

"Manikin," said he, to the Quintaner, for he liked to speak, as Love,
children, and the people of Vienna do, in diminutives, "Manikin, give
me the bundle to the village; run about, and seek thee a little
bird, as thou art thyself, and so have something to pet too in
vacation-time." For the manikin was at once his page, lackey,
room-comrade, train-bearer, and gentleman in waiting; and the Shock
also was his manikin.

He stept slowly along, through the crisped cole-beds, overlaid with
colored beads of dew; and looked at the bushes, out of which, when the
morning wind bent them asunder, there seemed to start a flight of
jewel-colibri, so brightly did they glitter. From time to time he
drew the bell-rope of his--whistle, that the manikin might, not skip
away too far; and he shortened his league and half of road, by
measuring it not in leagues, but in villages. It is more pleasant for
pedestrians--for geographers it is not--to count by wersts than by
miles. In walking, our Quintus furthermore got by heart the few fields
on which the grain was already reaped.

But now roam slower, Fixlein, through His Lordship's garden of Hukelum;
not, indeed, lest thy coat sweep away any tulip-stamina, but that thy
good mother may have time to lay her Cupid's-band of black taffeta
about her smooth brow. I am grieved to think my fair readers take it
ill of her, that she means first to iron this same band; they cannot
know that she has no maid; and that to-day the whole Preceptorial
dinner--the money purveyances the guest has made over to her three days
before--is to be arranged and prepared by herself, without the aid of
any Mistress of the Household whatever; for indeed she belongs to the
_Tiers État_, being neither more nor less than a gardener's widow.

You can figure how this true, warm-hearted mother may have lain in wait
all morning for her Schoolman, whom she loved as the apple of her eye;
since, on the whole populous Earth, she had not (her first son, as well
as her husband, was dead) any other for her soul, which indeed
overflowed with love; not any other but her Zebedäus. Could she ever
tell you aught about him, I mean aught joyful, without ten times wiping
her eyes? Nay, did she not once divide her solitary Kirmes (or
Churchale) cake between two mendicant students, because she thought
Heaven would punish her for so feasting, while her boy in Leipzig had
nothing to feast on, and must pass the cake-garden like other gardens,
merely smelling at it?

"Dickens! Thou already, Zebedäus!" said the mother, giving an
embarrassed smile, to keep from weeping, as the son, who had ducked
past the window, and crossed the grassy threshold without knocking,
suddenly entered. For joy she forgot to put the heater into the
smoothing-iron, as her illustrious scholar, amid the loud boiling of
the soup, tenderly kissed her brow, and even said Mamma; a name
which lighted on her breast like downy silk. All the windows were open;
and the garden, with its flower-essences, and bird-music, and
butterfly-collections, was almost half within the room. But I
suppose I have not yet mentioned that the little garden-house, rather a
chamber than a house, was situated on the western cape of the Castle
garden. The owner had graciously allowed the widow to retain this
dowager-mansion; as indeed the mansion would otherwise have stood
empty, for he now kept no gardener.

But Fixlein, in spite of his joy, could not stay long with her; being
bound for the Church, which, to his spiritual appetite, was at all
times a king's kitchen; a mother's. A sermon pleased him simply because
it was a sermon, and because he himself had once preached one. The
mother was contented he should go; these good women think they enjoy
their guests, if they can only give them aught to enjoy.

In the choir, this Free-haven and Ethnic Forecourt of stranger
church-goers, he smiled on all parishioners; and, as in his childhood,
standing under the wooden wing of an archangel, he looked down on the
coifed _parterre_. His young years now enclosed him like children in
their smiling circle; and a long garland wound itself in rings among
them, and by fits they plucked flowers from it, and threw them in his
face. Was it not old Senior Astman that stood there on the pulpit
Parnassus, the man by whom he had been so often flogged, while
acquiring Greek with him from a grammar written in Latin, which he
could not explain, yet was forced to walk by the light of? Stood there
not behind the pulpit-stairs the sacristy-cabin, and in this was there
not a church-library of consequence--no school-boy could have buckled
it wholly in his book-strap--lying under the minever cover of pastil
dust? And did it not consist of the Polyglot in folio, which he,
spurred on by Pfeiffer's _Critica Sacra_, had turned up leaf by leaf,
in his early years, excerpting therefrom the _literæ inversæ majusculæ
minusculæ_, and so forth, with an immensity of toil? And could he not
at present, the sooner the more readily, have wished to cast this
alphabetic soft-fodder into the Hebrew letter-trough, whereto your
Oriental Rhizophagi (Rooteaters) are tied, especially as here they get
so little vowel hard-fodder to keep them in heart?--Stood there not
close by him the organ-stool, the throne to which, every Apostle-day,
the Schoolmaster had by three nods elevated him, thence to fetch down
the sacred hyssop, the sprinkler of the Church?

My readers themselves will gather spirits when they now hear that our
Quintus, during the outshaking of the poor-bag, was invited by the
Senior to come over in the afternoon; and to them it will be little
less gratifying than if he had invited themselves. But what will they
say, when they get home with him to mother and dinner-table, both
already clad in their white Sunday dress; and behold the large cake
which Fräulein Thiennette (Stephanie) has rolled from her peel? In the
first place, however, they will wish to know who _she_ is.

She is,--for if (according to Lessing), in the very excellence of the
Iliad, we neglect the personalities of its author; the same thing will
apply to the fate of several authors, for instance, to my own; but an
authoress of cakes must not be forgotten in the excellence of her
baking,--Thiennette is a poor, indigent, insolvent young lady; has not
much, except years, of which she counts five-and-twenty; no near
relations living now; no acquirements (for in literature she does not
even know _Werter_) except economical; reads no books, not even mine;
inhabits, that is, watches like a wardeness, quite alone, the thirteen
void, disfurnished chambers of the Castle of Hukelum, which belongs to
the Dragoon Rittmeister Aufhammer, at present resident in his other
mansion of Schadeck; on occasion, she commands and feeds his soccagers
and handmaids; and can write herself By the grace of God--which, in the
thirteenth century, the country nobles did as well as princes,--for she
lives by the grace of man, at least of woman, the Lady Rittmeisterinn
Aufhammer's grace, who, at all times, blesses those vassals whom her
husband curses. But, in the breast of the orphaned Thiennette, lay a
sugared marchpane heart, which, for very love, you could have devoured;
her fate was hard, but her soul was soft; she was modest, courteous,
and timid, but too much so;--cheerfully and coldly she received the
most cutting humiliations in Schadeck, and felt no pain, and not till
some days after did she see it all clearly, and then these cuts began
sharply to bleed, and she wept in her loneliness over her lot.

It is hard for me to give a light tone, after this deep one, and to
add, that Fixlein had been almost brought up beside her, and that she,
his school-moiety over with the Senior, while the latter was training
him for the dignities of the Third Form, had learned the _Verba
Anomala_ along with him.

The Achilles'-shield of the cake, jagged and embossed with carved work
of brown scales, was whirling round in the Quintus like a swing-wheel
of hungry and thankful ideas. Of that philosophy which despises eating,
and of that high breeding which wastes it, he had not so much about him
as belongs to the ungratefulness of such cultivated persons; but for
his platter of meat, for his dinner of herbs, he could never give
thanks enough.

Innocent and contented, the quadruple dinner-party--for the Shock with
his cover under the stove cannot be omitted--now began their Feast of
Sweet Bread, their Feast of Honor for Thiennette, their Grove-feast in
the garden. It may truly be a subject of wonder how a man who has not,
like the King of France, four hundred and forty-eight persons (the
hundred and sixty-one _Garçons de la Maisonbouche_ I do not reckon) in
his kitchen, nor a _Fruiterie_ of thirty-one human bipeds, nor a
Pastry-cookery of three-and-twenty, nor a daily expenditure of 387
Livres 21 Sous,--how such a man, I say, can eat with any satisfaction.
Nevertheless, to me, a cooking mother is as dear as a whole royal
cooking household, given rather to feed upon me than to feed me.--The
most precious fragments which the Biographer and the World can
gather from this meal consist of here and there an edifying piece of
table-talk. The mother had much to tell. Thiennette is this night, she
mentions, for the first time, to put on her morning promenade-dress of
white muslin, as also a satin girdle and steel buckle; but, adds she,
it will not sit her; as the Rittmeisterinn (for this lady used to hang
her cast clothes on Thiennette, as Catholics do their cast crutches and
sores on their patron Saints) was much thicker. Good women grudge each
other nothing save only clothes, husbands, and flax. In the fancy of
the Quintus, by virtue of this apparel, a pair of angel pinions were
sprouting forth from the shoulder-blades of Thiennette; for him a
garment was a sort of hollow half-man, to whom only the nobler parts
and the first principles were wanting; he honored these wrappages and
hulls of our interior, not as an Elegant, or a Critic of Beauty, but
because it was not possible for him to despise aught which he saw
others honoring. Further, the good mother read to him, as it were, the
monumental inscription of his father, who had sunk into the arms of
Death in the thirty-second year of his age, from a cause which I
explain not here, but in a future Letter-box, having too much affection
for the reader. Our Quintus could not sate himself with hearing of his

The fairest piece of news was, that Fräulein Thiennette had sent word
to-day, "he might visit Her Ladyship to-morrow, as My Lord, his
godfather, was to be absent in town." This, however, I must explain.
Old Aufhammer was called _Egidius_, and was Fixlein's godfather; but
he--though the Rittmeisterinn duly covered the cradle of the child with
nightly offerings, with flesh-tithes and grain-tithes--had frugally
made him no christening present, except that of his name, which
proved to be the very balefullest. For, our _Egidius_ Fixlein, with his
Shock, which, by reason of the French convulsions, had, in company with
other emigrants, run off from Nantes, was but lately returned from
college--when he and his dog, as ill-luck would have it, went to walk
in the Hukelum wood. Now, as the Quintus was ever and anon crying out
to his attendant: "Coosh, Schil" (_Couche Gilles_), it must apparently
have been the Devil that had just then planted the Lord of Aufhammer
among the trees and bushes in such a way, that this whole travestying
and docking of his name--for Gilles means Egidius--must fall directly
into his ear. Fixlein could neither speak French, nor any offence to
mortal; he knew not head or tail of what _couche_ signified; a word,
which, in Paris, even the plebeian dogs are now in the habit of saying
to their _valets de chiens_. But there were three things which Von
Aufhammer never recalled,--his error, his anger, and his word. The
provokee, therefore, determined that the plebeian provoker and
honor-stealer should never more speak to him, or--get a doit from him.

I return. After dinner he gazed out of the little window into the
garden, and saw his path of life dividing into four branches, leading
towards just as many skyward Ascensions; towards the Ascension into the
Parsonage, and that into the Castle to Thiennette, for this day; and
towards the third into Schadeck for the morrow; and lastly, into every
house in Hukelum as the fourth. And now, when the mother had long
enough kept cheerfully gliding about on tiptoe, "not to disturb him in
studying his Latin Bible" (the _Vulgata_), that is, in reading the
_Litteraturzeitung_, he at last rose to his own feet; and the humble
joy of the mother ran long after the courageous son, who dared to go
forth and speak to a Senior, quite unappalled. Yet it was not without
reverence that he entered the dwelling of his old, rather gray than
bald-headed, teacher, who was not only Virtue itself, but also Hunger,
eating frequently, and with the appetite of Pharaoh's lean kine. A
schoolman that expects to become a professor will scarcely deign to
cast an eye on a pastor; but one who is himself looking up to a
parsonage as to his working-house and breeding-house, knows how to
value such a character. The new parsonage--as if it had, like a _Casa
Santa_, come flying out of Erlang, or the Berlin Friedrichs-strasse,
and alighted in Hukelum--was for the Quintus a Temple of the Sun, and
the Senior a Priest of the Sun. To be Parson there himself was a
thought overlaid with virgin honey; such a thought as occurs but one
other time in History, namely, in the head of Hannibal, when he
projected stepping over the Alps, that is to say, over the threshold of

The landlord and his guest formed an excellent _bureau d'esprit_;
people of office, especially of the same office, have more to tell each
other, namely, their own history, than your idle May-chafers and
Court-celestials, who must speak only of other people's.--The Senior
made a soft transition from his iron-ware (in the stable furniture), to
the golden age of his Academic life, of which such people like as much
to think, as poets do of their childhood. So good as he was, he still
half joyfully recollected that he had once been less so; but joyful
remembrances of wrong actions are their half repetition, as repentant
remembrances of good ones are their half abolishment.

Courteously and kindly did Zebedäus (who could not even enter in his
Notebook the name of a person of quality without writing an H. for Herr
before it) listen to the Academic Saturnalia of the old gentleman, who
in Wittenberg had toped as well as written, and thirsted not more for
the Hippocrene than for Gukguk.[37]

Herr Jerusalem has observed that the barbarism, which often springs up
close on the brightest efflorescence of the sciences, is a sort of
strengthening mud-bath, good for averting the over-refinement wherewith
such efflorescence always threatens us. I believe that a man who
considers how high the sciences have mounted with our upper
classes,--for instance with every Patrician's son in Nürnberg, to whom
the public must present 1000 florins for studying with,--I believe that
such a man will not grudge the Son of the Muses a certain barbarous
Middle-age (the Burschen or Student Life, as it is called), which may
again so case-harden him that his refinement shall not go beyond the
limits. The Senior, while in Wittenberg, had protected the one hundred
and eighty Academic Freedoms--so many of them has Petrus Rebuffus
summed up[38]--against prescription, and lost none except his moral
one, of which truly a man, even in a convent, can seldom make much.
This gave our Quintus courage to relate certain pleasant somersets of
his own, which at Leipzig, under the Incubus-pressure of poverty, he
had contrived to execute. Let us hear him. His landlord, who was at the
same time Professor and Miser, maintained in his enclosed court a whole
community of hens. Fixlein, in company with three room-mates, without
difficulty mastered the rent of a chamber, or closet. In general their
main equipments, like Ph[oe]nixes, existed but in the singular number:
one bed, in which always the one pair slept before midnight, the other
after midnight, like nocturnal watchmen; one coat, in which one after
the other they appeared in public, and which, like a watch-coat, was
the national uniform of the company; and several other _ones_,
Unities both of Interest and Place. Nowhere can you collect the
stress-memorials and siege-medals of Poverty more pleasantly and
philosophically than at College; the Academic burgher exhibits to us
how many humorists and Diogeneses Germany has in it. Our Unitarians had
just one thing four times, and that was hunger. The Quintus related,
perhaps with a too pleasurable enjoyment of the recollection, how one
of this famishing _coro_ invented means of appropriating the
Professor's hens as just tribute, or subsidies. He said (he was a
Jurist), they must once for all borrow a legal fiction from the Feudal
code, and look on the Professor as the soccage tenant, to whom the
usufruct of the hen-yard and hen-house belonged; but on themselves as
the feudal superiors of the same, to whom accordingly the vassal was
bound to pay his feudal dues. And now, that the Fiction might follow
Nature, continued he--"_fictio sequitur naturam_,"--it behooved them to
lay hold of said Yule-hens, by direct personal distraint. But into the
court-yard there was no getting. The feudalist, therefore, prepared a
fishing-line; stuck a bread-pill on the hook, and lowered his
fishing-tackle, anglewise, down into the court. In a few seconds the
barb stuck in a hen's throat, and the hen, now communicating with its
feudal superior, could silently, like ships by Archimedes, be heaved
aloft to the hungry air-fishing society, where, according to
circumstances, the proper feudal name and title of possession failed
not to be awaiting her; for the updrawn fowls were now denominated
Christmas-fowls, now Forest-hens, Bailiff-hens, Pentecost and
Summer-hens. "I begin," said the angling lord of the manor, "with
taking _Rutcher-dues_, for so we call the triple and quintuple of the
original quitrent, when the vassal, as is the case here, has long
neglected payment." The Professor, like any other prince, observed with
sorrow the decreasing population of his hen-yard, for his subjects,
like the Hebrews, were dying by enumeration. At last he had the
happiness, while reading his lecture--he was just come to the subject
of _Forest Salt and Coin Regalities_--to descry through the window of
his auditorium a quitrent hen suspended, like Ignatius Loyola in
prayer, or Juno in her punishment, in middle-air. He followed the
incomprehensible direct ascension of the aeronautic animal, and
at last descried at the upper window the attracting artist, and
animal-magnetizer, who had drawn his lot for dinner from the hen-yard
below. Contrary to all expectation, he terminated this fowling sport
sooner than his Lecture on Regalities.

Fixlein walked home, amid the vesperal melodies of the steeple
sounding-holes; and by the road courteously took off his hat before the
empty windows of the Castle. Houses of quality were to him like persons
of quality, as in India the Pagoda at once represents the temple and
the god. To the mother he brought feigned compliments, which she repaid
with authentic ones; for this afternoon she had been over, with
her historical tongue and nature-interrogating eye, visiting the
white-muslin Thiennette. The mother was wont to show her every
spare-penny which he dropped into her large empty purse, and so raise
him in the good graces of the Fräulein; for women feel their hearts
much more attracted towards a son, who tenderly reserves for a mother
some of their benefits, than we do to a daughter anxiously caring for
her father; perhaps from a hundred causes, and this among the rest,
that in their experience of sons and husbands they are more used to
find these persons mere six-feet thunder-clouds, forked waterspouts, or
even reposing tornadoes.

Blessed Quintus! on whose Life this other distinction, like an order of
nobility, does also shine, that thou canst tell it over to thy mother;
as, for example, this past afternoon in the parsonage. Thy joy flows
into another heart, and streams back from it, redoubled, into thy own.
There is a closer approximating of hearts, and also of sounds, than
that of the _Echo_; the highest approximation melts Tone and Echo into
_Resonance_ together.

It is historically certain that both of them supped this evening; and
that instead of the whole dinner fragments which to-morrow might
themselves represent a dinner, nothing but the cake-offering or pudding
was laid upon the altar of the table. The mother, who for her own child
would willingly have neglected not herself only, but all other people,
now made a motion that to the Quintaner, who was sporting out of doors
and baiting a bird instead of himself, there should no crumb of the
precious pastry be given, but only table-bread without the crust. But
the Schoolman had a Christian disposition, and said that it was Sunday,
and the young man liked something delicate to eat as well as he.
Fixlein--the counterpart of great men and geniuses--was inclined to
treat, to gift, to gratify a serving housemate, rather than a man who
is for the first time passing through the gate, and at the next
post-stage will forget both his hospitable landlord and the last
postmaster. On the whole, our Quintus had a touch of honor in him, and
notwithstanding his thrift and sacred regard for money, he willingly
gave it away in cases of honor, and unwillingly in cases of
overpowering sympathy, which too painfully filled the cavities of his
heart, and emptied those of his purse. Whilst the Quintaner was
exercising the _jus compascui_ on the cake, and six arms were
peacefully resting on Thiennette's free-table, Fixlein read to himself
and the company the Flachsenfingen Address-calendar; any higher thing,
except Meusel's _Gelehrtes Deutschland_,[39] he could not figure; the
Kammerherrs and Raths of the Calendar went tickling over his tongue
like the raisins of the cake; and of the more rich church-livings he,
by reading, as it were levied a tithe.

He purposely remained his own Edition in Sunday Wove-paper; I mean, he
did not lay away his Sunday coat, even when the Prayer-bell tolled; for
he had still much to do.

After supper he was just about visiting the Fräulein, when he descried
her in person, like a lily dipped in the red twilight, in the Castle
garden, whose western limit his house constituted, the southern one
being the Chinese wall of the Castle.... By the way, how I got to the
knowledge of all this, what Letter-boxes are, whether I myself was ever
there, &c., &c.--the whole of this shall, upon my life, be soon and
faithfully communicated to the reader, and that too in the present

Fixlein hopped forth like a Will-o'-wisp into the garden, whose
flower-perfume was mingling with his supper-perfume. No one bowed
lower to a nobleman than he, not out of plebeian servility, nor of
self-interested cringing, but because he thought "a nobleman was a
nobleman." But in this case his bow, instead of falling forwards, fell
obliquely to the right, as it were after his hat; for he had not risked
taking a stick with him; and hat and stick were his proppage and
balance-wheel, in short, his bowing-gear, without which it was out of
his power to produce any courtly bow, had you offered him the High
Church of Hamburg for so doing. Thiennette's mirthfulness soon unfolded
his crumpled soul into straight form, and into the proper tone. He
delivered her a long, neat Thanksgiving and Harvest sermon for the
scaly cake; which appeared to her at once kind and tedious. Young women
without the polish of high life reckon tedious pedantry, merely like
snuffing, one of the necessary ingredients of a man; they reverence us
infinitely; and as Lambert could never speak to the King of Prussia, by
reason of his sun-eyes, except in the dark, so they, I believe, often
like better--also by reason of our sublime air--if they can catch us in
the dark too. _Him_ Thiennette edified by the Imperial History of Herr
von Aufhammer and Her Ladyship his spouse, who meant to put him, the
Quintus, in her will; _her_ he edified by his Literary History, as
relating to himself and the Subrector; how, for instance, he was at
present vicariating in the Second Form, and ruling over scholars as
long in stature as himself. And thus did the two in happiness, among
red bean-blossoms, red May-chafers, before the red of the twilight
burning lower and lower on the horizon, walk to and fro in the garden;
and turn always with a smile as they approached the head of the ancient
gardeneress, standing like a window-bust through the little lattice,
which opened in the bottom of a larger one.

To me it is incomprehensible he did not fall in love. I know his
reasons, indeed. In the first place, she had nothing; secondly, he had
nothing, and school-debts to boot; thirdly, her genealogical tree was a
boundary tree and warning-post; fourthly, his hands were tied up by
another nobler thought, which, for good cause, is yet reserved from the
reader. Nevertheless--Fixlein! I durst not have been in thy place!
I should have looked at her, and remembered her virtues and our
school-years, and then have drawn forth my too fusible heart, and
presented it to her as a bill of exchange, or insinuated it as a
summons. For I should have considered that she resembled a nun in two
senses, in her good heart and in her good pastry; that, in spite of her
intercourse with male vassals, she was no Charles Genevieve Louise
Auguste Timothé Eon de Beaumont,[40] but a smooth, fair-haired,
white-capped dove; that she sought more to please her own sex than
ours; that she showed a melting heart, not previously borrowed from the
Circulating Library, in tears, for which in her innocence she rather
took shame than credit.--At the very first cheapening, I should, on
these grounds, have been out with my heart.--Had I fully reflected,
Quintus! that I knew her as myself; that her hands and mine (to wit,
had I been thou) had both been guided by the same Senior to Latin
penmanship; that we two, when little children, had kissed each other
before the glass, to see whether the two image-children would do it
likewise in the mirror; that often we had put hands of both sexes into
the same muff, and there played with them in secret; had I, lastly,
considered that we were here standing before the glass-house, now
splendent in the enamel of twilight, and that on the cold panes of this
glass-house we two (she within, I without) had often pressed our warm
cheeks together, parted only by the thickness of the glass,--then had I
taken this poor gentle soul, pressed asunder by Fate, and seeing, amid
her thunder-clouds, no higher elevation to part them and protect her
than the grave, and had drawn her to my own soul, and warmed her on my
heart, and encompassed her about with my eyes.

In truth, the Quintus would have done so too, had not the
above-mentioned nobler thought, which I yet disclose not, kept him
back. Softened, without knowing the cause,--(accordingly he gave his
mother a kiss,)--and blessed without having had a literary
conversation; and dismissed with a freight of humble compliments, which
he was to disload on the morrow before the Dragoon Rittmeisterinn, he
returned to his little cottage, and looked yet a long while out of its
dark windows, at the light ones of the Castle. And then, when the first
quarter of the moon was setting, that is, about midnight, he again, in
the cool sigh of a mild, fanning, moist, and directly heart-addressing
night-breeze, opened the eyelids of a sight already sunk in

Sleep, for to-day thou hast done naught ill! I, whilst the drooping,
shut flower-bell of thy spirit sinks on thy pillow, will look into the
breezy night over thy morning footpath, which, through the translucent
little wood, is to lead thee to Schadeck, to thy patroness. All
prosperity attend thee, thou foolish Quintus!--

                           SECOND LETTER-BOX.

        Frau von Aufhammer.--Childhood-resonance.--Authorcraft.

The early piping which the little thrush, last night adopted by the
Quintaner from its nest, started for victual about two o'clock,
soon drove our Quintus into his clothes; whose calender-press and
parallel-ruler the hands of his careful mother had been, for she would
not send him to the Rittmeisterinn "like a runagate dog." The Shock was
incarcerated, the Quintaner taken with him, as likewise many wholesome
rules from Mother Fixlein, how to conduct himself towards the
Rittmeisterinn. But the son answered: "Mamma, when a man has been in
company, like me, with high people, with a Fräulein Thiennette, he soon
knows whom he is speaking to, and what polished manners and Saver di
veaver (_Savoir vivre_) require."

He arrived with the Quintaner, and green fingers (dyed with the leaves
he had plucked on the path), and with a half-nibbled rose between his
teeth, in presence of the sleek lackeys of Schadeck. If women are
flowers--though as often silk and Italian and gum-flowers as botanical
ones--then was Frau von Aufhammer a ripe flower, with (adipose)
neck-bulb, and tuberosity (of lard). Already, in the half of her body,
cut away from life by the apoplexy, she lay upon her lard-pillow but as
on a softer grave; nevertheless, the portion of her that remained was
at once lively, pious, and proud. Her heart was a flowing cornucopia to
all men, yet this not from philanthropy, but from rigid devotion; the
lower classes she assisted, cherished, and despised, regarding nothing
in them, except it were their piety. She received the bowing Quintus
with the back-bowing air of a patroness; yet she brightened into a look
of kindliness at his disloading of the compliments from Thiennette.

She began the conversation, and long continued it alone, and said,--yet
without losing the inflation of pride from her countenance,--"She
should soon die; but the godchildren of her husband she would remember
in her will." Further, she told him directly in the face, which stood
there all over-written with the Fourth Commandment before her, that "he
must not build upon a settlement in Hukelum; but to the Flachsenfingen
Conrectorate (to which the Burgermeister and Council had the right of
nomination) she hoped to promote him, as it was from the then
Burgermeister that she bought her coffee, and from the Town-Syndic (he
drove a considerable wholesale and retail trade in Hamburg candles)
that she bought both her wax and tallow lights."

And now by degrees he arrived at his humble petition, when she asked
him sick-news of Senior Astmann, who guided himself more by Luther's
Catechism than by the Catechism of Health. She was Astmann's patroness
in a stricter than ecclesiastical sense; and she even confessed that
she would soon follow this true shepherd of souls, when she heard, here
at Schadeck, the sound of his funeral-bell. Such strange chemical
affinities exist between our dross and our silver veins; as, for
example, here between Pride and Love; and I could wish that we would
pardon this hypostatic union in all persons, as we do it in the
fair, who, with all their faults, are nevertheless by us--as, according
to Du Fay, iron, though mixed with any other metal, is by the
magnet--attracted and held fast.

Supposing even that the Devil _had_, in some idle minute, sown a
handful or two of the seeds of Envy in our Quintus's soul, yet they had
not sprouted; and to-day especially they did not, when he heard the
praises of a man who had been his teacher, and who--what he reckoned a
Titulado of the Earth, not from vanity, but from piety--was a
clergyman. So much, however, is, according to History, not to be
denied; that he now straightway came forth with his petition to the
noble lady, signifying that "indeed he would cheerfully content himself
for a few years in the school; but yet in the end he longed to be in
some small quiet priestly office." To her question, "But was he
orthodox?" he answered, that "he hoped so; he had, in Leipzig, not only
attended all the public lectures of Dr. Burscher, but also had taken
private instructions from several sound teachers of the faith, well
knowing that the Consistorium, in its examinations as to purity of
doctrine, was now more strict than formerly."

The sick lady required him to make a proof-shot, namely, to administer
to her a sick-bed exhortation. By Heaven! he administered to her one of
the best. Her pride of birth now crouched before his pride of office
and priesthood; for though he could not, with the Dominican monk,
Alanus de Rupe, believe that a priest was greater than God, inasmuch as
the latter could only make a World, but the former a God (in the mass);
yet he could not but fall in with Hostiensis, who shows that the
priestly dignity is seven thousand six hundred and forty-four times
greater than the kingly, the Sun being just so many times greater than
the Moon. But a Rittmeisterinn--_she_ shrinks into absolute nothing
before a parson.

In the servants' hall he applied to the lackeys for the last annual
series of the _Hamburg Political Journal_; perceiving that with these
historical documents of the time they were scandalously papering the
buttons of travelling raiment. In gloomy harvest evenings, he could now
sit down and read for himself what good news were transpiring in the
political world--twelve months ago.

On a Triumphal Car, full-laden with laurel, and to which Hopes alone
were yoked, he drove home at night, and by the road advised the
Quintaner not to be puffed up with any earthly honor, but silently to
thank God, as himself was now doing.

The thickset blooming grove of his four canicular weeks, and the flying
tumult of blossoms therein, are already painted on three of the sides.
I will now clutch blindfold into his days, and bring out one of them;
one smiles and sends forth its perfumes like another.

Let us take, for instance, the Saint's day of his mother, _Clara_, the
twelfth of August. In the morning, he had perennial, fire-proof joys,
that is to say, Employments. For he was writing, as I am doing. Truly,
if Xerxes proposed a prize for the invention of a new pleasure, any man
who had sat down to write his thoughts on the prize-question had the
new pleasure already among his fingers. I know only one thing sweeter
than making a book, and that is, to project one. Fixlein used to write
little works, of the twelfth part of an alphabet in size, which in
their manuscript state he got bound by the bookbinder in gilt boards,
and betitled with printed letters, and then inserted them among the
literary ranks of his book-board. Every one thought they were novelties
printed in writing types. He had labored--I shall omit his less
interesting performances--at a _Collection of Errors of the Press_, in
German writings; he compared _Errata_ with each other; showed which
occurred most frequently; observed that important results were to be
drawn from this, and advised the reader to draw them.

Moreover, he took his place among the German _Masorites_. He observes
with great justice in his Preface: "The Jews had their _Masora_ to
show, which told them how often every letter was to be found in their
Bible; for example, the Aleph (the A) 42,377 times; how many verses
there are in which all the consonants appear (there are 26 verses), or
only eighty (there are 3); how many verses we have into which 42 words
and 160 consonants enter (there is just one, Jeremiah xxi. 7); which is
the middle letter in certain books (in the Pentateuch, it is in
Leviticus xi. 42, the noble V[41]), or in the whole Bible itself. But
where have we Christians any similar Masora for Luther's Bible to show?
Has it been accurately investigated which is the middle word, or the
middle letter here, which vowel appears seldomest, and how often each
vowel? Thousands of Bible-Christians go out of the world, without ever
knowing that the German A occurs 323,015 times (therefore above 7 times
oftener than the Hebrew one) in their Bible."

I could wish that inquirers into Biblical Literature among our
Reviewers would publicly let me know if, on a more accurate summation,
they find this number incorrect.[42]

Much also did the Quintus _collect_; he had a fine _Almanack
Collection_, a _Catechism_ and _Pamphlet Collection_; also, a
_Collection of Advertisements_, which he began, is not so incomplete as
you most frequently see such things. He puts high value on his
_Alphabetical Lexicon of German Subscribers for Books_, where my name
also occurs among the Js.

But what he liked best to produce were Schemes of Books. Accordingly,
he sewed together a large work, wherein he merely advised the Learned
of things they ought to introduce in Literary History, which History he
rated some ells higher than Universal or Imperial History. In his
Prolegomena to this performance, he transiently submitted to the
Literary republic that Hommel had given a register of Jurists who were
sons of wh--, of others who had become Saints; that Baillet enumerates
the Learned who _meant_ to write something; and Ancillon those who
wrote nothing at all; and the Lübeck Superintendent Götze, those who
were shoemakers, those who were drowned; and Bernhard those whose
fortunes and history before birth were interesting. This (he could now
continue) should, as it seems, have excited us to similar muster-rolls
and matriculations of other kinds of Learned; whereof he proposed a
few; for example, of the Learned who were unlearned; of those who were
entire rascals; of such as wore their own hair,--of cue-preachers,
cue-psalmists, cue-annalists, and so forth; of the Learned who
had worn black leather breeches, of others who had worn rapiers;
of the Learned who had died in their eleventh year,--in their
twentieth,--twenty-first, &c.,--in their hundred and fiftieth, of which
he knew no instance, unless the Beggar Thomas Parr might be adduced; of
the Learned who wrote a more abominable hand than the other Learned
(whereof we know only Rolfinken and his letters, which were as long as
his hands[43]); or of the Learned who had clipt nothing from each other
but the beard (whereof no instance is known, save that of Philelphus
and Timotheus[44]).

Such by-studies did he carry on along with his official labors; but I
think the State in viewing these matters is actually mad: it compares
the man who is great in Philosophy and Belles-Lettres at the expense of
his jog-trot officialities, to _concert-clocks_, which, though striking
their hours in flute-melodies, are worse time-keepers than your gross,
stupid steeple-clocks.

To return to St. Clara's day. Fixlein, after such mental exertions,
bolted out under the music-bushes and rustling trees; and returned not
again out of warm Nature, till plate and chair were already placed at
the table. In the course of the repast, something occurred which a
Biographer must not omit; for his mother had, by request, been wont to
map out for him, during the process of mastication, the chart of his
child's-world, relating all the traits which in any way prefigured what
he had now grown to. This perspective sketch of his early Past he
committed to certain little leaves which merit our undivided attention.
For such leaves exclusively, containing scenes, acts, plays of his
childhood, he used chronologically to file and arrange in separate
drawers in a little child's-desk of his; and thus to divide his
Biography, as Moser did his Publicistic Materials, into separate
_letter-boxes_. He had boxes or drawers for memorial-letters of his
twelfth, of his thirteenth, fourteenth, &c., of his twenty-first year,
and so on. Whenever he chose to conclude a day of pedagogic drudgery by
an evening of peculiar rest, he simply pulled out a letter-drawer, a
register-bar in his Life-hand-organ, and recollected the whole.

And here must I, in reference to these reviewing Mutes, who may be for
casting the noose of strangulation round my neck, most particularly
beg, that, before doing so on account of my Chapters being called
Letter-boxes, they would have the goodness to look whose blame it was,
and to think whether I could possibly help it, seeing the Quintus had
divided his Biography into such Boxes himself: they have Christian

But about his elder brother he put no saddening question to his mother;
this poor boy a peculiar Fate had laid hold of, and with all his genial
endowment dashed to pieces on the iceberg of Death. For he chanced to
leap on an ice-board that had jammed itself among several others; but
these recoiled, and his shot forth with him; melted away as it floated
under his feet, and so sunk his heart of fire amid the ice and waves.
It grieved his mother that he was not found, that her heart had not
been harrowed by the look of the swoln corpse.--O good mother, rather
thank God for it!--

After breakfast, to fortify himself with new vigor for his desk,
he for some time strolled idly over the house, and, like a Police
Fire-inspector, visited all the nooks of his cottage, to gather from
them here and there a live ember from the ash-covered rejoicing-fire of
his childhood. He mounted to the garret, to the empty bird-coops of his
father, who in winter had been a birder; and he transiently reviewed
the lumber of his old playthings, which were lying in the netted
enclosure of a large canary breeding-cage. In the minds of children, it
is regular _little_ forms, such as those of balls and dies, that
impress and express themselves most forcibly. From this may the reader
explain to himself Fixlein's delight in the red acorn-blockhouse,
in the sparwork glued together out of white chips and husks of
potato-plums, in the cheerful glasshouse of a cube-shaped lantern, and
other the like products of his early architecture. The following,
however, I explain quite differently; he had ventured, without leave
given from any lord of the manor, to build a clay house; not for
cottagers, but for flies; and which, therefore, you could readily
enough have put in your pocket. This fly-hospital had its glass
windows, and a red coat of coloring, and very many alcoves, and three
balconies; balconies, as a sort of house within a house, he had loved
from of old so much, that he could scarcely have liked Jerusalem well,
where (according to Lightfoot) no such thing is permitted to be
built. From the glistening eyes with which the architect had viewed
his tenantry creeping about the windows, or feeding out of the
sugar-trough,--for, like the Count St. Germain, they ate nothing but
sugar,--from this joy an adept in the art of education might easily
have prophesied his turn for household contraction; to his fancy, in
those times, even gardeners'-huts were like large waste Arks and Halls,
and nothing bigger than such a fly-Louvre seemed a true, snug
citizen's-house. He now felt and handled his old high child's-stool,
which had in former days resembled the _Sedes Exploratoria_ of the
Pope; he gave his child's-coach a tug and made it run; but he could not
understand what balsam and holiness so much distinguished it from all
other child's-coaches. He wondered that the real sports of children
should not so delight him as the emblems of these sports, when the
child that had carried them on was standing grown up to manhood in his

Before one article in the house he stood heart-melted and sad; before a
little angular clothes-press, which was no higher than my table, and
which had belonged to his poor drowned brother. When the boy with the
key of it was swallowed by the waves, the excruciated mother had made a
vow that this toy-press of his should never be broken up by violence.
Most probably there is nothing in it but the poor soul's playthings.
Let us look away from this bloody urn.----

Bacon reckons the remembrances of childhood among wholesome, medicinal
things; naturally enough, therefore, they acted like a salutary
digestive on the Quintus. He could now again betake him with new heart
to his desk, and produce something quite peculiar,--petitions for
church livings. He took the Address-calendar, and, for every country
parish that he found in it, got a petition in readiness; which he then
laid aside, till such time as the present incumbent should decease. For
Hukelum alone he did not solicit.--It is a pretty custom in
Flachsenfingen, that, for every office which is vacant, you are
required, if you want it, to sue. As the higher use of Prayer consists,
not in its fulfilment, but in its accustoming you to pray; so likewise
petitionary papers ought to be given in, not indeed that you may get
the office,--this nothing but your money can do,--but that you may
learn to write petitions. In truth, if, among the Calmucks, the turning
of a calabash[45] stands in place of Prayer, a slight movement of the
purse may be as much as if you supplicated in words.

Towards evening--it was Sunday--he went out roving over the village; he
pilgrimed to his old sporting-places, and to the common where he had so
often driven his snails to pasture; visited the peasant who, from
school-times upwards, had been wont, to the amazement of the rest, to
_thou_[46] him; went, an Academic Tutor, to the Schoolmaster; then to
the Senior; then to the Episcopal-barn or church. This last no mortal
understands, till I explain it. The case was this. Some three-and-forty
years ago a fire had destroyed the church (not the steeple), the
parsonage, and, what was not to be replaced, the church-records. (For
this reason it was only the smallest portion of the Hukelum people that
knew exactly how old they were; and the memory of our Quintus himself
vibrated between adopting the thirty-third year and the thirty-second.)
In consequence, the preaching had now to be carried on where formerly
there had been threshing; and the seed of the divine word to be
turned over on the same threshing-floor with natural corn-seed. The
Chanter and the School-boys took up the threshing-floor; the female
mother-church-people stood on the one sheaves-loft, the Schadeck
womankind on the other; and their husbands clustered pyramidically,
like groschen and farthing-gallery men; about the barn-stairs; and far
up on the straw-loft, mixed souls stood listening. A little flute was
their organ, an upturned beer-cask their altar, round which they had to
walk. I confess, I myself could have preached in such a place, not
without humor. The Senior (at that time still a Junior), while the
parsonage was building, dwelt and taught in the Castle; it was here,
accordingly, that Fixlein had learned the _Irregular Verbs_ with

These voyages of discovery completed, our Hukelum voyager could still,
after evening prayers, pick leaf-insects, with Thiennette, from the
roses; worms from the beds, and a Heaven of joy from every minute.
Every dew-drop was colored as with oil of cloves and oil of gladness;
every star was a sparkle from the sun of happiness; and in the closed
heart of the maiden, there lay near to him, behind a little wall of
separation, (as near to the Righteous man behind the thin wall of
Life,) an outstretched blooming Paradise.... I mean, she loved him a

He might have known it, perhaps. But to his compressed delight he gave
freer vent, as he went to bed, by early recollections on the stair. For
in his childhood he had been accustomed, by way of evening-prayer, to
go over, under his coverlet, as it were, a rosary, including fourteen
Bible Proverbs, the first verse of the Psalm, "All people that on
Earth," the Tenth Commandment, and, lastly, a long blessing. To get the
sooner done with it, he had used to begin his devotion, not only on the
stair, but before leaving that place where Alexander studied men, and
Semler stupid books. Moored in the haven of the down-waves, he was
already over with his evening supplication; and could now, without
further exertion, shut his eyes and plump into sleep.----Thus does
there lurk, in the smallest _homunculus_, the model of--the Catholic

So far the Dog-days of Quintus Zebedäus Egidius Fixlein.--I, for the
second time, close a Chapter of this _Life_, as Life itself is closed,
with a sleep.

                           THIRD LETTER-BOX.

               Christmas Recollections.--New Occurrence.

For all of us the passage to the grave is, alas! a string of empty,
insipid days, as of glass pearls, only here and there divided by an
orient one of price. But you die murmuring, unless, like the Quintus,
you regard your existence as a drum; this has only one single _tone_,
but variety of _time_ gives the sound of it cheerfulness enough. Our
Quintus taught in the Fourth Class; vicariated in the Second; wrote at
his desk by night; and so lived on the usual monotonous fashion--all
the time from the Holidays--till Christmas eve, 1791; and nothing was
remarkable in his history except this same eve, which I am now about to

But I shall still have time to paint it, after, in the first place,
explaining shortly how, like birds of passage, he had contrived to soar
away over the dim, cloudy Harvest. The secret was, he set upon the
_Hamburg Political Journal_, with which the lackeys of Schadeck had
been for papering their buttons. He could now calmly, with his back at
the stove, accompany the winter campaigns of the foregoing year; and
fly after every battle, as the ravens did after that of Pharsalia. On
the printed paper he could still, with joy and admiration, walk round
our German triumphal arches and scaffoldings for fireworks; while to
the people in the town, who got only the newest newspapers, the very
fragments of these our trophies, maliciously torn down by the French,
were scarcely discernible; nay, with old plans he could drive back and
discomfit the enemy, while later readers in vain tried to resist them
with new ones.

Moreover, not only did the facility of conquering the French prepossess
him in favor of this journal; but also the circumstance that it--cost
him nothing. His attachment to gratis reading was decided. And does not
this throw light on the fact that he, as Morhof advised, was wont
sedulously to collect the separate leaves of wastepaper books as they
came from the grocer, and to rake among the same, as Virgil did in
Ennius? Nay, for him the grocer was a Fortius (the scholar), or a
Frederick (the king), both which persons were in the habit of simply
cutting from complete books such leaves as contained anything. It was
also this respect for all waste-paper that inspired him with such
esteem for the aprons of French cooks, which it is well known consist
of printed paper; and he often wished some German would translate these
aprons; indeed, I am willing to believe that a good version of more
than one of such paper aprons might contribute to elevate our
Literature (this Muse _à belles fesses_), and serve her in place of
drivel-bib.--On many things a man puts a _pretium affectionis_, simply
because he hopes he may have half stolen them; on this principle,
combined with the former, our Quintus adopted into his belief anything
he could snap away from an open Lecture, or as a visitor in
class-rooms; opinions only for which the Professor must be paid, he
rigorously examined.--I return to the Christmas eve.

At the very first, Egidius was glad, because out of doors millers and
bakers were at fisticuffs (as we say of drifting snow in large flakes),
and the ice-flowers of the window were blossoming; for external frost,
with a snug warm room, was what he liked. He could now put fir wood
into his stove, and Mocha coffee into his stomach; and shove his right
foot (not into the slipper, but) under the warm side of his Shock, and
also on the left keep swinging his pet Starling, which was pecking at
the snout of old Schil; and then with the right hand--with the left he
was holding his pipe--proceed, so undisturbed, so intrenched, so
cloud-capt, without the smallest breath of frost, to the highest
enterprise which a Quintus can attempt,--to writing the Class-prodromus
of the Flachsenfingen Gymnasium, namely, the eighth part thereof. I
hold the _first printing_ in the history of a literary man to be more
important than the _first printing_ in the history of Letters. Fixlein
could not sate himself with specifying what he purposed, God willing,
in the following year, to treat of; and accordingly, more for the sake
of printing than of use, he further inserted three or four pedagogic
glances at the plan of operations to be followed by his schoolmaster
colleagues as a body.

He lastly introduced a few dashes, by way of hooking his thoughts
together; and then laid aside the _Opus_, and would no longer look at
it, that so, when printed, he might stand astonished at his own
thoughts. And now he could take the Leipzig Fair Catalogue, which he
purchased yearly, instead of the books therein, and open it without a
sigh; he too was in print, as well as I am.

The happy fool, while writing, had shaken his head, rubbed his hands,
hitched about on his chair, puckered his face, and sucked the end of
his cue.--He could now spring up about five o'clock in the evening to
recreate himself; and across the magic vapor of his pipe, like a
new-caught bird, move up and down in his cage. On the warm smoke the
long galaxy of street-lamps was gleaming; and red on his bed-curtains
lay the fitful reflection of the blazing windows and illuminated trees
in the neighborhood. And now he shook away the snow of Time from the
winter-green of Memory; and beheld the fair years of his childhood,
uncovered, fresh, green, and balmy, standing afar off before him. From
his distance of twenty years, he looked into the quiet cottage of his
parents, where his father and his brother had not yet been reaped away
by the sickle of Death. He said to himself: "I will go through the
whole Christmas eve, from the very dawn, as I had it of old."

At his very rising he finds spangles on the table; sacred spangles from
the gold-leaf and silver-leaf with which the Christ-child[47] has been
emblazoning and coating his apples and nuts, the presents of the
night.--On the mint-balance of joy, this metallic foam pulls heavier
than the golden cars, and golden Pythagoras-legs, and golden
Philistine-mice of wealthier capitalists.--Then came his mother,
bringing him both Christianity and clothes; for in drawing on his
trousers, she easily recapitulated the Ten Commandments, and in tying
his garters, the Apostles' Creed. So soon as candle-light was over,
and daylight come, he clambers to the arm of the settle, and
then measures the nocturnal growth of the yellow wiry grove of
Christmas-Birch; and devotes far less attention than usual to the
little white winter-flowerage, which the seeds shaken from the
bird-cage are sending forth in the wet joints of the window-panes.--I
nowise grudge J. J. Rousseau his _Flora Petrinsularis_;[48] but let him
also allow our Quintus his _Window-flora_.--There was no such thing as
school all day; so he had time enough to seek his Flescher (his
brother), and commence (when could there be finer frost for it?) the
slaughtering of their winter-meat. Some days before, the brother,
at the peril of his life and of a cudgelling, had caught their
stalled-beast--so they called the sparrow--under a window-sill in the
Castle. Their slaughtering wants not an axe (of wood), nor puddings,
nor potted meat.--About three o'clock the old Gardener, whom neighbors
must call the Professor of Gardening, takes his place on his large
chair, with his Cologne tobacco-pipe; and after this no mortal
shall work a stroke. He tells nothing but lies; of the aeronautic
Christ-child, and the jingling Ruprecht with his bells. In the dusk,
our little Quintus takes an apple; divides it into all the figures of
stereometry, and spreads the fragments in two heaps on the table; then
as the lighted candle enters, he starts up in amazement at the
unexpected present, and says to his brother, "Look what the good
Christ-child has given thee and me; and I saw one of his wings
glittering." And for this same glittering he himself lies in wait the
whole evening.

About eight o'clock--here he walks chiefly by the chronicle of his
letter-drawer--both of them, with necks almost excoriated with washing,
and in clean linen, and in universal anxiety lest the Holy Christ-child
find them up, are put to bed. What a magic night! What tumult of
dreaming hopes!--The populous, motley, glittering cave of Fancy opens
itself, in the length of the night, and in the exhaustion of dreamy
effort, still darker and darker, fuller and more grotesque; but the
awakening gives back to the thirsty heart its hopes. All accidental
tones, the cries of animals, of watchmen, are, for the timidly devout
Fancy, sounds out of Heaven; singing voices of Angels in the air,
church-music of the morning worship.--

Ah! it was not the mere Lubberland of sweetmeats and playthings, which
then, with its perspective, stormed like a river of joy against the
chambers of our hearts; and which yet in the moonlight of memory, with
its dusky landscapes, melts our souls in sweetness. Ah! this was it,
that then for our boundless wishes there were still boundless hopes;
but now reality is round us, and the wishes are all that we have left!

At last came rapid lights from the neighborhood playing through the
window on the walls, and the Christmas trumpets, and the crowing from
the steeple, hurries both the boys from their bed. With their clothes
in their hands, without fear for the darkness, without feeling for the
morning-frost, rushing, intoxicated, shouting, they hurry down-stairs
into the dark room. Fancy riots in the pastry and fruit perfume of the
still eclipsed treasures, and paints her air-castles by the glimmering
of the Hesperides-fruit with which the Birch-tree is loaded. While
their mother strikes a light, the falling sparks sportfully open and
shroud the dainties on the table, and the many-colored grove on the
wall; and a single atom of that fire bears on it a hanging garden of

--On a sudden all grew light; and the Quintus got--the Conrectorship,
and a table-clock.

                           FOURTH LETTER-BOX.

       Office-brokage.--Discovery of the Promised Secret.--Hans
                             von Füchslein.

For while the Quintus, in his vapory chamber was thus running over the
sounding-board of his early years, the Rathsdiener, or City-officer,
entered with a lantern and the Presentation; and behind him the courier
of the Frau von Aufhammer with a note and a table-clock. The
Rittmeisterinn had transformed her payment for the Dog-days sick-bed
exhortation into a Christmas present; which consisted, _first_, of a
table-clock, with a wooden ape thereon, starting out when the hour
struck, and drumming along with every stroke; _secondly_, of the
Conrectorate, which she had procured for him.

As in the public this appointment from the private Flachsenfingen
Council has not been judged of as it deserved, I consider it my duty to
offer a defence for the body corporate; and that rather here than in
the _Reichsanzeiger_, or _Imperial Indicator_.--I have already
mentioned, in the Second Letter-Box, that the Town-Syndic drove a trade
in Hamburg candles; and the then Burgermeister in coffee-beans, which
he sold as well whole as ground. Their joint traffic, however, which
they carried on exclusively, was in the eight School-offices of
Flachsenfingen; the other members of the Council acting only as
bale-wrappers, shopmen, and accountants in the Council wareroom. A
Council-house, indeed, is like an India-house, where not only
resolutions or appointments, but also shoes and cloth, are exposed to
sale. Properly speaking, the Councillor derives his freedom of
office-trading from that principle of the Roman law, _Cui jus est
donandi, eidem et vendendi jus est_; that is to say, He who has the
right of giving anything away has also a right to dispose of it for
money, if he can. Now as the Council-members have palpably the right of
conferring offices gratis, the right of selling them must follow of

         _Short Extra-word on Appointment-brokers in general_.

My chief anxiety is lest the Academy-product-sale-Commission[49] of the
State carry on its office-trade too slackly. And what but the
commonweal must suffer in the long run, if important posts are
distributed, not according to the current cash which is laid down for
them, but according to connections, relationships, party
recommendations, and bowings and cringings? Is it not a contradiction,
to charge titulary offices dearer than real ones? Should one not rather
expect that the real Hofrath would pay higher by the _alterum tantum_
than the mere titulary Hofrath?--Money, among European nations, is now
the equivalent and representative of value in all things, and
consequently in understanding; the rather as a _head_ is stamped on it;
to pay down the purchase-money of an office is therefore neither more
nor less than to stand an _examen rigorosum_, which is held by a good
_schema examinandi_. To invert this, to pretend exhibiting your
qualifications, in place of these their surrogates, and assignates, and
_monnoie de confiance_, is simply to resemble the crazy philosophers in
_Gulliver's Travels_, who, for social converse, instead of names of
things, brought the things themselves tied up in a bag; it is, indeed,
plainly as much as trying to fall back into the barbarous times of
trade by barter, when the Romans, instead of the figured cattle on
their leather money, drove forth the beeves themselves.

From all such injudicious notions I myself am so far removed, that
often, when I used to read that the King of France was devising new
offices, to stand and sell them under the booth of his Baldaquin, I
have set myself to do something of the like. This I shall now at least
calmly propose; not vexing my heart whether Governments choose to adopt
it or not. As our Sovereign will not allow us to multiply offices
purely for sale, nay, on the contrary, is day and night (like managers
of strolling companies) meditating how to give more parts to one
State-actor; and thus to the Three Stage Unities to add a Fourth, that
of Players; as the above French method, therefore, will not apply, could
we not at least contrive to invent some Virtues harmonizing with the
offices, along with which they might be sold as titles? Might we not,
for instance, with the office of a Referendary, put off at the same
time a titular Incorruptibility, for a fair consideration; and so that
this virtue, as not belonging to the office, must be separately paid
for by the candidate? Such a market-title and patent of nobility could
not but be ornamental to a Referendary. We forget that in former times
such high titles were appended to all posts whatsoever. The scholastic
Professor then wrote himself (besides his official designation) "The
Seraphic," "The Incontrovertible," "The Penetrating"; the King wrote
himself, "The Great," "The Bald," "The Bold," and so also did the
Rabbins. Could it be unpleasant to gentlemen in the higher stations of
Justice, if the titles of Impartiality, Rapidity, &c., might be
conferred on them by sale, as well as the posts themselves? Thus with
the appointment of a Kammerrath, or Councillor of Revenue, the virtue
of Patriotism might fitly be conjoined; and I believe few Advocates
would grudge purchasing the title of Integrity (as well as their common
one of Government-advocacy), were it to be had in the market. If,
however, any candidate chose to take his post without the virtues, then
it would stand with himself to do so, and in the adoption of this
reflex morality Government should not constrain him.

It might be that, as, according to Tristram Shandy, clothes, according
to Walter Shandy and Lavater, proper names, exert an influence on men,
appellatives would do so still more; since, on us, as on testaceous
animals, _the foam so often hardens into shell_; but such internal
morality is not a thing the State can have an eye to; for, as in the
fine arts, it is not this, but the _representation_ of it, which forms
her true aim.

I have found it rather difficult to devise for our different offices
different verbal-virtues; but I should think there might many such
divisions of Virtue (at this moment, Love of Freedom, Public-spirit,
Sincerity, and Uprightness occur to me) be hunted out; were but some
well-disposed minister of state to appoint a Virtue-board or Moral
Address Department, with some half-dozen secretaries, who, for a small
salary, might devise various virtues for the various posts. Were I in
their place, I should hold a good prism before the white ray of Virtue,
and divide it completely. Pity that it were not crimes we wanted--their
subdivision I mean;--our country Judges might then be selected for this
purpose. For in their tribunals, where only inferior jurisdiction, and
no penalty above five florins Frankish, is admitted, they have a daily
training how out of every mischief to make several small ones, none of
which they ever punish to a greater amount than their five florins.
This is a precious moral _Rolfinkenism_, which our Jurists have learned
from the great Sin-cutters, St. Augustin and his Sorbonne, who together
have carved more sins on Adam's Sin-apple than ever Rolfinken did faces
on a cherry-stone. How different one of our Judges from a Papal
Casuist, who, by side-scrapings, will rasp you down the best deadly sin
into a venial!--

School-offices (to come to these) are a small branch of traffic
certainly; yet still they are monarchies,--school-monarchies, to
wit,--resembling the Polish crown, which, according to Pope's verse, is
twice exposed to sale in the century; a statement, I need hardly say,
arithmetically false, Newton having settled the average duration of a
reign at twenty-two years. For the rest, whether the city Council bring
the young of the community a Hamel's _Rat_-and-Child-_catcher_; or a
Weissen's _Child's-friend_,--this to the Council can make no
difference; seeing the Schoolmaster is not a horse, for whose secret
defects the horse-dealer is to be responsible. It is enough if
Town-Syndic and Co. cannot reproach themselves with having picked out
any fellow of genius; for a genius, as he is useless to the State,
except for recreation and ornament, would at the very least exclude the
duller, cooler head, who properly forms the true care and profit of the
State; as your costly carat-pearl is good for show alone, but coarse
grain-pearls for medicine. On the whole, if a schoolmaster be adequate
to flog his scholars, it should suffice; and I cannot but blame our
Commission of Inspectors, when they go examining schools, that they do
not make the schoolmaster go through the duty of firking one or two
young persons of his class in their presence, by way of trial, to see
what is in him.

      _End of the Extra-word on Appointment-brokers in general_.

Now again to our history! The Councillor Heads of the Firm had
conferred the Conrectorate on my hero, not only with a view to the
continued consumpt of candles and beans, but also on the strength of a
quite mad notion: they believed the Quintus would very soon die.

--And here I have reached a most important circumstance in this
History, and one into which I have yet let no mortal look; now,
however, it no longer depends on my will whether I shall shove aside
the folding-screen from it or not; but I must positively lay it open,
nay, hang a reverberating-lamp over it.

In medical history, it is a well-known fact, that in certain families
the people all die precisely at the same age, just as in these families
they are all born at the same age (of nine months); nay, from Voltaire,
I recollect one family, the members of which at the same age all killed
themselves. Now, in the Fixleinic lineage, it was the custom that the
male ascendants uniformly on Cantata-Sunday, in their thirty-second
year, took to bed and died; every one of my readers would do well to
insert in his copy of the _Thirty Years' War_, Schiller having entirely
omitted it, the fact, that, in the course thereof, one Fixlein died of
the plague, another of hunger, another of a musket-bullet; all in their
thirty-second year. True Philosophy explains the matter thus: "The
first two or three times, it happened purely by accident; and the other
times, the people died of sheer fright: if not so, the whole fact is
rather to be questioned."

But what did Fixlein make of the affair? Little or nothing; the only
thing he did was, that he took little or no pains to fall in love with
Thiennette; that so no other might have cause for fear on his account.
He himself, however, for five reasons, minded it so little, that he
hoped to be older than Senior Astmann before he died. First, because
three Gypsies, in three different places, and at three different times,
had each shown him the same long vista of years in her magic mirror.
Secondly, because he had a sound constitution. Thirdly, because his own
brother had formed an exception, and perished before the thirties.
Fourthly, on this ground: When a boy he had fallen sick of sorrow, on
the very Cantata-Sunday when his father was lying in the winding-sheet,
and only been saved from death by his playthings; and with this
Cantata-sickness, he conceived that he had given the murderous Genius
of his race the slip. Fifthly, the church-books being destroyed, and
with them the certainty of his age, he could never fall into a right
definite deadly fear: "It may be," said he, "that I have got whisked
away over this whoreson year, and no one the wiser." I will not deny
that last year he had fancied he was two-and-thirty; "however," said
he, "if I am not to be so till, God willing, the next (1792), it may
run away as smoothly as the last; am I not always in _His_ keeping? And
were it unjust if the pretty years that were broken off from the life
of my brother should be added to mine?" Thus, under the cold snow of
the Present, does poor man strive to warm himself, or to mould out of
it a fair snow-man.

The Councillor Oligarchy, however, built upon the opposite opinion;
and, like a Divinity, elevated our Quintus all at once from the
Quintusship to the Conrectorate; swearing to themselves that he would
soon vacate it again. Properly speaking, by school-seniority, this holy
chair should have belonged to the Subrector Hans von Füchslein; but he
wished it not; being minded to become Hukelum Parson; especially, as
Astmann's Death-angel, according to sure intelligence, was opening more
and more widely the door of this spiritual sheepfold. "If the fellow
weather another year, 't is more than I expect," said Hans.

This Hans was such a churl, that it is pity he had not been a
Hanoverian Post-boy; that so, by the Mandate of the Hanoverian
Government, enjoining on all its Post-officers an elegant style of
manners, he might have somewhat refined himself. To our poor Quintus,
whom no mortal disliked, and who again could hate no mortal, he alone
bore a grudge; simply because _Fixlein_ did not write himself
_Füchslein_, and had not chosen along with him to purchase a Patent of
Nobility. The Subrector, on this his Patent triumphal chariot, drawn by
a team of four specified ancestors, was obliged to see the Quintus, who
was related to him, clutching by the lackey-straps behind the carriage;
and to hear him, in the most despicable raiment, saying to the train:
"He that rides there is my cousin, and a mortal, and I always remind
him of it." The mild, compliant Quintus never noticed this large
wasp-poison-bag in the Subrector, but took it for a honey-bag; nay, by
his brotherly warmness, which the nobleman regarded as mere show, he
concreted these venomous juices into still feller consistency. The
Quintus, in his simplicity, took Füchslein's contempt for envy of his
pedagogic talents.

A Catherinenhof, an Annenhof, an Elizabethhof, Stralenhof, and
Petershof, all these Russian pleasure palaces, a man can dispense with
(if not despise), who has a room, in which on Christmas eve he walks
about with a Presentation in his hand. The new Conrector now longed for
nothing but--daylight; joys always (cares never) nibbled from him, like
sparrows, his sleep-grains; and to-night, moreover, the registrator of
his glad time, the clock-ape, drummed out every hour to him, which,
accordingly, he spent in gay dreaming, rather than in sound snoring.

On Christmas morn he looked at his Class-prodromus, and thought but
little of it; he scarcely knew what to make of his last night's foolish
inflation about his Quintusship. "The Quintus-post," said he to
himself, "is not to be named in the same day with the Conrectorate; I
wonder how I could parade so last night before my promotion; at
present, I had more reason." To-day he eat, as on all Sundays and
holidays, with the Master-Butcher Steinberger, his former Guardian. To
this man Fixlein was, what common people are _always_, but polished,
philosophical, and sentimental people very _seldom_ are,--_thankful_; a
man thanks you the less for presents, the more inclined he is to give
presents of his own; and the beneficent is rarely a grateful person.
Meister Steinberger, in the character of storemaster, had introduced
into the wire-cage of a garret, where Fixlein, while a Student
at Leipzig, was suspended, many a well-filled trough with good
canary-meat, of hung-beef, of household bread, and _Sauerkraut_. Money
indeed was never to be wrung from him; it is well known that he often
sent the best calf-skins gratis to the tanner, to be boots for our
Quintus; but the tanning-charges the Ward himself had to bear.--On
Fixlein's entrance, as was at all times customary, a smaller damask
table-cloth was laid upon the large coarser one; the arm-chair, silver
implements, and a wine-soup were handed him; mere waste, which, as the
Guardian used to say, suited well enough for a Scholar; but for a
Flescher not at all. Fixlein first took his victuals, and then
signified that he was made Conrector. "Ward," said Steinberger, "if you
are made that, it is well.--Seest thou, Eva, I cannot buy a tail of thy
cows now; I must have smelt it beforehand." He was hereby informing his
daughter that the cash set apart for the fatted cattle must now be
applied to the Conrectorate; for he was in the habit of advancing all
instalment-dues to his Ward, at an interest of four and a half per
cent. Fifty gulden he had already lent the Quintus on his advancement
to the Quintusship; of these the interest had to be duly paid; yet, on
the day of payment, the Quintus always got some abatement; being wont
every Sunday after dinner to instruct his guardian's daughter in
arithmetic, writing, and geography. Steinberger with justice required
of his own grown-up daughter that she should know all the towns where
he in his wanderings as a journeyman had slain fat oxen; and if she
slipped, or wrote crookedly, or subtracted wrong, he himself, as
Academical Senate and Justiciary, was standing behind her chair, ready,
so to speak, with the forge-hammer of his fist to beat out the dross
from her brain, and at a few strokes hammer it into right ductility.
The soft Quintus, for his part, had never struck her. On this account
she had perhaps, with a few glances, appointed him executor and
assignee of her heart. The old Flescher--simply because his wife was
dead--had constantly been in the habit of searching with mine-lamps and
pokers into all the corners of Eva's heart; and had in consequence long
ago observed--what the Quintus never did--that she had a mind for the
said Quintus. Young women conceal their sorrows more easily than their
joys; to-day, at the mention of this Conrectorate, Eva had become
unusually _red_.

When she went after breakfast to bring in coffee, which the Ward had to
drink down to the grounds: "I beat Eva to death if she but look at
him," said he. Then addressing Fixlein: "Hear you, Ward, did you never
cast an eye on my Eva? She can suffer you, and if you want her, you get
her; but _we_ have done with one another; for a learned man needs quite
another sort of thing."

"Herr Regiments-Quartermaster," said Fixlein, (for this post
Steinberger filled in the Provincial Militia,) "such a match were far
too rich, at any rate, for a Schoolman." The Quartermaster nodded fifty
times; and then said to Eva, as she returned,--at the same time taking
down from the shelf a wooden crook, on which he used to rack out and
suspend his slain calves: "Stop!--Hark, dost wish the present Herr
Conrector here for thy husband?"

"Ah, good Heaven!" said Eva.

"Mayst wish him or not," continued the Flescher; "with this crook thy
father knocks thy brains out, if thou but think of a learned man. Now
make his coffee." And so by the dissevering stroke of this wooden crook
was a love easily smitten asunder, which in a higher rank, by such
cutting through it with the sword, would only have foamed and hissed
the keenlier.

Fixlein might now, at any hour he liked, lay hold of fifty florins
Frankish, and clutch the pedagogic sceptre, and become coadjutor of the
Rector, that is, Conrector. We may assert, that it is with debts, as
with proportions in Architecture; of which Wolf has shown that those
are the best which can be expressed in the smallest numbers.
Nevertheless, the Quartermaster cheerfully took learned men under his
arm; for the notion that his debtor would decease in his thirty-second
year, and that so Death, as creditor in the first rank, must be paid
his Debt of Nature, before the other creditors could come forward with
their debts--this notion he named stuff and old-wifery; he was neither
Superstitious nor Fanatical, and he walked by firm principles of
action, such as the common man much oftener has than your vaporing man
of letters, or your empty, dainty man of rank.

As it is but a few clear Ladydays, warm Mayday-nights, at the most a
few odorous Rose-weeks, which I am digging from this Fixleinic Life,
embedded in the dross of week-day cares; and as if they were so many
veins of silver, am separating, stamping, smelting, and burnishing for
the reader,--I must now travel on with the stream, his history to
Cantata-Sunday, 1792, before I can gather a few handfuls of this
gold-dust, to carry in and wash in my biographical gold-hut. That
Sunday, on the contrary, is very metalliferous; do but consider that
Fixlein is yet uncertain (the ashes of the Church-books not being
legible) whether it is conducting him into his thirty-second or his
thirty-third year.

From Christmas till then he did nothing, but simply became Conrector.
The new chair of office was a Sun-altar, on which, from his
Quintus-ashes, a young Ph[oe]nix combined itself together. Great
changes--in offices, marriages, travels--make us younger; we always
date our history from the last revolution, as the French have done from
theirs. A colonel, who first set foot on the ladder of seniority as
corporal, is five times younger than a king, who in his whole life has
never been aught else except a--crown-prince.

                           FIFTH LETTER-BOX.

         Cantata-Sunday.--Two Testaments.--Pontac; Blood; Love.

The spring months clothe the earth in new variegated hues; but man they
usually dress in black. Just when our icy regions are becoming
fruitful, and the flower-waves of the meadows are rolling together over
our quarter of the globe, we on all hands meet with men in sables, the
beginning of whose Spring is full of tears. But, on the other hand,
this very upblooming of the renovated earth is itself the best balm for
sorrow over those who lie under it; and graves are better hid by
blossoms than by snow.

In April, which is no less deadly than it is fickle, old Senior
Astmann, our Conrector's teacher, was overtaken by death. His departure
it was meant to hide from the Rittmeisterinn; but the unusual ringing
of funeral peals carried his swan-song to her heart; and gradually set
the curfew-bell of her life into similar movement. Age and sufferings
had already marked out the first incisions for Death, so that he
required but little effort to cut her down; for it is with men as with
trees, they are notched long before felling, that their life-sap may
exude. The second stroke of apoplexy was soon followed by the last; it
is strange that Death, like criminal courts, cites the apoplectic

Men are apt to postpone their _last_ will as long as their _better_
one; the Rittmeisterinn would perhaps have let all her hours, till the
speechless and deaf one, roll away without testament, had not
Thiennette, during the last night before from sick-nurse she became
corpse-watcher, reminded the patient of the poor Conrector, and
of his meagre, hunger-bitten existence, and of the scanty aliment and
board-wages which Fortune had thrown him, and of his empty Future,
where, like a drooping, yellow plant in the parched deal-box of the
school-room, between scholars and creditors, he must languish to the
end. Her own poverty offered her a model of his; and her inward tears
were the fluid tints with which she colored her picture. As the
Rittmeisterinn's testament related solely to domestics and dependants,
and as she began with the male one, Fixlein stood at the top; and
Death, who must have been a special friend of the Conrector's, did not
lift his scythe and give the last stroke, till his _protégé_ had
been with audible voice declared testamentary heir; then he cut all
away,--life, testament, and hopes.

When the Conrector, in a wash-bill from his mother, received these two
Death's-posts and Job's-posts in his class, the first thing he did was
to dismiss his class-boys, and break into tears before reaching home.
Though the mother had informed him that he had been remembered in the
will (I could wish, however, that the Notary had blabbed how much it
was), yet almost with every O which he masoretically excerpted from his
German Bible, and entered in his Masoretic Work, great drops fell down
on his pen, and made his black ink pale. His sorrow was not the
gorgeous sorrow of the Poet, who veils the gaping wounds of the
departed in the winding-sheet, and breaks the cry of anguish in soft
tones of plaintiveness; nor the sorrow of the Philosopher, who, through
one open grave, must look into the whole catacomb-Necropolis of the
Past, and before whom the spectre of a friend expands into the spectral
Shadow of this whole Earth; but it was the woe of a child, of a mother,
whom this thought itself, without subsidiary reflections, bitterly
cuts asunder: "So I shall never more see thee; so must thou moulder
away, and I shall never see thee, thou good soul, never, never any
more!"--And even because he neither felt the philosophical nor the
poetical sadness, every trifle could make a division, a break in his
mourning; and, like a woman, he was that very evening capable of
sketching some plans for the future employment of his legacy.

Four weeks after, to wit, on the 5th of May, the testament was
unsealed; but not till the 6th (Cantata-Sunday) did he go down to
Hukelum. His mother met his salutations with tears; which she shed,
over the corpse for grief, over the testament for joy.--To the now
Conrector Egidius Zebedäus was left: _In the first place_, a large
sumptuous bed, with a mirror-tester, in which the giant Goliath might
have rolled at his ease, and to which I and my fair readers will by and
by approach nearer, to examine it; _secondly_, there was devised to
him, as unpaid Easter-godchild-money, for every year that he had lived,
one ducat; _thirdly_, all the admittance and instalment dues, which his
elevation to the Quintate and Conrectorate had cost him, were to be
made good to the utmost penny. "And dost thou know, then," proceeded
the mother, "what the poor Fräulein has got? Ah Heaven! Nothing! Not
one brass farthing!" For Death had stiffened the hand, which was just
stretching itself out to reach the poor Thiennette a little rain-screen
against the foul weather of life. The mother related this perverse
trick of Fortune with true condolence; which in women dissipates envy,
and comes easier to them than congratulation, a feeling belonging
rather to men. In many female hearts sympathy and envy are such near
door-neighbors that they could be virtuous nowhere except in Hell,
where men have such frightful times of it; and vicious nowhere except
in Heaven, where people have more happiness than they know what to do

The Conrector was now enjoying on Earth that Heaven to which his
benefactress had ascended. First of all, he started off--without
so much as putting up his handkerchief, in which lay his
emotion--up-stairs to see the legacy-bed unshrouded; for he had a
_female_ predilection for furniture. I know not whether the reader ever
looked at or mounted any of these ancient chivalric beds, into which,
by means of a little stair without balustrades, you can easily ascend;
and in which you, properly speaking, sleep always at least one story
above ground. Nazianzen informs us (_Orat_. XVI.) that the Jews, in old
times, had high beds with cock-ladders of this sort; but simply because
of vermin. The legacy bed-Ark was quite as large as one of these; and a
flea would have measured it, not in Diameters of the Earth, but in
Distances of Sirius. When Fixlein beheld this colossal dormitory, with
the curtains drawn asunder, and its canopy of looking-glass, he could
have longed to be in it; and had it been in his power to cut from the
opaque hemisphere of Night, at that time in America, a small section,
he would have established himself there along with it, just to swim
about, for one half-hour, with his thin lath figure, in this sea of
down. The mother, by longer chains of reasoning and chains of
calculation than the bed was, had not succeeded in persuading him to
have the broad mirror on the top cut in pieces, though his large
dressing-table had nothing to see itself in but a mere shaving-glass;
he let the mirror lie where it was for this reason: "Should I ever, God
willing, get married," said he, "I shall then, towards morning, be able
to look at my sleeping wife, without sitting up in bed."

As to the second article of the testament, the godchild Easter-pence,
his mother had, last night, arranged it perfectly. The Lawyer took her
evidence on the years of the heir; and these she had stated at exactly
the teeth-number, two-and-thirty. She would willingly have lied, and
passed off her son, like an Inscription, for older than he was; but
against this _venia ætatis_, she saw too well the authorities would
have taken exception, "that it was falsehood and cozenage; had the son
been two-and-thirty, he must have been dead some time ago, as it could
not but be presumed that he then was."

And just as she was recounting this, a servant from Schadeck called;
and delivered to the Conrector, in return for a discharge and
ratification of the birth-certificate given out by his mother, a gold
bar of two-and-thirty ducat age-counters, like a helm-bar for the
voyage of his life; Herr von Aufhammer was too proud to engage in any
pettifogging discussion over a plebeian birth-certificate.

And thus, by a proud open-handedness, was one of the best lawsuits
thrown to the dogs; seeing this gold bar might, in the wire-mill of the
judgment-bench, have been drawn out into the finest threads. From such
a tangled lock, which was not to be unravelled--for in the first place,
there was no document to prove Fixlein's age; in the second place, so
long as he lived, the necessary conclusion was, that he was not yet
thirty-two[50]--from such a lock might not only silk and hanging-cords,
but whole drag nets, have been spun and twisted? Clients in general
would have less reason to complain of their causes, if these lasted
longer. Philosophers contend for thousands of years over philosophical
questions; and it seems an unaccountable thing, therefore, that
Advocates should attempt to end their juristical questions in a space
of eighty, or even sometimes of sixty years. But the professors of Law
are not to blame for this; on the other hand, as Lessing asserts of
Truth, that not the _finding_, but the _seeking_ of it profits men, and
that he himself would willingly make over his claim to all truths in
return for the sweet labor of investigation, so is the professor of Law
not profited by the finding and deciding, but by the investigation of a
juridical truth,--which is called pleading and practising,--and he
would willingly consent to approximate to Truth forever, like an
hyperbola to its asymptote, without ever meeting it, seeing he can
subsist as an honorable man with wife and child, let such approximation
be as tedious as it likes.

The Schadeck servant had, besides the gold legacy, a further commission
from the Lawyer, whereby the testamentary heir was directed to sum up
the mint-dues which he had been obliged to pay while lying under the
coining-press of his superiors, as Quintus and Conrector; the which,
properly documented and authenticated, were forthwith to be made good
to him.

Our Conrector, who now rated himself among the great capitalists of the
world, held his short gold-roll like a sceptre in his hand; like a
basket-net lifted from the sea of the Future, which was now to run on,
and bring him all manner of fed-fishes, well-washed, sound, and in good

I cannot relate all things at once; else I should ere now have told the
reader, who must long have been waiting for it, that to the moneyed
Conrector his two-and-thirty godchild-pennies but too much prefigured
the two-and-thirty years of his age; besides which, to-day the
Cantata-Sunday, this Bartholomew-night and Second of September of his
family, came in as a further aggravation. The mother, who should have
known the age of her child, said she had forgotten it; but durst wager
he was thirty-two a year ago; only the Lawyer was a man you could not
speak to. "I could swear it myself," said the capitalist; "I recollect
how stupid I felt Cantata-Sunday last year." Fixlein beheld Death, not
as the poet does, in the uptowering, asunder-driving concave-mirror of
Imagination; but as the child, as the savage, as the peasant, as the
woman does, in the plane octavo-mirror on the board of a Prayer-book;
and Death looked to him like an old white-headed man, sunk down into
slumber in some latticed pew.--

And yet he thought oftener of him than last year; for joy readily melts
us into softness; and the lackered Wheel of Fortune is a cistern-wheel
that empties its water in our eyes.... But the friendly Genius of this
terrestrial, or rather aquatic Ball--for, in the physical and in the
moral world, there are more tear-seas than firm land--has provided for
the poor water-insects that float about in it, for us, namely, a quite
special elixir against spasms in the soul; I declare this same Genius
must have studied the whole pathology of man with care; for to the poor
devil who is no Stoic, and can pay no Soul-doctor, that for the
fissures of his cranium and his breast might prepare costly
prescriptions of simples, he has stowed up cask-wise in all cellarages
a precious wound-water, which the patient has only to take and pour
over his slashes and bone-breakages--gin-twist, I mean, or beer, or a
touch of wine.... By Heaven! it is either stupid ingratitude towards
this medicinal Genius on the one hand, or theological confusion of
permitted tippling with prohibited drunkenness on the other, if men do
not thank God that they have something at hand, which, in the nervous
vertigoes of life, will instantly supply the place of Philosophy,
Christianity, Judaism, Paganism, and _Time_;--liquor, as I said.

The Conrector had long before sunset given the village post three
groschens of post-money, and commissioned--for he had a whole cabinet
of ducats in his pocket, which all day he was surveying in the dark
with his hand--three thalers' worth of Pontac from the town. "I must
have a Cantata merry-making," said he; "if it be my last day, let it be
my gayest too!" I could wish he had given a larger order; but he kept
the bit of moderation between his teeth at all times; even in a
threatened sham-death-night, and in the midst of jubilee. The question
is, whether he would not have restricted himself to a single bottle, if
he had not wished to treat his mother and the Fräulein. Had he lived in
the tenth century, when the Day of Judgment was thought to be at hand,
or in other centuries, when new Noah's Deluges were expected, and when,
accordingly, like sailors in a shipwreck, people boused up all,--he
would not have spent one kreuzer more on that account. His joy was,
that with his legacy he could now satisfy his head-creditor
Steinberger, and leave the world an honest man. Just people, who make
much of money, pay their debts the most punctually.

The purple Pontac arrived at a time when Fixlein could compare the
red-chalk-drawings and red-letter-titles of joy, which it would
bring out on the cheeks of its drinker and drinkeresses,--with the
Evening-carnation of the last clouds about the Sun....

I declare, among all the spectators of this History, no one can be
thinking more about poor Thiennette than I; nevertheless, it is not
permitted me to bring her out from her tiring-room to my historical
scene before the time. Poor girl! The Conrector cannot wish more warmly
than his Biographer, that, in the Temple of Nature as in that of
Jerusalem, there were a special door--besides that of Death--standing
open, through which only the afflicted entered, that a Priest might
give them solace. But Thiennette's heart-sickness over all her vanished
prospects, over her entombed benefactress, over a whole life enwrapped
in the pall, had hitherto, in a grief which the stony Rittmeister
rather made to bleed than alleviated, swept all away from her,
occupations excepted; had fettered all her steps which led not to some
task, and granted to her eyes nothing to dry them or gladden them, save
down-falling eyelids full of dreams and sleep.

All sorrow raises us above the civic Ceremonial-law, and makes the
Prosaist a Psalmist; in sorrow alone have women courage to front
opinion. Thiennette walked out only in the evening, and then only in
the garden.

The Conrector could scarcely wait for the appearance of his fair
friend, to offer his thanks,--and to-night also--his Pontac. Three
Pontac decanters and three wineglasses were placed outside on the
projecting window-sill of his cottage; and every time he returned from
the dusky covered-way amid the flower forests, he drank a little from
his glass,--and the mother sipped now and then from within through the
opened window.

I have already said, his Life-laboratory lay in the southwest corner of
the garden or park, over against the Castle-Escurial, which stretched
back into the village. In the northwest corner bloomed an acacia grove,
like the floral crown of the garden. Fixlein turned his steps in that
direction also; to see if, perhaps, he might not cast a happy glance
through the wide-latticed grove over the intervening meads to
Thiennette. He recoiled a little before two stone steps leading down
into a pond before this grove, which were sprinkled with fresh blood.
On the flags, also, there was blood hanging. Man shudders at this oil
of our life's lamp where he finds it shed; to him it is the red
death-signature of the Destroying Angel. Fixlein hurried apprehensively
into the grove; and found here his paler benefactress leaning on the
flower-bushes; her hands with her knitting-ware sunk into her bosom,
her eyes lying under their lids as if in the bandage of slumber; her
left arm in the real bandage of bloodletting; and with cheeks to which
the twilight was lending as much red, as late woundings--this day's
included--had taken from them. Fixlein, after his first terror--not at
this flower's sleep, but at his own abrupt entrance--began to unroll
the spiral butterfly's-sucker of his vision, and to lay it on the
motionless leaves of this same sleeping flower. At bottom, I may
assert, that this was the first time he had ever looked at her; he was
now among the thirties; and he still continued to believe, that, in a
young lady, he must look at the clothes only, not the person, and wait
on her with his ears, not with his eyes.

I impute it to the elevating influences of the Pontac, that the
Conrector plucked up courage to--turn, to come back, and employ the
resuscitating means of coughing, sneezing, trampling, and calling to
his Shock, in stronger and stronger doses on the fair sleeper. To take
her by the hand, and with some medical apology, gently pull her out of
sleep, this was an audacity of which the Conrector, so long as he could
stand for Pontac, and had any grain of judgment left, could never

However, he did awake her, by those other means.

Wearied, heavy-laden Thiennette! how slowly does thy eye open! The
warmest balsam of this earth, soft sleep has shifted aside, and the
night-air of memory is again blowing on thy naked wounds!--and yet was
the smiling friend of thy youth the fairest object which thy eye could
light on, when it sank from the hanging-garden of Dreams into this
lower one round thee.

She herself was little conscious,--and the Conrector not at all,--that
she was bending her flower-leaves imperceptibly towards a terrestrial
body, namely, towards Fixlein. She resembled an Italian flower, that
contains cunningly concealed within it a new-year's gift, which the
receiver knows not at first how to extract. But now the golden chain of
her late kind deed attracted her as well towards him, as him towards
her. She at once gave her eye and her voice a mask of joy; for she did
not put her tears, as Catholics do those of Christ, in relic-vials,
upon altars, to be worshipped. He could very suitably preface his
invitation to the Pontac festival with a long acknowledgment of thanks
for the kind intervention which had opened to him the sources for
procuring it. She rose slowly, and walked with him to the banquet of
wine; but he was not so discreet, as at first to attempt leading her,
or rather not so courageous; he could more easily have offered a young
lady his hand (that is, with marriage ring) than offered her his arm.
One only time in his life had he escorted a female, a Lombard Countess
from the theatre; a thing truly not to be believed, were not this the
secret of it, that he was obliged; for the lady, a foreigner, parted in
the press from all her people, in a bad night, had laid hold of him as
a sable Abbé by the arm, and requested him to take her to her inn. He,
however, knew the fashions of society, and attended her no farther than
the porch of his Quintus-mansion, and there directed her with his
finger to her inn, which, with thirty blazing windows, was looking down
from another street.

These things he cannot help. But to-night he had scarcely, with his
fair, faint companion, reached the bank of the pond, into which some
superstitious dread of water-spirits had lately poured the pure blood
of her left arm,--when, in his terror lest she fell in, with the rest
of her blood, over the brink, he quite valiantly laid hold of the sick
arm. Thus will much Pontac and a little courage at all times put a
Conrector in case to lay hold of a Fräulein. I aver that at the
banquet-board of the wine, at the window-sill, he continued in the same
conducting position. What a soft group in the penumbra of the Earth,
while Night, with its dusky waters, was falling deeper and deeper, and
the silver-light of the Moon was already glancing back from the copper
ball of the steeple! I call the group soft, because it consists of a
maiden that in two senses has been bleeding; of a mother again with
tears giving her thanks for the happiness of her child; and of a pious,
modest man, pouring wine, and drinking health to both, and who traces
in his veins a burning lava-stream, which is boiling through his heart,
and threatening piece by piece to melt it and bear it away. A candle
stood without among the three bottles, like Reason among the Passions;
on this account the Conrector looked without intermission at the
window-panes, for on them (the darkness of the room served as
mirror-foil) was painted, among other faces which Fixlein liked, the
face he liked best of all, and which he dared to look at only in
reflection, the face of Thiennette.

Every minute was a Federation-festival, and every second a
Preparation-Sabbath for it. The Moon was gleaming from the evening dew,
and the Pontac from their eyes, and the bean-stalks were casting a
shorter grating of shadow. The quicksilver-drops of stars were hanging
more and more continuous in the sable of night. The warm vapor of the
wine set our two friends (like steam-engines) again in motion.

Nothing makes the heart fuller and bolder than walking to and fro in
the night. Fixlein now led the Fräulein in his arm without scruple. By
reason of her lancet-wound, Thiennette could only put her hand, in a
clasping position, in his arm; and he, to save her the trouble of
holding fast, held fast himself, and pressed her fingers as well as
might be with his arm to his heart. It would betray a total want of
polished manners to censure his. At the same time, trifles are the
provender of Love; the fingers are electric discharges of a fire
sparkling along every fibre; sighs are the guiding tones of two
approximating hearts; and the worst and most effectual thing of all in
such a case is some misfortune; for the fire of Love, like that of
naphtha, likes to swim on water. Two tear-drops, one in another's, one
in your own eyes, compose, as with two convex lenses, a microscope
which enlarges everything, and changes all sorrows into charms. Good
sex! I too consider every sister in misfortune as fair; and, perhaps,
thou wouldst deserve the name of the Fair, even because thou art the
Suffering sex!

And if Professor Hunczogsky in Vienna modelled all the wounds of the
human frame in wax, to teach his pupils how to cure them, I also, thou
good sex, am representing in little figures the cuts and scars of thy
spirit, though only to keep away rude hands from inflicting new

Thiennette felt not the loss of the inheritance, but of her that should
have left it; and this more deeply for one little trait, which she had
already told his mother, as she now told him. In the last two nights of
the Rittmeisterinn, when the feverish watching was holding up to
Thiennette's imagination nothing but the winding-sheet and the
mourning-coaches of her protectress; while she was sitting at the foot
of the bed, looking on those fixed eyes, unconsciously quick drops
often trickled over her cheeks, while in thought she prefigured the
heavy, cumbrous dressing of her benefactress for the coffin. Once after
midnight, the dying lady pointed with her finger to her own lips.
Thiennette understood her not; but rose and bent over her face. The
Enfeebled tried to lift her head, but could not,--and only rounded her
lips. At last, a thought glanced through Thiennette, that the
Departing, whose dead arms could now press no beloved heart to her own,
wished that she herself should embrace her. O then, that instant, keen
and tearful, she pressed her warm lips on the colder,--and she was
silent like her that was to speak no more,--and she embraced alone and
was not embraced. About four o'clock, the finger waved again; she sank
down on the stiffened lips,--but this had been no signal, for the lips
of her friend under the long kiss had grown stiff and cold....

How deeply now, before the infinite Eternity's-countenance of Night,
did the cutting of this thought pass through Fixlein's warm soul: "O
thou forsaken one beside me! No happy accident, no twilight hast thou,
like that now glimmering in the heavens, to point to the prospect of a
sunny day; without parents art thou, without brother, without friend;
here alone on a disblossomed, emptied corner of the Earth; and thou,
left Harvest-flower, must wave lonely and frozen over the withered
stubble of the Past." That was the meaning of his thoughts, whose
internal words were: "Poor young lady! Not so much as a half-cousin
left; no nobleman will seek her, and she grows old so forgotten, and
she is so good from the very heart,--Me she has made happy,--Ah, had I
the presentation to the parish of Hukelum in my pocket, I should make a
trial." ... Their mutual lives, which a straitcutting bond of Destiny
was binding so closely together, now rose before him overhung with
sable,--and he forthwith conducted his friend (for a bashful man may in
an hour and a half be transformed into the boldest, and then continues
so) back to the last flask, that all these upsprouting thistles and
passion-flowers of sorrow might therewith be swept away. I remark, in
passing, that this was stupid; the torn vine is full of water-veins as
well as grapes; and a soft oppressed heart the beverage of joy can melt
only into tears.

If any man disagree with me, I shall desire him to look at the
Conrector, who demonstrates my experimental maxim like a very
syllogism.--One might arrive at some philosophic views, if one traced
out the causes, why liquors--that is to say, in the long run, more
plentiful secretion of the nervous spirits--make men at once pious,
soft, and poetical. The Poet, like Apollo his father, is _forever a
youth_; and is, what other men are only once, namely, in love,--or only
after Pontac, namely, intoxicated,--all his life long. Fixlein, who had
been no poet in the morning, now became one at night; wine made him
pious and soft; the Harmonica-bells in man, which sound to the tones of
a higher world, must, like the glass Harmonica-bells, if they are to
act, be kept _moist_.

He was now standing with her again beside the wavering pond, in which
the second blue hemisphere of heaven, with dancing stars and amid
quivering trees, was playing; over the green hills ran the white,
crooked footpaths dimly along; on the one mountain was the twilight
sinking together, on the other was the mist of night rising up;
and over all these vapors of life hung motionless and naming the
thousand-armed lustre of the starry heaven, and every arm held in it a
burning galaxy....

It now struck eleven.... Amid such scenes, an unknown hand stretches
itself out in man, and writes in foreign language on his heart, a dread
_Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin_. "Perhaps by twelve I am dead," thought our
friend, in whose soul the Cantata-Sunday, with all its black funeral
piles, was mounting up.

The whole future Crucifixion of his friend lay prickly and bethorned
before him; and he saw every bloody trace from which she lifted her
foot,--she who had made his own way soft with flowers and leaves. He
could no longer restrain himself; trembling in his whole frame, and
with a trembling voice, he solemnly said to her: "If the Lord this
night call me away, let the half of my fortune be yours; for it is your
goodness I must thank that I am free of debts, as few Teachers are."

Thiennette, unacquainted with our sex, naturally mistook this speech
for a proposal of marriage; and the fingers of her wounded arm to-night
for the first time pressed suddenly against the arm in which they lay;
the only living mortal's arm by which Joy, Love, and the Earth were
still united with her bosom. The Conrector, rapturously terrified
at the first pressure of a female hand, bent over his right to take
hold of her left; and Thiennette, observing his unsuccessful movement,
lifted her fingers, and laid her whole wounded arm in his, and
her whole left hand in his right. Two lovers dwell in the
Whispering-gallery,[51] where the faintest breath bodies itself forth
into a sound. The good Conrector received and returned this blissful
love-pressure, wherewith our poor, powerless soul, stammering, hemmed
in, longing, distracted, seeks for a warmer language, which exists not;
he was overpowered; he had not the courage to look at her; but he
looked into the gleam of the twilight, and said (and here for
unspeakable love the tears were running warm over his cheeks): "Ah, I
will give you all; fortune, life, and all that I have, my heart and my

She was about to answer, but, casting a side glance, she cried, with a
shriek: "Ah, Heaven!" He started round, and perceived the white muslin
sleeve all dyed with blood; for in putting her arm into his, she had
pushed away the bandage from the open vein. With the speed of
lightning, he hurried her into the acacia-grove; the blood was already
running from the muslin; he grew paler than she, for every drop of it
was coming from his heart. The blue-white arm was bared; the bandage
was put on: he tore a piece of gold from his pocket; clapped it, as one
does with open arteries, on the spouting fountain, and bolted with this
golden bar, and with the bandage over it, the door out of which her
afflicted life was hurrying.--

When it was over, she looked up to him; pale, languid, but her eyes
were two glistening fountains of an unspeakable love, full of sorrow
and full of gratitude.--The exhausting loss of blood was spreading her
soul asunder in sighs. Thiennette was dissolved into inexpressible
softness; and the heart lacerated by so many years, by so many arrows,
was plunging with all its wounds in warm streams of tears, to be
healed, as chapped flutes close together by lying in water, and get
back their tones. Before such a magic form, before such a pure,
heavenly love, her sympathizing friend was melted between the flames of
joy and grief; and sank, with stifled voice, and bent down by love and
rapture, on the pale, angelic face, the lips of which he timidly
pressed, but did not kiss, till all-powerful Love bound its girdles
round them, and drew the two closer and closer together, and their two
souls, like two tears, melted into one. O now, when it struck twelve,
the hour of death, did not the lover fancy that her lips were drawing
his soul away, and all the fibres and all the nerves of his life closed
spasmodically round the last heart in this world, round the last
rapture of existence.... Yes, happy man, thou didst express thy love;
for in thy love thou thoughtest to die....

However, he did not die. After midnight, there floated a balmy morning
air through the shaken flowers, and the whole spring was breathing.
The blissful lover, setting bounds even to his sea of joy, reminded
his delicate beloved, who was now his bride, of the dangers from
night-cold; and himself of the longer night-cold of Death, which was
now for long years passed over.--Innocent and blessed, they rose
from the grove of their betrothment, from its dust broken by white
acacia-flowers and straggling moonbeams. And without, they felt as if a
whole wide Past had sunk away in a convulsion of the world; all was
new, light, and young. The sky stood full of glittering dew-drops from
the everlasting Morning; and the stars quivered joyfully asunder, and
sank, resolved into beams, down into the hearts of men.--The Moon, with
her fountain of light, had overspread and kindled all the garden, and
was hanging above in a starless blue, as if she had consumed the
nearest stars; and she seemed like a smaller wandering Spring, like a
Christ's-face smiling in love of man.--

Under this light they looked at one another for the first time after
the first words of love; and the sky gleamed magically down on the
disordered features with which the first rapture of love was still
standing written on their faces....

Dream, ye beloved, as ye wake, happy as in Paradise, innocent as in

                           SIXTH LETTER-BOX.

         Office-impost.--One of the Most Important of Petitions.

The finest thing was his awakening in his European Settlement in the
giant Schadeck bed!--With the inflammatory, tickling, eating fever of
love in his breast; with the triumphant feeling that he had now got the
introductory programme of love put happily by; and with the sweet
resurrection from his living, prophetic burial; and with the joy that
now, among his thirties, he could, for the first time, cherish hopes of
a longer life (and did not longer mean at least till seventy?) than he
could ten years ago;--with all this stirring life-balsam, in which the
living fire-wheel of his heart was rapidly revolving, he lay here, and
laughed at his glancing portrait in the bed-canopy; but he could not do
it long; he was obliged to move. For a less happy man, it would have
been gratifying to have measured--as pilgrims measure with the length
of their pilgrimage, not so much by steps as by body-lengths, like
Earth-diameters--the superficial content of the bed. But Fixlein, for
his own part, had to launch from his bed into warm, billowy life; he
had now his dear good Earth again to look after, and a Conrectorship
thereon, and a bride to boot. Besides all this, his mother down-stairs
now admitted that he had last night actually glided through beneath the
scythe of Death, like supple grass, and that yesterday she had not told
him, merely out of fear of his fear. Still a cold shudder went over
him--especially as he was sober now--when he looked round at the high
Tarpeian Rock, four hours' distance behind him, on the battlements of
which he had last night walked hand in hand with Death.

The only thing that grieved him was, that it was Monday, and that he
must back to the Gymnasium. Such a freightage of joys he had never
taken with him on his road to town. After four, he issued from his
house, satisfied with coffee (which he drank in Hukelum merely for his
mother's sake, who, for two days after, would still have portions of
this woman's-wine to draw from the lees of the pot-sediment), into the
_cooling_ dawning May-morning (for joy needs coolness, sorrow sun); his
Betrothed comes--not indeed to meet him, but still--into his hearing,
by her distant morning hymn; he makes but one momentary turn into the
blissful haven of the blooming acacia-grove, which still, like the
covenant sealed in it, has no thorns; he dips his warm hand in the
cold-bath of the dewy leaves; he wades with pleasure through the
beautifying-water of the dew, which, as it imparts color to faces, eats
it away from boots ("but with thirty ducats, a Conrector may make shift
to keep two pairs of boots on the hook"). And now the Moon, as it were
the hanging seal of his last night's happiness, dips down into the
West, like an emptied bucket of light, and in the East the other
overrunning bucket, the Sun, mounts up, and the gushes of light flow
broader and broader.

The city stood in the celestial flames of Morning. Here his
divining-rod (his gold-roll, which, excepting one sixteenth of an inch
broken off from it, he carried along with him) began to quiver over all
the spots where booty and silver-veins of enjoyment were concealed; and
our rod-diviner easily discovered that the city and the future were a
true entire Potosi of delights.

In his Conrectorate closet he fell upon his knees and thanked God--not
so much for his heritage and bride as--for his life; for he had gone
away on Sunday morning with doubts whether he should ever come back;
and it was purely out of love to the reader, and fear lest he might
fret himself too much with apprehension, that I cunningly imputed
Fixlein's journey more to his desire of knowing what was in the will,
than of making his own will in presence of his mother. Every recovery
is a bringing back and palingenesia of our youth; one loves the Earth
and those that are on it with a new love. The Conrector could have
found in his heart to take all his class by the locks, and press them
to his breast; but he only did so to his adjutant, the Quartaner, who,
in the first Letter-box, was still sitting in the rank of a

His first expedition, after school-hours, was to the house of Meister
Steinberger, where, without speaking a word, he counted down fifty
florins cash in ducats, on the table: "At last I repay you," said
Fixlein, "the moiety of my debt, and give you many thanks."

"Ey, Herr Conrector," said the Quartermaster, and continued calmly
stuffing puddings as before, "in my bond it is said, _payable at three
months' mutual notice_. How could a man like me go on, else? However, I
will change you the gold-pieces." Thereupon he advised him that it
might be more judicious to take back a florin or two, and buy himself
a better hat, and whole shoes. "If you like," added he, "to get a
calf-skin and half a dozen hare-skins dressed, they are lying
up-stairs." I should think, for my own part, that to the reader it must
be as little a matter of indifference as it was to the Butcher, whether
the hero of such a History appeared before him with an old tattered
potlid of a hat, and a pump-sucker and leg-harness pair of boots, or in
suitable apparel. In short, before St. John's day, the man was dressed
with taste and pomp.

But now came two most peculiarly important papers--at bottom only one,
the petition for the Hukelum parsonship--to be elaborated; in regard to
which I feel as if I myself must assist.... It were a simple turn, if
now at least the assembled public did not pay attention.

In the first place, the Conrector searched out and sorted all the
Consistorial and Councillor quittances, or rather the toll-bills of the
road-money, which he had been obliged to pay before the toll-gates at
the Quintusship and Conrectorship had been thrown open; for the
executor of the Schadeck testament had to reimburse him the whole, as
his discharge would express it, "to penny and farthing." Another would
have summed up his post-excise much more readily; by merely looking
what he--owed; as these debt-bills and those toll-bills, like parallel
passages, elucidate and confirm each other. But in Fixlein's case,
there was a small circumstance of peculiarity at work, which I cannot
explain till after what follows.

It grieved him a little that for his two offices he had been obliged
to pay and to borrow no larger a sum than 135 florins, 41 kreuzers,
and one halfpenny. The legacy, it is true, was to pass directly
from the hands of the testamentary executor into those of the
Regiments-Quartermaster; but yet he could have liked well had he--for
man is a fool from the very foundation of him--had more to pay, and
therefore to inherit. The whole Conrectorate he had, by a slight
deposit of 90 florins, plucked, as it were, from the Wheel of Fortune;
and so small a sum must surprise my reader; but what will he say, when
I tell him that there are countries where the entry-money into
school-rooms is even more moderate? In Scherau, a Conrector is charged
only 88 florins, and perhaps he may have an income triple of this sum.
Not to speak of Saxony (what, in truth, was to be expected from the
cradle of the Reformation, in Religion and Polite Literature), where a
schoolmaster and a parson have _nothing_ to pay,--even in Baireuth, for
example, in Hof, the progress of improvement has been such that a
Quartus,--a Quartus, do I say,--a Tertius--a Tertius, do I say,--a
Conrector,--at entrance on his post, is not required to pay down more

      Fl.rhen.    Kr.rhen.
         30          49    For taking the oaths at the Consistorium.
          4           0    To the Syndic for the Presentation.
          2           0    To the then Burgermeister.
         45           7½   For the Government-sanction.
Total,   81 fl.      56½ kr.

If the printing-charges of a Rector do stand a little higher in some
points, yet, on the other hand, a Tertius, Quartus, &c., come cheaper
from the press than even a Conrector. Now, it is clear, that in this
case a schoolmaster can subsist; since, in the course of the very first
year, he gets an overplus beyond this _dockmoney_ of his office. A
schoolmaster must, like his scholars, have been advanced from class to
class, before these his loans to Government, together with the interest
for delay of payment, can jointly amount to so much as his yearly
income in the highest class. Another thing in his favor is, that our
institutions do not--as those of Athens did--prohibit people from
entering on office while in debt; but every man, with his debt-knapsack
on his shoulders, mounts up, step after step, without obstruction. The
Pope, in large benefices, appropriates the income of the first year,
under the title of _Annates_, or First-Fruits; and accordingly he, in
all cases, bestows any large benefice on the possessor of a smaller
one, thereby to augment both his own revenues and those of others; but
it shows, in my opinion, a bright distinction between Popery and
Lutheranism, that the Consistoriums of the latter abstract from their
school-ministers and church-ministers not perhaps above two thirds of
their first yearly income; though they too, like the Pope, must
naturally have an eye to vacancies.

It may be that I shall here come in collision with the Elector of
Mentz, when I confess, that, in Schmausen's _Corp. jur. pub. Germ_., I
have turned up the Mentz-Imperial-Court-Chancery-tax-ordinance of
the 6th January, 1659, and there investigated how much this same
Imperial-Court-Chancery demands, as contrasted with a Consistorium. For
example, any man that wishes to be baked or sodden into a _Poet
Laureate_, has 50 florins tax-dues, and 20 florins Chancery-dues, to
pay down; whereas, for 20 florins more, he might have been made a
Conrector, who is a poet of this species, as it were by the by and _ex
officio_. The institution of a Gymnasium is permitted for 1,000
florins; an extraordinary sum, with which the whole body of the
teachers in the instituted Gymnasium might with us clear off the
entry-moneys of their school-rooms. Again, a Freiherr, who, at any
rate, often enough grows old without knowing how, must purchase the
_venia ætatis_ with 200 hard florins; while, with the half sum, he
might have become a schoolmaster, and here _age_ would have come of its
own accord. And a thousand such things! They prove, however, that
matters can be at no bad pass in our Governments and Circles, where
promotions are sold dearer to Folly than to Diligence, and where it
costs more to institute a school than to serve in one.

The remarks I made on this subject to a Prince, as well as the remarks
a Town-syndic made on it to myself, are too remarkable to be omitted
for mere dread of digressiveness.

The Syndic--a man of enlarged views, and of fiery patriotism, the
warmth of which was the more beneficent that he collected all the beams
of it into one focus, and directed them to himself and his family--gave
me (I had perhaps been comparing the School-bench and the School-stair
to the _bench_ and the _ladder_, on which people are laid when about to
be tortured) the best reply: "If a schoolmaster consume nothing but 30
reichsthalers;[52] if he annually purchase manufactured goods,
according as Political Economists have calculated for each individual,
namely, to the amount of 5 reichsthalers; and no more hundred-weights
of victual than these assume, namely, 10; in short, if he live like a
substantial wood-cutter, then the Devil must be in it if he cannot
yearly lay by so much net profit as shall, in the long run, pay the
interest of his entry debts."

The Syndic must have failed to convince me at that time, since I
afterwards told the Flachsenfingen Prince:[53]

"Illustrious sir, you know not, but I do,--not a player in your Theatre
would act the Schoolmaster in Engel's _Prodigal Son_, three nights
running, for such a sum as every real Schoolmaster has to take for
acting it all the days of the year. In Prussia, invalids are made
Schoolmasters; with us, Schoolmasters are made invalids." ....

But to our story! Fixlein wrote out the inventory of his Crown-debts;
but with quite a different purpose than the reader will guess, who has
still the Schadeck testament in his head. In one word, he wanted to be
Parson of Hukelum. To be a clergyman, and in the place where his cradle
stood, and all the little gardens of his childhood, his mother also,
and the grove of betrothment,--this was an open gate into a New
Jerusalem, supposing even that the living had been nothing but a meagre
penitentiary. The main point was, he might marry, if he were appointed.
For, in the capacity of lank Conrector, supported only by the
strengthening-girth of his waistcoat, and with emoluments whereby
scarcely the purchase-money of a--purse was to be come at; in this way
he was more like collecting wick and tallow for his burial torch than
for his bridal one.

For the Schoolmaster class are, in well-ordered states, as little
permitted to marry as the soldiery. In _Conringius de Antiquitatibus
Academicis_, where in every leaf it is proved that all cloisters were
originally schools, I hit upon the reason. Our schools are now
cloisters, and consequently we endeavor to maintain in our teachers at
least an imitation of the Three Monastic Vows. The Vow of Obedience
might perhaps be sufficiently enforced by School-Inspectors; but the
second vow, that of Celibacy, would be more hard of attainment, were it
not that, by one of the best political arrangements, the third vow, I
mean a beautiful equality in Poverty, is so admirably attended to,
that no man who has made it needs any further _testimonium
paupertatis_;--and now _let_ this man, if he likes, lay hold of a
matrimonial half, when of the two halves each has a whole stomach, and
nothing for it but half-coins and half-beer!...

I know well, millions of my readers would themselves compose this
Petition for the Conrector, and ride with it to Schadeck to his
Lordship, that so the poor rogue might get the sheepfold, with the
annexed wedding-mansion; for they see clearly enough, that directly
thereafter one of the best Letter-Boxes would be written that ever came
from such a repository.

Fixlein's Petition was particularly good and striking; it submitted to
the Rittmeister four grounds of preference: 1. "He was a native of the
parish; his parents and ancestors had already done Hukelum service;
therefore he prayed," &c.

2. "The here documented official debts of 135 florins, 41 kreuzers, and
one halfpenny, the cancelling of which a never-to-be-forgotten
testament secured him, he himself could clear, in case he obtained the
living, and so hereby give up his claim to the legacy," &c.

_Voluntary Note by me_. It is plain he means to bribe his Godfather,
whom the lady's testament has put into a fume. But, gentle reader,
blame not without mercy a poor, oppressed, heavy-laden school-man and
school-horse for an indelicate insinuation, which truly was never mine.
Consider, Fixlein knew that the Rittmeister was a cormorant towards the
poor, as he was a squanderer towards the rich. It may be, too, the
Conrector might once or twice have heard, in the Law Courts, of patrons
by whom not indeed the church and churchyard--though these things are
articles of commerce in England--so much as the true management of
them, had been sold, or rather farmed to farming-candidates. I know
from Lange,[54] that the Church must support its patron, when he has
nothing to live upon; and might not a nobleman, before he actually
began begging, be justified in taking a little advance, a fore-payment
of his alimentary moneys, from the hands of his pulpit-farmer?--

3. "He had lately betrothed himself with Fräulein von Thiennette, and
given her a piece of gold, as marriage-pledge; and could therefore wed
the said Fräulein, were he once provided for," &c.

_Voluntary Note by me_. I hold this ground to be the strongest in the
whole Petition. In the eyes of Herr von Aufhammer, Thiennette's
genealogical tree was long since stubbed, disleaved, worm-eaten, and
full of millepedes; she was his [Oe]conoma, his Castle-Stewardess, and
Legatess _a Latere_ for his domestics; and with her pretensions for an
alms-coffer, was threatening in the end to become a burden to him. His
indignant wish that she had been provided for with Fixlein's legacy
might now be fulfilled. In a word, if Fixlein become Parson, he will
have the third ground to thank for it; not at all the mad fourth....

4. "He had learned with sorrow, that the name of his Shock, which he
had purchased from an Emigrant at Leipzig, meant Egidius in German; and
that the dog had drawn upon him the displeasure of his Lordship. Far be
it from him so to designate the Shock in future; but he would take it
as a special grace, if for the dog, which he at present called without
any name, his Lordship would be pleased to appoint one himself."

_My Voluntary Note_. The dog then, it seems, to which the nobleman has
hitherto been godfather, is to receive its name a _second_ time from
him!--But how can the famishing gardener's son, whose career never
mounted higher than from the school-bench to the school-chair, and who
never spoke with polished ladies, except singing, namely in the church,
how can he be expected, in fingering such a string, to educe from it
any finer tone than the pedantic one? And yet the source of it lies
deeper; not the contracted _situation_, but the contracted _eye_, not a
favorite science, but a narrow plebeian soul, makes us pedantic,--a
soul that cannot _measure_ and _separate_ the _concentric_ circles of
human knowledge and activity, that confounds the focus of universal
human life, by reason of the focal distance, with every two or three
converging rays; and that cannot see all, and tolerate all---- In
short, the true Pedant is the Intolerant.

The Conrector wrote out his Petition splendidly in five propitious
evenings; employed a peculiar ink for the purpose; worked not indeed so
long over it as the stupid Manucius over a Latin letter, namely, some
months, if Scioppius's word is to be taken; still less so long as
another scholar at a Latin epistle, who--truly we have nothing but
Morhof's word for it--hatched it during four whole months; inserting
his variations, adjectives, feet, with the authorities for his phrases,
accurately marked between the lines. Fixlein possessed a more
thoroughgoing genius, and had completely mastered the whole enterprise
in sixteen days. While sealing, he thought, as we all do, how this
cover was the seed-husk of a great entire Future, the rind of many
sweet or bitter fruits, the swathing of his whole after life.

Heaven bless his cover; but I let you throw me from the Tower of Babel,
if he get the parsonage; can't you see, then, that Aufhammer's hands
are tied? In spite of all his other faults, or even because of them, he
will stand like iron by his word, which he has given so long ago to the
Subrector. It were another matter had he been resident at Court; for
there, where old German manners still are, no promise is kept; for as,
according to Möser, the Ancient Germans kept only such promises as they
made in the _forenoon_ (in the afternoon they were all dead-drunk),--so
the Court Germans likewise keep no afternoon promise; forenoon ones
they would keep if they made any, which, however, cannot possibly
happen, as at those hours they are--sleeping.

                          SEVENTH LETTER-BOX.

             Sermon.--School-Exhibition.--Splendid Mistake.

The Conrector received his 135 florins, 43 kreuzers, one halfpenny
Frankish; but no answer; the dog remained without name, his master
without parsonage. Meanwhile the summer passed away; and the
Dragoon Rittmeister had yet drawn out no pike from the Candidate
_breeding-pond_, and thrown him into the _feeding-pond_ of the Hukelum
parsonage. It gratified him to be behung with prayers like a Spanish
guardian Saint; and he postponed (though determined to prefer the
Subrector) granting any one petition, till he had seven-and-thirty
dyers', button-makers', tinsmiths' sons, whose petitions he could at
the same time refuse. Grudge not him of Aufhammer this outlengthening
of his electorial power! He knows the privileges of rank; feels that a
nobleman is like Timoleon, who gained his greatest victories on his
birthday, and had nothing more to do than name some squiress, countess,
or the like, as his mother. A man, however, who has been exalted to the
Peerage, while still a f[oe]tus, may with more propriety be likened to
the _spinner_, which, contrariwise to all other insects, passes from
the chrysalis state, and becomes a perfect insect in its mother's

But to proceed! Fixlein was at present not without cash. It will be the
same as if I made a present of it to the reader, when I reveal to him,
that of the legacy, which was clearing off old scores, he had still 35
florins left to himself, as _allodium_ and pocket-money, wherewith he
might purchase whatsoever seemed good to him. And how came he by so
large a sum, by so considerable a competence? Simply by this means;
every time he changed a piece of gold, and especially at every payment
he received, it had been his custom to throw in, blindly at random,
two, three, or four small coins, among the papers of his trunk. His
purpose was to astonish himself one day, when he summed up and took
possession of this sleeping capital. And, by Heaven! he reached it too,
when, on mounting the throne of his Conrectorate, he drew out these
funds from his papers, and applied them to the coronation charges. For
the present, he sowed them in again among his waste letters. Foolish
Fixlein! I mean, had he not luckily exposed his legacy to jeopardy,
having offered it as bounty-money and luckpenny to the patron, this
false clutch of his at the knocker of the Hukelum church door, would
certainly have vexed him; but now, if he had missed the knocker, he had
the luckpenny again, and could be merry.

I now advance a little way in his History, and hit, in the rock of his
Life, upon so fine a vein of silver, I mean upon so fine a day, that I
must (I believe) content myself even in regard to the twenty-third of
Trinity-term, when he preached a vacation sermon in his dear native
village, with a brief transitory notice.

In itself the sermon was good and glorious; and the day a rich day of
pleasure; but I should really need to have more hours at my disposal
than I can steal from May, in which I am at present living and writing;
and more strength than wandering through this fine weather has left me
for landscape pictures of the same, before I could attempt, with any
well-founded hope, to draw out a mathematical estimate of the length
and thickness, and the vibrations and accordant relations to each
other, of the various strings, which combined together to form for his
heart a Music of the Spheres, on this day of Trinity-term, though such
a thing would please myself as much as another.... Do not ask me! In my
opinion, when a man preaches on Sunday, before all the peasants, who
had carried him in their arms when a gardener's boy; further, before
his mother, who is leading off her tears through the conduit of her
satin muff; further, before his Lordship, whom he can positively
command to be blessed; and finally before his muslin bride, who is
already blessed, and changing almost into stone, to find that the same
lips can both kiss and preach; in my opinion, I say, when a man effects
all this, he has some right to require of any Biographer who would
paint his situation, that he--hold his jaw; and of the reader who would
sympathize with it, that he open his, and preach himself.----

But what I must _ex officio_ depict, is the day to which this Sunday
was but the prelude, the vigil, and the whet; I mean the prelude, the
vigil, and the whet to the _Martini Actus_, or _Martinmas Exhibition_
of his school. On Sunday was the sermon, on Wednesday the Actus, on
Tuesday the Rehearsal. This Tuesday shall now be delineated to the

I count upon it that I shall not be read by mere people of the world
alone, to whom a School-Actus cannot truly appear much better, or more
interesting, than some Investiture of a Bishop, or the _opera seria_ of
Frankfort Coronation; but that I likewise have people before me, who
have been at schools, and who know how the School-Drama of an Actus and
the stage-manager, and the playbill (the programme) thereof are to be
estimated, still without overrating their importance.

Before proceeding to the Rehearsal of the _Martini Actus_, I impose
upon myself, as dramaturgist of the play, the duty, if not of
extracting, at least of recording, the Conrector's Letter of
Invitation. In this composition he said many things; and (what an
author likes so well) made proposals rather than reproaches;
interrogatively reminding the public, whether, in regard to the
well-known head-breakages of Priscian on the part of the Magnates in
Pest and Poland, our school-houses were not the best quarantine and
lazar-houses to protect us against infectious _barbarisms_? Moreover,
he defended in schools what could be defended (and nothing in the world
is sweeter or easier than a defence); and said, Schoolmasters, who, not
quite justifiably, like certain Courts, spoke nothing, and let nothing
be spoken to them, but Latin, might plead the Romans in excuse, whose
subjects, and whose kings, at least in their epistles and public
transactions, were obliged to make use of the Latin tongue. He wondered
why only our Greek, and not also oar Latin Grammars, were composed in
Latin, and put the pregnant question, whether the Romans, when they
taught their little children the Latin tongue, did it in any other than
in this same. Thereupon he went over to the Actus, and said what
follows, in his own words:--

"I am minded to prove, in a subsequent Invitation, that everything
which can be said or known about the great founder of the Reformation,
the subject of our present Martini Prolusions, has been long ago
exhausted, as well by Seckendorf as others. In fact, with regard to
Luther's personalities, his table-talk, incomes, journeys, clothes, and
so forth, there can now nothing new be brought forward, if at the same
time it is to be true. Nevertheless, the field of the Reformation
history is, to speak in a figure, by no means wholly cultivated; and it
does appear to me as if the inquirer even of the present day might in
vain look about for correct intelligence respecting the children,
grandchildren, and children's children, down to our own times, of this
great Reformer; all of whom, however, appertain, in a more remote
degree, to the Reformation history, as he himself in a nearer. Thou
shalt not perhaps be threshing, said I to myself, altogether empty
straw, if, according to thy small ability, thou bring forward and
cultivate this neglected branch of History. And so have I ventured,
with the last male descendant of Luther, namely, with the Advocate
Martin Gottlob Luther, who practised in Dresden, and deceased there in
1759, to make a beginning of a more special Reformation history. My
feeble attempt, in regard to this Reformationary Advocate, will be
sufficiently rewarded, should it excite to better works on the subject;
however, the little which I have succeeded in digging up and collecting
with regard to him I here submissively, obediently, and humbly request
all friends and patrons of the Flachsenfingen Gymnasium to listen to,
on the 14th of November, from the mouths of six well-conditioned
perorators. In the first place, shall

"_Gottlieb Spiesglass_, a Flachsenfinger, endeavor to show, in a Latin
oration, that Martin Gottlob Luther was certainly descended of the
Luther family. After him strives

"_Friedrich Christian Krabbler_, from Hukelum, in German prose, to
appreciate the influence which Martin Gottlob Luther exercised on the
then existing Reformation; whereupon, after him, will

"_Daniel Lorenz Stenzinger_ deliver, in Latin verse, an account of
Martin Gottlob Luther's lawsuits; embracing the probable merits of
Advocates generally, in regard to the Reformation. Which then will give
opportunity to

"_Nikol Tobias Pfizman_ to come forward in French, and recount the most
important circumstances of Martin Gottlob Luther's school-years,
university-life, and riper age. And now, when

"_Andreas Eintarm_ shall have endeavored, in German verse, to apologize
for the possible failings of this representative of the great Luther,

"_Justus Strobel_, in Latin verse according to ability, sing his
uprightness and integrity in the Advocate profession; whereafter I
myself shall mount the cathedra, and most humbly thank all the patrons
of the Flachsenfingen School, and then further bring forward those
portions in the life of this remarkable man, of which we yet know
absolutely nothing, they being spared, _Deo volente_, for the speakers
of the next _Martini Actus_."

                           *   *   *   *   *

The day before the Actus offered as it were the proof-shot and
sample-sheet of the Wednesday. Persons who on account of dress could
not be present at the great school-festival, especially ladies, made
their appearance on Tuesday, during the six proof-orations. No
one can be readier than I to subordinate the proof-Actus to the
Wednesday-Actus; and I do anything but need being stimulated suitably
to estimate the solemn feast of a School; but, on the other hand, I am
equally convinced that no one, who did not go to the real Actus of
Wednesday, could possibly figure anything more splendid than the
proof-day preceding; because he could have no object wherewith to
compare the pomp in which the Primate of the festival drove in with
his triumphal chariot and six--to call the six brethren-speakers
coach-horses--next morning in presence of ladies and Councillor
gentleman. Smile away, Fixlein, at this astonishment over thy today's
_Ovation_, which is leading on to-morrow's _Triumph_; on thy dissolving
countenance quivers happy Self, feeding on these incense-fumes; but a
vanity like thine, and that only, which enjoys without comparing or
despising, can one tolerate, will one foster. But what flowed over all
his heart, like a melting sunbeam over wax, was his mother, who after
much persuasion had ventured in her Sunday's clothes humbly to place
herself quite low down, beside the door of the Prima class-room. It
were difficult to say who is happier, the mother, beholding how he whom
she has borne under her heart can direct such noble young gentlemen,
and hearing how he along with them can talk of these really high things
and understand them too;--or the son, who, like some of the heroes of
Antiquity, has the felicity of triumphing in the lifetime of his
mother. I have never in my writings or doings cast a stone upon the
late Burchardt Grossmann, who, under the initial letters of the stanzas
in his song "_Brich an, du liebe Morgenröthe_," inserted the letters of
his own name; and still less have I ever censured any poor herb-woman
for smoothing out her winding-sheet, while still living, and making
herself one twelfth of a dozen of grave-shifts. Nor do I regard the man
as wise--though indeed as very clever and pedantic--who can fret his
gall-bladder full because every one of us leaf-miners views the leaf
whereon he is mining as a park-garden, as a fifth Quarter of the World
(so near and rich is it); the leaf-pores as so many Valleys of Tempe,
the leaf-skeleton as a Liberty-tree, a Bread-tree, and Life-tree, and
the dewdrops as the Ocean. We poor day-moths, evening-moths, and
night-moths fall universally into the same error, only on different
leaves; and whosoever (as I do) laughs at the important airs with which
the schoolmaster issues his programmes, the dramaturgist his playbills,
the classical variation-alms-gatherer his alphabetic letters,--does it,
if he is wise (as is the case here), with the consciousness of his own
_similar_ folly; and laughs, in regard to his neighbor, at nothing but
mankind and himself.

The mother was not to be detained; she must off, this very night, to
Hukelum, to give the Fräulein Thiennette at least some tidings of this
glorious business.--

And now the World will bet a hundred to one, that I forthwith take
biographical wax, and emboss such a wax-figure cabinet of the Actus
itself as shall be single of its kind.

But on Wednesday morning, while the hope-intoxicated Conrector was just
about putting on his fine raiment, something knocked.----

It was the well-known servant of the Rittmeister, carrying the Hukelum
Presentation for the Subrector _Füchslein_ in his pocket. To the
last-named gentleman he had been sent with this call to the parsonage;
but he had distinguished ill betwixt _Sub_ and _Con_rector; and had
besides his own good reasons for directing his steps to the latter; for
he thought, "Who can it be that gets it, but the parson that preached
last Sunday, and that comes from the village, and is engaged to our
Fräulein Thiennette, and to whom I brought a clock and a roll of ducats
already?" That his Lordship could pass over his own godson never
entered the man's head.

Fixlein read the address of the Appointment: "To the Reverend the
Parson _Fixlein_ of Hukelum." He naturally enough made the same mistake
as the lackey; and broke up the Presentation as his own; and finding
moreover in the body of the paper no special mention of persons, but
only of a _Schul-unterbefehlshaber_, or School-undergovernor (instead
of Subrector), he could not but persist in his error.

Before I properly explain why the Rittmeister's Lawyer, the framer of
the Presentation, had so designated a Subrector--we two, the reader
and myself, will keep an eye for a moment on Fixlein's joyful
salutations--on his gratefully-streaming eyes--on his full hands so
laden with bounty--on the present of two ducats, which he drops into
the hands of the mitre-bearer, as willingly as he will soon drop his
own pedagogic office. Could he tell what to think (of the Rittmeister),
or to write (to the same), or to table (for the lackey)? Did he not
ask tidings of the noble health of his benefactor over and over,
though the servant answered him with all distinctness at the very
first? And was not this same man, who belonged to the nose-upturning,
shoulder-shrugging, shoulder-knotted, toad-eating species of men, at
last so moved by the joy which he had imparted, that he determined, on
the spot, to bestow his presence on the new clergyman's School-Actus,
though no person of quality whatever was to be there? Fixlein, in the
first place, sealed his letter of thanks; and courteously invited this
messenger of good news to visit him frequently in the Parsonage; and to
call this evening, in passing, at his mother's, and give her a lecture
for not staying last night, when she might have seen the Presentation
from his Lordship arrive to-day.

The lackey being gone, Fixlein for joy began to grow sceptical--and
timorous (wherefore, to prevent filching, he stowed his Presentation
securely in his coffer, under keeping of two padlocks); and devout and
softened, since he thanked God without scruple for all good that
happened to him, and never wrote this Eternal Name but in pulpit
characters, and with colored ink; as the Jewish copyists never wrote it
except ornamental letters and when newly washed;[55]--and deaf also did
the parson, grow, so that he scarcely heard the soft wooing-hour of the
Actus--for a still softer one beside Thiennette, with its rose-bushes
and rose-honey, would not leave his thoughts. He who of old, when
Fortune made a wry face at him, was wont, like children in their sport
at one another, to laugh at her so long till she herself was obliged to
begin smiling--he was now flying as on a huge seesaw higher and higher,
quicker and quicker aloft.

But before the Actus, let us examine the Schadeck Lawyer. _Fixlein_
instead of _Füchslein_[56] he had written from uncertainty about the
spelling of the name; the more naturally as in transcribing the
Rittmeisterinn's will the former had occurred so often. _Von_, this
triumphal arch, he durst not set up before Füchslein's new name,
because Aufhammer forbade it, considering Hans Füchslein as a mushroom,
who had no right to _vons_ and titles of nobility, for all his patents.
In fine, the Presentation-writer was possessed with Campe's[57] whim of
Germanizing everything, minding little though when Germanized it should
cease to be intelligible;--as if a word needed any better act of
naturalization than that which universal unintelligibility imparts to
it. In itself it is the same--the rather as all languages, like all
men, are cognate, intermarried and intermixed--whether a word was
invented by a savage or a foreigner; whether it grew up like moss amid
the German forests, or like street-grass, in the pavement of the Roman
Forum. The Lawyer, on the other hand, contended that it was different;
and accordingly he hid not from any of his clients that _Tagefarth_
(Day-turn) meant _Term_, and that _Appealing_ was _Berufen_
(Becalling). On this principle, he dressed the word _Subrector_ in the
new livery of _School-undergovernor_. And this version further
converted the Schoolmaster into Parson; to such a degree does our
_civic_ fortune--not our _personal_ well-being, which supports
itself on our own internal soil and resources--grow merely on the
_drift-mould_ of accidents, connections, acquaintances, and Heaven or
the Devil knows what!--

By the by, from a Lawyer, at the same time a Country Judge, I should
certainly have looked for more sense; I should (I may be mistaken) have
presumed he knew that the _Acts_, or Reports, which in former times
(see Hoffmann's _German or un-German Law-practice_) were written in
Latin, as before the times of Joseph the Hungarian,--are now, if
we may say so without offence, perhaps written fully more in the
German dialect than in the Latin; and in support of this opinion,
I can point to whole lines of German language to be found in these
Imperial-Court-Confessions. However, I will not believe that the Jurist
is endeavoring, because Imhofer declares the Roman tongue to be the
mother tongue in the other world, to disengage himself from a language,
by means of which, like the Roman _Eagle_, or later, like the Roman
_Fish-heron_ (Pope), he has clutched such abundant booty in his

Toll, toll your bell for the Actus; stream in, in to the ceremony; who
cares for it? Neither I nor the Ex-Conrector. The six pygmy Ciceros
will in vain set forth before us in sumptuous dress their thoughts and
bodies. The draught-wind of Chance has blown away from the Actus its
powder-nimbus of glory; and the Conrector that was has discovered how
small a matter a cathedra is, and how great a one a pulpit. "I should
not have thought," thought he now, "when I became Conrector, that there
could be anything grander, I mean a parson." Man, behind his
everlasting blind, which he only colors differently, and makes no
thinner, carries his pride with him from one step to another; and on
the higher step, blames only the pride of the lower.

The best of the Actus was, that the Regiments-Quartermaster and Master
Butcher, Steinberg, attended there, embaled in a long woollen shag.
During the solemnity, the Subrector Hans von Füchslein cast several
gratified and inquiring glances on the Schadeck servant, who did not
once look at him. Hans would have staked his head, that, after the
Actus, the fellow would wait upon him. When at last the sextuple
cockerel-brood had on their dunghill done crowing, that is to say,
had perorated, the scholastic cocker, over whom a higher banner
was now waving, himself came upon the stage; and delivered to the
School-Inspectorships, to the Subrectorship, to the Guardianship, and
the lackeyship, his most grateful thanks for their attendance; shortly,
announcing to them at the same time, "that Providence had now called
him from his post to another; and committed to him, unworthy as he was,
the cure of souls in the Hukelum parish, as well as in the Schadeck
chapel of ease."

This little address, to appearance, wellnigh blew up the then Subrector
Hans von Füchslein from his chair; and his face looked of a mingled
color, like red bole, green chalk, tinsel-yellow, and _vomissement de
la reine_.

The tall Quartermaster erected himself considerably in his shag, and
hummed loud enough in happy forgetfulness: "The Dickens!--Parson?"----

The Subrector dashed by like a comet before the lackey; ordered him to
call and take a letter for his master; strode home, and prepared for
his patron, who at Schadeck was waiting for a long thanksgiving psalm,
a short satirical epistle, as nervous as haste would permit, and
mingled a few nicknames and verbal injuries along with it.

The courier handed in to his master Fixlein's song of gratitude and
Füchslein's invectives with the same hand. The dragoon Rittmeister,
incensed at the ill-mannered churl, and bound to his word, which
Fixlein had publicly announced in his Actus, forthwith wrote back to
the new Parson an acceptance and ratification; and Fixlein is and
remains, to the joy of us all, incontestible ordained parson of

His disappointed rival has still this consolation, that he holds a seat
in the wasp-nest of the _Neue Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek_.[58]
Should the Parson ever chrysalize himself into an author, the
watch-wasp may then buzz out, and dart its sting into the chrysalis,
and put its own brood in the room of the murdered butterfly. As the
Subrector everywhere went about, and threatened in plain terms that he
would review his colleague, let not the public be surprised that
Fixlein's _Errata_, and his Masoretic _Exercitationes_, are to this
hour withheld from it.

In spring, the widowed church receives her new husband; and how it will
be, when Fixlein, under a canopy of flower-trees, takes the _Sponsa
Christi_ in one hand, and his own _Sponsa_ in the other,--this without
an Eighth Letter-Box, which, in the present case, may be a true
jewel-box and rainbow-key,[59] can no mortal figure, except the
_Sponsus_ himself.

                           EIGHTH LETTER-BOX.

                      Instalment in the Parsonage.

On the 15th of April, 1793, the reader may observe, far down in the
hollow, three baggage-wagons groaning along. These baggage-wagons are
transporting the house-gear of the new Parson to Hukelum; the
proprietor himself, with a little escort of his parishioners, is
marching at their side, that of his china sets and household furniture
there may be nothing broken in the eighteenth century, as the whole
came down to him unbroken from the seventeenth. Fixlein hears the
School-bell ringing behind him; but this chime now sings to him,
like a curfew, the songs of future rest; he is now escaped from the
Death-valley of the Gymnasium, and admitted into the abodes of the
Blessed. Here dwells no envy, no colleague, no Subrector; here, in the
heavenly country, no man works in the _New Universal German Library_;
here in the heavenly Hukelumic Jerusalem, they do nothing but sing
praises in the church; and here the Perfected requires no more increase
of knowledge.... Here, too, one needs not sorrow that Sunday and
Saint's day so often fall together into one.

Truth to tell, the parson goes too far; but it was his way from of old
never to paint out the whole and half shadows of a situation till he
was got into a new one; the beauties of which he could then enhance by
contrast with the former. For it requires little reflection to discover
that the torments of a Schoolmaster are nothing so extraordinary; but,
on the contrary, as in the Gymnasium, he mounts from one degree to
another, not very dissimilar to the common torments of Hell, which, in
spite of their eternity, grow weaker from century to century. Moreover,
since, according to the saying of a Frenchman, _deux afflictions mises
ensemble peuvent devener une consolation_, a man gets afflictions
enow in a school to console him; seeing out of eight combined
afflictions--reckon only one for every teacher--certainly more
comfort is to be extracted than out of two. The only pity is, that
school-people will never act towards each other as court-people do:
none but polished men and polished glasses will readily cohere. In
addition to all this, in schools--and in offices generally--one is
always recompensed; for, as in the second life a greater virtue is the
recompense of an earthly one, so, in the Schoolmaster's case, his
merits are always rewarded by more opportunities for new merits; and
often enough he is not dismissed from his post at all.--

Eight Gymnasiasts are trotting about in the Parsonage, setting up,
nailing to, hauling in. I think, as a scholar of Plutarch, I am right
to introduce such seeming _minutiæ_. A man whom grown-up people love,
children love still more. The whole school had smiled on the smiling
Fixlein, and liked him-in their hearts, because he did not thunder, but
sport with them; because he said _Sie_ (They), to the Secundaners, and
the Subrector said _Ihr_ (Ye); because his uprearing forefinger was his
only sceptre and baculus; because in the Secunda he had interchanged
Latin epistles with his scholars; and in the Quinta had taught not with
Napier's Rods (or rods of a sharper description), but with sticks of

To-day his churchyard appeared to him so solemn and festive, that he
wondered (though it was Monday) why his parishioners were not in their
holiday, but merely in their week-day drapery. Under the door of the
Parsonage stood a weeping woman; for she was too happy, and he was
her--son. Yet the mother, in the height of her emotion, contrives quite
readily to call upon the carriers, while disloading, not to twist off
the four corner globes from the old Frankish chest of drawers. Her son
now appeared to her as venerable as if he had sat for one of the
copperplates in her pictured Bible; and that simply because he had cast
off his pedagogue hair-cue, as the ripening tadpole does its tail; and
was now standing in a clerical periwig before her; he was now a Comet,
soaring away from the profane Earth, and had accordingly changed from a
_stella caudata_ into a _stella crinita_.

His bride also had, on former days, given sedulous assistance in this
new improved edition of his house, and labored faithfully among the
other furnishers and furbishers. But to-day she kept aloof; for she was
too good to forget the maiden in the bride. Love, like men, dies
oftener of excess than of hunger; it lives on love, but it resembles
those Alpine flowers which feed themselves by _suction_ from the wet
clouds, and die if you _besprinkle_ them.

At length the Parson is settled, and of course he must--for I know my
fair readers, who are bent on it as if they were bridemaids--without
delay get married. But he may not; before Ascension-day there can
nothing be done, and till then are full four weeks and a half.
The matter was this. He wished in the first place to have the
murder-Sunday, the Cantata, behind him; not indeed because he doubted
of his earthly continuance, but because he would not (even for the
bride's sake) that the slightest apprehension should mingle with these
weeks of glory.

The main reason was, he did not wish to marry till he were betrothed;
which latter ceremony was appointed, with the Introduction Sermon, to
take place next Sunday. It is the Cantata-Sunday. Let not the reader
afflict himself with fears. Indeed, I should not have molested an
enlightened century with this Sunday-_Wauwau_ at all, were it not that
I delineate with such extreme fidelity. Fixlein himself--especially as
the Quartermaster asked him if he was a baby--at last grew so sensible
that he saw the folly of it; nay, he went so far that he committed a
greater folly. For as dreaming that you die signifies, according to the
exegetic _rule of false_, nothing else than long life and welfare, so
did Fixlein easily infer that his death-imagination was just such a
lucky dream; the rather as it was precisely on this Cantata-Sunday that
Fortune had turned up her cornucopia over him, and at once showered
down out of it a bride, a presentation, and a roll of ducats. Thus can
Superstition imp its wings, let Chance favor it or not.

A Secretary of State, a Peace-Treaty writer, a Notary, any such
incarcerated Slave of the Desk, feels excellently well how far he is
beneath a Parson composing his inaugural sermon. The latter (do but
look at my Fixlein) lays himself heartily over the paper,--injects the
venous system of his sermon-preparation with colored ink,--has a
Text-Concordance on the right side, and a Song-Concordance on the
left; is there digging out a marrowy sentence, here clipping off a
song-blossom, with both to garnish his homiletic pastry;--sketches out
the finest plan of operations, not, like a man of the world, to subdue
the heart of one woman, but the hearts of all women that hear him, and
of their husbands to boot; draws every peasant passing by his window
into some niche of his discourse, to co-operate with the result;--and,
finally, scoops out the butter of the smooth, soft hymn-book, and
therewith exquisitely fattens the black broth of his sermon, which is
to feed five thousand men.----

At last, in the evening, as the red sun is dazzling him at the desk, he
can rise with heart free from guilt; and, amid twittering sparrows and
finches, over the cherry-trees encircling the parsonage, look toward
the west, till there is nothing more in the sky but a faint gleam among
the clouds. And then when Fixlein, amid the tolling of the evening
prayer-bell, _slowly_ descends the stair to his cooking mother, there
must be some miracle in the case, if for him whatever has been done or
baked, or served up in the lower regions, is not right and good.... A
bound, after supper, into the Castle; a look into a pure loving eye; a
word without falseness to a bride without falseness; and then under the
coverlet, a soft-breathing breast, in which there is nothing but
Paradise, a sermon, and evening prayer.... I swear, with this I will
satisfy a Mythic God, who has left his Heaven, and is seeking a new one
among us here below!

Can a mortal, can a Me in the wet clay of Earth, which Death will soon
dry into dust, ask more in one week than Fixlein is gathering into his
heart? I see not how. At least I should suppose, if such a dust-framed
being, after such a twenty-thousand prize from the Lottery of Chance,
could require aught more, it would at most be the twenty-one-thousand
prize, namely, the inaugural discourse itself.

And this prize our Zebedäus actually drew on Sunday; he preached,--he
preached with unction,----he did it before the crowding, rustling press
of people; before his Guardian, and before the Lord of Aufhammer, the
godfather of the priest and the dog;--a flock, with whom in Childhood
he had driven out the Castle herds about the pasture, he was now,
himself a spiritual sheep-smearer, leading out to pasture;--he was
standing to the ankles among Candidates and Schoolmasters, for to-day
(what none of them could) at the altar, with the nail of his finger, he
might scratch a large cross in the air, baptisms and marriages not once
mentioned.... I believe I should feel less scrupulous than I do to
checker this sunshiny esplanade with that thin shadow of the grave
which the preacher threw over it, when, in the application, with wet,
heavy eyes, he looked round over the mute, attentive church, as if in
some corner of it he would seek the mouldering teacher of his youth and
of this congregation, who without, under the white tombstone, the
wrong-side of life, had laid away the garment of his pious spirit. And
when he, himself hurried on by the internal stream, inexpressibly
softened by the further recollections of his own fear of death on this
day, of his life now overspread with flowers and benefits, of his
entombed benefactress resting here in her narrow bed,--when he now,
before the dissolving countenance of her friend, his Thiennette,
overpowered, motionless, and weeping, looked down from the pulpit to
the door of the Schadeck vault, and said: "Thanks, thou pious soul, for
the good thou hast done to this flock and to their new teacher; and, in
the fulness of time, may the dust of thy god-fearing and man-loving
breast gather itself, transfigured as gold-dust, round thy reawakened
heavenly heart,"--was there an eye in the audience dry? Her husband
sobbed aloud, and Thiennette, her beloved, bowed her head, sinking down
with inconsolable remembrances, over the front of the seat, like
kindred mourners in a funeral train.

No fairer forenoon could prepare the way for an afternoon in which a
man was to betroth himself forever, and to unite the exchanged rings
with the Ring of Eternity. Except the bridal pair, there was none
present but an ancient pair; the mother and the long Guardian. The
bridegroom wrote out the marriage-contract or marriage-charter with his
own hand; hereby making over to his bride, from this day, his whole
movable property (not, as you may suppose, his pocket-library, but his
whole library; whereas, in the Middle Ages, the daughter of a noble was
glad to get one or two books for marriage-portion);--in return for
which, she liberally enough contributed--a whole nuptial coach or car,
laden as follows: with nine pounds of feathers, not feathers for the
cap such as we carry, but of the lighter sort such as carry us;--with a
sumptuous dozen of godchild-plates and godchild-spoons (gifts from
Schadeck), together with a fish-knife;--of silk, not only stockings
(though even King Henry II. of France could dress no more than his legs
in silk), but whole gowns;--with jewels and other furnishings of
smaller value. Good Thiennette! in the chariot of thy spirit lies the
true dowry; namely, thy noble, soft, modest heart, the morning-gift of

The Parson--who, not from mistrust, but from "the uncertainty of life,"
could have wished for a notary's seal on everything; to whom no
security but a hypothecary one appeared sufficient; and who, in the
depositing of every barleycorn, required quittances and contracts--had
now, when the marriage-charter was completed, a lighter heart; and
through the whole evening the good man ceased not to thank his bride
for what she had given him. To me, however, a marriage-contract were a
thing as painful and repulsive,--I confess it candidly, though you
should in consequence upbraid me with my great youth,--as if I had to
take my love-letter to a Notary Imperial, and make him docket and
countersign it before it could be sent. Heavens! to see the light
flower of Love, whose perfume acts not on the balance, so laid like
tulip-bulbs on the hay-beam of Law; two hearts on the cold councillor
and flesh-beam of relatives and Advocates, who are heaping on the
scales nothing but houses, fields, and tin,--this, to the interested
party, maybe as delightful as, to the intoxicated suckling and nursling
of the Muses and Philosophy, it is to carry the evening and morning
sacrifices he has offered up to his goddess into the book-shop, and
there to change his devotions into money, and sell them by weight and

From Cantata-Sunday to Ascension, that is, to marriage-day, are one and
a half weeks--or one and a half blissful eternities. If it is pleasant
that nights or winter separate the days and seasons of joy to a
comfortable distance; if, for example, it is pleasant that birthday,
Saint's-day, betrothment, marriage, and baptismal day, do not all occur
on the same day (for with very few do those festivities, like Holiday
and Apostle's day, commerge),--then is it still more pleasant to make
the interval, the flower-border, between betrothment and marriage, of
an extraordinary breadth. Before the marriage-day are the true
honey-weeks; then come the wax-weeks; then the honey-vinegar-weeks.

In the Ninth Letter-Box our Parson celebrates his wedding; and here, in
the Eighth, I shall just briefly skim over his way and manner of
existence till then; an existence, as might have been expected,
celestial enough. To few is it allotted, as it was to him, to have at
once such wings and such flowers (to fly over) before his nuptials;
to few is it allotted, I imagine, to purchase flour and poultry
on the same day, as Fixlein did;--to stuff the wedding-turkey
with hangman-meals;--to go every night into the stall, and see
whether the wedding-pig, which his Guardian had given him by way of
marriage-present, is still standing and eating;--to spy out for his
future wife the flax-magazines and clothes-press-niches in the
house;--to lay in new wood-stores in the prospect of winter;--to obtain
from the Consistorium directly, and for little smart-money, their Bull
of Dispensation, their remission of the threefold proclamation of
banns;--to live not in a city, where you must send to every fool
(because you are one yourself), and disclose to him that you are going
to be married; but in a little angular hamlet, where you have no one to
tell aught, but simply the Schoolmaster that he is to ring a little
later, and put a knee-cushion before the altar.----

O, if the Ritter Michaelis maintains that Paradise was little, because
otherwise the people would not have found each other,--a hamlet and its
joys are little and narrow, so that some shadow of Eden may still
linger on our Ball.----

I have not even hinted that, the day before the wedding, the
Regiments-Quartermaster came uncalled, and killed the pig, and made
puddings gratis, such as were never eaten at any Court.

And besides, dear Fixlein, on this soft, rich oil of joy there
was also floating gratis a vernal sun,--and red twilights,--and
flower-garlands,--and a bursting half-world of buds!...

How didst thou behave thee in these hot whirlpools of pleasure?--Thou
movedst thy Fishtail (Reason), and therewith describedst for thyself a
rectilineal course through the billows. For even half as much would
have hurried another Parson from his study; but the very crowning
felicity of ours was, that he stood as if rooted to the boundary-hill
of Moderation, and from thence looked down on what thousands flout
away. Sitting opposite the Castle-windows, he was still in a condition
to reckon up that _Amen_ occurs in the Bible one hundred and thirty
times. Nay, to his old learned laboratory he now appended a new
chemical stove; he purposed writing to Nürnberg and Baireuth, and there
offering his pen to the Brothers Senft, not only for composing
practical _Receipts_ at the end of their _Almanacs_, but also for
separate _Essays_ in front under the copperplate title of each Month,
because he had a thought of making some reformatory cuts at the common
people's mental habitudes ... And now, when in the capacity of Parson
he had less to do, and could add to the holy resting-day of the
congregation six literary creating-days, he determined (even in these
Carnival weeks) to strike his plough into the hitherto quite fallow
History of Hukelum, and soon to follow the plough with his drill....

Thus roll his minutes, on golden wheels-of-fortune, over the twelve
days, which form the glancing star-paved road to the third heaven of
the thirteenth, that is, to the

                           NINTH LETTER-BOX.

                          Or to the Marriage.

Rise, fair Ascension and Marriage day, and gladden readers also! Adorn
thyself with the fairest jewel, with the bride, whose soul is as pure
and glittering as its vesture; like pearl and pearl-muscle, the one, as
the other, lustrous and ornamental! And so over the espalier, whose
fruit-hedge has hitherto divided our darling from his Eden, every
reader now presses after him!--

On the 9th of May, 1793, about three in the morning, there came a sharp
peal of trumpets, like a light-beam, through the dim-red May-dawn; two
twisted horns, with a straight trumpet between them, like a note of
admiration between interrogation-points, were clanging from a house in
which only a parishioner (not the Parson) dwelt and blew; for this
parishioner had last night been celebrating the same ceremony which the
pastor had this day before him. The joyful tallyho raised our Parson
from his broad bed (and the Shock from beneath it, who some weeks ago
had been exiled from the white, sleek coverlet), and this so early,
that in the portraying tester, where on every former morning he had
observed his ruddy visage, and his white bedclothes, all was at present
dim and crayoned.

I confess, the new-painted room, and a gleam of dawn on the wall, made
it so light, that he could see his knee-buckles glancing on the chair.
He then softly awakened his mother (the other guests were to lie for
hours in the sheets), and she had the city cook-maid to awaken, who,
like several other articles of wedding-furniture, had been borrowed for
a day or two from Flachsenfingen. At two doors he knocked in vain, and
without answer; for all were already down at the hearth, cooking,
blowing; and arranging.

How softly does the Spring day gradually fold back its nun-veil,
and the Earth grow bright, as if it were the morning of a
Resurrection!--The quicksilver-pillar of the barometer, the guiding
Fire-pillar of the weather-prophet, rests firmly on Fixlein's Ark
of the Covenant. The Sun raises himself, pure and cool, into the
morning-blue, instead of into the morning-red. Swallows, instead of
clouds, shoot skimming through the melodious air ... O, the good
Genius of Fair Weather, who deserves many temples and festivals
(because without him no festival could be held), lifted an ethereal,
azure Day, as it were, from the well-clear atmosphere of the Moon,
and sent it down, on blue butterfly-wings,--as if it were a _blue_
Monday,--glittering below the Sun, in the zigzag of joyful, quivering
descent, upon the narrow spot of Earth, which our heated fancies are
now viewing .... And on this balmy, vernal spot stand, amid flowers,
over which the trees are shaking blossoms instead of leaves, a bride
and a bridegroom.... Happy Fixlein! how shall I paint thee without
deepening the sighs of longing in the fairest souls?

But soft! we will not drink the magic cup of Fancy to the bottom at six
in the morning; but keep sober till towards night!

At the sound of the morning prayer-bell, the bridegroom, for the din of
preparation was disturbing his quiet orison, went out into the
churchyard, which (as in many other places), together with the church,
lay round his mansion like a court. Here on the moist green, over whose
closed flowers the churchyard wall was still spreading broad shadows,
did his spirit cool itself from the warm dreams of Earth; here, where
the white flat gravestone of his Teacher lay before him like the
fallen-in door on the Janus's-temple of Life, or like the windward side
of the narrow house, turned towards the tempests of the world; here,
where the little shrunk metallic door on the grated cross of his father
uttered to him the inscriptions of death, and the year when his parent
departed, and all the admonitions and mementos, graven on the
lead;--there, I say, his mood grew softer and more solemn; and he now
lifted up by heart his morning prayer, which usually he read; and
entreated God to bless him in his office, and to spare his mother's
life, and to look with favor and acceptance on the purpose of to-day.
Then over the graves he walked into his fenceless little angular
flower-garden; and here, composed and confident in the Divine keeping,
he pressed the stalks of his tulips deeper into the mellow earth.

But on returning to the house, he was met on all hands by the
bell-ringing and the Janizary-music of wedding-gladness;--the
marriage-guests had all thrown off their nightcaps, and were
drinking diligently;--there was a clattering, a cooking, a
frizzling;--tea-services, coffee-services, and warm beer-services, were
advancing in succession; and plates full of bride-cakes were going
round like potters' frames or cistern-wheels.--The Schoolmaster, with
three young lads, was heard rehearsing from his own house an _Arioso_,
with which, so soon as they were perfect, he purposed to surprise his
clerical superior.--But now rushed all the arms of the foaming
joy-streams into one, when the sky-queen besprinkled with blossoms, the
bride, descended upon Earth in her timid joy, full of quivering, humble
love;--when the bells began;--when the procession-column set forth with
the whole village round and before it;--when the organ, the
congregation, the officiating priest, and the sparrows on the trees of
the church-window, struck louder and louder their rolling peals on the
drum of the jubilee-festival.... The heart of the singing bridegroom
was like to leap from its place for joy, "that on his bridal-day it was
all so respectable and grand."--Not till the marriage benediction could
he pray a little.

Still worse and louder grew the business during dinner, when
pastry-work and marchpane-devices were brought forward,--when glasses
and slain fishes (laid under the napkins to frighten the guests) went
round;--and when the guests rose, and themselves went round, and at
length danced round; for they had instrumental music from the city

One minute handed over to the other the sugar-bowl and bottle-case of
joy; the guests heard and saw less and less, and the villagers began to
see and hear more and more, and towards night they penetrated like a
wedge into the open door,--nay, two youths ventured even, in the middle
of the parsonage-court, to mount a plank over a beam, and commence
seesawing. Out of doors, the gleaming vapor of the departed Sun was
encircling the Earth, the evening star was glittering over parsonage
and churchyard; no one heeded it.

However, about nine o'clock,--when the marriage-guests had wellnigh
forgotten the marriage-pair, and were drinking or dancing along for
their own behoof; when poor mortals, in this sunshine of Fate, like
fishes in the sunshine of the sky, were leaping up from their wet, cold
element; and when the bridegroom, under the star of happiness and love,
casting like a comet its long train of radiance over all his heaven,
had in secret pressed to his joy-filled breast his bride and his
mother,--then did he lock a slice of wedding-bread privily into a
press, in the old superstitious belief, that this residue secured
continuance of bread for the whole marriage. As he returned, with
greater love for the sole partner of his life, she herself met him with
his mother, to deliver him in private the bridal-nightgown and
bridal-shirt, as is the ancient usage. Many a countenance grows pale in
violent emotions, even of joy; Thiennette's wax-face was bleaching
still whiter under the sunbeams of Happiness. O never fall, thou lily
of Heaven, and may four springs instead of four seasons open and shut
thy flower-bells to the sun! All the arms of his soul as he floated on
the sea of joy were quivering to clasp the soft, warm heart of his
beloved, to encircle it gently and fast, and draw it to his own....

He led her from the crowded dancing-room into the cool evening. Why
does the evening, does the night, put warmer love in our hearts? Is it
the nightly pressure of helplessness; or is it the exalting separation
from the turmoil of life; that veiling of the world, in which for the
soul nothing more remains but souls;--is it therefore, that the letters
in which the loved name stands written on our spirit appear, like
phosphorus-writing, by night _in fire_, while by day in their _cloudy_
traces they but smoke?

He walked with his bride into the Castle-garden; she hastened quickly
through the castle, and past its servants'-hall, where the fair flowers
of her young life had been crushed broad and dry, under a long, dreary
pressure; and her soul expanded, and breathed in the free open garden,
on whose flowery soil destiny had cast forth the first seeds of the
blossoms which to-day were gladdening her existence. Still Eden! Green
flower-checkered _chiaroscuro_!--The moon is sleeping under ground like
a dead one; but beyond the garden the sun's red evening-clouds have
fallen down like rose-leaves; and the evening-star, the brideman of the
sun, hovers, like a glancing butterfly, above the rosy red, and, modest
as a bride, deprives no single starlet of its light.

The wandering pair arrived at the old gardener's hut; now standing
locked and dumb, with dark windows in the light garden, like a fragment
of the Past surviving in the Present. Bared twigs of trees were
folding, with clammy, half-formed leaves, over the thick, intertwisted
tangles of the bushes.--The Spring was standing, like a conqueror,
with Winter at his feet.--In the blue pond, now bloodless, a dusky
evening-sky lay hollowed out, and the gushing waters were moistening
the flower-beds.--The silver sparks of stars were rising on the altar
of the East, and falling down extinguished in the red sea of the West.

The wind whirred, like a night-bird, louder through the trees; and gave
tones to the acacia-grove, and the tones called to the pair who had
first become happy within it: "Enter, new mortal pair, and think of
what is past, and of my withering and your own; and be holy as
Eternity, and weep not only for joy, but for gratitude also!"--And the
wet-eyed bridegroom led his wet-eyed bride under the blossoms, and laid
his soul, like a flower, on her heart, and said: "Best Thiennette, I am
unspeakably happy, and would say much, and cannot.--Ah, thou Dearest,
we will live like angels, like children together! Surely I will do all
that is good to thee; two years ago I had nothing, no nothing; ah, it
is through thee, best love, that I am happy. I call thee Thou, now,
thou dear good soul!" She drew him closer to her, and said, though
without kissing him: "Call me Thou always, Dearest!"

And as they stept forth again from the sacred grove into the
magic-dusky garden, he took off his hat; first, that he might
internally thank God, and secondly, because he wished to look into this
fairest evening sky.

They reached the blazing, rustling marriage-house, but their softened
hearts sought stillness; and a foreign touch, as in the blossoming
vine, would have disturbed the flower-nuptials of their souls. They
turned rather, and winded up into the churchyard to preserve their
mood. Majestic on the groves and mountains stood the Night before man's
heart, and made it also great. Over the _white_ steeple-obelisk the sky
rested _bluer_ and _darker_; and behind it wavered the withered summit
of the May-pole with faded flag. The son noticed his father's grave, on
which the wind was opening and shutting, with harsh noise, the little
door of the metal cross, to let the year of his death be read on the
brass plate within. An overpowering sadness seized his heart with
violent streams of tears, and drove him to the sunk hillock, and he led
his bride to the grave, and said: "Here sleeps he, my good father; in
his thirty-second year he was carried hither to his long rest. O Thou
good, dear father, couldst thou to-day but see the happiness of thy
son, like my mother! But thy eyes are empty, and thy breast is full of
ashes, and thou seest us not."--He was silent. The bride wept aloud;
she saw the mouldering coffins of her parents open, and the two dead
arise and look round for their daughter, who had stayed so long behind
them, forsaken on the Earth. She fell upon his heart, and faltered: "O
beloved, I have neither father nor mother; do not forsake me!"

O thou who hast still a father and a mother, thank God for it, on the
day when thy soul is full of joyful tears, and needs a bosom wherein to
shed them....

And with this embracing at a father's grave, let this day of joy be
holily concluded.--

                           TENTH LETTER-BOX.

                     St. Thomas's-Day and Birthday.

An Author is a sort of bee-keeper for his reader-swarm; in whose behalf
he separates the Flora kept for their use into different seasons, and
here accelerates, and there retards, the blossoming of many a flower,
that so in all chapters there be blooming.

The goddess of Love and the angel of Peace conducted our married pair
on tracks running over full meadows, through the Spring; and on
footpaths hidden by high corn-fields, through the Summer; and Autumn,
as they advanced towards Winter, spread her marble leaves under their
feet. And thus they arrived before the low, dark gate of Winter, full
of life, full of love, trustful, contented, sound, and ruddy.

On St. Thomas's-day was Thiennette's birthday as well as Winter's.
About a quarter past nine, just when the singing ceases in the church,
we shall take a peep through the window into the interior of the
parsonage. There is nothing here but the old mother, who has all day
(the son having restricted her to rest, and not work) been gliding
about, and brushing, and burnishing, and scouring, and wiping; every
carved chair-leg, and every brass nail of the waxcloth-covered table,
she has polished into brightness;--everything hangs, as with all
married people who have no children, in its right place, brushes,
fly-flaps, and almanacs;--the chairs are stationed by the room-police
in their ancient corners;--a flax-rock, encircled with a diadem, or
scarf of azure riband, is lying in the Schadeck-bed, because, though it
is a half-holiday, some spinning may go on;--the narrow slips of paper,
whereon heads of sermons are to be arranged, lie white beside the
sermons themselves, that is, beside the octavo paper-book which
holds them, for the Parson and his work-table, by reason of the cold,
have migrated from the study to the sitting-room;--his large furred
doublet is hanging beside his clean bridegroom-nightgown; there is
nothing wanting in the room but He and She. For he had preached her
with him to-night into the empty Apostle's-day church, that so
her mother, without witnesses,--except the two or three thousand
readers who are peeping with me through the window,--might arrange
the provender-baking, and whole commissariat department of the
birthday-festival, and spread out her best table-gear and
victual-stores without obstruction.

The soul-curer reckoned it no sin to admonish, and exhort, and
encourage, and threaten his parishioners, till he felt pretty
certain that the soup must be smoking on the plates. Then he led
his birthday helpmate home, and suddenly placed her before the altar
of meat-offering, before a sweet title-page of bread-tart, on which
her name stood baked, in true _monastic characters_, in tooth-letters
of almonds. In the background of time and of the room, I yet conceal
two--bottles of Pontac. How quickly, under the sunshine of joy, do thy
cheeks grow ripe, Thiennette, when thy husband solemnly says: "This is
thy birthday; and may the Lord bless thee, and watch over thee, and
cause his countenance to shine on thee, and send thee, to the joy of
our mother and thy husband especially, a happy, glad _recovery_.
Amen!"--And when Thiennette perceived that it was the old mistress who
had cooked and served up all this herself, she fell upon her neck, as
if it had been not her husband's mother, but her own.

Emotion conquers the appetite. But Fixlein's stomach was as strong as
his heart; and with him no species of movement could subdue the
peristaltic. Drink is the friction-oil of the tongue, as eating is its
drag. Yet, not till he had eaten and spoken much, did the pastor fill
the glasses. Then indeed he drew the corksluice from the bottle, and
set forth its streams. The sickly mother, of a being still hid beneath
her heart, turned her eyes, in embarrassed emotion, on the old
woman only; and could scarcely chide him for sending to the city
wine-merchant on her account. He took a glass in each hand, for each of
the two whom he loved, and handed them to his mother and his wife, and
said: "To thy long, long life, Thiennette!--And your health and
happiness, Mamma!--And a glad arrival to our little one, if God so
bless us!" "My son," said the gardeneress, "it is to thy long life that
we must drink; for it is by thee we are supported. God grant thee
length of days!" added she, with stifled voice, and her eyes betrayed
her tears.

I nowhere find a livelier emblem of the female sex, in all its
boundless levity, than in the case where a woman is carrying the angel
of Death beneath her heart, and yet in these nine months full of mortal
tokens thinks of nothing more important than of who shall be the
gossips, and what shall be cooked at the christening. But thou,
Thiennette, hadst nobler thoughts, though these too along with them.
The still hidden darling of thy heart was resting before thy eyes like
a little angel sculptured on a gravestone, and pointing with its small
finger to the hour when thou shouldst die; and every morning and every
evening thou thoughtest of death with a certainty of which I yet knew
not the reasons; and to thee it was as if the Earth were a dark mineral
cave, where man's blood, like stalactitic water, drops down, and in
dropping raises shapes which gleam so transiently, and so quickly fade
away! And that was the cause why tears were continually trickling from
thy soft eyes, and betraying all thy anxious thoughts about thy child;
but thou repaidst these sad effusions of thy heart by the embrace in
which, with new-awakened love, thou fellest on thy husband's neck, and
saidst: "Be as it may, God's will be done, so thou and my child are
left alive!--But I know well that thou, Dearest, lovest me as I do
thee." ... Lay thy hand, good mother, full of blessings, on the two;
and thou, kind Fate, never lift thine away from them!--

It is with emotion and good wishes that I witness the kiss of two fair
friends, or the embracing of two virtuous lovers; and from the fire of
their altar sparks fly over to me; but what is this to our sympathetic
exaltation when we see two mortals, bending under the same burden,
bound to the same duties, animated to the same care for the same little
darlings, fall on one another's overflowing hearts, in some fair hour?
And if these, moreover, are two mortals who already wear the mourning
weeds of life, I mean old age, whose hair and cheeks are now grown
colorless, and eyes grown dim, and whose faces a thousand thorns have
marred into images of Sorrow;--when these two clasp each other with
such wearied, aged arms, and so near to the precipice of the grave, and
when they say or think: "All in us is dead, but not our love--O we have
lived and suffered long together, and now we will hold out our hands to
Death together also, and let him carry us away together,"--does not all
within us cry: O Love, thy spark is superior to Time; it burns neither
in joy nor in the cheek of roses; it dies not, neither under a
thousand tears nor under the snow of old age, nor under the ashes of
thy--beloved. It never dies; and Thou, All-good! if there were no
eternal love, there were no love at all....

To the Parson it was easier than it is to me to pave for himself a
transition from the heart to the digestive faculty. He now submitted to
Thiennette (whose voice at once grew cheerful, while her eyes time
after time began to sparkle) his purpose to take advantage of the
frosty weather and have the winter meat slaughtered and salted. "The
pig can scarcely rise," said he; and forthwith he fixed the
determination of the women, further the butcher, and the day, and all
_et ceteras_; appointing everything with a degree of punctuality,
such as the war-college (when it applies the cupping-glass, the
battle-sword, to the overfull system of mankind) exhibits on the
previous day, in its arrangements, before it drives a province into the
baiting-ring and slaughter-house.

This settled, he began to talk and feel quite joyously about the course
of winter, which had commenced to-day at two-and-twenty minutes past
eight in the morning; "for," said he, "new-year is close at hand; and
we shall not need so much candle to-morrow night as to-night." His
mother, it is true, came athwart him with the weapons of her five
senses; but he fronted her with his Astronomical Tables, and proved
that the lengthening of the day was no less undeniable than
imperceptible. In the last place, like most official and married
persons, heeding little whether his women took him or not, he informed
them, in juristico-theological phrase: "That he would put off no
longer, but write this very afternoon to the venerable Consistorium,
in whose hands lay the _jus circa sacra_, for a new Ball to the
church-steeple; and the rather, as he hoped before new-year's day to
raise a bountiful subscription from the parish for this purpose. If God
spare us till spring," added he, with peculiar cheerfulness, "and thou
wert happily recovered, I might so arrange the whole that the ball
should be set up at thy first churchgoing, dame!"

Thereupon he shifted his chair from the dinner and dessert table to the
work-table; and spent the half of his afternoon over the petition for
the steeple-ball. As there still remained a little space till dusk, he
clapped his tackle to his new learned _Opus_, of which I must now
afford a little glimpse. Out of doors among the snow, there stood near
Hukelum an old Robber-Castle, which Fixlein, every day in Autumn, had
hovered round like a _revenant_, with a view to gauge it,
ichnographically to delineate it, to put every window-bar and every
bridle-hook of it correctly on paper. He believed he was not expecting
too much, if thereby--and by some drawings of the not so much vertical
as horizontal walls--he hoped to impart to his "_Architectural
Correspondence of two Friends concerning the Hukelum Robber-Castle_"
that last polish and labor _limæ_ which contents Reviewers. For towards
the critical Star-chamber of the Reviewers he entertained not that
contempt which some authors actually feel--or only affect, as, for
instance, I. From this mouldered Robber-_Louvre_, there grew for him
more flowers of joy than ever in all probability had grown from it of
old for its owners.--To my knowledge, it is an anecdote not hitherto
made public, that for all this no man but _Büsching_ has to answer.
Fixlein had, not long ago, among the rubbish of the church letter-room,
stumbled on a paper wherein the Geographer had been requesting special
information about the statistics of the village. Büsching, it is true,
had picked up nothing,--accordingly, indeed, Hukelum, in his
_Geography_, is still omitted altogether;--but this pestilential letter
had infected Fixlein with the spring-fever of Ambition, so that his
palpitating heart was no longer to be stilled or held in check, except
by the assaf[oe]tida-emulsion of a review. It is with authorcraft as
with love; both of them for decades long one may equally desire and
forbear; but is the first spark once thrown into the powder-magazine,
it burns to the end of the chapter.

Simply because winter had commenced by the Almanac, the fire must be
larger than usual; for warm rooms, like large furs and bear-skin caps,
were things which he loved more than you would figure. The dusk, this
fair _chiaroscuro_ of the day, this colored foreground of the night, he
lengthened out as far as possible, that he might study Christmas
discourses therein; and yet could his wife, without scruple, just as he
was pacing up and down the room, with the sowing-sheet full of divine
word-seeds hung round his shoulder,--hold up to him a spoonful of
alegar, that he might try the same in his palate, and decide whether
she should yet draw it off. Nay, did he not in all cases, though
fonder of roe-fishes himself, order a milter to be drawn from the
herring-barrel, because his good-wife liked it better?--

Here light was brought in; and as Winter was just now commencing
his glass-painting on the windows, his ice flower-pieces, and his
snow-foliage, our Parson felt that it was time to read something cold,
which he pleasantly named his cold collation; namely, the description
of some unutterably frosty land. On the present occasion, it was the
winter history of the four Russian sailors on Nova Zembla. I, for my
share, do often in summer, when the sultry zephyr is inflating the
flower-bells, append certain charts and sketches of Italy, or the East,
as additional landscapes to those among which I am sitting. And yet
to-night he further took up the _Weekly Chronicle_ of Flachsenfingen;
and amid the bombshells, pestilences, famines, comets with long tails,
and the roaring of all the Hell-floods of another Thirty Years' War, he
could still listen with the one ear towards the kitchen, where the
salad for his roast-duck was just a-cutting.

Good-night, old Fixlein! I am tired. May kind Heaven send thee, with
the young year 1794, when the Earth shall again carry her people, like
precious night-moths, on leaves and flowers, the new steeple-ball, and
a thick, handsome--boy, to boot!

                          ELEVENTH LETTER-BOX.

                     Spring; Investiture; and Childbirth.

I have just risen from a singular dream; but the foregoing Box makes it
natural. I dreamed that all was verdant, all full of odors; and I was
looking up at a steeple-ball glittering in the sun, from my station
in the window of a little white garden-house, my eyelids full of
flower-pollen, my shoulders full of thin cherry-blossoms, and my ears
full of humming from the neighboring beehives. Then, methought,
advancing slowly through the beds, came the Hukelum Parson, and stept
into the garden-house, and solemnly said to me: "Honored Sir, my wife
has just brought me a little boy; and I make bold to solicit _your
Honor_ to do the holy office for the same, when it shall be received
into the bosom of the church."

I naturally started up, and there was--Parson Fixlein standing bodily
at my bedside, and requesting me to be godfather; for Thiennette had
given him a son last night about one o'clock. The confinement had been
as light and happy as could be conceived; for this reason, that the
father had, some months before, been careful to provide one of those
_Klappersteins_, as we call them, which are found in the aerie of the
eagle, and therewith to alleviate the travail; for this stone performs,
in its way, all the service which the bonnet of that old Minorite monk
in Naples, of whom Gorani informs us, could accomplish for people in
such circumstances, who put it on....

--I might vex the reader still longer; but I willingly give up, and
show him how the matter stood.

Such a May as the present (of 1794) Nature has not, in the memory of
man--begun; for this is but the fifteenth of it. People of reflection
have for centuries been vexed once every year, that our German singers
should indite May-songs, since several other months deserve such a
poetical night-music much better; and I myself have often gone so far
as to adopt the idiom of our market-women, and instead of May butter,
to say June butter, as also June, March, April songs.--But thou, kind
May of this year, thou deservest to thyself all the songs which were
ever made on thy rude namesakes!--By Heaven! when I now issue from the
wavering, checkered acacia-grove of the Castle-garden, in which I am
writing this Chapter, and come forth into the broad, living day, and
look up to the warming Heaven, and over its Earth budding out beneath
it,--the Spring rises before me like a vast full cloud, with a splendor
of blue and green. I see the Sun standing amid roses in the western
sky, into which he has thrown his ray-brush, wherewith he has to-day
been painting the Earth;--and when I look round a little in our
picture-exhibition, his enamelling is still hot on the mountains; on
the moist chalk of the moist Earth, the flowers full of sap-colors are
laid out to dry, and the forget-me-not with miniature colors; under the
varnish of the streams, the skyey Painter has pencilled his own eye;
and the clouds, like a decoration-painter, he has touched off with wild
outlines and single tints; and so he stands at the border of the Earth,
and looks back upon his stately Spring, whose robe-folds are valleys,
whose breast-bouquet is gardens, and whose blush is a vernal evening,
and who, when she arises, shall be--Summer.

But to proceed! Every spring--and especially in such a spring--I
imitate on foot our birds of passage; and travel off the
hypochondriacal sediment of winter; but I do not think I should have
seen even the steeple-ball of Hukelum, which is to be set up one of
these days, to say nothing of the Parson's family, had not I happened
to be visiting the Flachsenfingen Superintendent and Consistorialrath.
From him I got acquainted with Fixlein's history,--every Candidatus
must deliver an account of his life to the Consistorium,--and with his
still madder petition for a steeple-ball. I observed, with pleasure,
how gayly the cob was diving and swashing about in his duck-pool and
milk-bath of life; and forthwith determined on a journey to his shore.
It is singular, that is to say, manlike, that when we have for years
kept prizing and describing some original person or original book, yet
the moment we see such, they anger us; we would have them fit us and
delight us in all points, as if any originality could do this but our

It was Saturday, the third of May, when I, with the Superintendent, the
_Senior Capituli_, and some temporal Raths, mounted and rolled off, and
in two carriages were driven to the Parson's door. The matter was, he
was not yet--_invested_, and to-morrow this was to be done. I little
thought, while we whirled by the white espalier of the Castle-garden,
that there I was to write another book.

I still see the Parson, in his peruke-minever and head-case, come
springing to the coach-door and lead us out; so smiling--so
courteous--so vain of the disloaded freight, and so attentive to it. He
looked as if in the journey of life he had never once put on the
_travelling-gauze_ of Sorrow; Thiennette again seemed never to have
thrown hers back. How neat was everything in the house, how dainty,
decorated, and polished! And yet so quiet, without the cursed
alarm-ringing of servants' bells, and without the bass-drum tumult of
stair-pedalling. Whilst the gentlemen, my road-companions, were sitting
in state in the upper room, I flitted, as my way is, like a smell over
the whole house, and my path led me through the sitting-room over the
kitchen, and at last into the churchyard beside the house. Good
Saturday! I will paint thy hours as I may, with the black asphaltos of
ink, on the tablets of other souls! In the sitting-room, I lifted from
the desk a volume gilt on the back and edges, and bearing this title:
"_Holy Sayings, by Fixlein. First Collection_." And as I looked to see
where it had been printed, the Holy Collection turned out to be in
writing. I handled the quills, and dipped into the negro-black of the
ink, and I found that all was right and good. With your fluttering
gentlemen of letters, who hold only a department of the foreign, and
none of the home affairs nothing (except some other things about them)
can be worse than their ink and pens. I also found a little
copperplate, to which I shall in due time return.

In the kitchen, a place not more essential for the writing of an
English novel than for the acting of a German one, I could plant myself
beside Thiennette, and help her to blow the fire, and look at once into
her face and her burning coals. Though she was in wedlock, a state in
which white roses on the cheeks are changed for red ones, and young
women are similar to a similitude given in my Note;[60]--and although
the blazing wood threw a false rouge over her, I guessed how pale she
must have been; and my sympathy in her paleness rose still higher at
the thought of the burden which Fate had now not so much taken from
her, as laid in her arms and nearer to her heart. In truth, a man must
never have reflected on the Creation-moment, when the Universe first
rose from the bosom of an Eternity, if he does not view with
philosophic reverence a woman, whose thread of life a secret,
all-wondrous Hand is spinning to a second thread, and who veils within
her the transition from Nothingness to Existence, from Eternity to
time;--but still less can a man have any heart of flesh, if his soul,
in presence of a woman, who, to an unknown, unseen being, is
sacrificing more than we will sacrifice when it is seen and known,
namely, her nights, her joys, often her life, does not bow lower, and
with deeper emotion, than in presence of a whole nun-orchestra on their
Sahara-desert;--and worse than either is the man for whom his own
mother has not made all other mothers venerable.

"It is little serviceable to thee, poor Thiennette," thought I, "that
now, when thy bitter cup of sickness is made to run over, thou must
have loud festivities come crowding round thee." I meant the
Investiture and the Ball-raising. My rank, the diploma of which the
reader will find stitched in with the _Dog-post-days_, and which had
formerly been hers, brought about my ears a host of repelling,
embarrassed, wavering titles of address from her; which people, to whom
they have once belonged, are at all times apt to parade before
superiors or inferiors, and which it now cost me no little trouble to
disperse. Through the whole Saturday and Sunday I could never get into
the right track either with her or him, till the other guests were
gone. As for the mother, she acted, like obscure ideas, powerfully and
constantly, but out of view; this arose in part from her idolatrous
fear of us; and partly also from a slight shade of care (probably
springing from the state of her daughter), which had spread over her
like a little cloud.

I cruised about, so long as the moon-crescent glimmered in the sky,
over the churchyard; and softened my fantasies, which are at any rate
too prone to paint with the brown of crumbling mummies, not only by the
red of twilight, but also by reflecting how easily our eyes and our
hearts can become reconciled even to the ruins of Death; a reflection
which the Schoolmaster, whistling as he arranged the charnel-house for
the morrow, and the Parson's maid singing, as she reaped away the grass
from the graves, readily enough suggested to me. And why should not
this habituation to all forms of Fate in the other world, also, be a
gift reserved for us in our nature by the bounty of our great
Preserver?--I perused the gravestones; and I think even now that
Superstition[61] is right in connecting with the reading of such things
a loss of _memory_; at all events, one does _forget_ a thousand things
belonging to this world....

The Investiture on Sunday (whose Gospel, of the Good Shepherd,
suited well with the ceremony) I must despatch in few words; because
nothing truly sublime can bear to be treated of in many. However, I
shall impart the most memorable circumstances, when I say that
there was--drinking (in the Parsonage),--music-making (in the
Choir),--reading (of the Presentation by the Senior, and of the
Ratification-rescript by the lay Rath),--and preaching, by the
Consistorialrath, who took the soul-curer by the hand, and presented,
made over, and guaranteed him to the congregation, and them to him.
Fixlein felt that he was departing as a high-priest from the church
which he had entered as a country parson, and all day he had not once
the heart to ban. When a man is treated with solemnity, he looks upon
himself as a higher nature, and goes through his solemn feasts

This indenturing, this monastic profession, our Head-Rabbis and
Lodge-masters (our Superintendents) have usually a taste for putting
off till once the pastor has been some years ministering among the
people, to whom they hereby present him; as the early Christians
frequently postponed their consecration and investiture to
Christianity, their baptism namely, till the day when they died. Nay, I
do not even think this clerical Investiture would lose much of its
usefulness, if it and the declaring-vacant of the office were reserved
for the same day; the rather, as this usefulness consists entirely in
two items; what the Superintendent and his Raths can eat, and what they
can pocket.

Not till towards evening did the Parson and I get acquainted. The
Investiture officials and elevation pulley-men had, throughout the
whole evening, been very violently--breathing. I mean thus; as these
gentlemen could not but be aware, by the most ancient theories and the
latest experiments, that air was nothing else than a sort of rarefied
and exploded water, it became easy for them to infer, that, conversely,
water was nothing else than a denser sort of air. Wine-drinking,
therefore, is nothing else but the breathing of an air pressed together
into proper spissitude, and sprinkled over with a few perfumes. Now, in
our days, by clerical persons too much (fluid) breath can never be
inhaled through the mouth; seeing the dignity of their station excludes
them from that breathing through the _smaller_ pores which Abernethy so
highly recommends under the name of _air-bath_; and can the Gullet in
their case be aught else than door-neighbor to the Windpipe, the
_consonant_ and fellow-shoot of the Windpipe?--I am running astray; I
meant to signify that I this evening had adopted the same opinion; only
that I used air or ether, not like the rest for loud laughter, but for
the more quiet contemplation of life in general. I even shot forth at
my gossip certain speeches which betrayed devoutness. These he at first
took for jests, being aware that I was from Court, and of quality. But
the concave mirror of the wine-mist at length suspended the images of
my soul, enlarged and embodied like spiritual shapes, in the air before
me.--Life shaded itself off to my eyes like a hasty summer night, which
we little fireflies shoot across with transient gleam;--I said to him
that man must turn himself like the leaves of the great mallow, at the
different day-seasons of his life, now to the rising sun, now to the
setting, now to the night, towards the Earth and its graves;--I said,
the omnipotence of Goodness was driving us and the centuries of the
world towards the gates of the City of God, as, according to Euler, the
resistance of the _Ether_ leads the circling Earth towards the Sun,
&c., &c.

On the strength of these entremets, he considered me the first
theologian of his age; and had he been obliged to go to war, would
previously have taken my advice on the matter, as belligerent powers
were wont of old from the theologians of the Reformation. I hide not
from myself, however, that what preachers call vanity of the world is
something altogether different from what philosophy so calls. When I,
moreover, signified to him that I was not ashamed to be an Author; but
had a turn for working up this and the other biography; and that I had
got a sight of his _Life_ in the hands of the Superintendent; and might
be in case to prepare a printed one therefrom, if so were he would
assist me with here and there a tint of flesh-color,--then was my silk,
which, alas! not only isolates one from electric fire, but also from a
kindlier sort of it, the only grate which rose between his arms and me;
for, like the most part of poor country parsons, it was not in his
power to forget the rank of any man, or to vivify his own on a higher
one. He said: "He would acknowledge it with veneration, if I should
mention him in print; but he was much afraid his life was too common
and too poor for a biography." Nevertheless, he opened me the drawer of
his Letter-boxes, and said, perhaps he had hereby been paving the way
for me.

The main point, however, was, he hoped that his _Errata_, his
_Exercitationes_, and his _Letters on the Robber-Castle_, if I should
previously send forth a Life of the Author, might be better received;
and that it would be much the same as if I accompanied them with a

In short, when on Monday the other dignitaries with their nimbus of
splendor had dissipated, I alone, like a precipitate, abode with him;
and am still abiding, that is, from the fifth of May (the Public should
take the Almanac of 1794, and keep it open beside them) to the
fifteenth; to-day is Thursday, to-morrow is the sixteenth and Friday,
when comes the Spinat-Kirmes, or Spinage-Wake, as they call it, and the
uplifting of the steeple-ball, which I just purposed to await before I
went. Now, however, I do not go so soon; for on Sunday I have to assist
at the baptismal ceremony, as baptismal agent for my little future
godson. Whoever pays attention to me, and keeps the Almanac open, may
readily guess why the christening is put off till Sunday; for it is
that memorable Cantata-Sunday, which once, for its mad, narcotic
hemlock-virtues, was of importance in our History; but is now so only
for the fair betrothment, which after two years we mean to celebrate
with a baptism.

Truly it is not in my power--for want of colors and presses--to paint
or print upon my paper the soft, balmy flower-garland of a fortnight
which has here wound itself about my sickly life; but with a single day
I shall attempt it. Man, I know well, cannot prognosticate either his
joys or his sorrows, still less repeat them, either in living or

The black hour of coffee has gold in its mouth for us and honey; here,
in the morning coolness, we are all gathered; we maintain popular
conversation, that so the parsoness and the gardeneress may be able to
take share in it. The morning service in the church, where often the
whole people[62] are sitting and singing, divides us. While the bell is
sounding, I march with my writing-gear into the singing Castle-garden;
and seat myself in the fresh acacia-grove, at the dewy two-legged
table. Fixlein's Letter-boxes I keep by me in my pocket; and I
have only to look and abstract from his what can be of use In my
own.--Strange enough! so easily do we forget a thing in describing it,
I really did not recollect for a moment that I am now sitting at the
very grove-table of which I speak, and writing all this.--

My gossip in the mean time is also laboring for the world. His study is
a sort of sacristy, and his printing-press a pulpit, wherefrom he
preaches to all men; for an Author is the Town-chaplain of the
Universe. A man who is making a book will scarcely hang himself; all
rich lords'-sons, therefore, should labor for the press; for, in that
case, when you awake too early in bed, you have always a _plan_, an
aim, and therefore a cause before you why you should get out of it.
Better off, too, is the author who collects rather than invents,--for
the latter with its eating fire calcines the heart; I praise the
Antiquary, the Heraldist, Note-maker, Compiler; I esteem the
_Title-perch_ (a fish called _Perca-Diagramma_, because of the letters
on its scales), and the _Printer_ (a chafer, called _Scarabæus
Typographus_, which eats letters in the bark of fir),--neither of them
needs any greater or fairer arena in the world than a piece of
rag-paper, or any other laying apparatus than a pointed pencil,
wherewith to lay his four-and-twenty letter-eggs.--In regard to the
_catalogue raisonné_, which my gossip is now drawing up of German
_Errata_, I have several times suggested to him, "that it were good if
he extended his researches in one respect, and revised the rule by
which it has been computed, that, e. g. for a hundred-weight of pica
black-letter, four hundred and fifty semicolons, three hundred periods,
&c., are required; and to recount, and see whether, in Political
writings and Dedications, the fifty notes of admiration for a
hundred-weight of pica black-letter were not far too small an
allowance, and if so, what the real quantity was."

Several days he wrote nothing; but wrapped himself in the slough of his
parson's-cloak; and so in his canonicals, beside the Schoolmaster, put
the few A-b-c shooters which were not, like forest-shooters, absent on
furlough by reason of the spring, through their platoon firing in the
Hornbook. He never did more than his duty, but also never less. It
brought a soft, benignant warmth over his heart, to think that he, who
had once ducked under a School-inspectorship, was now one himself.

About ten o'clock we meet from our different museums, and examine the
village, especially the Biographical furniture and holy places, which I
chance that morning to have had under my pen or pentagraph; because I
look at them with more interest _after_ my description than _before_

Next comes dinner.--

After the concluding grace, which is too long, we both of us set to
entering the charitable subsidies and religious donations, which our
parishioners have remitted to the sinking or rather rising fund of the
church-box for the purchase of the new steeple-globe, into two ledgers;
the one of these, with the names of the subscribers, or (in case they
have subscribed for their children) with their children's names
also, is to be inurned in a leaden capsule, and preserved in the
steeple-ball; the other will remain below among the parish Registers.
You cannot fancy what contributions the ambition of getting into the
Ball brings us in; I declare, several peasants, who had given and well
once already, contributed again when they had baptisms; must not little
Hans be in the Ball too?

After this book-keeping by double entry, my gossip took to engraving on
copper. He had been so happy as to elicit the discovery, that, from a
certain stroke resembling an inverted Latin S, the capital letters of
our German Chancery-hand, beautiful and intertwisted as you see them
stand in Law-deeds and Letters-of-nobility, may every one of them be
composed and spun out.

"Before you can count sixty," said he to me, "I take my
fundamental-stroke and make you any letter out of it."

I merely inverted this fundamental-stroke, that is, gave him a German
S, and counted sixty till he had it done. This line of beauty, when
once it has been twisted and flourished into all the capitals, he
purposes, by copperplates which he is himself engraving, to make more
common for the use of Chanceries; and I may take upon me to give the
Russian, the Prussian, and a few other smaller Courts, hopes of proof
impressions from his hand; to under-secretaries they are indispensable.

Now comes evening; and it is time for us both, here forking about with
our fruit-hooks on the literary Tree of Knowledge, at the risk of our
necks, to clamber down again into the meadow-flowers and pasturages of
rural joy. We wait, however, till the busy Thiennette, whom we are now
to receive into our communion, has no more walks to take but the one
between us. Then slowly we stept along (the sick lady was weak) through
the office-houses; that is to say, through stalls and their population,
and past a horrid lake of ducks, and past a little milk-pond of carps,
to both of which colonies, I and the rest, like princes, gave bread,
seeing we had it in view, on the Sunday after the christening, to--take
them for bread for ourselves.

The sky is still growing kindlier and redder, the swallows and the
blossom-trees louder, the house-shadows broader, and men more happy.
The clustering blossoms of the acacia-grove hang down over our cold
collation; and the ham is not stuck (which always vexes me) with
flowers, but beshaded with them from a distance....

And now the deeper evening and the nightingale conspire to soften me;
and I soften in my turn the mild beings round me, especially the pale
Thiennette, to whom, or to whose heart, after the apoplectic crushings
of a down-pressed youth, the most violent pulses of joy are heavier
than the movements of pensive sadness. And thus beautifully runs our
pure transparent life along, under the blooming curtains of May; and in
our modest pleasure, we look with timidity neither behind us nor
before; as people who are lifting treasure gaze not round at the road
they came, or the road they are going.

So pass our days. To-day, however, it was different; by this time,
usually, the evening meal is over; and the Shock has got the
osseous-preparation of our supper between his jaws; but to-night
I am still sitting here alone in the garden, writing the Eleventh
Letter-Box, and peeping out every instant over the meadows, to see if
my gossip is not coming.

For he is gone to town, to bring a whole magazine of spiceries; his
coat-pockets are wide. Nay, it is certain enough that oftentimes
he brings home with him, simply in his coat-pocket, considerable
flesh-tithes from his Guardian, at whose house he alights; though
truly, intercourse with the polished world and city, and the refinement
of manners thence arising--for he calls on the bookseller, on
school-colleagues, and several respectable shop-keepers--does, much
more than flesh-fetching, form the object of these journeys to the
city. This morning he appointed me regent-head of the house, and
delivered me the _fasces_ and _curule chair_. I sat the whole day
beside the young, pale mother; and could not but think, simply because
the husband had left me there as his representative, that I liked the
fair soul better. She had to take dark colors, and paint out for me the
winter landscape and ice region of her sorrow-wasted youth; but often,
contrary to my intention, by some simple elegiac word, I made her still
eye wet; for the too full heart, which had been crushed with other than
sentimental woes, overflowed at the smallest pressure. A hundred times
in the recital I was on the point of saying: "O yes, it was with
winter that your life began, and the course of it has resembled
winter!"--Windless, cloudless day! Three more words about thee the
world will still not take amiss from me!

I advanced nearer and nearer to the heart-central-fire of the woman;
and at last they mildly broke forth in censure of the Parson; the best
wives will complain of their husbands to a stranger, without in the
smallest liking them the less on that account. The mother and the wife,
during dinner, accused him of buying lots at every book-auction; and,
in truth, in such places, he does strive and bid, not so much for good
or for bad books--or old ones--or new ones--or such as he likes to
read--or any sort of favorite books--but simply for books. The mother
blamed especially his squandering so much on copperplates; yet some
hours after, when the Schultheis, or Mayor, who wrote a beautiful hand,
came in to subscribe for the steeple-ball, she pointed out to him how
finely her son could engrave, and said that it was well worth while to
spend a groschen or two on such capitals as these.

They then handed me--for when once women are in the way of a full,
open-hearted effusion, they like (only you must not turn the stop-cock
of inquiry) to pour out the whole--a ring-case, in which he kept a
Chamberlain's key that he had found, and asked me if I knew who had
lost it. Who could know such a thing, when there are almost more
Chamberlains than picklocks among us?--

At last I took heart, and asked after the little toy-press of the
drowned son, which hitherto I had sought for in vain over all the
house. Fixlein himself had inquired for it, with as little success.
Thiennette gave the old mother a persuading look full of love; and the
latter led me up-stairs to an outstretched hoop-petticoat, covering the
poor press as with a dome. On the way thither, the mother told me she
kept it hid from her son because the recollection of his brother would
pain him. When this deposit-chest of Time (the lock had fallen off) was
laid open to me, and I had looked into the little charnel-house, with
its wrecks of a childlike, sportful Past, I, without saying a word,
determined, some time ere I went away, to unpack these playthings of
the lost boy before his surviving brother. Can there be aught finer
than to look at these ash-buried, deep-sunk, Herculanean ruins of
childhood, now dug up and in the open air?

Thiennette sent twice to ask me whether he was come. He and she,
precisely because they do not give their love the weakening expression
of phrases, but the strengthening one of actions, have a boundless
feeling of it towards one another. Some wedded pairs eat each others
lips and hearts and love away by kisses; as in Rome, the statues of
Christ (by Angelo) have lost their feet by the same process of kissing,
and got leaden ones instead; in other couples, again, you may see, by
mere inspection, the number of their conflagrations and eruptions, as
in Vesuvius you can discover his, of which there are now forty-three;
but in these two beings rose the Greek fire of a moderate and
everlasting love, and gave warmth without casting forth sparks, and
flamed straight up without crackling. The evening-red is flowing back
more magically from the windows of the gardener's cottage into my
grove; and I feel as if I must say to Destiny: "Hast thou a sharp
sorrow, then throw it rather into my breast, and strike not with it
three good souls, who are too happy not to bleed by it, and too
sequestered in their little dim village not to shrink back at the
thunderbolt which hurries a stricken spirit from its earthly

Thou good Fixlein! Here comes he hurrying over the parsonage-green.
What languishing looks full of love already rest in the eye of thy
Thiennette!--What news wilt thou bring us to-night from the town!--How
will the ascending steeple-ball refresh thy soul to-morrow!--

                          TWELFTH LETTER-BOX.

                Steeple-Ball Ascension.--The Toy-Press.

How, on this sixteenth of May, the old steeple-ball was twisted off
from the Hukelum steeple, and a new one put on in its stead, will I now
describe to my best ability; but in that simple historical style of the
Ancients, which, for great events, is perhaps the most suitable.

At a very early hour, a coach arrived, containing Messrs. Court-Guilder
Zeddel and Locksmith Wächser, and the new Peter's-cupola of the
steeple. Towards eight o'clock the community, consisting of subscribers
to the Globe, was visibly collecting. A little later came the Lord
Dragoon Rittmeister von Aufhammer, as Patron of the church and steeple,
attended by Mr. Church-Inspector Streichert. Hereupon my Reverend
Cousin Fixlein and I repaired, with the other persons whom I have
already named, into the Church, and there celebrated, before
innumerable hearers, a week-day prayer-service. Directly afterwards,
my Reverend Friend made his appearance above in the pulpit, and
endeavored to deliver a speech which might correspond to the solemn
transaction;--and immediately thereafter, he read aloud the names of
the patrons and charitable souls, by whose donations the Ball had been
put together; and showed to the congregation the leaden box in which
they were specially recorded; observing that the book from which he had
recited them was to be reposited in the Parish Register-office. Next he
held it necessary to thank them and God, that he, above his deserts,
had been chosen as the instrument and undertaker of such a work. The
whole he concluded with a short prayer for Mr. Stechmann the Slater
(who was already hanging on the outside on the steeple, and loosening
the old shaft); and entreated that he might not break his neck, or any
of his members. A short hymn was then sung, which the most of those
assembled without the church-doors sang along with us, looking up at
the same time to the steeple.

All of us now proceeded out likewise; and the discarded ball, as it
were the amputated cock's-comb of the church, was lowered down and
untied. Church-Inspector Streichert drew a leaden case from the
crumbling ball, which my Reverend Friend put into his pocket, purposing
to read it at his convenience; I, however, said to some peasants: "See,
thus will your names also be preserved in the new Ball, and when, after
long years, it shall be taken down, the box lies within it, and the
then parson becomes acquainted with you all."--And now was the new
steeple-globe, with the leaden cup in which lay the names of the
by-standers, at length full-laden, so to speak, and saturated, and
fixed to the pulley-rope;--and so did this the whilom cupping-glass of
the community ascend aloft....

By Heaven! the unadorned style is here a thing beyond my power: for
when the Ball moved, swung, mounted, there rose a drumming in the
centre of the steeple; and the Schoolmaster, who, till now, had looked
down through a sounding-hole directed towards the congregation, now
stepped out with a trumpet at a side sounding-hole, which the mounting
Ball was not to cross.--But when the whole Church rung and pealed, the
nearer the capital approached its crown,--and when the Slater clutched
it and turned it round, and happily incorporated the spike of it, and
delivered down, between Heaven and Earth, and leaning on the Ball, a
Topstone-speech to this and all of us,--and when my gossip's eyes, in
his rapture at being Parson on this great day, were running over, and
the tears trickling down his priestly garment;--I believe I was the
only man--as his mother was the only woman--whose souls a common grief
laid hold of to press them even to bleeding; for I and the mother had
yesternight, as I shall tell more largely afterwards, discovered in the
little chest of the drowned boy, from a memorial in his father's hand,
that, on the day after the morrow, on Cantata-Sunday and his baptismal
Sunday, he would be--two-and-thirty-years of age. "Oh!" thought I,
while I looked at the blue heaven, the green graves, the glittering
ball, the weeping priest, "so, at all times, stands poor man with
bandaged eyes before thy sharp sword, incomprehensible Destiny! And
when thou drawest it and brandishest it aloft, he listens with pleasure
to the whizzing of the stroke before it falls!"--

Last night I was aware of it; but to the reader, whom I was preparing
for it afar off, I would tell nothing of the mournful news, that, in
the press of the dead brother, I had found an old Bible which the boys
had used at school, with a white blank leaf in it, on which the father
had written down the dates of his children's birth. And even this it
was that raised in thee, thou poor mother, the shade of sorrow which of
late we have been attributing to smaller causes; and thy heart was
still standing amid the rain, which seemed to us already past over and
changed into a rainbow!--Out of love to him, she had yearly told one
falsehood, and concealed his age. By extreme good luck, he had not been
present when the press was opened. I still purpose, after this fatal
Sunday, to surprise him with the party-colored relics of his childhood,
and so of these old Christmas-presents to make him new ones. In the
mean while, if I and his mother can but follow him incessantly,
like fishhook-floats, and foot clogs, through to-morrow and next
day, that no murderous accident lift aside the curtain from his
birth-certificate,--all may yet be well. For now, in truth, to his
eyes, this birthday, in the metamorphotic mirror of his superstitious
imagination, and behind the magnifying magic vapor of his present joys,
would burn forth like a red death-warrant.... But besides all this, the
leaf of the Bible is now sitting higher than any of us, namely, in the
new steeple-ball, into which I this morning prudently introduced it.
Properly speaking, there is indeed no danger.

                         THIRTEENTH LETTER-BOX.


To-day is that stupid Cantata-Sunday; but nothing now remains of it
save an hour.--By Heaven! in right spirits were we all to-day. I
believe I have drunk as faithfully as another.--In truth, one
should be moderate in all things, in writing, in drinking, in
rejoicing; and as we lay straws into the honey for our bees, that
they may not drown in their sugar, so ought one at all times to lay a
few firm Principles and twigs from the tree of Knowledge into the
Syrup of life, instead of those same bee-straws, that so one may cling
thereto, and not drown like a rat. But now I do purpose in earnest
to--write (and also live) with steadfastness; and therefore, that I may
record the christening ceremony with greater coolness,--to besprinkle
my fire with the night-air, and to roam out for an hour into the
blossom-and-wave-embroidered night, where a lukewarm breath of air,
intoxicated with soft odors, is sinking down from the blossom-peaks to
the low-bent flowers, and roaming over the meadows, and at last
launching on a wave, and with it sailing down the moonshiny brook. O,
without, under the stars, under the tones of the nightingale, which
seem to reverberate, not from the echo, but from the far-off
down-glancing worlds; beside that moon, which the gushing brook, in its
flickering, watery band, is carrying away, and which creeps under the
little shadows of the bank as under clouds,--O, amid such forms and
tones, the heart of man grows serious; and as of old an evening bell
was rung to direct the wanderer through the deep forests to his nightly
home, so in our Night are such voices within us and about us, which
call to us in our strayings, and make us calmer, and teach us to
moderate our own joys, and to conceive those of others.

                               *   *   *

I return, peaceful and cool enough, to my narrative. All yesternight I
left not the worthy Parson half an hour from my sight, to guard him
from poisoning the well of his life. Full of paternal joy, and with the
skeleton of the sermon (he was committing it to memory) in his hand, he
set before me all that he had; and pointed out to me the fruit-baskets
of pleasures which Cantata-Sunday always plucked and filled for him. He
recounted to me, as I did not go away, his baptisms, his accidents of
office; told me of his relatives; and removed my uncertainty with
regard to the public revenues--of his parish, to the number of his
communicants and expected catechumens. At this point, however, I am
afraid that many a reader will in vain endeavor to transport himself
into my situation, and still be unable to discover why I said to
Fixlein, "Worthy gossip, better no man could wish himself." I lied not,
for so it is.... But look in the Note.[63]

At last rose the Sunday, the present; and on this holy day, simply
because my little godson was for going over to Christianity, there was
a vast racket made; every time a conversion happens, especially of
nations, there is an uproaring and a shooting; I refer to the two
Thirty Years' Wars, to the more recent one, and to the earlier, which
Charlemagne so long carried on with the heathen Saxons; thus, in the
_Palais Royal_, the Sun, at his transit over the meridian, fires off a
cannon.[64] But this morning the little Unchristian, my godson, was
precisely the person least attended to; for, in thinking of the
conversion, they had no time left to think of the convert. Therefore I
strolled about with him myself half the forenoon; and in our walk,
hastily conferred on him a private baptism; having named him _Jean
Paul_ before the priest did so. At midday, we sent the beef away as it
had come; the Sun of happiness having desiccated all our gastric
juices. We now began to look about us for pomp; I for scientific
decorations of my hair, my godson for his christening-shirt, and his
mother for her dress-cap. Yet before the child's-rattle of the
christening-bell had been jingled, I and the midwife, in front of the
mother's bed, instituted Physiognomical Travels on the countenance of
the small Unchristian, and returned with the discovery, that some
features had been embossed by the pattern of the mother, and many firm
portions resembled me; a double similarity, in which my readers can
take little interest. _Jean Paul_ looks very sensible for his years, or
rather for his minutes, for it is the small one I am speaking of.----

But now I would ask, what German writer durst take it upon him to
spread out and paint a large historic sheet, representing the whole of
us as we went to church? Would he not require to draw the father, with
swelling canonicals, moving forward slowly, devoutly, and full of
emotion? Would he not have to sketch the godfather, minded this day to
lend out his names, which he derived from two Apostles (John and Paul),
as Julius Cæsar lent out his names to two things still living even now
(to a month and a throne)?--And must he not put the godson on his
sheet, with whom even the Emperor Joseph (in his need of nurse-milk)
might become a foster-brother, in his old days, if he were still in

In my chamber, I have a hundred times determined to smile at
solemnities, in the midst of which I afterwards, while assisting at
them, involuntarily wore a petrified countenance, full of dignity and
seriousness. For, as the Schoolmaster, just before the baptism,
began to sound the organ--an honor never paid to any other child in
Hukelum,--and when I saw the wooden christening-angel, like an alighted
Genius, with his painted timber arm spread out under the baptismal
ewer, and I myself came to stand close by him, under his gilt wing, I
protest the blood went slow and solemn, warm and close, through my
pulsing head, and my lungs full of sighs; and to the silent darling
lying in my arms, whose unripe eyes Nature yet held closed from the
full perspective of the Earth, I wished, with more sadness than I do to
myself, for his Future also as soft a sleep as to-day; and as good an
angel as to-day, but a more living one, to guide him into a more living
religion, and, with invisible hand, conduct him unlost through the
forest of Life, through its falling trees, and Wild Hunters,[65] and
all its storms and perils.... Will the world not excuse me, if when, by
a side-glance, I saw on the paternal countenance prayers for the son,
and tears of joy trickling down into the prayer; and when I noticed on
the countenance of the grandmother far darker and fast-hidden drops,
which she could not restrain, while I, in answer to the ancient
question, engaged to provide for the child if its parents died,--am I
not to be excused if I then cast my eyes deep down on my little godson,
merely to hide their running over?--For I remembered that his father
might perhaps this very day grow pale and cold before a suddenly
arising mask of Death; I thought how the poor little one had only
changed his bent posture in the womb with a freer one, to bend and
cramp himself erelong more harshly in the strait arena of life; I
thought of his inevitable follies, and errors, and sins; of these
soiled steps to the Grecian Temple of our Perfection; I thought that
one day his own fire of genius might reduce himself to ashes, as a man
that is electrified can kill himself with his own lightning.... All the
theological wishes, which, on the godson-billet printed over with them,
I placed in his young bosom, were glowing written in mine.... But the
white feathered-pink of my joy had then, as it always has, a bloody
point within it,--I again, as it always is, went to nest, like a
woodpecker, in a skull.... And as I am doing so even now, let the
describing of the baptism be over for to-day, and proceed again

                         FOURTEENTH LETTER-BOX.

Oh, so it is ever! So does Fate set fire to the theatre of our little
plays, and our bright-painted curtain of Futurity! So does the
Serpent of Eternity wind round us and our joys, and crush, like the
royal-snake, what it does not poison! Thou good Fixlein!--Ah! last
night, I little thought that thou, mild soul, while I was writing
beside thee, wert already journeying into the poisonous Earth-shadow of

Last night, late as it was, he opened the lead box found in the old
steeple-ball; a catalogue of those who had subscribed to the last
repairing of the church was there; and he began to read it now; my
presence and his occupations having prevented him before. O, how shall
I tell that the record of his birth-year, which I had hidden in the new
Ball, was waiting for him in the old one; that in the register of
contributions he found his father's name, with the appendage, "given
for his new-born son Egidius?"--

This stroke sunk deep into his bosom, even to the rending of it
asunder; in this warm hour, full of paternal joy, after such fair days,
after such fair employments, after dread of death so often survived,
here, in the bright, smooth sea, which is rocking and bearing him
along, starts snorting, from the bottomless abyss, the sea-monster
Death; and the monster's throat yawns wide, and the silent sea rushes
into it in whirlpools, and hurries him along with it.

But the patient man, quietly and slowly, and with a heart silent,
though deadly cold, laid the leaves together; looked softly and firmly
over the churchyard, where, in the moonshine, the grave of his father
was to be distinguished; gazed timidly up to the sky, full of stars,
which a white overarching laurel-tree screened from his sight;--and
though he longed to be in bed, to settle there and sleep it off, yet he
paused at the window to pray for his wife and child, in case this night
were his last.

At this moment the steeple-clock struck twelve; but, from the breaking
of a pin, the weights kept rolling down, and the clock-hammer struck
without stopping,--and he heard with horror the chains and wheels
rattling along; and he felt as if Death were hurling forth in a heap
all the longer hours which he might yet have had to live,--and now, to
his eyes, the churchyard began to quiver and heave, the moonlight
flickered on the church-windows, and in the church there were lights
flitting to and fro, and in the charnel-house was a motion and a

His heart fainted within him, and he threw himself into bed, and closed
his eyes that he might not see;--but Imagination in the gloom now blew
aloft the dust of the dead, and whirled it into giant shapes, and
chased these hollow, fever-born masks alternately into lightning and
shadow. Then at last from transparent thoughts grew colored visions,
and he dreamed this dream. He was standing at the window looking out
into the churchyard; and Death, in size as a scorpion, was creeping
over it, and seeking for his bones. Death found some arm-bones and
thigh-bones on the graves, and said, "They are my bones"; and he took a
spine and the bone-legs, and stood with them, and the two arm-bones and
clutched with them, and found on the grave of Fixlein's father a skull,
and put it on. Then he lifted a scythe beside the little flower-garden,
and cried: "Fixlein, where art thou? My finger is an icicle and no
finger, and I will tap on thy heart with it." The Skeleton, thus piled
together, now looked for him who was standing at the window, and
powerless to stir from it; and carried in the one hand, instead of a
sand-glass, the ever-striking steeple-clock, and held out the finger of
ice, like a dagger, far into the air....

Then he saw his victim above at the window, and raised himself
as high as the laurel-tree to stab straight into his bosom with the
finger,--and stalked towards him. But as he came nearer, his pale bones
grew redder, and vapors floated woolly round his haggard form. Flowers
started up from the ground; and he stood transfigured and without the
clamm of the grave, hovering above them, and the balm-breath from the
flower-cups wafted him gently on;--and as he came nearer, the scythe
and clock were gone, and in his bony breast he had a heart, and on his
bony head red lips;--and nearer still, there gathered on him soft,
transparent, rosebalm-dipped flesh, like the splendor of an Angel
flying hither from the starry blue;--and close at hand, he was an Angel
with shut snow-white eyelids....

The heart of my friend, quivering like a Harmonica-bell, now melted in
bliss in his clear bosom;--and when the Angel opened its eyes, his were
pressed together by the weight of celestial rapture, and his dream fled

But not his life; he opened his hot eyes, and--his good wife had hold
of his feverish hand, and was standing in room of the Angel.

The fever abated towards morning; but the certainty of dying still
throbbed in every artery of the hapless man. He called for his fair
little infant into his sick-bed, and pressed it silently, though it
began to cry, too hard against his paternal, heavy-laden breast. Then
towards noon his soul became cool, and the sultry thunder-clouds within
it drew back. And here he described to us the previous (as it were,
arsenical) fantasies of his usually quiet head. But it is even those
tense nerves, which have not quivered at the touch of a poetic hand
striking them to melody of sorrow, that start and fly asunder more
easily under the fierce hand of Fate, when with sweeping stroke it
smites into discord the firm-set strings.

But towards night his ideas again began rushing in a torch-dance, like
fire-pillars round his soul; every artery became a burning-rod, and the
heart drove flaming naphtha-brooks into the brain. All within his soul
grew bloody; the blood of his drowned brother united itself with the
blood which had once flowed from Thiennette's arm, into a bloody
rain;--he still thought he was in the garden in the night of
betrothment, he still kept calling for bandages to stanch blood, and
was for hiding his head in the ball of the steeple. Nothing afflicts
one more than to see a reasonable, moderate man, who has been so even
in his passions, raving in the poetic madness of fever. And yet if
nothing save this mouldering corruption can soothe the hot brain; and
if, while the reek and thick vapor of a boiling nervous-spirit and the
hissing water-spouts of the veins are encircling and eclipsing the
stifled soul, a higher Finger presses through the cloud, and suddenly
lifts the poor bewildered spirit from amid the smoke to a sun,--is it
more just to complain, than to reflect that Fate is like the oculist,
who, when about to open to a blind eye the world of light, first
bandages and darkens the other eye that sees?

But the sorrow does affect me, which I read on Thiennette's pale lips,
though do not hear. It is not the distortion of an excruciating agony,
nor the burning of a dried-up eye, nor the loud lamenting or violent
movement of a tortured frame, that I see in her; but what I am forced
to see in her, and what too keenly cuts the sympathizing heart, is a
pale, still, unmoved, undistorted face, a pale, bloodless head, which
Sorrow is as it were holding up after the stroke, like a head just
severed by the axe of the headsman; for oh! on this form the wounds,
from which the three-edged dagger had been drawn, are all fallen firmly
together, and the blood is flowing from them in secret into the choking
heart. O Thiennette, go away from the sick-bed, and hide that face
which is saying to us: "Now do I know that I shall not have any
happiness on Earth; now do I give over hoping,--would this life were
but soon done!"

You will not comprehend my sympathy, if you know not what, some hours
ago, the too loud lamenting mother told me. Thiennette, who of old had
always trembled for his thirty-second year, had encountered this
superstition with a nobler one; she had purposely stood farther back at
the marriage-altar, and in the bridal-night fallen sooner asleep than
he; thereby--as is the popular belief--so to order it that she might
also die sooner. Nay, she has determined, if he die, to lay with his
corpse a piece of her apparel, that so she may descend the sooner to
keep him company in his narrow house. Thou good, thou faithful wife,
but thou unhappy one!--

                             CHAPTER LAST.

I have left Hukelum, and my gossip his bed; and the one is as sound as
the other. The cure was as foolish as the malady. It first occurred to
me, that, as Boerhaave used to remedy convulsions by convulsions, one
fancy might in my gossip's case be remedied by another; namely, by the
fancy that he was yet no man of thirty-two, but only a man of six or
nine. Deliriums are dreams not encircled by sleep; and all dreams
transport us back into youth, why not deliriums too? I accordingly
directed every one to leave the patient; only his mother, while the
fiercest meteors were darting, hissing before his fevered soul, was to
sit down by him alone, and speak to him as if he were a child of eight
years. The bed-mirror also I directed her to cover. She did so; she
spoke to him as if he had the small-pox fever; and when he cried,
"Death is standing with two-and-thirty pointed teeth before me,
to eat my heart," she said to him, "Little dear, I will give thee thy
roller-hat, and thy copy-book, and thy case, and thy hussar-cloak
again, and more too if thou wilt be good." A reasonable speech he would
have taken up and heeded much less than he did this foolish one.

At last she said,--for to women in the depth of sorrow dissimulation
becomes easy,--"Well, I will try it this once, and give thee thy
playthings; but do the like again, thou rogue, and roll thyself about
in the bed so, with the smallpox on thee!" And with this, from her full
apron she shook out on the bed the whole stock of playthings and
dressing-ware, which I had found in the press of the drowned brother.
First of all his copy-book, where Egidius in his eighth year had put
down his name, which he necessarily recognized as his own handwriting;
then the black velvet _fall-hat_ or roller-cap; then the red and white
leading-strings; his knife-case, with a little pamphlet of tin leaves;
his green hussar-cloak, with its stiff facings; and a whole _orbis
pictus_ or _fictus_ of Nürnberg puppets....

The sick man recognized in a moment these projecting peaks of a
spring-world sunk in the stream of Time,--these half shadows, this dusk
of down-gone days,--this conflagration-place and Golgotha of a heavenly
time, which none of us forgets, which we love forever, and look back to
even from the grave.... And when he saw all this, he slowly turned
round his head, as if he were awakening from a long, heavy dream; and
his whole heart flowed down in warm showers of tears, and he said,
fixing his full eyes on the eyes of his mother: "But are my father and
brother still living then?"--"They are dead lately," said the wounded
mother; but her heart was overpowered, and she turned away her eyes,
and bitter tears fell unseen from her down-bent head. And now at once
that evening, when he lay confined to bed by the death of his father,
and was cured by his playthings, overflowed his soul with splendor and
lights, and presence of the Past.

And so Delirium dyed for itself rosy wings in the Aurora of life, and
fanned the panting soul,--and shook down golden butterfly-dust from its
plumage on the path, on the flowerage of the suffering man;--in the far
distance rose lovely tones, in the distance floated lovely clouds--O
his heart was like to fall in pieces, but only into fluttering
flower-stamina, into soft sentient nerves; his eyes were like to melt
away, but only into dew-drops for the cups of joy-blossoms, into
blood-drops for loving hearts; his soul was floating, palpitating,
drinking, and swimming in the warm, relaxing rose-perfume of the
brightest delusion....

The rapture bridled his feverish heart; and his mad pulse grew calm.
Next morning his mother, when she saw that all was prospering, would
have had the church-bells rung, to make him think that the second
Sunday was already here. But his wife (perhaps out of shame in my
presence) was averse to the lying; and said it would be all the same if
we moved the month-hand of his clock (but otherwise than Hezekiah's
Dial) eight days forward; especially as he was wont rather to rise and
look at his clock for the day of the month, then to turn it up in the
almanac. I for my own part simply went up to the bedside, and asked
him: "If he was cracked--what in the world he meant with his mad
death-dreams, when he had lain so long, and passed clean over the
Cantata-Sunday, and yet, out of sheer terror, was withering to a lath?"

A glorious reinforcement joined me; the Flesher or Quartermaster. In
his anxiety, he rushed into the room, without saluting the women, and I
forthwith addressed him aloud: "My gossip here is giving me trouble
enough, Mr. Regiments-Quartermaster; last night, he let them persuade
him he was little older than his own son; here is the child's fall-hat
he was for putting on." The Guardian deuced and devilled, and said:
"Ward, are you a parson or a fool?--Have not I told you twenty times,
there was a maggot in your head about this?"--

At last he himself perceived that he was not rightly wise, and so grew
better; besides the guardian's invectives, my oaths contributed a good
deal; for I swore I would hold him as no right gossip, and edit no word
of his Biography, unless he rose directly and got better....

--In short, he showed so much politeness to me that he rose and got
better.--He was still sickly, it is true, on Saturday; and on Sunday
could not preach a sermon (something of the sort the Schoolmaster read,
instead); but yet he took Confessions on Saturday, and at the altar
next day he dispensed the Sacrament. Service ended, the feast of his
recovery was celebrated, my farewell-feast included; for I was to go in
the afternoon.

This last afternoon I will chalk out with all possible breadth, and
then, with the pentagraph of free garrulity, fill up the outline and
draw on the great scale.

During the Thanksgiving-repast, there arrived considerable personal
tribute from his catechumens, and fairings by way of bonfire for his
recovery; proving how much the people loved him, and how well he
deserved it; for one is oftener hated without reason by the many, than
without reason loved by them. But Fixlein was friendly to every
child; was none of those clergy who never pardon their enemies except
in--God's stead; and he praised at once the whole world, his wife, and

I then attended at his afternoon's catechizing; and looked down (as he
did in the first Letter-Box) from the choir, under the wing of the
wooden cherub. Behind this angel, I drew out my note-book, and
shifted a little under the cover of the Black Board, with its white
Psalm-ciphers,[66] and wrote down what I was there--thinking. I was
well aware, that when I to-day, on the twenty-fifth of May retired from
this _Salernic_[67] spinning-school, where one is taught to spin out
the thread of life, in fairer wise, and without wetting it by foreign
mixtures,--I was well aware, I say, that I should carry off with me far
more elementary principles of the Science of Happiness than the whole
Chamberlain piquet ever muster all their days. I noted down my first
impression, in the following Rules of Life for myself and the press.

"Little joys refresh us constantly like house-bread, and never bring
disgust; and great ones, like sugar-bread, briefly, and then bring
it.--Trifles we should let, not plague us only, but also gratify us; we
should seize not their poison-bags only, but their honey-bags also; and
if flies often buzz about our room, we should, like Domitian, amuse
ourselves with flies, or, like a certain still living Elector,[68] feed
them.--For _civic_ life and its micrologies, for which the Parson has a
natural taste, we must acquire an artificial one; must learn to love
without esteeming it; learn, far as it ranks beneath _human_ life, to
enjoy it like another twig of this human life, as poetically as we do
the pictures of it in romances. The loftiest mortal loves and seeks the
_same sort_ of things with the meanest; only from higher grounds and by
higher paths. Be every minute, Man, a full life to thee!--Despise
anxiety and wishing, the Future and the Past!--If the _Second-pointer_
can be no road-pointer into an Eden for thy soul, the _Month-pointer_
will still less be so, for thou livest not from month to month, but
from second to second! Enjoy thy Existence more than thy Manner of
Existence, and let the dearest object of thy Consciousness be this
Consciousness itself!--Make not the Present a means of thy Future;
for this Future is nothing but a coming Present; and the Present,
which thou despisest, was once a Future which thou desiredst!--Stake
in no lotteries,--keep at home,--give and accept no pompous
entertainments,--travel not abroad every year!--Conceal not from
thyself, by long plans, thy household goods, thy chamber, thy
acquaintance!--Despise Life, that thou mayst enjoy it!--Inspect the
neighborhood of thy life; every shelf, every nook of thy abode; and
nestling in, quarter thyself in the farthest and most domestic winding
of thy snail-house!--Look upon a capital but as a collection of
villages, a village as some blind-alley of a capital; fame as the talk
of neighbors at the street-door; a library as a learned conversation,
joy as a second, sorrow as a minute, life as a day; and three things as
all in all: God, Creation, Virtue!"----

And if I would follow myself and these rules, it will behoove me not to
make so much of this Biography; but once for all, like a moderate man,
to let it sound out.

After the Catechizing, I stept down to my wide-gowned and black-gowned
gossip. The congregation gone, we clambered up to all high places,
perused the plates on the pews--I took a lesson on the altar on its
inscription incrusted with the _sediment of Time_ (I speak not
metaphorically); I organed, my gossip managing the bellows; I mounted
the pulpit, and was happy enough there to alight on one other
rose-shoot, which in the farewell minute, I could still plant in the
rose-garden of my Fixlein. For I descried aloft, on the back of a
wooden Apostle, the name _Lavater_, which the Zurich Physiognomist had
been pleased to leave on this sacred Torso in the course of his
wayfaring. Fixlein did not know the hand, but I did, for I had seen it
frequently in Flachsenfingen, not only on the tapestry of a Court Lady
there, but also in his _Hand-Library_;[69] and met with it besides in
many country churches, forming, as it were, the Directory and
Address-Calendar of this wandering name, for Lavater likes to inscribe
in pulpits, as a shepherd does in trees, the name of his beloved. I
could now advise my gossip prudently to cut away the name, with the
chip of wood containing it, from the back of the Apostle, and to
preserve it carefully among his _curiosa_.

On returning to the parsonage, I made for my hat and stick; but the
design, as it were the projection and contour of a supper in the
acacia-grove, had already been sketched by Thiennette. I declared that
I would stay till evening, in case the young mother went out with us to
the proposed meal.... and truly the Biographer at length got his way,
all doctors' regulations notwithstanding.

I then constrained the Parson to put on his Kräutermütze,[70] or
Herb-cap, which he had stitched together out of simples for the
strengthening of his memory: "Would to Heaven," said I, "that Princes
instead of their Princely Hats, Doctors and Cardinals instead
of theirs, and Saints instead of martyr-crowns, would clap such
memory-bonnets on their heads!"--Thereupon, till the roasting and
cooking within doors were over, we marched out alone over the parsonage
meadows, and talked of learned matters, we packed ourselves into the
ruined Robber-Castle, on which my gossip, as already mentioned,
has a literary work in hand. I deeply approved, the rather as this
Kidnapper-tower had once belonged to an Aufhammer, his intention of
dedicating the description to the Rittmeister; that nobleman, I think,
will sooner give his name to the Book than to the Shock. For the rest,
I exhorted my fellow-craftsman to pluck up literary heart, and said to
him: "A fearless pen, good gossip! Let Subrector Hans von Füchslein be,
if he like, the Dragon of the Apocalypse, lying in wait for the
delivery of the fugitive Woman, to swallow the offspring; I am there
too, and have my friend the Editor of the _Litteraturzeitung_ at my
side, who will gladly permit me to give an _anticritique_ on paying the
insertion-dues!"--I especially excited him to new fillings and
return-freights of his Letter-Boxes. I have not taken oath that into
this biographical chest-of-drawers I will not in the course of time
introduce another Box. "Neither to my godson, worthy gossip, will it do
any harm that he is presented, poor child, even now to the reading
public, when he does not count more months than, as Horace will have
it, a literary child should count years, namely, _nine_."

In walking homewards, I praised his wife. "If marriage," said I to him,
"is the madder which in maids, as in cotton, makes the colors visible,
then I contend, that Thiennette, when a maid, could scarcely be so good
as she is now when a wife. By Heaven! in such a marriage, I should
write Books of quite another sort, divine ones; in a marriage, I mean,
where beside the writing-table (as beside the great voting-table at the
Regensburg Diets, there are little tables of confectionery); where in
like manner, I say, a little jar of marmalade were standing by me,
namely, a sweetened, dainty, lovely face, and out of measure fond of
the Letter-Box-writer, gossip! Your marriage will resemble the
acacia-grove we are now going to, the leaves of which grow thicker with
the heat of summer, while other shrubs are yielding only shrunk and
porous shade."

As we entered through the upper garden-door into this same bower, the
supper and the good mistress were already there. Nothing is more pure
and tender than the respect with which a wife treats the benefactor or
comrade of her husband; and happily the Biographer himself was this
comrade, and the object of this respect. Our talk was cheerful, but my
spirit was oppressed. The fetters, which bind the mere reader to my
heroes, were in my case of triple force; as I was at once their guest
and their portrait-painter. I told the Parson that he would live to a
greater age than I, for that his temperate temperament was balanced, as
if by a doctor, so equally between the nervousness of refinement and
the hot thick-bloodedness of the rustic. Fixlein said that if he lived
but as long as he had done, namely, two-and-thirty years, it would
amount, exclusive of the leap-year-days, to 280,320 seconds, which in
itself was something considerable; and that he often reckoned up with
satisfaction the many thousand persons of his own age that would have a
life equally long.

At last I tried to get in motion; for the red lights of the falling sun
were mounting up over the grove, and dipping us still deeper in the
shadows of night; the young mother had grown chill in the evening dew.
In confused mood, I invited the Parson to visit me soon in the city,
where I would show him not only all the chambers of the Palace, but the
Prince himself. Gladder there was nothing this day on our old world
than the face to which I said so; and than the other one which was
the mild reflection of the former.--For the Biographer it would
have been too hard, if now in that minute, when his fancy, like
mirror-telescopes, was representing every object in a _tremulous_ form,
he had been obliged to cut and run; if, I will say, it had not occurred
to him that to the young mother it could do little harm (but much good)
were she to take a short walk, and assist in escorting the Author and
architect of the present Letter-Box out of the garden to his road.

In short, I took this couple one in each hand, instead of under each
arm, and moved with them through the garden to the Flachsenfingen
highway. I often abruptly turned round my head between them, as if I
had heard some one coming after us; but in reality I only meant once
more, though mournfully, to look back into the happy hamlet, whose
houses were all dwellings of contented still Sabbath-joy, and which is
happy enough, though over its wide-parted pavement-stones there passes
every week but one barber, every holiday but one dresser of hair, and
every year but one hawker of parasols. Then truly I had again to turn
round my head, and look at the happy pair beside me. My otherwise
affectionate gossip could not rightly suit himself to these tokens of
sorrow; but in thy heart, thou good, so oft afflicted sex, every
mourning-bell soon finds its unison; and Thiennette, ennobled with the
thin trembling _resonance_ of a reverberating soul, gave me back all my
tones with the beauties of an echo.---- At last we reached the
boundary, over which Thiennette could not be allowed to walk; and now
must I part from my gossip, with whom I had talked so gayly every
morning (each of us from his bed), and from the still circuit of modest
hope where he dwelt, and return once more to the rioting, fermenting
Court-sphere, where men in bull-beggar tone demand from Fate a root of
Life-Licorice, thick as the arm, like the botanical one on the Wolga,
not so much that they may chew the sweet bean themselves, as fell
others to earth with it.

As I thought to myself that I would say, Farewell! to them, all the
coming plagues, all the corpses, and all the marred wishes of this
good pair, arose before my heart; and I remembered that little, save
the falling asleep of joy-flowers, would mark the current of their
Life-day, as it does of mine and of every one's.--And yet is it fairer,
if they measure their years not by the _Water-clock_ of falling tears,
but by the _Flower-clock_[71] of asleep-going flowers, whose bells in
our short-lived garden are sinking together before us from hour to

I would even now--for I still recollect how I hung with streaming eyes
over these two loved ones, as over their corpses--address myself, and
say: Far too soft, _Jean Paul_, whose chalk still sketches the models
of Nature on a ground of Melancholy; harden thy heart like thy frame,
and waste not thyself and others by such thoughts. Yet why should I do
it, why should I not confess directly what, in the softest emotion, I
said to these two beings? "May all go right with you, ye mild beings,"
I said, for I no longer thought of courtesies, "may the arm of
Providence bear gently your lacerated hearts, and the good Father,
above all these suns which are now looking down on us, keep you ever
united, and exalt you still undivided to his bosom and his lips!" "Be
you, too, right happy and glad!" said Thiennette. "And to you,
Thiennette," continued I, "Ah! to your pale cheeks, to your oppressed
heart, to your long cold maltreated youth, I can never, never wish
enough. No! But all that can soothe a wounded soul, that can please a
pure one, that can still the hidden sigh--O, all that you deserve--may
this be given you; and when you see me again, then say to me, 'I am now
much happier!'"

We were all of us too deeply moved. We at last tore ourselves asunder
from repeated embraces; my friend retired with the soul whom he
loves,--I remained alone behind him with the Night.

And I walked without aim through woods, through valleys, and over
brooks, and through sleeping villages, to enjoy the great Night like a
Day. I walked, and still looked like the magnet to the region of
midnight, to strengthen my heart at the gleaming twilight, at
this upstretching Aurora of a morning beneath our feet. White
night-butterflies flitted, white blossoms fluttered, white stars fell,
and the white snow-powder hung silvery in the high Shadow of the Earth,
which reaches beyond the Moon, and which is our Night. Then began the
Æolian Harp of the Creation to tremble and to sound, blown on from
above, and my immortal soul was a string in this Harp.--The heart
of a brother everlasting Man swelled under the everlasting Heaven,
as the seas swell under the Sun and under the Moon.--The distant
village-clocks struck midnight, mingling, as it were, with the
ever-pealing tone of ancient Eternity.--The limbs of my buried ones
touched cold on my soul, and drove away its blots, as dead hands heal
eruptions of the skin.--I walked silently through little hamlets, and
close by their outer churchyards, where crumbled upcast coffin-boards
were glimmering, while the once bright eyes that had lain in them were
mouldered into gray ashes.--Cold thought! clutch not like a cold
spectre at my heart; I look up to the starry sky, and an everlasting
chain stretches thither, and over and below; and all is Life, and
Warmth, and Light, and all is godlike or God....

Towards morning I descried thy late lights, little city of my dwelling,
which I belong to on this side the grave; I return to the Earth; and in
thy steeples, behind the by-advanced great Midnight, it struck half
past two; about this hour, in 1794, Mars went down in the west, and the
Moon rose in the east; and my soul desired, in grief for the noble
warlike blood which is still streaming on the blossoms of Spring: "Ah,
retire, bloody War, like red Mars; and thou, still Peace, come forth
like the mild divided Moon!"--

                       ARMY-CHAPLAIN SCHMELZLE'S
                           JOURNEY TO FLÄTZ;


                     A RUNNING COMMENTARY OF NOTES.

                     TRANSLATED BY THOMAS CARLYLE.


This, I conceive, may be managed in two words. The _first_ word must
relate to the Circular Letter of Army-Chaplain Schmelzle, wherein he
describes to his friends his Journey to the metropolitan city of Flätz;
after having, in an Introduction, premised some proofs and assurances
of his valor. Properly speaking, the _Journey_ itself has been written
purely with a view that his courageousness, impugned by rumor, may be
fully evinced and demonstrated by the plain facts which he therein
records. Whether, in the mean time, there shall not be found certain
quick-scented readers, who may infer, directly contrariwise, that his
breast is not everywhere bomb-proof, especially in the left side,--on
this point I keep my judgment suspended.

For the rest, I beg the judges of literature, as well as their
satellites, the critics of literature, to regard this _Journey_, for
whose literary contents I, as Editor, am answerable, solely in the
light of a Portrait (in the French sense), a little Sketch of
Character. It is a voluntary or involuntary comedy-piece, at which I
have laughed so often, that I purpose in time coming to paint some
similar Pictures of Character myself. And, for the present, when could
such a little comic toy be more fitly imparted and set forth to the
world than in these very days, when the sound both of heavy money and
of light laughter has died away from among us,--when, like the Turks,
we count and pay merely with sealed _purses_, and the coin within them
has vanished?

Despicable would it seem to me, if any clownish squire of the
goose-quill should publicly and censoriously demand of me in what way
this self-cabinet-piece of Schmelzle's has come into my hands. I know
it well, and do not disclose it. This comedy-piece, for which I, at all
events, as my Bookseller will testify, draw the profit myself, I got
hold of so unblamably, that I await, with unspeakable composure, what
the Army-Chaplain shall please to say against the publication of it, in
case he say anything at all. My conscience bears me witness, that I
acquired this article at least by more honorable methods than are those
of the learned persons who steal with their ears, who, in the character
of spiritual auditory-thieves, and class-room cut-purses and pirates,
are in the habit of disloading their plundered Lectures, and vending
them up and down the country as productions of their own. Hitherto, in
my whole life, I have stolen little, except now and then in youth

The _second_ word must explain or apologize for the singular form of
this little Work, standing as it does on a substratum of Notes. I
myself am not contented with it. Let the world open, and look, and
determine, in like manner. But the truth is, this line of demarcation,
stretching through the whole book, originated in the following
accident: certain thoughts (or digressions) of my own, with which it
was not permitted me to disturb those of the Army-Chaplain, and which
could only be allowed to fight behind the lines, in the shape of Notes,
I, with a view to conveniency and order, had written down in a separate
paper; at the same time, as will be observed, regularly providing every
Note with its Number, and thus referring it to the proper page of the
main Manuscript. But, in the copying of the latter, I had forgotten to
insert the corresponding numbers in the Text itself. Therefore, let no
man, any more than I do, cast a stone at my worthy Printer, inasmuch as
he (perhaps in the thought that it was my way, that I had some purpose
in it) took these Notes, just as they stood, pellmell, without
arrangement of Numbers, and clapped them under the Text; at the same
time, by a praiseworthy, artful computation, taking care, at least,
that at the bottom of every page in the Text there should some portion
of this glittering Note-precipitate make its appearance. Well, the
thing at any rate is done, nay, perpetuated, namely, printed. After
all, I might almost partly rejoice at it. For, in good truth, had I
meditated for years (as I have done for the last twenty) how to provide
for my digression-comets new orbits, if not focal suns, for my episodes
new epopees,--I could scarce possibly have hit upon a better or more
spacious Limbo for such Vanities than Chance and Printer here
accidentally offer me ready-made. I have only to regret that the thing
has been printed before I could turn it to account. Heavens! what
remotest allusions (had I known it before printing) might not have been
privily introduced in every Text-page and Note-number; and what
apparent incongruity in the real congruity between this upper and under
side of the cards! How vehemently and devilishly might one not have cut
aloft, and to the right and left, from these impregnable casemates and
covered-ways; and what _læsio ultra dimidium_ (injury beyond the half
of the Text) might not, with these satirical injuries, have been
effected and completed!

But Fate meant not so kindly with me; of this golden harvest-field of
satire I was not to be informed till three days before the Preface.

Perhaps, however, the writing world, by the little blue flame of this
accident, may be guided to a weightier acquisition, to a larger
subterranean treasure, than I, alas! have dug up. For, to the writer,
there is now a way pointed out of producing in one marbled volume a
group of altogether different works; of writing in one leaf, for both
sexes at the same time, without confounding them, nay, for the five
faculties all at once, without disturbing their limitations; since
now, instead of boiling up a vile, fermenting shove-together,
fit for nobody, he has nothing to do but draw his note-lines or
partition-lines; and so on his five-story leaf give board and lodging
to the most discordant heads. Perhaps one might then read many a book
for the fourth time, simply because every time one had read but a
fourth part of it.

On the whole, this Work has at least the property of being a short one;
so that the reader, I hope, may almost run through it, and read it at
the bookseller's counter, without, as in the case of thicker volumes,
first needing to buy it. And why, indeed, in this world of Matter
should anything whatever be great, except only what belongs not to it,
the world of Spirit?

                                      Jean Paul Fr. Richter.

_Bayreuth, in the Bay and Peace Month_, 1707.

                           JOURNEY TO FLÄTZ.

   _Circular Letter of the proposed Catechetical Professor_ Attila
      Schmelzle _to his Friends; containing some Account of a Holidays'
      Journey to Flätz, with an Introduction, touching his Flight, and
      his Courage as former Army-Chaplain_.

Nothing can be more ludicrous, my esteemed Friends, than to hear people
stigmatizing a man as cowardly and hare-hearted, who perhaps is
struggling all the while with precisely the opposite faults, those of a
lion; though indeed the African lion himself, since the time of
Sparrmann's Travels, passes among us for poltroon. Yet this case is
mine, worthy Friends; and I purpose to say a few words thereupon,
before describing my journey.


108. Good princes easily obtain good subjects; not so easily good
subjects good princes; thus Adam, in the state of innocence, ruled over
animals all tame and gentle, till simply through his means they fell
and grew savage.


You in truth are all aware that, directly in the teeth of this calumny,
it is courage, it is desperadoes (provided they be not braggarts
and tumultuous persons), whom I chiefly venerate; for example, my
brother-in-law, the Dragoon, who never in his life bastinadoed one man,
but always a whole social circle at the same time. How truculent was my
fancy, even in childhood, when I, as the parson was toning away to the
silent congregation, used to take it into my head: "How now, if thou
shouldst start up from thy pew, and shout aloud, I am here too, Mr.
Parson!" and to paint out this thought in such glowing colors, that,
for very dread, I have often been obliged to leave the church! Anything
like Rugenda's battle-pieces; horrid murder-tumults, sea-fights or
Stormings of Toulon, exploding fleets; and, in my childhood, Battles of
Prague on the harpsichord; nay, in short, every map of any remarkable
scene of war; these are perhaps too much my favorite objects; and I
read--and purchase nothing sooner; and doubtless they might lead me
into many errors, were it not that my circumstances restrain me. Now,
if it be objected that true courage is something higher than mere
thinking and willing, then you, my worthy friends, will be the first to
recognize mine, when it shall break forth into not barren and empty,
but active and effective words, while I strengthen my future
Catechetical Pupils, as well as can be done in a course of College
Lectures, and steel them into Christian heroes.


5. For a good Physician saves, if not always from the disease, at least
from a bad Physician.


It is well known that, out of care for the preservation of my life, I
never walk within at least ten fields of any shore full of bathers or
swimmers; merely because I foresee to a certainty, that, in case one of
them were drowning, I should that moment (for the heart overbalances
the head) plunge after the fool to save him, into some bottomless depth
or other, where we should both perish. And if dreaming is the reflex of
waking, let me ask you, true Hearts, if you have forgotten my relating
to you dreams of mine, which no Cæsar, no Alexander or Luther, need
have felt ashamed of? Have I not, to mention a few instances, taken
Rome by storm; and done battle with the Pope and the whole elephantine
body of the Cardinal College, at one and the same time? Did I
not once on horseback, while simply looking at a review of military,
dash headlong into a _bataillon quarré_; and then capture, in
Aix-la-Chapelle, the Peruke of Charlemagne, for which the town pays
yearly ten reichsthalers of barber-money; and carrying it off to
Halberstadt von Gleim, there in like manner seize the Great Frederick's
Hat; put both Peruke and Hat on my head, and yet return home, after I
had stormed their batteries and turned the cannon against the
cannoneers themselves? Did I not once submit to be made a Jew of, and
then be regaled with hams; though they were ape-hams on the Orinoco
(see Humboldt)? And a thousand such things; for I have thrown the
Consistorial President of Flätz out of the Palace window; those
alarm-fulminators, sold by Heinrich Backofen in Gotha, at six groschen
the dozen, and each going off like a cannon, I have listened to so
calmly that the fulminators did not even awaken me; and more of the
like sort.


100. In books lie the Phoenix-ashes of a past Millennium and Paradise;
but War blows, and much ashes are scattered away.


But enough! It is now time briefly to touch that further slander of my
chaplainship, which unhappily has likewise gained some circulation in
Flätz, but which, as Cæsar did Alexander, I shall now by my touch
dissipate into dust. Be what truth in it there can, it is still little
or nothing. Your great Minister and General in Flätz (perhaps the very
greatest in the world, for there are not many Schabackers) may indeed,
like any other great man, be turned against me; but not with the
Artillery of Truth; for this Artillery I here set before you, my good
Hearts, and do you but fire it off for my advantage! The matter is
this. Certain foolish rumors are afloat in the Flätz country, that I,
on occasion of some important battles, took leg-bail (such is their
plebeian phrase), and that afterwards, on the Chaplain's being called
for to preach a Thanksgiving sermon for the victory, no chaplain
whatever was to be found. The ridiculousness of this story will best
appear, when I tell you that I never was in any action; but have always
been accustomed, several hours prior to such an event, to withdraw so
many miles to the rear, that our men, so soon as they were beaten,
would be sure to find me. A good retreat is reckoned the masterpiece in
the art of war; and at no time can a retreat be executed with such
order, force, and security as just before the battle, when you are not
yet beaten.


102. Dear Political or Religious Inquisitor! Art thou aware that Turin
tapers never rightly begin shining till thou breakest them, and then
they take fire?


It is true, I might perhaps, as expectant Professor of Catechetics, sit
still and smile at such nugatory speculations on my courage; for if by
Socratic questioning I can hammer my future Catechist Pupils into the
habit of asking questions in their turn, I shall thereby have tempered
_them_ into heroes, seeing they have nothing to fight with but
children--(Catechists at all events, though dreading fire, have no
reason to dread light, since in our days, as in London illuminations,
it is only the _unlighted_ windows that are battered in; whereas, in
other ages, it was with nations and light as it is with dogs and water;
if you give them none for a long time, they at last get a horror at
it);--and on the whole, for Catechists, any park looks kindlier, and
smiles more sweetly, than a sulphurous park of artillery; and the
Warlike Foot, which the age is placed on, is to them the true Devil's
cloven-foot of human nature.


86. Very true! In youth we love and enjoy the most ill-assorted
friends, perhaps more than, in old age, the best assorted.


But for my part I think not so; almost as if the party spirit of my
Christian name, Attila, had passed into me more strongly than was
proper, I feel myself impelled still further to prove my
courageousness; which, dearest Friends! I shall here in a few lines
again do. This proof I could manage by mere inferences and learned
citations. For example, if Galen remarks that animals with large
hind-quarters are timid, I have nothing to do but turn round, and show
the enemy my back and what is under it, in order to convince him that I
am not deficient in valor, but in flesh. Again, if by well-known
experiences it has been found that flesh-eating produces courage, I can
evince that in this particular I yield to no officer of the service;
though it is the habit of these gentlemen not only to run up long
scores of roast-meat with their landlords, but also to leave them
unpaid, that so at every hour they may have an open document in the
hands of the enemy himself (the landlord), testifying that they have
eaten their own share (with some of other people's too), and so put
common butcher-meat on a War-footing, living not like others _by_
bravery, but _for_ bravery. As little have I ever, in my character of
chaplain, shrunk from comparison with any officer in the regiment, who
may be a true lion, and so snatch every sort of plunder, but yet, like
this King of the Beasts, is afraid of _fire_; or who,--like King James
of England,[72] that scampered off at sight of drawn swords, yet so
much the more gallantly, before all Europe, went out against the
storming Luther with book and pen,--does, from a similar idiosyncrasy,
attack all warlike armaments, both by word and writing. And here I
recollect, with satisfaction, a brave sub-lieutenant, whose confessor I
was (he still owes me the confession-money), and who, in respect of
stout-heartedness, had in him perhaps something of that Indian dog
which Alexander had presented to him as a sort of Dog-Alexander. By way
of trying this crack dog, the Macedonian made various heroic or
heraldic beasts be let loose against him; first a stag; but the dog lay
still; then a sow; he lay still; then a bear; he lay still. Alexander
was on the point of condemning him; when a lion was let forth; the dog
rose, and tore the lion in pieces. So likewise the sub-lieutenant. A
challenger, a foreign enemy, a Frenchman, are to him only stag, and
sow, and bear, and he lies still in his place; but let his oldest
enemy, his creditor, come and knock at his gate, and demand of him
actual smart-money for long bygone pleasures, thus presuming to rob him
both of past and present; the sub-lieutenant rises, and throws his
creditor down-stairs. I, alas! am still standing by the sow; and thus,
naturally enough, misunderstood.


128. In Love there are Summer Holidays; but in Marriage also there are
Winter Holidays, I hope.


_Quo_, says Livy, xii. 5, and with great justice, _quo timoris minus
est, eo minus ferme periculi est_, The less fear you have, the less
danger you are likely to be in. With equal justice I invert the maxim,
and say, The less the danger, the smaller the fear; nay, there may be
situations in which one has absolutely no knowledge of fear; and among
these mine is to be reckoned. The more hateful, therefore, must that
calumny about hare-heartedness appear to me.

To my Holidays' Journey I shall prefix a few facts, which prove how
easily foresight--that is to say, when a person would not resemble the
stupid marmot, that will even attack a man out on horseback--may pass
for cowardice. For the rest, I wish only that I could with equal ease
wipe away a quite different reproach, that of being a foolhardy
desperado; though I trust, in the sequel, I shall be able to advance
some facts which invalidate it.


143. Women have weekly at least one active and passive day of glory,
the holy day, the Sunday. The higher ranks alone have more Sundays than
work-days; as, in great towns, you can celebrate your Sunday on Friday
with the Turks, on Saturday with the Jews, and on Sunday with yourself.


What boots the heroic arm, without a hero's eye? The former readily
grows stronger and more nervous; but the latter is not so soon ground
sharper, like glasses. Nevertheless, the merits of foresight obtain
from the mass of men less admiration (nay, I should say, more ridicule)
than those of courage. Whoso, for instance, shall see me walking under
quite cloudless skies with a wax-cloth umbrella over me, to him I shall
probably appear ridiculous, so long as he is not aware that I carry
this umbrella as a thunder-screen, to keep off any bolt out of the blue
heaven (whereof there are several examples in the history of the Middle
Ages) from striking me to death. My thunder-screen, in fact, is exactly
that of Reimarus. On a long walking-stick I carry the wax-cloth roof;
from the peak of which depends a string of gold-lace as a conductor;
and this, by means of a key fastened to it, which it trails along the
ground, will lead off every possible bolt, and easily distribute it
over the whole superficies of the Earth. With this _Paratonnerre
Portatif_ in my hand, I can walk about for weeks under the clear sky,
without the smallest danger. This Diving-bell, moreover, protects me
against something else; against shot. For who, in the latter end of
Harvest, will give me black on white that no lurking ninny of a
sportsman somewhere, when I am out enjoying Nature, shall so fire off
his piece, at an angle of 45°, that, in falling down again, the shot
needs only light directly on my crown, and so come to the same as if I
had been shot through the brain from a side?

It is bad enough, at any rate, that we have nothing to guard us from
the Moon; which at present is bombarding us with stones like a very
Turk; for this paltry little Earth's train-bearer and errand-maid
thinks, in these rebellious times, that she too must begin, forsooth,
to sling somewhat against her Mother! In good truth, as matters stand,
any young Catechist of feeling may go out o' nights, with whole limbs,
into the moonshine, a meditating; and erelong (in the midst of his
meditation the villanous Satellite hits him) come home a pounded jelly.
By Heaven! new proofs of courage are required of us on every hand! No
sooner have we, with great effort, got thunder-rods manufactured, and
comet-tails explained away, than the enemy opens new batteries in the
Moon, or somewhere else in the Blue!


21. Schiller and Klopstock are Poetic Mirrors held up to the Sun-god;
the Mirrors reflect the Sun with such dazzling brightness, that you
cannot find the Picture of the World imaged forth in them.


Suffice one other story to manifest how ludicrous the most serious
foresight, with all imaginable inward courage, often externally appears
in the eyes of the many. Equestrians are well acquainted with the
dangers of a horse that runs away. My evil star would have it that
I should once in Vienna get upon a hack-horse; a pretty enough
honey-colored nag, but old and hard-mouthed as Satan; so that the
beast, in the next street, went off with me; and this in truth--only at
a _walk_. No pulling, no tugging, took effect; I at last, on the back
of this Self-riding-horse, made signals of distress, and cried: "Stop
him, good people! for God's sake stop him! my horse is off!" But these
simple persons seeing the beast move along as slowly as a Reichshofrath
lawsuit, or the Daily Postwagen, could not in the least understand the
matter, till I cried as if possessed: "Stop him then, ye blockheads and
joltheads! don't you see that I cannot hold the nag?" But now, to these
noodles the sight of a hard-mouthed horse going off with its rider step
by step seemed ridiculous rather than otherwise; half Vienna gathered
itself like a comet-tail behind my beast and me. Prince Kaunitz, the
best horseman of the century (the last), pulled up to follow me. I
myself sat and swam like a perpendicular piece of drift-ice on my
honey-colored nag, which stalked on, on, step by step; a many-cornered,
red-coated letter-carrier was delivering his letters, to the right and
left, in the various stories, and he still crossed over before me
again, with satirical features, because the nag went along too slowly.
The Schwanzschleuderer, or Train-dasher (the person, as you know, who
drives along the streets with a huge barrel of water, and besplashes
them with a leathern pipe of three ells long from an iron trough), came
across the haunches of my horse, and, in the course of his duty, wetted
both these and myself in a very cooling manner, though, for my part, I
had too much cold sweat on me already to need any fresh refrigeration.
On my infernal Trojan Horse (only I myself was Troy, not beridden, but
riding to destruction), I arrived at Malzlein (a suburb of Vienna), or
perhaps, so confused were my senses, it might be quite another range of
streets. At last, late in the dusk, I had to turn into the Prater; and
here, long after the Evening Gun, to my horror, and quite against the
police-rules, keep riding to and fro on my honey-colored nag; and
possibly I might even have passed the night on him, had not my
brother-in-law, the Dragoon, observed my plight, and so found me still
sitting firm as a rock on my runaway steed. He made no ceremonies;
caught the brute; and put the pleasant question, why I had not vaulted,
and come off by ground-and-lofty tumbling; though he knew full well
that for this a wooden horse, which stands still, is requisite.
However, he took me down; and so, after all this riding, horse and man
got home with whole skins and unbroken bones.


84. Women are like precious carved works of ivory: nothing is whiter
and smoother, and nothing sooner grows yellow.


But now at last to my Journey!

                           JOURNEY TO FLÄTZ.


72. The Half-learned is adored by the Quarter-learned; the latter by
the Sixteenth-part-learned; and so on: but not the Whole-learned by the


You are aware, my friends, that this Journey to Flätz was necessarily
to take place in Vacation time; not only because the Cattle-market, and
consequently the Minister and General von Schabacker, was there then;
but more especially because the latter (as I had it positively from a
private hand) did annually, on the 23d of July, the market-eve, about
five o'clock, become so full of gaudium and graciousness, that in many
cases he did not so much snarl on people as listen to them, and grant
their prayers. The cause of this gaudium I had rather not trust to
paper. In short, my Petition, praying that he would be pleased to
indemnify and reward me, as an unjustly deposed army-chaplain, by a
Catechetical Professorship, could plainly be presented to him at no
better season than exactly about five o'clock in the evening of the
first dog-day. In less than a week I had finished writing my Petition.
As I spared neither summaries nor copies of it, I had soon got so far
as to see the relatively best lying completed before me; when, to my
terror, I observed that in this paper I had introduced above thirty
_dashes_, or breaks, in the middle of my sentences! Now-a-days, alas!
these stings shoot forth involuntarily from learned pens, as tails of
wasps. I debated long within myself whether a private scholar could
justly be entitled to approach a minister with dashes,--greatly as this
level interlineation of thoughts, these horizontal note-marks of
poetical _music_-pieces, and these rope-ladders or Achilles'-tendons of
philosophical _see_-pieces, are at present fashionable and
indispensable; but, at last, I was obliged (as erasures may offend
people of quality) to write my best proof-petition over again; and then
to afflict myself for another quarter of an hour over the name Attila
Schmelzle, seeing it is always my principle that this and the address
of the letter, the two cardinal points of the whole, can never be
written legibly enough.


85. _Bien écouter c'est presque répondre_, says Marivaux justly of
social circles; but I extend it to round Councillor-tables and
Cabinet-tables, where reports are made, and the Prince listens.


          _First Stage; from Neusattel to Vierstädten_.

The 22d of July, or Wednesday, about five in the afternoon, was now, by
the way-bill of the regular Post-coach, irrevocably fixed for my
departure. I had still half a day to order my house; from which, for
two nights and two days and a half, my breast, its breastwork and
palisado, was now, along with my Self, to be withdrawn. Besides this,
my good wife Bergelchen, as I call my Teutoberga, was immediately to
travel after me, on Friday the 24th, in order to see and to make
purchases at the yearly Fair; nay, she was ready to have gone along
with me, the faithful spouse. I therefore assembled my little knot of
domestics, and promulgated to them the Household Law and Valedictory
Rescript, which, after my departure, in the first place _before_ the
outset of my wife, and in the second place _after_ this outset, they
had rigorously to obey; explaining to them especially whatever, in case
of conflagrations, housebreakings, thunder-storms, or transits of
troops, it would behoove them to do. To my wife I delivered an
inventory of the best goods in our little Registership; which goods
she, in case the house took fire, had, in the first place, to secure. I
ordered her in stormy nights (the peculiar thief-weather) to put our
Æolian harp in the window, that so any villanous prowler might imagine
I was fantasying on my instrument, and therefore awake; for like
reasons, also, to take the house-dog within doors by day, that he might
sleep then, and so be livelier at night. I further counselled
her to have an eye on the focus of every knot in the panes of the
stable-window, nay, on every glass of water she might set down in the
house; as I had already often recounted to her examples of such
accidental burning-glasses having set whole buildings in flames. I then
appointed her the hour when she was to set out on Friday morning to
follow me; and recapitulated more emphatically the household precepts
which, prior to her departure, she must afresh inculcate on her
domestics. My dear, heart-sound, blooming Berga answered her faithful
lord, as it seemed very seriously: "Go thy ways, little old one; it
shall all be done as smooth as velvet. Wert thou but away! There is no
end of thee!" Her brother, my brother-in-law, the Dragoon, for whom,
out of complaisance, I had paid the coach-fare, in order to have in the
vehicle along with me a stout swordsman and hector, as spiritual
relative and bully-rock, so to speak; the Dragoon, I say, on hearing
these my regulations, puckered up (which I easily forgave the wild
soldier and bachelor) his sun-burnt face considerably into ridicule,
and said: "Were I in thy place, sister, I should do what I liked, and
then afterwards take a peep into these regulation-papers of his."


17. The Bed of Honor, since so frequently whole regiments lie on it,
and receive their last unction, and last honor but one, really ought
from time to time be new-filled, beaten, and sunned.


"Oh!" answered I, "misfortune may conceal itself like a scorpion in any
corner; I might say, we are like children, who, looking at their gayly
painted toy-box, soon pull off the lid, and, pop! out springs a mouse
who has young ones."

"Mouse, mouse!" said he, stepping up and down. "But, good brother, it
is five o'clock; and you will find, when you return, that all looks
exactly as it does to-day; the dog like the dog, and my sister like a
pretty woman; _allons donc_!" It was purely his blame that I, fearing
his misconceptions, had not previously made a sort of testament.


120. Many a one becomes a free-spoken Diogenes, not when he dwells in
the Cask, but when the Cask dwells in him.


I now packed in two different sorts of medicines, heating as well as
cooling, against two different possibilities; also my old splints for
arm or leg breakages, in case the coach overset; and (out of foresight)
two times the money I was likely to need. Only here I could have
wished, so uncertain is the stowage of such things, that I had been an
Ape with cheek-pouches, or some sort of Opossum with a natural bag,
that so I might have reposited these necessaries of existence in
pockets which were sensitive. Shaving is a task I always go through
before setting out on journeys; having a rational mistrust against
stranger bloodthirsty barbers; but, on this occasion, I retained my
beard; since, however close shaved, it would have grown again by the
road to such a length that I could have fronted no Minister and General
with it.

With a vehement emotion, I threw myself on the pith-heart of my Berga,
and with a still more vehement one, tore myself away; in her, however,
this our first marriage-separation seemed to produce less lamentation
than triumph, less consternation than rejoicing; simply because she
turned her eye not half so much on the parting, as on the meeting, and
the journey after me, and the wonders of the Fair. Yet she threw and
hung herself on my somewhat long and thin neck and body, almost
painfully, being, indeed, a too fleshy and weighty load, and said to
me: "Whisk thee off quick, my charming Attel (Attila), and trouble thy
head with no cares by the way, thou singular man! A whiff or two of ill
luck we can stand, by God's help, so long as my father is no beggar.
And for thee, Franz," continued she, turning with some heat to her
brother, "I leave my Attel on thy soul; thou well knowest, thou wild
fly, what I wilt do, if thou play the fool, and leave him anywhere in
the lurch." Her meaning here was good, and I could not take it ill; to
you, also, my Friends, her wealth and her open-heartedness are nothing


8. Culture makes whole lands, for instance Germany, Gaul, and others,
physically warmer, but spiritually colder.


Melted into sensibility, I said: "Now, Berga, if there be a reunion
appointed for us, surely it is either in Heaven or in Flätz; and I hope
in God, the latter." With these words, we whirled stoutly away. I
looked round through the back-window of the coach at my good little
village of Neusattel, and it seemed to me, in my melting mood, as if
its steeples were rising aloft like an epitaphium over my life,
or over my body, perhaps to return a lifeless corpse. "How will it all
be," thought I, "when thou at last, after two or three days, comest
back?" And now I noticed my Bergelchen looking after us from the
garret-window; I leaned far out from the coach-door, and her falcon eye
instantly distinguished my head; kiss on kiss she threw with both
hands after the carriage, as it rolled down into the valley. "Thou
true-hearted wife," thought I, "how is thy lowly birth, by thy
spiritual new-birth, made forgetable, nay, remarkable!"


1. The more Weakness the more Lying. Force goes straight; any
cannon-ball with holes or cavities in it goes crooked.


I must confess, the assemblage and conversational picnic of the
stage-coach was much less to my taste; the whole of them suspicious,
unknown rabble, whom (as markets usually do) the Flätz cattle-market
was alluring by its scent. I dislike becoming acquainted with
strangers; not so my brother-in-law, the Dragoon; who now, as he always
does, had in a few minutes elbowed himself into close quarters with the
whole ragamuffin posse of them. Beside me sat a person, who, in all
human probability, was a Harlot; on her breast a Dwarf intending to
exhibit himself at the Fair; on the other side was a Rat-catcher gazing
at me; and a Blind Passenger,[73] in a red mantle, had joined us down
in the valley. No one of them, except my brother-in-law, pleased me.
That rascals among these people would not study me and my properties
and accidents, to entangle me in their snares, no man could be my
surety. In strange places, I even, out of prudence, avoid looking long
up at any jail-window; because some losel, sitting behind the bars, may
in a moment call down out of mere malice: "How goes it, comrade
Schmelzle?" or, further, because any lurking catchpole may fancy I am
planning a rescue for some confederate above. From another sort of
prudence, little different from this, I also make a point of never
turning round when any booby calls, Thief! after me.


88. Epictetus advises us to travel, because our old acquaintances, by
the influence of shame, impede our transition to higher virtues; as a
bashful man will rather lay aside his provincial accent in some foreign
quarter, and then return wholly purified to his own countrymen. In our
days, people of rank and virtue follow this advice, but inversely; and
travel because their old acquaintances, by the influence of shame,
would too much deter them from new sins.


As to the Dwarf himself, I had no objection to his travelling with me
whithersoever he pleased; but he thought to raise a particular
delectation in our minds, by promising that his Pollux and Brother in
Trade, an extraordinary Giant who was also making for the Fair to
exhibit himself, would by midnight, with his elephantine pace,
infallibly overtake the coach, and plant himself among us, or behind on
the outside. Both these noodies, it appeared, are in the habit of going
in company to fairs, as reciprocal exaggerators of opposite magnitudes;
the Dwarf is the convex magnifying-glass of the Giant, the Giant the
concave diminishing-glass of the Dwarf. Nobody expressed much joy at
the prospective arrival of this Anti-dwarf, except my brother-in-law,
who (if I may venture on a play of words) seems made, like a clock,
solely for the purpose of _striking_, and once actually said to me,
that "if in the Upper world he could not get a soul to curry and towzle
by a time, he would rather go to the Under, where most probably there
would be plenty of cuffing and to spare." The Rat-catcher--besides the
circumstance that no man can prepossess us much in his favor, who
lives solely by poisoning, like this Destroying Angel of rats, this
mouse-Atropos; and also, which is still worse, that such a fellow bids
fair to become an increaser of the vermin kingdom the moment he may
cease to be a lessener of it--besides all this, I say, the present
Rat-catcher had many baneful features about him. First, his stabbing
look, piercing you like a stiletto; then the lean, sharp, bony visage,
conjoined with his enumeration of his considerable stock of poisons;
then (for I hated him more and more) his sly stillness, his sly smile,
as if in some corner he noticed a mouse, as he would notice a man! To
me, I declare, though usually I take not the slightest exception
against people's looks, it seemed at last as if his throat were a
Dog-grotto, a _Grotta del cane_, his cheekbones cliffs and breakers,
his hot breath the wind of a calcining furnace, and his black, hairy
breast, a kiln for parching and roasting.

Nor was I far wrong, I believe; for soon after this, he began quite
coolly to inform the company, in which were a dwarf and a female, that,
in his time, he had, not without enjoyment, run ten men through the
body; had with great convenience hewed off a dozen men's arms; slowly
split four heads, torn out two hearts, and more of the like sort; while
none of them, otherwise persons of spirit, had in the least resisted.
"But why?" added he with a poisonous smile, and taking the hat from his
odious baldpate; "I am invulnerable. Let any one of the company that
chooses lay as much fire on my bare crown as he likes, I shall not mind

My brother-in-law, the Dragoon, directly kindled his tinder-box, and
put a heap of the burning matter on the Rat-catcher's pole; but the
fellow stood it, as if it had been a mere picture of fire, and the two
looked expectingly at one another; and the former smiled very
foolishly, saying: "It was simply pleasant to him, like a good
warming-plaster; for this was always the wintry region of his body."

Here the Dragoon groped a little on the naked scull, and cried with
amazement, that "it was as cold as a knee-pan."


32. Our Age (by some called the Paper Age, as if it were made from the
rags of some better dressed one) is improving in so far as it now
tears, its rags rather into Bandages than into Papers; although,
or because, the Rag-hacker (the Devil as they call it) will not
altogether be at rest. Meanwhile, if Learned Heads transform themselves
into Books, Crowned Heads transform and coin themselves into
Government-paper. In Norway, according to the _Universal Indicator_,
the people have even paper-houses; and in many good German States, the
Exchequer Collegium (to say nothing of the Justice Collegium) keeps
its own paper-mills, to furnish wrappage enough for the meal of its
wind-mills. I could wish, however, that our Collegiums would take
pattern from that Glass Manufactory at Madrid, in which (according to
Baumgärtner) there were indeed nineteen clerks stationed, but also
eleven workmen.


But now the fellow, to our horror, after some preparations, actually
lifted off the quarter-skull and held it out to us, saying: "He had
sawed it off a murderer, his own having accidentally been broken"; and
withal explained, that the stabbing and arm-cutting he had talked of
was to be understood as a jest, seeing he had merely done it in the
character of Famulus at an Anatomical Theatre. However, the jester
seemed to rise little in favor with any of us; and for my part, as he
put his brain-lid and sham-skull on again, I thought to myself: "This
dung-bed-bell has changed its place, indeed, but not the hemlock it was
made to cover."

Further, I could not but reckon it a suspicious circumstance, that he
as well as all the company (the Blind Passenger too) were making for
this very Flätz, to which I myself was bound. Much good I could not
expect of this; and, in truth, turning home again would have been as
pleasant to me as going on, had I not rather felt a pleasure in defying
the future.

I come now to the red-mantled Blind Passenger; most probably an
_Emigré_ or _Refugié_; for he speaks German not worse than he does
French; and his name, I think, was _Jean Pierre_ or _Jean Paul_, or
some such thing, if indeed he had any name. His red cloak,
notwithstanding this his identity of color with the Hangman, would in
itself have remained heartily indifferent to me; had it not been for
this singular circumstance, that he had already five times, contrary to
all expectation, come upon me in five different towns (in great Berlin,
in little Hof, in Coburg, Meiningen, and Bayreuth), and, each of these
times, had looked at me significantly enough, and then gone his ways.
Whether this _Jean Pierre_ is dogging me with hostile intent or not, I
cannot say; but to our fancy, at any rate, no object can be gratifying
that thus, with corps of observation, or out of loop-holes, holds and
aims at us with muskets, which for year after year it shall move to
this side and that, without our knowing on whom it is to fire. Still
more offensive did Redcloak become to me, when he began to talk about
his soft mildness of soul; a thing which seemed either to betoken
pumping you or undermining you.

I replied: "Sir, I am just come, with my brother-in-law here, from the
field of battle (the last affair was at Pimpelstadt), and so perhaps am
too much of a humor for fire, pluck, and war-fury; and to many a one,
who happens to have a roaring waterspout of a heart, it may be well if
his clerical character (which is mine) rather enjoins on him mildness
than wildness. However, all mildness has its iron limit. If any
thoughtless dog chance to anger me, in the first heat of rage I kick my
foot through him; and after me, my good brother here will perhaps drive
matters twice as far, for he is the man to do it. Perhaps it may be
singular; but I confess, I regret to this day, that once when a boy I
received three blows from another, without tightly returning them; and
I often feel as if I must still pay them to his descendants. In sooth,
if I but chance to see a child running off like a dastard from the weak
attack of a child like himself, I cannot for my life understand his
running, and can scarcely keep from interfering to save him by a
decisive knock."

The Passenger meanwhile was smiling, not in the best fashion. He gave
himself out for a Legations-Rath, and seemed fox enough for such a
post; but a mad fox will, in the long run, bite me as rabidly as a mad
wolf will. For the rest, I calmly went on with my eulogy on courage;
only that, instead of ludicrous gasconading, which directly betrays the
coward, I purposely expressed myself in words at once cool, clear, and

"I am altogether for Montaigne's advice," said I: "'Fear nothing but

"I again," replied the Legations-man, with useless wire-drawing, "I
should fear again that I did not sufficiently fear fear, but continued
too dastardly."

"To this fear also," replied I, coldly, "I set limits. A man, for
instance, may not in the least believe in or be afraid of ghosts; and
yet by night may bathe himself in cold sweat, and this purely out of
terror at the dreadful fright he should be in (especially with what
whiffs of epilepsies, falling-sicknesses, and so forth, he might be
visited), in case simply his own too vivid fancy should create any wild
fever-image, and hang it up in the air before him."

"One should not, therefore," added my brother-in-law the Dragoon,
contrary to his custom, moralizing a little,--"one should not bamboozle
the poor sheep, man, with any ghost-tricks; the henheart may die on the


2. In his Prince, a soldier reverences and obeys at once his Prince and
his Generalissimo; a Citizen, only his Prince.


A loud storm of thunder overtaking the stage-coach altered the
discourse. You, my Friends, knowing me as a man not quite destitute of
some tincture of Natural Philosophy, will easily guess my precautions
against thunder. I place myself on a chair in the middle of the room
(often, when suspicious clouds are out, I stay whole nights on it), and
by careful removal of all conductors, rings, buckles, and so forth, I
here sit thunder-proof, and listen with a cool spirit to this elemental
music of the cloud-kettledrum. These precautions have never harmed me,
for I am still alive at this date; and to the present hour I
congratulate myself on once hurrying out of church, though I had
confessed but the day previous; and running, without more ceremony,
and before I had received the sacrament, into the charnel-house,
because a heavy thunder-cloud (which did, in fact, strike the
churchyard linden-tree) was hovering over it. So soon as the cloud had
disloaded itself, I returned from the charnel-house into the church,
and was happy enough to come in after the Hangman (usually the last),
and so still participate in the Feast of Love.


45. Our present writers shrug their shoulders most at those on whose
shoulders they stand; and exalt those most who crawl up along them.


Such, for my own part, is my manner of proceeding; but in the full
stage-coach I met with men to whom Natural Philosophy was no philosophy
at all. For when the clouds gathered dreadfully together over our
coach-canopy, and sparkling, began to play through the air, like so
many fireflies, and I at last could not but request that the sweating
coach-conclave would at least bring out their watches, rings, money,
and such like, and put them all into one of the carriage-pockets, that
none of us might have a conductor on his body; not only would no one of
them do it, but my own brother-in-law the Dragoon even sprang out, with
naked drawn sword, to the coach-box, and swore that he would conduct
the thunder all away himself. Nor do I know whether this desperate
mortal was not acting prudently; for our position within was frightful,
and any one of us might every moment be a dead man. At last, to crown
all, I got into a half altercation with two of the rude members of our
leathern household, the Poisoner and the Harlot; seeing, by their
questions, they almost gave me to understand, that, in our
conversational picnic, especially with the Blind Passenger, I had not
always come off with the best share. Such an imputation wounds your
honor to the quick; and in my breast there was a thunder louder than
that above us. However, I was obliged to carry on the needful exchange
of sharp words as quietly and slowly as possible; and I quarrelled
softly, and in a low tone, lest in the end a whole coachful of people,
set in arms against each other, might get into heat and perspiration;
and so, by vapor steaming through the coach-roof, conduct the too near
thunderbolt down into the midst of us. At last I laid before the
company the whole theory of Electricity in clear words, but low and
slow (striving to avoid all emission of vapor); and especially
endeavored to frighten them away from fear. For, indeed, through fear,
the stroke--nay, two strokes, the electric or the apoplectic--might hit
any one of us; since in Erxleben and Reimarus it is sufficiently proved
that violent fear, by the transpiration it causes, may attract the
lightning. I accordingly, in some fear of my own and other people's
fear, represented to the passengers that now, in a coach so hot and
crowded, with a drawn sword on the coach-box piercing the very
lightning, with the thunder-cloud hanging over us, and even with so
many transpirations from incipient fear; in short, with such visible
danger on every hand, they must absolutely fear nothing, if they would
not, all and sundry, be smitten to death in a few minutes.


103. The Great perhaps take as good charge of their posterity as the
Ants; the eggs once laid, the male and female Ants fly about their
business, and confide them to the trusty _working-Ants_.


"O Heaven!" cried I, "Courage! only courage! No fear, not even fear of
fear! Would you have Providence to shoot you here sitting, like so many
hares hunted into a pinfold? Fear, if you like, when you are out of the
coach; fear to your heart's content in other places, where there is
less to be afraid of; only not here, not here!"

I shall not determine--since among millions scarcely one man dies by
thunder-clouds, but millions perhaps by snow-clouds, and rain-clouds,
and thin mist--whether my Coach-sermon could have made any claim to a
prize for man-saving; however, at last, all uninjured, and driving
towards a rainbow, we entered the town of Vierstädten, where dwelt a
Postmaster, in the only street which the place had.

           _Second Stage; from Vierstädten to Niederschöna_.

The Postmaster was a churl and a striker; a class of mortals whom I
inexpressibly detest, as my fancy always whispers to me, in their
presence, that by accident or dislike I might happen to put on a
scornful or impertinent look, and hound these mastiffs on my own
throat; and so, from the very first, I must incessantly watch them.
Happily, in this case (supposing I even had made a wrong face), I could
have shielded myself with the Dragoon; for whose giant force such
matters are a tidbit. This brother-in-law of mine, for example, cannot
pass any tavern where he hears a sound of battle, without entering,
and, as he crosses the threshold, shouting, "Peace, dogs!"--and
therewith, under show of a peace deputation, he directly snatches
up the first chair-leg in his hand, as if it were an American
peace-calumet, and cuts to the right and left among the belligerent
powers, or he gnashes the hard heads of the parties together (he
himself takes no side), catching each by the hind-lock. In such cases
the rogue is in Heaven!


10. And does Life offer us, in regard to our ideal hopes and purposes,
anything but a prosaic, unrhymed, unmetrical Translation?

78. Our German frame of Government, cased in its harness, had much
difficulty in moving, for the same reason why Beetles cannot fly,
when their _wings_ have _wing-shells_, of very sufficient strength,
and--grown together.


I, for my part, rather avoid discrepant circles than seek them; as I
likewise avoid all dead or killed people. The prudent man easily
foresees what is to be got by them; either vexatious and injurious
witnessing, or often even (when circumstances conspire) painful
investigation, and suspicions of your being an accomplice.

In Vierstädten nothing of importance presented itself, except--to my
horror--a dog without tail, which came running along the town or
street. In the first fire of passion at this sight, I pointed it out to
the passengers, and then put the question, whether they could reckon a
system of Medical Police well arranged, which, like this of
Vierstädten, allowed dogs openly to scour about, when their tails were
wanting. "What am I to do," said I, "when this member is cut away, and
any such beast comes running towards me, and I cannot, either by the
tail being cocked up or being drawn in, since the whole is snipt off,
come to any conclusion whether the vermin is mad or not? In this way,
the most prudent man may be bit, and become rabid, and so make
shipwreck purely for want of a tail compass."


8. Constitutions of Government are like highways; on a new and quite
untrodden one, where every carriage helps in the process of bruising
and smoothing, you are as much jolted and pitched, as an old worn-out
one, full of holes. What is to be done then? Travel on.


The Blind Passenger (he now got himself inscribed as a Seeing one, God
knows for what objects) had heard my observation; which he now spun out
in my presence almost into ridicule, and at last awakened in me the
suspicion, that, by an overdone flattery in imitating my style of
speech, he meant to banter me. "The Dog-tail," said he, "is, in truth,
an alarm-beacon, and finger-post for us, that we come not even into the
outmost precincts of madness; cut away from Comets their tails, from
Bashaws theirs, from Crabs theirs (outstretched it denotes that they
are burst); and in the most dangerous predicaments of life, we are left
without clew, without indicator, without hand _in margine_; and we
perish not so much as knowing how."

For the rest, this stage passed over without quarreling or peril. About
ten o'clock, the whole party, including even the Postilion, myself
excepted, fell asleep. I indeed pretended to be sleeping, that I might
observe whether some one, for his own good reasons, might not also be
pretending it. But all continued snoring; the moon threw its
brightening beams on nothing but downpressed eyelids.

I had now a glorious opportunity of following Lavater's counsel, to
apply the physiognomical ellwand specially to sleepers, since sleep,
like death, expresses the genuine form in coarser lines. Other sleepers
not in stage-coaches I think it less advisable to mete with this
ellwand; having always an apprehension lest some fellow, but pretending
to be asleep, may, the instant I am near enough, start up as in a
dream, and deceitfully plant such a knock on the physiognomical
mensurator's own facial structure, as to exclude it forever from
appearing in any Physiognomical Fragments (itself being reduced to
one), either in the stippled or line style. Nay, might not the most
honest sleeper in the world, just while you are in hand with his
physiognomical dissection, lay about him, spurred on by honor in some
cudgelling-scene he may be dreaming; and in a few instants of
clapperclawing, and kicking, and trampling, lull you into a much more
lasting sleep than that out of which he was awakened?


8. In Criminal Courts, murdered children are often represented as
still-born; in Anticritiques, still-born as murdered.


In my _Adumbrating Magic-lantern_, as I have named the Work, the
whole physiognomical contents of this same sleeping stage-coach will be
given to the world. There I shall explain to you at large how the
Poisoner, with the murder-cupola, appeared to me devil-like; the Dwarf
old-child-like; the Harlot languidly shameless; my Brother-in-law
peacefully satisfied, with revenge or food; and the Legations-Rath,
_Jean Pierre_, Heaven only knows why, like a half angel,--though,
perhaps, it might be because only the fair body, not the other half,
the soul, which had passed away in sleep, was affecting me.


101. Not only were the Rhodians, from their Colossus, called
Colossians; but also innumerable Germans are, from their Luther, called


I had almost forgotten to mention, that, in a little village, while my
Brother-in-law and the Postilion were sitting at their liquor, I
happily fronted a small terror, Destiny having twice been on my side.
Not far from a Hunting Box, beside a pretty clump of trees, I noticed a
white tablet, with a black inscription on it. This gave me hopes that
perhaps some little monumental piece, some pillar of honor, some battle
memento, might here be awaiting me. Over an untrodden flowery tangle I
reach the black on white; and to my horror and amazement I decipher in
the moonshine, _Beware of Spring-guns!_ Thus was I standing perhaps
half a nail's breadth from the trigger, with which, if I but stirred my
heel, I should shoot myself off, like a forgotten ramrod, into the
other world, beyond the verge of Time! The first thing I did was to
slutch down my toe-nails, to bite, and, as it were, eat myself into the
ground with them; since I might, at least, continue in warm life so
long as I pegged my body firmly in beside the Atropos-scissors and
hangman's block, which lay beside me. Then I endeavored to recollect by
what steps the Fiend had led me hither unshot, but in my agony I had
perspired the whole of it, and could remember nothing. In the Devil's
village, close at hand, there was no dog to be seen and called to, who
might have plucked me from the water; and my Brother-in-law and the
Postilion were both carousing with full can. However, I summoned my
courage and determination; wrote down on a leaf of my pocket-book my
last will, the accidental manner of my death, and my dying remembrance
of Berga; and then, with full sails, flew helter-skelter through the
midst of it the shortest way; expecting at every step to awaken the
murderous engine, and thus to clap over my still long candle of life
the bonsoir, or extinguisher, with my own hand. However, I got off
without shot. In the tavern, indeed, there was more than one fool to
laugh at me; because, forsooth, what none but a fool could know, this
Notice had stood there for the last ten years without any gun, as guns
often do without any notice. But so it is, my Friends, with our
game-police, which warns against all things, only not against warnings.


88. Hitherto I have always regarded the Polemical writings of our
present philosophic and aesthetic Idealist Logic-buffers,--in which,
certainly, a few contumelies, and misconceptions, and misconclusions do
make their appearance,--rather on the fair side; observing in it merely
an imitation of classical Antiquity, in particular of the ancient
Athletes, who (according to Schöttgen) besmeared their bodies with
_mud_, that they might not be laid hold of; and filled their hands with
_sand_, that they might lay hold of their antagonists.


For the rest, throughout the whole stage, I had a constant source of
altercation with the coachman, because he grudged stopping perhaps
once in the quarter of an hour, when I chose to come out for a
natural purpose. Unhappily, in truth, one has little reason to expect
water-doctors among the postilion class, since Physicians themselves
have so seldom learned from Haller's large _Physiology_ that a
postponement of the above operation will precipitate devilish
stone-ware, and at last precipitate the proprietor himself; this
stone-manufactory being generally concluded, not by the Lithotomist,
but by Death. Had postilions read that Tycho Brahe died like a
bombshell by bursting, they would rather pull up for a moment; with
such unlooked-for knowledge, they would see it to be reasonable that a
man, though expecting some time to carry his death-stone _on_ him,
should not incline, for the time being, to carry it _in_ him. Nay, have
I not often, at Weimar, in the longest concluding scenes of Schiller,
run out with tears in my eyes; purely that, while his Minerva was
melting me on the whole, I might not by the Gorgon's head on her breast
be partially turned to stone? And did I not return to the weeping
play-house, and fall into the general emotion so much the more briskly,
as now I had nothing to give vent to but my heart?


103. Or are all Mosques, Episcopal-churches, Pagodas, Chapels-of-Ease,
Tabernacles, and Pantheons, anything else than the Ethnic Forecourt of
the Invisible Temple and its Holy of Holies?


Deep in the dark we arrived at Niederschöna.

               _Third Stage; from Niederschöna to Flätz_.

While I am standing at the Posthouse musing, with my eye fixed on my
portmanteau, comes a beast of a watchman, and bellows and brays in his
night-tube so close by my ear that I start back in trepidation, I whom
even a too hasty accosting will vex. Is there no medical police, then,
against such efflated hour-fulminators and alarm-cannon, by which
notwithstanding no gunpowder cannon are saved? In my opinion nobody
should be invested with the watchman-horn but some reasonable man, who
had already blown himself into an asthma, and who would consequently be
in case to sing out his hour-verse so low that you could not hear it.


40. The common man is copious only in narration, not in reasoning; the
cultivated man is brief only in the former, not in the latter; because
the common man's reasons are a sort of sensations, which, as well as
things visible, he merely _looks at_; by the cultivated man, again,
both reasons and things visible are rather _thought_ than looked at.


What I had long expected, and the Dwarf predicted, now took place;
deeply stooping, through the high Posthouse door, issued the Giant,
and raised in the open air a most unreasonably high figure, heightened
by the ell-long bonnet and feather on his huge jobbernowl. My
Brother-in-law, beside him, looked but like his son of fourteen years;
the Dwarf like his lap-dog waiting for him on its two hind legs. "Good
friend," said my bantering Brother-in-law, leading him towards me and
the stagecoach, "just step softly in, we shall all be happy to make
room for you. Fold yourself neatly together, lay your head on your
knee, and it will do." The unseasonable banterer would willingly have
seen the almost stupid Giant (of whom he had soon observed that his
brain was no active substance, but in the inverse ratio of his trunk)
squeezed in among us in the post-chest, and lying kneaded together like
a sand-bag before him. "Won't do! Won't do!" said the Giant, looking
in. "The gentleman perhaps does not know," said the Dwarf, "how big the
Giant is; and so he thinks that because _I_ go in-- But that is another
story; _I_ will creep into any hole, do but tell me where."

In short, there was no resource for the Postmaster and the Giant, but
that the latter should plant himself behind, in the character of
luggage, and there lie bending down like a weeping willow over the
whole vehicle. To me such a back-wall and rear-guard could not be
particularly gratifying; and I may refer it (I hope) to any one of you,
ye Friends, if with such ware at your back you would not, as clearly
and earnestly as I, have considered what manifold murderous projects a
knave of a Giant behind you, a _pursuer_ in all senses, might not
maliciously attempt; say, that he broke in and assailed you by the
back-window, or with Titanian strength laid hold of the coach-roof and
demolished the whole party in a lump. However, this Elephant (who
indeed seemed to owe the similarity more to his overpowering mass than
to his quick light of inward faculty), crossing his arms over the top
of the vehicle, soon began to sleep and snore above us; an Elephant, of
whom, as I more and more joyfully observed, my Brother-in-law, the
Dragoon, could easily be the tamer and bridle-holder, nay, had already
been so.


9. In any national calamity the ancient Egyptians took revenge on the
god Typhon, whom they blamed for it, by hurling his favorites, the
Asses, down over rocks. In similar wise have countries of a different
religion now and then taken their revenge.


As more than one person now felt inclined to sleep, but I, on the
contrary, as was proper, to wake, I freely offered my seat of honor,
the front place in the coach (meaning thereby to abolish many little
flaws of envy in my fellow-passengers), to such persons as wished to
take a nap thereon. The Legation's man accepted the offer with
eagerness, and soon fell asleep there sitting, under the Titan.[74] To
me this sort of coach-sleeping of a diplomatic _charge d'affaires_
remained a thing incomprehensible. A man, that in the middle of a
stranger and often barbarously-minded company permits himself to
slumber, may easily, supposing him to talk in his sleep and coach,
(think of the Saxon minister[75] before the Seven Years' War!) blab out
a thousand secrets, and crimes, some of which, perhaps, he has not
committed. Should not every minister, ambassador, or other man of honor
and rank, really shudder at the thought of insanity or violent fevers;
seeing no mortal can be his surety that he shall not in such cases
publish the greatest scandals, of which, it may be, the half are lies?


70. Let Poetry veil itself in Philosophy, but only as the latter does
in the former. Philosophy in poetized Prose resembles those tavern
drinking-glasses, encircled with party-colored wreaths of figures,
which disturb your enjoyment both of the drink, and (often awkwardly
eclipsing and covering each other) of the carving also.


At last, after the long July night, we passengers, together with
Aurora, arrived in the precincts of Flätz. I looked with a sharp
yet moistened eye at the steeples. I believe, every man who has
anything decisive to seek in a town, and to whom it is either to be a
judgment-seat of his hopes, or their anchoring-station, either a
battle-field or a sugar-field, first and longest directs his eye on the
steeples of the town, as upon the indexes and balance-tongues of his
future destiny; these artificial peaks, which, like natural ones, are
the thrones of our Future. As I happened to express myself on this
point perhaps too poetically to _Jean Pierre_, he answered with
sufficient want of taste: "The steeples of such towns are indeed the
Swiss Alpine peaks, on which we milk and manufacture the Swiss cheese
of our Future." Did the Legations-Peter mean with this style to make me
ridiculous, or only himself? Determine!

"Here is the place, the town," said I in secret, "where to-day much and
for many years is to be determined, where thou this evening, about five
o'clock, art to present thy petition and thyself. May it prosper! May
it be successful! Let Flätz, this arena of thy little efforts among the
rest, become a building-space for fair castles and air-castles to two
hearts, thy own and thy Berga's!"

At the Tiger Inn I alighted.

                         _First Day in Flätz_.

No mortal in my situation at this Tiger-hotel would have triumphed much
in his more immediate prospects. I, as the only man known to me,
especially in the way of love (of the runaway Dragoon anon!), looked
out from the windows of the overflowing Inn, and down on the rushing
sea of marketers, and very soon began to reflect, that, except Heaven
and the rascals and murderers, none knew how many of the latter two
classes were floating among the tide; purposing, perhaps, to lay hold
of the most innocent strangers, and in part cut their purses, in part
their throats. My situation had a special circumstance against it. My
brother-in-law, who still comes plump out with everything, had
mentioned that I was to put up at the Tiger. O Heaven! when will such
people learn to be secret, and to cover even the meanest pettinesses of
life under mantles and veils, were it only that a silly mouse may as
often give birth to a mountain as a mountain to a mouse! The whole
rabble of the stagecoach stopped at the Tiger; the Harlot, the
Rat-catcher, _Jean Pierre_, the Giant, who had dismounted at the Gate
of the town, and carrying the huge block-head of the Dwarf on his
shoulders as his own (cloaking over the deception by his cloak), had
thus, like a ninny, exhibited himself gratis by half a dwarf more
gigantic than he could be seen for money.


158. Governments should not too often change the penny-trumps and
child's drums of the Poets for the regimental trumpet and fire-drum;
on the other hand, good subjects should regard many a princely
drum-tendency simply as a disease, in which the patient, by air
insinuating under the skin, has got dreadfully swoln.


And now for each of the Passengers, the question was how he could make
the Tiger, the heraldic emblem of the Inn, his prototype; and so what
lamb he might suck the blood of, and tear in pieces, and devour. My
brother-in-law too left me, having gone in quest of some horse-dealer;
but he retained the chamber next mine for his sister; this, it
appeared, was to denote attention on his part. I remained solitary,
left to my own intrepidity and force of purpose.


89. In great towns, a stranger, for the first day or two after his
arrival, lives purely at his own expense, in an inn; afterwards, in the
houses of his friends, without expense; on the other hand, if you
arrive at the Earth, as for instance I have done, you are courteously
maintained, precisely for the first few years, free of charges; but in
the next and longer series--for you often stay sixty--you are actually
obliged (I have the documents in my hands) to pay for every drop and
morsel, as if you were in the great Earth Inn, which indeed you are.


Yet among so many villains, encompassing if not even beleaguring me, I
thought warmly of one far distant, faithful soul, of my Berga in
Neusattel; a true heart of pith, which perhaps with many a weak
marriage-partner might have given protection rather than sought it.

"Appear, then, quickly to-morrow at noon, Berga," said my heart; "and
if possible before noon, that I may lengthen thy market paradise so
many hours as thou arrivest earlier!"


107. Germany is a long lofty mountain--under the sea.

144. The Reviewer does not in reality employ his pen for writing; but
he burns it, to awaken weak people from their swoons with the smell; he
tickles with it the throat of the plagiary, to make him render back;
and he picks with it his own teeth. He is the only individual in the
whole learned lexicon that can never exhaust himself, never write
himself out, let him sit before the ink-glass for centuries, or tens of
centuries. For while the Scholar, the Philosopher, and the Poet produce
their new book solely from new materials and growth, the Reviewer
merely lays his old gauge of taste and knowledge on a thousand new
works; and his light, in the ever-passing, ever-differently-cut
glass-world, which he _elucidates_, is still refracted into new colors.


A clergyman, amid the tempests of the world, readily makes for a free
harbor, for the church; the church-wall is his casement-wall and
fortification; and behind are to be found more peaceful and more
accordant souls than on the market-place; in short, I went into the
High Church. However, in the course of the psalm, I was somewhat
disturbed by a Heiduc, who came up to a well-dressed young gentleman
sitting opposite me, and tore the double opera-glass from his nose, it
being against rule in Flätz, as it is in Dresden, to look at the Court
with glasses which diminish and approximate. I myself had on a pair of
spectacles, but they were magnifiers. It was impossible for me to
resolve on taking them off; and here again, I am afraid, I shall pass
for a foolhardy person and a desperado; so much only I reckoned fit, to
look invariably into my psalm-book; not once lifting my eyes while the
Court was rustling and entering, thereby to denote that my glasses were
ground convex. For the rest, the sermon was good, if not always finely
conceived for a Court-church; it admonished the hearers against
innumerable vices, to whose counterparts, the virtues, another preacher
might so readily have exhorted us. During the whole service, I made it
my business to exhibit true, deep reverence, not only towards God, but
also towards my illustrious Prince. For the latter reverence I had my
private reason. I wished to stamp this sentiment strongly and openly as
with raised letters on my countenance, and so give the lie to any
malicious imp about Court, by whom my contravention of the _Panegyric
on Nero_, and my free German satire on this real tyrant himself, which
I had inserted in the _Plätz Weekly Journal_, might have been perverted
into a secret characteristic portrait of my own Sovereign. We live in
such times at present, that scarcely can we compose a pasquinade on the
Devil in Hell, but some human Devil on Earth will apply it to an angel.


71. The Youth is singular from caprice, and takes pleasure in it; the
Man is so from constraint, unintentionally, and feels pain in it.


When the Court at last issued from church, and were getting into their
carriages, I kept at such a distance that my face could not possibly be
noticed, in case I had happened to assume no reverent look, but an
indifferent or even proud one. God knows, who has kneaded into me those
mad, desperate fancies and crotchets, which perhaps would sit better on
a Hero Schabacker, than on an Army-chaplain under him. I cannot here
forbear recording to you, my Friends, one of the maddest among them,
though at first it may throw too glaring a light on me. It was at my
ordination to be Army-chaplain, while about to participate in the
Sacrament, on the first day of Easter. Now, here while I was standing,
moved into softness, before the balustrade of the altar, in the middle
of the whole male congregation,--nay, I perhaps more deeply moved than
any among them, since, as a person going to war, I might consider
myself a half-dead man, that was now partaking in the last Feast of
Souls, as it were like a person to be hanged on the morrow,--here,
then, amid the pathetic effects of the organ and singing, there rose
something--were it the first Easter-day which awoke in me what
primitive Christians call their Easter-laughter, or merely the contrast
between the most devilish predicaments and the most holy,--in short,
there rose something in me (for which reason I have ever since taken
the part of every simple person who might ascribe such things to the
Devil), and this something started the question: "Now, could there be
aught more diabolical than if thou, just in receiving the Holy Supper,
wert madly and blasphemously to begin laughing?" Instantly I took to
wrestling with this hell-dog of a thought; neglected the most precious
feelings, merely to keep the dog in my eye, and scare him away; yet was
forced to draw back from him, exhausted and unsuccessful, and arrived
at the step of the altar with the mournful certainty that in a little
while I should, without more ado, begin laughing, let me weep and moan
inwardly as I liked. Accordingly, while I and a very worthy old
Burgermeister were bowing down together before the long parson, and the
latter (perhaps kneeling on the low cushion, I fancied him too long)
put the wafer in my clenched mouth, I felt all the muscles of laughter
already beginning sardonically to contract; and these had not long
acted on the guiltless integument, till an actual smile appeared there;
and as we bowed the second time, I was grinning like an ape. My
companion the Burgermeister justly expostulated with me, in a low
voice, as we walked round behind the altar: "In Heaven's name, are you
an ordained Preacher of the Gospel, or a Merry-Andrew? Is it Satan that
is laughing out of you?"


198. The Populace and Cattle grow giddy on the edge of no abyss; with
the Man it is otherwise.

11. The Golden Calf of Self-love soon waxes to be a burning Phalaris's
Bull, which reduces its father and adorer to ashes.

103. The male Beau-crop, which surrounds the female Roses and Lilies,
must (if I rightly comprehend its flatteries) most probably presuppose
in the fair the manners of the Spaniards and Italians, who offer any
valuable, by way of present, to the man who praises it excessively.


"Ah, Heaven! who else?" said I; and this being over, I finished my
devotions in a more becoming fashion.

From the church (I now return to the Flätz one) I proceeded to the
Tiger Inn, and dined at the _table-d'hôte_, being at no time shy of
encountering men. Previous to the second course, a waiter handed me an
empty plate, on which, to my astonishment, I noticed a French verse
scratched in with a fork, containing nothing less than a lampoon on the
Commandant of Flätz. Without ceremony, I held out the plate to the
company; saying, I had just, as they saw, got this lampooning cover
presented to me, and must request them to bear witness that I had
nothing to do with the matter. An officer directly changed plates with
me. During the fifth course, I could not but admire the chemico-medical
ignorance of the company; for a hare, out of which a gentleman
extracted and exhibited several grains of shot, that is to say,
therefore, of lead alloyed with arsenic, and then cleaned by hot
vinegar, did, nevertheless, by the spectators (I expected) continue to
be pleasantly eaten.


199. But not many existing Governments, I believe, do behead under
pretext of trepanning; or sew (in a more choice allegory) the people's
lips together, under pretence of sewing the harelips in them.


In the course of our table-talk, one topic seized me keenly by my weak
side, I mean by my honor. The law custom of the city happened to be
mentioned, as it affects natural children; and I learned that here a
loose girl may convert any man she pleases to select into the father of
her brat, simply by her oath. "Horrible!" said I, and my hair stood on
end. "In this way may the worthiest head of a family, with a wife and
children, or a clergyman lodging in the Tiger, be stript of honor and
innocence, by any wicked chambermaid whom he may have seen, or who may
have seen him, in the course of her employment!"

An elderly officer observed: "But will the girl swear herself to the
Devil so readily?"

What logic! "Or suppose," continued I, without answer, "a man happened
to be travelling with that Vienna Locksmith, who afterwards became a
mother, and was brought to bed of a baby son; or with any disguised
Chevalier d'Eon, who often passes the night in his company, whereby the
Locksmith or the Chevalier can swear to their private interviews; no
delicate man of honor will in the end risk travelling with another;
seeing he knows not how soon the latter may pull off his boots, and
pull on his women's-pumps, and swear his companion into Fatherhood, and
himself to the Devil!"


67. Hospitable Entertainer, wouldst thou search into thy Guest?
Accompany him to another Entertainer, and listen to him. Just so,
wouldst thou become better acquainted with Mistress in an hour, than by
living with her for a month? Accompany her among her female friends and
female enemies (if that is no pleonasm), and look at her!


Some of the company, however, misunderstood my oratorical fire so much,
that they, sheep-wise, gave some insinuations as if I myself were not
strict in this point, but lax. By Heaven! I no longer knew what I was
eating or speaking. Happily, on the opposite side of the table, some
lying story of a French defeat was started. Now, as I had read on the
street corners that French and German Proclamation, calling before the
Court Martial any one who had heard war rumors (disadvantageous,
namely), without giving notice of them,--I, as a man not willing ever
to forget himself, had nothing more prudent to do in this case, than to
withdraw with empty ears, telling none but the landlord why.

It was no improper time; for I had previously determined to have my
beard shaven about half past four, that so, towards five, I might
present myself with a chin just polished by the razor smoothing-iron,
and sleek as wove-paper, without the smallest root-stump of a hair left
on it. By way of preparation, like Pitt before Parliamentary debates, I
poured a devilish deal of Pontac into my stomach, with true disgust,
and contrary to all sanitary rules; not so much for fronting the light
stranger Barber, as the Minister and General von Schabacker, with whom
I had it in view to exchange perhaps more than one fiery statement.


80. In the Summer of life, men keep digging and filling ice-pits, as
well as circumstances will admit; that so, in their Winter, they may
have something in store to give them coolness.

28. It is impossible for me, amid the tendril-forest of allusions (even
this again is a tendril-twig), to state and declare on the spot whether
all the Courts or Heights, the (Bougouer) _Snowline_ of Europe, have
ever been mentioned in my writings or not; but I could wish for
information on the subject, that, if not, I may try to do it still.


The common Hotel Barber was ushered in to me; but at first view you
noticed in his polygonal, zigzag visage, more of a man that would
finally go mad, than of one growing wiser. Now, madmen are a class of
persons whom I hate incredibly; and nothing can take me to see any
madhouse, simply because the first maniac among them may clutch me in
his giant fists if he like; and bet cause, owing to infection, I cannot
be sure that I shall ever get out again with the sense which I brought
in. In a general way, I sit (when once I am lathered) in such a posture
on my chair as to keep both my hands (the eyes I fix intently on the
bartering countenance) lying clenched along my sides, and pointed
directly at the midriff of the barber; that so, on the smallest
ambiguity of movement, I may dash in upon him, and overset him in a

I scarce know rightly how it happened; but here, while I am anxiously
studying the foolish, twisted visage of the shaver, and he just then
chanced to lay his long whetted weapon a little too abruptly against my
bare throat, I gave him such a sudden bounce on the abdominal viscera,
that the silly varlet had wellnigh suicidally slit his own windpipe.
For me, truly, nothing remained but to indemnify the man; and then,
contrary to my usual principles, to tie round a broad stuffed cravat,
by way of cloak to what remained unshorn.

And now at last I sallied forth to the General, drinking out the
remnant of the Pontac, as I crossed the threshold.


36. And so I should like, in all cases, to be the First, especially in
Begging. The first prisoner-of-war, the first cripple, the first man
ruined by burning (like him who brings the first fire-engine), gains
the head-subscription and the heart; the next comer finds nothing but
Duty to address; and at last, in this melodious _mancando_ of sympathy,
matters sink so far, that the last (if the last but one may at least
have retired laden with a rich "God help you!") obtains from the
benignant hand nothing more than its fist. And as in Begging the first,
so in Giving I should like to be the last; one obliterates the other,
especially the last the first. So, however, is the world ordered.


I hope there were plans lying ready within me for answering rightly,
nay for asking. The Petition I carried in my pocket, and in my right
hand. In the left, I had a duplicate of it. My fire of spirit easily
helped over the living fence of ministerial obstructions; and soon I
unexpectedly found myself in the ante-chamber, among his most
distinguished lackeys; persons, so far as I could see, not inclined to
change flour for bran with any one. Selecting the most respectable
individual of the number, I delivered him my paper request, accompanied
with the verbal one that he would hand it in. He took it, but
ungraciously. I waited in vain till far in the sixth hour, at which
season alone the gay General can safely be applied to. At last I pitch
upon another lackey, and repeat my request; he runs about seeking his
runaway brother, or my Petition, to no purpose; neither of them
could be found. How happy was it that in the midst of my Pontac,
before shaving, I had written out the duplicate of this paper; and
therefore--simply on the principle that you should always keep a second
wooden leg packed into your knapsack when you have the first on your
body--and out of fear, that, if the original petition chanced to drop
from me in the way between the Tiger and Schabacker's, my whole journey
and hope would melt into water,--and therefore, I say, having stuck the
repeating work of that original paper into my pocket, I had, in any
case, something to hand in, and that something truly a Ditto. I handed
it in.


136. If you mount too high above your time, your ears (on the side of
Fame) are little better off than if you sink too deep below it; in
truth, Charles up in his Balloon, and Halley down in his Diving-bell,
felt equally the same strange pain in their ears.


Unhappily six o'clock was already past. The lackey, however, did not
keep me long waiting; but returned with--I may say, the text of this
whole Circular--the almost rude answer (which you, my Friends, out of
regard for me and Schabacker, will not divulge), that: "In case I
were the Attila Schmelzle of Schabacker's Regiment, might lift my
pigeon-liver flag again, and fly to the Devil, as I did at
Pimpelstadt." Another man would have dropt dead on the spot; I,
however, walked quite stoutly off, answering the fellow: "With great
pleasure indeed, I fly to the Devil; and so Devil a fly I care." On the
road home, I examined myself, whether it had not been the Pontac that
spoke out of me (though the very examination contradicted this, for
Pontac never examines); but I found that nothing but I, my heart, my
courage perhaps, had spoken; and why, after all, any whimpering? Does
not the patrimony of my good wife endow me better than ten Catechetical
Professorships? And has she not furnished all the corners of my book of
Life with so many golden clasps, that I can open it forever without
wearing it? Let henhearts cackle and pip; I flapped my pinions, and
said: "Dash boldly through it, come what may!" I felt myself excited
and exalted; I fancied Republics, in which I, as a hero, might be at
home; I longed to be in that noble Grecian time, when one hero readily
put up with bastinadoes from another, and said, "Strike, but hear!" and
out of this ignoble one, where men will scarcely put up with hard
words, to say nothing of more. I painted out to my mind how I
should feel, if, in happier circumstances, I were uprooting hollow
Thrones, and before whole nations mounting on mighty deeds as on the
Temple-steps of Immortality; and, in gigantic ages, finding quite other
men to outman and outstrip, than the mite-populace about me, or, at the
best, here and there a Vulcanello. I thought and thought, and grew
wilder and wilder, and intoxicated myself (no Pontac intoxication
therefore, which, you know, increases more by continuance than
cessation of drinking), and gesticulated openly, as I put the
question to myself: "Wilt thou be a mere state-lapdog? A dog's-dog,
a _pium desiderium_ of an _impium desiderium_, an Ex-Ex, a
Nothing's-Nothing?--Fire and Fury!" With this, however, I dashed down
my hat into the mud of the market. On lifting and cleaning this old
servant, I could not but perceive how worn and faded it was; and I
therefore determined instantly to purchase a new one, and carry the
same home in my hand.


25. In youth, like a blind man just couched (and what is birth but a
couching of the sight?), you take the Distant for the Near, the starry
heaven for tangible room-furniture, pictures for objects; and, to the
young man, the whole world is sitting on his very nose, till repeating
bandaging and unbandaging have at last taught him, like the blind
patient, to estimate _Distance_ and _Appearance_.


I accomplished this. I bought one of the finest cut. Strangely enough,
by this hat, as if it had been a Graduation-hat, was my head tried and
examined in the Ziegengasse or Goat-gate of Flätz. For as General
Schabacker came driving along that street in his carriage, and I (it
need not be said) was determined to avenge myself, not by vulgar
clownishness, but by courtesy, I had here got one of the most ticklish
problems imaginable to solve on the spur of the instant. You observe,
if I swung only the fine hat which I carried in my hand, and kept the
faded one on my head,--I might have the appearance of a perfect clown,
who does not doff at all; if, on the other hand, I pulled the old hat
from my head, and therewith did my reverence, then two hats, both in
play at once (let me swing the other at the same time or not), brought
my salute within the verge of ridicule. Now do you, my Friends, before
reading further, bethink you how a man was to extricate himself from
such a plight, without losing his presence of mind! I think, perhaps,
by this means; by merely losing his hat. In one word, then, I simply
dropped the new hat from my hand into the mud, to put myself in a
condition for taking off the old hat by itself, and swaying it in
needful courtesy, without any shade of ridicule.

Arrived at the Tiger,--to avoid misconstructions, I first had the
glossy, fine, and superfine hat cleaned, and some time afterwards the
mud-hat or rubbis-hat.

And now, weighing my momentous Past in the adjusting balance within me,
I walked in fiery mood to and fro. The Pontac must--I know that there
is no unadulterated liquor here below--have been more than usually
adulterated; so keenly did it chase my fancy out of one fire into the
other. I now looked forth into a wide, glittering life, in which I
lived without post, merely on money; and which I beheld, as it were,
sowed with the Delphic caves, and Zenonic walks, and Muse-hills of all
the Sciences, which I might now cultivate at my ease. In particular,
I should have it in my power to apply more diligently to writing
Prize-essays for Academies; of which (that is to say, of the
Prize-essays) no author need ever be ashamed, since, in all cases,
there is a whole crowning Academy to stand and blush for the crownee.
And even if the Prize-marksman does not hit the crown, he still
continues more unknown and more anonymous (his Device not being
unsealed) than any other author, who indeed can publish some nameless
Long-ear of a book, but not hinder it from being, by a Literary
Ass-burial (_sepultura asinina_), publicly interred, in a short time,
before half the world.


126. In the long run, out of mere fear and necessity, we shall become
the warmest cosmopolites I know of; so rapidly do ships shoot to and
fro, and, like shuttles, weave Islands and Quarters of the World
together. For let but the political weather-glass fall to-day in South
America, to-morrow we in Europe have storm and thunder.

19. It is easier, they say, to climb a hill when you ascend back
foremost. This, perhaps, might admit of application to political
eminences; if you still turned towards them that part of the body on
which you sit, and kept your face directed down to the people; all the
while, however, removing and mounting.


Only one thing grieved me by anticipation; the sorrow of my Berga, for
whom, dear tired wayfarer, I on the morrow must overcloud her arrival,
and her shortened market-spectacle, by my negatory intelligence. She
would so gladly (and who can take it ill of a rich farmer's Daughter?)
have made herself somebody in Neusattel, and overshone many a female
dignitary! Every mortal longs for his parade-place, and some earlier
living honor than the last honors. Especially so good a lowly-born
housewife as my Berga, conscious perhaps rather of her metallic than of
her spiritual treasure, would still wish at banquets to be mistress of
some seat or other, and so in place to overtop this or that plucked
goose of the neighborhood.


26. Few German writers are not original, if we may ascribe originality
(as is at least the conversational practice of all people) to a man who
merely dishes out his own thoughts without foreign admixture. For as,
between their Memory, where their reading or foreign matter dwells, and
their Imagination or Productive Power, where their writing or own
peculiar matter originates, a sufficient space intervenes, and the
boundary-stones are fixed in so conscientiously and firmly that nothing
foreign may pass over into their own, or inversely, so that they may
really read a hundred works without losing their own primitive flavor,
or even altering it,--their individuality may, I believe, be considered
as secured; and their spiritual nourishment, their pancakes, loaves,
fritters, caviare, and meat-balls, are not assimilated to their system,
but given back pure and unaltered. Often in my own mind, I figure such
writers as living but thousand-fold more artificial Ducklings from
Vaucasson's Artificial Duck of Wood. For in fact they are not less
cunningly put together than this timber Duck, which will gobble meat
and apparently void it again, under show of having digested it, and
derived from it blood and juices; though the secret of the business is,
the artist has merely introduced an ingenious compound ejective matter
behind, with which concoction and nourishment have nothing to do, but
which the Duck illusorily gives forth and publishes to the world.


It is in this point of view that husbands are so indispensable. I
therefore resolved to purchase for myself, and consequently for her,
one of the best of those titles which our Courts in Germany (as in a
Leipzig saleroom) stand offering to buyers, in all sizes and sorts,
from Noble and Half-noble down to Rath or Councillor; and once
invested therewith, to reflect from my own Quarter-nobility such an
Eighth-part-nobility on this true soul, that many a Neusattelitess (I
hope) shall half burst with envy, and say and cry: "Pooh, the stupid
farmer thing! See how it wabbles and bridles! It has forgot how matters
stood when it had no money-bag and no Hofrath!" For to the Hofrathship
I shall before this have attained.

But in the cold solitude of my room, and the fire of my remembrances, I
longed unspeakably for my Bergelchen; I and my heart were wearied with
the foreign busy day; no one here said a kind word to me, which he did
not hope to put in the bill. Friends! I languished for my friend, whose
heart would pour out its blood as a balsam for a second heart; I cursed
my over-prudent regulations, and wished, that, to have the good Berga
at my side, I had given up the stupid houseware to all thieves and
fires whatsoever. As I walked to and fro, it seemed to me easier and
easier to become all things, an Exchequer-Rath, an Excise-Rath, any
Rath in the world, and whatever she required when she came.

"See thou take thy pleasure in the town!" had Bergelchen kept saying
the whole week through. But how, without her, can I take any? Our tears
of sorrow friends dry up, and accompany with their own; but our tears
of joy we find most readily repeated in the eyes of our wives. Pardon
me, good Friends, these libations of my sensibility; I am but showing
you my heart and my Berga. If I need an Absolution-merchant, the
Pontac-merchant is the man.

                         _First Night in Flätz_.

Yet the wine did not take from me the good sense to look under the bed,
before going into it, and examine whether any one was lurking there;
for example, the Dwarf, or the Rat-catcher, or the Legations-Rath; also
to shove the key under the latch (which I reckon the best bolting
arrangement of all), and then, by way of further assurance, to bore my
night-screws into the door, and pile all the chairs in a heap behind
it; and, lastly, to keep on my breeches and shoes, wishing absolutely
to have no care upon my mind.

But I had still other precautions to take in regard to sleep-walking.
To me it has always been incomprehensible how so many men can go to
bed, and lie down at their ease there, without reflecting that perhaps,
in the first sleep, they may get up again as Somnambulists, and crawl
over the tops of roofs and the like; awakening in some spot where they
may fall in a moment and break their necks. While at home, there is
little risk in my sleep; because, my right toe being fastened every
night with three ells of tape (I call it in jest our marriage tie) to
my wife's left hand, I feel a certainty that, in case I should start up
from this bed-arrest, I must with the tether infallibly awaken her, and
so by my Berga, as by my living bridle, be again led back to bed. But
here in the Inn, I had nothing for it but to knot myself once or twice
to the bed-foot, that I might not wander; though in this way, an
irruption of villains would have brought double peril with it.--Alas!
so dangerous is sleep at all times, that every man, who is not lying on
his back a corpse, must be on his guard lest with the general system
some limb or other also fall asleep; in which case the sleeping limb
(there are not wanting examples of it in Medical History) may next
morning be lying ripe for amputation. For this reason, I have myself
frequently awakened, that no part of me fall asleep.

Having properly tied myself to the bed-posts, and at length got under
the coverlid, I now began to be dubious about my Pontac Fire-bath, and
apprehensive of the valorous and tumultuous dreams too likely to ensue;
which, alas, did actually prove to be nothing better than heroic and
monarchic feats, castle-stormings, rock-throwings, and the like. This
point also I am sorry to see so little attended to in medicine. Medical
gentlemen, as well as their customers, all stretch themselves quietly
in their beds, without one among them considering whether a furious
rage (supposing him also directly after to drink cold water in his
dream), or a heart-devouring grief, all which he may undergo in vision,
does harm to life or not.

Shortly before midnight, I awoke from a heavy dream, to encounter a
ghost-trick much too ghostly for my fancy. My brother-in-law, who
manufactured it, deserves for such vapid cookery to be named before you
without reserve, as the maltmaster of this washy brewage. Had suspicion
been more compatible with intrepidity, I might perhaps, by his moral
maxim about this matter, on the road, as well as by his taking up the
side-room, at the middle door of which stood my couch, have easily
divined the whole. But now, on awakening, I felt myself blown upon by a
cold ghost-breath, which I could nowise deduce from the distant bolted
window; a point I had rightly decided, for the Dragoon was producing
the phenomenon through the key-hole by a pair of bellows. Every sort
of coldness in the night-season reminds you of clay-coldness and
spectre-coldness. I summoned my resolution, however, and abode the
issue; but now the very coverlid began to get in motion; I pulled it
towards me; it would not stay; sharply I sit upright in my bed, and
cry, "What is that?" No answer; everywhere silence in the Inn; the
whole room full of moonshine. And now my drawing-plaster, my coverlid,
actually rose up, and let in the air; at which I felt like a wounded
man whose cataplasm you suddenly pull off. In this crisis, I made a
bold leap from this Devil's-torus, and leaping, snapped asunder my
somnambulist tether. "Where is the silly human fool," cried I, "that
dares to ape the unseen sublime him?" But on, above, under the bed,
there was nothing to be heard or seen, I looked out of the window;
everywhere spectral moonlight and street-stillness; nothing moving
except (probably from the wind), on the distant Gallows-hill, a person
lately hanged.


15. After the manner of the fine polished English folding-knives, there
are now also folding-war-swords, or, in other words--Treaties of Peace.


Any man would have taken it for self-deception as well as I; therefore
I again wrapped myself in my passive _lit de justice_ and air-bed, and
waited with calmness to see whether my fright would subside or not.

In a few minutes the coverlid, the infernal Faust's-mantle, again began
flying and towing; also, by way of change, the invisible bed-maker
again lifted me up. Accursed hour!--I should beg to know whether, in
the whole of cultivated Europe, there is one cultivated or uncultivated
man, who, in a case of this kind, would not have lighted on
ghost-devilry? I lighted on it, under my piece of (self) movable
property, my coverlid; and thought Berga had died suddenly, and was
now, in spirit, laying hold of my bed. However, I could not speak to
her, nor as little to the Devil, who might well be supposed to have a
hand in the game; but I turned myself solely to Heaven, and prayed
aloud: "To thee I commit myself; thou alone heretofore hast cared for
thy weak servant; and I swear that I will turn a new leaf,"--a promise
which shall be kept nevertheless, though the whole was but stupid
treachery and trick.


13. _Omnibus una_ salus _Sanctis, sed_ gloria _dispar_; that is to say
(as Divines once taught), according to Saint Paul, we have all the same
Beatitude in Heaven, but different degrees of Honor. Here, on Earth, we
find a shadow of this in the writing world; for the Beatitude of
authors once beatified by Criticism, whether they be genial, good,
mediocre, or poor, is the same throughout; they all obtain the same
pecuniary Felicity, the same slender profit. But, Heavens! in regard to
the degrees of Fame, again, how far (in spite of the same emolument and
sale) will a Dunce, even in his lifetime, be put below a Genius! Is not
a shallow writer frequently forgotten in a single Fair? while a deep
writer, or even a writer of genius, will blossom through fifty Fairs,
and so may celebrate his Twenty-five Years' Jubilee, before, late
forgotten, he is lowered into the German Temple of Fame; a Temple
imitating the peculiarity of the _Padri Lucchesi_ churches in Naples,
which (according to Volkmann) permit _burials_ under their roofs, but
no _tombstone_.


My prayer had no effect with the unchristian Dragoon, who now, once for
all, had got me prisoner in the dragnet of a coverlid; and heeded
little whether a guest's bed were, by his means, made a state-bed and
death-bed or not. He span out my nerves, like gold-wire through
smaller and smaller holes, to utter inanition and evanition, for the
bed-clothes at last literally marched off to the door of the room.

Now was the moment to rise into the sublime, and to trouble myself no
longer about aught here below, but softly to devote myself to death.
"Snatch me away," cried I, and, without thinking, cut three crosses;
"quick, dispatch me, ye ghosts; I die more innocent than thousands of
tyrants and blasphemers, to whom ye yet appear not, but to unpolluted
me." Here I heard a sort of laugh, either on the street or in the
side-room. At this warm human tone, I suddenly bloomed up again, as at
the coming of a new Spring, in every twig and leaf. Wholly despising
the winged coverlid, which was not now to be picked from the door, I
laid myself down uncovered, but warm and perspiring from other causes,
and soon fell asleep. For the rest, I am not the least ashamed, in the
face of all refined capital cities,--though they were standing here at
my hand,--that, by this Devil-belief and Devil-address, I have attained
some likeness to our great German Lion, to Luther.

                         _Second Day in Flätz_.

Early in the morning, I felt myself awakened by the well-known
coverlid; it had laid itself on me like a nightmare; I gaped up; quiet,
in a corner of the room, sat a red, round, blooming, decorated girl,
like a full-blown tulip in the freshness of life, and gently rustling
with gay ribbons as with leaves.

"Who's there--how came you in?" cried I, half-blind.

"I covered thee softly, and thought to let thee sleep," said
Bergelchen; "I have walked all night to be here early; do but look!"

She showed me her boots, the only remnant of her travelling-gear which,
in the moulting process of the toilette, she had not stript at the gate
of Flätz.

"Is there," said I, alarmed at her coming six hours sooner, and the
more, as I had been alarmed all night and was still so, at her
mysterious entrance; "is there some fresh woe come over us, fire,
murder, robbery?"

She answered: "The old Rat thou hast chased so long, died yesterday;
further there was nothing of importance."

"And all has been managed rightly, and according to my Letter of
Instructions, at home?" inquired I.

"Yes, truly," answered she; "only I did not see the Letter; it is lost;
thou hast packed it among thy clothes."

Well, I could not but forgive the blooming, brave pedestrian all
omissions. Her eye, then her heart was bringing fresh cool morning air
and morning red into my sultry hours. And yet, for this kind soul,
looking into life with such love and hope, I must in a little while
overcloud the merited Heaven of to-day, with tidings of my failure in
the Catechetical Professorship! I dallied and postponed to the utmost.
I asked how she had got in, as the whole _chevaux-de-frise_ barricado
of chairs was still standing fast at the door. She laughed heartily,
courtesying in village fashion, and said, she had planned it with her
brother the day before yesterday, knowing my precautions in locking,
that he should admit her into my room, that so she might cunningly
awaken me. And now bolted the Dragoon with loud laughter into the
apartment, and cried: "Slept well, brother?"

In this wise truly the whole ghost-story was now solved and expounded,
as if by the pen of a Biester or a Hennings. I instantly saw through
the entire ghost-scheme which our Dragoon had executed. With some
bitterness I told him my conjecture, and his sister my story. But
he lied and laughed; nay, attempted shamelessly enough to palm
spectre-notions on me a second time, in open day. I answered coldly,
that in me he had found the wrong man, granting even that I had some
similarity with Luther, with Hobbes, with Brutus, all of whom had seen
and dreaded ghosts. He replied, tearing the facts away from their
originating causes: "All he could say was, that last night he had heard
some poor sinner creaking and lamenting dolefully enough; and from this
he had inferred it must be an unhappy brother set upon by goblins."


79. Weak and wrong heads are the hardest to change; and their inward
man acquires a scanty covering; thus capons never moult.


In the end, his sister's eyes also were opened to the low character
which he had tried to act with me; she sharply flew at him, pushed
him with both hands out of his and my door, and called after him:
"Wait, thou villain, I will mind it!"

Then hastily turning round, she fell on my neck, and (at the wrong
place) into laughter, and said: "The wild fool! But I could not keep my
laugh another minute, and he was not to see it. Forgive the ninny, thou
a learned man, his ass-pranks; what can one expect?"

I inquired whether she, in her nocturnal travelling, had not met any
spectral persons; though I knew that to her a wild beast, a river, a
half abyss, are nothing. No, she had not; but the gay-dressed
town's-people, she said, had scared her in the morning. O, how I do
love these soft Harmonica-quiverings of female fright!

At last, however, I was forced to bite or cut the coloquinta-apple, and
give her the half of it; I mean the news of my rejected petition for
the Catechetical Professorship. Wishing to spare this joyful heart the
rudeness of the whole truth, and to subtract something from a heavy
burden, more fit for the shoulders of a man, I began: "Bergelchen, the
Professorship affair is taking another, though still a good enough
course; the General, whom may the Devil and his Grandmother teach
sense, will not be taken except by storm; and storm he shall have, as
certainly as I have on my nightcap."

"Then thou art nothing yet?" inquired she.

"For the moment, indeed, not!" answered I.


89. In times of misfortune, the Ancients supported themselves with
Philosophy or Christianity; the moderns again (for example, in the
reign of Terror) take to Pleasure; as the wounded Buffalo, for bandage
and salve, rolls himself in the mire.

181. God be thanked that we live nowhere forever except in Hell or
Heaven; on Earth otherwise we should grow to be the veriest rascals,
and the World a House of Incurables, for want of the dog-doctor (the
Hangman), and the issue-cord (on the Gallows), and the sulphur and
chalybeate medicines (on Battle-fields). So that we too find our
gigantic moral force dependent on the _Debt of Nature_ which we have to
pay, exactly as your politicians (for example, the author of the _New
Leviathan_) demonstrate that the English have their _National Debt_ to
thank for their superiority.


"But before Saturday night?" said she.

"Not quite," said I.

"Then am I sore stricken, and could leap out of the window," said she,
and turned away her rosy face, to hide its wet eyes, and was silent
very long. Then, with painfully quivering voice, she began: "Good
Christ, stand by me at Neusattel on Sunday, when these high-prancing
prideful dames look at me in church, and I grow scarlet for shame!"

Here in sympathetic woe I sprang out of bed to the dear soul, over
whose brightly blooming cheeks warm tears were rolling, and cried:
"Thou true heart, do not tear me in pieces so! May I die, if yet in
these dog-days I become not all and everything that thou wishest!
Speak, wilt thou be Mining-räthin, Build-räthin, Court-räthin,
War-räthin, Chamber-räthin, Commerce-räthin, Legations-räthin, or Devil
and his Dam's räthin; I am here, and will buy it, and be it. To-morrow
I send riding posts to Saxony and Hessia, to Prussia and Russia, to
Friesland and Katzenellenbogen, and demand patents. Nay, I will carry
matters further than another, and be all things at once, Flachsenfingen
Court-rath, Scheerau Excise-rath, Haarhaar Building-rath, Pestitz[76]
Chamber-rath (for we have the cash); and thus, alone and singlehanded,
represent with one _podex_ and _corpus_ a whole Rath-session of select
Raths; and stand, a complete Legion of Honor, on one single pair of
legs; the like no man ever did.

"O, now thou art angel-good!" said she, and gladder tears rolled down;
"thou shalt counsel me thyself which are the finest Raths, and these we
will be."

"No," continued I, in the fire of the moment, "neither shall this serve
us; to me it is not enough that to Mrs. Chaplain thou canst announce
thyself as Building-räthin, to Mrs. Town-parson as Legations-räthin, to
Mrs. Burgermeister as Court-räthin, to Mrs. Road-and-toll-surveyor as
Commerce-räthin, or how and where thou pleasest----"

"Ah! my own too good Attelchen!" said she.

"--But," continued I, "I shall likewise become corresponding member of
the several Learned Societies in the several best capital cities (among
which I have only to choose); and truly no common actual member, but a
whole honorary member; then thee, as another honorary member, growing
out of my honorary-membership, I uplift and exalt."

Pardon me, my Friends, this warm cataplasm, or deception-balsam for a
wounded breast, whose blood is so pure and precious, that one may
be permitted to endeavor, with all possible stanching-lints and
spider-webs, to drive it back into the fair heart, its home.


63. To apprehend danger from the Education of the People is like
fearing lest the thunderbolt strike into the house because it has
_windows_; whereas the lightning never comes through these, but through
their _lead_ framing, or down by the smoke of the chimney.


But now came bright and brightest hours. I had conquered Time, I had
conquered myself and Berga; seldom does a conqueror, as I did, bless
both the victorious and the vanquished party. Berga called back her
former Heaven, and pulled off her dusty boots, and on her flowery
shoes. Precious morning beverage, intoxicating to a heart that loves! I
felt (if the low figure may be permitted) a double-beer of courage in
me, now that I had one being more to protect. In general it is my
nature--which the honorable Premier seems not to be fully aware of--to
grow bolder not among the bold, but fastest among poltroons, the bad
example acting on me by the rule of contraries. Little touches may in
this case shadow forth man and wife without casting them into the
shade. When the trim waiter with his green silk apron brought up
cracknels for breakfast, and I told him, "Johann, for two!" Berga said:
"He would oblige her very much," and called him Herr Johann.

Bergelchen, more familiar with rural burghs than capital cities, felt a
good deal amazed and alarmed at the coffee-trays, dressing-tables,
paper-hangings, sconces, alabaster inkholders, with Egyptian emblems,
as well as at the gilt bell-handle, lying ready for any one to pull out
or to push in. Accordingly, she had not courage to walk through
the hall, with its lustres, purely because a whistling, whiffling
Cap-and-feather was gesturing up and down in it. Nay, her poor heart
was like to fail when she peeped out of the window at so many gay,
promenading town's people (I was briskly that in a little while, at my
side, she must break into whistling a Gascon air down over them); and
thought the middle of this dazzling courtly throng. In a case like
this, reasons are of less avail than examples. I tried to elevate
my Bergelchen, by reciting some of my nocturnal dream-feats; for
example, how, riding on a whale's back, with a three-pronged fork, I
had pierced and eaten three eagles; and by more of the like sort; but I
produced no effect; perhaps, because to the timid female heart the
battle-field was presented rather than the conqueror, the abyss rather
than the overleaper of it.


76. Your economical, preaching Poetry apparently supposes that a
surgical Stone-cutter is an Artistical one; and a Pulpit or a Sinai a
Hill of the Muses.


At this time a sheaf of newspapers was brought me, full of gallant,
decisive victories. And though these happen only on one side, and on
the other are just so many defeats, yet the former somehow assimilate
more with my blood than the latter, and inspire me (as Schiller's
_Robbers_ used to do) with a strange inclination to lay hold of some
one, and thrash and curry him on the spot. Unluckily for the waiter,
he had chanced even now, like a military host, to stand a triple
bell-order for march, before he would leave his ground and come up.
"Sir," began I, my head full of battle-fields, and my arm of
inclination to baste him; and Berga feared the very worst, as I gave
her the well-known anger and alarm signal, namely, shoved up my cap to
my hindhead,--"Sir, is this your way of treating guests? Why don't you
come promptly? Don't come so again; and now be going, friend!" Although
his retreat was my victory, I still kept briskly cannonading on the
field of action, and fired the louder (to let him hear it), the more
steps he descended in his flight. Bergelchen,--who felt quite
horror-struck at my fury, particularly in a quite strange house, and
at a quality waiter with silk apron, mustered all her soft words
against the wild ones of a man-of-war, and spoke of dangers that might
follow. "Dangers," answered I, "are just what I seek; but for a man
there are none; in all cases he will either conquer or evade them,
either show them front or back."


115. According to Smith, the universal measure of economical value is
Labor. This fact, at least in regard to spiritual and poetical value,
we Germans had discovered before Smith; and to my knowledge, we have
always preferred the learned poet to the poet of genius, and the heavy
book full of labor to the light one full of sport.


I could scarcely lay aside this indignant mood, so sweet was it to me,
and so much did I feel refreshed by the fire of rage, and quickened in
my breast as by a benignant stimulant. It belongs certainly to the
class of Unrecognized Mercies (on which, in ancient times, special
sermons were preached), that one is never more completely in his Heaven
and _Monplaisir_ (a pleasure-palace), than while in the midst of right
hearty storming and indignation. Heavens! what might not a man of
weight accomplish in this new walk of charity! The gall bladder is for
us the chief swimming-bladder and Montgolfier; and the filling of it
costs us nothing but a contumelious word or two from some bystander.
And does not the whirlwind Luther, with whom I nowise compare myself,
confess, in his _Table-Talk_, that he never preached, sung, or prayed
so well, as while in a rage? Truly, he was a man sufficient of himself
to rouse many others into rage.

The whole morning till noon now passed in viewing sights, and
trafficking for wares; and indeed, for the greatest part, in the broad
street of our Hotel. Berga needed but to press along with me into the
market throng; needed but to look, and see that she was decorated more
according to the fashion than hundreds like her. But soon, in her care
for household gear, she forgot that of dress, and in the potter-market
the toilette-table faded from her thoughts.


4. The Hypocrite does not imitate the old practice, of cutting fruit by
a knife poisoned only on the one side, and giving the poisoned side to
the victim, the cutter eating the sound side himself; on the contrary,
he so disinterestedly inverts this practice, that to others he shows
and gives the sound moral half, or side, and retains for himself the
poisoned one. Heavens! compared with such a man, how wicked does the
Devil seem!


I, for my share, full of true tedium, while gliding after her through
her various marts, with their long cheapenings and chafferings, merely
acted the Philosopher hid within me. I weighed this empty Life, and the
heavy value which is put upon it, and the daily anxiety of man lest it,
this lightest down-feather of the Earth, fly off', and feather him, and
take him with it. These thoughts, perhaps, I owe to the street-fry of
boys, who were turning their market-freedom to account, by throwing
stones at one another all round me; for in the midst of this tumult I
vividly figured myself to be a man who had never seen war; and who,
therefore, never having experienced that often of a thousand bullets
not one will hit, feels apprehensive of these few silly stones lest
they beat in his nose and eyes. O, it is the battle-field alone that
sows, manures, and nourishes true courage, courage even for daily,
domestic, and smallest perils. For not till he comes from the
battle-field can a man both sing and cannonade; like the canary-bird,
which, though so melodious, so timid, so small, so tender, so solitary,
so soft-feathered, can yet be trained to fire off cannon, though cannon
of smaller calibre.

After dinner (in our room) we issued from the Purgatory of the
market-tumult,--where Berga, at every booth, had something to order,
and load her attendant maid with,--into Heaven, into the Dog Inn, as
the best Flätz public and pleasure-house without the gates is named,
where, in market time, hundreds turn in, and see thousands going by. On
the way thither, my little wife, my elbow-tendril, as it were, had
extracted from me such a measure of courage, that, while going through
the Gate (where I, aware of the military order, that you must not pass
near the sentry, threw myself over to the other side), she quietly
glided on, close by the very guns and fixed bayonets of the City Guard.
Outside the wall, I could direct her, with my finger to the bechained,
begrated, gigantic Schabacker-Palace, mounting up even externally on
stairs, where I last night had called and (it may be) stormed: "I had
rather take a peep at the Giant," said she, "and the Dwarf; why else
are we under one roof with them?"


67. Individual Minds, nay, Political Bodies, are like organic bodies;
extract the interior air from them, the atmosphere crushes them
together; pump off under the bell the exterior resisting air, the
interior inflates and bursts them. Therefore let every State keep up
its internal and its external resistance both at once.


In the pleasure-house itself we found sufficient pleasure; encircled as
we were, with blooming faces and meadows. In my secret heart, I all
along kept looking down, with success, on Schabacker's refusal; and
till midnight made myself a happy day of it. I had deserved it, Berga
still more. Nevertheless, about one in the morning, I was destined to
find a windmill to tilt with; a windmill, which truly lays about it
with somewhat longer, stronger, and more numerous arms than a giant,
for which Don Quixote might readily enough have taken it. On the market
place, for reasons more easily fancied than specified in words, I let
Berga go along some twenty paces before me; and I myself, for these
foresaid reasons, retire without malice behind a covered booth, the
tent most probably of some rude trader; and lingered there a moment
according to circumstances. Lo! steering hither with dart and spear,
comes the Booth-watcher, and coins and stamps me on the spot, into a
filcher and housebreaker of his Booth-street; though the simpleton sees
nothing but that I am standing in the corner, and doing anything
but--taking. A sense of honor without callosity is never blunted for
such attacks. But how in the dead of night was a man of this kind, who
had nothing in his head--at the utmost beer, instead of brains--to be
enlightened on the truth of the matter?

I shall not conceal my perilous resource; I seized the fox by the tail,
as we say; in other words, I made as if I had been muddled, and knew
not rightly, in my liquor, what I was about. I therefore mimicked
everything I was master of in this department; staggered hither and
thither; splayed out my feet like a dancing-master; got into zigzag in
spite of all efforts at the straight line; nay, I knocked my good head
(perhaps one of the clearest and emptiest of the night) like a full
one, against real posts.

However, the Booth-bailiff, who probably had been oftener drunk than I,
and knew the symptoms better, or even felt them in himself at this
moment, looked upon the whole exhibition as mere craft, and shouted
dreadfully: "Stop, rascal; thou art no more drunk than I! I know thee
of old. Stand, I say, till I speak to thee! Wouldst have thy long
finger in the market, too? Stand, dog, or I'll make thee!"


8. In great Saloons, the real stove is masked into a pretty ornamented
sham stove; so, likewise, it is fit and pretty that a virgin _Love_
should always hide itself in an interesting virgin _Friendship_.


You see the whole _nodus_ of the matter. I whisked away zigzag among
the booths as fast as possible, from the claws of this rude Tosspot;
yet he still hobbled after me. But my Teutoberga, who had heard
somewhat of it came running back; clutched the tipsy market-warder by
the collar, and said (shrieking, it is true, in village wise): "Stupid
sot, go sleep the drink out of thy head, or I'll teach thee! Dost know,
then, whom thou art speaking to? My husband, Army-chaplain Schmelzle
under General and Minister von Schabacker at Pimpelstadt, thou
blockhead!--Fie! Take shame, fellow!" The watchman mumbled, "Meant no
harm," and reeled about his business. "O thou Lioness!" said I, in the
transport of love, "why hast thou never been in any deadly peril, that
I might show thee the Lion in thy husband!"

Thus lovingly we both reached home; and perhaps in the sequel of this
Fair day might still have enjoyed a glorious after-midnight, had not
the Devil led my eye to the ninth volume of Lichtenberg's Works, and
the 206th page, where this passage occurs: "It is not impossible, that,
at a future period, our Chemists may light on some means of suddenly
decomposing the Atmosphere by a sort of Ferment. In this way the world
may be destroyed." Ah! true indeed! Since the Earth-ball is lapped up
in the larger Atmospheric ball, let but any chemical scoundrel, in the
remotest scoundrel-island, say in New Holland, devise some decomposing
substance for the Atmosphere, like what a spark of fire would be for a
powder-wagon; in a few seconds, the monstrous devouring world-storm
catches me and you in Flätz by the throat; my breathing, and the like,
in this choke-air is over, and the whole game ended! The Earth becomes
a boundless gallows, where the very cattle are hanged; worm-powder, and
bug-liquor, Bradly ant-ploughs, and rat-poison, and wolf-traps are, in
this universal world-trap and world-poison, no longer specially
needful; and the Devil takes the whole, in the Bartholomew-night, when
this cursed "Ferment" is invented.


12. Nations--unlike rivers, which precipitate their impurities in level
places and when at rest--drop their baseness just whilst in the most
violent motion; and become the dirtier the farther they flow along
through lazy flats.


From the true soul, however, I concealed these deadly Night Thoughts;
seeing she would either painfully have sympathized in them, or else
mirthfully laughed at them. I merely gave orders that next morning
(Saturday) she was to be standing booted and ready, at the outset of
the returning coach; if so were she would have me speedily fulfil her
wishes in regard to that stock of Rathships which lay so near her
heart. She rejoiced in my purpose, gladly surrendering the market for
such prospects. I too slept sound, my great toe tied to her finger the
whole night through.

The Dragoon next morning twitched me by the ear, and secretly whispered
into it that he had a pleasant fairing to give his sister; and so would
ride off somewhat early, on the nag he had yesterday purchased of the
horse-dealer. I thanked him beforehand.


28. When Nature takes the huge old Earth-round, the Earth-loaf and
kneads it up again, for the purpose of introducing, under this
piecrust, new stuffing and Dwarfs--she then, for most part, as a mother
when baking will do to her daughters, gives in jest a little fraction
of the dough (two or three thousand square leagues of such dough are
enough for a child) to some Poetical or Philosophical, or Legislative
polisher, that so the little elf may have something to be shaping and
manufacturing beside its mother. And when the other young ones get a
taste of sisterkin's baking, they all clap hands, and cry, "Aha,
Mother! canst bake like _Suky_ here?"


At the appointed hour all gayly started from the Staple, I excepted;
for I still retained, even in the fairest daylight, that nocturnal
Devil's-Ferment and Decomposition (of my cerebral globe as well as of
the Earth-globe) fermenting in my head; a proof that the night had not
affected me, or exaggerated my fear. The Blind Passenger, whom I liked
so ill, also mounted along with us, and looked at me as usual, but
without effect; for on this occasion, when the destruction not of
myself only, but of worlds, was occupying my thoughts, the Passenger
was nothing to me but a joke and a show; as a man, while his leg is
a-sawing off, does not feel the throbbing of his heart; or amid the
humming of cannon, does not guard himself from that of wasps; so to me
any Passenger, with all the firebrands he might throw into my near or
distant Future, could appear but ludicrous, at a time when I was
reflecting that the "Ferment" might, even in my journey between Flätz
and Neusattel, be, by some American or European man of science, quite
guiltlessly experimenting and decomposing, lighted upon by accident and
let loose. The question, nay prize-question now, however, were this:
"In how far, since Lichtenberg's threatening, it may not appear
world-murderous and self-murderous, if enlightened Potentates of
chemical nations do not enjoin it on their chemical subjects,--who in
their decompositions and separations may so easily separate the soul
from their body and unite Heaven with Earth,--not in future to make any
other chemical experiments than those already made, which hitherto have
profited the State rather than harmed it?"

Unfortunately, I continued sunk in this Doomsday of the Ferment with
all my thoughts and meditations, without, in the whole course of our
return from Flätz to Neusattel, suffering or observing anything, except
that I actually arrived there, and at the same time saw the Blind
Passenger once more go his ways.

My Bergelchen alone had I constantly looked at by the road, partly
that I might still see her, so long as life and eyes endured; partly
that, even at the smallest danger to her, be it a great, or even
all-over-sweeping Deluge and World's-doom, I might die, if not _for_
her, at least _by_ her, and so, united with that stanch, true heart,
cast away a plagued and plaguing life, in which, at any rate, not half
of my wishes for her have been fulfilled.

So then were my Journey over--crowned with some _Historiola_; and in
time coming, perhaps, still more rewarded through you, ye Friends about
Flätz, if in these pages you shall find any well-ground pruning-knives,
whereby you may more readily outroot the weedy tangle of Lies, which
for the present excludes me from the gallant Schabacker--Only this
cursed Ferment still sits in my head. Farewell, then, so long as there
are Atmospheres left us to breathe. I wish I had that Ferment out of my
head.                          Yours always,

                                    Attila Schmelzle.

P. S.--My brother-in-law has kept his promise well, and Berga is
dancing. Particulars in my next!

                         Analects From Richter.

                             TRANSLATED BY

                           THOMAS DE QUINCEY.

                         ANALECTS FROM RICHTER.


Sweden apart, the condition of a parish priest is in itself
sufficiently happy: in Sweden, then, much more so. There he enjoys
summer and winter pure and unalloyed by any tedious interruptions: a
Swedish spring, which is always a late one, is no repetition, in a
lower key, of the harshness of winter, but anticipates, and is a
prelibation of, perfect summer,--laden with blossoms,--radiant with the
lily and the rose: insomuch, that a Swedish summer night represents
implicitly one half of Italy, and a winter night one half of the world

I will begin with winter, and I will suppose it to be Christmas. The
priest, whom we shall imagine to be a German, and summoned from the
southern climate of Germany upon presentation to the church of a
Swedish hamlet lying in a high polar latitude, rises in cheerfulness
about seven o'clock in the morning; and till half past nine he burns
his lamp. At nine o'clock, the stars are still shining, and the
unclouded moon even yet longer. This prolongation of star-light into
the forenoon is to him delightful; for he is a German, and has a sense
of something marvellous in a starry forenoon. Methinks, I behold the
priest and his flock moving towards the church with lanterns: the
lights dispersed amongst the crowd connect the congregation into the
appearance of some domestic group or larger household, and carry the
priest back to his childish years during the winter season and
Christmas matins, when every hand bore its candle. Arrived at the
pulpit, he declares to his audience the plain truth, word for word, as
it stands in the Gospel: in the presence of God, all intellectual
pretensions are called upon to be silent; the very reason ceases to be
reasonable; nor is anything reasonable in the sight of God but a
sincere and upright heart.

                           *   *   *   *   *

Just as he and his flock are issuing from the church the bright
Christmas sun ascends above the horizon, and shoots his beams upon
their faces. The old men, who are numerous in Sweden, are all tinged
with the colors of youth by the rosy morning-lustre; and the priest, as
he looks away from them to mother earth lying in the sleep of winter,
and to the churchyard, where the flowers and the men are all in their
graves together, might secretly exclaim with the poet: "Upon the dead
mother, in peace and utter gloom, are reposing the dead children. After
a time, uprises the everlasting sun; and the mother starts up at the
summons of the heavenly dawn with a resurrection of her ancient
bloom:--And her children?--Yes: but they must wait awhile."

At home he is awaited by a warm study, and a "long-levelled rule" of
sunlight upon the book-clad wall.

The afternoon he spends delightfully; for, having before him such
perfect flower-stand of pleasures, he scarcely knows where he
should settle. Supposing it to be Christmas-day, he preaches again:
he preaches on a subject which calls up images of the beauteous
eastern-land, or of eternity. By this time, twilight and gloom
prevailed through the church: only a couple of wax-lights upon the
altar throw wondrous and mighty shadows through the aisles: the angel
that hangs down from the roof above the baptismal font is awoke into a
solemn life by the shadows and the rays, and seems almost in the act of
ascension: through the windows, the stars or the moon are beginning to
peer: aloft, in the pulpit, which is now hid in gloom, the priest is
inflamed and possessed by the sacred burden of glad tidings which he is
announcing: he is lost and insensible to all besides; and from amidst
the darkness which surrounds him, he pours down his thunders, with
tears and agitation, reasoning of future worlds, and of the heaven of
heavens, and whatsoever else can most powerfully shake the heart and
the affections.

Descending from his pulpit in these holy fervors, he now, perhaps,
takes a walk: it is about four o'clock: and he walks beneath a sky lit
up by the shifting northern lights, that to his eye appear but an
Aurora striking upwards from the eternal morning of the south, or as a
forest composed of saintly thickets, like the fiery bushes of Moses,
that are round the throne of God.

Thus, if it be the afternoon of Christmas-day: but if it be any other
afternoon, visitors, perhaps, come and bring their well-bred, grown-up
daughters; like the fashionable world in London, he dines at sunset;
that is to say, like the _un_-fashionable world of London, he dines at
two o'clock; and he drinks coffee by moonlight; and the parsonage-house
becomes an enchanted palace of pleasure gleaming with twilight,
starlight, and moonlight. Or, perhaps, he goes over to the
schoolmaster, who is teaching his afternoon school: there by the
candlelight, he gathers round his knees all the scholars, as if--being
the children of his spiritual children--they must therefore be his own
grandchildren; and with delightful words he wins their attention, and
pours knowledge into their docile hearts.

All these pleasures failing, he may pace up and down in his library,
already, by three o'clock, gloomy with twilight, but fitfully enlivened
by a glowing fire, and steadily by the bright moonlight; and he needs
do no more than taste at every turn of his walk a little orange
marmalade,--to call up images of beautiful Italy, and its gardens and
orange groves, before all his five senses, and as it were to the very
tip of his tongue. Looking at the moon, he will not fail to recollect
that the very same silver disk hangs at the very same moment between
the branches of the laurels in Italy. It will delight him to consider
that the Æolian harp, and the lark, and indeed music of all kinds, and
the stars, and children, are just the same in hot climates and in cold.
And when the post-boy, that rides in with news from Italy, winds his
horn through the hamlet, and with a few simple notes raises up on the
frozen window of his study a vision of flowery realms; and when he
plays with treasured leaves of roses and of lilies from some departed
summer, or with plumes of a bird of paradise, the memorial of some
distant friend; when, further, his heart is moved by the magnificent
sounds of Lady-day, Salad-season, Cherry-time, Trinity-Sundays, the
rose of June, &c., how can he fail to forget that he is in Sweden by
the time that his lamp is brought in; and then, indeed, he will be
somewhat disconcerted to recognize his study in what had now shaped
itself to his fancy as a room in some foreign land. However, if he
would pursue this airy creation, he need but light at his lamp a
wax-candle-end, to gain a glimpse through the whole evening into
that world of fashion and splendor, from which he purchased the
said wax-candle-end. For I should suppose, that at the court of
Stockholm, as elsewhere, there must be candle-ends to be bought of the

But now, after the lapse of half a year, all at once there strikes upon
his heart something more beautiful than Italy, where the sun sets so
much earlier in summertime than it does at our Swedish hamlet: and what
is _that_? It is the longest day, with the rich freight that it carries
in its bosom, and leading by the hand the early dawn blushing with rosy
light, and melodious with the carolling of larks at one o'clock in the
morning. Before two, that is, at sunrise, the elegant party that we
mentioned last winter arrive in gay clothing at the parsonage; for they
are bound on a little excursion of pleasure in company with the priest.
At two o'clock they are in motion; at which time all the flowers are
glittering, and the forests are gleaming with the mighty light. The
warm sun threatens them with no storm nor thunder-showers; for both are
rare in Sweden. The priest, in common with the rest of the company, is
attired in the costume of Sweden; he wears his short jacket with a
broad scarf, his short cloak above that, his round hat with floating
plumes, and shoes tied with bright ribbons: like the rest of the men,
he resembles a Spanish knight, or a Provençal, or other man of the
south: more especially when he and his gay company are seen flying
through the lofty foliage luxuriant with blossom, that within so short
a period of weeks has shot forth from the garden plots and the naked

That a longest day like this, bearing such a cornucopia of sunshine, of
cloudless ether, of buds and bells, of blossoms and of leisure, should
pass away more rapidly than the shortest,--is not difficult to suppose.
As early as eight o'clock in the evening the party breaks up; the sun
is now burning more gently over the half-closed sleepy flowers: about
nine he has mitigated his rays, and is beheld bathing as it were naked
in the blue depths of heaven: about ten, at which hour the company
reassemble at the parsonage, the priest is deeply moved, for throughout
the hamlet, though the tepid sun, now sunk to the horizon, is still
shedding a sullen glow upon the cottages and the window-panes,
everything reposes in profoundest silence and sleep: the birds even are
all slumbering in the golden summits of the woods: and at last, the
solitary sun himself sets, like a moon, amidst the universal quiet of
nature. To our priest, walking in his romantic dress, it seems as
though rosy-colored realms were laid open, in which fairies and spirits
range; and he would scarcely feel an emotion of wonder, if, in this
hour of golden vision, his brother, who ran away in childhood, should
suddenly present himself as one alighting from some blooming heaven of

The priest will not allow his company to depart: he detains them in the
parsonage garden,--where, says he, every one that chooses may slumber
away in beautiful bowers the brief, warm hours until the reappearance
of the sun. This proposal is generally adopted: and the garden is
occupied: many a lovely pair are making believe to sleep, but, in fact,
are holding each other by the hand. The happy priest walks up and
down through the parterres. Coolness comes, and a few stars. His
night-violets and gillyflowers open and breathe out their powerful
odors. To the north, from the eternal morning of the pole, exhales as
it were a golden dawn. The priest thinks of the village of his
childhood far away in Germany; he thinks of the life of man, his hopes,
and his aspirations: and he is calm and at peace with himself. Then all
at once starts up the morning sun in his freshness. Some there are in
the garden who would fain confound it with the evening sun, and close
their eyes again: but the larks betray all, and awaken every sleeper
from bower to bower.

Then again begin pleasure and morning in their pomp of radiance; and
almost I could persuade myself to delineate the course of this day
also, though it differs from its predecessor hardly by so much as the
leaf of a rose-bud.

                        DREAM UPON THE UNIVERSE.

I had been reading an excellent dissertation of Krüger's upon the old
vulgar error which regards the space from one earth and sun to another
as empty. Our sun together with all its planets fills only the
31,419,460,000,000,000th part of the whole space between itself and the
next solar body. Gracious Heavens! thought I,--in what an unfathomable
abyss of emptiness were this universe swallowed up and lost, if all
were void and utter vacuity except the few shining points of dust which
we call a planetary system! To conceive of our earthly ocean as the
abode of death, and essentially incapable of life, and of its populous
islands as being no greater than snail-shells, would be a far less
error in proportion to the compass of our planet than that which
attributes emptiness to the great mundane spaces: and the error would
be far less if the marine animals were to ascribe life and fulness
exclusively to the sea, and to regard the atmospheric ocean above them
as empty and untenanted. According to Herschel, the most remote of the
galaxies which the telescope discovers lie at such a distance from us,
that their light, which reaches us at this day, must have set out on
its journey two millions of years ago; and thus by optical laws it is
possible that whole squadrons of the starry hosts may be now reaching
us with their beams which have themselves perished ages ago. Upon this
scale of computation for the dimensions of the world, what heights and
depths and breadths must there be in this universe--in comparison of
which the positive universe would be itself a nihility, were it
crossed--pierced--and belted about by so illimitable a wilderness of
nothing! But is it possible that any man can for a moment overlook
those vast forces which must pervade these imaginary deserts with
eternal surges of flux and reflux, to make the very paths to those
distant starry coasts voyageable to our eyes? Can you lock up in a sun
or in its planets their reciprocal forces of attraction? Does not the
light stream through the immeasurable spaces between our earth and the
nebula which is farthest removed from us? And in this stream of light
there is as ample an existence of the positive, and as much a home for
the abode of a spiritual world, as there is a dwelling-place for thy
own spirit in the substance of the brain. To these and similar
reflections succeeded the following dream:--

Methought my body sank down in ruins, and my inner form stepped out
apparelled in light: and by my-side there stood another form which
resembled my own, except that it did not shine like mine, but lightened
unceasingly. "Two thoughts," said the form, "are the wings with which I
move; the thought of _Here_, and the thought of _There_. And behold! I
am yonder";--pointing to a distant world. "Come, then, and wait on me
with thy thoughts and with thy flight, that I may show to thee the
universe under a veil." And I flew along with the Form. In a moment our
earth fell back, behind our consuming flight, into an abyss of
distance; a faint gleam only was reflected from the summits of the
Cordilleras; and a few moments more reduced the sun to a little star;
and soon there remained nothing visible of our system except a comet
which was travelling from our sun with angelic speed in the direction
of Sirius. Our flight now carried us so rapidly through the flocks
of solar bodies--flocks, past counting unless to their heavenly
Shepherd,--that scarcely could they expand themselves before us into
the magnitude of moons, before they sank behind us into pale nebular
gleams; and their planetary earths could not reveal themselves for a
moment to the transcendent rapidity of our course. At length Sirius and
all the brotherhood of our constellations and the galaxy of our heavens
stood far below our feet as a little nebula amongst other yet more
distant nebulae. Thus we flew on through the starry wildernesses: one
heaven after another unfurled its immeasurable banners before us, and
then rolled up behind us: galaxy behind galaxy towered up into solemn
altitudes before which the spirit shuddered; and they stood in long
array through which the Infinite Being might pass in progress.
Sometimes the Form that lightened would outfly my weary thoughts; and
then it would be seen far off before me like a coruscation amongst the
stars--till suddenly I thought again to myself the thought of _There_,
and then I was at its side. But, as we were thus swallowed up by one
abyss of stars after another, and the heavens above our eyes were not
emptier--neither were the heavens below them fuller; and as suns
without intermission fell into the solar ocean like water-spouts of a
storm which fall into the ocean of waters;--then at length the human
heart within me was overburdened and weary, and yearned after some
narrow cell or quiet oratory in this metropolitan cathedral of the
universe. And I said to the Form at my side, "O Spirit! has then this
universe no end?" And the Form answered and said, "Lo! it has no

Suddenly, however, the heavens above us appeared to be emptied, and not
a star was seen to twinkle in the mighty abyss,--no gleam of light to
break the unity of the infinite darkness. The starry hosts behind us
had all contracted into an obscure nebula: and at length _that_ also
had vanished. And I thought to myself, "At last the universe has
ended": and I trembled at the thought of the illimitable dungeon of
pure,--pure darkness which here began to imprison the creation: I
shuddered at the dead sea of nothing, in whose unfathomable zone of
blackness the jewel of the glittering universe seemed to be set and
buried forever; and through the night in which we moved I saw the Form
which still lightened as before, but left all around it unilluminated.
Then the Form said to me in my anguish, "O creature of little faith!
Look up! the most ancient light is coming!" I looked; and in a moment
came a twilight,--in the twinkling of an eye a galaxy,--and then with a
choral burst rushed in all the company of stars. For centuries gray
with age, for millennia hoary with antiquity, had the starry light been
on its road to us; and at length out of heights inaccessible to thought
it had reached us. Now then, as through some renovated century, we flew
through new cycles of heavens. At length again came a starless
interval; and far longer it endured, before the beams of a starry host
again had reached us.

As we thus advanced forever through an interchange of nights and solar
heavens, and as the interval grew still longer and longer before the
last heaven we had quitted contracted to a point,--and as once we
issued suddenly from the middle of thickest night into an Aurora
Borealis,--the herald of an expiring world, and we found throughout
this cycle of solar systems that a day of judgment had indeed arrived;
the suns had sickened, and the planets were heaving--rocking, yawning
in convulsions, the subterraneous waters of the great deeps were
breaking up, and lightnings that were ten diameters of a world in
length ran along--from east to west--from Zenith to Nadir; and here and
there, where a sun should have been, we saw instead through the misty
vapor a gloomy--ashy--leaden corpse of a solar body, that sucked in
flames from the perishing world--but gave out neither light nor heat;
and as I saw, through a vista which had no end, mountain towering above
mountain, and piled up with what seemed glittering snow from the
conflict of solar and planetary bodies;--then my spirit bent under the
load of the universe, and I said to the Form, "Rest, rest: and lead me
no farther: I am too solitary in the creation itself; and in its
deserts yet more so: the full world is great, but the empty world is
greater; and with the universe increase its Zaarahs."

Then the Form touched me like the flowing of a breath, and spoke more
gently than before: "In the presence of God there is no emptiness:
above, below, between, and round about the stars, in the darkness and
in the light, dwelleth the true and very Universe, the sum and fountain
of all that is. But thy spirit can bear only earthly images of the
unearthly; now then I cleanse thy sight with euphrasy; look forth, and
behold the images." Immediately my eyes were opened; and I looked, and
I saw as it were an interminable sea of light,--sea immeasurable, sea
unfathomable, sea without a shore. All spaces between all heavens were
filled with happiest light: and there was a thundering of floods: and
there were seas above the seas, and seas below the seas: and I saw all
the trackless regions that we had voyaged over: and my eye comprehended
the farthest and the nearest: and darkness had become light, and the
light darkness: for the deserts and wastes of the creation were now
filled with the sea of light, and in this sea the suns floated like
ash-gray blossoms, and the planets like black grains of seed. Then my
heart comprehended that immortality dwelled in the spaces between the
worlds, and death only amongst the worlds. Upon all the suns there
walked upright shadows in the form of men: but they were glorified when
they quitted these perishable worlds, and when they sank into the sea
of light: and the murky planets, I perceived, were but cradles for the
infant spirits of the universe of light. In the Zaarahs of the creation
I saw--I heard--I felt--the glittering--the echoing--the breathing of
life and creative power. The suns were but as spinning-wheels, the
planets no more than weavers' shuttles, in relation to the infinite web
which composes the veil of Isis; which veil is hung over the whole
creation, and lengthens as any finite being attempts to raise it. And
in sight of this immeasurability of life, no sadness could endure; but
only joy that knew no limit, and happy prayers.

But in the midst of this great vision of the Universe the Form that
lightened eternally had become invisible, or had vanished to its home
in the unseen world of spirits: I was left alone in the centre of a
universe of life, and I yearned after some sympathizing being. Suddenly
from the starry deeps there came floating through the ocean of light a
planetary body; and upon it there stood a woman whose face was as the
face of a Madonna; and by her side there stood a child, whose
countenance varied not--neither was it magnified as he drew nearer.
This child was a king, for I saw that he had a crown upon his head: but
the crown was a crown of thorns. Then also I perceived that the
planetary body was our unhappy earth: and, as the earth drew near, this
child who had come forth from the starry deeps to comfort me threw upon
me a look of gentlest pity and of unutterable love--so that in my heart
I had a sudden rapture of joy such as passes all understanding; and I
awoke in the tumult of my happiness.

I awoke: but my happiness survived my dream: and I exclaimed, O how
beautiful is death, seeing that we die in a world of life and of
creation without end! and I blessed God for my life upon earth, but
much more for the life in those unseen depths of the universe which are
emptied of all but the Supreme Reality, and where no earthly life nor
perishable hope can enter.


"Ah!" said the imprisoned bird, "how unhappy were I in my eternal
night, but for those melodious tones which sometimes make their way to
me like beams of light from afar, and cheer my gloomy day. But I will
myself repeat these heavenly melodies like an echo, until I have
stamped them in my heart; and then I shall be able to bring comfort to
myself in my darkness!" Thus spoke the little warbler, and soon had
learned the sweet airs that were sung to it with voice and instrument.
That done, the curtain was raised; for the darkness had been purposely
contrived to assist in its instruction. O man! how often dost thou
complain of overshadowing grief and of darkness resting upon thy days!
And yet what cause for complaint, unless indeed thou hast failed to
learn wisdom from suffering? For is not the whole sum of human life a
veiling and an obscuring of the immortal spirit of man? Then first,
when the fleshly curtain falls away, may it soar upwards into a region
of happier melodies!

                    ON THE DEATH OF YOUNG CHILDREN.

Ephemera die all at sunset, and no insect of this class has ever
sported in the beams of the morning sun. Happier are ye, little human
ephemera! Ye played only in the ascending beams, and in the early dawn,
and in the eastern light; ye drank only of the prelibations of life;
hovered for a little space over a world of freshness and of blossoms;
and fell asleep in innocence before yet the morning dew was exhaled!

                        THE PROPHETIC DEW-DROPS.

A delicate child, pale and prematurely wise, was complaining on a hot
morning that the poor dewdrops had been too hastily snatched away and
not allowed to glitter on the flowers like other happier dewdrops that
live the whole night through and sparkle in the moonlight, and through
the morning onwards to noonday: "The sun," said the child, "has chased
them away with his heat--or swallowed them in his wrath." Soon after
came rain and a rainbow; whereupon his father pointed upwards: "See,"
said he, "there stand thy dew-drops gloriously re-set--a glittering
jewelry--in the heavens; and the clownish foot tramples on them no
more. By this, my child, thou art taught that what withers upon earth
blooms again in heaven." Thus the father spoke, and knew not that he
spoke prefiguring words: for soon after the delicate child, with the
morning brightness of his early wisdom, was exhaled, like a dewdrop,
into heaven.

                               ON DEATH.

We should all think of death as a less hideous object, if it simply
untenanted our bodies of a spirit, without corrupting them; secondly,
if the grief which we experience at the spectacle of our friends'
graves were not by some confusion of the mind blended with the image of
our own; thirdly, if we had not in this life seated ourselves in a warm
domestic nest, which we are unwilling to quit for the cold blue regions
of the unfathomable heavens; finally,--if death were denied to us. Once
in dreams I saw a human being of heavenly intellectual faculties, and
his aspirations were heavenly; but he was chained (methought) eternally
to the earth. The immortal old man had five great wounds in his
happiness--five worms that gnawed forever at his heart: he was unhappy
in springtime, because _that_ is a season of hope--and rich with
phantoms of far happier days than any which this aceldama of earth
can realize. He was unhappy at the sound of music, which dilates the
heart of man into its whole capacity for the infinite, and he cried
aloud,--"Away, away! Thou speakest of things which throughout my
endless life I have found not, and shall not find!" He was unhappy at
the remembrance of earthly affections and dissevered hearts: for love
is a plant which may bud in this life, but it must flourish in another.
He was unhappy under the glorious spectacle of the starry host, and
ejaculated forever in his heart,--"So then I am parted from you to all
eternity by an impassable abyss: the great universe of suns is above,
below, and round about me: but I am chained to a little ball of dust
and ashes." He was unhappy before the great ideas of Virtue--of
Truth--and of God; because he knew how feeble are the approximations to
them which a son of earth can make. But this was a dream: God be
thanked, that in reality there is no such craving and asking eye
directed upwards to heaven--to which death will not one day bring an

                           REALITIES OF LIFE.

Happy is every actor in the guilty drama of life, to whom the higher
illusion within supplies or conceals the external illusion; to whom, in
the tumult of his part and its intellectual interest, the bungling
landscapes of the stage have the bloom and reality of nature, and whom
the loud parting and shocking of the scenes disturb not in his dream!


In Swabia, in Saxony, in Pomerania, are towns in which are stationed a
strange sort of officers,--valuers of author's flesh, something like
our old market-lookers in this town. They are commonly called tasters
(or _Prægustatores_) because they eat a mouthful of every book
beforehand, and tell the people whether its flavor be good. We authors,
in spite, call them _reviewers_: but I believe an action of defamation
would lie against us for such bad words. The tasters write no books
themselves; consequently they have the more time to look over and tax
those of other people. Or, if they do sometimes write books, they are
bad ones: which again is very advantageous to them: for who can
understand the theory of badness in other people's books so well as
those who have learned it by practice in their own? They are reputed
the guardians of literature and the literati for the same reason that
St. Nepomuk is the patron saint of bridges and of all who pass over
them,--namely, because he himself once lost his life from a bridge.

                            FEMALE TONGUES.

Hippel, the author of the book "Upon Marriage," says, "A woman, that
does not talk, must be a stupid woman." But Hippel is an author whose
opinions it is more safe to admire than to adopt. The most intelligent
women are often silent amongst women; and again the most stupid and the
most silent are often neither one nor the other except amongst men. In
general the current remark upon men is valid also with respect to
women,--that those for the most part are the greatest thinkers who are
the least talkers; as frogs cease to croak when _light_ is brought to
the water edge. However, in fact, the disproportionate talking of
women arises out of the sedentariness of their labors: sedentary
artisans,--as tailors, shoemakers, weavers,--have this habit as well as
hypochondriacal tendencies in common with women. Apes do not talk, as
savages say, that they may not be set to work: but women often talk
double their share--even _because_ they work.


Nothing is more moving to man than the spectacle of reconciliation: our
weaknesses are thus indemnified, and are not too costly--being the
price we pay for the hour of forgiveness: and the archangel, who has
never felt anger, has reason to envy the man who subdues it. When thou
forgivest,--the man, who has pierced thy heart, stands to thee in the
relation of the sea-worm that perforates the shell of the muscle, which
straightway closes the wound with a pearl.

                               *   *   *

The graves of the best of men, of the noblest martyrs, are like the
graves of the Herrnhuters (the Moravian brethren)--level, and
undistinguishable from the universal earth: and, if the earth could
give up her secrets, our whole globe would appear a Westminster Abbey
laid flat. Ah! what a multitude of tears, what myriads of bloody drops
have been shed in secrecy about the three corner-trees of earth,--the
tree of life, the tree of knowledge, and the tree of freedom,--shed,
but never reckoned! It is only great periods of calamity that reveal to
us our great men, as comets are revealed by total eclipses of the sun.
Not merely upon the field of battle, but also upon the consecrated soil
of virtue--and upon the classic ground of truth, thousands of
_nameless_ heroes must fall and struggle to build up the footstool
from which history surveys the _one_ hero, whose name is embalmed,
bleeding--conquering--and resplendent. The grandest of heroic deeds are
those which are performed within four walls and in domestic privacy.
And, because history records only the self-sacrifices of the male sex,
and because she dips her pen only in blood,--therefore is it that in
the eyes of the unseen spirit of the world our annals appear doubtless
far more beautiful and noble than in our own.


Man upon this earth would be vanity and hollowness, dust and ashes,
vapor and a bubble,--were it not that he felt himself to be so. That it
is possible for him to harbor such a feeling,--_this_, by implying a
comparison of himself with something higher in himself, _this_ is it
which makes him the immortal creature that he is.


The earth is every day overspread with the veil of night for the same
reason as the cages of birds are darkened,--namely, that we may the
more readily apprehend the higher harmonies of thought in the hush and
quiet of darkness. Thoughts, which day turns into smoke and mist, stand
about us in the night as lights and flames: even as the column which
fluctuates above the crater of Vesuvius, in the daytime appears a
pillar of cloud, but by night a pillar of fire.

                               THE STARS.

Look up, and behold the eternal fields of light that lie round about
the throne of God. Had no star ever appeared in the heavens, to man
there would have been no heavens; and he would have laid himself down
to his last sleep, in a spirit of anguish, as upon a gloomy earth
vaulted over by a material arch--solid and impervious.


To die for the truth--is not to die for one's country, but to die for
the world. Truth, like the _Venus del Medici_, will pass down in thirty
fragments to posterity: but posterity will collect and recompose them
into a goddess. Then also thy temple, O eternal Truth! that now stands
half below the earth--made hollow by the sepulchres of its witnesses,
will raise itself in the total majesty of its proportions; and will
stand in monumental granite; and every pillar on which it rests will be
fixed in the grave of a martyr.

                        THE QUARRELS OF FRIENDS.

Why is it that the most fervent love becomes more fervent by brief
interruption and reconciliation? and why must a storm agitate our
affections before they can raise the highest rainbow of peace? Ah! for
this reason it is--because all passions feel their object to be as
eternal as themselves, and no love can admit the feeling that the
beloved object should die. And under this feeling of imperishableness
it is that we hard fields of ice shock together so harshly, whilst all
the while under the sunbeams of a little space of seventy years we are
rapidly dissolving.


But for dreams, that lay Mosaic worlds tessellated with flowers and
jewels before the blind sleeper, and surround the recumbent living with
the figures of the dead in the upright attitude of life, the time would
be too long before we are allowed to rejoin our brothers, parents,
friends: every year we should become more and more painfully sensible
of the desolation made around us by death, if sleep--the ante-chamber
of the grave--were not hung by dreams with the busts of those who live
in the other world.


There are two very different classes of philosophical heads--which,
since Kant has introduced into philosophy the idea of positive and
negative quantities, I shall willingly classify by means of that
distinction. The positive intellect is, like the poet, in conjunction
with the outer world, the father of an inner world; and, like the poet
also, holds up a transforming mirror in which the entangled and
distorted members as they are seen in our actual experience enter into
new combinations which compose a fair and luminous world: the
hypothesis of Idealism (i. e. the Fichtéan system) the Monads and the
Pre-established Harmony of Leibnitz--and Spinozism are all births of a
genial moment, and not the wooden carving of logical toil. Such men
therefore as Leibnitz, Plato, Herder, &c., I call positive intellects;
because they seek and yield the positive; and because their inner
world, having raised itself higher out of the water than in others,
thereby overlooks a larger prospect of island and continents. A
negative head, on the other hand, discovers by its acuteness--not any
positive truths, but the negative (i. e. the errors) of other people.
Such an intellect, as for example Bayle, one of the greatest of that
class,--appraises the funds of others, rather than brings any fresh
funds of his own. In lieu of the obscure ideas which he finds he gives
us clear ones: but in this there is no positive accession to our
knowledge; for all that the clear idea contains in development exists
already by implication in the obscure idea. Negative intellects of
every age are unanimous in their abhorrence of everything positive.
Impulse, feeling, instinct--everything, in short, which is
incomprehensible, they can endure just once--that is, at the summit of
their chain of arguments as a sort of hook on which they may hang
them,--but never afterwards.


That for which man offers up his blood or his property must be more
valuable than they. A good man does not fight with half the courage
for his own life that he shows in the protection of another's. The
mother, who will hazard nothing for herself, will hazard all in defence
of her child:--in short, only for the nobility within us--only for
virtue, will man open his veins and offer up his spirit: but this
nobility--this virtue--presents different phases: with the Christian
martyr, it is faith; with the savage, it is honor; with the republican,
it is liberty.


Fancy can lay only the past and the future under her copying-paper: and
every actual presence of the object sets limits to her power: just as
water distilled from roses, according to the old naturalists, lost its
power exactly at the periodical blooming of the rose.

                               *   *   *

The older, the more tranquil, and pious a man is, so much the more holy
does he esteem all that is _innate_, that is, _feeling_ and _power_;
whereas in the estimate of the multitude whatsoever is _self-acquired_,
the ability of practice and science in general has an undue
pre-eminence; for the latter is universally appreciated, and therefore
even by those who have it not, but the former not at all. In the
twilight and the moonshine the fixed stars, which are suns, retire and
veil themselves in obscurity; whilst the planets, which are simply
earths, preserve their borrowed light unobscured. The elder races of
men, amongst whom man _was_ more, though he had not yet _become_ so
much, had a childlike feeling of sympathy with all the gifts of the
Infinite--for example, with strength--beauty--and good fortune; and
even the _involuntary_ had a sanctity in their eyes, and was to them a
prophecy and a revelation: hence the value they ascribed, and the
art of interpretation they applied, to the speeches of children--of
madmen--of drunkards--and of dreamers.

                               *   *   *

As the blind man knows not light, and through that ignorance also of
necessity knows not darkness,--so likewise, but for disinterestedness
we should know nothing of selfishness, but for slavery nothing of
freedom: there are perhaps in this world many things which remain
obscure to us for want of alternating with their opposites.

                               *   *   *

Derham remarks in his Physico-theology that the deaf hear best in the
midst of noise, as, for instance, during the ringing of bells, &c. This
must be the reason, I suppose, that the thundering of drums, cannons,
&c., accompany the entrance into cities of princes and ministers, who
are generally rather deaf, in order that they may the better hear the
petitions and complaints of the people.

                         MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.


"Give me," said Herder to his son, as he lay in the parched weariness
of his last illness,--"give me a great thought, that I may quicken
myself with it."

It marks a strange perversity in human nature, that we are wont to
offer nothing but images of terror--no stars of cheering light--to
those who lie imprisoned in the darkness of a sick-bed, when the
glitter of the dew of life is waxing gray and dim before them. It is
indeed hard that lamentations and emotions are frequently vented upon
the dying, which would be withheld from the living in all their vigor;
as if the sick patient was to console those in health. There stands no
spirit in the closeness of a sick-chamber to awaken a cheering smile on
that nerveless, colorless countenance; but only confessors, lawyers,
and doctors, who order everything, and relatives who lament at
everything. There stands no lofty spirit, elevated above the
circumstance of sorrow, to conduct the prostrate soul of the sufferer,
thirsty for the refreshment of joy, back to the old springtide waters
of pious recollection; and so to mingle these with the last ecstasies
of life, as to give the dying man a foreboding of his transition to
another state. On the contrary, the death-bed is narrowed into a coffin
without a lid. The value of life is enhanced to the departing one by
lies which promise cure, or words which proffer consolation; the bier
is represented as a scaffold, the harsh discord of life is trumpeted
into the ears which survive long after the eyes are dead, instead of
letting life ebb away like an echo in sounds ever deeper, though
fainter. Nevertheless, man has this of good in him, that he recalls the
slightest joy which he has shared with a dying person, far rather than
a thousand greater pleasures given to a person in health; perhaps
because, in the latter case, we hope to repeat and redouble our
attentions,--so little do mortals reflect that every pleasure they give
or they receive may be the last.

Our exit from life would therefore be greatly more painful than our
entrance into it, were it not that our good mother Nature had
previously mitigated its sufferings, by gently bearing her children
from one world into another when they are already heavy with sleep. For
in the hour before the last she allows a breastplate of indifference
toward the survivors to freeze about the heart of the lamented one; and
in the hour immediately preceding dissolution (as we learn from those
who have recovered from apparent death, and from the demeanor of many
dying persons), the brain is, as it were, inundated and watered by
faint eddies of bliss, comparable to nothing upon earth better than to
the ineffable sensations felt by a patient under magnetic treatment.

We can by no means know how high these sensations of dying may reach,
as we have accounts of them from none but those in whom the process has
been interrupted; nor can we ascertain whether it is not these
ecstatical transports which exhaust life more than the convulsions of
pain, and which loosen the tie of this terrestrial state in some
unknown heaven.

The history of the dying is a serious and prodigious history, but on
earth its leaves will never be unrolled.

In the little village of Heim, Gottreich Hartmann resided with his old
father, who was a curate; and although the old man had wellnigh
outlived all those whom he had loved, he was made happy by his son.
Gottreich discharged his duties for him in the parish, not so much in
aid of his parent's unflinching vigor, as to satisfy his own energy,
and to give his father the exquisite gratification of being edified by
his child and companion.

In Gottreich there thrilled a spirit of true poetry; he was not, like
the greater number of poetical young men, a bulbous plant, which, when
it has sent forth its own flower, fattens its unseemly fruit
underground; but he was a tree which crowned its variegated blossoms
with sweet and beautiful fruits; and these buds were as yet coiled up
from the warmth of the earliest springtide of a poet's life.

His father had had in his youth a poet's ardor of like intensity, but
it was not favored by the times; for in the last century many a spirit
which might have soared was engaged to the pulpit or the law-court,
because the old-fashioned middle classes were convinced that their
offspring would find richer pasture on the meadow and in the valley
than on the peaks of the mountain of the Muses.

Nevertheless, the repressed spirit of a poet, when it cannot exhale
itself in creation, recoils but the more closely into the depths of his
heart. His unuttered feelings speak in his motions as with a voice, and
his actions express his imagery, and in this manner the poet may live
as long as the man; just as the short-lived butterfly may last out the
long, hard winter in its chrysalis state, if it has not burst its
prison in the preceding summer.

Such had been the life of the elder Hartmann; and yet more beautiful
was it, because the virginal soul of the poet lives in the offices of
religion, as in a nun's cell; and the twin sisters Piety and Poetry are
wont to dwell together and stand by one another.

How beautiful and how pure is the position of God's ministers! All that
is good dwells around them,--religion, poetry, and the life of a
shepherd of souls; whilst other professions oft serve only to choke up
this goodly neighborhood. Son and father seemed to live in one another,
and on the site of filial and paternal love there arose the structure
of a rare and singular friendship. Gottreich not only cheered his
father by the new birth of his lost poet's youth, but by the still more
beautiful similarity of their faith. In days gone by, a minister who
sent his son to the public theological schools might expect him to
return the sworn antagonist of all that he had himself daily prayed to
at the altar in the discharge of his office: the son returned to his
father's roof as a missionary sent to convert the heathen, or as an
antichrist. There may have been sorrows of a father, which, though all
unspoken, were deeper than a mother's sorrows. But times are perhaps
better now.

Gottreich, though he entered the high schools with his share of the
uppish, quibbling of early youth, returned with the faith of his
ancestors and of his father. For he had studied under instructors who
had taught him to cling rather to the teachings of the old faith than
to the ingenious explanations of the commentators, and who had exposed
to the light alone what is serviceable to man, as to a plant, and to
its outward growth, but not the roots perniciously. Thus the father
found again his old Christian heart sending forth new shoots in the
bosom of his Gottreich, and moreover the best justification of the
convictions of his life and of his love.

If it be pain to us to love and at the same time to contradict, to
refuse with the head what the heart grants, it is all the sweeter to us
to find ourselves and our faith transplanted forwards in a younger
being. Life is then a beautiful night, in which not one star goes down
but another rises in its place.

Gottreich possessed a paradise, in which he labored as his father's
gardener; he was at once the wife, the brother, the friend, the all
that is to be loved by man, of his parent. Every Sunday brought him a
new pleasure, that of preaching a sermon before his father. He
displayed so much power in his pulpit eloquence, that he seemed to
labor more for the elevation and edification of his father than for the
enlightenment of the common people; though he held a maxim, which I
take to be far from erroneous, that the highest subjects of
intellectual speculation are good for the people as for children, and
that _man can only learn to rise, from the consideration of that which
he cannot surmount_. If the eye of the old man was moistened, or if his
hands were suddenly folded in an attitude of prayer, the Sunday became
the holiest of festivals; and many a festival has there been in that
quiet little parsonage, whose festivity no one understood and no one
perceived. He who looks upon sermon-preaching and sermon-hearing as a
dull pleasure, will but little understand the zest with which the two
friends conversed on discourses delivered, and on those yet to come, as
if pulpit-criticism was as engrossing as the criticism of the stage.
The approbation and the love of an energetic old man like Hartmann,
whose spiritual limbs had by no means stiffened on the chilly ridge of
years, could not but exercise a powerful influence on a young man like
Gottreich, who, more tenderly and delicately formed both in body and
mind, was wont to shoot forth in loftier and more rapid flame.

To these two happy men was added a happy woman also. Justa, an
orphan, sole mistress of her property, had entirely left and sold the
trading-house which had been her father's, in the town, and had removed
into the upper part of a good peasant's cottage, to live entirely in
the country. Justa did nothing in the world by halves, but she often
did things more than most would deem completely, at least in all that
touched her generosity. She had not long resided in the village of
Heim, and had seen the meek Gottreich, and listened to some of his
springtide sermons, ere she discovered that he had won her heart,
filled as it was with the love of virtue; she nevertheless refused to
grant him her hand until the conclusion of the great peace, after
which they were to be married. She was ever fonder of doing what is
difficult than what is easy. I wish that it was here the place to
tell of the May-time life they led, which seemed to blossom in the low
parsonage-house hard by the church-door under Justa's hand; how she came
in the morning from her own cottage, to order matters in the little
dwelling for the day; how the evenings were passed in the garden,
ornamented with few, but pretty flower-beds, and commanding a view of
many a well-watered meadow and distant hill, and stars without number;
how these three hearts played into one another, no one of which in this
most pure and intimate intercourse knew or felt anything which was not
of the fairest; and how good and gay intention marked the passage of
their lives. Every bench was a church chair, all was peaceful and holy,
and the firmament above an infinite church dome.

In many a village and in many a house a true Eden may be hid, which has
neither been named nor marked down; for joy is fond of covering over
and concealing her tenderest flowers. Gottreich reposed in such a
fulness of bliss and love, of poetry and religion, of springtime, of
the past and of the future, that he feared in the bottom of his heart
to speak his happiness out, save in prayer. In prayer, thought he, man
may say all, his happiness and his misery. His father was very happy
also; there came over him a warm old age,--no winter night, but a
summer evening, without frost or darkness: albeit the sun of his life
was sunk pretty deep below the mound of earth under which his wife was
lain down to sleep.

Nothing recalls the close of life to a noble-hearted young man so much
as precisely the happiest and fairest hours which he passes. Gottreich,
in the midst of the united fragrance and beauty of the flowers of joy,
even with the morning-star of life above him, could not but think on
the time when the same should appear to him as the evening star,
warning him of sleep. Then said he to himself: "All is now so certain
and so clear before me,--the beauty and the holiness of life, the
splendor of the universe, the Creator, the dignity and the greatness of
man's heart, the bright images of eternal truth, the whole starry
firmament of ideas, which enlightens, instructs, and upholds man! But
when I am grown old, and in the obstruction of death, will not all that
now rustles so bloomingly and livingly about me appear gray and dull?
Just when man is approaching that heaven which he has so long
contemplated, Death holds the telescope inverted before his dim eye,
and lets him see only what is empty, distant, shadowy. But is this
indeed true? Shall I be more likely to be right when I only feel and
think and hope, with half a life, incapable of a keen glance or an
intense sensation,--or am I right now, that my whole heart is warm,
that my whole head is clear, and my strength fresh? I acknowledge that
the present is the fittest season, and that precisely because I do
acknowledge it to be the fittest. I will then live through this daytime
of truth attentively, and bear it away with me to the evening dusk,
that it may lighten my end."

In these sweetest May-hours of youth, when heaven and earth and his own
heart were beating together in harmony, he gave ardent words to his
ardent thoughts, and kept them written down under the title of
"_Reminiscences of the best Hours of Life for the Hour of Death_." He
meant to cheer himself at his last hour with these views of his happy
life, and to look back from the glow of the evening to the brightness
of the morning of his youth.

Thus lived these three beings, ever rejoicing more deeply in one
another and in their genial happiness, when at last the chariots of the
struggle and the victories of the holy War[77] began to roll over the

Now Gottreich became another man; like a young bird of passage, which,
though it know nothing of summer climates, frets in its warm cage that
it cannot fly away with the older birds of its kind. The active powers
of his nature, which had heretofore been the quiet audience of his
poetical and oratorical powers, arose; and it seemed to him as if the
spirit of energy, which hitherto had wasted itself like the flames of a
bituminous soil on the empty air, were now seeking an object to lay
hold of. He dared not, however, risk to propose a separation to his
father, but he by turns tormented and refreshed himself inwardly with
the idea of laboring and combating with the rest. To Justa alone he
confided his wishes, but she did not give them encouragement, because
she thought the old man's solitude would be too great for him to bear.
At last the old man himself, inspirited for war by Gottreich and his
betrothed one, said that his son had better go, that he had long
desired it, and had only been silent through love for him. He hoped,
with God's aid, to be able to discharge his pastoral duties for a
twelvemonth; so that he, too, should be doing something for his

Gottreich departed, trusting to the autumnal strength of his father's
life. He enlisted as a common soldier, and preached also wherever he
was able. The entrance on a new career awakens new energies and powers,
which rapidly unfold into life and vigor. Although fortune spared him
the wounds which he would so willingly have brought back with him into
the peaceful future of his life, in memory as it were of the focus of
his youth, yet it was happiness enough to take part in the battles,
and, like an old republican, to fight together with a whole nation for
the common cause.

When at length, in the most beautiful month of May which ever Germany
had won by conquest, the festivals of victory and of peace began in
more than one nation. Gottreich was unwilling to pass those days of
rejoicing so far from those who were dearest to him; he longed for
their company, that his joy might be doubled: so he took the road to
Heim. Thousands, before and after him, journeyed at that time over the
liberated land, from a happy past to a happy future; but few there were
who saw, like Gottreich, so pure a firmament over the mountains of his
native valleys, in which not a star was missing, but every one of them
was twinkling and bright. Justa had already sent him the little annals
of the parsonage; had told him how she longed for his return, and how
his father rejoiced; how well the old man stood the labors of his
office, and how she had still better secrets of joy in store for him.
To these latter belonged, perhaps, one which he had not forgotten,
namely, her promise to give him her hand after the great peace.

With such prospects he enjoyed in thought, ever from Whitsuntide
forwards, that holy evening when he should unexpectedly relieve the old
man from all his labors, and begin to prepare the tranquil festivities
of the village.

As he was thus thinking upon that day's meeting, and as the mountains
above his father's village, in which he was so soon to clasp those fond
hearts to his own, were seen more and more clearly in relief against
the blue sky, his "Reminiscences of the best Hours of Life for the Hour
of Death" re-echoed in his soul, and he could not refrain from noting
amongst them, as he went along, the joy of meeting again here below.

Behind him there was coming up a storm from the east, in the direction
of his home, before which he seemed to come a happy messenger; for the
storms of war, which he had seen upon the earth, had reconciled to him
and made him love those of heaven; and the parched ground, the dropping
flowers, and the ears of corn had long been thirsting for the waters of
the warm clouds. A parishioner of Heim, who was laboring in the fields,
saluted him as he passed, and expressed his joy that the rain and
Gottreich had both come at last together.

And now he caught sight of the low church-steeple, peeping from the
clustered trees, and he entered upon that tract of the valley where the
parsonage lay, all reddened by the evening sun. At every window he
hoped to see his betrothed one, if perchance she might be looking out
on the sunset before the storm came on; and as he came nearer, he hoped
to see the lattice open, and Whitsuntide brooms in the chief apartment;
but he found nothing of all this.

At last he entered quietly the parsonage-house, and slowly opened the
well-known door. The room was empty, but he heard a noise overhead.
When he opened the door of his upper chamber, which was filled with a
glow from the west, Justa was kneeling before the bed of his father,
who, sitting half upright, was looking with a haggard, stiff, and bony
countenance toward the setting sun before him. A clasp of her lover to
her breast, and one exclamation, was all his reception. But his father
stretched his wizened hand slowly out, and said, with difficulty, "Thou
art come at the right time!" without adding whether he spoke of the
preachings or of their separation.

Justa hastily related how the old man had overworked himself, till body
and spirit had given way together,--so that he no longer took a share
in anything, though he longed to be with the sharers,--and how he lay
prostrate with broken wings, looking upwards like a needy child. The
old man was grown hard of hearing, and she could say all this in his

Gottreich soon confirmed it to himself. He would fain have infused the
fire of conquest, reflected in his own bosom, which, like a red evening
cloud, was announcing a fair dawn to Europe, into that old and once
strong heart; but he heard neither wish nor question of it. The old
man gazed steadily upon the sun, until at last it was hid by the storm.
Nevertheless the war of the elements seemed to touch him but little;
the glare of life broke dimly through the thickening ice of death. A
dying man knows no present,--nothing but the future and the past.

On a sudden the landscape grew dark, all the winds stood pent, the
earth oppressed; then there came a gush of rain and a crash of thunder.
The lightning streamed around the old man, and he looked up altered and
astonished. "Hist!" said he; "I hear the rain once more;--speak
quickly, children, for I shall soon depart."

Both his children clung to him, but he was too weak to embrace them.

And now, as the warm, healing springs of the clouds bathed the sick
earth, down from the dripping tree to the blades of grass, and as the
sky glistened mildly as with a tear of joy, and the thunder went
warring away behind the distant mountains, the sick man pointed
upwards, and said, "Seest thou the lordliness of God? My son,
strengthen now at the last my weary soul with something holy, in the
spirit of love, and not of penance; for if our hearts condemn us not,
then have we confidence toward God. Say something rich in love to me of
God and of his works."

Then the eyes of his son overflowed, to think that he should read the
Reminiscences which he had prepared for his own death-bed at the
death-bed of his father. When he said this to him, the old man
answered, "Hasten, my son!" and with a faltering voice, Gottreich began
to read:--

"Remember, in the darkening hour, that the glow of the universe once
filled thy breast, and that thou hast acknowledged the magnitude of
existence. Hast thou not looked forth into one half of infinity by
night, and into the other half by day? Think away the nothingness of
space, and the earth which is around thee; worlds above, around, and
beneath arch thee about as a centre, all impelling and impelled,
splendor within splendor, magnitude within magnitude; all brightness
centring in the universal Sun. Carry thy thoughts forwards through
eternity, toward that universal Sun; thou shalt not arrive at darkness
nor emptiness. What is empty dwells only between the worlds, not around
the world.

"Remember, in the dark hour, those times when thou hast prayed to God
in ecstasy, and when thou hast thought on him,--the greatest thought of
finite man,--the Infinite One!"

Here the old man clasped his hands, and prayed low.

"Hast thou not known and felt the existence of that Being, whose
infinity consists not only in his strength, in his wisdom, and his
eternity, but also in his love and in his justice? Canst thou forget
the time when the blue sky by day and the blue sky by night opened on
thee, as if the mildness of God was looking down on thee? Hast thou not
felt the love of the Infinite, when it veiled itself in its image, in
loving hearts of men; as the sun, which casts its light not on our moon
alone, for our nights, but on the morning and evening star also, and on
every little twinkler, even to the farthest from the earth?

"Remember, in the dark hour, how in the spring of thy life the mounds
of earth which are graves appeared to thee only as the mountain-tops of
another far and new world; and how in the midst of the fulness of life
thou didst acknowledge the value of death. The snow of the grave shall
warm the frost-bitten limbs of age to life again. As a navigator who
suddenly disembarks from the cold, wintry, and lonely sea, upon a coast
which is laden with the warm, rich blossoms of spring, so with one leap
from our little bark we pass at once from winter to an eternal

"Rejoice, in this dark hour, that thy life dwells in the midst of a
wider and larger life. The earth-clod of the globe has been divinely
breathed upon. A world swarms with life,--for the leaf of every tree is
a land of souls; and every little life would freeze and perish, if it
were not warmed and borne up by the eddies of life about it. The sea
of time glitters, like the sea of space, with countless beings of
light: death and resurrection are the valleys and mountains of the
ever-swelling ocean. There exists no dead anatomy; what seems to be
such is only another body. Without a universal living existence, there
would be nothing but a wide, all-encompassing death. We cling like
mosses to the Alps of nature, drawing life from the high clouds. Man is
the butterfly which flutters up to Chimborazo, but above the butterfly
soars the condor: however many, small or great, the giant and the child
are free wanderers in one garden; and the fly of a day may retrace its
infinite series of progenitors to those first beings of its kind which
played over the waters of Paradise before the evening sun.

"Never forget the thought, which is now so clear to thee, that the
individuality of man lasts out the greatest suffering and the most
entrancing joy alike unscathed, while the body crumbles away in the
pains and pleasures of the flesh. Herein are souls like marsh-lights,
which shine in the storm and the rain unextinguishable.

"Canst thou forget, in the dark hour, that there have been mighty men
amongst us, and that thou art following after them? Raise thyself like
the spirits which stood upon their mountains, having the storm of life
only about and never above them. Call back to thee the kingly race of
sages and of poets, who have inspirited and enlightened nation after

"Speak of our Redeemer!" said the father.

"Remember Jesus Christ, in the dark hour,--remember Him who also passed
through life,--remember that soft Moon of the infinite Sun, given to
enlighten the night of the world. Let life be hallowed to thee, and
death also, for he shared both of them with thee. May his calm and
lofty form look down on thee in the last darkness, and show thee his

A low roll of thunder was now heard to pass over the dun clouds which
the tempest had left, and the setting sun filled the entire vault of
heaven with the magnificence of his fire.

"Remember, in the last hour, how the heart of man can love. Canst thou
forget the love wherewith one heart repays a thousand hearts, and the
soul during life is nourished and vivified from another soul, as the
oak of a hundred years clings fast to the same spot with its roots, and
derives new strength, and sends forth new buds during its hundred

"Dost thou mean me?" said the father.

"I mean my mother also," replied the son.

Justa wept, when she heard how her lover would console himself in his
last hours with the reminiscence of the days of her love; and the
father said, but very gently, thinking on his wife, "To meet again, to
meet again!"

"Remember then, in the last hour," continued Gottreich, "that pure
being with whom thy life was beautiful and great,--with whom thou hast
wept tears of joy, with whom thou hast prayed to God, and in whom God
appeared unto thee, in whom thou didst find the first and last heart of
love,--and then close thine eyes in peace!"

On a sudden the clouds were cleft into two huge, black mountains,
and the deep sun looked forth from between them, as it were out of
a valley between buttresses of rock, gazing upon the earth with its
joy-glistening eye.

"See!" said the dying man, "what a glare!"

"It is the evening sun, father."

"Ay, this day shall we see one another again!" continued the old man;
but he spoke of his wife, who was long since dead.

The son was unable, from his emotion, to paint to his father the
blessedness of meeting again upon the earth, which he had that very day
enjoyed by anticipation and described upon his journey; or to say to
him how it comes, that meeting again is a renewal of love in a better
state; and that, if the first meeting was apt to overflow into the
future, reminiscence binds the flowers of the present and the fruits of
the past upon one stem.

Who could have courage to speak of the joys of earthly meeting to one
who seemed to be already in the contemplation of a meeting in heaven?

Startled, he asked, "Father, what ails thee?"

"I _do_ think thereon in the dark hour; ay, thereon and thereupon
again; and death is also beautiful, and the parting in Christ,"
murmured to himself the old man, as he tried to take Gottreich's hand,
which he had not strength to press. It was but the usual nervous
snatching of the fingers of the dying. He continued to think that his
son was still speaking to him, and said, more and more distinctly and
emphatically, "O thou blessed God!" until all the other luminaries of
life were extinguished, and in his soul there stood nothing but the one

At length he raised himself, and, stretching out his arm forcibly,
exclaimed: "There are three fair rainbows over the evening sun; I must
go after the sun, and pass through with him!" He then fell back, and
all was over.

At that moment the sun went down, and there glimmered at his setting a
broad rainbow in the east.

"He is gone!" said Gottreich to Justa, in a voice choked with grief;
"but he is gone from us unto his God, in the midst of great, pious, and
unmingled joy; then weep no more, Justa!"

At that moment his own hitherto restrained tears found a vent, and he
pressed the dead hand against his face.

It grew dark, and a warm rain distilled gently over the earth. The
children left his motionless form alone, and wept more tranquilly for
that sun of their love, which, with its pure light, had withdrawn from
the clouds and tempests of the world to another dawn.


An old man stood in the New-Year's night at the window, and gazed with
a look of restless despair upon the immutable, ever-blooming heaven,
and out over the still pure white earth whereupon there was now no one
so joyless and sleepless as he. For his grave stood near to him. It was
covered only with the snow of age, not with the green of youth; and he
brought with him thither out of his whole rich life nothing but errors
and sins and sickness; a ruined body, a desolated soul, a breast full
of poison, an old age full of remorse. The fair days of his youth
wandered about him now like ghosts, and they bore him back again to
that clear morning when his father first placed him at the cross-road
of life, the right hand leading by the sunny ways of virtue into a
wide, peaceful land, full of light and of harvests; the left, down into
the mole-ways of vice towards a black cavern, full of down-dropping
poison, full of darting serpents and dark sultry damps.

Ah! the serpents hung about his breast, and the poison-drops upon his
tongue, and he knew now where he was.

Knowing not what he did, and with unspeakable grief, he cried out to
Heaven: "Give me my youth once more! O father, place me again upon the
cross-road, that I may choose otherwise!"

But his father and his youth were long gone. He saw wandering lights
dancing on the marshes, and dying out upon _God's Acre_, and he said,
"These are my sinful days!" He saw a star fly out from heaven, to
glimmer in its fall, and to be extinguished on the earth. "That is I,"
said his bleeding heart; and the serpent-teeth of remorse gnawed again
into his wounds.

His burning fancy showed him creeping night-wanderers upon the roofs,
and the windmill threw up its arms threatening to crush him, and a mask
left behind in the dead-house assumed by degrees his own feature.

Suddenly, in the midst of this tumult, music for the New Year flowed
down from the tower, like distant church-song. He was deeply moved. He
looked around the horizon and over the wide earth, and thought of his
youthful friends, who now, happier and better than he, were teachers
for the world, fathers of happy children, and favored men, and he
said, "O, I also could be happy, dear parents, had I fulfilled your
New-Year's wishes and instructions."

In the feverish memories of his youth, it seemed to him that the mask
with his features raised itself up in the dead-house; finally, through
the superstition which discerns spirits and the future on New-Year's
night, it became a living youth, in the position of the beautiful boy
of the Capitol, pulling out a thorn, and his formerly blooming face
danced weird and bitter before him.

He could look no more: he covered his eyes: hot tears streamed down
upon the snow;--again he softly sighed, hopeless and unconscious, "Come
again, O youth, come again!"

And it came again; for on that New-Year's night he had only dreamed
thus fearfully. He was still a youth; yet his errors had been no dream.
But he thanked God that he, still young, might turn aside from the foul
ways of vice, and could follow the sunny path which leads to the fair
land of harvests. Turn aside with him, O youth, if thou standest upon
his wandering way. This frightful dream will in future be thy judge;
but if thou shouldst one day call out, full of grief, "Come again, O
beautiful youth!" so shall it never return again.

                         THE DEATH OF AN ANGEL.

The tenderest and kindest angel, the Angel of the _last_ hour, whom we
harshly call Death, is sent to us, that he may mildly and gently pluck
away the sinking heart of man from life, and bear it unhurt in his warm
hands out of the cold breast into high, warming Eden. His brother is
the Angel of the first hour, who twice kisses man,--once when he begins
this life; and again, when he awakes on high, without wounds, and
enters smiling upon the other life, as he came weeping into this.

As the Angel of the last hour saw the battle-fields stretched before
him, full of blood and tears, and drew the trembling souls away, his
mild eyes melted, and he said: "Ah! I will once die like man, that I
may enter into his last agony, and soothe it when I dissolve the ties
of life!"

The boundless circle of angels, who love each other above, pressed
around the sympathetic one, and promised their beloved to surround him
with heavenly rays after the instant of his death; thereby he might
know that death had been; and his brother, whose kiss opens our cold
lips, as the morning light does the chill flowers, gently touched his
forehead, and said: "When I kiss thee again, my brother, thou shalt
have died upon the earth, and will be again with us."

Loving and moved, the Angel descended to the battlefield, where only
one beautiful, ardent Youth still panted, and heaved his shattered
breast. Near the hero stood his Betrothed alone. He could no longer
feel her hot tears, and her sorrow passed him unrecognized, like a
distant battle-cry.--Then the Angel quickly clothed himself in her dear
form, rested by him, drew the wounded soul with one hot kiss out of the
cloven breast, and gave it to his brother on high, who kissed it for
the second time, when suddenly it smiled.

The Angel of the last hour passed like a lightning-flash into
the deserted frame, shone through the body, and stirred the warm
life-stream again with the strengthened heart. But how was he affected
by this new clothing of the body! His clear eye became confused in the
whirl of unwonted, nervous life;--his once flying thought waded now
slowly through the atmosphere of his brain,--the moist, faint-hued
vapor dried away from all objects which formerly hung, autumnal-like,
floating over them; now they pierced him out of the hot air with
burning, painful spots of color,--all sensations became more gloomy,
yet stormier and more nearly allied to _self_; and they seemed to him
to be like instinct, as those of the beasts appear to us. Hunger tore
him, thirst consumed him, pain stabbed him. Alas! his breast, torn and
bleeding, heaved upward, and his first breath drawn was his first sigh
after the heaven he had left! "Is this the death of man?" he thought;
but as he did not see the promised token of death, neither angel nor
the surrounding heavenly flame, therefore he perceived this to be only
the life of man.

In the evening, the earthly strength of the Angel declined, and a
crushing globe seemed to revolve about his head. Then Sleep sent his
messengers. Images of the mind shifted out of the sunshine into a misty
fire; the shadows of the day were thrown upon his brain; they came
confused, and colossal, one upon another, and the world of sense reared
itself uncontrolled and poured in upon him. Then Dream sent his
messengers. Finally the funereal veil of Sleep wrapped itself thickly
about him, and, sunk in the vault of night, he lay there lonely and
motionless, like us poor mortals. But then, thou, heavenly Dream! didst
descend, with thy thousand reflecting-glasses before his soul, and
didst show in all of them a circle of angels and a radiant heaven; and
the earthly body seemed to fall away from him with all its thorns.
"Ah!" said he, in vain rapture, "my sleep was also my death." Yet when
he awoke again, with his compressed heart full of heavy human blood,
and looked out upon the earth and upon the night, he cried, "I saw the
angels and the starry heavens; but it was only the image of Death, and
not his presence."

The Betrothed of the translated hero did not mark that an angel only
dwelt in the breast of her beloved; yet she loved the purified aspect
of the wounded soul, and still gladly held the hand of him who had past
so far away. But the Angel loved her deceived heart with the love of a
man's soul in return; jealous of his own nature, he wished that he
might not die before her, but love her so long that she might forgive
him, when they met again in heaven, for having clasped together upon
her breast an angel and a lover. Yet she died sooner; the late sorrow
had bowed the head of this flower too low, and it lay broken upon the
grave. She sank before the weeping Angel, not like the sun, who before
all-beholding Nature casts himself so gorgeous into the sea that its
red waves strike the very heaven, but like the tranquil moon, who, in
the midnight, silvers the vaporous air, and sinks down unseen behind
its dim veil. Death sent his gentler sister Unconsciousness before; she
touched the heart of the Betrothed, and chilled the warm countenance;
the flowers of her cheek withered; the pale snow of winter, under which
the spring of eternity grows green, clothed her forehead and her hands.
Then a burning tear broke from the swelling eye of the Angel, and,
while he thought his heart loosed itself in the form of a tear as a
pearl from the brittle shell, his Betrothed, awaked to the last
delirium, moved her eyes once again, drew him close to her heart, and
died as she kissed him, and said, "Now I am with thee, my brother!"
Then the Angel believed his heavenly brother had given him the sign of
the kiss and death. Yet no radiant heaven surrounded him, nor aught but
funereal darkness, and he sighed because this was not his death, only
the anguish of man over the death of another.

"O ye afflicted mortals!" he cried, "how can ye weary ones survive
this! How can ye become old when the circle of youthful forms breaks
and lies at length altogether scattered around,--when the graves of
your friends lead down like steps to your own,--and when age becomes
like the silent, blank evening hour of a cold battle-field! O ye poor
mortals! how can your hearts endure it?"

The body of the translated hero-soul placed the gentle Angel among hard
men, their injustice, and the distortions of Vice and of Passion; about
his figure, also, was laid the thorny girdle of sceptres bound
together, which compresses the hemispheres with its stings, and
which is always laced more tightly by the great; he saw the claws of
crowned and emblazoned beasts fasten themselves on their displumed
prey, and heard it panting with enfeebled beating of the wings; he saw
the whole terrestrial globe encircled in the winding swarthy folds of
the giant-serpent, Vice, plunging and concealing its poisonous head
deep in the breast of man. Then the hot sting of enmity was made to
shoot through that tender heart, which, during a long eternity, had
lain in the warmth of angelic love, and the holy love-fed spirit was
forced to shudder over an inward dissolution. "Ah!" said he, "the death
of man is full of woe!" Yet this was not death; for no angel appeared.

Thus in a few days he became weary of this life which we bear for half
a hundred years, and he longed to go back. The evening sun attracted
his kindred spirit. The wounds of his shattered breast exhausted him
with pain. He went out with the evening glow upon his pale cheeks to
"God's Acre," that green background of our life, where the forms which
he had once stripped of all their beautiful souls were now crumbling
away. He placed himself with sorrowful longing upon the bare grave of
his unspeakably beloved and departed bride, and looked towards the
fading evening sun. Seated on this dear knoll, he regarded his
suffering body, and thought: Thou also, tender breast, wouldst be lying
here in decay, and wouldst give no more pain, did I not support thee.
Then he reflected upon the grievous life of man, and the throbs of the
wounded breast showed him the pangs with which mortals purchase their
virtue and their death, and which he had joyfully spared the noble soul
of this body. Deeply touched by human virtue, he wept out of his
boundless love for men, who, amid the craving of their own needs, under
low-hung clouds, behind mists which stream over the sharp-cutting paths
of life, never turn away from the lofty star of duty, but in their
darkness stretch out loving arms towards every suffering breast they
encounter, while around them nothing glimmers but the hope of setting
like the sun in the old world, in order to arise in the new.

Just then the ecstasy opened his wounds, and blood, the tear of the
soul, flowed from his heart upon the cherished knoll,--the dissolving
body sank quietly towards his beloved,--tears of rapture broke the
sunset light into, a rosy, swimming sea,--distant echoing tones, as of
the earth passing wide through ringing ether, played in the vaporous
lustre. Then a dark cloud or short night shot by the Angel, and was
full of sleep; and now a radiant heaven opened and overspread him, and
a thousand angels shone around. "Art thou again here, thou deceiving
dream?" he said. But the Angel of the first hour stepped through the
rays to him, and gave the sign of the kiss, and said: "That was death,
thou immortal brother and heavenly friend!"

And the Youth and his beloved softly repeated the words.

                         A DREAM AND THE TRUTH.

                          THAT OF HER HUSBAND.

Sleep buries the first world, its nights and sorrows, and brings to us
a second world, with the forms we have loved and lost, and scenes too
vast for this little earth.

I was in the Isle of the Blest, in the second world. This I dreamed.
The stars were nearer; the heaven-blue lay on the flowers; all the
breezes were melodious tones; and repose and ravishment, which with us
are sundered, there dwelt conjoined. And the dead, from around whom had
fallen that mist of life which veiled the higher heaven before, rested
like mild evening suns in the azure ether.

Then, behold, the earth rose out of the deep beneath, on her course,
and the Spring had covered her with his blossoms and buds. As she drew
nearer to the Isle of the Blest, a voice full of love cried, "Look
down, ye dead, on your old home, and see the beloved who have lost, but
not forgotten you."

For in the spring the earth always passes by the eternal World of the
Blest, whose off-cast husk sinks into its clods; and therefore it is,
that in the spring poor mortals experience such a profound longing, so
powerful a presentiment, and so many haunting recollections of their
lost beloved.

After the voice, all the Blest stepped forward on the shore of the
Supernal Isle, and each one sought on the wan earth the heart which had
remembered him. One noble being gazed down, seeking after his spouse
and after his children, around whom the glad spring-tide of earth was
flowing; but _they_ had no spring.

Alas! the father now saw his wife racked with anguish, and his children
dissolved in tears. He discerned, in the strangling hand of Pain, the
pallid form whose convulsed heart now reposes, and whose moistened eyes
are now shut and cold; and beside it he recognized the loving companion
of his former life fatally bleeding on the thorns of earthly martyrdom.
And as sorrow, with glowing iron stylus, graved in the crumbling image
life's farewell letter, and as she lost hope, but not yet patience, and
as her fading eye desired no further happiness save that of her
children, and as these could only share, but not remove, the sleepless
nights of their mother, the affectionate father sank down, weeping, and
prayed: "Eternal One, suffer her to die! Break the agonized bosom, and
give me my friend again, and heal the wounded form at last under the
earth. Eternal One, suffer her to die!"

And as he prayed, the weary heart here in its martyr-life heard him,
and his faithful wife returned forever to his heart. Why weep ye,
tender children, that your parents, after the same sufferings,
should now have the same joys? that now, after their winter of life,
an everlasting May has dawned on their souls? Does the painted
spring-house under the earth trouble you, or the black boundary-hill on
the earth, or the dread hand of decay, which extinguishes earthly scars
and wounds and the whole body?

No, let the Spring scatter his flowers on their cold faces, and dry the
tears on yours; and when you think painfully of them, comfort
yourselves with saying, "We tenderly loved them, and no one has
wounded, save He who now heals them."

                       THE BEAUTY OF DEATH IN THE
                             BLOOM OF YOUTH.

In the lives both of men and of women, the period of the deepest
happiness will be found to be, not that of childhood, but of youth. The
joys of childhood are like the spring flowers,--beautiful, but small;
like the tinted forget-me-not,--pretty, but without fragrance. The
higher and more brilliant joys of knowledge and the affections are as
yet undeveloped; the world of the ideal lies wrapped, as it were, in a
dark-green bud.

With what other and what brighter radiance is the period of youth
encircled!--that heavenly time of our first friendship and our first
love,--of our first poem and our first philosophy,--of our first full
enjoyment of nature and music and the drama,--of our first castles in
the air, and our first vigorous training for active life. And this
period is not simply irrecoverable,--that is the case with all past
time,--but for the very reason that in its perfect bloom its only
office is to minister to the fruits it so beautifully enfolds, it is
the highest and the culminating period; for there is necessarily a
greater productive force present in the process than in the results of
development, in the flower of youth than in the ripeness of manhood. In
his more advanced years, one is seldom led to enter upon a new path of
knowledge or a higher moral life; but in his youth, one gives himself
up, with inextinguishable fire, to some system of philosophy, or some
total change in his moral life. It calls for more strength in a man to
be converted than to stand still.

As the highest bodily strength and the most perfect health, the
probability of the longest life and the greatest beauty,--in short, the
best bodily attributes,--belong to the period of youth, so, and for
that very reason, the intellectual wealth which comes not by
acquisition, but by inheritance, is the largest. Great attainments,
experience, and skill are certainly the fruits of age and of labor; but
what are these things, compared with the ideal enjoyments which come of
the first sciences we study, when the tree of knowledge, grafted upon
the tree of life, puts forth its branches,--compared with the delight
with which the new truths of geometry, or of philosophy, or of any
favorite science new-born to us, fill the soul? For even in science,
however far its limits may be pushed, one is ever descending from the
height of the ideal to the vulgar level of reality.

Youth is the full moon, illumined by the magic light of the sun. Age is
the new moon, upon which the day-earth (life) throws a meagre light.

                       A DREAM OF A BATTLE-FIELD.

I dreamed that from far off in the darkness I heard groans which seemed
to come from every quarter to which I turned. At length they came only
out of the gate of a valley which led between two, rocky ridges, where
the darkness was illumined only by the red light of a comet, with its
sparkling eye, and its tail sweeping back and forth like that of a
tiger thirsty for blood. Then several wagons, filled with amputated
hands grasping one the other either in prayer or struggle, came softly
towards me on unrevolving wheels; and one small wagon also, full of
eyes without eyelids, which grimly gazed upon and mirrored one another.
A long metal coffin, mounted on the wheels of a gun-carriage, was with
difficulty pulled along by iron elephants. On it was inscribed, "The
ashes of the tenth army." With frightful exertion it was dragged like a
tall tree round the corner of the narrow, rocky valley,--forced to bend
by the weight of its contents, and the end of it seeming never to come.

Over the earth, and the sorrow of it, was a round ball of fire like a
sun, whence came incessant flashes of lightning. And thirsty people
opened vessels full of vipers, which darted out, and stung them to more
burning thirst.... A crown, great like a shield, and red-hot, came
whirling down with circular motion into a group of soldiers dancing,
and scattered them. Upon still-gaping wounds it rained down thistles,
which took root quickly and grew; and upon every fallen corpse struck a
thunderbolt, and slew it again. I looked up to the heavens for
consolation; but there, in the place of the sunset's glow, and the
colors of the dawn, and the northern lights, was smoking blood. Swift
as an arrow, villages and cities shot through the air like long clouds
of ashes; some few streets only, which had been blown up by mining,
hanging fast in the sky, with the remnants of houses and of men
clinging to them. On a neighboring mountain were glaciers and ice-peaks,
upon which children were transfixed; and on the distant summits, whence
one could look down upon the battle-field, were parents and children
and brides, eagerly gazing upon a mirror held over it.

At length the gate sprang open, and broke in pieces on the
battle-field, and the storm of woe burst forth. Then I looked in upon
that terrible world, and fell senseless to the earth; for what I saw
was too horrible for man to look upon or to remember.

Gradually it seemed to me in my swoon as if this frightful field was
moving further and further off, while its sounds of horror died away
into songs of swans. And out of the distance floated up to me, on the
gentle breezes, the tones of shepherd's flutes,--now far off, now
near,--breaking, at length, with full sound upon my ear. And then I was
lifted up and borne along on wings of ether, with the light breaking
through my closed eyelids. And a creative finger touched me, and high
in heaven, upon a green cloud, I opened my eyes. Above me was the blue
abyss of the stars; below me stretched a blue ocean, on whose horizon
glittered, in the glow of the sunset, the countless islands of the
blessed; around me floated scattered cloudlets, tinted with the red and
white of roses and of lilies, and with the many colors of manifold

"Who, O God, has brought me to life out of my woe?" I cried.

"Child of man, it is my Father who has done it," answered a soft voice
very near me. But I saw no form of any person; only a halo of glory
hovering near me indicated the place of the invisible being.

Under the stare now, on high, rose again, like the songs of the
spheres, the old mournful tones. The islands on the horizon began to
move, and swim in joy around one another. Many of them dipped into the
dark waves, and came up again brilliant as the colors of the morning.
Some went down into the sea, and reappeared covered with pearls. But
one of them, crowned with cedars and palms and oaks, with strong young
giants on its shores, went straight out into the ocean, toward the

"Am I upon earth?" I inquired.

"Ask me not," replied the voice, "for I know all thy thoughts, and will
answer thee in thy heart. Thou wilt be upon the earth when it rises in
the east from the sea; beneath the sea it circles swiftly round the
sun. The sea of time is the wave on the ocean of eternity."

As if borne upon a stream, the cedar island came ever nearer to the
green cloud. Youths greater than those of earth looked down upon the
blue sea, and sang songs of gladness,--or gazed in rapture upon the
heavens, and folded their hands in prayer,--or slumbered in arbors of
rainbows and tears of joy. Behind them stood lions; above them circled

"Upon the cedar island dwell men _who, like me_, have died for the
earth; but in earthly faces shall it be revealed to thee how the
Infinite Father rewards those who have shed their blood for their
country. The youths who are looking down into the waves have a nearer
view of their old earth moving in the waters, as the island moves with
it. They see only happy countries, and their friends who rejoice in
their deeds, and posterity which praises them. And every flower which
sprang from their blood is shown to them of God.

"Those who are gazing up to heaven, and praying, see an altar upon
every sun,--and greater brethren who make higher sacrifices to the
Highest; and they are entreating the Father to summon them also to
still higher sacrifices. And when he thunders, he calls them.

"Those who are slumbering in tears of joy are seeing their brother
soldiers dying bravely, and are comforting them in death, and welcoming
them in tearful recognition as they pass from the earth to the island."

And now white flowers floated up from the earth to the surface of the
sea, and all the sleepers awoke. The flowers were the souls of their
mothers, who in death were following their sons fallen upon the
battle-field; and the flowers became angels and flew towards the youths.
It was an endless dying of endless joy. The soft murmurs of love from
those who thus again found one another stirred the lilies and the roses
to sounds as of harps. But as the mothers breathed the vibrating air
and their hearts beat tremulously in harmony with the sound, they died
away and exhaled into a flower-cloud. And the cloud arose and floated
along the heavens to the distant islands where dwell the good mothers
and the happy brides, longing still for the time when all the islands
of the blessed were one fixed land of promise.

"Ye sons of men, joy is an eternity older than pain, and ever will be
so,--for that has scarcely existed. Sacrifice ye, then, time to

A noble old man with the martyr's crown on his head looked up to the
green cloud and prayed to the voice near me. Then saw I mirrored in the
old man's eyes the form of the being near me. And my heart was humbled
before the greatest man of earth as he repeated to me again the words,
"Sacrifice time to eternity."

And now there came up from the sea near the cedar island a smoke as of
a volcano, but throwing out only crowns of oak-leaves and palm-branches
and streams of light. And at length a vast altar covered with young men
and old, sleeping, rose from the waves. But when the light of heaven
touched the sleepers they awoke suddenly, and, rushing upon the island,
fell upon the breasts of their old comrades in arms. And the stars of
heaven shone over them in glad, undying token of their union. The
oak-forests rustled and the lions roared and the eagles, circling in
the air, bathed themselves for joy in the fire and the lightning which
shot from the stars. And the storm spread itself over the universe, and
scattered balls of fire like suns, and thundered as with the noise of
many worlds, and mingled its hot tears of joy with those of the heroes.
And from below the sea came a dull echo from the earth. Then the cloud
sank upon the island, and with a rushing sound received up into itself
the heroes who had prayed to the Father to permit them to sacrifice in
higher worlds.

When the storm had disappeared with them behind the stars, the vastness
of creation appeared. All being rejoiced in eternity. The worlds lay
along the heavens like an Alpine chain; the suns encircled the primal
source of light; and covering all was the Throne of God.

"Pray before thou wakest, for the earth, too, will disappear," said the
voice near me. And my whole heart was filled with prayer by the very
nearness of this higher being. But the green cloud now moved more
rapidly with me eastward toward the approaching earth; and the cedar
island floated with its happy multitudes towards the other islands. The
sea glowed in the east as with the colors of the dawn; and deeper and
deeper sank the green cloud into the aurora of earth.

Suddenly, then, the halo of glory round the head of the invisible being
became as a great rainbow, and was absorbed in an infinite radiance
which filled the heavens.

And the earth passed away like a summer night.

I awoke, and instead of the cloud there was a green meadow around me,
and above me glittered the stars. The first night of summer had
followed the last night of spring. The moon was rising like a silver
bow in the ghostly air. And in the north the sunset colors of the
spring were changing upon the mountain-tops into the morning glow of
the summer. My heart still clung to the eternal stars, where now awake
I lingered in my dream, and I sighed, "Alas! each day above is the
beginning of spring." Then I heard the voice in me repeat the old
words, "Child of man, sacrifice time to eternity,"--and I sighed no


[Footnote 1: I need not tell any one that the valley itself is situated
in the departments of the Upper Pyrenees.]

[Footnote 2: It is well known that the Symplegadian rocks continually
dashed against each other, and destroyed every passing ship, until
Orpheus's lyre subdued and tranquillized them.]

[Footnote 3: Alluding to a painting by Reynolds, in which Garrick,
invited by both Muses, follows Thalia.]

[Footnote 4: A kind of jelly-fish.]

[Footnote 5: Ten drops of this instantly sweeten half a pound of sour

[Footnote 6: The cave is twenty feet high, but the entrance only five

[Footnote 7: French miles. The valley is about two German miles--ten
English miles--long.]

[Footnote 8: The Höfersche heaven-path, or how to learn the way to
eternal salvation in twenty-four hours.]

[Footnote 9: A market-place in Rome where deformed beings were sold,
and fetched a higher price the uglier they were.]

[Footnote 10: A Parisian dentist wrote this over his door.]

[Footnote 11: In the same § Kant says: "Everything that Newton has
written in his immortal _Principia_, though such a large head was
required to invent it, can be learned; but to compose spirited poems
cannot be taught, however complete the instructions for learning the
art may be. The reason is, that Newton can explain all the steps he had
to take, from the first elements of geometry to his grandest and most
profound inventions; he can explain them, not alone to himself, but to
others, even to the remote descendants, while no Homer or Wieland can
show how his ideally rich, and yet thoughtful characters, came forth
from his brain; for he knows it not himself, and therefore cannot teach
it others."

I had hoped that I could depend upon Kant, who has a million times more
intelligence than I have, as upon a mental _Chargé d'Affaires_; but
when I came to this passage (and to those upon repentance, music, the
origin of evil, &c), I saw I must myself follow him, and not only pray
after him, as I had before done, but reflect. But to return! Certainly
Newton's "Principles" can be learned, that is, the new ones may be
repeated, but that also can happen to the invented poems; yet you can
be taught to invent them as little as Newton's Principles. A new
philosophic idea seems, after its birth, to lie more clearly in its
former seed-vessels and organic molecules than a poetic one; but why
was Newton the first to see it? He and Kant can discover, no better
than Shakespeare or Leibnitz, how the beginning of a new idea suddenly
bursts from the cloud of old ones; they can show their _Nexus_ (else
they would not be human ones) with the old ones, but not their
conception from it; the same holds of the poetic. Let Kant teach us to
_invent systems_ and truths (not to prove them, though, strictly
speaking, the one is closely allied to the other), then he shall be
taught to invent epics, and I will be responsible for it. He seems to
me to confound the difficulty of forming ideas with the less important
one of forming new ones; the difficulty of transition with the
inexplicability of the matter. I fear and wonder at the latent
almightiness with which man orders, that is, creates his range of
ideas. I know no better symbol of creation than the regularity and
causality of the creation of ideas in us, which no will and no mind can
regulate and create, for any such arrangement and intention would
presuppose the unborn idea. And in this creation the grand enigma of
our moral freedom is veiled.]

[Footnote 12: Gold dissolved in strong acid, mixed with a small
quantity of quicksilver in a vial, forms a tree with foliage.]

[Footnote 13: The male glowworms are black.]

[Footnote 14: Rameses caused his son to be fastened to the topmost
point of an obelisk, that they who had to raise it should risk a more
valuable life than their own.]

[Footnote 15: It lives more than two years, though it does not long
survive the period of its leaving the grub-state, just as other
insects, to whom nature has given the rose period of youth, only
_after_ the thorny age of reproduction.]

[Footnote 16: It is well known that the sight of blood damps courage,
and that the Jews are not permitted to eat blood.]

[Footnote 17: Beauty in this connection, I adopt in the same sense
which Schiller gives to it in his æsthetic critique, a prize essay of
his genius on Beauty, which here, like Longinus, is at once the subject
and the delineator of the exalted.]

[Footnote 18: If he had been, I would have read page 224 in the third
part of Hesperus to him.]

[Footnote 19: The sun reflected in the water.]

[Footnote 20: At a circumcision, the Jews place one chair for the
operator, and another for the prophet Elias, who is supposed invisibly
to occupy it.]

[Footnote 21: These animals shine by night. Care must be taken not to
draw them into the brain from the flower calyxes with the perfume.]

[Footnote 22: The Guernsey lily from Japan has its name from the Island
of Guernsey, on which some roots of it were cast by a wrecked vessel.]

[Footnote 23: For the climatic dissimilarity of the planets must
produce, as the climatic difference between the zones, Negroes, Greeks,
Indians, etc., but always human beings.]

[Footnote 24: One ought, therefore, not to say _mundus intelligibilis_,
but _mundus intellectus_.]

[Footnote 25: It may be said, that in this manner every Utopia, which
is also a copy, must be realized, for the original of all dreams and
Utopias does indeed exist,--though partially and disconnectedly; but
the Original of the Eternal cannot exist in pieces and by parcels.]

[Footnote 26: This applies chiefly to the higher and richer orders,
with whom the saturation of the five camel stomachs, the senses, and
the starving of Psyche or the soul, at last determines into a horrible
horror of life, and into a repulsive mingling of _high aspirations and
grovelling desires_. The savage, the beggar, and the provincialist far
surpass the rich and high in spiritual enjoyment, for in these, as in
the houses of the Jews, (in memory of the destruction of Jerusalem)
there must always be something incomplete, and the poor have too many
of their earthly wants assuaged to be overwhelmed and pained by the
demands of their ethereal nature.]

[Footnote 27: The new moon always rises with the sun, although dark and

[Footnote 28: There are three kinds of men. To some, a heaven is
granted even on this earth; to others, a _limbus patrum_ in which joy
and sorrow reign equally; and, lastly, to some a hell in which grief
predominates. Beings who have suffered for twenty years on the sick-bed
of bodily pain, which is not, like mental sorrow, worn out by time,
have certainly had more unhappiness than happiness, and, but for
immortality, would be an eternal reproach to the highest moral being.
And if there exists no such unhappy being, it is yet in the power of a
tyrant to make one, on a clinical torture-bed, with the assistance of a
physician and a philosopher. Such a one, at least, has a right to
demand a future indemnity for his sufferings, because the Creator
cannot have formed a creature to mourn more than it can rejoice.

Besides, though the object of our grief may seem but a deception in the
eyes of the Eternal One, our grief itself cannot. Human suffering is
also distinguished from brutish pain, because the animal only feels the
wound, as we perhaps do in sleep, but it sees it not. Its pain is not
trebled and increased by _anticipation_, _recollection_, and
_sensibility_; it is an evanescent sting, and nothing more. Therefore
tears were only given to human eyes.]

[Footnote 29: Ignorance concerning our connection with the body and our
connection with the second world.]

[Footnote 30: The yearly destruction of the slowly developed, beautiful
flower-world does not argue against this; for to the tangible world
each condition of its parts is as indifferent and perfect as the other,
and rose-ashes are as good as rose-buds (without, of course,
considering the organic soul). Nothing is beautiful but our
appreciation of the beautiful, not the object itself. If it should be
said that nature destroys so many developments, for whose growth she
had already provided, that she breaks many thousand eggs, tears so many
buds, crushes men in all stages of life with her blind tread, I would
reply that the interrupted development is yet a condition of the
perfected one, and that every position of its parts is indifferent to
material objects, and, as coverings of the spiritual being, they still
testify to a compensating immortality of the latter.]

[Footnote 31: Methinks the folly of spiritual mortality has not been
sufficiently considered from this point of view. The living or
spiritual whole (for the lifeless one has no other object than to be a
means for the living), as such, can attain no object which each portion
of it does not attain, for each one is one whole, and every other whole
can only exist as a collective idea, and not as a reality. To consider
the untenability of a progress contained in a course of vanishing
shadows more vividly, one might shorten the life of a soul so that he,
e. g. could only read one page of Kant's Critic, and then die. For the
second page another soul must be created, and so for the new edition
884 souls. The mistake will perhaps become perceptible to most people
by the increasing moonlight of liberality which has gradually risen
over the past centuries; but the necessity for compensation demands

[Footnote 32: Raphael died when he had finished the painting of the
resurrection, and Haman died while his essay on resurrection and
disembodiment was being printed.]

[Footnote 33: So are the Vampires called.]

[Footnote 34: _Fixlein_ stands in the middle of the volume; preceded by
_Einer Mustheil für Mädchen_ (A Jelly-course for young Ladies); and
followed by _Some_ Jus De Tablette _for Men_. A small portion of the
Preface relating to the first I have already omitted. Neither of the
two have the smallest relation to _Fixlein_.--Ed.]

[Footnote 35: _J. P. H_., _Jean Paul_ Hasus, _Jean Paul_, &c., have in
succession been Richter's signatures. At present even, his German
designation, either in writing or speech, is never _Richter_, but _Jean

[Footnote 36: For understanding many little hints which occur in this
_Life of Fixlein_, it will be necessary to bear in mind the following
particulars: A German _Gymnasium_, in its complete state, appears to
include eight Masters; Rector, Conrector, Subrector, Quintus, Quartus,
Tertius, &c., to the _first_ or lowest. The _forms_, or classes, again,
are arranged in an inverse order; the _Primaner_ (boys of the _Prima_,
or first form) being the most advanced, and taught by the Rector; the
_Secundaner_, by the Conrector, &c.; and therefore the _Quartaner_ by
the Quintus. In many cases, it would seem, the number of Teachers is
only six; but in this Flachsenfingen Gymnasium we have express evidence
that there was no curtailment.--Ed.]

[Footnote 37: A university beer.]

[Footnote 38: From Peter I will copy one or two of these privileges;
the whole of which were once, at the origin of universities, in full
force. For instance, a student can compel a citizen to let him his
house and his horse; an injury, done even to his relations, must be
made good fourfold; he is not obliged to fulfil the written commands of
the Pope; the neighborhood must indemnify him for what is stolen from
him; if he and a non-student are living at variance, the latter only
can be expelled from the boarding-house; a Doctor is obliged to support
a poor student; if he is killed, the next ten houses are laid under
interdict till the murderer is discovered; his legacies are not
abridged by _falcidia_, &c., &c.]

[Footnote 39: _Literary Germany_, a work (I believe of no great merit)
which Richter often twitches in the same style.--Ed.]

[Footnote 40: See _Schmelzle's Journey_, p. 289--Ed.]

[Footnote 41: As in the State.--[V. or Von, _de_, _of_, being the
symbol of the nobility, the middle order of the State.--Ed.]]

[Footnote 42: In Erlang, my petition has been granted. The _Bible
Institution_ of that town have found instead of the 116,301 As,
which Fixlein at first pretended with such certainty to find in the
Bible-books (which false number was accordingly given in the first
Edition of this Work, p. 81), the above-mentioned 323,015; which
(uncommonly singular) is precisely the sum of all the letters in the
Koran put together. See _Lüdeke's Beschr. des Turk. Reichs_ (Lüdeke's
Description of the Turkish Empire. New edition, 1780).]

[Footnote 43: _Paravicini Singularia de viris claris_, Cent. I. 2.]

[Footnote 44: _Ejusd_., Cent. II. Philelphus quarrelled with the Greek
about the quantity of a syllable; the prize or bet was the beard of the
vanquished. Timotheus lost his.]

[Footnote 45: Their prayer-barrel, Kürüdu, is a hollowed shell, a
calabash, full of unrolled formulas of prayer; they sway it from side
to side, and then it works. More philosophically viewed, since in
prayer the feeling only is of consequence, it is much the same whether
this express itself by motion of the mouth or of the calabash.]

[Footnote 46: In German, as in some other languages, the common mode of
address is by the _third_ person; plural, it indicates respect;
singular, command; the _second_ person is also used; plural, it
generally denotes indifference; singular, great familiarity, and
sometimes its product, contempt. _Dutzenfreund_, _Thouing-friend_, is
the strictest term of intimacy; and among the wild _Burschen_
(Students) many a duel (happily however, often ending like the
_Polemo-Middinia_ in one drop of blood) has been fought, in consequence
of saying _Du_ (thou) and _Sie_ (they) in the wrong place.--Ed.]

[Footnote 47: These antique Christmas festivities Richter describes
with equal _gusto_ in another work (_Briefe und Zukünftige
Lebenslemf_); where the Christ-child (falsely reported to the young
ones to have been seen flying through the air, with gold wings); the
Birch-bough fixed in a corner of the room, and by him made to grow; the
fruit of gilt sweetmeats, apples, nuts, which (for good boys) it
suddenly produces, &c., &c., are specified with the same fidelity as

[Footnote 48: Which he purposed to make for his Island of St. Pierre in
the Bienne Lake.]

[Footnote 49: Borrowed from the "Imperial Mine-product-sale-Commission,"
in Vienna. In their very names these Vienna people show taste.]

[Footnote 50: As, by the evidence at present before us, we can found on
no other presumption, than that he must die in his thirty-second year;
it would follow, that, in case he died two-and-thirty years after the
death of the testatrix, no farthing could be claimed by him; since,
according to our fiction, at the making of the testament he was not
even one year old.]

[Footnote 51: In St. Paul's Church at London, where the slightest
whisper sounds over, across a space of 143 feet.]

[Footnote 52: So much, according to Political Economists, a man yearly
requires in Germany.]

[Footnote 53: This singular tone of my address to a Prince can only be
excused by the equally singular relation wherein the Biographer stands
to the Flachsenfingen Sovereign, and which I would willingly unfold
here were it not that, in my Book, which, under the title of
_Dog-post-days_, I mean to give to the world at Easter-fair, 1795, I
hoped to expound the matter to universal satisfaction.]

[Footnote 54: His _Clerical Law_, p. 551.]

[Footnote 55: Eichhorn's _Einleitung ins A. T_. (Introduction to the
Old Testament), Vol. II.]

[Footnote 56: Both have the same sound. _Füchslein_ means Foxling,

[Footnote 57: Campe, a German philologist, who, along with several
others of that class, has really proposed, as represented in the text,
to substitute for all Greek or Latin derivatives corresponding German
terms of the like import. _Geography_, which may be _Erdbeschreibung_
(Earth-description), was thenceforth to be nothing else; a _Geometer_
became an _Earth-measurer_, &c., &c. _School-undergovernor_, instead of
_Subrector_, is by no means the happiest example of the system, and
seems due rather to the Schadeck Lawyer than to Campe, whom our Author
has elsewhere more than once eulogized for his project in similar

[Footnote 58: _New Universal German Library_, a reviewing periodical,
in those days conducted by Nicolai, a sworn enemy to what has since
been called the New School.--Ed.]

[Footnote 59: Superstition declares, that on the spot where the rainbow
rises a golden key is left.]

[Footnote 60: To the Spring, namely, which begins with snow-drops, and
ends with roses and pinks.]

[Footnote 61: This Christian superstition is not only a Rabbinical, but
also a Roman one. _Cicero de Senectute_.]

[Footnote 62: For, according to the Jurists, fifteen persons make a

[Footnote 63: A long philosophical elucidation is indispensably
requisite; which will be found in this Book, under the title, _Natural
Magic of the Imagination_. [A part of the _Jus de Tablette_ appended to
this Biography, unconnected with it, and not given here.--Ed.]]

[Footnote 64: This pygmy piece of ordnance, with its cunningly devised
burning-glass, is still to be seen on the south side of the Paris
Vanity-Fair; and in fine weather, to be heard, on all sides thereof,
proclaiming the conversion (so it seems to Richter) of the Day from
Forenoon to Afternoon.--Ed.]

[Footnote 65: The Wild Hunter, _Wilde Jäger_, is a popular spectre of

[Footnote 66: Indicating to the congregation what Psalm is to be

[Footnote 67: Salerno was once famous for its medical science; but
here, as in many other cases, we could desire the aid of Herr Reinhold
with his _Lexicon-Commentary_.--Ed.]

[Footnote 68: This hospitable Potentate is as unknown to me as to any
of my readers.--Ed.]

[Footnote 69: A little work printed in manuscript types; and seldom
given by him to any but Princes. This piece of print-writing he
intentionally passes off to the great as a piece of hand-writing; these
persons being both more habituated and inclined to the reading of
manuscript than of print.]

[Footnote 70: Thus defined by Adelung in his Lexicon: "_Kräutermütze_,
in Medicine, a cap with various dried herbs sewed into it, and which is
worn for all manner of troubles in the head."--Ed.]

[Footnote 71: Linné formed in Upsal a flower-clock, the flowers of
which, by their different times of falling asleep, indicated the hours
of the day.]

[Footnote 72: The good Professor of Catechetics is out here. _Indignor
quandoque bonus dormitat Schmelzle_.--Ed.]

[Footnote 73: Passenger so placed in the huge German Postwagen, that he
cannot look out.--Ed.]

[Footnote 74: _Titan_ is also the title of this Legations-Rath Jean
Pierre or Jean Paul (Friedrich Richter)'s chief novel.--Ed.]

[Footnote 75: Brühl, I suppose; but the historical edition of the
matter is, that Brühl's treasonable secrets were come at by the more
ordinary means of wax impressions of his keys.--Ed.]

[Footnote 76: Cities of Richter's romance kingdom. Flachsenfingen he
sometimes calls _Klein-Wien_, Little Vienna.--Ed.]

[Footnote 77: The campaign of 1813-14 was the holy war of Germany, or
Freiheitskampf, to which Jean Paul here alludes.--Translator.]

                                THE END

      Cambridge: Stereotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.

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