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sole himself for the child's ugliness." When very young, it is said, that "his anger then knew no bounds; and, indeed, he was much easier brought to anger than to tears."
When a youth, he is said to have been in the matter of dress "most terribly particular." At Offenbach there was an inn, called the Rose, the daughter of the landlord being called "the pretty Grizzel; he liked her much; she was the first that I know with whom he was in love"
Goethe might well have been not only a spoilt child, but he run the risk of being made a laughing-stock to his companions during his youth, had there been nothing to prevent it but his mother's indulgence and immoderate observance of his ways. One bright winter's day, when she took a drive with some company along the Maine, she put on her scarlet fur-cloak," to which was a long train, and down the front fastened with gold clasps, and so we drove on. My son was shooting like an arrow between the other skaters, the air had made his cheeks red and the powder had flown out of his brown hair: as soon as he saw the scarlet cloak, he came to the coach and smiled quite kindly at me. Now, what do you want?' said I. Come, mother, you are not cold in the carriage, give me your velvet cloak.' Why, you won't put it on?' 'But I will though.' I pulled off my beautiful warm cloak, he put it on, swung the train over his arm, and away he sailed like the son of a divinity along the ice; had you but seen him, Bettine! Anything so beautiful is not to be seen again: I clapped my hands with joy! I always have him before my eyes, how he glided out of one arch and under the other, and how the wind upheld the long train behind him."
Our remaining extracts will refer to some illustrious individuals; but after our preliminary observations there is little that need be said farther in the way of precise or explanatory criticism. The first extract contains Bettine's account of the reception of Madame de Staël by Frau Rath.
"At last the long-expected one came through a suite of lighted apartments, accompanied by Benjamin Constant. She was dressed as Corinne, —a turban of aurora and orange-coloured silk, a dress of the same, with an orange tunic, girded so high as to leave little room for her heart; her black brows and lashes glittered, as also her lips, with mysterious red; her long gloves were drawn down, covering only her hand, in which she held the well-known laurel-sprig. As the apartment where she was expected lies much lower, she was obliged to descend four steps. Unfortunately she held up her dress before instead of behind: this gave her reception a tertible blow; it looked very odd, as, clad in complete Oriental style, she marched down towards the stiff dames of the virtue-enrolled Frankfort society. Your mother darted a few daring glances at me, whilst they were presented to each other. I had stationed myself apart to observe the whole scene. I perceived Madame de Staël's astonish
ment at the remarkable decorations and dress of your mother; who dis played an immense pride. She spread out her robe with her left hand; with her right she saluted, playing with her fan, and bowing her head several times with great condescension; and said with an elevated voice, 'Je suis la mère de Goethe. Ah, je suis charmée,' answered the authoress; and then followed a solemn stillness."
Of Winter, the composer, and some of his habits, we are informed
Every morning I pay my old Winter a visit. In fine weather he breakfasts in the garden-arbour with his wife; then I must always settle the dispute between them about the cream upon the milk. Then he ascends his dovecot, big as he is: he must stoop to the ground; a hundred pigeons flutter about him, alight upon his head, breast, body, and legs; tenderly he squints at them; and for very friendliness he cannot whistle, so he begs me. Oh pray whistle!' then hundreds more come tumbling in from without, with whistling wings, cooing and fluttering about him. Then he is happy, and would like to compose music which should sound exactly so. As Winter is a real Colossus, he forms a tolerable picture of the Nile, round which a little race crawls, and I cowering near him like the Sphinx, a great basket full of vetches and peas upon my head. Then Marcello's psalms are sung."
The following sketch is given of Jacobi :
"Jacobi is tender as a Psyche waked too early; touching! were it pos sible, one might learn something of him, but impossibility is a peculiar demon, which cunningly knows now to baffle all to which one feels oneself entitled; thus I always think when I see Jacobi surrounded by literati and philosophers, it would be better for him to be alone with me. I am satisfied my unaffected questions, in order to learn of him, would cause more life. warmth within him than all those who conceive it necessary to be something in his presence. Communication is his highest enjoyment: he appeals in all to his spring time; each full-blown rose reminds him forcibly of those which once bloomed for his enjoyment: as he softly wanders through the groves, he relates how once friends twined their arms in his, amid delightful converse, which lasted till late in the warm summer night. And he still remembers something of each tree of Pempelfoot; of the arbour by the water, upon which the swans circled; on which side the moon broke through upon the neat flints; where the wagtails strutted; all this comes forth from him, like the tone of a solitary flute; it shows that the spirit still abides there, but in its peaceful melodies the yearning after the infinite is expressed. His remarkable noble figure is fragile; it is as if the case could easily be destroyed to set the spirit at liberty."
The account of Beethoven and his music, though even as curtailed by us, is too long for our limits; but yet it will be welcomed by all.
"To you I may confess, that I believe in a divine magic, which is the element of mental nature. This magic does Beethoven exercise in his art; all relating to it, which he can teach you, is pure magic; each combination is the organisation of a higher existence, and thus, too, does Beethoven feel himself to be the founder of a new sensual basis in
spiritual life. You will understand what I mean to say by this, and what is true. Who could replace this spirit? From whom could we expect an equivalent? The whole business of mankind passes to and fro before him like clock-work. He alone produces freely from out himself the unforeseen, the uncreated. What is intercourse with the world to him, who, ere the sun rise, is already at his sacred work; and who, after sunset, scarcely looks around him; who forgets to nourish his body, and is borne in his flight on the stream of inspiration, far beyond the shores of flat, every day life? He says himself, when I open my eyes, I cannot but sigh, for what I see is against my religion, and I am compelled to despise the world, which has no presentiment that music is a higher revelation than all their wisdom and philosophy: music is the wine, which inspires new creations, and I am the Bacchus, who presses out this noble wine for mankind, and makes them spirit-drunk; and, then, when they are sober again,-what have they not fished up to bring with them to dry land? I have no friend: I must live with myself alone; but I well know that God is nearer to me in my art than to others; I commune with Him without dread; I have ever acknowledged and understood Him. Neither have I any fear for my music; it can meet no evil fate : he to whom it makes itself intelligible, must become freed from all the wretchedness which others drag about with them.'
"I found him upon the third floor; unannounced, I entered. He was seated at the piano. I mentioned my name; he was very friendly, and asked if I would hear a song that he had just composed? Then he sung, shrill and piercing, so that the plaintiveness reacted upon the hearer, 'Know'st thou the Land.' 'It's beautiful, is it not,' said he, inspired, 'most beautiful! I will sing it again.' He was delighted at my cheerful praise. Most men,' said he, are touched by something good, but they are no artist-natures: artists are ardent, they do not weep.' Then he sung another of your songs, to which he had, a few days ago, composed music, Dry not the tears of eternal love.' He accompanied me home, and it was upon the way that he said so many beautiful things upon art. Withal, he spoke so loud, stood still so often upon the street, that some courage was necessary to listen: he spoke passionately, and much too startling, for me not also to forget that we were in the street. They were much surprised to see me enter with him in a large company assembled to dine with us. After dinner, he placed himself, unasked, at the instrument, and played long and wonderfully: his pride and genius were both in ferment. Under such excitement his spirit creates the iuconceivable, and his fingers perform the impossible. *
"Yesterday, I walked with him in a spendid garden, in full blossom, all the hot-houses open: the scent was overpowering. Beethoven stood still in the burning sun, and said, 'Goethe's poems maintain a powerful sway over me, not only by their matter, but also their rhythm; I am disposed and excited to compose by this language, which ever forms itself, as through spirits to more exalted order, already carrying within itself the mystery of harmonies. Then, from the focus of inspiration, I feel myself compelled to let the melody stream forth on all sides-I follow it -passionately overtake it again-I see it escape me-vanish amidst the crowd of varied excitements-soon I seize upon it again with renewed
passion; I cannot part from it,—with quick rapture I multiply it in every form of modulation, and, at the last moment, I triumph over the first musical thought,-see now-that's a symphony;-yes, music is indeed the mediator between the spiritual and sensual life. I should like to speak with Goethe upon this, if he would understand me. Melody is the sensual life of poetry. Do not the spiritual contents of a poem become sensual feeling through melody? do we not, in Mignon's song, perceive its entire sensual frame of mind through melody? and does not this perception excite again to new productions?-There, the spirit extends itself to unbounded universality, where all in all forms itself into a bed for the stream of feelings, which take their rise in the simple musical thought, and which else would die unperceived away: this is harmonythis is expressed in my symphonies; the blending of various forms rolls on, as in a bed, to its goal. Then one feels that an eternal, an infinite, never quite to be embraced, lies in all that is spiritual; and although, in my works, I have always a feeling of success, yet I have an eternal hunger, that what seemed exhausted with the last stroke of the drum, with which I drive my enjoyment, my musical convictions into the hearers.ta begin again like a child.
We do not know what grants us knowledge; the firmly enclosed seed needs the moist, warm, electric soil to grow, think, express itself. Music is the electric soil in which the spirit lives, thinks, invents. Philosophy is the precipitation of its electric spirit, and its necessity, which will ground every thing upon a first principle, is supplied by music; and, although the spirit be not master of that which it creates through music, yet is it blessed in this creation: in this manner, too, is every creation of art, independent, mightier than the artist himself, and returns, by its appearance, back to the divine, and is only connected with men in so much as it bears witness to the divine mediation in him. Music gives to the spirit relation to harmony. A thought abstracted has still the feeling of communion, of affinity in the spirit: thus each thought in music is in the most intimate, inseparable affinity with the communion of harmony, which is unity.'
Such are sufficient specimens of the Child's letters, which, however lively and wonderful, are far better suited to a German than an English mind. Indeed, we have no idea that the work will ever become popular in this country.
ART. IX.-The Life of Sir Edward Coke, with Memoirs of his Contemporaries. By CUTHBERT WILLIAM JOHNSON, Esq., of Gray's-Inn, Barrister at Law. 2 vols. London: Colburn. 1837.
THERE are few men whose lives are so deserving of being written as that of the great lawyer whose name stands at the head of this article, not merely on account of the personal claims which its subject possesses to be commemorated in a distinct and prominent manner by the historian, but on account of the link which Sir Edward Coke forms in relation to some of the greatest characters
and events which distinguish the records of Great Britain. The subject, however, is one that, by the very fact of its greatness and importance, as well as of its being long neglected, excepting in those imperfect biographies which find their way into Encyclopædias and the like, requires a mind deeply versed in the archives of England, and so devoted to historical researches as to reach an enthusiastic antiquarianism. It ought also to possess something like a kindred range of power and of taste to the mind of him who is to be delineated, one branch or particular of these powers necessarily being that self-confidence and absence of timidity or doubt that will allow and cherish a bold, decisive, and discriminating manner of dissection in relation to motives, action, and character. For, it is quite clear, that when the hero of a biographical history possessed in himself and exhibited the elements which constitute an individuality of feature, and stands as a prominent landmark in the annals of a nation, the skill and decision that would preserve him as such, and that ought also to clear away from the pedestal of the hero's monument everything that mars its rightful prominence and effect, must be of no mean order.
Of the requisites alluded to, we must say that Mr. Johnson is not so fully or clearly possessed, as to entitle his work to the honour of taking a high station in our biographical literature. He has evidently exerted great diligence, and has been most anxious to perform his task well and impartially. But his defects are palpable, as may be detected in the fact, that on closing the work and reflecting on any one passage of history or trait of character that has been attempted to be strongly brought out, the feebleness and incertitude of the light that has been scattered, and the unsteadiness of the pictured objects' attitude are such, as to forbid anything like a bold and characteristic idea to be communicated to the observer. This failure is partly owing to the inherent qualities of the author's mind, who, like all well-meaning persons of mediocre powers, is, while anxious to do what is right and just, afraid to be decided or to take original views, lest he should go wrong; and who in reality cannot in himself come to a definite conclusion. Besides this radical species of defect, Mr. Johnson's language has often the appearance of hesitation, that throws a most ludicrous effect on passages where it is manifest that he has entertained no doubt. Thus, in reference to Cromwell, it is said, "As to Cromwell's military taste, he certainly was forty-three years of age before he wore the military coat; and it is probable that when he drilled his own troop of horse, he at the same time taught himself the duties of a soldier." Again, "It is probable that the early speakers of the House of Commons were stout, strong-voiced members, who were sometimes civilians, at other periods soldiers." This is a discovery of great value doubtless; at any rate it is put forward,