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rated ideas of their own importance-an over-weening sense of their value to the Vaterland—there are in abundance; as well as a mass of crude, unformed notions about liberty, and the regeneration of Germany. But, after all, these are harmless fictions; they are not allied to any evil passions at the time—they lead to no bad results for the future. The murder of Kotzebue, and the attempt on the life of Napoleon, by Staps, were much more attributable to the mad enthusiasm of the period, than to the principles of the student league. The spirit of the nation revolted at the tyranny they had so long submitted 'to, and these fearful crimes were the agonized expression of endurance, pushed to madness. Only they who witnessed the frantic joy of the people, when the tide of fortune turned against Napoleon, and his baffled legions retreated through Germany, on their return from the Russian campaign, can understand how deeply stored were the wrongs, for which they were now to exact vengeance. The “volker schlagt”—the “people's slaughter"-as they love to call the terrible fight of Leipsic, was the dreadful recompense of all their sufferings.
When the French revolution first broke out, the German students, like many wiser and more thinking heads than theirs, in our own country, were struck with the great movement of a mighty people in their march to liberty; but, when disgusted with the atrocities that followed, they afterwards beheld France the first to assail the liberties, and trample on the freedom, of every other country, they regarded her as a traitor to the cause she once professed ; and while their apathy, in the early wars of the republican armies, marked their sympathy with the wild notions of liberty, of which Frenchmen affected to be the apostles in Europe-yet, when they saw the lust of conquest and the passion for dominion, usurp the place of those high-sounding virtues—liberté
, egalité—the reverse was a tremendous
one, and may well excuse, if excuse were needful, the proud triumph of the German armies, when they bivouacked in the streets of Paris.
The changed fortunes of the Continent have of course obliterated every political feature in the student-life of Germany; or, if such still exist, it takes the form merely of momentary enthusiasm, in favour of some banished professor, or a Burschen festival, in honour of some martyr of the press. Still their ancient virtues survive, and the German student is yet a type, one of the few remaining, of the Europe of thirty years ago. Long may he remain so, say I. Long may so interesting a land, have its national good faith, and brotherly affection, rooted in the minds of its youth. Long may the country of Schiller, of Wieland, and of Goethe, possess the race of those who can appreciate their greatness, or strive to emulate their fame.
I leave to others the task of chronicling their beer orgies, their wild festivals, and their duels ; and though not disposed to defend them on such charges, I might, were it not invidious, adduce instances, nearer home, of practices little more commendable. At those same festivals, at many of which I have been present, I have heard music, that would shame most of our orchestras, and listened to singing, such as I have never heard surpassed, except within the walls of a grand opera; and as to their duelling, the practice is bad enough in all conscience : but still I would mention one instance, of which I was myself a witness, and perhaps, even in so little fertile a field, we may find one grain of goodly promise.
Among my acquaintances in Göttingen, were two students both Prussians, and both from the same small town of Magdebourg. They had been school-fellows, and came together to the university, where they lived together on terms of brotherly affection, which, even there, where friendship takes all the semblance of a sacred compact, were the subject of remark. Never were two men less alike, however, than these. Eisendecker was a bold, hot-headed fellow, fond of all the riotous excesses of Burschen life; his face, seamed with many a scar, declared him a “ hahn," as, in student phrase, a confirmed duellist is termed. He was ever foremost in each scheme of wild adventure, and continually brought up before the senate, on some charge of insubordination. Von Mühry, his companion, was exactly the opposite. His soubriquet-for nearly every student had one- - was “ der Zahme-the gentle," and never was any more appropriate. His disposition was mildness itself. He was very handsome; almost girlish in his look ; with large blue eyes, and fine, soft, silky hair, which, German-like, he wore long upon his neck. His voicethe index of his nature-soft, low, and musical, would have predisposed you at once in his favour. Still, these disparities did not prevent the attachment of the two youths ; on the contrary, they seemed rather to strengthen the bond between—each, as it were, supplying to the other the qualities which nature had denied him. They were never separate in lecture-room, or at home, or in the allée—as the promenade was called-or in the garden, where, each evening, the students resorted to sup, and listen to the music of the Jäger band. Eisendecker and Mühry were names that no one ever heard separated, and when one appeared, the other was never more than a few yards off.
Such was their friendship, when an unhappy incident occurred to trouble its even course, and sow dissension between these, who never had known a passing difference in their lives. The sub-rector of Göttingen was in the habit of giving little receptions every week, to which many of the students were invited, and to which Eisendecker and Mühry, were frequently asked, as they both belonged to the professor's class. In the quiet world of a little university town, these soirées were great occasions, and the invited plumed themselves not a little on the distinction of a card, which gave the privilege of bowing in the Herr professor's drawingroom, and kissing the hand of his fair daughter, the Frederica von Ettenheim, the belle of Göttingen. Frederica was the prettiest German girl I ever saw, for this reason, that having been partly educated at Paris, French espièglerie relieved what had been, otherwise, the too regular monotony of her Saxon features, and imparted a character of sauciness—or “fierté,” is a better word—to that quietude, which is too tame to give the varied expression, so charming in female beauty. The esprit, that delicious ingredient, which has been so lamentably omitted in German character, she had imbibed from her French education ; and in lieu of that plodding interchange of flat commonplaces, which constitute the ordinary staple of conversation, between the young of opposite sexes beyond the Rhine, she had imported the light, delicate, tone of Parisian raillery—the easy and familiar gaiety of French society, so inexpressibly charming in France, and such a boon from heaven, when one meets it by accident elsewhere. Oh, confess it ye, who in the dull round of this world's, so-called, pleasure-in the Egyptian darkness of the dinners and evening parties of your fashionable friends—sit nights long, speaking and answering, half at random, without one thought to amuse, without one idea to interest you—what pleasure have you felt, when some chance expression, some remark-a mere word, perhaps, of your neighbour beside you-reveals, that she has attained that wondrous charm—that most fascinating of all possessions—the art to converse ; that neither fearful of being deemed pedantic, on the one hand, or uninformed, on the
other, she launches forth freely, on the topic of the moment, gracefully illustrating her meaning, by womanly touches of sensibility and delicacy, as though to say these lighter weapons were her own peculiar arms, while men might wield the more massive ones of sense and judgment.
Then, with what lightness she flits along from theme to theme, half affecting to infer that she dares not venture deep, yet showing, every instant, traits of thoughtfulness and reflection.
How long since have you forgotten, that she who thus holds you entranced, is the brunette, with features rather too bold than otherwise ; that those eyes, which now sparkle with the fire of mind, seemed, but half an hour ago, to have a look of cold effrontery. Such is the charm of “esprit," and without it, the prettiest woman wants her greatest charm; a diamond she may be, and as bright and of purest water, but the setting, which gives such lustre to the stone, is absent, and half the brilliancy of the gem is lost to the beholder.
Now, of all tongues ever invented by man, German is the most difficult and clumsy, for all purposes of conversation. You may preach in ityou may pray in it-you may hold a learned argument, or you may lay down some involved and intricate statement—you may, if you have the gift, even tell a story in it, provided the hearers be patient—and some have even gone so far, as to venture on expressing a humorous idea in German; but these have been bold men, and their venturous conduct is more to be admired than imitated. At the same time, it is right to add, that a German joke is a very wooden contrivance at best, and that the praise it meets with, is rather in the proportion of the difficulty of the manufacture, than of the superiority of the article—just as we admire those Indian toys carved with a rusty nail, or those fourth-string performances of Paganini and his followers.
And now to come back to the students, whom, mayhap, you deem to have been forgotten by me all this time, but for whose peculiar illustration, my digression was intended ; it being neither more nor less than to show, that if Frederica von Ettenheim turned half the heads in Göttingen, Messrs. Eisendecker and Mühry were of the number. What a feature it was of the little town, her coming to reside in it! What a sweet atmos. phere of womanly gracefulness, spread itself, like a perfume, through these old salons, whose dusty curtains, and moth-eaten chairs, looked like the fossils of some antediluvian furniture! With what magic were the old ceremonials of a professor's reception, exchanged for the easier habits of a politer world! The venerable dignitaries of the university, felt the change, but knew not where it lay, and could not account for the pleasure they now experienced in the vice-rector's soirées; while the students knew no bounds to their enthusiastic admiration; and “ Die Ettenheim” reigned in every heart in Göttingen.
Of all her admirers, none seemed to hold a higher place in her favour, than Von Mühry. Several causes contributed to this, in addition to his own personal advantages, and the distinction of his talents, which were of a high order. He was particularly noticed by the vice-rector, from the circumstance of his father's holding a responsible position in the Prussian government while Adolphe himself gave ample promise of one day making a figure in the world. He was never omitted in any invitation, nor forgotten in any of the many little parties so frequent among the professors ; and even where the society was limited to the dignitaries of the college, some excuse would ever be made by the vice-rector, to have him present, either on the pretence of wanting him for something, or that Frederica had asked him without thinking. Vol. XXII.-No. 132.
Such was the state of this little world, when I settled in it, and took up my residence at the Meissner Thor, intending to pass my summer there. The first evening I spent at the vice-rector's, the matter was quite clear to my eyes. Frederica and Adolphe were lovers. It was to no purpose, that when he had accompanied her on the piano, he retreated to a distant part of the room when she ceased to sing. It signified not, that he scarcely ever spoke to her, and when he did, but a few words, hurriedly and in confusion. Their looks met once; I saw them exchange one glance -a fleeting one too—but I read in it their whole secret, mayhap even more than they knew themselves. Well had it been, if I alone had witnessed this, but there was another at my side who saw it also, and whispered in my ear, “Der Zahme is in love." I turned round, and it was Eisendecker : his face, sallow and sickly, while large circles of dark olive surrounded his eyes, and gave him an air of deep suffering. "Did you see that ?” said he, suddenly, as he leaned his hand on my arm, where it shook like one in ague.
“ Did you see that?”
“ Yes—the flower. It was she dropped it, when she crossed the room. You saw him take it up-didn't you ?"
The tone he spoke in was harsh, and bissing, as if he uttered the words with his teeth clenched. It was clear to me now, that he, too, was in love with Frederica, and I trembled to think of the cruel shock their friendship must sustain ere long.
A short time after, when I was about to retire, Eisendecker took my arm, and said, “Are you for going home ? May I go with you ?" I gave a willing assent, our lodgings being near, and we spent much of every day in each other's chambers. It was the first time we had ever returned without (waiting for Mühry; and fearing what a separation, once begun, might lead to, I stopped suddenly on the stairs, and said, as if suddenly remembering
“ By the hy, we are going without Adolphe.”
Eisendecker's fingers clutched me convulsively, and while a bitter laugh broke from bim, he said, “ You wouldn't tear them asunder-would you?" For the rest of the way, he never spoke again, and I, fearful of awakening the expression of that grief, which, when avowed, became confirmed, never opened my lips, save to say—“Good night."
I never intended to have involved myself in a regular story, when I began this chapter, nor must I do so now, though, sooth to say, it would not be without its interest, to trace the career of these two youths, who now became gradually estranged from each other, and were no longer to be seen, as of old, walking with arms on each other's shoulders- the most perfect realization of true brotherly affection. Day by day the distance widened between them; each knew the secret of the other's heart, yet neither dared to speak of it. From distrust there is but a short step to dislike-alas ! it is scarcely even a step. They parted.
Every one knows that the reaction which takes place, when some longstanding friendship has been ruptured, is proportionate to the warmth of the previous attachment. Still, the cause of this, in a great measure, is more atributable to the world about us, than to ourselves; we make partizans to console us for the loss of one who was our confidant—and in the violence, of their passions, we are carried away as in a current. The students were no exception to this theory—scarcely had they ceased to regard each other as friends, when they began to feel as enemies. Alas, is it not ever so? Does not the good soil, which, when cultivated with care, produces the fairest Aowers, and the richest fruits-rear up, when neglected and abandoned, the most noxious weeds, and the rankest thistles ? And yet, it was love for another—that passion so humanizing in its influence, so calculated to assuage the stormy and vindictive traits of even a savage nature—it was love had made them thus. To how many is the “light that lies in woman's eyes” but a beacon to lure to ruin? When we think that but one can succeed, where so many strive-what sadness and misery must not result to others ?
Another change came over them, and a stranger still. Eisendecker, the violent youth, of ungovernable temper, and impetuous passion-who loved the wildest freak of student-daring, and ever was the first to lead the way in each mad scheme—had now become silent and thoughtful-a gentle sadness tempered down the fierce traits of his hot nature, and he no longer frequented his old haunts of the cellar and the fighting school, but wandered alone into the country, and spent whole days in solitude. Von Mühry, on the other hand, seemed to have assumed the castaway mantle of his once friend : the gentle bearing, and almost submissive tone of his manner, were exchanged for an air of conscious pride—a demeanour that bespoke a triumphant spirit-and the quiet youth, suddenly seemed changed to a rash, high-spirited boy, reckless from very happiness. During this time, Eisendecker had attached himself particularly to me; and although I had always hitherto preferred Von Mühry, the feeling of the other's unhappiness-a sense of compassion for suffering, which it was easy to see was great-drew me closer in my friendship towards him; and, at last, I scarcely saw Adolphe at all—and when we did meet, a mutual feeling of embarrassment, separated and estranged us from each other. About this time, I set off on an excursion to the Hartz Mountains, to visit the Brocken, and see the mines-my absence, delayed beyond what I first intended, was above four weeks and I returned to Göttingen just as the summer vacation was about to begin.
About five leagues from Göttingen, on the road towards Nordheim, there is a little village called Meissner, a favourite resort of the students, in all their festivals, while, at something less than a mile distant, stands a water mill, on a little rivulet among the hills—a wild, sequestered spot, overgrown with stunted oak and brushwood. A narrow bridle-path leads to it from the village, and this was the most approved place for settling all those affairs of honour, whose character was too serious to make it safe to decide nearer the university: for, strangely enough—while, by the laws of the university, duelling was rigidly denounced—yet, whenever the quarrel was decided by the sword, the authorities never, or almost never interfered—but if a pistol was the weapon, the thing at once took a more serious aspect.
For what reasons the mills have been always selected, as the appropriate scenes for such encounters, I never could discover ; but the fact is unquestionable—and I never knew a university town, that did not possess its “ water privileges” in this manner.
Towards the mill, I was journeying at the easy pace of my pony, early on a summer's morning, preferring the rural breakfast with the miller-for they are always a kind of innkeepers—to the fare of the village. I entered the little bridle-path that conducted to his door, and was sauntering listlessly along, dreaming pleasantly, as one does, when the song of the lark, and the heavy odour of dew-pressed flowers, steep the heart in a happiness all its own—when, behind me, I heard the regular tramp of marching. I listened—had í been a stranger to the sound, I should have thought them soldiers but I knew too well the