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and a firm demand was made that it should be restored before any further negotiations could take place. This demand for the restoration of “ das alte, gute Recht” forms the burden of most of Uhland's “patriotic poems," which, printed on single leaves, were scattered through the land, and exercised a considerable influence both upon the minds of the people and upon the practical issue of the struggle. Some of them possess considerable poetic merit, and all show strong and warm, if occasionally rather narrow patriotic feeling. The poem entitled Nachruf, beginning “Noch ist kein Fürst so hoch gefürstet," breathes a bold and manly spirit of liberty, and shows clearly that Uhland, in resisting with all his strength, as a poet and a politician, the introduction of a constitution greatly superior to the old one, was animated solely by fidelity to a principle upon which he felt that the liberties of a people were based, and by the surrender of which any immediate advantages would be dearly purchased. Of his readiness to make great personal sacrifices to his convictions he gave proof in his steadfast refusal to seek or accept any post, which would necessitate his taking an oath to a king who was ruling in defiance of the fundamental conditions of his office. But the history in detail of Uhland's part in the struggle, and of his later activity as a politician, seems to show that he was deficient in some of the qualities most essential to a statesman. Like so many of the learned men of his nation, he was too much a theorist to recognise duly the conditions and requirements of practical and public life. He had moreover in his own character too much of simple straightforwardness and of stern unbending loyalty to conviction and duty, to be able to reconcile himself to diplomacy and compromise. The result of the conflict was the hurried acceptance in 1819, at the time of the Karlsbad Decrees, of a constitution which was indeed based on the principle of contract between prince and people, for which Uhland and his party had so persistently contended, but which was in many points inferior both to that first offered by King Frederick, and to a second one proposed by his more liberal successor, William I. The introduction of the new constitution was celebrated by a representation in the Stuttgart Hoftheater of Uhland's Herzog Ernst, for which occasion the prologue was composed by special request.

Uhland was at once elected by the town of Tübingen into the second chamber of the Landtag or parliament thus established, of which he was for many years one of the most active and influential members, the advocate of liberal reforms and the watchful guardian of civil liberties and popular rights. His patriotic and democratic sentiments, and the devotion with which he strove to serve the interests of his country, both as a representative of the people in Württemberg and later as a member of the short-lived German Parliament in Frankfurt, contributed perhaps no less than his poetical productions to the great popularity throughout Germany which he enjoyed in the latter part of his life. But neither legal nor political pursuits were really congenial to Uhland, and in the inevitable disappointments and discouragements of a time which brought so much disappointment to German patriots, he often longed for quiet and leisure for his studies in mediæval literature and popular poetry. In 1826 he declined re-election ; in 1830 he was appointed to a professorship of German Literature, the prospect of which had been long held out to him, in the University of Tübingen. But in this congenial sphere he was not long left undisturbed. The liberal and national movement in Germany had been stirred up anew by the Paris Revolution of July, 1830, and Uhland considered it his duty to respond to the appeal made to him to resume his parliamentary activity. When in 1833 the government, displeased with his liberal opposition, refused him the necessary leave of absence from his professorial duties to attend the Landtag, he at once sacrificed his professorship, and returned to his political pursuits. In 1838 he again declined re-election, and resumed his literary labours, from which he was but once more called away, when in 1848 he was sent to Frankfurt, first by the ministry in Württemberg as one of the seventeen Vertrauensmänner, and afterwards by the district Tübingen-Rottenburg as a member of the National Assembly. After the failure of this ill-directed and unfortunate attempt at German unity, he retired to Tübingen and lived henceforth uninterrupted in the pursuit of his favourite studies until his death. He was an esteemed correspondent and a valued friend of some of the first German scholars of his time, but he avoided as far as possible, with the same retiring modesty which had always characterized him, the admiring homage his countrymen were eager to render him, and declined several public distinctions of a very flattering character that were pressed upon him. In personal appearance he was a very ordinary, almost insignificant looking man, in dress scrupulously neat, but exceedingly plain, in speech not Auent, in general intercourse ever ready to listen rather than to speak, and shrinking from anything that might look like a parade of his own opinions or performances. Of his kindly nature and tenderness of heart his biographers narrate several traits ; his unobtrusive helpfulness and charity, and the thoughtful consideration even for the lower animals which would make him often rise from reading to open the window for a foolish moth seeking its death in the flame of the candle. He was fond of children and young people, and many a student was helped by him through his university course; many a young would-be poet received from him the most considerate advice and kindly warning. His habits of life were regular and simple, and he enjoyed robust and vigorous health even in his old age, until shortly before his death, which took place Nov. 13th, 1862. Uhland began his literary career in connection with the so

called “Romantic School,” in its later development, Works.

though he never fell into the fantastic extravagance and unreal sentiment which characterized many of its members. The Romanticists had turned away in disgust from the real life of the cheerless present, and had taken refuge in the study and revival of the middle ages, their poetry, art and religious feeling. Some of them had turned to the older German and Scandinavian popular poetry and heroic legend, which however they but inperfectly understood, and in imitating often only caricatured. The brothers Grimm did much, by their scholarly researches and the disquisitions founded upon them, and next to them no

one did more than Uhland, both as a poet and a scholar, to give a healthy direction and a basis of reality to this interest in mediæval life and literature, and in the popular poetry and mythology of earlier times. It has already been mentioned how this mediæval lore had taken hold of him while yet a boy, and influenced from the beginning the direction taken by his early developed poetic talent. He became the centre of a group of young poets, most of them countrymen of his own, and hence generally known as the Schwäbische Dichterschule. His own poetical production however became intermittent at a comparatively early period, and gave place almost entirely, while he was yet hardly past middle life, to his literary and antiquarian pursuits. His interests were chiefly directed to researches into the legend and mythology of the North, and the connection between legend and history, to the older heroic poetry, and especially to the German Volkslieder, of which he published a valuable collection. Most of his tours throughout Germany, continued until late in life, were largely directed towards the gathering of the material, derived either from ancient literary monuments, or from still living tradition, and the study of localities and people, which he embodied in his contributions to the history of antique poetry and legend. Eight volumes of Schriften zur Geschichte der Dichtung und Sage were collected and published after his death.

Uhland's poetry derives its chief inspiration from communion Poems.

with nature, and from ancient story. Both in language

and style, and in the character of the thoughts and sentiments, it is marked by great simplicity, the simplicity of perfect naturalness. Uhland is one of the few highly educated poets who have written songs which have struck the tone and attained the popularity of the true Volkslied. Some of his lyrics show a considerable resemblance, in simple charm, in melody and directness of effect, to those of Goethe, and deservedly rank very near to these in popular esteem. It was however as a lyricepic poet, by his Balladen und Romanzen, that Uhland won his chief and most enduring fame. Some of the poems which he placed under this head have too slight a basis of incident to be

classed as ballads, but among these chiefly lyrical romances are to be found some of the gems of his poetry, Das Schloss am Meere, Der Wirthin Töchterlein, Der gute Kamerad, and others. Among his ballads properly so called are many, such as Des Sängers Fluch and Bertran de Born, which will probably be as lasting in popularity as those of Schiller and Goethe, while others such as Der Waller and Die verlorene Kirche will always be highly esteemed by the lovers of exquisite poetry. The life which Uhland depicts, whether of outward event or of inward feeling, is indeed neither wide in range, nor prevailingly of a very stirring character. But the scenes and incidents of his poems show a fine tact in selecting from the story of the past only what has an abiding human interest, and rejecting whatever is merely accidental, and would now be felt to be disturbing; and are portrayed with the skill of a painter who with a few chaste touches puts before us a picture complete in tone and outline. There is a great charm in the expressive brevity of his musically flowing lines, and the sentiment is always warm and true, and not seldom of a winning tenderness

and grace.

Of Uhland's dramas, only two of which, Ernst, Herzog von

Schwaben, and Ludwig der Bayer, were completed, Dramas.

several others remaining unfinished, it is unnecessary to say much. They are distinguished by the same excellences as his shorter poems, already characterized, but they are lacking in true dramatic life. The onward movement of the action is too slow, and too much interrupted by long passages of narrative and reflection. Their general tone is more epic and lyrical than dramatic; they are rather dramatised pictures of a bygone time than dramas suited for the stage, on which they have never attained success. Uhland has failed here as Goethe also to a great extent failed; but his failures, like Goethe's, are from the broader point of view of literature better than most men's

The classical simplicity of style and the nobleness of tone, which make Goethe's Iphigenie one of the purest pearls of German literature, have perhaps never found a nearer,-if still a distant-parallel in a German poet than in Uhland.


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