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speak, to the Diet, the nation, and the 1 (if we may use the word) the British Conworld---men whose names are now ring-stitution, and it is not likely that Prussia ing throughout Germany.
either can or will obtain a good one in a At length the Diet, having gotten day, a year, or even several years. through the consideration of the subjects In the second place, we certainly believe submitted to it, was dissolved, and its that things cannot remain long as they are members returned to their homes, some now in Prussia; and as we think that the King of them to be received with ovations at the is too wise and good a man to retreat from hands of their delighted constituents. And | his present position and fall back upon the what now is going to be done? That is a bayonets of his army, we are quite sure very grave question, which, not being that he will go forward, perhaps not improphets, we do not feel ourselves capable mediately, but sooner or later. We are of answering with confidence. We will, inclined to think that the rising billows of however, say a few words.
popular—we should say national-disconIn the first place, we think that Fred- tent will rise so high, that in a year or erick William has committed the serious two he will be compelled to give his people mistake-through his great admiration another and greatly “enlarged and imof almost everything that concerns Eng- proved” edition of his present meagre land—of believing that the true way to constitution. In that case he will probaaccomplish the proposed object, is to begin bly dismiss his present cabinet, * and call with as little as possible in the shape of to the head of a new one his friend Chev. concession to the people. Or rather, he alier Bunsen, the able Prussian ambassador seems to think that a sort of constitutional at the court of St. James—of all men in government may be organized with almost Germany the best instructed, in our opinion, nothing in the form of a written and defined in constitutional government. He has been charter. But he loses sight of the fact | for years in London, and has studied on that the times are widely different from the spot the British Constitution and all the those long ages through which England details of its working. He is the fittest worked out her constitution. There is now | man of Germany to devise and carry into infinitely more light on the subject of operation a broad, liberal and well-defined making Constitutions than there was during Constitution. Indeed, we have been inthat long and rude period. No nation, formed that he has, at the request of the with the example of England before its King, submitted a sketch of a Constitution eyes, will hereafter be content to pass of a very complete nature; but his Majesthrough what she did.
ty prefers to make an experiment with his
own scheme. empora mutantur, et nos mulamur cum illis.” We have said that the state of things in
Germany cannot remain long as it is at We live fast in these days of steam- present. This is our firm conviction. ships, railroads, and electric telegraphs. About one year ago M. Guizot said, in the Everything must now be done with rapid--| Chamber of Deputies, toute l'Allemagne est ity, if done at all. The slow procedures en feu! And, although there was someof the ancients will not suit us. We must thing of French hyperbole in this strong reach in a few years, or months, results metaphorical expression, yet there was a which with them required long ages. The great deal of truth in it. There are many King of Prussia should bear this in mind. elements fermenting there, besides a desire The example of England, in her protracted of liberty, well defined and practicable. and dreadful struggles to gain one prin There is, if we are correctly informed, and ciple or point after another in her Consti- we think we are, a strong tendency to rush tution, will not serve in these days. On / into the extreme of licentiousness. There the other hand, those in Prussia who de- is a large amount of low, vulgar infidelity, mand a constitution ought to remember that the heavens and the earth were not
* The present cabinet of the King embraces some created in one day, although that would men of ialents such as Eichhorn—but it cannot have been practicable for the infinite Archi- / be said to be an able one. It will not compare
with that of the late King, especially when Sien tect. It required a long time to perfect was at the head of it.
in close alliance with radicalism, socialism, / amount of religious liberty; and in the forand other wrong economical and moral mation of the Zollverein or Customs-Union, opinions of one grade and another, which all prove that Frederick William IV. threatens to overthrow the very founda- must be an enlightened man. On the last tions of society. Still, we trust, that the named two measures we must say a word. good sense, kindly feeling, and almost! If we are rightly informed, the late edict naturally conservative character of the on the subject of religious liberty, whilst it German people, will keep them back from does not release any one from bearing his all avoidable excesses. With the bloody share of the burthens of the Established pages of the Revolutions of both England Church, allows an unrestricted dissent. In and France before their eyes, humanity other words, it introduces a state of things entire will have cause to weep if the child in this respect, similar to what exists in the dren of Hermann and Luther should plunge British realm-a state of things infinitely into all the horrors of a fratricidal war, better than that which existed a few years
That Frederick William IV. may be so ago. influenced and guided, as to be induced to As to the Zollverein, or “Commercial give his people such a Constitution as will League,” it relieves all the portions of be best for them--such as will render them Germany which have come into it* from happy and prosperous-must be the wish the numerous and vexatious difficulties
-the prayer rather-of all good men. arising from each kingdom and petty duchy For ourselves, we consider him one of the having its own custom houses, and its own best sovereigns in Europe, as it regards tariff. We think it probable that it will benevolence of heart, simplicity and purity have a far-reaching influence upon the of domestic life, and general rectitude of political destinies of Germany. It may intentions. We are very far from thinking prove an “entering wedge” to a consolthat he is not liable to make serious mis- | idation of all the northern German States takes. We think that his ardent and im- | at least--a consummation much to be petuous temperament will hurry him into | desired. many an act which he had better avoid. Considerable censure has been bestowed He may not always be wise in his meas- upon the conduct of Frederick William IV. ures, or in the manner of executing them ; | in relation to the affair of Cracow, but we but we believe him sincerely desirous of think not justly. We have the best of doing what will be best, so far as he can reasons for believing that the King has see, for his people. He is naturally a man been greatly grieved by the deceptive and of humane and kind feelings. And we high-handed course which Austria pursued have occasion to know that he is prompt in that business. The case demands a few to do not only justice, but even grace, words. where a proper case is presented to him. Cracow, by the partition of Poland His position at this moment is eminently among the three great powers, fell, we difficult, and he needs a large measure of believe, to Austria. Napoleon in 1807, that wisdom which God alone can give. / when he created the grand duchy of As we have already hinted, we are far Warsaw, annexed Cracow to that duchy. from thinking that, with one or two ex- | The Congress of Vienna, finding no little ceptions, he is surrounded by as able men difficulty in deciding to which of the two as the exigency of the times demands. powers that desired it-Austria and RusThat there are such men in Prussia, we do sia-to give it, when they converted the not doubt, nor that they will be shortly duchy of Warsaw into the modern kingforthcoming.
dom of Poland, constituted Cracow, with The recent acts of the Prussian govern- a small adjacent territory, into a republic, ment, in giving publicity to the proceedings and put it under the auspices of the great of the courts; in proposing (if we under- parties to the treaty of Vienna,Austria, stand the matter) to withdraw the surveillance of the press altogether from the
* The portions of Germany which have entered Diet of Germany, and place it under the the Customs-Union, embrace more than 28,000,000 control of the government of the country
+ Embracing about 137,000 inhabitants, of whom in which it may be; in granting a large 50,000 are Jews.
Russia, Prussia, France and England. It Germany, especially by certain classes of was not long until Austria renewed the people who hate his Protestant and strictly agitation of the question, either under pre-evangelical faith, he is greatly spoken tence that the republic was a sort of nui- against. There is an infidelity in that sance to its great neighbors, or because she country of the most malignant character, wanted it, as Ahab did Naboth's vineyard. and those who have imbibed it are, withBut the late King of Prussia would not out exception, the enemies of the King of listen to the proposition. Not long after Prussia. They hate his religious creed, the present King ascended the throne of and by consequence, they hate him. And his father, Austria again brought forward among the emigrants* from that land, the question. Prussia still refused. At who come to our shores, there are many last the recent outbreak occurred, and sev- counterparts of those we have just refereral thousand men, Cracovites and Polish red to. Some of these cannot find epirefugees, taking up arms, sallied forth to thets sufficiently abusive to express all promote a rebellion in Gallicia or Austrian their hatred of his Majesty.t Poland. This ill-advised and ill-directed It would have been very easy for us to movement, although it ended in defeat, have written such a notice of the King of gave Austria the occasion she desired for Prussia as would have chimed in with the pressing successfully her suit, saying to prejudices of those people among us who the still reluctant King of Prussia, that think that it is impossible for a king to be there never could be tranquillity on the bor- either an honest or a sensible man. There ders until the republic of Cracow was are brawlers among us who find it convenabolished. In an evil hour Frederick ient and easy to court popularity with William IV. consented that Austria (Rus men of ignorant and vulgar minds, by desia having yielded) might take possession nouncing everything in the shape of monof Cracow, but upon the express condi- archy, and all persons who belong to what tion that she should first gain the con are called the high ranks. But there are sent of France and England. The con- also men, of all parties, who have too sent of Prussia having been gained, Met- much elevation of mind and justice of ternich did not wait for that of France and heart to sympathize, for one moment, with England, but, after having taken posses such a spirit. sion of the city and territory in question, For ourselves, we dare affirm that we went to work to negotiate with both about yield to no one in admiration of republithe affair as a "fail accompli.” France can government. We believe that it is yielded readily enough, whilst protesting the normal one. The Divine Being gave against the transaction. England was dis | his people—his “chosen nation”-a repleased, but could do nothing but remon- publican economy; and a glorious comstrate. The King of Prussia was greatly monwealth it was! But when He found grieved, as we know from good authority, but the evil was done. This is a simple * Whilst there are many truly enlightened, wellhistory of the case, and sets the conduct
informed, and excellent foreigners, who come to
us from Germany, France, and other portions of of that monarch in a very different light Europe, there are not a few who know very little from that in which it is very generally
about the countries from which they have come,
save the petty localities in which they were born, viewed. .
and in which they passed their lives down, till the But we must bring this sketch of the day of quitting their native lands. The opinions of life and character of Frederick William
such are very little worth, especially in regard to
both facts and men whereof they had no sources of IV. to a close. We have endeavored to information save the exaggerated, and often basespeak impartially and truly of that mon
less and absurd stories which they heard some one
or other repeat. arch, but are well aware that this notice † We have heard Frederick William IV. called, will be considered by many as entirely too by some of his compatriots of the class alluded to
in the text, a “liar," a "tyrant,” a “knave," a favorable. This we cannot help. We
“ drunkard,” and we know not what all. Such have given our conscientious opinions re people are entirely welcome to their own opinions specting his character and conduct. We
of his Majesty, and every one else ; but they pre
sume too much, if they think that the people of this could not do otherwise, having derived country will receive them without examination, or them from sources that are worthy, as we
that they will allow them to outweigh those of great believe, of all confidence. By many in means of knowing the truth.
| and good men in Germany who have the best
that they were not fit for such a govern- | him several hours daily, in order to derive ment, “ He gave them a king in his an- from the conversation of the greatest savani ger.” In both cases, however, he required living, that knowledge and instruction his people to obey the government de facio. which he has no leisure to gain from And much as we love our invaluable po- | books. litical institutions, and deem them truly in- ! In terminating this sketch, we have only comparable, we should consider ourselves to remark, that whilst we consider the posibereft of common sense, if, knowing the tion of Frederick William IV. to be exstate of the world as we do, we should in- tremely difficult, and even critical, we sist upon it, that all other nations are at think that never had monarch such an oppresent prepared for them.
portunity to immortalize himself. Let We believe that God permits the na- | him be prompt in giving to his people a tions to decide for themselves what form good Constitution--one corresponding to of government they will have. From the the intelligence and the demands of the first, our government has acted upon the age and he cannot fail to render his memprinciple that, in all ordinary cases, the ory illustrious in all coming time. He government de facto is the government de might, if he were so disposed, rally all jure. And as we thus expect other nations to Germany around his throne, and create a treat our government with respect, it is great and happy empire in the heart of our duty to treat the forms of government | Europe, which would be an effectual barwhich they choose to maintain, with similar rier against Gallic ambition on the one respect. It is this that has inspired a con- | hand, and Russian on the other. And if fidence in all other governments, in relation Austria and Russia should attempt to to us-be their form what it may-which hinder or molest him, he need only threaten is in the highest degree honorable to us. them both with the restoration of Poland
We have spoken of the domestic happi- to her ancient independence, and the ness of Frederick William IV. with deep limits she had in the 16th century. Uniting interest, for we know no greater proof of Germany around him, he could at a the goodness of a man's heart than his love word raise up a mighty kingdom on its for his wife and family, nor a stronger eastern frontier, composed of the counpledge of general rectitude of purpose. tries inhabited by the western branches of We will add that, as the King can find very the Slavonic races—Poland, Bohemia, little time for reading, amid the cares and | Hungary-and effectually put it out of the burthens of government, he still has the power of Austria and Russia ever to distinguished and excellent Humboldt with | trouble the rest of Europe.
The tragedy of Hamlet has probably | efficacy of the thoughts, and feelings, and caused more of perplexity and discussion, | inward experiences of us all; his life is a than any other of Shakspeare's plays. | picture of blighted hopes and crushed Others of them may have more of interest affections, from which we may solve the for particular minds, or particular states of darkest enigmas of our existence, and over mind, or particular periods of life; but which our aching hearts may bleed them. none of them equals Hamlet in universality selves into repose. Hamlet, in short, is an of interest. Doubtless this results, in part, universal genius, in the depths and variety from the hero's being “a concentration of of his feelings and faculties, almost rivalall the interests that belong to humanity.” | ling Shakspeare himself, and engaged, not His history is the very extraction and / in creating or revealing the true, the beau
tiful, and the good, but in conflict with the / question is, why, with this unanimity as dark powers of the world. If there be a to his being a man, do men differ so much heart, whose best affections have never as to what sort of a man he is? been breathed upon by hope, nor broken In reasoning upon facts, we are apt to down by despair; which has never been forget what complex, many-sided things called to weep over the desecration or the we are dealing with. We often speak of degradation of its most cherished objects; them as very simple and intelligible things, which has no springs of life to be sweet whereas, in reality, they are most proened by sympathy, or embittered by dis foundly and inscrutably mysterious : they appointment; and which has put forth no may indeed be used to explain other promises to be fanned by airs from heaven, things, but they cannot themselves be exor scorched by blasts from hell; such a plained. For example, how many causes, heart may indeed contemplate the picture elements, conditions, and processes go to of Hamlet without emotion, and may find the forming of a rose? The combined agenexemption from the sorrows of life in the cies of all nature work together in its proiceberg of its own insensibility.
duction—are all represented by it, and inColeridge very finely remarks some- ferable from it. Thus facts involve and where, that Shakspeare's characters are infer many things at the same time ; they classes of men individualized. Of most of present manifold elements and qualities in them, this seems to us profoundly true; and consistency and unity, and so express a Hamlet seems to differ from the others, in diversity of meanings which cannot be that he is the race itself individualized. gathered up into a form of logical explanaHe is a sort of glass wherein we may all tion. Even if we seize and draw out, see ourselves, provided we have any self; severally and successively, all the properand it is not so correct to say, that he rep- ties of a fact, still we are as far as ever resents any one man or class of men, as from producing the effect of their combithat he represents them all. Hamlet, in nation in the fact itself. It is this mysteshort, is the very abridgment and eclecti- riousness of facts that begets our respect cism of humanity: in the words of another, for them, our docility to them, and our init is we who are Hamlet.
terest in them: could we master them, we Accordingly, scarce any character in should cease to regard them : could we history has provoked so great a diversity explain them, we should feel at liberty to of opinion as Hamlet; for the more gene- substitute our explanations for the things ric and comprehensive a man is, the more explained. For, to see round and through various will the judgments of men natur- a thing, implies a sort of conquest over it; ally be concerning him. One man thinks and when we get, or think we have got, Hamlet is great, but wicked ; another, | above a thing, we naturally either overthat he is good, but weak; a third, that look it, or else look down upon it : finding he is a coward, and dare not act; a fourth, or fancying we have mastered a thing, we that he has too much intellect for his will, are apt to neglect it, or, what is worse, and so reflects away the time of action. I put off that humility towards it, which, Doubtless there are facts in the represen- besides being itself the better part of wistation which, considered by themselves, dom, is our only key to the remainder. would sustain any one of these views; but In this complexity of facts, is obviously none of them seems reconcilable with all contained the material of innumerable thethe facts taken together. Yet, notwith-ories; for, “in so great a store of properstanding this diversity of facts and conclu | ties belonging to the self-same thing, every sions, all agree in thinking, and feeling, man's mind may take hold of some special and speaking about Hamlet as an actual consideration above the rest ;” and it is person. It is easy, indeed, to invest with characteristic of facts, that, seen through any plausibility almost any theory in regard to given theory, they always seem to prove him; but it is extremely hard to make only that one, though really affording equal any theory comprehend the whole subject: proof to fifty other theories. In short, many and, though all are impressed with the of the elements, perhaps all the elements of truth of the character, no one is satisfied truth, may meet togetherin a fact; and nothwith another's explanation of it. The ing is more common than for several minds
VOL. I. NO. I. NEW SERIES.