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of universal knowledge: in each of Sometimes we suspect that it is the these capacities he is great, but also very grandeur of his general powers in more; for all that he achieves in which prevents us from exelusively these is brightened and gilded with admiring his poetic genius. We are the touch of another quality: his not lulled by the Syren song of poemaxims, his feelings, his opinions are try, because her melodies are blended transformed from the lifeless shape of with the clearer, manlier tones of didactic truths into living shapes that serious reason and of honest though address faculties far finer than the exalted feeling. understanding. The gifts by which Much laborious discussion has been such transformation is effected, the wasted in defining genius, particugift of pure, ardent, tender sensibi- larly by the countrymen of Schiller, lity, joined to those of fancy and some of whom have narrowed the imagination, are perhaps not wholly conditions of the term so far as to denied to any man endowed with the find but three men of genius since power of reason; possessed in vari- the world was created, Homer, Shakous degrees of strength, they add to speare, and Goethe. From such rithe products of mere intellect cor- gid precision, applied to a matter in responding tints of new attractive- itself indefinite, there may be an apness; in a degree great enough to be parent, but there is no real increase remarkable, they constitute a poet. of accuracy. The creative power, Of this peculiar faculty how much the faculty not only of imitating had fallen to Schiller's lot, we need given forms of being, but of imanot attempt too minutely to explain. gining and representing new ones, Without injuring his reputation, it which is here attributed with such may be admitted that in general his distinctness and so sparingly, has works exhibit rather extraordinary been given by nature in complete strength than extraordinary fineness perfection to no man, nor entirely or versatility. His power of drama- denied to any. The shades of it tic imitation is perhaps never of the cannot be distinguished by so loose very highest, the Shakspearean kind; a scale as language. A definition of and in its best state, it is farther genius, which excludes such a mind limited to a certain range of charac- as Schiller's, will scarcely be agreeters. It is with the grave, the ear- able to philosophical correctness, and nest, the exalted, the affectionate, it will tend rather to lower than the mournful that he succeeds: he to exalt the dignity of the word. is not destitute of humour, as his Possessing all the general mental Wallenstein's Camp will show, but nei- faculties in their highest degree of ther is he rich in it; and for spright- strength; an intellect ever active, ly ridicule in any of its forms he has vast, powerful, far-sighted; an imaseldom shown either taste or talent. gination never weary of producing Chance principally made the drama grand or beautiful forms; a heart of his department: he might have shone the noblest temper, sympathies comequally in many others. The vigor- prehensive yet ardent, feelings veous and copious invention, the know- hement, impetuous, yet full of love ledge of life, of men and things, dis- and kindliness and tender pity; played in his theatrical pieces, might conscious of the rapid and fervid exhave been available in very different ercise of all these powers within pursuits : frequently the charm of his him, and able farther to present their works has little to distinguish it from products refined and harmonized, and the charm of intellectual and moral is married to immortal verse," Schilforce in general ; it is often the ca- ler may or may not be called a man pacious thought, the vivid imagery, of genius by his critics; but his mind the impetuous feeling of the orator, in either case will remain one of the rather than the wild pathos, and most enviable which can fall to the capricious enchantments of the poet. share of a mortal. Yet that he was capable of rising to In a poet worthy of the name, the the loftiest regions of poetry, no powers of the intellect are indissoreader of his Maid of Orleans, his lubly interwoven with the moral feelcharacter of Thekla, or many other of ings'; and the exercise of his art his pieces, will hesitate to grant. depends not more on the perfection of the one than of the other. The more that it could give him. He poet, who does not feel nobly and was not rich; but his habits were justly, as well as passionately, will simple, and, except by reason of his never permanently succeed in making sickness and its consequences, unothers feel : the forms of error and expensive. At all times he was far falseness, infinite in number, are above the meanness of self-interest, transitory in duration; truth, of particularly in its meanest shape, a thought and sentiment, but chiefly love of money. Doering tells us, that of sentiment, truth alone is eternal a bookseller having travelled from a and unchangeable. But, happily, a distance expressly to offer him a delight in the products of reason and higher price for the copyright of Walimagination can scarcely ever be di- lenstein, at that time in the press, and vided from at least a love for virtue for which he was on terms with Cotta, and genuine greatness. The feelings of Tübingen, Schiller, answering, are in favour of heroism, of the most “ Cotta deals fairly with me, and I exalted propriety. Happy he whose with him," sent away this new merresolutions are so strong, or whose chant, without even the hope of a temptations are so weak, that he future bargain. The anecdote is can convert these feelings into action! small; but it seems to paint the inThe severest pang of which a proud tegrity of the man, careless of peand sensitive nature can be con- cuniary concerns in comparison with scious, is the perception of its own the strictest uprightness in his condebasement. The sources of misery duct. In fact, his real wealth lay in life are many: vice is one of the in being able to pursue his darling surest. Any human creature tar- studies, and to live in the sunshine nished with guilt will in general be of friendship and domestic love. This wretched; a man of genius in that he had always longed for this he at case will be doubly so, for his ideas last enjoyed. And though sickness of excellence are higher, his sense of and many vexations annoyed him, failure is more keen. In euch mise- the intrinsic excellence of his nature ries, Schiller had no share. The sen- chequered the darkest portions of timents, which animated his poetry their gloom with an effulgence dewere converted into principles of rived from himself. The ardour of conduct; his actions were as blame- his feelings, tempered by benevoless as his writings were pure. With lence, was equable and placid : his his simple and high predilections, temper, though overflowing with gewith his strong devotedness to a nerous warmth, seems almost never noble cause, he contrived to steer to have shewn any hastiness or through life unsullied by its mean- anger. To all men he was humane ness, unsubdued by any of its dif- and sympathizing; among his friends, ficulties or allurements. With the open-hearted, generous, helpful; in world, in fact, he had not much to the circle of his family, kind, tender, do : without effort, he dwelt apart sportive. And what gave an espefrom it'; its prizes were not the cial charm to all this, was the unobwealth which could enrich him. His trusiveness with which it was atgreat, almost his single aim, was to tended: there was no parade, no unfold his spiritual faculties, to study display, no particle of affectation; and contemplate and improve their rating and conducting himself simply intellectual creations.
as an honest man and citizen, he bethis with the steadfastness of an came greater by forgetting that he apostle, the more sordid temptations was great. of the world passed harmlessly over Such were the prevailing habits of him. Wishing not to seem but to Schiller. That in the mild and beaube, envy was a feeling of which he tiful brilliancy of their general aspect, knew but little even before he rose there must have been some specks above its level. Wealth or rank he and imperfections, the common lot regarded as a means, not an end; of poor humanity, who knows not? his own humble fortune supplying that these were small and transient, him with all the essential conveni- we judge from the circumstance that encies of life, the world had nothing no hint of them has reached us: nor more that he chose to covet, nothing are we anxious to obtain a full de
scription of them. For practical uses, an opinion to be false, however dear we can sufficiently conjecture what it may have been, he seems to have they were; and the heart desires not examined it with rigid scrutiny, and to dwell upon them. This man is if he found it guilty, to have plucked passed away from our dim and tar- it out, and resolutely cast it forth. nished world : let him have the be- The sacrifice might cost him pain, nefit of departed friends, be trans- permanent pain; real damage, he figured in our thoughts, and shine imagined, it could hardly cause him. there without the little blemishes that It is irksome and dangerous to travel clung to him in life.
in the dark; but better so, than with Schiller gives a fine example of an ignis fatuus to guide us. Conthe German character: he has all its sidering the warmth of his sensibigood qualities in a high degree, with lities, Schiller's merit on this point very few of its defects. We trace in is greater than we might at first him all that downrightness and sim- suppose, For a man with whom plicity, that sincerity of heart and intellect is the ruling or exclusive mind, for which the Germans are re- faculty, whose sympathies, loves, marked; their enthusiasm, their pa- hatreds, are comparatively coarse tient, long-continuing, earnest de- and dull, it may be easy to avoid this votedness; their imagination, de half-wilful entertainment of error, lighting in the lofty and magnificent; and this cant which is the consetheir intellect, rising into refined ab- quence and sign of it. But for a stractions, stretching itself into com- man of keen tastes, a large fund of prehensive generalizations. But the innate probity is necessary to preexcesses to which such a character is vent his aping the excellence which liable are, in him, prevented by a he loves so much, yet is unable to atfirm and watchful sense of propriety. tain. Among persons of the latter His simplicity, never degenerates sort, it is extremely rare to meet into ineptitude or insipidity; his en- with one completely unaffected.thusiasm must be based on reason; Schiller's other noble qualities would he rarely suffers his love of the vast not have justice did we neglect to to betray him into toleration of the notice this, the truest proof of their vague. The boy Schiller was extra- nobility. Honest unpretending manly vagant; but the man admits no simplicity pervades all parts of his bombast in his style, no inflation in character and genius and habits of his thoughts or actions. He is the life. We not only admire him, we poet of truth; our understandings trust him and love him. and consciences are satisfied, while Such, so far as we can represent our hearts and imaginations are it, is the form in which Schiller's life moved. His fictions are emphatically and works have gradually painted nature copied and embellished; his their character in the mind of a sentiments are refined and touchingly secluded individual, whose solitude beautiful, but they are likewise he has often charmed, whom he has manly and correct, they exalt and instructed, and cheered, and moved. inspire, but they do not mislead. The original impression, we know, Above all, he has no cant; in any of was faint and inadequate, the preits thousand branches, ridiculous or sent copy of it is still more so; yet hateful, none. He does not distort we have sketched it as we could : his character or genius into shapes the figure of Schiller, and of the which he thinks more becoming than figures he conceived and drew are their natural one: he does not hang there; himself, “ and in his hand a out principles which are not his, or glass which shows us many more.” harbour beloved persuasions which To those who look on him as we he half or wholly knows to be false. have wished to make them, Schiller He did not often speak of wholesome will not need a farther panegyric. prejudices; he did not “ embrace For the sake of Literature, it may still the Roman Catholic religion because be remarked that his merit was peit was the grandest and most com- culiarly due to her. Literature was his fortable.” 'Truth, with Schiller, or creed, the dictate of his conscience; what seemed such, was an indispen- he was an apostle of the sublime and sible requisite: if he but suspected beautiful, and this his calling made a hero of him. No great wonder, in- On the whole, we may pronounce deed, that it should have done so. him happy. His days passed in the Strong devotedness to any abstract contemplation of ideal grandeurs ; he principle whatever presupposes a lived among the glories and solemcertain magnanimity, and nourishes nities of universal Nature; his it, in the mind; strong and genuine thoughts were of sages and heroes, devotedness to pure religion, imply, and scenes of elysian beauty. It is ing the practice of sublime deeds and true, he had no rest, no peace; but self-denials, must be marked out as he enjoyed the glowing consciousness the most inspiring and ennobling of his own activity, which stands in feeling which can dwell in the breast place of it for men like him. It is of man. But next, without a rival, true, he was long sickly: but did he to this task of performing glorious not even then conceive and body actions, which necessarily are of rare forth Max Piccolomini, and Thekla, occurrence in life, is the task of con- and the Maid of Orleans, and the ceiving and representing such in their scenes of Wilhelm Tell? It is true, loftiest perfection, of adorning them he died early: but the student will with all kindred embellishments, and exclaim with Charles XII in another dwelling for ever among the circum- case: “was it not enough of life, when stances and emotions in which they he had conquered kingdoms?” These have their rise. To this Schiller kingdoms which Schiller con red was devoted; this he followed with were not for one nation at the exunstaying speed all the days of his pense of suffering to another; they life. The common, and some un- were soiled by no patriot's blood, no common, difficulties of a fluctuating widow's, no orphan's tear: they are and dependent existence could not kingdoms conquered from the barren quench or abate his zeal: sickness realms of Darkness, to increase the itself seemed hardly to affect him. happiness, and dignity, and power of During his last fifteen years, he all men; new forms of truth, and wrote his noblest works; yet, as it images and scenes of beauty won has been proved too well, no day of from “ the void and formless infithat period could have passed with- nite;" a krñua és aiei; “ a possesout its load of pain.* Paiņ could not sion for ever," to all the generations turn him from his purpose or shake of the earth. his equanimity: in death itself he was calmer and calmer.
* On a surgical inspection of his body after death, the most vital organs were found totally deranged. “ The structure of the lungs was in great part destroyed, the cavi. ties of the heart were nearly grown up, the liver had become hard, and the gall-bladder was extended to an extraordinary size."
CAESELDEN the celebrated sur- a globe ? Most persons would progeon and oculist gives some very bably answer in the affirmative, notcurious particulars respecting a boy withstanding the many theoretical who was couched by him in his thir- arguments which might be brought teenth year: * his narrative is the against it,-at least until they have more interesting as it seems to deter- such facts as the operation of couchmine the question so long and so hot- ing discloses, which are of too stubly contested by philosophers,-Whe- horn a nature to be easily evaded. ther a person blind from his birth It is previously remarked by Cheupon being made to see could, by selden that though we speak of persight alone, distinguish a cube from sons afflicted with cataracts as blind,
* See Philosophical Transactions, No. 402.
yet they are never so blind from that ask, but catching the cat (which he cause but that they can distinguish knew by feeling), he looked steadday from night; and for the most fastly at her, and then putting her part in a strong, light distinguish down, “So, Puss," said he, « I black, white, scarlet, and other glar- shall know you another time." He ing colours: but they cannot distin- was very much surprised that those guish the shape of any thing. And things which he had liked best when he gives the following reason for his blind did not appear most agreeable remark. The light coming from ex- to his eyes, expecting those persons ternal objects being let in through the whom he loved most would appear matter of the cataract which dis- most beautiful, and such things most perses and refracts the rays, these agreeable to his sight which were so do not, as they ought, converge to a to his taste. His friends at first focus on the retina or back part of thought that he even knew what picthe eye, so as to form a picture of tures represented, but found afterthe objects there; the person afflict- wards they were mistaken ; for about ed is consequently in the same state two months after he was couched he as a man of sound sight looking discovered that they represented through a thin jelly. Hence the solid bodies, at first taking them for shape of an object cannot be at all party-coloured planes or surfaces di. discerned, though the colour may. versified with a variety of paint: but And this was the case with the boy even then he was surprised that the couched by the operator. Before pictures did not feel like the things couching he could distinguish colours they represented, and was amazed in a strong light, but afterwards, the when he found that those parts of faint ideas he had previously acquired pictures which by their light and of them were not sufficient for him to shade appeared prominent, and unrecollect them by, and he did not even to his sight, felt equally flat with know them to be the same that he the rest. On this latter occasion he had seen dimly, when he was enabled pertinently inquired—Which was the to see them perfectly. Scurlet he lying sense, feeling or seeing ? now thought to be the most beauti- Being shown his father's picture in ful, and of others the gayest were a locket at his mother's watch, he the most pleasing : black, the first acknowledged the likeness, but was time he saw it perfectly, gave him very much astonished, asking how it great uneasiness, but after a little could be that a large face could be time he became more reconciled to it; expressed in so little room, and sayhe however always associated some ing that it should have seemed as unpleasant idea with it, being struck impossible to him as to put a bushel with great horror at the sight of a of any thing into a pint. Negro woman whom he met some At first he could bear but very litmonths afterwards.
tle light, and the things he saw he When he first saw, he was so far thought extremely large; but upon from making any right judgment seeing things larger, those first seen about distances, that he thought all he conceived to be less than they objects whatever touched his eyes (so had appeared before, never being he expressed it), as what he felt did able to imagine any figures or lines his skin. He thought no objects so beyond the bounds he saw: the room agreeable as those which were smooth he was in he said he knew to be but and regular, though he could form no part of the house, yet he could not judgment of their shape, nor guess conceive that the whole house could what it was in any object that pleased look bigger. Before he was couched him. He did not know any one he expected little advantage from thing from another however different seeing, worth undergoing an operain shape or size ; but upon being tion for, except reading and writing ; told what things those were whose for he said he thought he could have form he knew before from feeling, he no more pleasure in walking abroad would carefully observe that he than he had in the garden at present, might know them again. Hav. which he could do safely and readily. ing often forgot which was the cat, And even blindness he said had this which the dog, he was ashained to advantage, that he could go any