« PreviousContinue »
troops and the English, in which the former were majestic forest, many of whose trees were absoalways victorious, and the red coats running in a lutely so lofty that their uppermost branches most ignominious style. As a work of art I doubt entwining with each other, were barely perceptible, whether these frescoes have a rival in the world; and the grandeur of such a canopy for miles and the trees were cabbages, the figures bodiless, and miles, where the sun, perhaps, through half a Tippoo himself was represented riding on an century had never penetrated, is more than my elephant which was barely half as large as the feeble pen can adequately describe. It was here, warrior himself.
however, that we first came upon a real stirring Soon after leaving Mysore we entered the pre- and perilous adventure, one that had well nigh cinct of that terrible jungle, the Wynard. Here, proved fatal to, at least, one of our party; and as as had been preconcerted, we all travelled together the anecdote is full of thrilling 'interest, from the -heavy baggage, palanquins and all; and this so almost miraculous escape of my brother-in-law, I retarded our progress, that it occupied us nearly shall endeavour in the succeeding chapter to do six days before we, emerged from that dense, 'justice to the incident.
THERE'S AN AULD TREE BUD S.
There's an auld tree buds
In yon dingle deep ;
In yon dingle deep.
· In yon dingle deep.
When the warld's asleep,
When the warld's asleep.
Neath the mools asleep.
Oh! I loe' that auld tree,
Tho' it gars me weep ;
Gin it could but weep!
But they gar me weep!
Frae the dingle deep;
Neath the mools to sleep.
To ponder and weep?
FREDERICK SCHILL E R.
The last sixty or seventy years have witnessed a so-called classical school, that the true object of remarkable resurrection of the Teutonic intellect. poetry was not solely to concern itself with the Before that time Germany had produced three, form or the verbal niceties of expression, but to and only three, men of pre-eminent greatness in appeal to the heart and the imagination. After their several spheres—Luther, Kepler and Leib- Bodmer came Klopstock, who, with more fervour nitz. Daring the greater part of the eighteenth and pious sincerity, rendered a greater service century, German authorship was enthralled by towards the emancipation of the German mind by French influence, and was productive only of dull the publication, in 1748, of the first three cantos ness and inanity. In this long winter of literary of the “Messiah.” Mawkish, tawdry and tedious sterility, the first harbinger of the coming spring as that poem is, it was yet a signal step in advance. was Jacob Bodmer. Among the mountains of The theme is elevated, and the execution hearty Switzerland, this true-sighted poet had nurtured and enthusiastic, although, from defective capacity, his spirit into a love of nature, and by the study it is marred by many imperfections. To Klopof Shakespere and Milton, had expanded his sym stock succeeded Wieland, Lessing and Herder, pathies, and enuobled his tastes. Bodmer con- and, noble triad-Richter, Goethe and Schiller. dacted a crusade against the prevailing frigidity, Freed from the pedantic trammels of preceding and maintained, in opposition to the writers of the writers, by their freshness, force, and originality,
these intellectual magnates have created for Ger- energy of the “Robbers” is irresistible, and its many a literature whose influence is deeply felt perusual not easily to be forgotten. In Karl von beyond the confines of the Fatherland.
Moor, the robber chief, we have a being endowed There is hardly a department of thought or with a noble, generous spirit, but at war with the literary effort to which recent German authorship conventional forms and the petty meannesses of has not applied itself—and that, too, with a singu- society. Proud and impatient, he is involved in larly decisive effect and success. In particular, in perplexity, and hurried into crime. Francis is a the departments of tbeology, philosophy, criticism, miscreant, of the type of Iago or Richard the and the drama, Germany among her host of dis. Third—a piece of undiluted, unrelieved villainy, tinguished writers can boast names of undying Both characters however, being the conceptions of renown. We have a high sense of the inherent mental immaturity, are crude, overstrained, and im. nobility of the literary character. The man of probable. letters, if he has attained to the right idea of his The soliloquy of Karl on the banks of the calling, is, as he has been well termed, an apostle Danube, amid the the repose of evening, and as of the beautiful and the true. It is his to blend the sun is setting behind the hills, is a plaint truth with beauty in thought and expression, and, which could proceed only from a noble and generous by his compositions or creations, not merely to nature, lost through crime. Though deficient in seek to amuse and to solace, but to elevate and to taste and truthfulness, it it a terrible outburst of purify. Genius has been too frequently narrowed passion and remorse—it tbrills by its intensity, and debased by paltry motives and low aims; too and touches by its pathos. It is the language little alive to the intrinsic dignity of its nature wrung from a spirit at the moment when it realises and function. In Frederick Schiller we have a its ruin, and that return to virtue is no longer poswriter of the noblest type. Richly endowed, cul- sible. The wailings of the robber recalls Milton's tured, enthusiastic, devoted, aspiring ever after a representation of the arch-fiend when stirred with higher excellence, and aiming at greater and still emotion ; tears stream from bis burning baleful greater achievements, he consecrated himself with eyes. In Aird's “ Devil's Dream” we have the a martyr's zeal to literary labour, and by his high. same appalling spiritual state vividly pourtrayed :toned sentiments and immortal creations has added largely to the world's intellectual wealth and made And Sin had drank his brightness since his heavenly days
went by ; mankind his debtors.
Shadows of care and sorrow dwelt in his proud immortal It was Schiller's lot to come under the patron. eye. ising care of the Grand Duke of Wurtemberg, and the discipline of his Stuttgard Academy. Irksome And o’er him rose from Passion's strife
, lite spray-clond from was the toil imposed by studies uncongenial to his A slumber, not the cherub's soft and gauzy veil of sleep poetic temperament, while his spirit revolted But, like noon's breathless thunder-cloud, of sultry smother'd. against the mechanical movements of a prescribed gleam, military routine. Every moment which he could And God was still against his soul to plague him with a stealthily seize was devoted to the German popular
dream. authors. The writings of Klopstock and Wieland, Great was the sensation produced throughout and the “Goetz von Berlichingen” of Goethe, Germany by the publication of the "Robbers.” which fell in his way, he eagerly devoured. Among Even France and England were stirred. Con. his chief favourites were Plutarch and Shakespere. ventional decorum was shocked the Frenchified
Five dreary years of disgust and irritation were literary taste of the period was offended, and arbipassed in the Stuttgard School, and Schiller had trary power, in the person of the Grand Duke, reached his nineteenth year. At this age he frowned displeasure. The ideas of his Highness began in secret to compose his celebrated play, as to the literary proprieties had been formed acthe “Robbers." This drama is the embodied cording to the improved standard of the French revolt of his nature against the formalities and school. We may, therefore, conceive his astonishrestraints which fettered his impulses. Cribbed ment and disgust at the extraordinary production and thwarted, as he had so long been, he gathered which bad emerged from his own model Academy. up his yet untried powers for a grand crowning It is said that he ordered the young author into act of retaliatory self-assertion. Deprived of scope bis presence, and reprimanded him, signifying to and freedom, his mind had gained strength in him the Ducal will that he should abandon poetry beating against the barriers of its prison-house, and stick to his medical studies. and at length, as with a voice of thunder, it hurled The “Robbers” was represented in the Theatre abroad the language of its pent up vehemence of Manheim on the 12th of January 1782. Schiland defiance.
ler was present, and in the signal success of the Schiller, a mere boy of nineteen, secluded as he play he discovered his vocation, and realised his had been, could know little of the actual world of power. “If Germany,” he writes to a friend mankind; and he himself confesses that his drama a few days afterwards, “shall one day reis a monster- and that his “chief fault was in cognise in me a dramatic poet, I must date the presuming to delineate men two years before he epoch from the last week." In the drama “ Fiesco," had met with une. Yet, with all its crudity, the soon afterwards produced, he discovers a striking
advance in his knowledge of human nature, and required fit aliment of growth and expansion in in the principles of dramatic composition. It is the realities of history. The fragments entitled clearer, calmer, and more condensed than the the “Revolt of the Netherlands" and the "Robbers," and shorn of the passionate ravings, “History of the Thirty Years' War" were the declamatory fury and exaggeration, which charac- scarcely adequate results, terise that immature production. The action is From the publication of "Don Carlos" five rapid, and the characters well delineated. We are years had elapsed, devoted to historical studies, impressed by the noble-minded Doria, and affected to the Kantian philosophy, and to Æsthetical by the constancy, womanly tenderness, and sad enquiries. During this period were composed fate of Leonora. The ambition of her adored some of his finest poems and essays. It was a Fiesco projects its blighting shadow over the feli- time of varied culture, and bore ripe fruits. city of her love. "Ab! my Fiesco," she ar- Schiller emerged from his studious retirement with dently pleads, “ in the stormy atmosphere that a mind enriched and expanded-stored with fresh surrounds a throne, the tender plant of love must facts, and master of new principles, and with a deeper perish. The heart of man, e'en were that heart and clearer insight into the nature and scope of Fiesco's, is not vast enough for two all-powerful creative art. He began to meditate fresh literary idols. Love has tears, and can sympathise with achievements, and projected an epic poem ; but tears. Ambition has eyes of stone, from which this, although he had fixed first on Gustavus no drop of tenderness can e'er distil. Love has Adolphus, and afterwards on Frederick the Great, but one favoured object, and is indifferent to all as the hero, he did not attempt. It was to the the world beside. Ambition, with insatiable hun drama that he returned—and the works subseger, rages amid the spoils of nature, and changes quently produced bear the stamp of their author's the immense world into a dark and horrid prison- increased mental resources and maturity. The house-Return, Fiesco ! Conquer thyself! Re- “Thirty Years' War” supplied a subject; he nounce! Love shall indemnify thee." In the began his play of “Wallenstein.” To this task republican fanaticism of Verrina, we have the fore- le brought all the stores of his knowledge--all shadowing of the spirit and narrowness of the the ripeness of his powers. So great was the Madame Roland school of French revolutionists- compass embraced- of time and events—that the worship of an idea, dazzling, but unattainable years were required to reduce the materials to and delusive.
order, and out of the chaos to evolve the completed “Don Carlos” was completed and given to the structure. This play has been characterised as the world in 1786, and greatly enhanced the fame and greatest dramatic work of the eighteenth century repute of its author. Hitherto, he had received -it may rather be said the greatest since the plaudits of the multitude, now there was Shakespere. Of all Schiller's writings it tendered to him the homage of the discriminating. embodies the largest amount of intellect. It is “Carlos,” from its great length, belits the closet the grandest, the most colossal. rather than the stage. As a work of art it is In the first part we are brought into contact superior to his former productions; while by its with the unreflecting gaiety and the rude life of grandeur of conception and imagery, it elevates the the soldiers of Wallenstein. In the second, miud into the solemn region of the sublime. entitled " The two Piccolomini,” we are introduced Schiller reveals to us the Court of Philip II. of to his generals--unscrupulous men of war—and Spain, in its stately and lonely magnificence--and come under the shadow of his own portentous embodies to our view the aged and despotic mo. character. In the third part, the daring and guilty narch, "the lord of Christendom," consumed with designs of his mad ambition develop themselves, jealousy, inexorable and suspicious. Alva, his and we also witness the march of the retributive blood-thirsty minion-Don Carlos, the heir to the power until it overtakes and destroys the traitor throne, high spirited, blighted by misfortune, in the acme of his treason. In all essentials there overmastered by passion, and crushed by a is a strict adherence to historic fact. Wallenstein relentless fate—and the Marquis Posa—a noble presented with his superstitious weaknesses type of manhood, with lofty thoughts and heroic and his childish faith in astrology. We see how aspirations in the cause of humanity. Posa is a a great strong spirit, having abandonod the guiding relief and a contrast to the abject servility and star of duty for the worship of self, becomes the fanaticism of courtiers and inquisitors
. His heart prey of irresolution, and the spirit of inconsistency bleeds for the suffering subjects of Spain in the -and how through frequent dallyings with Netherlands, and he embarks in the grand, yet temptation, free will is enchained, and no power hazardous enterprise of freeing Flanders from the remains to stay the guilty progress to dishonour yoke of despotic cruelty. A reformer fallen on an and ruin. As a relief to the monrnful and tragic unprepared age, he becomes a victim to his zeal character of the drama-- like the glad sunshine of and enlightenment. After the publication of day gilding troubled waters—is the mutual love of "Don Carlos," Schiller abandoned fictitious the brave Max Piccolomini and Thekla, the daughliterature for a time. Strangely imaginative, he ter of Wallenstein. was not yet “of imagination all compact;" his In the tragedy of " Mary Stuart," one of the
was equally keen and powerful, and I least successful of his pieces, Schiller enters upon
the ground of English history. The subject is a | Ideal and Actual Life," we have the poetic expressad and an exhausted one. All the interest sion of the essence of his “Letters on Xsthetic concentrates around the imprisoned Queen. No Culture." Indeed, it is only by the careful attempt is made to palliate or deny Mary's guilt; study of these letters, characterised as they are but our sympathy is excited by her sufferings. equally by depth of thought and elevation of sentiThere is much scope for the pathetic, which ment, that we obtain an insight into the higher Schiller has fully improved—and the play moods of Schiller's mind. The letters were adabounds in many touching passages. The scene dressed to the Duke of Holstein-Augustenberg, of the execution is replete with tenderness. We and were written during the period of the Reign forgive Mary's crimes on witnessing her sorrows of Terror in France, when, as a philosophic inand her fate. She claims and obtains our pity, and quirer, he might have been expected rather to even love-while we detest her haughty rival, deal with the political problems which seemed not Elizabeth, for her cruelty and dissimulation. The to be in a fair way of a satisfactory practical solu“ Maid of Orleans" was the next dramatic under- tion. He appears to have thought that this was taking. In Joan of Arc, Schiller lighted upon a required of him, for he justifies the choice of his congenial theme. From the foul aspirations of subject by undertaking to show that, in order to Voltaire, in bis “Pucelle," he has triumphantly solve the question of liberty in experience, nations, vindicated the shepherd maiden. In the pages like individuals, must pass through the æsthetic, of the German, she stands forth in her spotless" since it is beauty which leads to freedom.” The purity, native grandeur, and heroic devotedness, at records of the past, however, show that as nations once a glorious creation, and one of the noblest have become refined, as art has flourished, and historic characters. This drama is full of elevated beauty been expressed, they have declined in poetry, and appeals to every true and tender feeling moral worth, and in political importance. Schiller of the heart. · William Tell” was Schiller's last does not attempt to meet this objection to his complete work, and in it his poetic genius and theory, by showing that art in itself is not, and artistic execution culminated. No where else is cannot be, the cause of national decay, and that be so entirely lost in his subject—so fresh—so its influence, fairly exercised, is necessarily elevatclear, and so true to nature. In its perusal we ing and beneficial; but takes other and higher breathe an air of reality~we feel as if transplanted ground, boldly alleging that beauty, as he conto the lakes, crags, and mountains of Switzerland, ceives it, is different from that which has been and at one with its free-soiled peasantry in their realised and embodied in the past. He accordingly impatience of tyrant thrall, and in their struggles tasks himself with the endeavour to deduce it for their birth-right freedom.
from the reason, and to show that it is an ideal Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, the translator of our beauty, absolute and independent of all bygone author's poems and ballads into English, remarks and partial manifestations. We make no attempt that “Schiller's poetry is less in form than sub- to follow him as he advances in his “ dim and stance-less in subtile elegance of words than in perilous way" of metaphysical investigation. At robust healthfulness of thought, which, like man the twenty-fourth letter he has reached a table himself, will bear transplanting to every clime." land of clearer and more tangible thought, and we And that the power and spirit of the original have would simply avail ourselves of the advantage not evaporated in the process of rendering, Sir which it presents to make a brief extract :Edward's faithful and spirited translation affords
There may be distinguished three different moments or proof enough. These “Poems and Ballads” have
epochs of development through which the single man, as been arranged into three divisions, as expressive of well as the whole race, must pass necessarily, and in a prethe intellectual epochs of their author's life. The scribed order, if they would complete the whole circle of their poems of the first series partake of the free utter- destiny. It is true, the single periods can now be proance and natural energy which mark the “Robbers," tracted, now abridged, through accidental causes, which lie
either in the influence of external things, or in man's free while some of the second betoken the doubts, in
caprice, but none can be entirely omitted ; and the order, ternal struggles, and sceptical questionings through too, in which they follow each other, can neither be inverted which Schiller passed, ere he reached the ultimate by nature nor the will. Man in his physical condition, haven of intellectual repose. To the third period
endures only the force of nature; he frees himself from this belong his more matured and finished pieces, such force in the esthetical, and governs it in the moral con
dition. as the “ Divers," the "Lay of the Bell," and the “ Walk." In Schiller's poetry are imaged the Schiller's great aim is to show that the natural stages and conditions of his mental and moral and necessary course of humanity is to rise from being. It is a varied transcript of himself, re- the physical or untutored state, through the æstbevealing at one time his internal perplexities, and tical or contemplative, to the moral or free state. at another embodying his noblest thoughts— In the due subjection of the physical to the moral always, however, marked by earnest, elevated pur- —and in the harmony of all three states-beauty pose. His poetry, to be fully appreciated, must is evolved and manifested. The term beauty is to be read in the light of his philosophy and ardent be understood in a wide sense, and seems to mean aspirations.
the full and spontaneous expression or outcome of In “The Artists," and more fully in " The humanity, in its highest mode of existence. The
realisation of this ideal beauty is the attainment | away from the sordid tastes, the keen and practica of truth-the ultimate object of pursuit, and the instincts, the worldly spirit, and the distorted and good of human destiny.
inadequate culture of our modern days of trade,
commerce, and varied pursuit ; and surveying the She, the Urania, with her wreath of rays,
past, finds in ancient Greece a spontaneous and The glory of Orion round her brow; On whom pure spirits only dare to gaze,
harmonious expression of the totality of humanity, As Heaven's bright habitants before her bow ;
which elicits his admiration, and awakens the And round her splendour the stars wink and fade; power
of song. There is in the “Gods of So awful, reigning on her sunlit throne
Greece” no intentional offence against Christianity When she diswreaths her of her fiery crown,
---no designed or scoffing disrespect to its spirit Gliding to Earth (Earth's gentle Venus) down, Smiles on us but as Beauty ; with the zone
and claims; the poem is rather the embodied regret Of the sweet graces girded, the meek youth
that God-like humanity, as the poet viewed it, has or infancy she wears, that she may be
passed away from earth. Though, doubtless, it is By infants comprehended, and what we
offence and disrespect enough that Schiller evades Here, but as Beauty gazed on and obeyed,
or overlooks the One who is the only embodiment Will one day meet us in her name of Truth.”
of a perfect humanity. Whatever amount of sound philosophy may be
Cold, from the north, has gone at the basis of Schiller's speculations, we cannot Over the flowers the blast that kill'd their May; but think that he greatly errs in evolving so lofty And to enrich the worship of the One, a superstructure of attainment out of the possible A universe of gods must pass away! of merely human capability and endeavour, and in
Mourning, I search on yonder starry steeps,
But thee no more, Selene, there I see ! taking no account both of the fact and manner of
And through the woods I call, and o'er the deeps, the supernatural action of divine power, in mould- And-Echo answers me! ing the character, and in exalting the aims and life Home to the poet's land the gods are flown, of man.
Light use in them that later world discerns,
Which, the divine leading-strings outgrown, Holding, as we firmly do, the doctrine of the
On its own axle turns. radical depravity of our species, we believe that the capacity to discern beauty or truth, in its The poem entitled “ The Artists,” Sir Edward highest form, must spring from a moral rectifica. Lytton has justly termed, “a lofty hymn in honour tion wrought by an agency above and beyond of intellectual beauty." Art, according to Schiller, man; and, consequently, that the free or moral is man's peculiar possession-a possession shared state, in natural order, does not follow but pre- neither by angel nor brute, and is the grand incedes and produces the æsthetic. The eye of the strument of elevation, and of deliverance from soul cannot perceive the ideal and lofty beauty in sordid utilitarianism. The true artist, be he poet, dicated by Schiller, until its faculty of vision is painter, sculptor, or whoever, by means of the parged. Truth and moral loveliness are appre- beautiful, addresses our emotional natures, is not bended and possessed in degree by him only whose sent into his age to delight it merely, but to dignify spirit has been renovated by an extrinsic super- and to purge it. human influence.
0, Sons of Art ! unto your hands consigned We have already said that Schiller, like many
(O, heed the trust! O, heed it and revere !) other earnest and susceptible minds, passed through The liberal dignity of human kind, the ordeal of doubt, and attained what but few With you to sink, with you to re-appear! perhaps really do, a haven of philosophic repose. Rise, ye free sons of the free Mother, rise ! The pure ethics of the Gospel fell with a ready
Still on the light of beauty sun your eyes !
Still to the heights that shine afar aspire, acceptance into his heart, and produced a due
Nor meaner meads than those she gives desire. effect on his sentiments and opinions. But
Ever the Perfect dwells in whatsoe'er Schiller's religious system, so far as it took body Fair souls conceive, and recognise as fair; and form, sprung out of the emotional and intel- Borne on your daring pinions soar sublime lectual elements of bis mind, and expressed itself
Above the shoal and eddy of the time;
Far-glimmering on your wizard nirror, see in the glorifying of man as man-never in his
The silent shadow of the Age to te! humiliation and abasement. The escape from doubt, to the calmness and satisfaction which phi
As to the refining and elevating capacity of art, losopby affords, may sooth the intellect, and even, there is no room for doubt; for whether we view in a way, exalt the moral nature, but it is by a it in the grandeur of Gothic architecture, or in the mode vitally different from that through which the elegance and symmetry of the Grecian templeabasing processes of true Christianity peremptorily whether in the picture of the Transfiguration, in require the regenerate to pass.
the Apollo Belvidere, or the “Paradise Lost”Schiller's religious creed might be summed up we yield to its elevating influence. Still, art being in the one word — humanity. His faith took the purely human, can neither itself rise, por raise us, simple form of a belief in man-in his culture, above the level of its human origin and source. inherent nobility, and high destiny.
As a potent auxiliary in the culture and developDissatisfied with civilisation, as producing an ment of man, we willingly accord it a place; but inharmonious and partial developement—he turns not as the chief or only means.