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has the idward echo of true joy beon unknown to me. When, when, O God, can I feel it again in the temple of nature and of man 1–Never i No! that would be too cruel ! "
The deep love shown in these words, love such as only proud and strong natures know, was not only destined to be wounded in its general relations with mankind through this calamity. The woman he loved, the inspiring muse of some of his divinest compositions, to whom he writes, “Is not our love a true heavenly palace, also as firm as the fortress of heaven," was unworthy. In a world where millions of souls are pining and perishing for want of an inexhaustible fountain of love and grandeur, this soul, which was indeed such an one, could love in vain. This eldest son,
this rightful heir of nature, in some secret hour, writes at this period, “ Only love, that alone could give thee a happier life. O my God, let me only find at last that which may strength. en me in virtue, which to me is lawful. A love which is permitted, (erlaubt)."
The prayer was unheard. He was left lonely, unsustained, unsolaced, to wrestle with, to conquer his fate. Pierced here in the very centre of his life, exposed both by his misfortune and a nature which could neither anticipate nor contend with the de. signs of base men, to the anguish of meeting ingratitude on every side, abandoned to the guardianship of his wicked brothers, Beethoven walked in night, as regards the world, but within, the beavenly light ever overflowed him more and more.
Shall lesser beings repine that they do not receive their dues in this short life with such an example before them, how large the scope of eternal justice must be? Who can repine that thinks of Beethoven ? His was indeed the best consolation of life. “ To him a God gave to tell what he suffered," as also the deep joys of knowledge that spring from suffering. As he descends to the divine deeps of sorrow," and calls up, with spells known only to those .so initiated, forms so far more holy, radiant, and
commanding than are known in regions of cheerful light, can we wish him a happier life? He has been baptized with fire, others. only with water. He has given all his life and won the holy sepulchre and a fragment, at least, of the true cross. The solemn command, the mighty controul of various forces which makes us seem to hear
“ Time flowing in the middle of the night,
And all things (rushing) to the day of doom," the searching through all the caverns of life for the deepest thought, and the winged uprise of feeling when it is attained ; were not these wonders much aided by the calamity, which took this great genius from the outward world, and forced him to concentrate just as he had attained command of his forces ?
Friendly affectior, indeed, was not wanting to the great master; but who could be his equal friend ? It was impossible ; he might have found a love, but could not a friend in the same century with himself. But men were earnest to serve and wo. men to venerate him. Schindler, as well as others, devoted many of the best years of life to him. A beautiful trait of affec. tion is mentioned of the Countess Marie Erdödy, a friend dear to Beethoven, who, in the park which surrounds her Hungarian pal. ace, erected a temple which she dedicated to him.
Beethoven had two brothers. The one, Johann, seems to have been rather stupid and selfish than actively bad. The character of his mind is best shown by his saying to the great master, "you will never succeed as well as I have.” We have all, prob. bably, in memory instances where the reproving angel of the family, the one whose thinking mind, grace, and purity, may possibly atone for the worthless lives of all the rest, is spoken of as .he unsuccessful member, because he has not laid up treasures there where moth or rust do corrupt, and ever as we hear such remarks, we are tempted to answer by asking,
" what is the news from Sodorn and Gomorrah ?" But the farce of Beethoven's not
succeeding is somewhat broad, even in a world where many ruch sayings echo through the strects. At another time Johann, hav. ing become proprietor of a little estate, sent into Becthoven's - lodging a new year card on which was written Johann van Bee. thoven Gutsbesitzer, (possessor of an estate,) to which the Master returned one inscribed Ludwig van Beethoven Hirnbesitzer, (possessor of a brain.) This Gutsbesitzer refused his great brother a trilling aid in his last illness, applied for by the friends who had constituted themselves his attendants, and showed to. wards him systematic selfishness and vulgarity of feeling. Carl, the other brother, under the mask of affectionate attention, plun. dered him both of his gains and the splendid presents often made hiin, and kept away by misrepresentations and falsehood all those who would have sincerely served him. This was the easier, in that the usual unfortunate effect of deafness of producing distrust was increased in Beethoven's case by signal instances of treach. ery, shown towards him in the first years of incapacity to man. age his affairs as he had done before his malady. This sad distrust poisoned the rest of his life; but it was his only unworthi. ness; let us not dwell
it. This brother, Carl, was Beetho. ven's evil genius, and his malignant influence did not cease with his life. He bequeathed to his brother the care of an only son, and Beethoven assunied the guardianship with that high feeling of the duties it involved, to be expected from one of his severe and pure temper. The first step he was obliged to take was to with. draw the boy from the society and care of his mother, an un. worthy woman, under whose influence no good could be hoped from anything done for him. The law-suit, instituted for this purpose, which lasted several years, was very injurious to Bee. thoven's health, and effectually impedea the operations of his po. etic power. For he was one “who so abhorred vice and mean. Dess that he could not bear to hear them spoken of, much less suf. fer them near him; yet now was obliged to think of them, nay,
carefully to collect evidence in proof of their existence, and that in the person of a near connexion." This quite poisoned the at. mosphere of his ideal world, and destroyed for the time all crea. tive glow. On account of the van prefixed to his name, the cause was, at first, brought before the tribunal of nobility. They called on Beethoven to show them his credentials of noble birth. " Here !” he replied, putting his hand to heud and heart. But as these nobles mostly derived their titles from the head and heart of some remote ancestor, they would not recognize this new peer. age, and Beethoven, with indignant surprise, found himself referred to the tribunal of the common burghers.
The lawsuit was spun out by the obstinate resistance of his sister-in-law for several years, and when Beethoven at last obtained possession of the child, the seeds of vice were already sown in his breast. An inferior man would have been more likely to eradicate them than Beethoven, because a kindred con. sciousness might have made him patient. But the stern Roman spirit of Becthoven could not demand less than virtue, less than excellence, from the object of his care. For the youth's sake he made innumerable sacrifices, toiled for him as he would not for himself, was lavish of all that could conduce to his true good, but imperiously demanded from him truth, honour, purity and aspiration. No tragedy is deeper than the perusal of his letters to the young man, so brief and so significant, so stern and so tender. The joy and love at every sign of goodness, the profound indig. nation at failure and falsehood, the power of forgiving but not of excusing, the sentiment of the true value of life, so rocky calm, that with all its height it never seems exalted, make these letters & biblical chapter in the protest of modern days against the backslidings of the multitudo. The lover of man, the despiser of men, he who writes, “ Recommend to your children virtue ; that alone.can make happy, not gold; I speak from experience," is fully painted in these letters.
la a lately published novel, “ Night and Morning," Bulwer has well depicted the way in which a strong character overshoots its mark in the care of a weak onc. The belief of Philip that his wcaker brother will abide by a conviction or a promise, with the same steadfastness that he himself could ; the unfavourable action of his disinterested sacrifices on the character of his charge, and the impossibility that the soft, selfish child should sympathize with the conflicts or decisions of the strong and noble mind; the undue rapidity with which Philip draws inferences, false to the subject because too largo for it; all this tragedy of common life is represented with Rembrandt power of shadow in the history of Becthoven and his nephew. The ingratitude of the youth is un. surpassed, and the nature it wronged was one of the deepest ca. pacity for suffering from the discovery of such baseness. Many years toiled on the sad drama; its catastrophe was the death of this great master, caused by the child of his love neglecting to call a physician, because he wanted to play at billiards.
His love was unworthy; his adopted child unworthy; his brothers unworthy. Yet though his misfortunes in these respects seem singular, they sprang from no chance. Here, as elsewhere, * mind and destiny are two naines for one idea.” His colossal step terrified those around him; they wished him away from the earth, lest he should trample down their mud-hovels; they bound him in confiding sleep, or, Judas-like, betrayed with a base kiss of fealty. His genius excited no respect in narrow minds; his entire want of discretion in the economy of life left him, they thought, their lawful prey. Yet across the dark picture shines a gleam of almost unparalleled lustre, for “she, Art, she held him up."
I will not give various instances of failure in promises from the rich and noble, piracy from publishers, nor even some details of his domestio plagues, in which he displays a breadth of humour, and stately savage surcasın, refreshing in their place. But
I will not give any of these, nor any of his letters, because the limits forbid to give them all, and they require light from one ano other. In such an account as the present, a mere sketch is all that can be atteinpted.
A few passages will speak for themselves. Goethe neglected to lend his aid to the artist for whom he had expressed such admiration, at a time when he might have done so without any in. convenience. Perhaps Beethoven's letter (quoted No. V. of the Dial, Essay on Goethe) may furnish an explanation of this. Che. rubini omitted to answer Beethoven's affectionato and magnani. mous letter, though he complied with the request it contained. But "the good Bettina" was faithful to her professions, and of es. sential use to Beethoven, by interesting her family in the conduct of his affairs.
He could not, for any purpose, accommodate himself to courts, or recognize their claims to homage. Two or three orders given him for works, which might have secured him the regard of the imperial family, he could not obey. Whenever he attempted to compose them, he found that the degree of restriction put upon him by the Emperor's taste hampered him too much. The one he did compose for such a purpose, the “Glorreiche Augenblick," Schindler speaks of as one of the least excellent of his works.
He could not bear to give lessons to the Archduke Rudolph, both because he detested giving regular lessons at all, and be cuuse he could not accommodate himself to the ceremonies of a court. Indeed it is evident enough from a letter of the Arch. duke's, quoted by Schindler as showing most condescending re. gard, how unfit it was for the lion-king to dance in gilded chains amid these mummeries.
Individuals in that princely class he admired, and could be just to, for his democracy was very unlike that fierce vulgar radical. ism which assumes that the rich and great must be bad. His was only vindication of the rights of man; he could see merit if