« AnteriorContinuar »
“Of course," replied Klingemann, reorganization be commenced anew. with a twinkle of his eye. “I should like You see my purpose ?" to see any of the princes venture just “Why, to say the truth, profoundest now to infringe the rights of the uni- of professors, I have not the slightest versities! Our noble German youth glimmering of your drift!” have been the first to assert the grand “ You are dull, Herr von Danprinciple of unity, and future ages will. shunner!" replied Klingemann, knitrecord with triumph their deeds at ting his brows—“ much duller than I the barricades of Vienna and of could have expected from one who Berlin."
has attended my lectures. In Britain, “And yonr salary?”
you have not yet attained that point “I draw it still, with compensation of exalted rationalismus, from which for the loss of students."
alone the true surface of society can “That must be a pleasant arrange- be surveyed. You think, I presome, ment"
that your own present system of go" It is. I have left my lectures with vernment is perfect ?" a famulus to be read next winter, in “If you mean government by case there should be any class. But, Queen, Lords, and Commons, I am before then, I expect that Germany clearly of opinion that it is. But if will require the active service of its you mean to ask my impressions of youth."
the present Cabinet, I rather think I “ Indeed !” said I; “are you then should give you a very different apprehensive of a general European answer. war ?"
“ You mistake me altogether,” reThe learned man made no reply, plied the professor. “What are you being intently occupied with his vic- in Britain but a heterogeneous mixtuals. There was silence in the room ture of all possible races, without for about a quarter of an hour, until unity of blood, and sometimes even the professor, having finished his meal, unity of language ? Are not Celt and mopped up the last drop of gravy and Saxon, Dane and Norman, with a morsel of bread which he incon- jumbled together in the great social tinently devoured, removed the nap- sphere ? And can you expect, out of kin from his bosom, filled out a tumbler these warring elements, ever to proof Moselle, and thus resumed : duce harmony? No, August Reig:
" Hear me, young man! I always nold ! One great error—the total loved you; for, in the midst of a cer- disregard of unity of race—has hithertain frivolity of disposition, I discerned to been the enormous stumbling-block the traces of a strong practical enter- in the way of human perfection, and prising genius. Nay-I am serious. it is for the cure of that error that Often, in the course of the speculations Germany has arisen from her sleep!" wbich have been forced upon me,
“ And what the deuce-excuse my during the late headlong current of profanity-do you intend to do?" events, have I thought of you in con “ To reunite and reconstitute the nexion with the coming destinies of nations upon the foundation of unity your country. For--do not mistake iny of race," replied the professor. meaning—the avalanche which is now " It would be rather a difficult sliding down the mountain, with terri- thing to accomplish in my case, profic velocity, will not stay itself until it fessor," I replied. “ Without raising reaches the valley. The rights of the a multiplepoinding, as we say in people are not ihe sole object of the Scotland, I could hardly ascertain to present movement. The awakening which race I really belong. My faof the great heart of Germany is the ther was a Saxon, my mother a Celtmere prelude to events that will up- I have a cross of the Norman ancesset monarchies, overthrow thrones,. try, and a decided dash of the Dane. and shatter society to its deepest It would defy anatomy to rank me!" foundations, until, by an unerring law “In cases of admixture," said the of nature, which provides that light professor, lighting his pipe—“ which, shall emerge from darkness, order will be it remarked, are the exceptions, uprear itself from the shattered ele- and not the rule—we are willing to mental chaos, and the work of social admit the minor test of language.
Now, observe. Western Europe-- professor, you will have enough to do for we need not complicate ourselves in settling the affairs of Germany with the Sclavonic question-may be Proper, without meddling with any of considered as occupied by four differ- your neighbours." ent races. It is, I believe, quite “ It must be owned,” said the propossible to reduce them to three, but, fessor, “ that we still require a good in order to avoid controversy, I am deal of internal arrangement.
We willing to take the higher number. have our fleet to build.” In this way we should have, instead “ A fleet !-what can you possibly of many separate states, merely to want with a fleet? And if you had undertake the arrangement or federal- one, where are your harbours ?” ization of four distinct races—the “ That is a point for after consideraLatin, the Teutonic, the Celtic, and tion,” replied Klingemann. “I am Scandinavian. Each tree should be not much acquainted with maritime allowed to grow separately, but all its matters, because I never have seen the branches should be interwoven toge- sea; but we consider a fleet as quite ther, and the result will be a harmony essential, and are determined to build of system which the world has never Then there is the settlement of yet attained.”
That, I own, “ You hold France to be Celtic, I gives me some anxiety.” presume, professor ?"
“Why should it, in a country where “ Decidedly. The southern portion three-fourths of the population, thanks has an infusion of Latin, and the to metaphysics, are rationalists ?” northern of Scandinavian blood; but “I do not know. There is a prothe preponderance lies with Celt.” posal to construct a pantheon, some
“ And who do you propose should what on the principle of the Valhalla, join with France su
in which men of all sects may wor“ Three-fourths of Ireland, the ship; but I am strongly impressed Highlands of Scotland, Wales, and with the propriety of a unity of creed the Basque Provinces."
as well as a unity of race." “ So far well.–And England ?” “ And this creed you would make
England is confessedly Saxon; compulsive?” and, as such, the greater portion of her “ To be sure. We expect obeterritory must be annexed to Ger- dience to the laws that is, to our many."
laws, when we shall have made them ; " While Northumberland and the and I cannot see why a law of worOrkney islands are handed over to ship should be less imperative than a Scandinavia ! I'll tell you what, law which binds mankind to the obprofessor-you'll excuse my freedom; servance of social institutions.” but, although I have heard a good deal Shade of Doctor Martin Luther! of nonsense in the course of my life, this is thy native land ! this idea of yours is the most prepos "Well, professor," said I, “ you terous that was ever started."
have given me enough to think on for “We are acting upon it, however," one night at least. Perhaps to-morreplied Klingemann; " for it is upon row you will be kind enough to take that principle we are claiming Schles me to the parliament, and point out wig from Denmark, and Limburg from some of the distinguished men who the crown of Holland. But for that are about to regenerate the world.” principle we should be clearly wrong, Willingly, my dear boy,” said the since it is admitted that, in all past professor ; “it is your parliament as time, the Eyder has been the boundary well as mine, for you are clearly of the of Germany. All territorial limits, Saxon race. however, must yield to unity of race.” “ Which,” interrupted I, “ I intend
May I ask if there are many to repudiate as soon as the partition members of the German parliament begins; for, whatever may be doing who favour the same theory?” elsewhere, there are at least no symp
“ A good many—at least of the left toms of barricades in the Highlands." section."
Although it exceeded the bounds of “ They must be an enlightened set human credulity to suppose that a maof legislators ! Take my word for it, jority, or even a considerable section
of the German parliament, entertained religious and social tenets as were prosuch preposterous ideas as those mulgated by Thomas Paine. There which I had just heard from Klinge- were burghers and merchants from mann, it was obvious that the supreme the far cities, who, since the days of authority had fallen into the hands of their studentism, had fattened on men utterly incapable of discharging tobacco and beer; gained small local the duty of legislators to the country. reputations by resisting the petty A movement, commenced by the uni- tyranny of some obnoxious burgoversities, and eagerly seconded by the master; and who now, in consequence journalists, had resulted in the abrupt of the total bouleversement of society, recognition of universal suffrage as the find themselves suddenly exalted to a basis of popular representation. There position of which they do not under. had been no intermediate stage be- stand the duties, or comprehend the tween total absence of political privi- enormous responsibility. Political adlege and the surrender of absolute venturers there were of every descrippower, without check or discipline, to tion, but few members of that class the many. What wonder, then, if which truly represents the intelligence the revolution, so rashly accomplished, and property of the country. In the so weakly acquiesced in by the major- preliminary assembly, the names of five ity of the princes of Germany, should or six mediatised princes—particularly already be giving token of its disas- those of the house of Hohenlohe-and trous fruit? What wonder if the re- of several of the higher nobility, were presentatives of an excited and turbu- to be found. Few such names occur lent people should carry with them, in the present roll,—the only mediato the grave deliberations of the se- tised member is the prince of Waldnate, the same wild and crude ideas burg-Zeil-Trauchburg. This is omiwhich were uppermost in the minds of nous of the tendency of the parliament, their constituency? It needed but a and of its pure democratic condition. glance at the parliamentary list to dis So much I had learned from a perucover that, among the men assembled sal of the debates, which are now in the church of St. Paul, there were regularly published at Frankfort, and hardly any fitted, from previous expe- which hereafter may be considered rience, to undertake the delicate task as valuable documents, illustrating of reconstructing the constitutions of the rise and progress of revolution. Germany. There were plenty of pro- But I was curious to see, with my fessors--men who had dreamed away own eyes, the aspect of the German the best part of their lives in abstract parliament, and not a little pleased to contemplation, but who never had find that my old friend, the professor, mingled with the world, and who form- was punctual in keeping his appointed their sole estimate of modern so ment. ciety from the books and traditions of Saint Paul's church, a circular the past. The recluse scholar is pro- building of no great architectural verbially a man unfit to manage his merit, has been appropriated as the own affairs, much less to direct the des- theatre of council. Thither every tinies of nations; and all experience morning, a crowd of enthusiastic has shown that the popular estimate Frankforters, and crazy students in has, in_this instance, been strictly their mediæval garbs, repair to pack true. There were poets of name and the galleries, and bestow their apnote, whose strains are familiar plause upon the speeches of their throughout Europe ; but alas! it is in favourite members. It is needless to vain to expect that the power of say that, the more democratic the Orpheus still accompanies his art, harangue, the more liberal is the and that the world can be governed tribute of cheering. The back benches by a song. There were political writers on one side of the main body of the of the Heine school, enthusiastic hall are reserved for the ladies, who, advocates of systems which they in Frankfort at least, are keen particould neither defend nor explain— sans of revolution. The volubility worshippers of Mirabeau and of the with which these fair creatures discuss herves of the French Revolution, the affairs of state, and questions of and most of them imbued with such political economy which the science
of Miss Martineau could not unravel, succession, and with great pride, the is really quite astounding. Whenever burly forms of Dahlman and other you meet a German woman now, you thoroughgoing professors. In fact, may prepare to hear a tirade upon one large section of the hall was nopopular freedom : they are, as might thing but a Senatus Academicus. be expected, even more better than “ But where,” said I, “are the the men in their denunciation of arti- poets ? I am very curious to see the ficial rank; por do they seem to be collection of modern minstrels. I prein the slightest degree aware of the sume that young fellow with the black fact, that of all hideous objects on beard, who is firing away in the triearth, the worst is a patriot in petti- bune, and bawling himself hoarse, must coats. I have heard such venom and be one of them. He can, at all events, bloodthirstiness expressed by a pair claim the possession of a full share of of coral lips that, upon the whole, I godlike insanity.” should rather have preferred soliciting “ He is not a poet,” replied the proa salute from Medusa.
fessor; “that is Simon of Treves, a very Above the president's chair, and intelligent young man, though a little painted in fresco upon the wall, is a headstrong. I wish he would be somevery dirty figure intended to represent what milder in his manner.” Germania, clad in garments which, “ Nay, he seems to be suiting the at first sight, appeared to be covered action to the word, according to the with a multitude of black beetles. established rules of rhetoric. So far On a more close inspection, however, as I can understand him, he is just you discover that these are diminutive suggesting that divers political oppoeagles; but I can hardly recommend nents, whom he esteems reactionary, the pattern. The president, Von should be summarily ejected from the Gagern, a tall, dark, fanatic-looking window!" man, is seated immediately below, Ah, good Simon!—but we have and confronts the most motley assem- all been young once,” said the problage of men that I ever had the for- fessor. “ After all, he is a stanch adtune to behold.
herent of unity.' Klingemann, having intimated to “Yes—I dare say he would like to me that it was not his intention to have everything his own way, in illuminate the mind of Germany that which à certain ingenious day by any elaborate discourse, was machine for facilitating decapitation kind enough to place himself beside would probably come
into vogue. me, and perform the part of cicerone. But the poets? My first impression, on surveying the You see that old man over yonder, sea of heads in the assembly, was with the calm, benignant, nay, seraphic decidedly unfavourable; for I could expression of countenance, which behardly discern amongst the ranks one tokens that his soul is at this moment single individual whose appearance far withdrawn from its earthly taberbespoke him to be a gentleman. The nacle, and wandering amidst those countenances of the members were paradisaical regions where unity and generally mean and vulgar, and in light prevail." many cases absurdly bizarre. Near Do you
allude to that respectable me sat an old pantaloon, with a gentleman, rather up in years, who white beard flowing over á frogged seems to me to have swallowed versurtout, his head surmounted with a juice after his coffee this morning, or black velvet scull-cap, which gave to be labouring under a severe attack him all the appearance of a venerable of toothache ? baboon just escaped from the opera
“ Irreverend young man!
Know tion of trepanning, and a staff of that is Ludwig Úhland.” singular dimensions in his hand. This, " You don't mean to say that that Klingeman told me, was Professor crossgrained surly old fellow is the Jahn, formerly of Freiburg, and sur- author of the famous ballads !” exnamed the father of gymnastics. claimed I. “Why, there is a snarl on
This superannuated acrobat seemed his visage that might qualify him to to be the centre of a group of literary sit for a fancy portrait of Churchill in notables, for my friend pointed out in extreme old age!”
gers ? "
“ He is the last of a great race. the task of adjusting a German conLook yonder, at that other venerable stitution,” observed the professor.
“ Which is just saying the same “ The gentleman who is twiddling thing in different words. But, pray, his stick across his arm, as though he what is exciting this storm of wrath were practising the bars of a fan- in the bosom of the respectable Mr. dango? Who may he be ?
Simon?” “ Arndt, the great composer. Have "He is merely denouncing the you men like him in your British par- sovereigns and the aristocracy. It is liament?”
a favourite topic. But look there ! “ Why, must confess we have that is a great man-ah, a very great not yet thought of ransacking the or man indeed!” chestra for statesmen. Any more ?” Without challenging the claim of
“ Yes. You see that tall grizzled the individual indicated to greatness, man over the way. That is Anasta. I am committing no libel when I desius Grün."
signate him as the very ugliest man "Graf von Auersperg ? Well, he in Europe. The broad arch of his is a gentleman at least; though, as to face was fringed with a red bush of poetical pretension, I have always furzy hair. His eyes were inflamed considered him very much on a par and pinky, like those of a ferret labourwith Dicky Milnes. But where are ing under ophthalmia, and his nose, your statesmen, professor ? Where mouth, and tusks, bore a palpable reare the men who have made politics semblance to the muzzle of the bullthe study of their lives, who have dog. Altogether, it is impossible to mastered the theories of government conceive a more thoroughly forbidding and the science of economics, and figure. This was Robert Blum, the who have all the different treaties well-known publisher of Leipzig, who of Europe at the ends of their fin- has put himself prominently forward
from the very commencement of the “As we are commencing a new movement; and who, possessing a cerera,” replied Klingemann, we need tain power of language which may none of those. Treaties, idiologically pass with the multitude for eloquence, considered, are merely the exponents and professing opinions of extreme of the position of past generations, democratic tendency, has gained a and bear no reference to the future, popularity and power in Frankfort, the tendency of which is lost in the which is not regarded without uneasimists of eternity. Such men as you ness by the members of the more describe we had under the Metternich moderate party. As this worthy was system, but we have discarded them a bookseller, and Klingemanu still in all with their master."
possession of piles of unpublished “ Then I must say that, idiotically manuscript, I could understand and considered, you have done a very forgive the enthusiasm and veneration foolish thing. Where at least are of the latter. your financiers ? "
Simon having concluded his in" My dear friend, I must for once flammatory harangue, the tribune was admit that you have stumbled on a next occupied by a person of a differweak point. We are very much in ent stamp. He was, I think, withwant of a financier indeed. Would out any exception, the finest-looking you believe it? the sum of five florins man in the Assembly-in the prime of a day, which is the amount of recom- manhood, tall, handsome, and elepense allowed to each member of the gantly dressed, and bearing, moreover, Assembly, has been allowed to fall into that unmistakable air which belongs arrear!
to the polished gentleman alone. His “What! do each of these fellows manner of speaking was hasty, and get five florins a day, in return for not such as might be approved of by cobbling up the Empire? Then it is the practised debater, but extremely very easy to see that, unless the ex- fluent and energetic; and it was evichequer fails altogether, the parliament dent that Simon and his confederates will never be prorogued."
writhed under the castigation which, "Certainly not until it has completed half-seriously, half-sarcastically, the