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man of powerful mind is liable to no once enriched by acquired thoughts, such danger. Of all our authors, and strengthened by increased exerGray is, perhaps, the only one that cise on a wider circle of knowledge. from fastidiousness of taste has writ- But to understand was not enough ten less than he should have done: for Schiller; there were in him fathere are thousands that have erred culties, which this could not employ, the other way. What would a Spa- and therefore could not satisfy. The nish reader give had Lope de Vega primary vocation of his nature was composed a hundred times as little, poetry: the acquisitions of his other and that little a hundred times as faculties served but as the materials well!
for his poetic faculty to act upon, Schiller's own ideas on these points and seemed imperfect till they had appear to be sufficiently sound: they been sublimated into the pure and are sketched in the following extract perfect forms of beauty, which it is of a letter, interesting also as a re- the business of this to elicit from cord of his purposes and intellectual them. New thoughts gave birth to condition at this period.
new feelings; and both of these he Criticism must now make good to me
was now called upon to body forth, the damage she herself has done. And
to represent by visible types, to damaged me she has most certainly; for animate and adorn with the magic the boldness, the living glow which I felt of creative genius. The first youthbefore a rule was known to me, have for ful blaze of poetic ardour had long several years been wanting. I now see since passed away; but this large myself create and form ; I watch the play increase of his knowledge awakened of inspiration, and my fancy, knowing she it anew, refined by years and exis not without witnesses of her movements, perience into a steadier and clearer no longer moves with equal freedom. I flame. Vague shadows of unaccomhope, however, ultimately to advance so plished excellence, gleams of ideal far that art will become a second nature, beauty were now hovering fitfully as polite manners are to a well bred man; then the imagination will regain its former across his mind: he longed to turn freedom, and submit to none but volun. them into shape, and give them a
Cri. tary limitations.
local habitation and a name.
ticism, likewise, had exalted his noSchiller's subsequent writings are tions of art: the modern writers on the best proof that in these expecta- subjects of taste, Aristotle, the antions he had not miscalculated. cient poets, he had lately studied; he
The historical and critical studies had carefully endeavoured to extract in which he had been so extensively the truth from each, and to amalgaand seriously engaged could not re- mate their principles with his own; main without effect on Schiller's ge- in choosing, he was now more diffineral intellectual character. He had cult to satisfy. Minor poems had spent five active years in studies di- all along been partly occupying his rected almost solely to the understand- attention ; but they yielded no space ing, or the faculties connected with for the intensity of his impulses, it: and such industry united to such and the magnificent ideas that were ardour had produced an immense ac- rising in his
fancy. Conscious of his cession of ideas. History had fur- strength, he dreaded not engaging nished him with pictures of manners with the highest species of his art: and events, of strange conjunctures the perusal of the Greek tragedians and conditions of existence; it had had given rise to some late translagiven him more minute and truer con- tions ; * the perusal of Homer seems ceptions of human nature in its many now to have suggested the idea of an forms, new and more accurate opinions epic poem. The hero whom he first on the character and end of man. The contemplated was Gustavus Adoldomain of his mind was both en- phus; he afterwards changed to Frelarged and enlightened; a multitude derick the Great of Prussia. of images and detached facts and Epic poems, since the time of the perceptions had been laid up in his Epigonias and Leonidas, and especially memory; and his intellect was at since that of some more recent at
These were a fine version of Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulide, and a few scenes of
tempts, have with us become a were sufficient to deter him. Bea mighty dull affair. That Schiller sides, he felt that after all his wide aimed at something infinitely higher excursions, the true home of his gethan these faint and superannuated nius was the drama, the department imitations, far higher than even where its powers had first been tried, Klopstock has effected, will appear and were now by habit or nature best by the following extract from one of qualified to act. To the drama he his letters.
accordingly returned. The History An epic poem in the eighteenth century of the Thirty Years' Wur had once should be quite a different thing from such suggested the idea of Gustavus Adola poem in the childhood of the world. phus as the hero of an epic poem; And it is that very circumstance, which the same work afforded him a subject attracts me so much towards this project. for a tragedy: he now decided on Our manners, the finest essence of our beginning Wallenstein. In this unphilosophies, our politics, economy, arts, dertaking it was no easy task that he in short, of all we know and do, would contemplated: a common play did require to be introduced without constraint, not now comprise his aim; he reand interwoven in such a composition, to quired some magnificent and comlive there in beautiful harmonious freedom, prehensive object, in which he could as all the branches of Greek culture live expend to advantage the new poeti, and are made visible in Homer's Iliad. Nor am I disinclined to invent a species of cal and intellectual treasures, which machinery for this purpose ; being anxious
he had for years been amassing ; to fulfil with hair's-breadth accuracy all the something that should at once exrequisitions that are made of the epic poet emplify his enlarged ideas of art, and even on the side of form. Besides, this ma- give room and shape to his fresh chinery, which, in so modern a subject, in stores of knowledge and sentiment. 80 prosaic an age, seems to present the As he studied the history of Wallengreatest difficulty, might exalt the interest stein, and viewed its capabilities on in a high degree, if it were suitably adapt- every side, new ideas gathered round ed to this same modem spirit. Crowds of it: the subject grew in magnitude, confused ideas on this matter are rolling and often changed its form. His to and fro within my head : something progress in actual composition was distinct will come out of them at last. As for the sort of metre I would chuse, the difficulties of the subject, in
of course irregular and small. Yet this I think you will hardly guess : no other than ottave rime. Al the rest, ex.
creasing with his own wider, more cept iambic, are become insufferable to ambitious conceptions, did not abate me. And how beautifully might the ear. his diligence: Wallenstein, with many nest and the lofty be made to play in these interruptions and many alterations, light fetters! What attractions might the sometimes stationary, sometimes reepic substance gain by the soft yielding trograde, continued on the whole, form of this fine rhyme! For the poem though slowly, to advance. must not in name only, but in very deed,
This was for several years his be capable of being sung ; as the Iliad was sung by the peasants of Greece, as the he consecrated his brightest hours,
chosen occupation, the task to which stanzas of Jerusalem Delivered are still and the finest part of his faculties. sung by the Venetian gondoliers.
The epoch of Frederick's life that would For humbler employments, demandbest fit me, I have also considered. I ing rather industry than inspiration, should wish to select some unhappy situa. there still remained abundant leisure, tion ; it would allow me to unfold his spirit of which it was inconsistent with his infinitely more poetically. The chief ac- habits to waste a single hour. His tion should if possible be very simple, per occasional labours, accordingly, were plexed with no complicated circumstances, numerous, varied, and sometimes of that the whole might easily be comprehendo considerable extent. In the end of ed at a glance, though the episodes were never so numerous.
1792, a new object seemed to call in this respect there for his attention; he once about this is no better model than the Iliad.
time seriously meditated mingling Schiller did not execute or even in politics. The French Revolution commence the project he has here so had from the first affected him with philosophically sketched: the con- no ordinary hopes; which, however, straints of his present situation, the the course of events, particularly the greatness of the enterprise compared imprisonment of Louis, were now with the uncertainty of its success, fast converting into fears. For the ill-fated monarch, and the cause of dered or scattered over Europe ; and freedom, which seemed threatened the French government was changed with disgrace in the treatment he into a frightful chaos, amid the tumulwas likely to receive, Schiller felt tuous and bloody horrors of which, so much interested, that he had de- calm truth had no longer a chance to termined, in his case a determination be heard. Schiller turned away from not without its risks, to address an these repulsive and appalling scenes, appeal on these subjects to the into other regions where his heart French people and the world at large. was more familiar, and his powers The voice of reason advocating li- more likely to produce effect. The berty as well as order might still, he French Revolution had distressed and conceived, make a salutary impres- shocked him; but it did not lessen sion in this period of terror and de- his attachment to liberty, the name lusion ; the voice of a distinguished of which had been so desecrated in man would at first sound like the voice its wild convulsions. Perhaps in his of the nation which he seemed to re- subsequent writings we can trace a present. _Schiller was inquiring for a more respectful feeling towards old proper French translator, and re- establishments; more reverence for volving in his mind the various ar- the majesty of custom; and with an guments that might be used, and equal zeal, a weaker faith in human the comparative propriety of using perfectibility; changes indeed which or forbearing to use them: but the are the common fruit of years themprogress of things superseded the ne- selves, in whatever age or climate of cessity of all deliberation. In a few the world our experience may be gamonths, Louis perished on the scaf- thered. fold; the Bourbon family were mur- (To be concluded in our next Portion.)
NOTES FROM THE POCKET-BOOK OF A LATE OPIUM-EATER.
SUPERFICIAL KNOWLEDGE. It is asserted that this is the have gone to the fountain heads ? age of Superficial Knowledge ; and No, but by those who in any age amongst the proofs of this assertion preceding the present would have we find Encyclopædias and other po- drunk at no waters at all. Encyclopular abstracts of knowledge parti- pædias are the growth of the last cularly insisted on. But in this no- hundred years ; not because those tion and in its alleged proofs there who were formerly students of highis equal error :-wherever there is er learning have descended, but bemuch diffusion of knowledge, there cause those who were belo
encyclomust be a good deal of superficiality: pædias have ascended. The greatprodigious extension implies a dueness of the ascent is marked by the proportion of weak intension ; a sea- style in which the more recent encylike expansion of knowledge will clopædias are executed: at first they cover large shallows as well as large were mere abstracts of existing books depths. But in that quarter in which -well or ill executed; at present they it is superficially cultivated the in- contain many original articles of great . tellect of this age is properly opposed merit. As in the periodical literain any just comparison to an intel- ture of the age, so in the encyclolect without any culture at all :- pædias it has become a matter of amleaving the deep soils out of the bition with the publishers to retain comparison, the shallow ones of the the most eminent writers in each sepresent day would in any preceding veral department. And hence it is one have been barren wastes. Of that our encyclopædias now display this our modem encyclopædias are one characteristic of this age-the the best proof. For whom are they very opposite of superficiality (and designed, and by whom used ?-By which on other grounds we are well those who in a former age would assured of)-viz. its tendency in
science, no less than in other appli-, our faculties who study them, but in cations of industry, to extreme sub- the things themselves which are the division. In all the employments objects of study: not we (the stuwhich are dependent in any degree dents) are grown less, but they (the upon the political economy of na- studies) are grown bigger ;—and that tions, this tendency is too obvious to our ancestors did not subdivide as have been overlooked. Accordingly much as we do-was something of it has long been noticed for con- their luck, but no part of their merit. gratulation in manufactures and the --Simply as subdividers therefore to useful arts--and for censure in the the extent which now prevails, we' learned professions. We have now, are less superficial than any former it is alleged, no great and com- age. In all parts of science the same prehensive lawyers like Cuke: and principle of subdivision holds: here the study of medicine is subdividing therefore, no less than in those parts itself into a distinct ministry (as it of knowledge which are the subjects were) not merely upon the several of distinct civil professions, we are organs of the body (oculists, au- of necessity more profound than our rists, dentists, cheiropodists, &c.) but ancestors; but, for the same reason, almost upon the several diseases of less comprehensive than they. Is it the same organ: one man is distin-, better to be a profound student, or a guished for the treatment of liver comprehensive one? In some de complaints of one class—a second gree this must depend upon the difor those of another class; one man rection of the studies: but generally, for asthma-another for phthisis; I think, it is better for the interests and so on. As to the law, the evil of knowledge that the scholar should (if it be one) lies in the complex aim at profundity, and better for the state of society which of necessity interests of the individual that he makes the laws complex: law itself should aim at comprehensiveness. A is become unwieldy and beyond the due balance and equilibrium of the grasp of one man's term of life and mind is but preserved by a large and possible range of experience: and multiform knowledge: but knowwill never again come within them. ledge itself is but served by an exWith respect to medicine, the case clusive (or at least paramount) dediis no evil but a great benefits cation of one mind to one science. long as the subdividing principle does the first proposition is perhaps unnot descend too low to allow of a conditionally true : but the second perpetual reascent into the gene- with some limitations. There are ralising principle (the rò commune) such people as Leibnitzes on this which secures the unity of the sci- earth; and their office seems not ence. In ancient times all the evil of that of planets-to revolve within such a subdivision was no doubt re- the limits of one system, but that of alized in Egypt: for there a distinct comets (according to the theory of body of professors took charge of some speculators).--to connect difeach organ of the body, not (as we ferent systems together. No dou may be assured) from any progress of there is much truth in this: a few the science outgrowing the time and Leibnitzes in every age would be of attention of the general professor, but much use: but neither are many men simply from an ignorance of the orga- fitted by nature for the part of Leibnic structure of the human body and nitz; nor would the aspect of knowthe reciprocal action of the whole upon ledge be better, if they were. We each part and the parts upon the should then have a state of Grecian whole; an ignorance of the same kind life amongst us in which every man which has led sailors seriously (and individually would attain in a monot merely, as may sometimes have derate degree all the purposes of the happened, by way of joke) to reserve sane understanding,--but in which one ulcerated leg to their own manage- all the purposes of the sane underment, whilst the other was given up standing would be but moderately to the management of the surgeon.- attained. What I mean is this:-let With respect to law and medicine all the objects of the understanding then, the difference between our- in civil life or in science be representselves and our ancestors is not sub- ed by the letters of the alphabet ; jective but objective; not, i. e. in in Grecian life each man would separately go through all the letters 'in arny derives its superiority as a a tolerable way; whereas at present whole, viz. because it is the condieach letter is served by a distinct tion of the possibility of a total surbody of men. Consequently the Gre- render of the individual to one excian individual is superior to the mo- clusive pursuit.--In science theredern; but the Grecian whole is infe- fore, and (to speak more generally) rior: for the whole is made up of the in the whole evolution of the human individuals; and the Grecian indivi- faculties, no less than in Political Ecodual repeats himself. Whereas in nomy, the progress of society brings modern life the whole derives its su- with it a necessity of sacrificing the periority from the very circumstances ideal of what is excellent for the indiwhich constitute the inferiority of vidual, to the ideal of what is excellent the parts: for modern life is cast for the whole. We need therefore not dramatically : and the difference is trouble ourselves (except as a specuas between an army consisting of lative question) with the comparison soldiers who should each individually of the two states; because, as a be competent to go through the du- practical question, it is precluded by ties of a dragoon-of a hussar--of a the overruling tendencies of the age sharp-shooter-of an artillery-man
--which no man could counteract of a pioneer, &c. and an army on its except in his own single case, i. e. by present composition, where the very refusing to adapt himself as a part inferiority of the soldier as an indivi- to the whole, and thus foregoing the dual-his inferiority in compass and advantages of either one state or the versatility of power and knowledge— other. * is the very ground from which the
* The latter part of what is here said coincides, in a way which is rather remarkable, with a passage in an interesting work of Schiller's which I have since read (on the Æsthetic Education of Men, in a series of letters: vid. letter the 6th). " With us, in order to obtain the representative word (as it were) of the total species, we nust spell it out by the help of a series of individuals. So that on a survey of society as it actually exists, one might suppose that the faculties of the mind do really in actual experience show themselves in as separate a form, and in as much insulation, as psychology is forced to exhibit them in its analysis. And thus we see not only individuals, but whole classes of men, unfolding only one part of the germs which are laid in them by the hand of nature. In saying this I am fully aware of the advantages which the human species of modern ages has, when considered as a unity, over the best of antiquity: but the comparison should begin with the individuals : and then let me ask where is the modern individual that would have the presumption to step forward against the Athenian individual -man to man, and to contend for the prize of human excellence ?—The polypus nature of the Grecian republics, in which every individual enjoyed a separate life, and if it were necessary could become a whole, has now given place to an artificial watch-work, where many lifeless parts combine to form a mechanic whole. The state and the church, laws and manners, are now torn asunder : labor is divided from enjoyment, the means from the end, the exertion from the reward. Chained for ever to a little individual fraction of the whole, man himself is moulded into a fraction ; and, with the monotonous whirling of the wheel which he turns everlastingly in his ear, he never develops the harmony of his being; and, instead of imaging the totality of human nature, becomes a bare abstract of his business or the science which he cultivates. The dead letter takes the place of the living understanding ; and a practised memory becomes a surer guide than genius and sensibility. Doubtless the power of genius, as we all know, will not fetter itself within the limits of its occupation ; but talents of mediocrity are all exhausted in the monotony of the employment allotted to them; and that man must have no coinmon head who brings with him the geniality of his powers unstripped of their freshness by the ungenial labors of life to the cultivation of the genial." --After insisting at some length on this wise, Schiller passes to the other side of the cortemplation, and proceeds thus :-" It suited my immediate purpose to point out the injuries of this condition of the species, without displaying the compensations by which nature has balanced them. But I will now readily acknowledge-that, little as this practical condition may suit the interests of the individual, yet the species could in no other way have been progressive. Partial exercise of the faculties (literally “one-sidedness in the exercise of the faculties ') leads the individual undoubtedly into error, but the species into truth. In no other way than by concentrating the whole energy of our spirit, and by converging our whole being, so to speak, into a single faculty, can we put wings as it were to the individual faculty and carry it by this artificial fight far beyond the limits within which nature has else doomed