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knew not whither. She walked like one then it's haunted me! As long as I could blind, and every moment her step became keep it at the bottom of the box, out o' more automatic. “Is she out of her sight, it seemed different. But once it mind?” reflected the younger woman. was tore up it's never been out o' my "Perhaps she is one of those who have sight. An' it's been more like grannie fits of insanity, and it may have been a than ever.
An' i'd come to ask you, fit coming on, which made her so harsh to Master Tom, if you thought there was me last night. Poor old soul!”
anybody who would let me do a little Suddenly the old woman paused, made rough work to earn a bit of honest bread, one more stumbling effort, and sank to an’I'd promise to keep out o'their sight.' the ground. Kirsty was by her side in “ In the mean time,” said Mr. Sandison, an instant.
as if he had not heard a word that she The world was waking up by this time. had said, though he had entered the room Two or three workmen were hastening to and had stood behind her while she was their daily labor, a shopman was taking speaking —"in the mean time perhaps down his shutters, and a policeman was you will kindly give a helping hand in this lounging at a corner, waiting to be re- house of trouble and sickness. lieved from his duty. These all crowded | ent there is no woman here to wait upon about the two women. They looked rather
- my mother!" suspiciously at poor Kirsty; but when she Kirsty gave a low cry of eager obedi. declared that she knew the old lady, that|ence and sprang up stairs. Mr. Sandison she was the housekeeper at Mr. Sandi-threw Tom a glance, which emphasized son's in Penman Row - they were not so and illuminated his last words. Then he, far from that quarter as to be ignorant of too, went slowly up-stairs. But he did the name and when Grace herself was not go straight to the attic. Tom heard discovered to be speechless, they found him unlocking the closed doors, and then they could not do better than accept be beard bim pacing with slow and heavy Kirsty's guidance.
steps about those long deserted chambers. So they carried Grace Allan back, star- That morning's post brought Tom an ing, wide-eyed, and unresisting, Kirsty elaborate little box containing the wed. following, rendering kindly little atten: ding cards and wedding cake of Robert tions. Penman Row was still empty and Sinclair, Esquire, and Miss Henrietta silent. The prolonged ringing of the Brander, and in that morning's paper be door.bell gave the first notice to Mr. San. saw the announcement of their marriage dison and Tom that something unusual at a fashionable church. had happened. The men told where and how they had found the stricken woman. While they carried her up.stairs to her own room Mr. Sandison, going into the
From The Contemporary Review. parlor to search for some homely restora. tive, discovered the ravaged Bible. And Kirsty, cowering down. beside Tom, sobbed out,
The highest rank in literature belongs “ I missed you last evening, and I didn't to those who combine the properly poetithink I'd dare to face her again; so I was cal with philosophical qualities, and crown watching about for a chance of seeing you both with a certain robust sincerity and this inorning. It seems just like a provi. common sense. The sovereigo poet must dence. Poor old lady! She makes me be not merely a singer, but also a sage; think of dear old grannie. I'm glad she to passion and music he must add large was dead before she knew that I Oh, ideas; he must extend in width as well as Master Tom, l've been a wicked woman. in height; but, besides this, he must be D'ye mind that picture you gave me in no dreamer or fanatic, and must be rooted Lerwick, because I fancied it was like as firmly in the hard earth as he spreads grannie? Well, I'd always kept it, though widely and mounts freely towards the sky. with its face downwards, in my box, be. Goethe, as we have described him, satiscause I couldn't a-bear to see it. An' ties these conditions, and as much can be only the other night, Cousin Hannah said of no other men of the modern world her I've been with since I went wrong
but Dante and Shakespeare. yot it, and took it out o' the little frame, Of this trio each is complete in all the that she might put in something else, and three dimensions. Each feels deeply, she tore up the little picture o' the good each knows and sees clearly, and each has old wife at the wheel! An' ever since a stout grasp of reality. This complete
ness is what gives them their universal | the sense that a great principle or view of fame, and makes them interesting in all life is the root from which all the special times and places. Each, however, is less precepts proceed. This has, indeed, been complete in some directions than in oth questioned. Friedrich Schlegel made it
Dante, though no fanatic, yet is a complaint against Goethe, that he had less rational than so great a man should " no centre;” but a centre he has; only have been. Shakespeare wants academic the variety of his subjects and styles is so knowledge. Goethe, too, has his defects, great, and he abandons himself to each in but this is rather the place for dwelling turn so completely, that in his works, as on his peculiar merits. In respect of in nature itself, the unity is much less influence upon the world, he has for the obvious than the multiplicity. Now that present the advantage of being the latest, we have formed some estimate of the and therefore the least obsolete and ex. magnitude of his influence, and have also hausted, of the three. But he is also distinguished the stages by which his essentially much more of a teacher than genius was developed, and his influence his two predecessors. Alone among them in Germany and the world diffused, it he has a system, a theory of life, which remains to examine his genius itself, the he has thought and worked out for him. peculiar way of thinking, and the fundaself.
mental ideas through which he influenced From Shakespeare, no doubt, the world the world. may learn, and has learnt, much, yet be Never, perhaps, was a more unfortunate professed so little to be a teacher, that he formula invented than when, at a moment has often been represented as almost with of reaction against his ascendancy, it ocout personality, as a mere undisturbed curred to some one to assert that Goethe mirror, in which all nature reflects itself. had talent but not genius. No doubt the Something like a century passed before it talent is there; perhaps no work in literawas perceived that his works deserved to ture exhibits a mastery of so many literary be in a serious sense studied. Dante was styles as • Faust.” From the sublime to his countrymen a great example and lyric of the prologue, which astonished source of inspiration, but hardly, perhaps, Shelley, we pass through scenes in which a great teacher. On the other hand, the problems of human character are dealt Goethe was first to his own nation, and with, scenes in which the supernatural is has since been to the whole world, what brought surprisingly near to real life, he describes his own Chiron, “the noble scenes of humble life startlingly vivid, pedagogue,' a teacher and wise coun- grotesque scenes of devilry, scenes of sellor on all the most important subjects. overwhelming pathos; then, in the second To students in alınost every department part, we find an incomparable revival of of literature and art, to unsettled spirits the Greek drama, and, at the close, a needing advice for the conduct of life, to Dantesque vision of the Christian heaven. the age itself in a great transition, he Such versatility in a single work is unoffers bis word of weighty counsel, and is rivalled; and the versatility of which an acknowledged authority on a greater Goethe's writings, as a whole, gives evinumber of subjects than any other man. dence is much greater still. But to repIt is the great point of distinction between resent him, on this account, as a sort of him and Shakespeare, that he is so seri. mocking-bird, or ready imitator, is not ously didactic. Like Shakespeare myriad. merely unjust. Even if we give this repminded, he has nothing of that ironic resentation a flattering turn, and describe indifference, that irresponsibility, which him as a being almost superior to humanhas been often attributed to Shakespeare.ity, capable of entering fully into all that He is, indeed, strangely indifferent on men think and feel, but holding himself many points, which other teachers count independent of it all, such a being as is important; but the lessons which he him. described (where, I suppose, Goethe is self considers important, he teaches over pointed at) in the Palace of Art, again, I and over again with all the seriousness of say, it is not merely unjust. Not merely one who is a teacher by vocation. And, Goethe was not such a being, but we may as I have said, when we look at his teach express it more strongly and say: such a ing as a whole, we find that it has unity, being is precisely what Goethe was not. that, taken together, it makes a system, He bad, no doubt, a great power of enternot indeed in the academic sense, but in ing into foreign literatures; he was, no
doubt, indifferent to many controversies • “Der grosse Mann, der edle Pedagog,
which in England, when we began to read Der, sich zum Rubm, ein Heldenvolk erzogen.' him, still raged hotly. But these were
characteristic qualities, not of Goethe wanting. But he cannot attain it by a personally, but of Germany in the age of short cut. Narrowness is impossible to Goethe. A sort of cosmopolitan charac-him, not only because his mind is large, terlessness marked the nation, so that but because the German public in their Lessing could say in Goethe's youth that good-natured tolerance have made them. the character of the Germans was to have selves familiar with such a vast variety of no character. Goethe could not but share ideas. He cannot be a John Bull, howin the infirmity, but his peculiarity was ever much he may admire John Bull, bethat from the begioning he felt it as an cause he does not live in an island. To infirmity, and struggled to overcome it. bave distinct views he must make a resoThat unbounded tolerance, that readiness lute act of choice, since all ideas have to allow everything and appreciate every been laid before him, all are familiar to one, which was so marked in the Germans the society in which he lives. This perof that time that it is clearly perceptible plexity, this difficulty of choosing what in their political history, and contributed was good out of such a heap of opinions, to their humiliation by Napoleon, is just he often expresses: “The people to be what is satirized in the delineation of sure are not accustomed to what is best, Wilhelm Meister. Jarno says to Wilhelm, but then they are so terribly well-read !”* “ I am glad to see you out of temper; it But it is just the struggle he makes for would be better still if you could be for distinctness that is admirable in him. once thoroughly angry." This sentiment The breadth, the tolerance, he has in was often in Goethe's mouth; so far was common with his German contempora. he from priding himself upon serene uni- ries; what he has to himself is the resoversal impartiality. Crabbe Robinson lute determination to arrive at clearness. heard him say what an annoyance he felt Nevertheless, he may seem indifferent it to appreciate everything equally and to even to those whose minds are less conbe able to hate nothing. He flattered tracted than was the English mind half a himself at that time that he had a real century ago, for this reason, that his aim, aversion. "I hate," he said, "everything though not less serious than that of others, Oriental” (* Eigentlich hasse ich alles is not quite the same. He seldom takes Orientalische”). He goes further in the a side in the controversies of the time. 6. We cher Divan," where, in enu. You do not find him weighing the claims merating the qualities a poet ought to of Protestantism and Catholicism, nor fol. have, he lays it down as indispensable lowing with eager interest the dispute be. that he should hate many things (“Dann tween orthodoxy and rationalism. Again, zuletzt ist unerlässlich dass der Dichter when all intellectual Germany is divided inanches hasse”). True, no doubt, that between the new philosophy of Kant and he found it difficult to hate. An infinite the old system, and later, when varieties good nature was born in bim, and, besides show themselves in the new philosophy, ihis, he grew up in a society in which all when Fichte and Schelling succeed to the established opinions had been shaken, so vogue of Kant, Goethe remains undis. that for a rational man it was really diffi. turbed by all these changes of opinion. cult to determine what deserved hatred or He is almost as little affecied by political love. What is wholly untrue in that view controversy. The French Revolution irriof him, which was so fashionable forty tates him, but not so much because it is years ago — “I sit apart holding no form opposed to his convictions as because it of creed, but contemplating all”. is that creates disturbance. Even the War of this tolerance was the intentional result of Liberation cannot rouse bim. Was he cold pride or self-sufficiency. He does not then a quietist? Did he not hold not seem to me to have been either proud himself aloof, whether in a proud feeling or unsympathetic, and among the many of superiority or in mere Epicurean indit. things of which he might boast, certainly ference, from all the interests and pas. he would not have included a want of sions of humanity? If this were the case, definite opinions – he, who was never or nearly the case, Goethe would have no tired of rebuking the Germans for their claim to rank in the first class of literature. vagueness, and who admired young En. He might pass for a prodigy of literary glishmen expressly because they seemed expertness and versatility, but he would to know their own minds, even when they attract no lasting interest. Such quietism had little mind to know. Distinctness, in a man upon whom the eyes of a whole character, is what he admires, what throngh life he struggles for, what he * “ Zwar sind sie an das Beste nicht gewöhnt, and Schiller alike chide the Germans for Allein sie haben schrecklich viel gelesen."
pation were bent, could never be com- " it has been my wish and purpose to de. pared to the quietism of Shakespeare, velop completely all that is in me.” Elsewho belonged to the uninfluential classes, where he says, " to make my own existence and to whom do one looked for guidance. harmonious." Here is the refined form
But in truth the quietism of Goethe was of selfishness of which Goethe has been the effect not of indifference or of selfish- so often accused. And undoubtedly the ness, but of preoccupation. He had pre- phrase is one which will bear a selfish scribed to himself in early life a task, and interpretation, just as a Christian may be he declined to be drawn aside from it by selfish when he devotes himself to the the controversies of the time. It was a salvation of his soul. But in the one case, task worthy of the powers of the greatest as in the other, it is before all things eviman ; it appeared to him, when he de. dent that the task undertaken is very voted himself to it, more useful and neces serious, and that the man who undertakes sary than the special undertakings of it must be of a very serious disposition. theologian or philosopher. At the out. When, as in Goethe's case, it is selfset he might fairly claim to be the only planned and self.imposed, such an underearnest man in Germany, and might re taking is comparable to those great prac. gard the partisans alike of Church and tical experiments in the conduct of life university as triflers in comparison with which were made by the early Greek himself. The French Revolution changed philosophers. Right or wrong, such an the appearance of things. He could not experiment can only be imagined by an deny that the political questions opened original man, and can only be carried by ihat convulsion were of the greatest into effect by a man of very steadfast importance. But he was now forty years will. But we may add that it is no more old, and the work of his life had begun so necessary to give a selfish interpretation early, had been planned with so much to this formula than to the other formulæ care and prosecuted with so much method, by wbich philosophers have tried to de. that he was less able than many men scribe the object of a moral life. A harmight have been to make a new beginning monious existence does not necessarily at forty. Hence he was merely disturbed mean an existence passed in selfish enby the change which inspired so many joyment. Nor is the pursuit of it neces. others, and to the end of his life continued sarily selfish, since the best way to pro. to look back upon the twenty odd years cure a harmonious existence for others is between the Seven Years' War and the to find out by an experiment practised on Revolution as a golden time, as in a pe- oneself in what a harmonious existence culiar sense his own time.* The new consists, and by what methods it may be events disturbed him in bis habits without attained. For the present, at least, let us actually forcing him to form new habits; content ourselves with remarking that he found himself able, though with less Goethe, who knew his own mind as well as comfort, to lead the same sort of life as most people, considered himself to carry before ; and so he passed into the Napo- disinterestedness almost to an extreme. leonic period and arrived in time at the What especially struck him in Spinoza, he year of liberation, 1813. Then, indeed, says, was the boundless unselfishness that his quietism became shocking, and he felt shone out of such sentences as this, " He it so himself; but it was now really too who loves God must not require that God late to abandon a road on which he had should love him again.” For," he travelled so long, and which he had hon- continues, " to be unselfish in everything, estly selected as the best.
especially in love and friendship, was my What, then, was this task to which highest pleasure, my maxim, my disciGoethe bad so early devoted himself, and pline, so that that petulant sentence writ. which seemed to bim too important to be ten later, “If I love you, what does that postponed even to the exigencies of the matter to you?' came from my very Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods ? It beart." was that task about which, since Goethe's However this may be, when a man, so time, so much has been said — self-cul. richly gifted otherwise, displays the rarest ture. “From my boyhood," says Wilhelm, of all manly qualities – viz., the power and speaking evidently' for Goethe himself, persistent will to make his life systematic,
and place all his action under the control * “ Zwanzig Jahre liess ich gehn
of a priociple freely and freshly conceived, Und genoss was mir beschieden;
he rises at once into the highest class of Eine Reihe völlig schön Wie die Zeit der Barmeciden."
men. It is the strenuous energy with which Goethe enters into the battle of
life, and fights there for a victory into | am tempted to shed bitter tears at the which others may enter, that makes him sight of the day, which in its course will great, that makes him the teacher of these not gratify one wish, not one single wish.” later ages, and not some foppish preten. So speaks Faust, and Goethe ratifies it in sion of being above it all, of seeing his own person, when he complains that through it and despising it. But just be we are not allowed to develop what we cause he conceived the problem in his own have in us, and are denied what is neces. manner, and not precisely as it is con- sary to supply our deficiencies; robbed of ceived by the recognized authorities on what we have won by labor or has been the conduct of life, he could take little allowed us by kindness, and find ourselves interest in the controversies which those compelled, before we can form a clear authorities held among themselves, and opinion about it, to give up our persontherefore passed for indifferent to the ality, at first in instalments, but at last problem itself. He did not admit that the completely; also that we are expected to question was to form an opinion as to the make a more delighted face over the cup conditions of the life after death, though the more bitter it tastes, Jest the unconhe himself hoped for such a future life, cerned spectator should be affronted by for be wanted rather rightly to understand anything like a grimace.” He adds that and to deal with the present life; nor did this system is grounded on the maxim he want what is called in the schools a that “all is vanity,” a maxim which charphilosophy, remarking probably that the acteristically he pronounces false and most approved professors of philosophy blasphemous. That “all is not vanity lived after all much in the same way as is indeed almost the substance of Goethe's other people. It seemed to him that he philosophy. “His faith,” so he tells the was more earnest than either the theolo-houri who, at the gate of paradise, regians or the philosophers, just because he quires him to prove his orthodoxy, "has disregarded their disputes and grappled always been that the world, whichever directly with the question which they un. way it rolls, is a thing to love, a thing to der various pretexts evaded how to be thankful for." * make existence satisfactory;
This doctrine, again, is not in itself He grasps it in the rough, unceremoni- or necessarily a doctrine of selfisbness, ous manner of one who means business, though it may easily be represented so. and also in the manner which Rousseau It may be true that all virtue requires had made fasbionable. We have desires self-denial; but for that very reason we given us by God or nature, convertible may easily conceive a system of senseterms to him; these desires are meant to less and aimless self-denial setting itself receive satisfaction, for the world is not up in the place of virtue. It is not every a stupid place, and the Maker of the world kind of self-denial that Goethe has in is not stupid. This notion that human view, but the particular kind by which he life is not a stupid affair, and that the bas found himself hampered. His indig. fault must be ours if it seems so, that for nation is not moved when he sees absti. everything wrong there must be a reme. nence practised in order to attain some dy,* is a sort of fundamental axiom with great end; it is the abstinence which him, as it is with most moral reformers. leads to nothing and aims at nothing that Even when he has death before his mind, provokes him. He has given iwo striking he still protests. "He is no more !' dramatic pictures of it. There is Faust, Ridiculous! Why no more'? •It is all who cannot tolerate the emptiness of his over.' What can be the meaning of that? secluded life; but does it appear that he Then it might as well never have existed. rebels against it simply because it brings Give me rather an eternal void.” And no pleasure to himself, even thougb it this way of thinking brings him at once, confers benefit upon others and upon the or so he thinks, into direct conflict with world? The burden of his complaint is the reigning system of morality, which is that his abstinence does no good to any. founded not on the satisfaction, but on body, that the studies for which be fore. the mortification, of desire. He declares goes pleasure lead to no real knowledge ; war against the doctrine of self-denial or and expressly to make this clear, Goethe abstinence. “Abstain, abstain ! - that is introduces the story of the plague, which the eternal song that rings in every ear. Faust and his father had tried to cure by In the morning I awake in horror, and a drug which did infinitely more harm
* " Sicherlich es muss das Beste
Irgendwo zu finden sein.”
* “ Dass die Welt, wie sie auch kreise,
Liebevoll und dankbar sei."