Obrazy na stronie

ledge. It may pretend to survive for a time, probation. The banker makes the same anbut its days are numbered, and the feet of those nouncement to Pauline, who falls down in a that shall bury it are at the door. This transi- swoon. In this manner are the first couple tion state from old forms to new is incon- satisfactorily disposed of. gruous, harassing, maddening, and generally N ext comes couple the second-Günther the uncomfortable. Even the fathers of the Society painter, and Maria, countess Burgsdorf. Maof Jesus can do nothing against it. The spirit ria's mother was unfortunate, so was her father, of the age divides their councils; they split and nobody knows why. Her mother dies into liberals and conservatives, and neutralize first, and her father next, and the young lady one another. It is the duty of superior minds with the flexible figure is confided to the care to talk incessantly about political and religious of a Jesuit guardian, a man with grey hair and reform, to emigrate to the United States, and fiery eyes, whose name is La Vergne. He to write letters to the friends they left behind takes her to Innspruck, conversing at great them.

length abont Jesuitism. At Innspruck, Maria To inculcate these wonderful maxims, Herr becomes acquainted with, and is admired by, an König introduces his readers to several sets of unaccountable gentleman with a marble-white people. There is Kurt von Staufen, a brilliant corpse-face, who is also a Jesuit, and La young gentleman of the dishevelled school, and Vergne's junior. The latter, it would appear, his father, a stiff old aristocrat, “ done after Sir falls in love with his fair ward, and treats the Leicester Dedlock." There is also Herr Gold- pale-faced Jesuit with great contumely. At schmidt, a converted Jew and a banker, who length the affair is brought to a crisis. La though he began life with sixpence, is now a mil- Vergne asks the lady's consent, and is reminded lionaire, and who, exactly as men of business are of his white hair. He meets this very reasonin the habit of doing, sows his money broad- able objection with a strange demurrer. cast over the world, while he never neglects an "Oh turn thine eyes from this white hair which time opportunity to get sentimental and talk philo- has heaped upon me as a curse, and contemplate with sophy. There is also Herr Goldschimdt's the eyes of the spirit the freshness and energy, the daughter, Pauline, a young lady with “black

with the youth and the fire, of my mind. Consider the object

of my life—the liberation and enlightenment of the serpent locks” and the “ bust of a Venus of human race ; consider the horrible dangers which surCanova.(!) Besides these, we have an Italian round me; acknowledge the boldness with which amidst refugee of the name of Paul Gozzi, who talks demons I would erect a temple for the Divine; and then German, and writes German impromptu verses

say, if thou canst, that I am old. ... This very year I

mean to lay the first stone of my temple. A formidable as good as any Herr König has produced; and enemy of the development of mankind is, through me, Margaretta, his wife, whose hair is “blonde” to be converted into an active, zealous, and gifted friend on the first page of the fifth chapter, and “nut- and promoter of the same!" brown” on the last page but one of the same T o cut the matter short, he means to reform chapter. Another very interesting woman is the Jesuits. But alas for the perversion of the the countess Burgsdorf, whose “ figure is noble, female mind! even this glittering bait is lost and as flexible as the voice of an accomplished upon the flexible Maria. Of course this leads orator.” The countess Burgsdorf's brother; to a dialogue in the king Cambyses' vein : her lover, who is a painter; an old doctor, “Thou tramplest heartlessly upon my boldest hopes ? whose conversation is stolen from Sealsfield's And dost thou compel me to tell thee that I know « Backwoodsman;" and a choice assortment of nought of despondency and resignation; and that I will Jesuits ;—these are the chief persons of the plot, hoscore the chief persons of the not call thee mine, though I had to conquer thee with blood

Oly and with crime !" which is extremely simple, and which, from

The lady's answer is not less grand and imgreat beginnings, advances to a portentous

posing. She says: middle, and in the end leads to nothing.

“ Well, great reformer, who would commence your Kurt von Staufen loves Pauline Gold.

work of salvation by laying your impious hands upon schmidt. Her father gives his assent; but old the holiest right of man: it is confession against conStaufen, the aristocrat, proves contumacious. fession, and menace against menace. You love-and Father and son have a quiet talk together, so do I!” and disown and curse one another with great Whereupon La Vergne adjourns to his own politeness and good humour. Kurt goes to the room, and is forthwith struck with apoplexy. house of his inamorata. He is met by her father, His marble-faced pupil, the chevalier D’Aubert, who tells him that his daughter is “ gone, and inherits his reform scheme, and Maria is at for a long time.” “Gone, and for a long liberty to return to her brother, and prepare for time !" says Kurt, and hastens home, where he her marriage with the painter. That painter is laid up with a brain fever, thus preventing has, in the meanwhile, been carrying on a slight the banker from telling him that what he in- flirtation with the wife of his friend Gozzi, just tends to impose upon the young couple is not to keep his hand in; but when the plot thickens, separation, but merely a couple of years of and his flexible betrothed returns to his neighbourhood, he is ashamed of himself, and makes two fractions ; Kurt's aristocratic father has an excursion into the Riesengebirge by way of been converted by a series of the most impossible penance, which is exactly the same as if a man incidents, including a robbery and an assassinawere to take a fortnight's trip into Scotland or tion; and the end is, the painter, Gozzi, and Wales in the hope of expiating thereby an act the Jesuit, together with Maria and Margaretta, of villainy. During his absence, the marble. emigrate to the United States, it is difficult to faced Jesuit turns up again from a journey conjecture why; in order to do, it is imposacross the continent of America, and he, too, sible to know,—what. But it is a fact, and one makes love to the countess Burgsdorf, by talk, which is not altogether devoid of significance, ing wildly about philosophy and his intended that all the heroes and heroines of almost all reformation. The countess, however, jilts him, the German novels which came out since the the painter comes back, and they are all very revolution go to America, and there indite sentimental together to the end of the first letters, (which form concluding chapters) to volume.

their friends in Germany. Kurt von Staufen, whom we left in a brain. It is almost superfluous to say that nothing fever, is, meanwhile, out of danger, though by no can be more objectionable than novels of this means restored to health. He is a very weak class. A dreary, sinister spirit pervades them : man. Pauline understands as much from his they have neither beauty nor logic to compenletters; and, with a touching consciousness of sate for their lax morality and outrageous dicher own weakness, she also understands that tion. These German writers of Herr König's Kurt, the object of her late sorrow, is not ex. stamp, believe that they are inventive, when actly the sort of husband to satisfy " the crav- they crowd their pages with a score or so of ings of her mind.”

wooden dolls, painted and dressed up to repreIs he not indeed a good and bonest, but also a sickly, sent barons and Jewesses, diplomats and bankweakly creature ? And can I, the slender, tender ten- ers, peasants and Jesuits; they flatter themdril, confidingly lean upon him and cling to him? Is

selves that they are philosophers when they make be not quite as much as I, and more, perhaps, in want

these dolls chatter about the social, moral, and of a strong arm to uphold him. ? Brava, Fräulein Pauline! your's, indeed, is

political future of the world. The fact is, all

these gentlemen are too grand to write simply woman's love, that deep and touching devo

novels : they would be prophets and reformers. tion, that craving for self-sacrifice, of which the

Hence their metaphysical hotch-potch is brought German authoresses say so many fine things. forward on every conceivable occasion: Jesuits She suffers and struggles very much, especially

of all shades, bankers, Jewesses, aristocrats, and when her lover, still pale, suffering, and “weak,”

servants in livery, pounce upon an abstract reminds her of the early days of her affection; anestion as hun

question as hungry dogs do on a piece of meat; but nevertheless this good young lady remains

marble-faced men, and women“ with curly firm. She marries her cousin Arthur, a re

lips," discuss the chances of the next revolumarkably strong man, who is very wicked in

tion; interesting couples on their wedding-day,

tien in the first volume, while in the second he comes

hold forth on some very knotty point of Hegel's out as a reformed character. Poor Kurt, like

system of philosophy. These persons have not the lady in the song

speech because they exist; they exist but to Called for swords and pistols;

speak; they are mere vehicles of the author's Brought they were at his command.

astounding ideas and bewildering discoveries. But instead of shooting himself, he takes & They calm “the ocean waves of their feelings more sensible view of the affair, and merely by a fervent embrace of nature ;" and having runs mad. The painter has meanwhile married accomplished that feat, they turn upon the world the countess; the refugee Gozzi is reconciled “a face which clearly shews that they are at a to Margaretta ; the marble-faced Jesuit, in- loss whether to pull, or bite it to pieces.” We stead of reforming his order, has split it into wish them a speedy deliverance !




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In our last Number we announced that, in future, the RETROSPECT OF British LITERATURE would be placed after the Reviews of English books. This has called forth so many letters of remonstrance from Subscribers, that we yield, and retain the previous arrangement.


In our Article on Book Societies we omitted to mention the fact, that in a very large number of these institutions the neighbouring bookseller performs the duties of Secretary; an obviously advantageous arrangement, but one which requires the superintendence of a Committee of Selection.

The Article in question has drawn upon us a rather extensive correspondence. We cannot refrain from quoting a passage from one Letter :-"I had the honour to be Secretary to a Society in the County of Durham, and a proposition was made that we should establish a permanent collection of books, to be stored in the shop of the Secretary, the principal bookseller of the ..un of It was proposed that I should send in a list of the books most advisable to purchase. I did so; and, among others, I mentioned Hartley Coleridge's Lives of Northern Worthies,' and · Plutarch's Lives.' The list was generally approved; but one of the Committee sagely remarked that it would be well to wait for · Plutarch's Lires' until the members had read the other, for perhaps some of the Northern Worthies might be included in Mr. Plutarch's collection. Of course there was no resisting this objection.

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