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GERMAN LITERATURE.

Russland und das Germanenthum. Von Bruno BAUER.

Waph

Herr Bauer, the son of a citizen of Berlin or all minds, must needs be of importance. Herr Charlottenburg, commenced life, as the majority Bauer does not stand alone. Objectionable as of those among the young Prussians commence his opinions may be, they are shared by a large it who are educated for the learned professions. number of his countrymen, though few of them This, in Prussia, means as much as being trained ever express them with so much force. His for the service of the state; for, with the ex- present work on the position of Germany to the ception of a few writers and journalists whose Oriential question is therefore a valuable .conexistence the State purposely ignores all those tribution to the expressions of public opinion in who have learned to conjugate Latin and Greek Germany, which are, as everybody knows, not verbs, and to whom Euclid is not quite a sealed to be found in the German newspapers. book, have obtained their knowledge for the Herr Bauer, then, believes that the world is special service of the political system in which now witnessing the latter days of Germanism; they live, move, and have their being. The that even the last remnants of the kingdom shall Kings of Prussia are the greatest corporals and be taken from Germany and given to that schoolmasters known to history, past and pre- Eastern power which has already usurped the sent, but they abhor valour if it be deficient dictatorship over the Continent, and whose in the goose-step, and independent learning is to further development will determine the future them the the worst of crimes. A system based of Europe. The decline of Germany comon such principles must needs be antagonistic menced with her history; Herr Bauer now to the feelings of those whom it is meant to predicts her fall, though not indeed in the spirit “ break in '--the wild horse of the Pampas has of a Tacitus. The coming events do not fill him good and sufficient reason to detest the lasso. with despair : on the contrary, he has hopes of The students are at all times disaffected until the annihilation of old Europe; for, according their training is fairly over, when their necks to him, a new and fairer world must rise from bend to the yoke, they fall into the ways of the utter destruction of the past. the Bureaucracy of which they are henceforth “The last and most difficult purpose,” says to form part, and in course of time they actually Herr Bauer, “which still remains to be conceived rise to be the accomplished oppressors of their is the repudiation of all that has existed and younger fellow-citizens. Tough and obstreperous does exist, and this repudiation, if fully carried natures-for such there will be found under the out, will give mankind an unlimited dominion most perfect system of crushing-secede from and lordship over the world. Do I alone take the beginning, or in the first few years of their so gloomy a view ? and do I alone foresee throughofficial career. The State has no place for them, out Europe, but in Western Europe especially, but it watches their movements with a jealousy nothing but dissolution, decay, ruins, and catawhich, in many instances, is nearly akin to strophes? Or am I influenced by that popular abject fear. Thus excluded from every career by Pessimism which delights in the height of conwhich man can achieve fame and fortune, and fusion in the official world and in the affairs of their very existence denied by the domineering every-day life, and which would still worse conparty, these unfortunate men are led to respond to found confusion in order to make its profits intolerance with intolerance, and to renounce the thereby? Nothing of the kind. Not gloomy State which renounces them. Herr Bruno Bauer is that view which discovers the germs of life belongs to this class of victims of a vicious system; even in the festering of corruption; nor is it from the very commencement of his career as a Pessimism to believe, as I do, that no amount of writer and lecturer he has laboured, and with a management could have redeemed the course of certain degree of success too, to subvert the re- events, because that course is the natural conligion, the morals, and the constitution of the clusion of a historical phase, and the necessary country which, to his own misfortune, gave him transition to a new organization.” birth.

As far as we can understand this, it means The views of such a man on a question that the German Nihilists, whose spokesman long neglected, but whcih now fortunately fills Herr Bauer is, have some hopes of some kind, and that their hopes are centered in Russia. descendants of the Hellenic tribes, and, as such, These unfortunate and interesting persons have Herr Bauer, as a classical scholar, is bound to a strong resemblance to the fish who, maddened adore them. The only difference is, that these with the intolerable heat of the frying-pan, long modern Greeks have the strength of character for a retreat among the merry crackling flames and the singleness of purpose which disand the pleasant red-hot coals under it.

tinguished the Romans, and made them masters Herr Bauer gives a short and impressive of the world. sketch of the enormous progress in territory What chances has Western Europe against and power which Russia has made since the such a nation ? Germany is divided, and days of Catherine II.; of the increase of au- France demoralised ; and as for England, we thority which she obtained in the course of the must record our disgrace in Herr Bruno revolutions of 1848; of that truly Roman Bauer's own words :earnestness which guides the Russian politics; England has lost the monopoly (?) of its insular posiand he adverts to the fate which is impending tion, and also the monopoly of arbitration. The last over Europe. For, according to Herr Bauer, ministerial changes prove that England can no longer the question of the rise of Russia and the down

escape the fate of the Continent, and that it cannot for

the future oppose the monopoly of its maritime position to fall of Europe is not a question of policy or the interests which guide public opinion on the Continent. management; the weakness of princes and the The aristocracy of England has lost its lordly power; and follies of nations have nothing whatever to do royalty will soon be face to face with democracy: it will with it. It is written that Russia shall tri

be compelled to have recourse to the very means which

royalty on the Continent employed in order to maintain umph, and triumph she must; and the only its position, question is, Is the Germanic world likely to survive the destruction of its ancient civilization

The wish, we apprehend, is father to the (as to the certainty of that destruction Herr

thought. But let our readers read on and Bauer thinks there cannot be two opinions), or

tremble:will the Russian nation alone be called upon to

The militia bill has been passed, not to protect the create a new civilization? Is the coming

country against a French invasion, but to protect royalty period likely to be a Russian period, or will

i against the awful encroachments of democracy. That

bill will place England on a level with the continental the Macaulays of 2853 describe it as a Russo states. The Cabinet are all but at bay: they make vain germanic period ?

endeavours to avoid the conflict between the people and To answer this very ticklish question, Herr the Crown. Bauer engages in a discussion on the excellent Revolutions, republics, usurpations, street qualities of the Russian mind. No nation fights, courts martial, cellular vans, public and known to history raised so gigantic a founda- private executions, are here showered down tion for its future dominion; the Russians, of upon us in delightful profusion, and why? all other peoples, are more fit to conquer and “Because England has made herself responto colonise; they are indissolubly united with sible for the fate of constitutionalism : hence their country, their nation, their race; and she must share its fate, and that fate becomes their political society is fashioned after the her own.” image of “ the family," which is the grand We do not understand this reason, either as prototype of all Russian institutions. The a whole or in its parts; but no matter. We Russians- we still follow Herr Bauer's ex- venture to affirm that it is very clear to those position—are as independent, active, and pro- who can see its meaning; and since Herr gressive as the Anglo-Saxons of North Ame- Bauer has said it, the wisest plan will be that rica. On the day that the Russian took his we all make our wills, and prepare for the worst. place in history, he sought to compass enor. For England, which “must share the fate of mous dimensions : from the Vistula to Kiachta constitutionalism,” cannot stop the progress of he conquered a gigantic and compact empirė, Russia, and old Europe will be destroyed and which affords ample room for the exercise of trodden under foot, and a new civilization will his restless activity; and throughout this vast be begotten from barbarism, and the world empire he ranges with the instincts of a will be perfect, and Herr Bauer happy. But nomade, the boldness of a speculator, and the whether the coming state of things will be quiet self-possession of a man who feels that he Russian throughout, or Russo-German, is a is a member of a large family. In the Russian question which we are free to confess has eluded character perseverance is admirably blended our apprehension in Herr Bauer's pages. And, with gentleness and an amount of energy which indeed, what does it matter to us, since we must laughs the word “impossible” to scorn. He needs “share the fate of constitutionalism," prefers the results of labour to labour itself, but which phrase in its widest sense must mean that he shrinks not from dangers and from exertion. the Cossacks will stable their horses in St. To the Czar he yields a blind, unconditional Paul's, and that Admiral Kornileff will estaobedience. In fine, the Russians are the true blish a Board of Admiralty in Westminster

Abbey; that our soap manufacturers and tallow. the gentry, and the public generally. Suffichandlers will be ruined by the voracity of the cient for a nation is the evil which befals it; and Russian infantry; that turbaned Circassians since such is to be our fate, little need we care will smoke strong Cavendish in the draw. what becomes of the Germans, and at what ing-rooms of Chesham Place; and Prince Russian university Herr Bauer is going to Menschikoff, dressed in the roughest of great lecture on the causes of the Decline and Fall of coats, and flourishing a huge knout, will pro- old Eŭrope. menade Regent Street, and flog the aristocracy,

Ruhe ist die erste Burgerpflicht oder Vor Fünfzig Jahren. Vaterländischer Roman.

Von W. ALEXIS. 4 Vols. Berlin : Barthol. HERR Häring, better known by the name of humiliated in 1806, because the King was pusilHerr Willbald Alexis, is an old-established lanimous and his Ministers incapable; that, after novel-writer; one who has been a favourite after all, the good cause triumphed ; and that, with the German public these many years under the successor of that King, and under past; who has witnessed and experienced a the successors of those Ministers, the good variety of changes in the national taste; and one cause will triumph again. To demonstrate this who throughout has succeeded in keeping pace desirable axiom, all the great and little men of with the public requirements. In the romantic “ Prussia's greatest degradation" are brought days of " Almanacks” and “ Taschenbücher on the stage. We have Lombard and Haugfür Liebe und Freundschaft,” or “ Vergissmein- witz, Hardenberg and Stein, Lord Harrowby, nichts” and “ Vielliebchens," Herr Alexis de Blücher, and York, Prince Louis, the King lighted the sentimental fair of Germany with of Prussia, and the Czar Alexander, a charming novellettes of the fine “ Taschen- distinguished chorus of officials, guardsmen, büch” calibre. When the Poles came in fashion and diplomatic agents, with a clever story, a à propos of the Warsaw revolution, he wrote a capital plot, and interminable conversations. historical novel, of which those frogged-coated Indeed, what action there is, is completely gentry were the heroes; and now that Ger- swamped by the torrent of words which literally many herself has passed through the furnace pour from the lips of each one of the dramatis of a revolution, and since she has been tried - persone. This stunning verbosity is the chief no matter that she was found wanting-Herr fault of a work which, in all other respects, may Alexis comes forward with a political novel, be called a respectable production, especially an overgrown pamphlet, describing the con- in the present period of German literary indition of Prussia at the commencement of this capacity. Our chief reason for not venturing century, when the Court under Frederic upon a single extract is, that every part and William III. did exactly what the Prussian portion of the book, every scene and conversaCourt of 1850 did under Frederic William IV. tion, is too long for the pages of an English The tendency of the pamphlet seems to be, that periodical. the author's country was weak, despised, and

Geschichte der Deutschen National litteratur im Neunzehnten Jahrhundert. Von JULIAN

SCHMIDT. Vol. I. Leipzig: Herbig. We know not of a more meritorious under small a price of time and patience if the subject taking than the writing a work of modern history, of his inquiry belongs to very recent times. In of politics, or literature. Those periods which that case he must read up files of newspapers are long past and gone are generally the theme and sigh over Parliamentary blue-books, and of a hundred laborious minds and able pens. interminable returns. This is so true, that every Every student who wishes to obtain information man with any pretence to education would on what can be known of the Etruscans, or of blush if he were found tripping in the history the manners and customs of the Celts in of ancient Rome, while every one thinks himEngland, need but go to the British Museum, self fully justified in being ignorant-say of the and if he be stout of heart, as a student history of Italy during the last thirty years. ought to be, with no fear of rheumatism and no An historical event is lost to all the world, exdelicacy respecting vermin, he will, after passing cept to the few who, at the time, took an interest through the ordeal of the catalogues, have no in it, until it has been taken up by, and predifficulty in satisfying his laudable curiosity served in, the pages of an able historian. It is, But let no one hope to obtain information at so therefore, with feelings of extreme satisfaction that we notice every attempt to record the events man work can reserve for himself the right of of contemporaneous history. But the codific translation. A treaty establishing such right cation—if we may use the term-of the events has indeed been approved of by the British of modern literature is a task for the execution Cabinet, and submitted to the Court of Berlin of which still greater gratitude is due; since in for ratification. That Court has sent it to the the history of literature we want even that im- German “ Bundestag" at Frankfort, and there perfect and clumsy machinery, which in politi- it remains unratified, and probably will remain cal history facilitates individual research. The for many years to come, especially if German want of some handbook of modern German authors, instead of agitating for its ratification, literature has been long and painfully felt, and flatter themselves with a vain belief that they the appearance of the present “History of the are actually in possession of rights which would German National Literature in the Nineteenth be as valuable to them as, no doubt, they would Century," by Dr. Julian Schmidt, the most be advantageous to literature. Because we eminent critic among the few that still survive would see ă treaty of international copyright German intolerance and impatience of blame, established between England and Germany, is an event to which we gladly direct the atten- especially for the protection of translations, we tion of our readers. The volume before us beg to inform our German friends and readers commences with the death of Schiller, and that no such treaty exists at present; and that characterizes the German writers and their books Dr. Schmidt's work, for instance, might be pubup to the dissolution of the romantic school by lished by every firm in London, without his Immermann, Platen, and Rückert, and Mörike. having any claim to compensation or redress. The second volume, therefore, must comprise the This is not a very desirable state of things, but, in newest of the new, and it is for the appearance our opinion, to ignore it is to perpetuate it. Let of that volume we reserve a more detailed it be thoroughly understood, that translations criticism of the book.

may be pirated; that an authorised translation For the present we have only to remark on of a German work enjoys legal protection a question of privilege. The author reserves for in England, as little as authorised translations himself the right “ of translating his work in of works by Dickens, Bulwer, and Thakeray England and France." What the state of inter would enjoy in Germany; and then there national law as to literary property may be will be some hope that the present lawless and between Germany and France we know not, nor injurious state of things may be brought to a pretend to know; but with regard to England, speedy termination. neither the author nor the publisher of a Ger

Geschichte der französischen Revolution vom Jahre 1848 bis zur Wiederherstellung des

Kaiserthums. Von DR. FREIHERRN von Preuschen. THE author of this work is known to the Ger- and though our own literature contains many man public as a writer on legal matters, and similar attempts to this, we have no doubt that this, as far as we know, is his first attempt at the work will be of interest, even to English history. It is a clever, well-written book, readers. clear in style, and comprehensive in its views;

Patmakhanda. Leben und Characterbilder aus Indien und Persien. Von Erich, Von

Schönberg. 2 vols. Leipzig. THE Sanscrit name of the title, if translated wide open : he has not, as most Germans do, into English, means a place where the lotus gone about also with a library of volumes on abounds; and the work is a well-written ac- the countries in which he travelled; and he has count of India and Persia, with a special regard not, as most Germans do, criticised his predeto the history and the peculiarities of the native cessors instead of writing a narrative and detribes. It is descriptive throughout, and not ra- scription of the objects which came under his tionative, a rare merit in a book from the pen own observation. The result is, a work which of a German writer. Herr Von Schönberg will be valuable even to readers in this country, has evidently travelled with his eyes and ears voluminous as our literature on India already is.

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