Imatges de pÓgina

which to replace it. To him who knows only to blame, it is justly said, "Do better." Equally just was the saying of that man, whom I sincerely regret to find here no longer, among the living, who, with praiseworthy frankness, declared, "Men must have a system, and a system can be refuted only by a system. As long as that which stands is opposed by nothing stable in the way of substitute, let it stand." *

I agree with him in what he says with respect to system. Single truths will no longer suffice. It is now well understood, that, in this way, nothing can be rightly known. He is right, moreover, in expressing his astonishment at the report, that the author of the Identitäts-Philosophie had sought an asylum in history, in a "faith not penetrated by science; "-an asylum to which his new philosophy was made subservient. But I, too, on the other hand, may be allowed to wonder that a man, otherwise so sagacious, before expressing his astonishment, did not take the trouble to ascertain whether the report in question was founded in fact. Had he lived, he would have learned, from the course of these lectures, how wide of the truth was the impression he had received.

Let it be understood, then, that what is usually called polemics is not the aim of these lectures. If anything of this kind appear, it will be only collaterally. It is true, I cannot make the course as instructive as I wish, without, at the same time, referring to the past, and indicating the progress of preceding developments. But I shall labor, not so much to show wherein this man or that man has failed, as to make it apparent wherein we have all failed, and what we all have wanted, in order to effect an actual entrance into the promised land of philosophy. If one has erred more than another, he has dared more. If he has missed the goal, he has struck out a path which his predecessors had not closed to him.

I am not come to exalt myself above another, but to fulfil my calling to the end.

The cognition of truth with a full conviction, is so great a good, that what is usually called reputation, (Existimation,) the opinion of men, and all the vanity of the world, is not to be weighed against it.

I wish not to inflict wounds, but to heal the wounds which German Science has received in a long and honorable conflict; not spitefully to expose the injuries sustained, but to cause, if possible, that they shall be forgotten. I wish not to irritate, but to reconcile; to enter, if possible, as a messenger of peace, a world so much and so variously divided. I am not here to destroy, but to build up; to establish a stronghold, where phi

* Gans, Preface to Hegel's Philosophy of Jurisprudence.

losophy may henceforth dwell secure. I will build on the foundations laid by earlier efforts. Nothing shall be lost, through fault of mine, that genuine science has gained since Kant. How can I, in particular, renounce the philosophy which I formerly founded-the discovery the discovery of my youth? Not to replace it with another philosophy, but to supply its deficiencies with a new science, hitherto supposed impossible, in order to reestablish it on its true foundations, to give it back the consistency which it has lost by transgressing its bounds, by attempting to make a whole of that which could only be a fragment of a higher whole; this is the problem and the aim.

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It is a great thing that philosophy, in these days, has become a universal concern. The very opposition which I have mentioned, the general excitement which I perceived on my appearance here, - shows that philosophy has ceased to be an affair of the schools, and has become the business of the nation. The history of German philosophy is, from the beginning, inwrought with the history of the German people. that day when it accomplished the great act of disenthralment, in the Reformation, it vowed not to rest till whatever is loftiest, which, till then, had been blindly acknowledged, should be received into a free cognition, pervaded by Reason, and there find its true place. In a time of deepest debasement, philosophy held the German erect. Over the ruins of a glory that had perished, men of power held aloft the banner of German science, around which were gathered the best of our Youth. In the schools of philosophy, who, in this connection, remembers not Fichte, Schleiermacher? - many found in philosophical contests the resolution, the courage, the self-possession, which, in far other battle-fields, were afterward put to the test. Also, in later times, philosophy has been the German's heritage and praise. And shall this long and glorious movement end with shameful wreck? with the overthrow of all great convictions, and consequently of philosophy itself? Never! Because I am a German, because I have borne upon my heart, and sympathized with, all the woes and sorrows of Germany, with all her weal and her success, therefore am I here. For the salvation of the Germans is Science.

With such sentiments I have come hither; with no other weapon but Truth, claiming no other protection but that which Truth possesses in her own strength, desiring no other right for myself than that which I freely concede to all—the right of free inquiry, and an unfettered communication of the found. So disposed, I enter your midst. I come with all earnestness of mind and heart. I am in earnest; may they be so who hear me! I greet you with love; with love receive me! The

teacher may do much; but he can do nothing without the scholar. I am nothing without you; nothing, unless you meet me promptly with receptivity, with zeal, on your part. Herewith I devote myself to the calling I have undertaken. I shall live for you, I shall work for you, and not be weary, while a breath remains in me, and while He permits, without whose consent not a hair can fall from our heads, much less a deepfelt word, a genuine product of the inner man, a light-thought of our minds, for truth and freedom striving, be lost.


Life of Jean Paul Frederic Richter, Compiled from various Sources, Together with his Auto-biography. Translated from the German. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown. 1842.

GERMAN literature is richer and abler in every other department than the historical. Not that this field has been wholly neglected; but, comparatively speaking, it has been cultivated with little success. The German histories are mostly philosophies of history, and interest us rather by their speculations, than by their narrative. There are exceptions, we grant. Müller's history of Switzerland and Schiller's of the defection of the Netherlands, and the Thirty Years War, are very remarkable ones; and there are several others. But such is not the prevailing character of German historical composition. The Germans are more given to speculate than to narrate. Their very novels, Lafontaine's, Lamotte-Fouqué's Jean Paul's, Tieck's, are not so much stories as they are theories of life.

This defect in the German library is most remarkable, and most to be lamented, as it regards distinguished individuals, who have become important to us through their works, and who, in consequence of this defect, are suffered to pass without any further record. Biography, memoir, the whole literature of personalities, in which the French and the English are so fluent, seems uncongenial with the German mind. Is it their inveterate tendency, to generalize individual traits into formal characteristics, which sinks the individual in the class? Or is it the habit of seeking in all things the indwelling principle, in all phenomena the noumenon, in all persons the idea personified, which leads them to overlook and slight the accidental and merely extensive in the life of man? The point is worth considering. We have

no time for it now, but we should like to consider it in some future number, time and mood permitting.

Meanwhile, this idealistic tendency of the Germans has served to throw around their great men, a mystery exceedingly unsatisfactory to English readers, who insist on following the great man off the stage, into his study, his drawing room, his nursery, his very kitchen; and who never think they are acquainted with him till they know something of his family, his furniture and his table-talk. On all these points, the literary history of Germany is, for the most part, profoundly silent. Her philosophers have found no Boswell, her poets no Johnson.

The latter defect has been supplied, in the case of Schiller, by Carlyle's excellent biography; and the author or authoress (if she will permit us so far to invade her privacy) of the work before us, has performed a similar office for the antipode of Schiller the rare, the einziger Jean Paul.

An acquaintance of twenty years' standing with this, our favorite author, had prepared us to welcome a work of which he was the subject. Accordingly we seized with some eagerness on these two volumes, and we have read them with a satisfaction equal to that with which we received their first announcement from the press. We can speak of them frankly, as a worthy tribute to a great name. The first condition of a good biography is, that the biographer comprehend his subject; and this condition has, we think, been fully satisfied in the present instance. The author has surveyed her hero from a point, sufficiently within the sphere of his own spirit, and at the same time, sufficiently removed from indiscriminate adoration, to insure a correct estimate of his proportions. Equal justice has been done to the nature of the man and to his position. She has placed herself in rapport with that great soul, and traced to psychological idioms, inborn and inbred, the prevailing Jean-Paulisms of his life and works. At the same time, she has diligently considered the influence of contemporary minds and external condition; and made her look not les valuable as a contribution to the literary history of Germany, than it is, as a biography of Jean Paul.

We should like to extract largely, but must content ourselves with the author's closing remarks.

"The reader may be surprised that I have uniformly called Jean Paul a poet; but if the definition of poet be, 'one that gives expression to what others feel;' one, who interprets that in the heart, which, like the inarticulate lisping of the child, cannot be made known for want of adequate expression, then he as truly deserves the name of poet, as if every line he has written were measured, and rhymed with another line. His great heart beat with the united pulses of all human hearts. He is the truest interpreter of joy and sorrow, love and

grief; and all those hidden feelings that are revealed by the poet, as the sunbeam penetrates the mine, and shews its hidden treasures.

"Finally, no poet's inward life is more distinctly made known than Jean Paul's, in his works. In his elevated characters; in his Gustavus, his Albano, his Dehore. Like a solitary sage he looked out from his hermitage upon the ever-swelling and rushing waves of the literature and politics of that remarkable period in which he lived. Unmoved by its passions, still and calm, he was like a holy prophet of its issue. Glowing for freedom, truth, and the happiness of man, yet never failing in the clearness of his understanding, or the firmness of his will. Full of scorn and hatred of all servility and all tyranny, yet ever free from the folly and madness of enthusiasm. With impartiality and justice he weighed the advantages of this world in the same scales in which he had placed the hopes of another.


I have seen a cast of the Alps, a few feet square, in which mountain and valley, river and lake, are represented in their true position and just proportions. The avalanche, the cataract, and the shepherd's little hut are there; nothing is added, though much is left out; but ah, how inadequate to represent those giant palaces of nature, those glorious masses of light and color, rising in the blue depths of ether, close neighbors to the stars. Such a representation the present biography must bear to the real Jean Paul. May it induce those who have the power, to become acquainted with him in his works."- Vol. II., pp. 322, 323.

We have had no opportunity of comparing with their originals, the translations from the German; but they bear internal evidence of correctness. The errors we have noticed are mostly errors of the press, and these, we regret to say, are very frequent.

An Essay on Transcendentalism. Boston Crocker and Ruggles. 1842. 12mo. pp. 104.

WHEREFORE should the author of this little tract have withheld his name from the public eye on this occasion? He is evidently not in his writing noviciate. He is not of mean talent, and he is not unconscious of the fact. He is clear, instructive, poetic, warm, religious, in his statements. The subject is worthy, the style is worthy; but it is not yet worthy of the author's confidence. tainly somewhat apologetic in the tone of the work; and no man can unblushingly utter an apology to an audience, when he is quite aware that the apology, if any need be offered at all, should come from the audience. The prologue to a serious drama, as well as harlequin, may sometimes be masked.

If the world were in as good and pleasant a humor with the transcendentalist, as the transcendentalist is with the world, he would not need thus hide his modest face. It would be happier, too,

seems the public There is cer

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