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Louis XIV. and Molière,
496 Inward Influence of Outward Beauty,.. 524
The Gold Diggers,
The First Violets,
524, 570, 571.
P. Virgilii Maronis Carmina,
The Marriage Offering,
In times like the present, when the most ex- | lutions for reform might be passed in the small citing political dishes are served up to us every representative chamber of the lesser powers, day with an abundance and variety unpre- such as Baden, Darmstadt, &c., they were incedented in the annals of the world, we are variably stifled in their further necessary pasapt to become dainty and fastidious, and to sage through the Diet itself. Still, even turn with indifference from those which are through this reluctant and impracticable chanless highly flavored, or whose flavor is less to nel, it is certain that some small amount of reour taste. We must own that this has been form was occasionally wrung-witness the Zollthe case with us as regards the so-called Ger- verein throughout Germany—and more might man National Parliament. We have regular- have been espected had the people been ly skipped those columns in the newspapers content to wait, or rather, had the French which stood under the unpromising heading of Revolution not happened, or had the German “State of Germany," or " Assembly at Frank- students been locked up in their chambers. fort;” or have only consented to wade It is difficult for any one with sound English through them when there was nothing better, feelings to enter into the grievances of a peoor rather nothing worse to be had. Of all ple who, as they freely admit on all hands, the provisional governments, dictatorships, and have enjoyed great exemption from taxation, a presidentships, which during the last few flourishing commerce, an incorrupt administramonths have undertaken to reform the abus- tion of justice, and perfect freedom of relies of government, that belonging to Baron gious opinion—even to the denial of religion Gagern has interested us the least; and even itself; or to believe that, in the right of pubthe monstrous fact of the election of a power lic discussion, in universal suffrage, and in the by those who had no power to elect, to be uncontrolled liberty of the press, will be found placed in authority over the powers that al- the panacea for all such evils as they may, ready exist — though the most daring anom- nevertheless, have to suffer. But in this the aly in these all-daring times—failed to excite Germans themselves have implicit faith ; for us to more than a passing wonder as to what with all their present disaffection to the old on earth the good Germans would now be regime, the worst unkindness they lay to its about. In short, we felt that though, right or charge is, that they were restricted from the wrong, they were working at something, and discussion of politics, either in the form of that not in a corner but in the face of all na popular meetings or through the medium of tions, yet it would be long enough before any the press. Time, therefore, must prove thing definite came of their consultations, and whether these privileges will really bring soon enough to try and understand it when that them what they covet, or whether, in the time came.
means they have taken to acquire these and The truth is, we had never sufficient faith something more, they have not committed a in the grievances of the Germans to have any great blunder, as well as no little sin. interest in, or even patience with, the means Meanwhile, in the shower of pamphlets and they have undertaken to redress them. They babel of words which the first riotous jubilee had always appeared to us such a happy peo- of loosened pens and tongues has occasioned ple, with their small taxes, cheap living, and every one looking eagerly at the future, but petty titles—their shut-up shops during dinner- none dwelling upon the past—it has been so time and siesta, their thin beer and delicious difficult, even upon the spot, to trace the music in the evening, and their smothering events of the last few months, to know precisecigar-smoke and unrestricted liberty of corpu- ly what was meant by the “ Pro Parlament,' lency all the day long, that we could never or the "Sitting of the Fifty,” that we scruple bring ourselves to look upon them in the light less in giving our readers a short summary of of a persecuted race, but rather wondered why that which it gave us some trouble to learn. they were not a contented one. There is no It is well known that for many years the doubt, however, that though the affairs of cause of Reform, more or less reasonable or Germany were nominally administered by a treasonable in its demands, bas been fighting Diet representing the different States of the and preparing in Germany, not only among Empire, yet that, in point of fact, Austria associations of private individuals—illegal, of alone ruled the Diet; and that whatever reso course—but also by an open party of public
men in the Chambers of those States which as members of the Parliament itself. Meanhad granted their subjects a form of represen- while the Grand Duke of Hesse Darmstadt, tation. Among these latter, Baron Gagern pursuing the same policy which most of the had long been known as the leader of the ex German sovereigns had adopted, or been comtreme Opposition in the Chambers of Hesse pelled to adopt, namely, that of calling to Darmstadt, of which he was a deputy. Dis- their councils men whom they bad most misappointed, however, in his efforts, and finding trusted, had appointed Baron Gagern his prime no favorable occasion for action, he retired, as minister, — an office which he accepted and much in disgust as in disgrace, to his estate, held, till required to exchange it for that of where he lived in seclusion for nine years, de President of the Parliament. From which voting himself, Cincinnatus-like, to the pur- time his history, as well as that of the Assemsuits of agriculture. The French Revolution bly, is too well known to be repeated. now broke out; and almost every German Little, therefore, as one can sympathize State became convulsed to its centre. Gagern with, or trust the proceedings of a body of left his fields; men of kindred opinions rallied men, who, while all was confusion around, and together; and seven of the leaders of the Re- the utmost circumspection requisite to vindiform party, Gagern being one of them, met at cate their position, have begun by an unjust Heidelberg, to deliberate, both as to the means aggressive war, and persist in continuing it; of stemming the exigences of the times and and difficult as it may be to justify the manner of taking advantage of them. It was now in which the parliament at Frankfort comReform against Revolution ; a different order menced, and perfectly impossible as it is to of things against total disorder. The result throw any light on what they intend doing; of this meeting was an invitation, in the names yet the outward face of this political drama of these seren, to the chief men in Germany farce or tragedy, as it may prove — is one of known as the friends of the liberal cause, no common interest. It has some of the most suminoning them to assemble upon a certain noted and most notorious characters of modday at Frankfort, for the avowed discussion of ern Germany for its actors, and the picturpublic affairs. The day arrived, and with it esque and historical locality of the old city of the self-appointed deputies, to the number of Frankfort for its scenery. Every thing that six hundred, who were received in Frankfort you see and hear shows that you are on the with tears, and embraces, and triumphal arches. spot where experiments on a gigantic scale are This was the “Pro Parlament."
in progress for better or for worse ; that you Thus far every step they had taken, however are in the centre of a modern political fermenjustified by the general paralysis of rulers and tation, carried on, if not with much greater cabinets, and by the increasing insubordina- promise of a sound and healthy result than in tion of the people, had been, strictly speaking, Paris
, yet, at all events, with a greater show illegal. Now the sovereigns gave a certain of earnestness and decorum. You see that if sanction to the matter, by sending seventeen the Germans are trying to deceive any body in “Vertrauen's Männer,” or men of confi- their present expectations, it is first and foredence, to Frankfort, not as protestants against most themselves; that they have the serious the Assembly, or spies upon its acts, but as form and intention of business, though, from open and friendly participators in it, — thus the noise they make about it, business to which giving the body an indirect authority by their they are unaccustomed, and for which it revery presence. These six hundred individuals mains to be proved whether they be at all comhad no comfortable five florins a-day to main- petent. tain them, and some of them had come from But there is no doubt that, as regards the a considerable distance, so, after a few days locality, they are in the right place. Frankmore of general festivity than of serious de- fort seems the natural home for all political liberation, they broke up and dispersed ; leav- meetings. It has been the neutral ground ing a committee of fifty to sit till the univer- where all parties could meet. A free repubsal-suffrage elections should have returned the lic itself, it is within its walls that the most abreal representatives of the people. These solute monarchs have been chosen and crowned. fifty were of a very radical complexion — the There is a significant history of the past in its restoration of German nationality their chief strong gates, and high houses, and narrow dream, and the war with Denmark the rash streets, and its Römer hall lined with the picconsequence. After sitting about a month, tures of the emperors of Germany - where, and doing this and other mischief
, this body by a strange coincidence, the last vacant space was again absorbed in the more regularly was filled up by the last monarch who formally chosen deputies who now assembled again at bore that title which many a modern deputy Frankfort, many of the fifty retaining office may, perhaps, read with an exulting sense of
present freedom ; but there is also a deep see that there is something unusual going on. moral in the lovely gardens into which the old They are decorous and orderly — that is, the belligerent walls have been transformed, and higher and respectable classes — but they have which now encircle the city with one verdant a conceited, important look, as if the transacbower, on which we would have them more tions of the day greatly increased their indiespecially ponder with an earnest sense of fu- vidual consequence. They knit their brows, ture responsibility. The present walls of and stroke their beards, with an air of profound Frankfort have been literally reared by peace, senatorial abstraction, and even puff their ciand her bulwarks by prosperity. Every tree gars with a certain self-satisfied sense of having which now overshadows the groups daily "ein Parlament.” In other respects, too, the swarming in these unique promenades, tells of state of the times is shown by the improved that total freedom from all war's alarms which behaviour of the officials. They have the the country has enjoyed for the last thirty politeness of men who are trembling for years; and with the Parliament must rest the their places, and who would not give offence blame if that freedom be interrupted.
for the world, by look or deed. Never were Meanwhile, here in these gardens, as well travellers so civilly treated in Germany, at as in every place of public resort in the city, post-office, passport-office, and other bureaux, may be seen and heard those signs of in as they are now. But, by the same reason, creased bustle and activity which the presence the people have as much deteriorated. They of the National Assembly excites. The are rude and uncourteous if addressed, carry hotels are crammed full, while, upon
a scarce suppressed insolence in look and manstrength of having six hundred and eighty- ner, while the remarks openly uttered as the four additional individuals in the city — all of well-appointed Bethmann carriage drives past them with the unusually liberal sum of five on the promenades, testify how much the same florins, or nine shillings, a-day, to spend, and feeling against the rich, which exists in France, that not their own - the hotel-keepers have has extended here. most cunningly raised their prices. The ci The German cockade, black, red, and yelgar-venders should do the same, for the din of low, is universally worn generally in the voices and the smoke of cigars are equally in- shape of a large button, staring directly in cessant. If you step into any public room front of the hat or cap, like a ferocious Polytoward dining or supping hours you are deaf- phemus' eye ; frequently in perfect harmony ened and stifled. Never, even in Germany, with the rough-bearded countenance beneath, was there known such a consumption of tobac- but sometimes contrasting ludicrously with a co and waste of breath. Words and smoke peaceful inane face, which looks half frightare suspiciously close together. It is the fash-ened at what it has mounted. Roses of black, ion now for every body to talk politics, or, at red, and gold, for the use of ladies, are to be least, to show that they may talk what they seen in the shop windows; but, whether to imagine to be politics, without let or hindrance, their credit or not, we never saw a woman of and at the top of their voices. Here and there any kind wearing the colors at all. On the may be seen a quiet, business-like individual, contrary, vagaries of dress are entirely conreading or writing in complete abstraction, or fined to the other sex, especially to snobbishtwo friends engaged in confidential conversation looking youths, anxiously nourishing beards in their usual tones of voice; for you might which will not come, who walk about with openly repeat to your neighbor the greatest ugly, open, bull-throats, and broad beaver State secret in the world, without fear of its hats and feathers, as if the unity of Germany going any further : but otherwise all are talk- all depended upon their looking like mounteing as loud as they can, and many thumping banks. the table with their knives and forks besides. The booksellers’ shops are also highly sig. If you strain your ears you may hear the nificant of the times. Their shelves groan names of the favorite liberal deputies, or the beneath the weight of new pamphlets. For it words Patriotismus, Einheit, and Nationali- is the same with writing as with speaking. tät, with a few more similar expressions, recur- Every body is anxious to show that his pen as ring in the universal din, as regularly as the well as his tongue is at liberty; and there is leading words in a catch; and a stranger no one so obscure who does not think it his might go away with the impression that all duty to give a kick of spite at the dying lion these noisy talkers were only saying the same of German Absolutism, or a helping hand to thing over and over again, and perhaps not be the rising form, indefinite and unsubstantial as so very far wrong either.
it is, of German Unity, People's Sovereignty, Even among the common walkers in the Parliamentary Supremacy, Imperial Regency, promenades, and passers in the streets, you or what not. The pamphlets lie piled in heaps,
for no ordinary bookseller's tables and shelves | regentship. His illustrious birth, all are eager have room to show one-tenth of their faces. to assure you, is merely an accident, which They have grown up, stage above stage, for in no way conduced to it. With the portrait want of ground space, like the Jews' houses of the archduke appear, too, as many of the in the Jewish quarter. Toss them over for a principal deputies as the windows can hold, few minutes, and you see an epitome of the - ordinary lithographic prints, taken from prevailing ideas collected in their titles. The daguerreotypes, the chief of them consisting word Deutsch, in various forms of conjunc- merely of a pair of eyes peeping over a bushy tion, occurs over and over again. There are beard, and only to be distinguished one from regular sets of das Deutsche Parlament, die the other by their signatures written beneath, Deutsche Pressfreiheit, die Deutsche Nation, – which, however, being genuine German autodas Deutsche Volk, and about five hundred graphs, are perfectly illegible. of das Deutsche Reich. The old Deutsche But it is time to introduce the reader to Vaterland seemed quite superseded ; there some of the originals of these portraits, who were not above half-a-dozen of him to be seen. are regularly to be seen in the Assembly from If you trouble yourself to dip further than nine till two. The sovereignty of the emperor the surface, you find much creditable feeling was proclaimed at the old Gothic hall of the and tolerable sense, with addresses to the peo- Römer, and ratified at the old Catholic catheple persuading them to order and peace, dral, and was the greatest ceremony of the though never on any high principle. Also century ; that of the people is declared in the a large proportion of a very opposite tenden- modern Lutheran church of St. Paul's — cy: propositions for the abolition of the nobil- where it is to be ratified remains to be proved ity, and treatises on the establishment of a — and is the fashionable lounge of the day. republic and the sovereignty of the people ; St. Paul's Church is a large, circular building, for which the writers would, six months ago, perfectly adapted to its present purpose, and have been in prisoned for life, and deserve to scarcely altered from its former. It is precisebe so still. But there was one pamphlet ly like a Presbyterian place of worship, with which, without siding with either party, galleries all round, supported on pillars, for seemed to us in its mere title to sum up the the public, and narrow pews divided into four whole essence of the present state of affairs. sections below for the deputies.
These sec It was only three words, Was wollen wir? tions are significant of the opinions of their or,
“What is it we wish for ?” The Parlia- occupants. The central right indicates the ment must answer that question.
Liberal Conservative, the central left the The windows, too, are full of caricatures. moderate Liberal, and the extreme right and In this the Germans show their want of prac- left sections the extremes of each opinion, tice, if not their inherent inaptitude. At all converging to a kind of magnified pulpit present their caricatures are as witless in for the president and his two secretaries, with meaning as they are wretched in drawing. the tribune for the speaker like a precentor's Only one that we observed had some point in box below them. Beneath the pillars on each it a printer handing over a paper to an indi- side are the more select seats for spectators, vidual, who draws back in astonishment.“ • The entered by tickets, the ladies on the left, the Annonce costs thirty kreutzers, if you please.” gentlemen on the right; further on are the
What, costs! Why, I thought we were to places for the reporters; and behind the depuhave the freedom of the
ties, almost out of reach of the voice from the Various portraits of the Archduke John, or tribune, are spaces partitioned off between the of the “ Reichsverweser," as he is already uni- pillars, which serve for committee rooms. versally called — which, at the first glance, we Otherwise there is no sign of the change took for caricatures also — are, of course, also from the sacred to the secular purpose, exto be seen at every spare pane of glass, show- cept in the three flags of the German colors ing a benevolent face, with the undoubted which wave over the president's head, and a length of line and weakness of expression colossal figure of Germania painted in fresco which testifies bis Hapsburg descent. The on the wall above him, her head crowned with history of his marriage with the postmaster of oak leaves, a sword in one hand, and the GerSteiermarkt's daughter, is repeated in too many man flag in the other, and the rising sun, of versions one more ridiculous, if not disgrace- course, behind her. Even though the business ful, than the other
for any one to attempt to of the day is going forward, it is difficult to decide upon the true one. At all events, it get rid of the first impression of the meetinghas furnished a delightful romance to the Lib- house. A monotonous speaker of shabby eral ladies of Germany, who seem to consider appearance is in the tribune ; the atmosphere this act as his chief recommendation to the has the true hot and drowsy feeling of a long