« ZurückWeiter »
of Greece, 567; Extraordinary appearance
336 of the Planet Mars-A Daughter of Wil.
liam the Conqueror and her Husband, dis-
interred by a Railway-Coverdale's Bi-
ble-Column of the grand Army at Bou-
; Model of the Moon-Singu- logne, 568; House of Luther and Melanc-
Penon-Paging Machine-Prof. thon-New Diamond-Mines- Maps in re-
Hyena, 141; Meteorology-El Jier-An Epic Poem by Ariosto—T'ycho
Lord Rosse's Telescope, Constituents of Milk-Mount Titlis, 569
e Columns, 282; Gigantic Bird,
Tennyson's Poems,- British Quarterly Re-
Travels of a Scottish Craftsman, — Tait's Mag.
Wetterhorn, Ascent of the, or Mount of Tem-
Wolff's Mission to Bokhara, - Spectator, 192
World surveyed in the XIXth century,-
Wandering jew, the, Eclectic Retiere,
LUTHER'S CORRESPONDENCE AND CHAR- only an imperfect but perhaps false idea of ACTER.
many points of character; and will cer
tainly suggest an exaggerated estimate of From the Edinburgh Reviow.
all the ordinary habitudes of thought and Dr. Martin Luther's Briefe, Sendschreiben expression. The latter will often fall as und Bedenken vollständig aus den vers
much below the true mean of such a man's chiedenen Ausgaben seiner Werke und merits; and what is of more consequence, Briefe, aus andern Büchern und noch
must depend-except in the rare case in unbenutzten Handschrifter gesammelt,
which some faithful Boswell continually Kritisch und Historisch bearbeitet. Von dogs the heels of genius—on the doubtful Dr. Wilhelm Martin Leberecht De authority and leaky memory of those who Wette. 5 vols. 8vo. Berlin.
report it. Letters, on the other hand, if (Dr. Martin Luther's Entire Correspond-intended for the eye of the world, will ex
they be copious, unpremeditated, and not ence, carefully compiled from the various hibit the character in all its moods and editims of his works and Lett:rs, from phases, and by its own utterances. While other Books, and from Manuscripts as yet private. Edited, with Critical and some of them will disclose to us the habitHistorical Notes, by Dr. Wilhelm Mar- ual states of thought and feeling, and adtin Leberecht De Wette.)
mit us even into the privacy of the heart,
others, composed under the stimulus of We are not sure that the familiar letters great emergencies, and in those occasional of a great man, if they are sufficiently co-auspicious expansions of the faculties, pious, written on a variety of themes, and which neither come nor go at our bidding, really unpremeditated, do not furnish us will furnish no unworthy criterion of what with more accurate data for estimating his such a mind, even in its most elevated character, than either the most voluminous moods, and by its most deliberate efforts, deliberate compositions, or the largest tra- can accomplish. ditional collections of his conversation. If ever any man's character could be adThe former will always conceal much vantageously studied in his letters, it is which letters will disclose ;—will give not surely that of Luther. They are addressed
VOL. VI.-No. I. 1
to all sorts of persons, are composed on an Vartburg, if they were translated in the immense diversity of subjects, and, as to the smple, sinewy, idiomatic, hearty mother mass of them, are more thoroughly unpre-tague of the original... A difficult meditated, as well as more completely sug- usk I admit.' He is speaking, of course, gested er visceribus cause, as Cicero would d Luther's German letters. Almost all, say, than those of almost any other man. lowever, from the Wartburg are in Latin. They are also more copious; as copious Of late years they have received consid. even as his great contemporary Erasmus, erable attention. M. Michelet, in his very to whom letier-writing was equally busi- pleasing volumes, in which he has made ness and amusement. What appear volu. Lather draw his own portrait, by presenting minous collections in our degenerate days— a series of extracts from his writings, has those of Sévigné, Pope, Walpole, Cowper, derived no small portion of his materials even of Swift, dwindle in comparison. In froin the letters; while all recent historians De Wette's most authentic and admirable of the Reformation, especially De Aubigné edition, they occupy five very thick and and Waddington," have dug deep, and with closely-printed volumes. The learned immense advantage, in the same mine. compiler, in a preface amusingly character. Not only do they form, as De Wette says, istic of the literary zeal and indefatigable a diary, as it were, of Luther's life, research of Germany, tells us, that he has gleichsam ein Tagebuch seines Lebens,' unearthed from obscure hiding-places and but here better than in almost any history, mouldering manuscripts more than a hun because more minutely, may the whole dred unprinted letters, and enriched the early progress of the Reformation be present collection with their contents.
By traced. himself, or his literary agents, he has ran- As we conceive that Luther's character sacked 'the treasures of the archives of could be nowhere more advantageously Weimar, the libraries at Jena, Erfurt, Go- studied than in this voluminous correspontha, Wolfenbüttel, Frankfort on the Maine, dence, we propose in the present Article to Heidelberg and Basle ;' and has received make it the basis of a few remarks on his
precious contributions' from Breslau, Ri- most prominent intellectual and moral ga, Strasburg, Münich, Zurich, and other qualities. places. There are many, no doubt, which No modern author, in our opinion, has time has consigned to oblivion, and per- done such signal injustice to Luther's inhaps some few which still lie unknown in tellect as Mr. Hallam, whose excellent and public or private repositories-undetected well practiced judgment seems to us, in this even by the acute literary scent of De instance, to have entirely deserted him. Wette, and his emissaries.
But there are
Luther's amazing influence on the revoluenough in all conscience to satisfy any ordinary appetite, and to illustrate, if any thing
* We cannot mention the name of Dr. Wad. can, the history and character of him who dington without thanking him for the gratifica
tion we have derived from the perusal of the penned them.
three volumes of his History of the Reformation, Even in a purely literary point of view, and expreasing our hopes that he will soon fulfil these letters are not unworthy of compari- his promise of a fourth. Less brilliant than that son with any thing Luther has left behind of D'Aubigné, his work is at least its equal in rehim. They contain no larger portion of siveness of its views, or the solidity of its reflec
search, certainly not inferior in the comprehenindifferent Latin, scarcely so much of his tions; and in severe fidelity, is perhaps even' sucharacteristic violence and rudeness;perior. Not that, in this last respect, we have while they display in beautiful relief all the much to complain of in D'Aubigné ; but as he more tender and amiable traits of his char- has great skill in the selection and graphic dis
position of his materials, so he sometimes sacrifiacter; and are fraught with brief but most ces a little too much to gratify it—as, for examstriking specimens of that intense and ple, in the dramatic form he has given to Luther's burning eloquence for which he was so narrative of his interview with Milti12— Vol. II. famed. Very many of them well deserve p. 8-12.) There is also a too uniform brilliancy, the admiration which Coleridge (who re- most ungrateful to deny the rare merits of the
and too little repose about the style.—But it were gretted that selections from them had not work. We only hope its unprecedented popubeen given to the English public) has so larity may not deprive us of another volume from strongly expressed. “I can scarcely con- the pen of Dr Waddington. His History of the ceive," he says, ' a more delightful vol- his previous work, which we had occas.on to no
Reformation is in our judgment very superior to ume than might be made from Luther's tice, in less favorable terms, in our account of it letters, especially those written from the in this journal.