Abbildungen der Seite

joy, and no sorrow reaches them, and they know not how to keep themselves from love and happiness, but rejoice day and night; and then I think if it were only so on earth! Give us to-day our daily bread. Every body knows what daily bread is, and that one must eat so long as he is in this world, and that it tastes good too. So I think of this. I remember my children too, who are so glad of something to eat, and go so joyfully to the cup-board. And then I pray that the good God will give us all enough to eat. And for. give us our debts as we forgive our debtors. It vexes one's heart to receive an insult, and revenge is sweet to man. So it seems to me, and I feel as if I should like it. But then I think of the servant in the gospel, my heart melts, and I resolve that I will forgive my fellow-servant, and say not a word of the hundred pence. And lead us not into temptation. Here I think of cases on all sides, where persons in such or such circumstances have forsaken the right, and that it may be no better with me. But deliver us from evil. I am still thinking of the temptations, and how easily one is misled and gets into the wrong path. I think, too, of all the evils of life, consumption and old age, child-bearing, gangrene, in sanity, and all the thousand-fold misery and heart sorrow that is in the world, and that torments and consumes the children of men, and from which none can protect us.

And thou wilt find, Andrew, that if the tears have not come before, they will certainly come now; and one can look out as longingly, and feel as hopeless and bowed down, as if there were, indeed, no help. Then must one take courage again, lay his hand on his mouth, and triumphantly continue, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen."

We believe that no one can read this simple, beautiful, and touching exposition, and again repeat the Lord's Prayer as carelessly and coldly as he may have done before. Such feelings and sentiments were not, however, fitted to find favor at a period, when conceited shallowness, presumptuous self-trust, a disposition to deny and to cavil, rather than to believe, were the prevailing characteristics. .. These tendencies of the age he combatted, sometimes seriously, and sometimes under a veil of humor. “He had the courage," says Horn, “ to be the splendid opposite of his age; and he would not have escaped persecution so long as he did, had it been known that a deep earnest lay hidden under bis jests. But they were regarded as mere exbibitions of his lively and facetious humor, and it was supposed that all his zeal for the old, true christianity, was affected, as a mode of being singular! ... At last, however, when he grew quite too bad — when he translated Fenelon, and ex

pressly declared in the preface, that his own sentiments accorded with those of this writer, at the same time expressing a hope, that while hundreds were allowed to live in unbelief, he might be permitted to believe for himself, and in this belief to be happy — the most forbearing critics lost all patience. The most beautiful, wide-flowing mantle of poesy could not, they thought, cover such abominable errors; and their displeasure was expressed without much attempt at courteousness.

Claudius was, however, so hardened in his own way, that he took little or no notice of these attacks, but went on still as it pleased him. For this reason, our historians of literature, who cannot, of course, pass bim over without a word, admit, with great reluctance, those merits which they cannot deny him.

Horn goes on to observe that there is, it must be admitted, a certain unprotestant leaning apparent in some of Claudius' later pieces. He refers, we presume, to the dissertation on the Lord's Supper, (in which the Lutheran view is defended,) and some other articles in the second volume. On this point, we have nothing to say. Our extracts have all been made from the first volume, chiefly because the contents of the second are of so grave a character, and most of the dissertations so long, as not to furnish suitable matter for excerpts. But it will be easy for any one who chooses, to ascertain in what respects the views of Claudius were peculiar, by an examination of his works — an examination which will richly reward the labor it may require.

We have spoken of Claudius only as a prose writer; yet it may be almost said, that his greatest celebrity among bis own countrymen arises from his poetical productions. Not that he has written any thing of importance, as a poet. But his poems are exactly of that kind suited to gain popularity. His songs, in particular, have that light, simple, graceful character, which constitutes the perfection of lyric poetry. Most of them have been set to music by eminent composers. He has also written various fables, elegies, and epigrams. We have determined not to attempt to give translations of any of these, well knowing that the beauty of lyric poetry, consisting almost wholly in form, cannot be transferred into another language. Of bis Rhine-Song, Horn remarks, that it will be sung as long as Germans live, and the Rhine flows. The following, in which we have attempted to imitate, rather than translate, the doggrel of the original, may give some idea of his epigrammatic style:


Was once a hen of wit not small,

(In fact 'twas most amazing,)
And apt at laying eggs withal,
Who, when she'd done, would scream and bawl,

As if the house were blazing.
A turkey-cock, of age mature,

Felt thereat indignation ;
'Twas quite improper, he was sure,
He would no more the thing endure;

So after cogitation,
He to the lady straight repaired,
And thus his business he declared :

Madam, pray what's the matter,
That always when you've laid an egg,
You make so great a clatter?
I wish you'd do the thing in quiet,

Do be advised by me, and try it !"
“Advised by you !" the lady cried,
And tossed her head with proper pride ;
And what do you know, now I pray,
Of the fashions of the present day?

You creature ignorant and low!

However, if you want to know,
This is the reason why I do it:

I lay my egg, and then review it ?" We will conclude our extracts with two more quotations only. The first we select for its oddity, and because the subject is one to which we have already alluded; it is genius.

“ When a man has written a book, and one reads it, and it works as wondrously as Dr. Faust's mantle, so that one rises and makes ready — and then, when he comes to himself, returns thankfully to the book; I should call the author a man of genius. But my cousin will say that this is telling nothing; we want to know not who has genius, but what the genius is that one has. Well then, genius is is — don't know — is a whale! Yes, genius is a whale that can keep an idea three days and three nights in its belly, and then spit it out alive upon the land ; a whale that now travels through the deep in still greatness, till an ague seizes the inhabitants of the water anon mounts to the top, and plays with three-masted vessels, or breaks forth boisterously from the ocean, and does wondrous things. But the nogenius is a whale skeleton, driven hither and thither by the winds and waves, a bait for the black and white bears (magazine and

newspaper writers) who come over the ice-bergs, and gnaw at him. I may as well confess it at once – the reader would soon find it out. I have been looking over my cousin's papers, and as usual, the dish is his, the sauce only is mine.

“The human body, full of nerves and veins, at whose centre the human soul sits, like a spider in the centre of her web, resembles a harp; and the objects in this world are the fingers that play upon it. All harp-strings vibrate when they are touched. But some harps are so finely constructed, that they speak under the fingers of the artist, and their strings are so disposed to vibration, that the sound, as it were, liberates itself from the instrument, and creates for itself a light, ethereal existence, which floats around in the air, and fills the heart with a sweet sadness. And this light ethereal being, which floats around so freely by itself, even when the string has ceased to vibrate, and which fills the heart with sweet sadness, can be baptized by no other name than genius; and the man on whose head it sits, as the owl on the head of Mi.

is a man of genius. And now the indulgent reader knows, it is to be hoped, better than I, what genius is.”

The following are from counsels “ To my son John,” prefaced by the motto, “Gold and silver have I none; but such as I have give I thee :"


“ Think often on sacred things, and be certain that it shall not be labor without profit, and let the leaven leaven the whole lump.”

It is easy to despise ; to understand is much better."

“Do the good that lies before you, and trouble not yourself about consequences."

“Will only one thing, (einerley.) and will that from the heart." “Flatter no one, and do not suffer yourself to be flattered.”

“ Help, and give willingly, when you have any thing, and think not the more of yourself; and if you have nothing, keep the cup of cold water always at hand, and think not the less of yourself."

“ Never harm a maiden, and remember that your mother was likewise a maiden."

“Sit not among the scorners, for they are the most miserable of all creatures."

“ When I am dead, close my eyes, and do not weep for me."

“ Aid and honor your mother as long as she lives, and bury her near me."

And thus we take our leave of Claudius. A more true, clear, simple, and transparent character, will not easily be found. He was born at Reinfield, in 1740, but passed most of his life

in quiet retirement at Wandsbeck, and there at an advanced age he died. Molliter ossa cubent. We have only to add, that we have given so much space to Claudius, not as supposing the analysis of the characteristics of a foreign writer of second rate celebrity, would in itself be interesting to the majority of readers; but because in the translations we have presented, we believe they will find enough to render the article one of interest and value ; and we are persuaded they will thank us for these bright and pure draughts out of a fountain they may never have unsealed.

ART. VII. — An Inquiry into the Origin of the Antiquities

of America. By JOHN DELAFIELD, JR. With an Appendir. By JAMES LAKEY, M. D. Cincinnati and New York : 1839. Colt, Burgess, & Co.

On the 12th of October, 1492, Christopher Columbus first set foot upon American soil, in the island of San Salvador ; in the month of August, 1498, he first raised his standard upon the terra firma of the new world. Since that time, the two vast continents, which the isthmus of Panama unites, have never ceased to fix the attention of the civilized world. At first it was the inerhaustible mines of gold in the country which Columbus had just made known to mankind, that aroused the cupidity of Europeans; adventurers, from all quarters, embarked, under the protection of their respective sovereigns, in the hope of obtaining a share of these immense treasures; later, the northern part of the continent became a new land of promise, to which the industrious and laborious repaired, with their families, in search of that political and religious liberty, which they could not find in their own countries ; -- afterwards, when the aborigines were driven westward, before the Europeans, who were continually arriving in increased numbers from the east, began the drama, whose denouement has afforded a lesson that humanity will never forget; – and now, it is the increasing prosperity of the northern continent, and the intestine divisions which desolate the descendants of the whites, who settled the southern, that especially engage the attention of the social economist.

To the grand interest, which the view of the present inhabit

« ZurückWeiter »