The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 477 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

Thus she spoke, and placed the two rings on her finger together. 
But her lover replied with a noble and manly emotion: 
“So much the firmer then, amid these universal convulsions,
Be, Dorothea, our union!  We two will hold fast and continue,
Firmly maintaining ourselves, and the right to our ample possessions. 
For that man, who, when times are uncertain, is faltering in spirit,
Only increases the evil, and further and further transmits it;
While he refashions the world, who keeps himself steadfastly minded. 
Poorly becomes it the German to give to these fearful excitements
Aught of continuance, or to be this way and that way inclining. 
This is our own! let that be our word, and let us maintain it! 
For to those resolute peoples respect will be ever accorded,
Who for God and the laws, for parents, women and children,
Fought and died, as together they stood with their front to the foeman. 
Thou art mine own; and now what is mine, is mine more than ever. 
Not with anxiety will I preserve it, and trembling enjoyment;
Rather with courage and strength.  To-day should the enemy threaten,
Or in the future, equip me thyself and hand me my weapons. 
Let me but know that under thy care are my house and dear parents,
Oh!  I can then with assurance expose my breast to the foeman. 
And were but every man minded like me, there would be an upspring
Might against might, and peace should revisit us all with its gladness.”

* * * * *



Professor of German Language and Literature, Yale University

To what literary genus does Goethe’s Iphigenia belongs?  Dramatic in form, is it a drama?  For A. W. Schlegel “an echo of Greek song,” and for many German critics the best modern reproduction of Greek tragedy, it is for others a thoroughly German work in its substitution of profound moral struggles for the older passionate, more external conflicts.  Schiller said:  “It is, however, so astonishingly modern and un-Greek, that I cannot understand how it was ever thought to resemble a Greek play.  It is purely moral; but the sensuous power, the life, the agitation, and everything which specifically belongs to a dramatic work is wanting.”  He adds, however, that it is a marvelous production which must forever remain the delight and wonderment of mankind.  This is the view of G. H. Lewes, whose characterization is so apt also in other respects:  “A drama it is not; it is a marvelous dramatic poem.  The grand and solemn movement responds to the large and simple ideas which it unfolds.  It has the calmness of majesty.  In the limpid clearness of its language the involved mental processes of the characters are as transparent as the operations of bees within a crystal hive; while a constant strain of high and lofty

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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