The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 618 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02.

He himself observes, that however ceremonious the Roman grandees, especially the clerical, appeared in public, at home they were pleasant and intimate with the members of their household; but he did not observe that this intimacy concealed the oriental relation of lord and servant.  All southern nations would find it intolerably tiresome to have to maintain the constant mutual tension in association with their dependents which the northerners are accustomed to.

Travelers have observed that the slaves in Turkey behave toward their masters with more ease than northern courtiers toward their princes, or dependents with us toward their superiors.  Yet, examined closely, these marks of consideration have been really introduced for the benefit of the dependents, who by these means always remind their superior what is due them.

The southerner, however, craves for hours in which to take his ease, and this accrues to the advantage of his household.  Such scenes are described by Winckelmann with great relish; they lighten whatever dependence he may feel, and nourish his sense of freedom which was averse to every fetter that might restrain him.


Although Winckelmann was very happy in his association with the natives, he suffered all the more annoyance and tribulation from strangers.  It is true that nothing can be more exasperating than the usual stranger in Rome.  In every other place the traveler can better look out for himself and find something suitable to his needs; but whoever does not accommodate himself to Rome is an abomination to the man of real Roman sentiment.

The English are reproached because they take their tea-kettles everywhere along with them, even dragging them to the summit of Mt.  AEtna.  But has not every nation its own tea-kettle, in which its citizens on their travels brew a bundle of dried herbs brought along from home?

Such hurrying and arrogant strangers, never looking about them, and judging everything in accordance with their own narrow limitations, were denounced by Winckelmann more than once; he vows never to show them about, and yet finally allows himself to be persuaded to do it.  He jests over his inclination to play the schoolmaster, to teach and to convince, and indeed many advantages accrued to him through the association with persons important by reason of their rank and services.  We mention only the Prince of Dessan, the Crown Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Brunswick, and Baron von Riedesel, a man who showed himself quite worthy of our friend in his attitude toward art and antiquity.


Winckelmann constantly sought after esteem and consideration; but he wished to achieve them through real merit.  He always insists upon thoroughness of subject, of means, and of treatment, and is therefore very hostile toward French superficiality.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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