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.
it upon a firm foundation, by the discovery of an historical origin.  Which is, namely, that the German heathen priests and forefathers, after they had been driven from their sacred groves, and Christianity had been forced upon the people, betook themselves with their faithful followers, at the beginning of Spring, to the wild inaccessible mountains of the Hartz; and there, according to their old custom, they offered prayers and fire to the incorporeal God of Heaven and earth.  In order to secure themselves against the spying, armed converters, they hit upon the idea of masking a number of their party, so as to keep their superstitious opponents at a distance, and thus, protected by caricatures of devils, to finish in peace the pure worship of God.

I found this explanation somewhere, but cannot put my finger on the author; the idea pleased me and I have turned this fabulous history into a poetical fable again.

* * * * *


Weimar, October 30, 1824.

It had long been my wish that you might be invited to take a trip, because I was certain that I should then hear something from you; for, of course, I am convinced that in over-lively Berlin no one is likely to remember to write letters to those who are far away.  Now a perilous and hazardous journey gives my worthy friend an opportunity for a very characteristic and pleasing description; a crowded family party furnishes material for a sketch that would certainly find a place in any English novel.  For my part, I will reply with a couple of matters from my quiet sphere.

In the first place, then, my sojourn at home has this time been quite successful; yet we must not boast of it, only quietly and modestly continue our activities.

Langermann has probably communicated to you what I sent him.  The introductory poem to Werther I lately resurrected and read to myself, quietly and thoughtfully, and immediately afterward the Elegie which harmonizes with it very well; only I missed in them the direct effect of your pleasing melody, although it gradually revived and rose out of my inner consciousness.

I am now also concluding the instalment on natural science, which was inconveniently delayed this year, and am editing my Correspondence with Schiller from 1794 to 1805.  A great boon will be offered to the Germans, yes, I might even say to humanity in general, revealing the intimacy between two friends, of the kind who keep contributing to each other’s development in the very act of pouring out their hearts to each other.  I have a strange feeling at my task, for I am learning what I once was.  However, it is most instructive of all to see how two people who mutually further their purposes par force, fritter away their time through inner over-activity and outer excitement and disturbance; so that there is, after all, no result fully worthy of their capacities, tendencies, aims.  The effect will be extremely edifying; for every thoughtful man will be able to find in it consolation for himself.

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