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which we have a fine common stock of the choicest kinds,) when we talk generally of the objects of our several studies. Then comes the second period of labor till dinner-time, at half past two. I have meals, as you know, from the Charité.' Schlegel has his brought from a restaurant. Whichever comes first is consumed, then the other, after which we drink a couple of glasses of wine; so that we pass nearly an hour at our dinner. I cannot speak so definitely of the afternoon; alas! I must confess that I am usually the first to take flight and the last to come home. Still, the half of the day is not wholly consecrated to social enjoyment. I have lectures once or twice a week, and read sometimes, let it be understood privatissime, only to one or two good friends, and then I go where my pleasure leads me. When I come home in the evening, between ten and eleven, I find Schlegel still up; he appears to have waited only to bid me good-night, and then to go to bed. I then seat myself, and work usually till two o'clock, for from then till half past eight one gets sleep enough. Our friends have pleased themselves with calling our living together a marriage, and have generally decided that I must be the wife. Fun and earnest in plenty have come out of it." - Vol. I. pp. 176, 177.
This volume also contains the history of a romance in Schleiermacher's life,— his friendship and love for Eleanore Grunow. We quote again from the Preface to this part of the work:
"Eleanore G. lived in a childless marriage, in a connection which, according to Schleiermacher's opinion, did not deserve to be called a marriage, because it failed in the essential closer requirements of a true marriage.
"This view, which coincided closely with his whole manner of thought at the time, as well as with the intellectual views of the period in which he moved, and which by no means arose from his own personal position on this occasion, attracted Schleiermacher with the most ardent inclination toward Eleanore G. And although he held the breaking off of her marriage as a moral duty in and for itself, and for this reason by no means dependent upon such an event, yet he had declared that, later, if she should become free, he would unite himself with her. But Eleanore G. could never reconcile herself completely to this view, and after a long struggle and much hesitation between different conclusions, which appeared to Schleiermacher as a weakness, she resolved to renounce him completely, and from that time the whole intercourse was dissolved.
"Fourteen years later, so a living witness relates, as Schleiermacher met Eleanore by chance in a large company, he approached her, gave her his hand, and said to her, 'Dear Eleanore, God has still dealt kindly with us.'"
His letters to this lady and to Henriette Herz, whose house in Berlin was at that time the centre of an intellectual and animated social circle, are exceedingly interesting.
In the deep sorrow at his separation from Eleanore Grunow, Schleiermacher found a consolation in the happy marriage of an intimate friend, Ehrenfried von Willich, with whom, and with his wife Henriette, he kept up a close correspondence. A few years after the death of Von Willich, he married his widow, Henriette von Willich, still only twenty years old, -a widow with two children.
His letters to his betrothed, with her replies, form the first part of the second volume. They show a most charming tenderness, geniality, and earnestness on his side; and on hers the same warmth, a child-like reverence toward him, for he was twenty years older than his bride, with the playful, impulsive love of a young girl. In view of this correspondence we hardly know how to apply to Schleiermacher the terms that Carlyle uses somewhere," the Platonic Schleiermacher, sharp, crabbed, shrunken with his wire-drawn logic, his sarcasms, his sly, malicious ways." We can scarcely find any of these characteristics in these warm, genial, playful, yet earnest letters. There are allusions, however, to his manner in company which does not interest him, that may in a measure account for some of these phrases. We quote from a letter to his betrothed, her reply, and his rejoinder to that, giving the latter with its close, by way of contrast to the less genial expressions toward society in general:
"Yesterday evening was tedious enough. I was in a party of people none of whom pleased me, all of such inferior views! What a pretty prattling of absurdities over the present state of affairs! I do one of several things on such occasions. Either I plunge into the bitterest sarcasms and make the people dumb, or I turn everything into jest, or I do not speak a word, or I enter into their tone, and trifle with them so lightly that they are in continual doubt as to what it all
Just as the spirit of society seizes me, I choose involuntarily one of these methods, and continue the rest of the evening practising it. In either case the rest are uneasy, and wish me to all the devils, and talk tremendously about me afterwards; but I cannot possibly do otherwise if they will be such miserable fools." — Vol. II. p. 223.
From Henriette, in answer;
"It is interesting, indeed, what you say of your manner to others! But tell me in earnest, would it not be worth while to point out to them the truth? Are there not many among them who would offer their hand to the good, if they could recognize it, but are too weak to discern it themselves? Indeed, in Rügen here, many complaints are spread abroad about you, because you would never express yourself in company on important subjects. Many are disturbed, when they have brought some subject on the carpet, of which they would have gladly learned something from you, and you were either wholly silent, or entered but little into their intentions, not saying anything especially appropriate; in short, appearing exactly as you describe yourself. Sometimes it prejudices some who would willingly accept better things." Vol. II. p. 229.
In reply, Schleiermacher writes:
"I am glad enough to come to explanations, but with men in general, dearest Jette, I am fearfully on my guard. If I am with one or two alone, it is not so; and if I observe that anything is to come of it, by discussing my opinion and another's with him on any subject, I willingly seek to have him alone with me, if I can only believe that it will lead to something. But in company I hate nothing more, and guard myself from nothing more, than what looks at a distance like an argument. Once for all, I cannot dispute without going too deeply to the bottom, and this is not suitable for that lighter essence which should prevail in company; therefore I turn to the very lightest of all, break off, or make fun of it, that the talk may not grow too earnest. In disputing, too, if any one indulges in common or wholly incoherent remarks, such as betray a low state of sentiment, I cannot answer for myself to what degree I shall become bitter or angry. .
"The larks have already whirred over us; we are having the loveliest days of spring. Dearest Jette, how I rejoice, when I think how nearly the time of my journey approaches! How near draws the new, beautiful, fresh life! I am already familiarizing myself with its closest details, and often there hovers over me a smile that no one can unriddle, when I am painting to myself some little matter, some jest, some
precious moment. I rejoice much that every one knows of my happiness, and that I can speak of it to everybody; and I do speak of wife and children as one who has suddenly grown rich and prattles of his thousands." - Vol. I. pp. 233, 234.
In these letters we find nothing but geniality, expressing always kindness of heart and consideration for others. We quote again from a playful correspondence on the subject of a portrait of Schleiermacher, which he had sent to his betrothed as a Christmas present:
"Your letter has come to me like a New Year's present. You have such joy, dear heart, over the picture, that I am sorry that I wrote you lately so jestingly about it. You plainly practise an idolatry toward it, sweet bride; but shall I not be glad of it? I allow myself, indeed, to be willingly pleased that the eye of love flatters me, and I can scarcely tell you how it has moved me. Yet I beg you earnestly, do not make of the picture such a picture of me that you cannot find again in me. My brow has perhaps something peculiar and characteristic in it, but handsome it is not indeed; and of my eyes the artist could say as little good as myself. You know how I always complain of their immovable, glassy nature. I believe that they are rather curtains for my soul than windows, and am vexed that so little can be read in them of what goes on in me. But you know there is a saying, and surely not a fabulous one, that if married people live together as they should, for a long time, they grow like each other. You shall see what you can make out of these bad eyes.” — Vol. II. p. 202.
In answer, Henriette writes:
"How you do talk about the picture! Pray be reconciled to sending it to me. I have the dear face with all its canaillerie impressed upon me in many ways, and far more tenderly than the picture impresses me; but there is an influence especially peculiar in coming suddenly before a portrait. The silent presence, often so animating, so inspiring, so purifying, no, I thank you from my whole heart that you gave it to me. When I have you, perhaps indeed it may be no longer to me what it is now."
In our rendering of these letters we are obliged to rob them of the tenderness expressed in the German "Du," which scarcely finds its fit translation in the English "thou." The use of the term "thou" by the Friends even is rather a tribute to truthfulness, which will not make use of the plural
number when only a single person is to be addressed, than the sentiment which singles out the one dearest person from the many. In this respect the English use of language is defective, and in translation we succeed only in giving a formal tone, rather than an endearing one, in an effort to use the more intimate "thou" of a foreign language.
The letters after Schleiermacher's marriage grow naturally less frequent.
"These intimate correspondences naturally fall into an earlier period of Schleiermacher's life, but cease after he established a home and found simultaneously a circle of duties which demanded all his powers and activity, in a way which scarcely allowed him time to carry on an inby writing with his friends, as he had done before, and which was a necessity for him. This necessity, indeed, existed no longer, since he was no longer impelled to seek at a distance what he now found at hand, and in his own family." - Preface, p. vi.
The doors of the home-life thus close upon us, and we miss exceedingly the warm pictures which these intimate letters have given us. We have afterwards pleasant glimpses of it in the family correspondence during little absences from home. Among these are interesting letters from Schleiermacher after he was established in the professor's chair at Berlin, when Berlin was threatened with an invasion from the French army, in 1813. He had sent his family into Silesia.
In an earlier letter, in 1806, he had thus expressed himself to a friend:
"I am sure that Germany, the flower of Europe, will fashion itself again in beauteous form; but when, and whether only after far harder afflictions, and after a long time of heavy oppression, God knows. I should fear nothing, meanwhile, more than a shameful peace, which will leave behind an appearance, but only an appearance, of national existence and freedom. But even upon this I am at rest; for if the nation consents to be pleased with this, it is only not yet ripe for improvement, and those heavier chastisements beneath which it shall ripen will not then long remain behind. It is thus, dear friend, that I am wholly at rest as regards personality, the lesser need, and nationality, the greater need, however discouragingly both appear; but what lies between, the manner in which the individual can influence the whole in all scientific and ecclesiastical organizations, it is this that fills me with care."- Vol. II. p. 77.