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countered in the attempt, as he admits in one of his notes that 'Though most of the Germans understand a joke that 'cannot be denied them-they do not all understand raillery, and very few humour.' But he is not forgetful of the different necessities and tastes of our nature, and provides food for all. Remembering that 'man consists of two elements, sport and earnest, and that his happiness is thus formed of higher and ' of lower joys,' he follows the part of a good author, in taking upon himself, for the behoof of a being of this complex disposition-who lives in a simultaneum of two worlds-two natures, the divine and the human; which an author can do the more easily, as he is himself a man, and belongs to the class of his readers His works, therefore, have 'a binomial root; or rather present twin blossoms on one stem.'* Some may regard the union of blossoms so different as anomalous, if not monstrous; or may think at least that if one be natural, the other must be foreign and ingrafted. But those who have a thorough perception of humour can never fall into this mistake. They know that no two things are nearer akin, in a genuine and unperverted mind, than smiling mirthfulness and the deepest and tenderest seriousness. In every man, who is not bereft of one half of his nature by affectation, or hollowness, or hardness of heart, or some strange natural defect, they exist together. Melpomene and Thalia are daughters of one mother. The flowers of the mind, like those of the earth, owe their beauty and sweetness to the smiling sun and the weeping clouds. In the sweetest music of nature, when she is robed in gladness, there is a plaintive tone, insinuating a gentle melancholy; in the midst of her wildest storms, there is a joy and a triumph; and it is only he who can laugh most heartily, whose tears come most freely and warmly from the heart. But of all kinds of the mirthful, humour is the most nearly allied to nobleness and elevation of thought. Sterne, indeed, has grievously debased his powers, so that it is hard to recognise the stamp of their original beauty; but the mind which drew the solemn and affecting picture of Le Fevre's deathbed, was of high descent and privileged to enter the inner shrine of humanity, had it not defiled and profaned its priesthood. In Cervantes, the serious spirit is veiled indeed, but moves everywhere as a Presence invisible, yet felt: in the closing scene-where death appears, as the great revealer, dispelling illusions-the veil is half withdrawn, and its sad and earnest eyes flash deep meanings upon us. In Burns, again, how wonderfully are the pathetic, the
* Preface to the Kampanex Thal.
humorous, and the sublime entwined and commingled together; and thus it is in Richter. In truth, the humorous side of things can be discovered only by a mind to which serious reflection is natural. Quiet thoughtfulness is an essential condition of humour which springs from kindliness of feeling, combined with an habitual communion with true greatness. When the mind is thus familiar with the contemplation of what is essentially grand and infinite, the shams of greatness which this world presents suggest the idea of the ridiculous. Their hollowness and pretence are penetrated at once, and their real identity with those objects which it is customary to contemn in comparison with them, is indicated with a feeling of genial amusement and a love of truth, entirely free from hostility and bitterness. The humorist, like Siebenkäs, loves the little, because, in his eyes, it is 'a satirical, caricaturing, diminishing-glass of all great civil pomp.' How well do we see this exemplified in such remarks of Burns as
· The best laid schemes of mice and men
Gang aft agley;' the conversation of the “Twa Dogs' about their masters, and similar passages; and more fully in Jean Paul; as in his comparison of a sciolist to a musician, whom he heard in Baireuth, playing many different instruments with different parts of his body, so that he represented in his own person a whole orchestra; which again suggests to him another subject of comparison-a Prince, representing in his own person all the powers and functionaries of the state. Siebenkäs's reflections on the sceptre of the popinjay, which he had knocked down with his rifle, his exultation on being crowned king of the shooters, his love of little fooleries in general, all arise out of this principle. Coleridge, we think, has well expressed it, when he says (Lit. Rem. vol. i. p. 136) that humour - consists in a certain reference
to the general and the universal, by which the finite great is * brought into identity with the little, or the little with the finite “great, so as to make both nothing in comparison with the
infinite.' That the indulgence of this peculiarity is sometimes carried too far, and by Richter as well as by others, we do not deny. The two dangers to which it is liable are that of treating mirthfully what demands condemnation, so as to produce leniency towards what is evil, a moral fault which we have remarked in Sterne; and the other, that of degenerating into the broadness and rudeness of caricature—a fault against taste. But still the fact remains that the true humorist must have enshrined in his bosom the ideal form of the Great, the Infinite, and the True, in contrast with which the little, the finite, and
the false, when viewed in the peculiar light which his humour throws upon them, awaken his mirth.
A fine and lofty imagination is thus, the essential characteristic of the humorist. We may then expect to see that imagination, occasionally, if not oftener, working in its own pure element, and reversing the process of humour by pointing out the relation in which the finite is conjoined with the infinite, as a part of it connected by living dependence, or as its analogical representation and symbol. And this Richter delights to do. He loves to indicate the harmony between all that is beautiful and touching in humanity, and the same as shadowed forth in the vast pictures of heaven, and earth, and air, with their changing vestures and fleeting appearances. But he can strike even loftier notes than these. In his noblest moods he rises, full of grandeur and tenderness, into strains that awaken the deepest and most sacred emotions of the spirit, and appears in true dignity as the poet of man's inner world, which is the forecourt of the future and eternal one. On no themes does he enlarge with such loving enthusiasm as on the existence of God, as the Father of his creatures, and on the immortality of the soul. With regard to the former theme, it is almost superfluous to remind those of our readers who know anything of Richter, of the sublime and affecting composition which occurs as the First Flower-piece in Siebenkäs, entitled, Speech of Christ after death, from the universe, announcing that there is no God.? Of this wild, mystic, overpowering dream, Madame De Stael, in her L'Allemagne, has given us a somewhat Gallicized version, which Jean Paul himself had the satisfaction of animadverting on as reviewer. An admirable translation of it is to be found in Carlyle's Miscellanies, Vol. II. p. 370. Lest some may be scandalized by the title, as we have given it, we may mention that it is an imaginative representation of what might be conceived to be the scene in the other world, the state of souls after death-on the atheist's supposition that there is no God; for, as he remarks with profound truth, the nonexistence of a Deity by no means involves the non-existence of a future state. "The same necessity which, in this life, • threw the bright dewdrop of my individual existence into a 'flower-cup, and beneath a sun, can repeat it in a second life: ' indeed, it is easier to embody me a second time than the first * time. The whole piece forms the best reply that could be made to the dreamy, poetical atheism of Shelley, in reference to whom it is the more applicable, since he did believe in our existence after death. But we pass on to speak of his views of immortality. These, alas! were not derived from revelation,
nor, in their bearing on the judicial character of God, were they such as revelation would sanction. But of this afterwards. The grounds on which his belief was founded are drawn chiefly from man's moral nature and aspirations. They bear a very strong resemblance to the sentiments of his favourite Young, which must also have had a considerable share in the moulding of them. He clung with a high enthusiasm to this belief, for such we must call it, since, though arising out of speculation only, it assumed in him the place and influence of an active faith. It made him face with undaunted courage the ills of life, bear with patient endurance the grievances of the world, regard with reverence the person and destinies of man, and while kindly cherishing every blossom of good which he discovered in the soil of humanity, pass with pity and forbearance its briars and thorns. His earnest thoughts on this subject lie scattered through all his works, but one little work is solely devoted to it. It is entitled the “ Kampaner Thal,* as containing the account of a supposed visit by the author to the lovely valley of that name, lying in the department of the Upper Pyrenees-(his ideas of it are derived from the description of our own Arthur Young)—where he appears as one of a bridal party, consisting of the newly-affianced Baron Wilhelmi and his bride Gione, her sister Nadine, a Kantist chaplain Phylax, and his own imaginary friend Carlson, a disbeliever in immortality, among whom the topic is discussed in conversation. Carlyle states in his first review of Jean Paul that he had never met with this work, so that no specimen or account of it appears in his pages. A character and slight analysis of it are given in the Appendix to Vol. II. of the Life, and an extract is translated, but the version, we regret to say, is chargeable with serious inaccuracies. We shall therefore here give our own translation of a small part of it, in order to give some indication of his sentiments on this momentous theme.
• Carlson (having stated his objections to the Kantist notion of the soul travelling through the stars after death] waited for opposition, and
* It was published at Erfurt in 1797. a few months before the unexpected death of his mother, and was written for the removal of doubts concerning our immortality, with which the mind of Madame von Kalb was troubled. It is truly characterized in the Life as one of the most purely serious and poetically beautiful of all the author's minor works.' But, as if to compensate for this continued strain of seriousness, it has a strange accompaniment. The other half of the small volume is occupied with a whimsical commeotary on the rude wood-cuts accompanying the Ten Commandments in the little Lutheran Catechism used in the dominions of Bayreuth and Anspach. The fragments of fanciful biography which he draws out of these are beyond description, serving as the vehicle of humorous and satirical remarks on various phenomena of society. NO. XII.
counter-assaults. But I said that his opinion on that point was quite my own.
"“I have, however, a stronger ground of objection (I continued) to this travelling and voyage pittoresque through the planets; since in our own breasts we bear and enclose a heaven full of constellations, for which no bemired globe of a world is vast and pure enough. There is in our hearts an internal hanging spiritual world, which breaks forth from the midst of the clouds of the corporeal world, like a warm sun. I mean the internal universe of Virtue, Beauty, and Truth, three inner heavens and worlds, which are neither parts, nor emanations and offshoots, nor copies of the external. We are the less astonished at the incomprehensible existence of these three transcendental beavenly globes, because they always float before us, and we foolishly imagine that we create them, when, on the contrary, we merely perceive them. After what model, with what plastic nature, and from what materials, could we form within ourselves all this spiritual universe? Let the Atheist, for instance, ask himself how he has acquired that gigantic ideal of a Deity, which he either opposes or corporealizes? a conception which has not been piled up from the comparison of magnitudes and degrees, since it is the opposite of every measure, and of every given magnitude:-in short, the Atheist denies to the copy any original. As there are Idealists of the outward world, who believe that our perceptions produce the objects, instead of the objects producing the perceptions; so there are Idealists of the inner world, who account for Being from Appearance, for the sound from the echo, for existence from observation, instead of, on the contrary, explaining Appearance from Being, and our consciousness from the objects of it. We mistake our art of analyzing our internal world for the preformation of it; that is, the Genealogist puts himself in the place of the Patriarch and Founder.
«« This internal universe, which is still more glorious and wonderful than the external, requires another heaven than that which is above us, and a higher world than what is warmed by a sun. Hence it is with propriety that we say, not the second Earth or globe, but the second World ; i.e., another beyond this universe.” • Gione here interrupted me:-“And every virtuous and every wise
_ man is at the same time a proof also of his own immortal existence.” “And every one," quickly subjoined Nadine, “who suffers innocently.”
" " Yes,” said I with emotion, “it is that which draws the line of our life through so long a time. The threefold harmony of virtue, truth, and beauty, which is derived from a music of the spheres, calls us out of this dull earth to the neighbourhood of a melodious one. For what end, and from what source, were these extra-mundane endowments and wishes placed within us, which merely, like swallowed diamonds, slowly cut through our earthly covering! Wherefore, upon this dirty lump of earth, was a creature stuck with useless wings of light, if it was to rot again in the clod of its birth, without ever disen