Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

3

world, and turning its1 forces to the use of man, the progress soon reached its limits. The Greeks and Romans were almost equally unsteady in tracing the laws of physical phenomena, which they empirically observed, and analyzing the elements of the world round them. Their advance in applied science2 stopped short with the principles of mechanics, in which they doubtless attained great practical proficiency. Roman engineering, especially, deserves the admiration even of our own times. But the ancients invented no instruments for advancing the science of astronomy; they remained profoundly ignorant of the mysteries of chemistry; their medicine, notwithstanding the careful diagnosis of Hypocrates and Galen, could not free itself from connexion with the most trivial superstitions. The Greeks speculated deeply in ethics and politics; the Romans were intelligent students of legal theory and procedure; but neither could discover from these elementary sciences the compound ideas of public economy. Their principles of commerce_and finance were to the last rude and unphilosophical. They made little advance, at the height of their prosperity and knowledge, in the economy of5 labour and production; they made no provision for the support of the increasing numbers to which the human race, under the operation of natural laws, ought to have attained. We read of no improvements in the common processes of agriculture, none even in the familiar mode of grinding corn, none in the extractions or smelting of ores, none in the art of navigation. Even in war, to which they so ardently devoted themselves, we find the helmet and cuirass, the sword, spear, and buckler, identical in character, and almost in form, from the siege of Troy to the sack of

1 Turning its, in der Anwendung ihrer.

2 In applied science, in der angewandten or exacten Wissenschaft.

3 Speculated politics, machten tiefe ethische und politische Studien.

4 Supply 'of them.' Compound, say umfassenden; public economy, here Staatswirthschaft.

5 In-of, say im nationalökonomischen Verhältniß zwischen; production, Production.

6 To make provision, Vorkehrungen treffen.

7 Processes, Verfahren; familiar, here gewöhnlich.

8 Extraction (of metals), Ausgra bung or Gewinnung.

1

3

Rome. Changes in tactics and discipline were slight and casual, compelled1 rather by some change in circumstances than spontaneous and scientific. The ancient world had,2 in short, no versatility, no power of adaptation to meet the varying wants of its outward condition. Its ideas were not equal to the extension of its material dominion. A little soul was lodged in a vast body.-CHARLES MERIVALE, History of the Romans under the Empire.

XVII.

LIGHT AND WARMTH.

Mr. Carlyle has quoted with some approval a pert phrase, that readers till their twenty-fifth year usually prefer Schiller, after their twenty-fifth year Goethe. If Herder and Novalis are right in their belief that the true elements of wisdom and poetry are found freshest and purest in the young, this is no disparagement to Schiller. It is, certainly, only in proportion as the glow for all that is noble in thought and heroic in character fades from the weaker order of mind, amidst the cavils, disgusts, and scepticism of later life, that the halos around the genius of Schiller, which is but a reflection of all that is noble and heroic, wanes also into feebler lustre. For the stronger nature, which still "feels as the enthusiast, while it learns

1 Compelled, here erzwungen. 2 Turn had by 'possessed,' and place short at the beginning of the

sentence.

3 Versatility, Versatilität; power of adaptation, Aneignungskraft; condition, here Eristenz.

4 To be lodged, wohnen.

5 In their belief, mit ihrer Ansicht or Meinung. Translate in the young

by bei der Jugend.

6 Turn glow by Begeisterung, and render that-character briefly by Edle und Heroische. Fades from disappears out of.

=

7 Translate order of mind by Gemüthern, disgusts by Aerger, and see page 42, note 9.

8 Halo, here Lichtglanz; wanes... into, erbleicht...zu; lustre, Schein..

to see as the world-wise,"* there is no conceivable reason why Schiller should charm less in maturity1 than youth. Goethe may please a reader more in proportion as his mind can embrace a wider circumference in life; but, unless his mind loses in2 elevation what it gains in expansion, his eye will still turn with as fond a worship3 to the lofty star, which is not less holy than the sun-light, though it less fills the atmosphere immediately around us. May I be permitted here to add, that I am ten years older than I was when I began the study of Schiller? Since then I have investigated, with some critical care, the characteristics of those poets whom the world ranks amongst its greatest, and my admiration for Schiller is more profound and reverential than ever.-BULWER, Life of Schiller.

XVIII.

FROM THE DIARY OF THOMAS MOORE.

6

May 10th.-Started for town, leaving our dear boy somewhat better. Found, with my usual good luck, a note from Murray, asking me to meet at dinner "to-day "

1 Render in maturity by in reiferen Jahren.

2 Render in, here and in the following clause, by an.

3 As worship, ebenso liebender Verehrung. The expression immediately around us (uns unmittelbar umgebende) qualifies the term atmosphere.

4 May-permitted, darf ich.
5 Characteristics, Eigenthümlich

feiten. The word Charakteristik is also used in German, but only in the sense of a 'description of the characteristic features of a person or thing.' The term characteristic (Gr. XapaktηpiσTIKOs) is, however, also frequently rendered by charak teristisches Zeichen or Merkmal.

6 When town stands for London,' the latter expression must be used in German.

*The above is a periphrasis of the last verses of Schiller's poem „licht uns Wärme," which run in the original :

,,Drum paart zu eurem schönsten Glück

Mit Schwärmers Ernst des Weltmanns Blick."

the man of all others I wanted to shake hands with1 once

more-Washington Irving. Called at Murray's, to say Yes, yes," with all my heart.

[ocr errors]

4

6

But

11th. Went to the Literary Fund2 Chambers to see what were the arrangements, and where I was to be seated,3 having in a note to Blewitt, the secretary, begged him to place me near some of my own present friends. Found that I was to be seated between Hallam and Washington Irving. All right. By the by, Irving had yesterday come to Murray's with the determination, as I found,5 not to go to the dinner, and all begged of me to use my influence with him to change his resolution. he told me his mind was made up on the point; that the drinking his health, and the speech he would have to make in return, were more than he durst encounter; that he had broken down at the Dickens' dinner (of which he was chairman) in America, and obliged to stop short in the middle of his oration, which made him resolve not to encounter another such accident. In vain did I represent to him that a few words would be quite sufficient in returning thanks.9 "That Dickens' dinner,"-which he always pronounced with strong emphasis, hammering all the time with his right arm, more suo,'-" that Dickens' dinner" still haunted 10 his imagination, and I almost gave up all hope of persuading him.

1 Turn of-with by whom (tem) before all others I wanted to shake by the hand.' With all, say von ganzem.

2 The expression Literary Fund may be rendered by Literarische Stifs tung or Schriftsteller-Stiftung, and put in the genitive case after Chambers, which expression may be retained, being peculiar to England.

3 Turn I-seated by 'I should sit.' The term note, signifying 'a short letter,' is rendered by Billet.

4 All right, here ganz in der Ordnung or mir ganz lieb. By the by, here apropos.

5 Translate here found by ver

6

At last I said to him:

nahm, 2.e. learned, and with by the preposition bei.

6 To make up one's mind, einen Entschluß fassen.

7 Render here drinking by Ausbringen, to be followed by the genitive case, and translate wouldreturn by darauf halten müßte.

8 To break down (in a speech, &c.), stecken bleiben or aus dem Concept kommen; Dickens' dinner, DickensBanquet. Turn to stop short by 'to leave off,' and made him resolve by 'brought him to the resolution.' 9 In returning thanks = in order to thank.

10 Still haunted, say stand noch immer lebhaft vor.

66

Well, now, listen to me a moment. If you really wish to distinguish yourself, it is by saying the fewest possible words that you will effect it. The great fault with all the speakers, myself' among the number, will be our saying too much. But if you content yourself with3 merely saying that you feel most deeply the cordial reception you have met with, and have great pleasure in drinking their healths in return, the very simplicity of the address will be more effective from such a man, than all the stammered out rigmaroles that the rest of the speechifiers will vent.” This suggestion seemed to touch him; and so there I left him, feeling pretty sure that I had carried my point.7 It is very odd, that while some of the shallowest fellows go on so glib with the tongue, men whose minds are abounding with matter should find such difficulty in bringing it out. I found that Lockhart also had declined attending this dinner under a similar apprehension, and only consented on condition that his health should not be given.*

1 Translate it—words by intem Sie so wenig Worte machen als möglich, and turn that by 'so,' placing this expression together with the following clause after yourself.

=

2 Among the number included. 3 See page 97, note 2. 4You - with, die Ihnen zu Theil geworden.

5 Use in German the singular.

The ironical term speechifier may here be rendered by Schönredner.

6 Render here suggestion by Bor, schlag, and turn touch him by 'make an impression upon him.'

7 Turn carry my point by 'reached my aim,' fellows by 'people,' and go on by 'are.'

8 Use the singular, and render matter by Stoffen.

The above extract occurs in Lord John Russell's edition of the “ Diary of Thomas Moore," and also in the "Life and Letters of Washington Irving." In the latter work it is placed after Washington Irving's letter, but has been placed here first in order to facilitate the full understanding of the letter.

« IndietroContinua »