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read ?". So the public turns sulkily understand me; why you not walk away for want of an answer, and off, when I you tell ?" Alma-Mater goes on in her course of “ Maxima debetur pueris reverentia;" training, sub rosâ, the would be judges but the debt is paid by few. and statesmen into men. How differ
In bis fourteenth year, his studies ent is the feeling of the lonely and
were interrupted by some alarming uninstructed German lad !
fits of epilepsy, succeeded by a ha“ This feeling for freedom,” he rassing tendency to see figures when says, after speaking of his sympathy alone, which troubled him the more, with the revolt of America, "was a from his full conviction of their unnecessary result of my education. reality. The propensity was evi. With all the inclination for the arts dently inherited from his grandmoand sciences which my father had im- ther, who, like him, was free from planted in me, he never raised in my mind the notion of supporting myself superstitious fear ; but the good wo
man never troubled herself about obby any other means than his profes- jective causality, with which Erhard sion. All that I learned, I learned be considers his visions incompatible ; cause it gave me pleasure, or to please forgetting that a morbid condition of my father ; for I loved my father so
the retina or sensorium must produce dearly, that I liked no one better as
morbid results, which would be objeca playfellow..... This education, tively cognizable to a perfect physio. which caused me to gain art and
logist. The “ pain which, in such science for its own sake, roused in me so strong a feeling for freedom from forming a judgment objectively valid,
cases, arises from the difficulty of outward compulsion, that, in the choice which has for us at the same time subof my employments, I always followed
jective evidence," proceeds from a either inclination or duty, and disre- 'misconception of the judgment which garded all other views, especially those ought to be formed. The phantomof outward advantage."
seer has subjective evidence that he From eleven to thirteen, Erhard
sees phantoms; but not that they are worked at his father's trade, and ac
cognizable to others, or independent quiring some knowledge of engraving, of his own bodily organization. was able to procure with his gains a
From his twelfth to his sixteenth few books; among which, he enu. merates Wolf's Elements, Krüjer's tal, or, as he calls it, the Siegwart
year was, in Nuremberg, the sentimenTheory of Nature, and, at a later period, Wolf's Elementa Matheseos. He good fortune to see one of his acquain
Wertherisch period, and he had the entertained a laudable contempt for
tances commit suicide, and to learn books written to suit the capacity of from another, named Doerburem, to children, such as Natural History for fall in love. The same kind friend Children, by Raff; and in this feeling instilled into him a smattering of we fully agree with him, and would extend the same condemnation to all New Testament, “
Greek, and expounded to him the
according to the condescending compositions, and es
bold mode of interpretation which pecially to sermons for the poor. Let
then fashionable ; "-that, we a man speak to his hearers on topics presume, of the Wolfenbuttel fragthey can understand and care for, to
ments, or of Eickhorn. His precocious children about giants and fairies, to genius, as might have been expected, peasants about their fields and their outran his teacher, and he saw the homes; but let him not leave his po- imitations of Homer!! which show sition as a teacher, by the awkward
the mythical character of the sacred affectation of equality with his learners. 'history. The gravity and earnestness They can dispense with intelligibility, with which he narrates the crotchets but not with earnestness ; with the and follies of his boyhood, have a show of parity of knowledge, rather whimsical and amusing effect. It is than with the recognition of common
strange that a thinking man should humanity. Children understand each value the convictions which he formed other, and they understand
in ignorance, even if on knowledge he and women; but the mongrel charac
abides by the results. But in Erhard, ter of affected puerility is as puzzling
the boy was not the father of the man, to them, as an address which we once
but the man himself; and that man, heard a surly porter make to a perse. though by fortune a critical philosovering foreign vagrant--" You not pher, was by nature and destiny a
believer and a dogmatist. He believed, and though, after some years, I was indeed, in the categories and not in the forced to admit my error, nothing prophecies, because he was a speculator would induce me to banish from my rather than a man, and the first sys. recollection_these years of happy tem that satisfied the conscious wants dreams. Every bright moonlight of his intellect relieved it from craving night carries me back still to that for ever after. In some things, he sweet delusion. Oh, no! it was not appeared to be involved in the interests delusion—it was reality then; this firm of common humanity. “ Schiller trust in the harmony of our souls, this used to relate," says Varnhagen, abstraction from every thing corporeal “ that when Erhard had inherited a in our union, this completeness in our small house at Nuremberg, he was in being. I felt myself at thy side, free a great hurry to go into the kitchen, from all influence of the world upon and light a fire on the hearth, to ex- me, and infinitely strong to act upon press by this proceeding the act of it. In this feeling of force, the bold taking possession. Good sound com- idea arose in my mind of being able mon sense was more valued by him to supply a complete theory of legis. than any learning or cultivation,” &c. lation, and making this the object of my True, perhaps ; and yet it was only life life, since I had not yet learned to con. in the rebound from speculation. We sider on what, but for what, I was to have seldom known an abstracted stu- live.” A true and beautiful picture dent who had not a theoretical interest of the happy enthusiasm of youth, and in life ; but it is always through a not to us an anticlimax, though it peculiar medium-he is not one among leads from love to legislation ; for the men in the first instance, but he pro- production of theory and system was jects an imaginary self into the midst the work to which his mind was of them, and watches his reciprocal adapted by organization, and which influences upon them and from them. could not but result, if a moving force He delights in the symbol of owner- was found for its mechanism; but the ship, but he knows that it is a symbol, agxo xongéws is the same for all, and amuses himself with his own de- the original energy of the will; and light; for he has passed through the if its effects are not the same, through antithesis of the conscious subject and the clogging of the machine, by sel. its object, to the comprehension of both fishness and worldliness, enthusiasm is in a common objectivity, which is at the vis medicatrix nature, which art can first not felt to imply, as its correlative, but partially imitate in attempting di a common subjectivity. The reflected ελίου και φόβου περαίνειν την των τοιούτων and secondary object is identified with παθημάτων κάθαρσιν. the simple and primary, and this con- We say enthusiasm, for of love we scious developement of unconscious doubt ; that cool and prudent deterbeing forms one main element of Ger- mination to select the object first, and man literature. As a characteristic fall in love with her afterwards, makes specimen of the class, we have selected us rather sceptical, and we have a Erhard. He could not feel himself lurking suspicion that real love was owner of a house, till he found a sym
too human and practical a state for bol to represent ideal ownership to
Erhard to be included in. An Amehis imagination. He exchanged theory rican rhetorician draws a distinction for life, only because life was to him between the shopkeeper and the man the emblem of a theory.
in the shop, the farmer and man on We have said that, as became a the farm; and so we would say that philosopher in the Siegwart-Werther- Erhard was not a lover, but a philoisch epoch, he fell in love, or fancied sopher in a condition of love. Varnthat he did so; apparently with no hagen Von Ense takes a sound view particular fair one, but with an idea of the question :which the maidens of Nuremberg
“ The mind and spirit of the young had the opporturnity of realizing in man is all on fire; he deprecates every rotation ; yet all the while he was doubt, and every misunderstanding; preparing for a more permanent at- he sees in her perfection, he expects tachment, and he determined " to from her every spiritual elevation and choose its object calmly, before his moral advancement; he revels in ad. mind was agitated by passion." He miration and passionate devotion. fixed on a certain Wilhelmine, and
And yet, with all the thought “ that the ideal was realized; fire, with all the enthusiasm, with all
the tenderness which is expressed here the propositions are formed, adopted (in his correspondence with Wilhel- by Kant as the basis of his system, mine), at bottom real love, we must inasmuch as it supplied' the condition say it, is utterly wanting.
of the possibility of synthetical judgThe passion, the anxiety, the longing, ments a priori or of objective truth, the confidence-all dispense with one and rejected by Hegel as unessential distinction, which alone forms the to the proposition (Phænomenologie characteristic of true love with the des Geistes, p. 34), is likely to confine need of this definite personality.” the attention of an unpractised thinker This passion, he proceeds to say, to the particular case of truth, accommight have been easily, by a freak of panied by vision, instead of the form imagination, transferred to others. of truth, which is exemplified by a “ We can, in such a case, only pity syllogism with false premises, as well the poor girl, who, instead of being an as by the proposition in Euclid which actual object of personal love, is obli- enlightened Erhard. He could not, ged to serve as a sort of counterpart however, have used a better preparato a metaphysical excitement, as a Not- tive for his approaching study of I (negation of self).” It was pro- Kant. bably fortunate for both parties that For several
Erhard continued the connexion wore itself out.
his course of self-education, reading “ They met and parted. Well, is there no in English Shaftesbury and Ossian, more?
whose frothy rhapsodies appear to Something within that interval, that bore have met with greater acceptance in The stamp of why they parted, how they every part of the Continent than in
England ; adding to Wolf's demonThere were suspicions, and doubts, strative system, fragments from Spiand discoveries ; in short, the dream noza and other philosophers ; and, ended, and Erhard awoke, and was above all, maintaining an active inindignant to find it was a dream. We tercourse or correspondence with Wilreturn to the more directly intellectual helmine, and with two or three youthdevelopment of his mind.
ful friends. • These years,” he It was in his fifteenth year that he feelingly says, “of friendship and of first felt the nature of mathematical love, when the search for truth was evidence. He had learnt from Wolf the sole aim of my life, the commuthe dogmatic method of deducing ma- nication of my discoveries to my thematical as well as other truths from friends the only reward which I the original notions (begriffen) of wished or obtained, conversation with them, and had tormented himself (bis my beloved on friendship and love zur ohnmacht) with vain attempts to the full enjoyment of love_these years, prove propositions about straight
even now, compose my true life. I lines, &c., from his notions of them. shall be active as long as I live, and I At last, in the proposition of the equa- have felt much pleasure since; but my lity of parallelograms on equal bases life itself, without reference to any of between the same parallels, the light its particular circumstances, as immesuddenly dawned upon him, and he diate enjoyment of being, I possessed felt intuitive certainty, and a consci- only then, when ye, my never-to-beousness, which however he could not forgotten, formed my universe, for account for, of the difference between which I wished to exist." Varnhagen mathematical evidence and logical does justice to the class and the epoch proof. He experienced a weaker but to which Erhard belonged, in his resomewhat similar feeling, when, a marks on his correspondence at this year afterwards, he gained an insight time with his friend Osterhausen.
necessary subjection to strict From the contemplation of the purlaw."
suits and thoughts of this young hanThere are probably few thinkers to dicraftsman (for Erhard worked all whom the first revelation of formal this time at his father's trade), we truth is not a remembered intellectual may look further, he says, and conepoch. We suspect that it is not template a picture of civic life, which desirable that it should first be sug- is seldom so well presented to us. gested by geometry, where the close “ These lofty exertions and refined connexion of the intellectual with the relations, in a rank of life which in sensuous vision (anschauung), and of general has little time to spend on the vision with the notions of which cultivation, and little claim to make to VOL. XLV, NO. CCLXXXIV.
it, give the most favourable representa- where to find things to be known or tion of our German middle class, which judged in an independent existence exercised within itself the best attri. and vitality, he had first to learn from butes of the nation, and for a long this great master's Critical Enquiry of time almost alone maintained them.” the Practical Reason. Let those who
In the spring of 1786, one of Er. are enthusiastic in an election, or exhard's friends mentioned to him a no- uberantly joyful at a windfall of mo. tice of Kant's writings which he had ney, respect and tolerate the feelings seen, from which it appeared that he of the satisfied searcher after truth:attacked the foundation of the Wolfian “ All enjoyment which I ever receiv. dogmatism ; and, like a gallant parti- ed in my life," says the lover of Wil. san, immediately determined to read helmine, “ vanishes in comparison Kant's works, and refute them. In with the agitation of my whole mind, the transcendental æsthetic he found which I felt at many passages of the nothing strange, as he had been fami. book. Tears of extreme pleasure liarized by the system of Leibnitz to often fell on this book, and even the the doctrine of the ideality of time and recollection of these happy days ever space, He passed easily through the moistens my eyes, and has raised me analytic (doctrine of the categories of up when I was downcast and melanthe understanding), and first recogcholy. :.,If I am to persevere nised the opposition of Kant's critical in the struggle with the depressing to Wolf's dogmatic philosophy in the thought, which the history of the time parallogisms of the pure reason. In often breathes into me like an evil dethe Antinomies (proofs of contrary mon, that the development of manpropositions, as of the infinity and hood, among the acts and dealings of finiteness of time, the infinite or ulti- men, is an old woman's tale, &c. . mate divisibility of matter, &c.), he It is thy work, my teacher, my discovered, he says, the play upon father in the spirit, and I feel myself words in the assertion, that time and strengthened by the consciousness. I space were objects for a notion (be- am what I am-no other has my dugriff), and could again be known ties-no other can think for me; the from the notion; “ but with this in- world which I look on, is a problem for sight vanished the show of logical my faculties of knowledge. necessity (dialektische schein), which It is thy work, my teacher, my father prevails in Wolf's system, and must in the spirit.” “ Here,” he proceeds, necessarily overcome a reason nur- my philosophical education closed ittured in obedience to faith, which self: I recurred no more to first princhooses to beautify its faith by repre- eiples, but sought rather to make what senting it as the choice of freedom.” use I could of my philosophy in other He felt, he says, a new intellectual sciences.” “ Erhard,” says Varnhalife, “unrestrained by all that men gen, “finds all now certain and secure; choose to make one another believe, his convictions are decided, one might and undisturbed in my faith, which almost say stiffened, for his whole was not contrary to reason, by the life, no more to be loosened by dialecobjection that I could not formally tic toil.” He proceeds to speak of prove it." In short, he had learned the philosophy of Kant in action that if the speculative reason cannot “ It presses forward into life ; as docgive positive answers to its own ques. trine, as example, as message, it forces tions, it can solve them in the only itself in every direction ; all the enmanner in which they admit of being lightened and the active take an insolved, by showing their insolubility. terest in it; it is like a new religion Whether he had fully learned to give spreading.
We see it shine unto reason the things that be rea- forth as the object of the highest reson's, and unto faith the things that be lations and wants of a wide circle of faith's, may perhaps admit of doubt; mankind, from Konigsberg to Hambut he had ascertained that the do- burg and Copenhagen, and to Vienna mains and functions were distinct. and Trieste; we see how it awakes
For the intellectual residence he had and inspires-how it makes the highnow built, he had not long to wait for est promises, and at last gives only an an inhabitant. He was satisfied as to insufficient satisfaction. The noblest, the forms by which all is to be known, the most gifted of the mature and of the principles and limits on which the young, nay, even women, try the judgments are to be formed; but path with zeal, and even reach the goal; but, after the first burst of joy, melancholy when he considered how they find themselves in intolerable impossible it was for him to do any division, in fearful pressure.” thing in the world. He came some
And all this time in England men times to the brink of suicide, and were satisfying themselves with the might have yielded to the temptation, dregs of Locke, or with the unveiled if his affections had not still given him eudæmonism of Paley! How small a taste for life; besides, he had forthey appear in the comparison ! Then merly satisfied himself of the crimicame the storm of the French Revo- nality of the act, and he had made it lution, and England passed through his rule, and a good rule it was, all it harmless, and “ Germany, with all conflicts of passion, to observe the her lettered schools," sank at the results of previous enquiries as unfoot of the Conqueror.
" It is a best, practice without speculation, or practical rule,” he proceeds, “ for thought without life? It was our every man". we must, however, happiness to have preserved in our strenuously protest against the latter institutions, in our household man- part of it—«5 to direct bis course abners, and in the mainspring of our solutely according to the earlier republic greatness, unlimited political sults of his enquiries ; but, if there are activity in the individual, the realiza- none such, to follow his inclinations tion of those truths which were de- without further reasoning about it nied in our books and our sermons. (vernünfteln), for he can then only The dull pressure of continental des- injure himself or others (which, inpotism had forced the life out of the deed, is a danger hardly worth conforms of society, and taught men to sidering), and he may make compenlook for embodied truths only as sation afterwards, if he has violated future possibilities. Believing in con- justice or prudence." From which science, and freedom, and law, they it seems to follow, that if Mr Greencould find no better means of applying acre had never deliberated on the prothem to reality, than by arbitrary priety of killing and cutting up midassociations in the place of states, and dle-aged women, he was justified in secret symbols to supply to the imagi- doing so when he felt inclined; though nation the want of habitual affections. the act was both imprudent and injuriIt was better to try such experiments ous in some degree to Mrs Greenacre. than to acquiesce in despair; but it The reason of the rule is plausible : was well for us that we had no occa- “ If he tries to enquire, while his insion to try them. We were better clinations are urging him, they are than our principles, but we must have sure to trample upon his judgment; been gradually corrupted by their in- and he is in danger, instead of having fluence; and we ought to acknow. done a bad action, of becoming a bad ledge our gratitude to that profound man.” The fallacy consists in a tacit race of thinkers, who, in circumstan- assumption, that there is no establishces unworthy of their principles, ed rule to command the inclinations worked out the great truths, of which in such cases. Doubtful actions are we are now enjoying the advantage. forbidden actions, and the results of
Erhard appears about this time to voluntary ignorance are voluntary have been infected with the fashion violations of duty. of secret associations, set by the illy- The task which we proposed to minati and freemasons of the day. ourselves is nearly accomplished with He formed a scheme for a league of the completion of Erhard's education, women to restore their equality with and we shall pass briefly over the rethe dominant sex, and one for a union maining events of his life. He seof all good men for the education of lected medicine as his profession; and, the rest. “ What a pity it is," said in the year 1788, proceeded to the his father's friend, Rector (of the University of Würzburg to study it. Latin school ?) Lederer, " what a pity In 1790 he went to see the coronation that I do not know a single person of the Emperor Leopold at Frankfort, whom I could propose as a member." and derived, as he says, from bis A judicious observation, which sug- journey, the advantage of losing all gested to Erhard the equally judicious taste for such costly ceremonies in reflection, that, for the production of future.” We, who are not by nature true good, virtue is the only bond of speculative machines, confess that we union necessary.
Yet he was very came to much the same conclusion