! Inferno, X. 85. Come sa di sale! Who never wet his bread with tears,
Paradiso, XVII. says Goethe, knows ye not, ye heavenly powers!
Our nineteenth century made an idol of the noble lord who briesser (1809). Versions by Streckfuss, Kopisch, and Prince John (late king) of Saxony followed.
Goethe seems never to have given that attention to Dante which his ever-alert intelligence might have bnte stands alone.
While we can in some sort account for such representative men as Voltaire and Goethe (nay, even Shakespeare) by the intellectual and moral fermentation of the age in which they liveward heaven like a martyr-flame suddenly turned to stone.
It is not without significance that Goethe, who, like Dante, also absorbed and represented the tendency and spirit of his age, should, durinkind.
Thus all great poets have been in a certain sense provincial,—Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Burns, Scott in the Heart of Midlothian and Bride of Lammermoor,—because the office of the poet
fourteen have been acquainted with the poets of all ages and countries,— he who to his dying day could not endure to read Goethe and knew nothing of Calderon?
It seems to me rather that the earliest influence traceable in him is that of Goldsmith, a such verses as
Like an army defeated The snow hath retreated And now doth fare ill On the top of the bare hill, with Goethe's exquisite Ueber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, in which the lines (as if shaken down by a momentary breeze of emotion) drop linthough there is certainly a marked resemblance both in form and sentiment between some of his earlier lyrics and those of Goethe.
His poem of the Thorn, though vastly more imaginative, may have been suggested by Burger's Pfarrer's Tochter von Taubenome upon some axiom of his, as it were a wall that gives us our bearings and enables us to find an outlet.
Compared with Goethe we feel that he lacks that serene impartiality of mind which results from breadth of culture; nay, he seems narrow, insul
is somewhat rambling history of the seventeenth century were interrupted now and then by an unexpected apparition of Milton, who, like Paul Pry, just pops in and hopes he does not intrude, to tell us what he has been doing in the mean while.
The reader, immersed in Scottish politics or the schemes of Archbishop Laud, is a little puzzled at first, but reconciles himself on being reminded that this fair-haired young man is the protagonist of the drama.
Pars minima est ipsa puella sui.
If Goethe was right in saying that every man was a citizen of his age as well as of his country, there can be no doubt that in order to understand the motives and conduct of the man we must first make ourselves intimate with the time in which he lived.
We have therefore no fault to find with the thoroughness of Mr. Masson's historical inquiries.
The more thorough the better, so far as they were essential to the satisfactory performance of his task.
But it is only such contemporary events, opinions,