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e mie sventure, A schivo ed in orrore avro il sembiante. Temero me medesmo; e da me stesso Sempre fuggendo, avro me sempre appresso. La Gerusalemme Liberata, C. XII. 76, 77. to R. W. E. Dec. 12, 1843.—When Goethe received a letter from Zelter, with a handsome superscription, he said, Lay that aside; it is Zelter's true hand-writing. Every man has a daemon, who is busy to confuse and limit his life. No way is the action of this power more clearly shown, than in the hand-writing. On Zelter's true hand-writing. Every man has a daemon, who is busy to confuse and limit his life. No way is the action of this power more clearly shown, than in the hand-writing. On this occasion, the evil influences have been evaded; the mood, the hand, the pen and paper have conspired to let our friend write truly himself. You may perceive, I quote from memory, as the sentences are anything but Goethean; but I think often of this little passage. With me, for weeks and months, the daemon works his will. Nothing succeeds with me. I fall ill, or am otherwise interrupted. At these times, whether of frost, or sultry weather, I would gladly neither plant nor reap,—wait fo
enger. Clevenger gives the man as he is at the moment, but does not show the possibilities of his existence. Even thus seen, the head of Mr. Everett brings back all the age of Pericles, so refined and classic is its beauty. The two busts of Mr. Webster, by Clevenger and Powers, are the difference between prose,— healthy and energetic prose, indeed, but still prose,—and poetry. Clevenger's is such as we see Mr. Webster on any public occasion, when his genius is not called forth. No child coMr. Webster on any public occasion, when his genius is not called forth. No child could fail to recognize it in a moment. Powers' is not so good as a likeness, but has the higher merit of being an ideal of the orator and statesman at a great moment. It is quite an American Jupiter in its eagle calmness of conscious power. A marble copy of the beautiful Diana, not so spirited as the Athenaeum cast. S. C——thought the difference was one of size. This work may be seen at a glance; yet does not tire one after survey. It has the freshness of the woods, and of morning dew.
pt her to a full expression; that she felt a power to enrich her thought with such wealth and variety of embellishment as would, no doubt, be tedious to such as she conversed with. Her impatience she expressed as she could. I feel within myself, she said, an immense force, but I cannot bring it out. It may sound like a joke, but I do feel something corresponding to that tale of the Destinies falling in love with Hermes. In her journal, in the summer of 1844, she writes:— Mrs. Ware talked with me about education,—wilful education,—in which she is trying to get interested. I talk with a Goethean moderation on this subject, which rather surprises her and , who are nearer the entrance of the studio. I am really old on this subject. In near eight years experience, I have learned as much as others would in eighty, from my great talent at explanation, tact in the use of means, and immediate and invariable power over the minds of my pupils. My wish has been, to purify <
Wallenstein (search for this): chapter 4
his feeling of a destiny, casting its shadows from the very morning of thought, is the most beautiful species of idealism in our day. 'T is finely manifested in Wallenstein, where the two common men sum up their superficial observations on the life and doings of Wallenstein, and show that, not until this agitating crisis, have theyWallenstein, and show that, not until this agitating crisis, have they caught any idea of the deep thoughts which shaped that hero, who has, without their feeling it moulded their existence. Tasso, says Rousseau, has predicted my misfortunes. Have you remarked that Tasso has this peculiarity, that you cannot take from his work a single strophe, nor from any strophe a single line, nor from any lie eloquent, &c.; the butterfly settles always on the dark flower. Why did Socrates love Alcibiades? Why did Korner love Schneider? How natural is the love of Wallenstein for Max; that of De Stael for De Recamier; mine for——. I loved—— for a time, with as much passion as I was then strong enough to feel. Her face was always gle
Von Waagen (search for this): chapter 4
hich these collections were at first contained, made a favorite place of meeting for Margaret and a few of her friends, who were lovers of these works. First led perhaps by Goethe, afterwards by the love she herself conceived for them, she read everything that related to Michel Angelo and Raphael. She read, pen in hand, Quatremere de Quincy's lives of those two painters, and I have her transcripts and commentary before me. She read Condivi, Vasari, Benvenuto Cellini, Duppa, Fuseli, and Von Waagen,—great and small. Every design of Michel, the four volumes of Raphael's designs, were in the rich portfolios of her most intimate friend. I have been very happy, she writes, with four hundred and seventy designs of Raphael in my possession for a week. These fine entertainments were shared with many admirers, and, as I now remember them, certain months about the years 1839, 1840, seem colored with the genius of these Italians. Our walls were hung with prints of the Sistine fres
sooth, get the works of these always working geniuses, but by slow degrees, in a country that has no need of them till her railroads and canals are finished,—I need not jot down my petty impressions of the movement writers. I wish to speak of one among them, aided, honored by them, but not of them. He is to la jeune France rather the herald of a tourney, or the master of ceremonies at a patriotic festival, than a warrior for her battles, or an advocate to win her cause. The works of M. de Vigny having come in my way, I have read quite through this thick volume. I read, a year since, in the London and Westminster, an admirable sketch of Armand Carrel. The writer speaks particularly of the use of which Carrel's experience of practical life had been to him as an author; how it had tempered and sharpened the blade of his intellect to the Damascene perfection. It has been of like use to de Vigny, though not in equal degree. De Vigny passed,—but for manly steadfastness, he wou
Damascene perfection. It has been of like use to de Vigny, though not in equal degree. De Vigny passed,—bDe Vigny passed,—but for manly steadfastness, he would probably say wasted,—his best years in the army. He is now about forty; she could lead any life but one of conquest. As De Vigny was gradually undeceived, he says: Loaded with an more than anything else, engaged the attention of De Vigny, was the false position of two beings towards a fa because with profounder connoissance du fait. For De Vigny is not a poet; he has only an eye to perceive the ill. How would you provide for the poet bon homme De Vigny?—from a joint-stock company Poet's Fund, or how? ing as the leisure hours of an interesting man. De Vigny writes in an excellent style; soft, fresh, deliberopriate, rather than distinguished, or beautiful. De Vigny is a perfect gentleman; and his refinement is rather part lie fallow. I have not made a note upon De Vigny's notions of abnegation, which he repeats as ofte
Alfred De Vigny (search for this): chapter 4
as almost all beings have, especially since I have been brought close to her person by the Lettres d'un Voyageur. Her remarks on Lavater seem really shallow, and hasty, à la mode du genre femenin. No self-ruling Aspasia she, but a frail woman mourning over a lot. Any peculiarity in her destiny seems accidental. She is forced to this and that, to earn her bread forsooth! Yet her style,—with what a deeply smouldering fire it burns!—not vehement, but intense, like Jean Jacques. Alfred De Vigny. Sept., 1839. La harpe tremble encore, et la flute soupire. Sometimes we doubt this, and think the music has finally ceased, so sultry still lies the air around us, or only disturbed by the fife and drum of talent, calling to the parade-ground of social life. The <*> grows dull. Faith asks her daily bread, And Fancy is no longer fed. So materialistic is the course of common life, that we ask daily new Messiahs from literature and art, to turn us from the Pharisaic observ
Mystique, in which an equivocal figure exerts alternately a masculine and a feminine influence on the characters of the plot. Of all this nocturnal element in her nature she was very conscious, and was disposed, of course, to give it as fine names as it would carry, and to draw advantage from it. Attica, she said to a friend, is your province, Thessaly is mine: Attica produced the marble wonders of the great geniuses; but Thessaly is the land of magic. I have a great share of Typhon to the Osiris, wild rush and leap, blind force for the sake of force. Dante, thou didst not describe, in all thy apartments bf Inferno, this tremendous repression of an existence half unfolded; this swoon as the soul was ready to be born. Every year I live, I dislike routine more and more, though I see that society rests on that, and other falsehoods. The more I screw myself down to hours, the more I become expert at giving out thought and life in regulated rations,—the more I weary
character when living; for after I had settled it once for all that she wanted this or that perception, at our next interview she would say with emphasis the very word. I think, in her case, there was something abnormal in those obscure habits and necessities which we denote by the word Temperament. In the first days of our acquaintance, I felt her to be a foreigner,—that, with her, one would always be sensible of some barrier, as if in making up a friendship with a cultivated Spaniard or Turk. She had a strong constitution, and of course its reactions were strong; and this is the reason why in all her life she has so much to say of her fate. She was in jubilant spirits in the morning, and ended the day with nervous headache, whose spasms, my wife told me, produced total prostration. She had great energy of speech and action, and seemed formed for high emergencies. Her life concentrated itself on certain happy days, happy hours, happy moments. The rest was a void She had rea
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