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[100] make the only distinction; and the good-natured Goldsmith even went so far as to make a book about it, and describe it as accurately as a dealer in statistics and topography. But, after all that has been said, and after all his description, the thing itself remained as unreal as Sidney's ‘Arcadia,’ or Sir Thomas More's ‘Utopia.’ The system of universal patronage in England, which it did not need Miss Edgeworth to show, is essentially bad, even when most successfully applied; the splendor of the Court of France, which made all its literature and literary men as cold and polished as itself; the little tyrants of Italy and the great ones of Spain and Portugal,—prevented everything like a liberal union of the men of letters, and an unbiassed freedom in the modes of thinking in all these countries.

In Germany, however, from the force of circumstances and character, a literary democracy has found full room to thrive and rule. Here, there can be no broad system of patronage, for the people are too poor and the governments too inconsiderable. The splendor of a court can have no influence where there is no metropolis; and as for tyranny, I do not think it has ever pressed very hard on Germany, except in the French times; and they were too short to produce a lasting effect, especially as the reaction has been so violent.

The men of letters here, therefore, have always been dependent for their bread and reputation on their own unassisted and unembarrassed talents and exertions; and as the higher and more responsible classes about the courts, etc., have always spoken a different language, and had different feelings, manners, and views, and a different literature (I mean French, which, however, is now going out of fashion), the men of letters gradually became separated from the active and political men, until at last this division became so distinct and perfect that they formed an entirely separate class through all the German States, and have long since ceased to be amenable to any influence but that of the general opinion of their own body. In this way, a genuine republic of letters arose in the north of Germany. At first it comprehended but a small portion of the territories of the unwieldy empire, hardly more than Saxony, Prussia, and Hanover, and the small States lying round them; but, as Protestant learning and philosophical modes of thinking and liberal universities were extended, the limits of this invisible empire extended with them.

The German and reformed portion of Switzerland soon came in; soon after Denmark, and then a part of Poland; and now, lately, the king of Bavaria, by the establishment of gymnasia, and an academy

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