Hanoverian, etc.; but if a man of letters is wanted, all such distinctions are not even thought of; nor is it the least reproach to the person appointed, or the least offence to his government, that he is seduced from his native country, though it certainly would be the highest in the other cases. Thus Eichhorn was brought from Weimar; Boeckh, now so famous in Berlin, was a Hanoverian; Heyne was a Saxon; Buhle, the editor of Aristotle, is in Prussia, etc.; and new instances of this sort are occurring every day through the whole of Germany. These two proofs are certainly sufficient to show the existence and power of a republic of letters. If I had room, I would like to show you its especial influence upon the individuals, institutions, and territories which fall within its sphere; but this must be done by details too numerous for a letter; and besides, when you recollect the present political, moral, and local situation of Germany, you will easily see its most important tendencies, and conjecture many of its coming effects. . . . . Always your affectionate,
To Elisha Ticknor.
Gottingen, July 6, 1816.. . . . I know not, dear father, that I can say anything more welcome to you than that my studies of all kinds go on well. I have lately taken upon me to learn something of the present political and moral condition of Germany. This I have undertaken under the direction of Prof. Saalfeld, a young man who has lately distinguished himself by several publications on the present politics of Europe, and by a course of lectures on the ‘Spirit of the Times.’ I have but little leisure to give to this branch of study; for, useful and interesting as it is, it is not necessary; and I have long since learned that what is not necessary to my purposes must be considered as amusement. . . . . As yet I have met with nothing in my inquiries that has more struck and moved me than the means by which Prussia has made herself the first power in the German Empire, and perhaps placed herself in a condition at last to control its destinies. By the peace of Tilsit, Prussia gave up to France about one half of her population, and became at once the subject of a system of plunder and outrage such as no nation, I presume, was ever before subjected to, and which soon brought her to the verge of despair. In the dark and melancholy winter of 1808, when the measure of French