, and every English and American visitor to that picturesque old city seems to know the book by heart.
Bearing it in his hand, the traveller still climbs the rent summit of the Gesprengte Thurm
and looks down upon the throng in the castle gardens; or inquires vainly for the ruined linden-tree, or gives a sigh to the fate of Emma of Ilmenau, and murmurs solemnly,—as a fat and red-faced Englishman once murmured to me on that storied spot,—‘That night there fell a star from heaven!’
There is no doubt that under the sway of the simpler style now prevailing, much of the rhetoric of ‘Hyperion’ seems turgid, some of its learning obtrusive, and a good deal of its emotion forced; but it was nevertheless an epoch-making book for a generation of youths and maidens, and it still retains its charm.
The curious fact, however, remains— a fact not hitherto noticed, I think, by biographers or critics—that at the very time when the author was at work on ‘Hyperion,’ there was a constant reaction in his mind that was carrying him in the direction of more strictly American subjects, handled under a simpler treatment.
He wrote on September 13, 1838, ‘Looked over my notes and papers for “Hyperion.”
Long for leisure to begin once more.’
It is impossible to say how long a preparation this implies; it may have been months or years.