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the slender, dark-blue insect waves his dusky wings, like a liberated ripple of the brook, and takes the few stray sunbeams on his lustrous form. Whence came the correspondence between this beautiful shy creature and the moist, dark nooks, shot through with stray and transitory sunlight, where it dwells? The analogy is as unmistakable as that between the scorching heats of summer and the shrill cry of the cicada. They suggest questions that no savant can answer, mysteries that wait, like Goethe's secret of morphology, till a sufficient poet can be born. And we, meanwhile, stand helpless in their presence, as one waits beside the telegraphic wire, while it hums and vibrates, charged with all fascinating secrets, above the heads of a wondering world. It is by the presence of pathways on the earth that we know it to be the habitation of man; in the barest desert, they open to us a common humanity. It is the absence of these that renders us so lonely on the ocean, and makes us gl
Cambridge sketches (ed. Estelle M. H. Merrill), chapter 11 (search)
ished in it is indicated by the fact that it was one hundred ears in being published. Every page contains a perfect reproduction in color of every part of some plant-flower, leafage, roots. The work is so natural that one seems to be looking at the real flower. Each picture is accompanied by the botanical description. Indeed this book is a sort of more beautiful and less perishable herbarium of the region it covers. One of the treasured books of the library is a botanical treatise by Goethe, with the great writer's name on the fly leaf. Mrs. Gray is arranging a large collection of autographs, which when finished will be paced, probably, in the library. One autograph is that of Linnaeus. Another is an autograph letter written with regard to the purchase of land when the Botanical Garden was started, in 1801. At one end of the library room is a collection of interesting relics. Here is an inkstand which was used constantly by Professor Gray. He had asked Sir Joseph Hooker
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 7 (search)
tomac, was assigned the duty of guarding the line of the river and the communications of the army. Preparations for crossing were pushed on during the 20th, positions for artillery were selected, the guns were brought up, the pontons were within reach a short distance back from the river, and it was determined to make the passage on the following morning. But during the night a terrible storm came on, and then each man felt that the move was ended. It was a wild Walpurgis night, such as Goethe paints in the Faust. Yet there was brave work done during its hours, for the guns were hauled painfully up the heights and placed in their positions, and the pontons were drawn down nearer to the river. But it was already seen to be a hopeless task; for the clayey roads and fields, under the influence of the rain, had become bad beyond all former experience, and by daylight, when the boats should all have been on the banks ready to slide down into the water, but fifteen had been gotten up—
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1854. (search)
In the spring and summer the friends made a tour embracing the Tyrol, of which the following letter gives some glimpses. Weimar, June 3, 1855. my dear sister L——,—I am writing to you from classic Weimar, which, you know, belongs to Goethe and Schiller, Herder and Wieland. I saw in my walk this morning the Stadtkirche where Herder lies buried, and his house opposite the church. In the burial-ground of St. James's Church I saw the graves of Lucas Cranach (it seems as if half the pictures I had seen lately at Nuremberg and other places were by him and Musaeus); in the new churchyard, the tombs of Goethe and Schiller. And now, you see, I have at length torn myself away from Munich. Have n't you sometimes had misgivings that I intended to cut you all at home, and had married and settled down in Munich for life? No, I have left, and, what's more, I have seen Nuremberg! I don't think I can make an attempt at description. It has given me more pleasure than all that I<
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
! 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
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Wordsworth. (search)
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
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Milton. (search)
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,
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing), chapter 1 (search)
I. Youth. Autobiography. Aus Morgenduft gewebt und Sonnenklarheit Der Dichtung Schleir aus der Hand der Wahrheit. Goethe The million stars which tremble O'er the deep mind of dauntless infancy. Tennyson. Wie leicht ward er dahin getragen, Was war dem Glucklichen zu schwer! Wie tanzte vor des Lebens Wagen Die luftige Begleitung her! Die Liebe mit dem sussen Lohne, Das Gluck mit seinem gold'nen Kranz, Der Ruhm mit seiner Sternenkrone, Die Wahrheit in der Sonne Glanz. Schiller What wert thou then? A child most infantine, Yet wandering far beyond that innocent age, In all but its sweet looks and mien divine; Even then, methought, with the world's tyrant rage A patient warfare thy young heart did wage, When those soft eyes of scarcely conscious thought Some tale, or thine own fancies, would engage To overflow with tears, or converse fraught With passion o'er their depths its fleeting light had wrought. Shelley. And I smiled, as one never smiles but once; Then fir
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing), chapter 2 (search)
n Clarke. Extraordinary, generous seeking. Goethe Through, brothers, through,—this be Our waraordinary generous seeking, These words of Goethe, which I have placed among the mottoes at the cast fetters Round the heart, or set it free. Goethe, translated by J. S. Dwight Zu erfinden, zaten mancher Jahre Gehn dir in dem Nachbar auf Goethe, Artist's Song. when I first knew Margaret,is romantic articles on Richter, Schiller, and Goethe, which appeared in the old Foreign Review, thelief, after feeling the immense superiority of Goethe. It seems to me as if the mind of Goethe had ast. How often I have thought, if I could see Goethe, and tell him my state of mind, he would suppoou vexed by my keeping the six volumes of your Goethe? I read him very little either; I have so lit it, till lately, in meditating on the life of Goethe, I thought I must get some idea of the historyhave thought of Mr. Carlyle, but still more of Goethe's friend, Von Muller. I dare say he would be [15 more...]
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing), chapter 3 (search)
ssarily broken up. I have with me the works of Goethe which I have not yet read, and am now engaged d with increased pleasure, by this new light. Goethe, too, studied architecture while in Italy; so s letters twice, Sartor Resartus once, some of Goethe's late diaries, Coleridge's Literary Remains, , and threatens to break it. I do not know our Goethe yet. I have changed my opinion about his relighy is checked, my admiration for the genius of Goethe is in nowise lessened, and I stand in a scepti giving a sort of general lecture on Schiller; Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, Goetz von Berlichingenmuch to me. As you may imagine, the Life of Goethe is not yet written; but I have studied and thoerature,—has invited me to prepare the Life of Goethe, on very advantageous terms. This I should mun Hamlet, and have reviewed in connection what Goethe and Coleridge have said. Both have successful of the unhappy, was all he craved at last. Goethe, too, says he has known, in all his active wi[5 more...]
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