tract these from the current English novels, what is there left?
Germany furnishes at present no models of prose style; and all her past models, except perhaps Goethe and Heine, seem to be already losing their charm.
Yet for knowledge we go to Germany, more than ever, and there is a certain exuberant wealth that can even imparr violated.
In some of the greatest modern authors, however, there are limitations or drawbacks to this symmetry.
Margaret Fuller said admirably of her favorite Goethe, that he had the artist's hand, but not the artist's love of structure; and in all his prose writings one sees a certain divergent and centrifugal habit, which coll, so long as this recompense does not intoxicate.
The peril is, that all temporary applause is vitiated by uncertainty, and may be leading you right or wrong.
Goethe wrote to Schiller, We make money by our poor books.
The impression is somehow conveyed to the young, that there exists somewhere a circle of cultivated minds,
larity in other fields; it is only the tone of our national literature that suffers.
There is nothing in American life that can make concentration cease to be a virtue.
Let a man choose his pursuit, and make all else count for recreation only.
Goethe's advice to Eckermann is infinitely more important here than it ever was in Germany: Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them.
Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but it is sure to repent of eve goes to sleep.
And in such matters, as the French actor, Samson, said to the young dramatist, sleep is an opinion.
It takes more than grammars and dictionaries to make a literature.
It is the spirit in which we act that is the great matter, Goethe says.
Der Geist aus dem wir handeln ist das Hochste. Technical training may give the negative merits of style, as an elocutionist may help a public speaker by ridding him of tricks.
But the positive force of writing or of speech must come from
t you are tedious; wreathe the chain with roses.
The more you have studied foreign languages, the more you will be disposed to keep Ollendorff in the background: the proper result of such acquirements is visible in a finer ear for words; so that Goethe said, the man who had studied but one language could not know that one.
But spare the raw material; deal as cautiously in Latin as did General Jackson when Jack Downing was out of the way; and avoid French as some fashionable novelists avoid Enginto a book-maker: after that, though the newspapers may never hint at it, nor his admirers own it, the decline of his career is begun.
Yet the author is not alone to blame for this, but also the world which first tempts and then reproves him. Goethe says, that, if a person once does a good thing, society forms a league to prevent his doing another.
His seclusion is gone, and therefore his unconsciousness and his leisure; luxuries tempt him from his frugality, and soon he must toil for luxu
And save in depicting this attribute of humility or contrition, modern literature, at least since Petrarch, seems to me singularly wanting in grand pictures of ideal womanhood.
Spenser's impersonations, while pure and high, are vague and impalpable.
Shakespeare's women seem at best far inferior, in compass and variety, to Shakespeare's men; and if Ruskin glorifies them sublimely on the one side, Thackeray on the other side professes to find in them the justification of his own. Goethe paints carefully a few varieties, avoiding the largest and noblest types. . Where among all these delineations is there a woman who walks the earth like a goddess?
Where is the incessu patuit dea or Homer's di=a gunaikw=n? Among recent writers, George Sand alone has dared even to attempt such a thing; she tries it in Consuelo, and before the divinity has got her wings full-grown, she is enveloped, goddess-like, in the most bewildering clouds.
Perhaps it is precisely because these high id