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and temper were adapted, and where he at once made himself a name and influence. In 1795 he published his Prolegomena to Homer,—one of the most important works ever written on a philological subject. Then followed his bitter contest with Heyne, whe of ease, however, have prevented him from publishing much; but what he has published has become a canon,—as his text of Homer, though he gives no notes to support his alterations; his rules of criticism, in his Prolegomena, though not carried out e, etc., etc.,—all things of little compass, but pregnant with important consequences and changes. . . . . His course for Homer was commonly attended by 180 to 200, and I am persuaded that very few professors, in any faculty, have delivered so great on the Continent,—Wyttenbach and Wolf. Of his enemies he never spoke, unless it were once of Voss, whose translation of Homer he ridiculed; and, though by a strange accident I walked with him this afternoon to the tomb of Heyne, it seemed to exci
F. A. Wolf (search for this): chapter 5
than in the forgotten heresies of Leibnitz and Wolf. So that you may set it down as an almost univthe last three days, I have seen a good deal of Wolf, the corypheus of German philologists, who is his work effected. It ended with the triumph of Wolf, though in the course of the controversy he disefeated. When Heyne's Iliad came out, in 1802, Wolf and Voss published one of the most cruel and sc a vignette in his Virgil of 1806. After this, Wolf seems to have been tolerably quiet at Halle, ting for whom I have so great a veneration as for Wolf. In genius he surpasses, perhaps, nearly all to scholars now on the Continent,—Wyttenbach and Wolf. Of his enemies he never spoke, unless it were854. When I was in Gottingen, in 1816, I saw Wolf, the most distinguished Greek scholar of the ti them without a dictionary! I was walking with Wolf at the time, and, on hearing this, he stopped, ay so. When I went from Gottingen to Berlin, Wolf told me to go to his house,—a bachelor establis[3 more...]<
Worcester (search for this): chapter 5
o not think you will be dissatisfied with my situation. To Edward T. Channing. Gottingen, June 16, 1816. . . . . In one of your last letters, dear Edward, you told me that your brother William The Rev. William Ellery Channing. would like to hear something about the kind of metaphysics taught in the schools here. I forgot at the moment to answer this inquiry, and should perhaps have forgotten it still longer, if I had not last week read his third pamphlet in the controversy with Worcester; and the natural desire which this excited, of recalling myself to the memory of one who had just given me so much pleasure, reminded me of his wish, and I determined to take the first leisure hour I should find to fulfil it. In the first place, it is necessary to take a few dates, to see how rapidly the metaphysical systems have followed each other. From 1790 to 1800 Kant ruled unquestioned through all Germany. For three or four years succeeding, Fichte was the lord of the ascendant,
stopped; as a trading city, for its size the most important in Europe; and as a University, one of the largest, most respectable, and ancient in the world. The second is, of course, the aspect in which it is first seen by a stranger; and I assure you, when I came again into the crowded streets and noisy population of a commercial city, after having lived an entire year in the silence and desolation of Gottingen, I felt almost as I did when I was cast among the multitudes of London, or as Cato did when he complained of the magna civitas, magna solitudo. But that, of course, is wearing off. I am making acquaintance with the people attached to the University, and thus begin to forget that I am in a trading city, to whose semiannual fair twenty thousand strangers resort . . . . Among the great men of the University whom I have seen, are Hermann, whose treatise on the Metric you know, I suppose, about as well as I do Chitty's treatise on Pleading, and Beck, who is as familiar to you in
John Bull (search for this): chapter 5
curious instances and proofs of the efficiency of this system, and of its power to separate the men of letters from the other classes of society in their opinions and feelings; but I have room for only two. When you talk with a man in civil life of his country, you will find that he means that peculiar and independent district in which he was born, as Prussia, or Hesse, etc.; and you will find, too, that his patriotic attachment to this spot is often as exclusive and vehement as that of John Bull or a true American. But talk with a man of letters, and you will instantly perceive that when he speaks of his country he is really thinking of all that portion of Germany, and the neighboring territories, through which Protestant learning and a philosophical mode of thinking are diffused. Nay, further, take a Prussian, or Hanoverian, or Hessian politician or soldier, and he will talk with as much horror of expatriation from Prussia, Hanover, or Hesse as Bonaparte ever did of denationali
ng territories, through which Protestant learning and a philosophical mode of thinking are diffused. Nay, further, take a Prussian, or Hanoverian, or Hessian politician or soldier, and he will talk with as much horror of expatriation from Prussia, Hanover, or Hesse as Bonaparte ever did of denationalizing a flag; but a professor or a rector of a gymnasium moves as willingly from one of these countries into another, and feels himself as much at home after his removal, as if it were only from Cassel to Marburg, or from Berlin to Halle. My second proof is, that they not only feel themselves to belong to an independent body of men, but are really considered to be so by the several governments under which they happen to live. I do not now refer to the unlimited freedom of the universities, and the modes of instruction there, which make each professor independent; I refer merely to the mode in which professors are removed from one country to another. The king of Prussia would not appoi
sides these study nine hours, which is as much, I suppose, as my health will bear. My chief objects are still Greek and German, my subsidiary objects Italian and French, my amusement literary history, chiefly ancient, and books that will fit me for my future travels. . . . . Add to all this that I am perfectly well, and just contnsible 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 becametion, 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 power and European suffering were alike full, at a moment when all hope of relief seemed to have fled from the Continent, and Prussia herself to have been marked
George Ticknor (search for this): chapter 5
the subject in your letters, or if from Cogswell I could have gained a hint of your wishes, I should have sent but one of them. As it is, your decision cannot be difficult, since in either case it must be proper. Your affectionate child, George Ticknor. To Edward T. Channing. Gottingen, November 16, 1816. Two months ago, my dear Edward, I wrote you from Leipsic, and on my return here found your letters of August 9th and September 14th. I thank you for them, as I do in my heart for . . . . Farewell My respects to your mother. George. The subject of the professorship at Harvard College, opened in the letter to his father, but left unmentioned in this later one to Mr. Channing, was henceforward an important element in Mr. Ticknor's thoughts and plans. It was under discussion for a year, as the length of time necessary for receiving answers to questions and propositions made on opposite sides of the Atlantic prolonged the period of uncertainty. It will not appear agai
, and, while thus employed, attracted the attention of John Muller, the historian, who said of Thiersch and Dissen, who were then not twenty-five years old, that if the art of studying the Greek classics was lost, these two young men had knowledge enough to restore it. . . . . In the evening he took us to the house of a friend, Mr. Von Couta, a councillor of state; where we met a daughter of Herder, a cousin of Klopstock; Prof. Hand, the editor of Lucretius, a young man of thirty-five; and Myer, the archaeologist, now Goethe's intimate friend, an old man of sixty or seventy, short and fat, with very odd manners, but lively and amusing in conversation. October 28.—Prof. Riemer, who is second librarian of the Public Library, called on us and amused us above an hour, by describing Goethe's mode of living, peculiarities, etc.,—facts one cannot get in books, or from any source but the knowledge of an intimate acquaintance. Prof. Riemer lived nine years in Goethe's house, and knew him
E. Ticknor (search for this): chapter 5
e on his working-table a Latin and German lexicon, which I knew had been out but five years. I took it up, wondering what such a scholar should need it for, and, to my great surprise, found it much worn by use. During a six weeks vacation, Mr. Ticknor and Mr. Everett left Gottingen, September 13, 1816, for a tour in the North of Germany, visiting all the principal cities, and every distinguished university and school, whether in a city or small town; Mr. Ticknor always making a minute studyMr. Ticknor always making a minute study of them, and writing full descriptions of them in his journal. He devotes nearly a volume of it to Leipsic, Dresden, and Berlin, having given a fortnight to Dresden, a week each to Leipsic and Berlin, and the rest of the time to Wittenberg, Halle, Weimar, Jena, Gotha, etc. They returned to Gottingen, November 5. To Edward T. Channing. Leipsic, September, 17, 1816. . . . . Leipsic is a very remarkable place, and presents itself to everybody who comes with a judicious acquaintance with i
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