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nconsiderable oversight. It seemed incredible to the classical wits at Cambridge, that a book of Porson's, so carefully and so often revised by those into whose hands his papers came, should contain so vulgar a fault as a grammatical error; and Schaffer was knocked down in the Cambridge Review very unceremoniously for a calumniator and a liar. His friends immediately wrote to him to defend himself, but he simply answered that quarrelling was not a branch of his professorship, and that his bes copy, he showed us, by accident, Chersonesus used as a feminine, and quem as a relative consequent to cenotaphium, which, though I conceive them to be no disgrace to Porson, and little to his publishers, are still an entire justification of all Schaffer had said in his preface . . . . Farewell. It is late, and I am tired, as I always am in a strange place, if it be only from seeing unwonted objects and faces. Still your Yankee friend, Geo. Journal. September 22.—In the afternoon we
d what are your Germans, after all? They are a people who, in forty years, have created to themselves a literature such as no other nation ever created in two centuries; and they are a people who, at this moment, have more mental activity than any other existing. I have no disposition to conceal that this literature has many faults; but if you had read Goethe's Tasso, or his Iphigenia, or his ballads, you would never have said their poetry lacks simplicity; or if you had read the tales of Musaeus, or Wieland's Oberon,—even in Sotheby,—or fifty other things, you would not have said the Germans do not know how to tell stories. I am not at all disposed to conceal from you that this mental activity is in my opinion very often misdirected and unenlightened,—but, even when in error, you see that it is the dark gropings of Polyphemus round his cave, and that when such ponderous strength comes to the light, it will leave no common monuments of its power and success behind it. So much for G<
lish diplomacy, and came here directly from Munich, a year since, where he has been minister nearly two years. . . . . In his manners he is more American and democratic than English, and even in his dress there was a kind of popular carelessness which does not belong to his nation. He talks, too, without apparent reserve on subjects private and political, said a great deal of his mission to America, pronounced Jefferson to be a man of great talents and acuteness, but did not think much of Madison, spoke well of many democrats whom he thought honest, able men, etc., etc., and in general seemed to understand the situation of the politics and parties of the United States pretty well, though his mission lasted only five months, and he was hardly out of Washington . . . . . Among other things, we talked of Lord Byron; and he mentioned to me a circumstance which proves what I have always believed,—that Lord Byron's personal deformity was one great cause of his melancholy and misanthropy.
Schelling (search for this): chapter 5
h all Germany. For three or four years succeeding, Fichte was the lord of the ascendant, till Schelling pushed him from his stool, and kept it a few years. But before 1809 had closed, a rebellion o Of their systems it is not necessary to speak. It is only necessary to know that Fichte and Schelling divided the system of Kant, and that the one, by pushing his idealism too far, in the German pinning a new one. To these two consequences of the success and failure of Kant, Fichte, and Schelling, is, I think, in a great measure to be traced the present condition of metaphysics in Germany.rpation, his philosophy has still some active friends. And, in Jena, the feelings awakened by Schelling's eloquence and enthusiasm have not yet grown cold. But, after all, the number is comparatias a system of his own, collected from the disjecta membra of the systems of Kant, Fichte, and Schelling. These fragments he has commonly formed, with his own additions, into a more or less harmonio
inted out were certainly all there; but it is impossible to go into the details of this system here. . . . . To Elisha Ticknor. Gottingen, June 5, 1816. . . . .I was telling you of my acquaintance. Saturday evening I commonly spend with Eichhorn, whose immense learning, joined to his extreme vivacity, make it as pleasant as it is useful. In the last respect, however, I find the time I spend with Prof. Dissen the most profitable. He is still a young man of hardly thirty, and yet has bech 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
urden too great, and laid it down, having borne it eight years. The party at his house was pleasant, and its tone more genteel and sociable than at Gottingen. The professors who were there, perhaps, less learned, and more polished in their manners. Among them was a son of the Chancellor, formerly professor at Marburg, Gesenius, author of the Hebrew lexicon, Jakobs, etc. All were gay. The evening passed off lightly, except the time I was obliged to listen in polite silence to a sonata of Mozart twenty-four pages long; the supper was better than German suppers are wont to be. October 20.—I called this morning on Prof. Sprengel, and delivered him a letter from Dr. Muhlenburg of New York, with a small package of botanical specimens. He seems to be a man of quick feelings, and it was almost amusing to see how suddenly he passed from tears at receiving a letter from one he loved, who had so long been dead, to delight at receiving so many curious botanical specimens which he had neve
J. H. Voss (search for this): chapter 5
e course of the controversy he discovered feelings which made good men regret that Heyne should have been defeated. When Heyne's Iliad came out, in 1802, Wolf and Voss published one of the most cruel and scurrilous reviews of it that ever flowed from the gall of offended pride, to which Heyne replied by a vignette in his Virgil oournal, published in England, that they knew of only two scholars now 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 excite in him no feeen or twenty present this evening, and among them our old friend Knapp, Rudiger, who knows many languages, and looks like a raw farmer from the district of Maine, Voss, Professor of History, etc. The evening passed away pleasantly; there was little eating or drinking, but much amusing conversation, and at eleven o'clock everybody
, and is an explanation of his character. He studied here when he was very poor and wretched, and, as he says in some of his publications, ill-treated by Heyne. His first occupation was, I think, an inferior place at Ilfeld, from which Heyne caused him to be expelled, no doubt with justice, for his excesses. He then went as pro-rector to an inconsiderable gymnasium at Osterode, in the Hartz. There he lived for some time unnoticed and unknown, till he attracted attention by his edition of Plato's Symposium, which is the more extraordinary, as the notes are in German. This gave him a professorship at Halle, to whose spirit his talents 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, who was willing to claim for himself a part of the honors of the revolution in philology which this work e
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 his capacity of editor of Euripides, as Polluxfen & Co. are to me as editors of Coke, of whom I now recollect nothing but his full-bottomed wig and a long case which I had occasion to look up. . . . . Hermann and Beck are good men, and so is Prof. Schafer, who published Herodotus, though he is obliged to support himself by correcting proof-sheets of books he ought rather to comment, because his person and manner are not sufficien
oduced on me as I stood before it. A description of the picture is omitted. Berlin, October 9, 1816.—I dined with Mr. Rose, the English minister, and a considerable party of strangers, the Bavarian envoy, the Count de Chastellux, a beautiful English lady by the name of Atterson, etc. Mr. Rose is about forty-five or fifty years old, has long been in the English diplomacy, and came here directly from Munich, a year since, where he has been minister nearly two years. . . . . In his manners showing that during this interval of three or four hours he had, like Tiberius, kept these few words alta mente reposta. Mr. Rose added, that the time had been when he might have been cured of this deformity, which arose only from a weakness in the jtt, has studied it as it deserves, or, like Coleridge, has been in the country, and who has gone home and laughed at it. Mr. Rose, in Berlin, told me he would defy all the critics of his nation to produce such an instance. After all, however, you
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