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e masters of German thought and language? where its ruling Chap. II.} princes? where its one incomparable king? In the north-east of Germany the man who, alone of Germans, can with Leibnitz take a place among the wise by the side of Plato and Aristotle, reformed philosophy as Luther had reformed the church, on the principle of the self-activity of the individual mind. As Luther owned neither pope nor prelates for anything more than school-fellows, so Kant accepted neither Leibnitz nor Hume for a master, and passed between dogmatism and doubt to the school of reason. His method was, mind in its freedom, guided and encouraged, moderated and restrained, by the knowledge of its powers. Skepticism, he said, only strands the ship and leaves it high and dry to rot: the true inventory of the human faculties is the chart by which the pilot can take the ship safely wherever he will. Kant, IV. 10. He stopped at criticism as little as the traveller who waits to count his resources bef
versity of Saxony, when seven years old he and his father's house were partisans of Frederic, and rejoiced in his victories as the victories of the German nation. Goethe, Aus meinem Leben, Werke, XX. 51. In early youth he, like those around him, was interested in the struggles of Corsica; gave the cry of Long live Paoli; Compare extract from the manuscript of Die Mitschuldigen, in Hempel's ed., VIII. 42. and his heart was drawn towards the patriot in exile. Goethe, XXII. 321, and in Stella, act III., Goethe, IX. 343. The ideas of popular liberty which filled his mind led him, in his twenty-second year Miller's Unterhaltungen mit Goethe, 18. or soon after, Strehlke's Vorbemerkung in Hempel's Goethe, VII. 5. to select the theme for his first tragedy from Chap. II.} the kindred epoch in the history of the Netherlands. But the interest of the circle in which he moved became far more lively when, in a remote part of the world, Goethe, XXII. 321. a whole people showed si
Simon Montfort (search for this): chapter 3
her from Flanders to the Gulf of Finland,—renewing Dantzic; carrying colonies to Elbing, Konigsberg, and Memel, to Riga and Reval; stretching into the interior so as to include Gottingen, Erfurt, and Magdeburg, Breslau, and Cracow; having marts alike in London and Novgorod; shaping their constitutions after the great house of merchants of Lubeck, till the consolidated union of nearly eighty cities became the first mari- Chap. II.} time power in the commercial world. As in England, Simon de Montfort created a place for the representation of the boroughs in parliament, so free imperial cities had benches in the German diet. In these republics and other towns, not so directly depending on the empire, was to be found whatever was best in local self-government, in orderly industry, in art and science, in wise financial administration, in tolerant wisdom drawn from the observation of many religions and many lands, in free inquiry and intelligence. The emperor had sought to unite in
Von Ranke (search for this): chapter 3
ion, but especially by the sword and fire. The infallible interpreter of morals may, in unbridled licentiousness, order and do what is right in his own eyes; Von Ranke, XXXVII. 32. Gregorovius, III. 263, et seq., VII. 312, et seq., 504, et seq. ruling in all things and never ruled; judging all things and never judged. In Grerning communities of believers; and that these communities, thus freely formed, may be associated through an annual general meeting of ministers and delegates. Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte, II. 304. The glad lessons of reform went out through all the land, kindling the poor and humble and afflicted with the promise of a happihere was better promise from the house which Chap. II.} a burgrave of Nuremberg, one of the wisest, most right-minded, and most popular statesmen of his age, Von Ranke, XXV. 105. and whose days in his land were long, had transplanted to Brandenburg. In 1613, when the congregation of the Pilgrims at Leyden was growing by come
Gustavus Adolphus (search for this): chapter 3
f Protestant Rochelle, the reformation was rescued in Germany by the relief of Stralsund, and extended in America by the planting of a regular government Chap. II.} in Massachusetts. The day on which Winthrop sailed into Boston harbor, Gustavus Adolphus was landing fifteen thousand men in Pomerania. The thoughts of Germany and of the new people of America ran together: one and the same element of life animated them all. The congregations of Massachusetts, too feeble to send succor to their European brethren, poured out their souls for them in prayer. From the free city of Nuremberg, Gustavus Adolphus, History of the United States, II. 284. just three weeks before his fall at Lutzen, recommended to Germans colonization in America as a blessing to the Protestant world. In pursuance of the design of the Swedish king, the chancellor Oxenstiern, in April, 1633, as we have seen, called on the German people te send from themselves emigrants to America. In December the upper four
Germany living seeds of culture, which ripened the most various fruit. The complete victory of the pope over the emperor substituted for an all-pervading central dominion, not national freedom, but anarchy under princes and nobles, and thousands of separate jurisdictions; not organized public life, but national dissolution; a triumphant hierarchy, not the greatness of a people. Heinrich von Sybel, Die Deutsche Nation und das Kaiserreich, 61. Thanks to the creative energy of the house of Saxony, the empire which it founded had lasted so long that the idea of the unity of the German nation had worked its way indissolubly into the blood and marrow of all the people. But at last the power of this later Roman empire became a phantom; its crown, a decorative bauble; its dignity, precedence in a diet; and he who possessed the fiction Chap. II.} of the great name strove no more but for separate dynastic gains: he could initiate no patriotic, allpenetrating reform; he was no protector o
by their labor, recording their title-deeds on the bosom of the earth which they tilled. Before Christianity, which is a religion of war Chap. II.} against the sins of the world, became the established religion of the Roman empire, it found its way, as if by instinct, into the minds of the Goths; Giesebrecht's Kaiserzeit, i. 52. and fragments of their version of the Bible are the oldest written monument of the German tongue. It was diffused more slowly through the northern tribes. Boniface, the great Anglo-Saxon missionary, won more and more of his kindred to the new faith: but with him came a centralizing power; for the German bishoprics and cloisters, which were founded through him, were, from their origin, connected with the see of Rome by vows of obedience. In the life struggle between the Islam and Christianity, between a form of religion bounded by the material world and the religion which sanctifies the intuitions of reason, Charles Martel, a German warrior, leading
curity against the stronger feudal nobility. They were everywhere oppressed, often robbed of their lands, and even reduced to villanage. Giesebrecht, Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit. Chap. II.} Scattered, and unconnected, and without arms, they were not able to assume their own defence, and they needed some support to which they could cling. Alone in Switzerland, which its mountains kept apart alike from Italy and the north, the free people preserved their ancient character, Freeman's Growth of the English Constitution, ch. i. and note 1. and, being content within themselves, constituted a confederated republic which has outlasted every dynasty and constitution of that day, forming a commonwealth which still stands like their own Alps. But elsewhere in Germany the nobles took advantage of the period of lawlessness to round off their estates, to wrong their neighbors, to oppress their tenants, to reduce the free rural classes to the condition of adscripts to the glebe.
pope nor prelates for anything more than school-fellows, so Kant accepted neither Leibnitz nor Hume for a master, and passedich the pilot can take the ship safely wherever he will. Kant, IV. 10. He stopped at criticism as little as the travellerelling an answer Ibid., II. 16. from both. The forms of Kant's philosophy, says Schiller, may change; its method will lanature obeys and which mind ought to obey. The method of Kant being that of the employment of mind in its freedom, his fined slavery, so he branded the bargaining away of troops Kant's sammtliche Werke, ed. of 1868, VI. Erster Abschnitt z. Ee dear to God, are the apple of the eye of God on earth; Kant, VIII. 501; VI. 419. and he wished an hour each day set asiaped by nature for a new civilization. Herder, quoted in Kant, IV. 173. Of the poets of Germany, the veteran Klopstoc the poet of the German nation, enlightened by the ideas of Kant. The victory which his countrymen won against the Vatican
its freedom to interrogate the moral and material world with the means of compelling an answer Ibid., II. 16. from both. The forms of Kant's philosophy, says Schiller, may change; its method will last as long as reason itself. Schiller to Goethe, 28 Oct., 1794. And Rosenkranz adds: Hegel als deutscher National-philosophSchiller to Goethe, 28 Oct., 1794. And Rosenkranz adds: Hegel als deutscher National-philosoph, 19. He was the herald of the laws of reason, Chap. II.} which nature obeys and which mind ought to obey. The method of Kant being that of the employment of mind in its freedom, his fidelity to human freedom has never been questioned and never can be. He accepted the world as it is, only with the obligation that it is to be mhe sea, so certainly it would come to a breach in Germany, if there should be no reconciliation between monarchy and freedom. Goethe's Briefe, 1419, 1420. Schiller was a native of the part of Germany most inclined to idealism; in medieval days the stronghold of German liberty; renowned for its numerous free cities, the dist
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