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"Velveteen breeches and powdered hair!" said auld Paul, laughing, and taking the pipe out of his cheek. "Whase butler is't that ye're after?" "Weel," said I to him, "I see it all as plain as a pikestaff. He is aff bodily; but may the meat and the drink he has taken aff us, be like drogs to his inside; and may the velveteens play crack, and cast the steeks at every stap he takes!" It was nae Christian wish; and Paul leugh till he was like to burst, at my expense. "Gang ye're ways hame, Mansie," said he to me, clapping me on the shoulder, as if I had been a wean, " and gae ower. setting traps, for ye see you have catched a Tartar."
This was too much; first to be cheated by a swindling loon, and syne made game of by a flunky; and, in my desperation, I determined to do some awful thing.
the sharping strap, the which I fastened to my button. Syne I took my razor from the box, and gaed it five or six turns, alang first ae side and then the other, with great precision. Syne I tried the edge of it alang the flat of my hand. Syne I loosed my neckcloth, and laid it ower the back of the chair; and syne I took out the button of my shirt-neck, and faulded it back. Nanse, wha was, all the time, standing behind, looking what I was after, asked me, “if I was gaen to shave without het water?" when I said to her in a fierce and brave manner, (which was very cruel, considering the way she was in,) " I'll let you see that presently." The razors looked desperate sharp; and I never likit the sight of blood; but oh, I was in a terrible flurry and fermentation. A kind of cauld trembling gaed through me, and I thought it best to tell Nanse what I was gaen to do, that she might be something prepared for it. "Fare ye well, my dear!" said I to her,
Nanse followed me in from the door, and spiered what news?-I wa big, and ower vexed to hear her; so, never letting on, I gaed to the little looking-glass on the drawer's head, and set it down on the table. Then I lookit myself in it for a moment, and made a gruesome face. Syne I pulled out the little drawer, and got
you will be a widow in five minutes, for here goes." I did not think she could have mustered so much courage, but she sprang at me like a tiger; and, throwing the razor into the ass-hole, took me round the neck, and cried like a bairn. First she was seized with a fit of the hyricksticks, and then wi' her pains. It was a serious time for us baith, and nae joke; for my heart smote me for my sin and cruelty. But I did my best to make up for it. I ran up and down like mad, for the Howdie, and at last brought her trotting alang wi' me by the lug. I couldna stand it. I shut myself up in the shop, with Tammy Bodkin, like Daniel in the lions' den; and every now and then opened the door to spicr what news. Oh, but my heart was like to break wi' anxhiety. I paced up and down, and to and fro, with my Kilmarnock on my head, and my hands in my breek-pouches, like a man out of Bedlam. I thought it wad never be ower; but, at the second hour of the morning, I heard a wee squeel, and knew that I was a father; and sae proud was I, that, notwithstanding our loss, Lucky Bringthereout and me whanged away at the cheese and bread, and drank so briskly at the whisky and foot-yill, that, when she tried to rise and gang away, she couldna stir a fit; so Tammy and I had to oxter her out between us, and deliver her safe in at her ain door.
HORE GERMANICE. No. XXI.
THE name of Wieland is well known to our readers through the elegant translation of his Oberon, by Mr Sotheby. His claims to our sympathy, however, do not arise from the force of his genius only, great as that is, but from the treatment awarded to such a mind, by his own countrymen. The spectacle of genius neglect ed, despised, and insulted, is perhaps one of the most affecting which can be offered to the human heart. There wanted but the knowledge of its being undeserved, to assure us that Wieland's cup of bitterness was drugged to the full.
His timid, sensitive, and retiring mind, his taste, and his inclinations, made the wildness and roughness of a student's life disgusting; so that, retiring from them, he devoted himself to the profound research of ancient literature, and to the mysterious beauties of the Platonic Philosophy. His youthful productions were tinged with a melancholy earnestness, which would not admit a single gleam of chearfulness, or lightness of heart. Retiring into Switzerland, and siding with Bodmer in the famous controversy, which was agitated so warmly and so long, between him and Gotsched, Wieland produced his various religious and philosophical works, his AntiOvid, his Poem on the Nature of Things, and his Moral Tales.
At this period, too, he formed that romantic attachment for his beloved Sophie, afterwards Madame de la Roche, which, when she became the wife of another, was softened into a friendship that continued during her life. Such was the tenor of his feelings, and such the bent of his mind, till his 28th year. At this period a most extraordinary revolution took place in his character, totally unexpected by his friends, and by the world. The Poet of Religion and of Virtue, it was now said, had become the advocate of infidelity and sensual feeling. Volume upon volume, work upon work, teemed from his prolific pen, in rapid succession; and the astonished public knew not whether to admire the grace and genius of the author, or VOL. XVII.
to reprobate the inconsistency and levity of the man.
Little is known of the causes of this change. It originated most probably in the very nature of his studies. That high-wrought enthusiastic pitch to which he had elevated his imagination, had placed him beyond the sympathies and the affections of humanity. The follies, the vices, and the weaknesses, of our nature, were not a subject of commiseration, or even of contemplation, to one who could only look upon things in the abstract, and Wieland soon learned that the philosophy of Plato was not the philosophy of life. Perhaps, too, he deemed it dangerous to soar so high.
This exclusive or inordinate cultivation of any faculty of the mind, is always hurtful; because the due balance which characterizes a sound intellect is thus destroyed; but when that faculty is the imagination, there is real danger, too often leading to misery. There are feelings that seem to be imprisoned, as it were, in the human breast, the shadowings of better things, which are ever striving to be free, and to range in an ideal world. Stimulated by these, the imagination launches at once into the immeasurable abyss of thought, in the delusive hope of finding some resting-place, some point in which it may be satisfied on this side of the grave. But, alas! these hopes, these holy aspirations, are indeed delusive here; thought seems to be involved in thought, and when we most imagine that our aim is attained, we find a cheerless infinity still beyond, a waste over which we may range, like the raven of old, once and again; but, like it, shall never find one spot where we may repose in peace.
Be the cause what it may-whether owing to some palpable circumstance, or arising from the irksomeness of that melancholy, which is almost invariably an attendant on highly-excited imaginations and speculative minds, the change was sudden, and deeply rooted. The stern and gloomy bigot, the man who regarded the innocent jests of the poet Gleim, as reprehensible-now laid open the weaknesses
of our natare with the light hand of a master. A vein of the keenest satire, worthy of the translator of Horace a playful grace, which procured him the title of the German Voltaire, and a brilliant voluptuousness of style, such as few could boast of, pervaded his writings, and impressed them with immortality. It must be confessed, however, that the works which were made the medium of his new philosophy, did not always inculcate the purest morality, or the soundest views of Christianity. Neither, on the other hand, was their immediate tendency so strongly marked as to have called forth such animadversion as they have met with. In this respect, none of them can be compared with the works of Schiller, or even of Goëthe.
Wieland was, at length, called to Weimar, the Athens of Germany, and there he hoped to have passed the remainder of his days, surrounded by his friends, and in the enjoyment of a well-earned reputation. The Schlegels were now at the head of a literary sect, denominated the "Romantic," and for some cause or other, they selected Wieland as the object of their attacks, and held him up as the subject for scorn and derision. Whatever might have been his faults, he did not deserve such treatment. Surely the elegant translator of Shakspeare ought to have shown some regard for the genius of that man who was the FIRST to draw the attention of Lessing, and afterwards of Europe, to the beauties of our immortal bard. Aged, solitary, outliving all his friends, even Herder, to whom he had been warmly attached during the last ten years of his life, exposed as a subject of open laughter and public derision, the deeply-injured old man might well have turned with wonder to his countrymen, and asked if he deserved this at the hands of his nation. He scorned, however, to degrade himself by entering into the lists against his calumniators, and he bore all his sorrows without a single complaint.
graving, the minuteness and the number of the lines never obtruding, serve only to present us with a beautiful and harmonious whole. The hero of the story is that Aristippus who founded the Cyrenaic sect-a character which was exactly suited to be the vehicle of the author's new opinions. Accordingly, we find Wieland taking every opportunity of introducing them, yet so elegantly, so mixed up with poetical descriptions and classical allusions, that the interest overwhelms us as we proceed. The work supposes a knowledge of the travels of Anacharsis. The object of the author is to develope motives, and depict character, not to give information on topographical subjects. Socrates, Plato, Aristophanes, and Xenophon, are presented to the reader by Wieland, by a man, be it remembered, who is numbered among the profoundest crítics, and the most elegant poets, of his own or of any age. With such material, and such a hand to form it, who does not anticipate the interest of the production? It is the attribute of genius to be subservient to no time. The past and the future do not exist with respect to it; it is an emanation from the Divinity; and the deeds of centuries elapsed, or the anticipations of centuries to come, are grasped by it at the same moment, and are truly ever present. Not only do we see Socrates, but we hear him as he leads us from proposition to proposition, to the contemplation of the sublimest truths. We feel all the excitement that the works of the enthusiastic Plato must have created, when, as a young man, he first gave the reins to his boundless imagination, and his fame overshadowed his country. The freshness of feeling imparted by genius, makes us almost imagine that the treasures of antiquity have been laid open now, for the first time. The dream of Socrates is realized, and we hear the notes of the young swan at the very moment he bursts from the bosom of the sage, and fills the hea vens with the melody of his song.
Although few writers have the pow er of elevating our thoughts, by presenting such beautiful imagery before us as Wieland, yet it must be confessed, that there is no one who seems to delight more in asserting the pow ers of passion over every faculty of the soul. There is not a tale of his, whether in prose or in poetry, which
The present work is one of those which he wrote after he had renounced the Platonic Philosophy, and the moroseness of his former opinions. Of all his novels, the Letters of Aristippus is perhaps the best written. The characters are drawn with consummate art; every trait is minutely marked, and yet, like a highly-finished en
will not afford abundant proofs of the remark. His exquisite taste would not permit him to detail the grossness of sense; but the allusions, which are but half concealed in the voluptuous turns of his teeming style, are too striking not to be felt by all. We seldom can only quit a habit-but we generally detest what we renounce. This seems to have been Wieland's case: he was not contented with rejecting bigotry and stoicism, but he advocates looseness of thought and Epicurism. He considered Virtue, in the sensual application of the term, as a species of moral knight-errantry; and no one, he thought, was obliged to be a knight-errant. These feelings and opinions are certainly to be censured; but it must be remembered, that they were not so much Wieland's own, as the result of the age in which he lived. The French philosophy, at this period, was the lord of the ascendant in the intellectual horoscope of Europe, and its baleful rays have not even now been obscured by the purer and more extensive emanations of a higher one. Wieland's views were too often but a reflection of this.
Aristippus is sent to travel, and his first place of sojourn is Corinth. The adventure which he met with there, as it opens the book, and is intimately woven with the subsequent narrative, must b e translated.
"I had sarcely been a day in Corinth, when my usual thoughtlessness drew me into an ad venture which might have led to importa consequences, had the object. of my journey allowed me to remain. "I had finished some business, and was wanderi g in the streets of this large and magnif cent city, when the beautiful architecture, of one of the public baths enticed me to go in to bathe. I entered, but as I could see no attendant, I opened at hazard the årst bath-chamber I came near, just at the moment, however, as a young maiden,, quite alone, was in the act of stepping out of the water. This was the first time in. my life that I had been disconcerted by a beautiful prospect; yet I know not how it happened, but instead of retreating and shutting the door after me, I contrived to increase my confusion by closing it behind me. The lady, who at the moment of my entrance had instantly plunged into the bath, seemed to enjoy my confusion. 'What,' said she, (in a voice whose silver tones completed my enchantment,) do you dread the fate of Actæon, that from very fear you forget to flee? But as I am neither so beautiful as Artemis, nor even a goddess, I must neither be so proud nor so cruel as she. I see you are a inscription over the door of these Thermæ.' stranger, and probably have not read the
"As she said this, two young female slaves entered, bearing baskets on their heads filled with all the requisites for the bath. They seemed astonished at finding a stranger here, and cast inquiring glances now on me, now on their mistress. What punishment,' said the lady, does this youth deserve for blundering into a female bath, where, certainly, no male foot ever yet trod ?' The mildest, I think, would be to besprinkle him, and transform him into a-hare,' said the youngest. That, indeed, were too mild for so heinous à sin,' replied the elder. 'I know another more suited to the crime. I would condemn him to remain here until we finish, and then make him shut the door after us.'- Do you think so?' said the lady, unloosening a profusion of yellow hair that was gathered the bath, she stood covered as it were with a into a knot on her head, and arising from golden mantle, that hung in dazzling waves
as far as the knee.
There is, at least, one advantage on our author's side, over the Naturalismus of Goethe and Schiller, that his object is immediately seen-all his views are put argumentatively, and the mind thus avoids being surprised.
In the works of Goëthe and Schiller nature is deified:-From man to the pebble all is animated. There is a kindred voice in the still copse, and in the air, and in the running water! Their direct tendency is to bound our natural good by our natural evil; in other words, they bid us listen to the appeals of nature in all things, as to one in whom there can be no excess-for there is a counterpoise-nor anything positively wrong; for evil and good are parts of herself. "Werthers Leiden," and that splendid fragment of a wonderful mind, the "Faust," will readily occur to the German scholar as illustra tive of our remarks; and we need scarcely refer him to the generality of Schiller's tragedies, particularly his earlier ones, to prove that they are no less applicable to him. With this short sketch of Wieland and of his works, we may now venture to introduce the reader to the subject of the novel.
"The sweet-scented oils were applied, and all the mysteries of the bath were carried on by her maidens just as freely as if they had been quite alone with their mistress. When she was clothed, she looked at me earnestly, and said, as she was de
parting, Do not forget that Ixion suffered for boasting of the favour shown him by the Queen of Gods:' and without waiting for an answer, she stepped into a rich litter, borne by four slaves, and disappeared. As for me, I seemed to awake from a dream; of course, I dared not follow her immediately. As I was stealing out of the bath-chamber, I was stopped by an attendant, whom I had difficulty of convincing, even by a handful of drachmæ, that I was a stranger, who had unwittingly made the mistake. When I was free, I saw it was too late to obtain the slightest traces of my unknown, and so I turned homeward, uncertain what to think of my adventure. The lady appeared to be about eighteen years old; and Alkamenes, at his happiest moment, might, perhaps, have modelled her form, had the gods favoured him as they did me. Was she a Hetaira of the first class, who, under the tutelage of Afrodite, enjoyed such liberty and respect at Corinth, as would not have been accorded to her in any other city of Greece? or was she a young lady of condition, who, conscious of her charms, in the overflow of a youthful mind, took this mode of making a stranger expiate his offence? The next morning, as I was returning from the Lechæan harbour, I thought I saw one of the slaves coming towards me out of a myrtle grove. We knew each other at the instant, though she showed herself better acquainted with my name than I with hers.
We know all your designs,' said she, saluting me, and as my mistress is acquainted with your intention of quitting Corinth to-morrow, she desires you will accept a trifling remembrance of yesterday's adventure.' It was an elegant little basket, wove with silver thread, which contained a lock of her golden hair, and a clasp of small pearls. You can easily conceive, Cleonidas, how eloquent the occasion rendered me, and how I tried to emulate all your persuasive powers to learn the name and condition of the lady: But in vain: the mischievous creature only laughed at my passionate address; and all I could gain by my most earnest entreaties, seconded by a purse full of daricks, was a promise that she would meet me in the evening, that I might also leave a trifle which might recal me to the remembrance of her mistress. She promised; but I waited for her in vain."
Leaving Corinth, untrammelled with any desires or affections which could alter his determination of prosecuting his travels and studies, Aristippus proceeds to attend the Olympian games. To a philosopher who disregards everything that does not directly or indirectly tend to the "useful," and to the advancement of mankind, the
combat of boxers and of wrestlersthe emulation of Persians and Scythe competition of charioteers-and thians, do not offer anything that can call forth other feelings than those of surprise mingled with contempt; not so, however, the view of the Phidian Jupiter :
"I entered the temple, expecting to see a god of ivory and gold, sculptured by the hands of a great master; and yet I could no more prevent the awe and trembling which seized me, than others whom I had before ridiculed. The Nspeλnyigéra Zeus of Homer immediately presented itself to me in the Phidian Father of Gods; and, for an instant, I really thought I saw the King of Heaven sitting on his throne, consenting to the bequest of the weeping Thetis, and shaking Olympus as the Ambrosian locks nodded on his immortal head."
Socrates, however, is the great object of his journey; his wide-spreading fame had gone through the whole of Greece, and made Athens the object of attraction. As our author is allowed to have caught the character of this wonderful man better than any modern, we shall present the first impressions of Aristippus in his own words:
"It would be difficult to describe the impression by which I was surprised, on first seeing this extraordinary man. My imagination had formed an idea, independent of my will, of how a person must look, in order to be Socrates; and now I perceived, that among all mortals, Socrates was the last whom it suited. I stood there quite perplexed; but I had scarcely been half an hour with him, when I was not only reconciled to the unexpected physiognomy, but fancied no other external could possibly have expressed his internal character either so directly or with such force as this very one. Picture old man, with a Silenus-head, bald alto yourself a broad-shouldered corpulent most to the temples, and the fiery look of a genuine descendant of the heroes of Marathon and Salamis; and judge what a contrast such a figure must have been to the expectation of a young man, who, having heard of his far-famed wisdom, with the head of a Pythagoras or a Solon. could not imagine him otherwise than But the comprehensive understanding which dwells in that high foreheadbroad, arched, and overhanging the bushy eye-brows; the mind that flashes from his well-opened eyes, as with a glance he seems to look into the bottom of your soul; the unequivocal expression of a firm, manly character, unacquainted with