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what is purely political and patriotic; mili- with mortals in one sublime fray struggle tary we can hardly say, for the professor, face to face and hand to hand, with all the with an instinct of good sense which does freedom of a school-boy scuffle, unconhim credit, in these pages systematically scious of rank and file, and of all the peravoids giving any opinion on matters which plexing detail of tactics and strategics; so his speculative genius never fitted him to the hot hussar, Marshal Blücher, the old understand. The purely military reader, man with the young heart; the glowing therefore, will expect nothing from the poet, Körner, with the sword in one hand, 'Erlebtes;' to him Clausewitz, and other and the lyre in the other; Fichte, the phisources, are open; while, on the other losopher of the iron will, and Jahn, the hand, those who love from the side-glimpses white-bearded prophet of gymnastics and and chance-aspects of war, which the form- Germanism, all come forward here, in the al historian ignores, to supplement their broad fulness and intense energy of their ideas, not of military science, but of hu- personal character, fighting as free men, man nature, will find in the warlike pro- not as professional soldiers-a group of fessor's reminiscences some food conveni- most motly consistence, and most marked ent for them. At the same time we are individuality, bound together for a season forced, as honest critics, to repeat here the by the strength of one common feelinggeneral censure which we already passed the feeling of love to fatherland, and haon the previous volumes, Es ist breit! gar tred of Napoleon. It is in vain, therefore, zu breit!' When will the Germans learn that a historian shall describe the liberation to select and to arrange their materials, and war in the same fashion that so many other to bring them within the compass of an wars of ancient and modern times may be ordinary English reader's patience? There described, by a detailed account of the are some of Tintoretto's pictures at Venice, campaign, and a skilful exhibition of the where whole walls are so figured over with military movements. These form the printhe swift impressions of a quick fancy and cipal matter in many wars, and, therefore, a ready hand, that the spectator for very may justly claim the principal place in the multitude of objects can literally see no- historian's narration; but in the liberation thing. Thus Steffens wearies the ear with war, the moral soul and popular character a continuous hum of small voices, till it be- are the principal thing; and whoever has comes utterly unfit to receive a distinct no- not known and valued this element, whotice of a truly strong and heroic articula- ever has not brought it dramatically and tion. This voluminosity, however, is a prominently forward, has gilded the skelevice not so much of Steffens, as of Ger- ton of the matter only, and brought forth many; and we must even bear with it on a dead book. We make these remarks condition that those Germans who choose here to show more distinctly the proper to indulge themselves in it will at the same value of such personal memoirs as those of time supply the truly German book-virtue Steffens, Arndt, Varnhagen, &c., in regard which is its antidote, an accurate and com- to a war of this kind, even when they furprehensive index. nish us with such merely incidental gleanWhen we fix our eye on the war of 1813, ings, and fragmentary personal notices, as in Germany, the first thing that strikes us those which we can gather from the present is its singularly popular, and because popu- work. There is no author who furnishes lar, personal character. It is remarkable us with fewer tangible and available indehow much of the purely human and indi-pendent facts of the war, than Henry Stef vidual comes here gallantly and triumphant-fens; but there is none, if we except Arndt, ly into the foreground, casting not court in whom its inspiration glows more fervidly, and cabinet merely, but even diplomacy who may be regarded as a fitter exponent of and tactics, strangely into the shade; in- that moral power which God raised up in spiring them, at least, with a poetic soul Germany, to overthrow the physical force that does not belong to them, and dressing dynasty of Napoleon. them in a free and natural garb that seems We may commence our extracts by a borrowed rather from the pages of Homer few remarks of the professor on this very than from the War-office of a modern min-point-the peculiarly popular and national, istry. As in the stout conflicts of the 'Ili- moral and human, character of the war. ad,' the Strong Diomede,' and the 'lustyroaring (Son ayados) Menelaus" the delicate Aphrodite, and the furious Ares, gods
"In this war the matter at issue was not the
mere supremacy of this or the other ruler, but
it was truly a mortal struggle for national ex-assume; so in the political existence of the istence; as little could it be called a war to German people a critical moment had arrived: maintain the balance of power. There was the question was put to all, stern, clear, decidno balance of power to fight about: it had ed: it was felt by all that nothing but an anlong ago vanished. It is not from the wars of swer equally stern and decided could suit the the French revolution that we have to date the emergency. It is well known, indeed, that a disturbance of the balance of power in Europe. great part of Germany was still in league with So far as Germany was concerned, our true Napoleon, that (as in the unhappy times of subjection dates from the peace of Westpha- the thirty years' war), reduced and controlled lia since then the predominance of France by France, Germans fought against Germans; was decided and the struggle that followed but there was an element of German feeling afterwards, if we except the wars of Frederick now alive that was utterly unknown in the the Great, though here and there favorable, seventeenth century. The relations of the old exercised no permanent influence in restoring German empire were too perplexed to allow Germany to its true position in Europe. The any thing like a national German feeling to truth is that a nation, when morally conquered, assert itself; now, however, circumstances had can never pursue any external success to its le brought out this feeling in great potency: the gitimate consequences; political or military tri-contrast between France and Germany was no umphs are mere delusions; and however hum-longer doubtful. Napoleon's historical signifibling to France were the events that clouded cance is based mainly on this, that, not merethe last days of Louis XIV., however weakly externally by his conquests, but internally that country appeared under Louis XV., the in every German bosom, he dissipated those French still remained morally the masters of fair Gallic delusions that had been accumulaEurope. Germany, in particular, seemed al- ting and deceiving us for centuries, and theretogether to have given up its right of thinking by compelled every German to put to himself for itself: and in this unhappy country there the question, whether he was prepared to surwas no higher honor than clumsily to imitate render all claims to a separate national exis the French. At the courts of German princes ence, or would not rather make one strong dethe most worthless adventurer from Paris stood termined effort for self-preservation? This in the highest estimation; friseurs, ballet-dan- political crisis, assisted by a general popular cers, and all sorts of cattle from the banks regeneration, restored Germany to its station of the Seine, could make their fortunes among aniong the nations, and delivered Europe from the higher circles of Germany, provided they the otherwise unavoidable danger of French only condescended to take office under the Ger- ascendency." man barbarian. Nowhere in history had such an example of national self-abnegation been seen of a voluntary subjection to foreign influence in a manner that could not but seem to
Such were the grand moral elements of the war, a war containing on a vastly greater scale all that renders the memory of Masignily to Europe a corresponding moral inferi- rathon sacred to the Greeks, of Bannockority in the people thus forward to pass sentence upon itself. It was not till the victory of the burn to the Scots. It is quite characterisencroaching enemy was complete, till decisive tic, therefore, to find Germany, at this pemeasures had been taken to choke every germ riod, shaking itself free, as by some new of national and independent spirit violently in Heaven-imparted instinct, from those numthe bud, that the original strength of the peo- berless strings and trappings of merely of ple began to show itself, and to start up with ficial authority through which it is wont to elastic impulse against the weight that oppress- manifest its political existence. Our patried it. The war was not of that kind, which, being engaged in at the mere external word otic professor goes about at Breslau so earof a master, is carried on by indifferent or un- ly as December, 1812, and fired at once with willing combatants: it was a war that each in- sympathy for his captive friends at Cassel, dividual honest mind in the country had de- with prophetic glimpses of the fatal precitermined on for itself, before a public declara- pitation of Napoleon from Moscow, and tion was made in the name of the community. with copious potations of champaign, spouts enemy makes one deceitful inroad after anoth- politics vehemently before 'high persons,' er, and argues his own case so plausibly, that the wavering soul is driven from one strong position to a weaker one: and now the invader seems to have obtained a firm footing in the stranger territory, when, at last, the decisive question presents itself, whether a rescue of the moral man be yet possible, or an unconditional surrender must be made? then the intended victim suddenly recognizes the enemy in all his hatefulness, and pierces with an eagle eye through every possible mask he can
As in the moral conflicts of the individual, the
alias councillors and privy councillors, nothing fearing; nay, becomes preacher and prophet, and disturbs the serenity of the fashionable salons' by denunciations against the pettifogging mercantile spirit of the present age, and instituting insidious comparisons between modern Berlin and Breslau and the ancient Hanse-towns, between living Rothschilds and Goldschmidts, and the Fuggers and Pirkheimers of an
soul, during these two hours, was such as only such a German at such a time could understand.
"I felt myself stirred like a deep ocean in the inmost depths of my nature; now at length and under such circumstances was I to be disburdened of the mission that had lain on my conscience for five long years like lead. By God's grace I was to be the first that should publicly announce to my country, that now the come: I was shaken in my inmost soul fearday of rescue for Deutschland, for Europe was fully. In vain did I seek to bring order into my careering thoughts; I could mark out no definite plan for what I was to say: but spirits seemed to whisper to me, and promise me assistance; I longed for the end of this tormentOne only thought possessed me ing solitude. hast thou lamented,' said I to myself, that with the power of inspiration: 'How often thou hast been cast into this far corner of Germany; and this very extreme point has now become the centre of a great European movement that shall possess, that shall inspire, all; here, even in this little Breslau, is the starting giant thoughts that are rolling in the bosoms point of a new epoch of history; and to the of these thousands of thy countrymen, thou art now called to give voice.' Tears started from my eyes; I fell on my knees: and a prayer restored my composure. Thus prepared, I made my way through the crowd, and mounted the cathedra. What I spoke I cannot now say; even at the end of the address, had I been asked to do so, I should in vain have endeavored to recover the stream of thought and expression that had passed from me. It was the oppressive feeling of years passed in silent unhappiness that had here found an utterance; it was the warm feeling of the congregated throngs of fellow patriots that rested upon my word of all, and even because it was an echo tongue. What I spoke aloud was the silent of what was passing in the soul of every hearer, did it make a mighty impression. I concluded my address with a declaration that I had resolved myself to lead the way, and utter no words that were not to be followed by a deed; I had determined to join the volunteers. the solitude of my study. 'Das ist nun geThis said, I left the room, and was again in than,' said I to myself. This thing is done now,' and I breathed freely and was happy."
age when the German Kaiser was, in Europe, what now the French Empereur only aspires to be. This was significant enough of the things that were soon to be but after the full amount of the Russian catastrophe became plain; after Napoleon had reseated himself on his steed of pride at Paris, and proclaimed to Europe in his vaunting phrase that he was nothing the worse of his fall, but rather the better; after Frederick William had left Berlin, as if at a safe distance from French observance, to brew wrath for the maturity of the long expected revenge at Breslau; after a proclamation had been issued to the Prussian youth, to prepare themselves en masse for a great struggle, and all was ready for the combat, only that the enemy was not yet publicly named; then in the face of native bureaucratic decency on the one hand, and French diplomatic propriety (in the person of St. Marsan who had followed the king to Breslau) on the other, Henry Steffens, professor of natural philosophy in a provincial university, able to contain his fire no longer, took upon himself to declare war from the cathedra, in his own name, and in the name of the brave Breschen, against Napoleon. Meine Herren'-with these words he concluded his morning lecture,- Genlemen, it was my intention to have addressed you again in continuation of my present subject at eleven o'clock; but a subject of greater importance has presented itself on which it will be my duty on that occasion to speak. The king has issued, or is on the point of issuing, a proclamation, calling on the Prussian youth to arm themselves for the defence of their country. On this proclamation I mean to address you. Let this be known to your friends. The ordinary lectures delivered at that hour may be neglected but that is of no consequence. The more of you that can come the better.' The strangeness of this announcement, the delivering of a political harangue from the cathedra of a German university, would have been enough at any time to have secured a numerous audience; but on the With such a vehement spirit of patriotic present occasion, excited as the public mind prophecy, Henry Steffens may well stand was, a universal ferment was the conse- (after Fichte) as the European representaquence. Before the half of the announced tive of the academic element-in Germany interval was expired, the lecture-room was not the least noticeable-in the great strugcrowded. The walls were scaled, the win-gle against Napoleon. The military eledows were besieged, the doors stood agape; ment in the same struggle, so far as Geron the corridor, on the stairs, in the street, many is concerned, is expressed by Bluthe eager crowds were swarming. The cher and Scharnhorst; while the civil elesituation of the professor with his swift- ment finds its exponentin that strong wieldracing pulse, and fierce-heaving billowy er of the modern Agrarian axe, the Baron
von Stein. Of these men we have already | forth as his adversary, with a character exact(in the notice of Arndt's reminiscences, ly the reverse; no man of calculating ambiNo. Ixi., p. 169) given some masterly sketch-tion, but a character strong in natural instinct es from the bold brush of Stein's secretary beneath gray hairs, and in his seventieth year. and healthy vigor, full of youthful enthusiasm of inferior value, but not, therefore, worth-He came forward on the great European stage less to the historian, are the following lines as if commissioned by Heaven for this purfrom Steffens : pose, to teach men that the most far-reaching God has stirred the hearts of the nations deepschemes of the scheming are vain, wherever y to act the mightiest epos of which humanity is capable."
acters, the upper region the character of a god, the lower region that of a mortal. As described by both, what a fine Homeric strength and fire is there in that old hussar! not a modern slim, gentlemanly hero at all, but a genuine old Greek, laoioioi ondeσol, with a shaggy bosom, and raging with a wild warlike instinct, like to a flesh-devouring lion, or a wild boar whose strength is indomitable.'
Ξυν δ' επεσον, λειοῦσιν ἐοικοτες ὤμοφαγοισιν
Η συσι κάπροισιν τωντε σθένος ουκ αλαπαδνον. Or as the modern song has it: "At Lützen impatient he headed the van, Like a strong young lion, the old veteran; There the Teut first taught the hot Frenchman to bleed,
By the altar of Freedom, the stone of the Swede."
"Blücher was in every view an incorrect phenomenon (eine incorrecte Erscheinung), but it was just in this incorrectness that his greatness consisted. He represented in his own character the altogether incommensurable nature of the present war; and for this These remarks tally admirably with that very reason it is that, on a superficial consider-passage in Arndt's reminiscences, wherein ation, it is as easy for his one-sided eulogists, he describes the physiognomy of Blücher by excessive praise of him, to cast all the oth- as expressing two diverse and adverse charer distinguished heroes of the war into the shade, as it is for his enemies to represent him as a mere empty phantom. The severe moralist, indeed, will find much to blame in Blücher, but he was not the less in his own per son the intensive moral centre of the war. As placed against a man like Napoleon, the bold handler of a new system of tactics, Blücher cannot be viewed as a great constructive genius in war; at the same time, it cannot be denied, that in the capacity of a military leader he has gained himself immortal honor. In his discourse he seemed quite careless, and used every random word; his common talk was that of a rude, uncultivated officer of hussars, not of a great general; at the same time there were moments when, with the most perfeet command of language, he broke out into strains of genuine military eloquence, such as no general of modern times has surpassed. He was, in fact, in every thing, in deed as in word, the man of the moment, but as such of unfathomable depth. The manner in which How different, and yet how marked with the moment seized him was quick and strong, every best German element, is the character and in this way he could suddenly fall into fits of Scharnhorst! a man with less of a healof despair, during which he considered every thy popular breadth, but more of meditathing as lost; but this despair was with him tive profoundness, more comprehensive a state of mind that vanished as quickly as it slowly to scheme and to combine, but less came, and seemed to serve only to give an adeffective suddenly to strike. Scharnhorst, ditional spur to the great purpose of his life. This purpose was nothing less than the anni-as he is described in the following passage, hilation of Napoleon: the most decided hat- and by Arndt, is a fine specimen of Ger red of this tyrant was united in his mind with man manhood, full of silent thought, enerthe strong innate conviction that he was thegy, and endurance; but in the external of man on whom this destined annihilation was manner careless and even awkward, in exlaid, and feeling thus, he acted every where pression slow, and, it may be, somewhat not so much on a well calculated plan as with the security of an instinct. In this respect he was as a soldier the exact antipodes of Napo- "Scharnhorst in his exterior was any thing leon. As this extraordinary man turned every but a soldier, he looked rather like an acadephasis of the revolution to his own account, mical man in uniform. When I sat beside him and from his earliest years knew how to com- on the sofa, his calm style of talking reminded mand and to mould external circumstances, me of a certain famous professor. His attinow in a narrower, and then in a more extend-tude was then one of the greatest ease and ed sphere, and with the utmost skill, out of the carelessness; crouching forward often in that wild irregular deluge of the revolution, shaped peculiar fashion which is so often observed in the course of a regular and mighty river, bookish men; and when he spoke, his expreswhich seemed in its wide-sweeping flow des- sions were those of one quite absorbed in the tined to annihilate all traces of distinct nationality among European men: so Blucher stood
F. Q. R., vol. xxxi., p. 176.
subject of his meditation. This was always a subject of importance; and though he spoke with the greatest slowness and deliberation, his discourse had an irresistible power of attraction, and gained, after a short time, not only the interest but the entire confidence of his auditors; nay, commanded them so completely, that even the most passionate person, although opposed to him in opinion, was forced to follow the flow of his discourse with silent attention. His opponents felt themselves compelled by sheer force of reason to yield up the shallowness of their own opinions to the tho roughness and comprehensiveness of his; and even when they could not prevail on themselves to adopt his views, they had not the courage to give a free utterance to their opposition.
"We read of a papal legate who was sent from Rome to Paris to negotiate a matter with Napoleon at a time when the emperor was making demands on the pope, which his holiness had resolved absolutely to reject, and this negotiator, it is said, by the sheer obstinacy of his opposition, brought the emperor to perfect desperation. After a prolonged interview, Napoleon suddenly left the chamber of audience in a rage, and ordered the legate to remain till he came back. He shut the door as he went out, and not returning again till the evening, thought that weariness and hunger would by this time have made the legate more conciliatory; but when, after a short apology, the interview was resumed, the churchman, without taking any notice of the apology, recommenced the conversation at the very point where it had been interrupted, and continued to talk coolly as if no break had taken place. Something after the same manner. though under infinitely more sublime circumstances, did Scharnhorst behave. Whatever, after ripe deliberation, he had resolved against Napoleon, this he never gave up; the calm obstinacy of his character commanded the whole struggle, even when he seemed to yield; the victorious adversaries felt this, and feared their enemy most when he seemed vanquished.
presented the national conscience, was, of all men, most deeply shocked when he saw himself forced by circumstances into the position of siding, externally, with his sworn enemies. Thus conscience in good men always speaks the louder the deeper they sink: and the greatest fall produces the keenest remorse, but at the same time the most decided power of a renovated life.
"There were few who knew the full extent of what Scharnhorst did for Germany. His activity was greatest in secret; not, however, that there was any aspect of timidity about it, it was on the contrary strong, silent, and unconquerable. But it was only the great generals and soldiers of the highest cast who knew perfectly what he was, and looked to him constantly as to the living, unvarying, central point of the struggle. And thus even beyond the bounds of Prussia, in the mightiest states of Europe abroad, as well as among the traitorous friends of the enemy at home, his influence where it was not seen was felt, and known secretly where it was not publicly acknowledged.
Scharnhorst, it is well known, fell at the very commencement of the great struggle which he had been so long silently preparing, in the battle of Lutzen, or Gross-Götschen as the Germans call it. Had it not been for this circumstance, British gossip might have been as familiar with him as it is with the stout old hero of the Katzbach, and his moustaches. There is another name still to complete the triumvirate; a name that England knows less than it ought, but whom Prussia can never cease to look up to w ih even greater gratitude than to Blucher. It is the Baron von Stein, the emancipator of the Brandenburg boors, the promulgator of an Agrarian law more bold than any that the Gracchi ever conceived, the most radical reformer and bloodless revolutionist that modern history has to name. "In this constancy, indeed, of a great na- The following extract exhibits, most chartional feeling, the future destiny of Prussia. acteristically, the remarkable German, who when overwhelmed by the greatest weight of did more for fatherland than any of her external evils, seemed to rest secure and wait for the expected moment of a triumphant de- most devoted patriots, and yet was never velopment; this was the last moral fortress weary of flinging rudely in her face, as a that never yielded, of which the governor matter of reproach, that faculty, by the exknew the perilous condition, and saw with ever ercise of which, she stands proully preopen eye the approaching dangers; but he eminent above all other nations-the faculsaw, also, the strength of his position, and the ty of speculation. Stein was an Englishunconquerable fidelity of those whom he set into activity, whose whole being he controlled man in mental character more than a Gerand guided, whom his presence continually in- man; and thus far, certainly, he was right; spired, not with a consuming fire of passion, the moment called aloud not for a thought but with the calm, penetrating, and cherishing but for a blow, not for a Schelling and a light of life. In this way the war against Görres, so much as for a Blücher and a France had continued even under the aspect of the most complete subjection. The people armed themselves in all quarters, under the eyes of the enemy, and Scharnhorst, who re
"Those who knew Stein, knew also that the only way to meet him was with a decided