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Masterpieces of German Literature






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The Life of Jean Paul. By Benjamin W. Wells.

Quintus Fixlein's Wedding. Translated by Thomas Carlyle.

Rome. Translated by C. T. Brooks.

The Opening of the Will. Translated by Frances H. King.


Schiller and the Process of His Intellectual Development. Translated
by Frances H. King.

The Early Romantic School. By James Taft Hatfield.


Lectures on Dramatic Art. Translated by John Black.


Introduction to Lucinda. By Calvin Thomas.

Lucinda. Translated by Paul Bernard Thomas.

Aphorisms. Translated by Louis H. Gray.


The Story of Hyacinth and Roseblossom. Translated by Lillie Winter.

Aphorisms. Translated by Frederic H. Hedge.

Hymn to Night. Translated by Paul Bernard Thomas.

Though None Thy Name Should Cherish. Translated by Charles Wharton

To the Virgin. Translated by Charles Wharton Stork.


Hyperion's Song of Fate. Translated by Charles Wharton Stork.

Evening Phantasie. Translated by Charles Wharton Stork.


Puss in Boots. Translated by Lillie Winter.

Fair Eckbert. Translated by Paul Bernard Thomas.

The Elves. Translated by Frederic H. Hedge.


The Life of Heinrich von Kleist. By John S. Nollen.

Michael Kohlhaas. Translated by Frances H. King.

The Prince of Homburg. Translated by Hermann Hagedorn.


Lonely Ride. By Hans Thoma.

Jean Paul. By E. Hader.

Bridal Procession. By Ludwig Richter.

Wilhelm von Humboldt. By Franz Krüger.

The University of Berlin.

A Hermit watering Horses. By Moritz von Schwind.

A Wanderer looks into a Landscape. By Moritz von Schwind.

The Chapel in the Forest. By Moritz von Schwind.

August Wilhelm Schlegel.

Caroline Schlegel.

Friedrich Schlegel. By E. Hader.

The Creation. By Moritz von Schwind.

Novalis. By Eduard Eichens.

The Queen of Night. By Moritz von Schwind.

Friedrich Hölderlin. By E. Hader.

Ludwig Tieck. By Vogel von Vogelstein.

Puss in Boots. By Moritz von Schwind.

Dance of the Elves. By Moritz von Schwind.

Heinrich von Kleist.

Sarcophagus of Queen Louise in the Mausoleum at Charlottenburg. By
Christian Rauch.

The Royal Castle at Berlin.

Statue of the Great Elector. By Andreas Schlüter.


From this volume on, an attempt will be made to bring out, in the
illustrations, certain broad tendencies of German painting in the
nineteenth century, parallel to the literary development here
represented. There will be few direct illustrations of the subject
matter of the text. Instead, each volume will be dominated, as far as
possible, by a master, or a group of masters, whose works offer an
artistic analogy to the character and spirit of the works of literature
contained in it. Volumes IV and V, for instance, being devoted to German
Romantic literature of the early nineteenth century, will present at the
same time selections from the work of two of the foremost Romantic
painters of Germany: Moritz von Schwind and Ludwig Richter. It is hoped
CENTURIES will shed a not unwelcome side-light upon the development of
modern German art.



* * * * *



Author of _Modern German Literature_.

"The Spring and I came into the world together," Jean Paul liked to
tell his friends when in later days of comfort and fame he looked back
on his early years. He was, in fact, born on the first day (March 21)
and at almost the first hour of the Spring of 1763 at Wunsiedel in the
Fichtelgebirge, the very heart of Germany. The boy was christened
Johann Paul Friedrich Richter. His parents called him Fritz. It was
not till 1793 that, with a thought of Jean Jacques Rousseau, he called
himself Jean Paul.

Place and time are alike significant in his birth. Wunsiedel was a
typical German hill village; the ancestry, as far back as we can trace
it, was typically German, as untouched as Wunsiedel itself, by any
breath of cosmopolitan life. It meant much that the child who was in
later life to interpret most intimately the spirit of the German
people through the days of the French Revolution, of the Napoleonic
tyranny and of the War of Liberation, who was to be a bond between the
old literature and the new, beside, yet independent of, the men of
Weimar, should have such heredity and such environment. Richter's
grandfather had held worthily minor offices in the church, his father
had followed in his churchly steps with especial leaning to music; his
maternal grandfather was a well-to-do clothmaker in the near-by town
of Hof, his mother a long-suffering housewife. It was well that Fritz
brought sunshine with him into the world; for his temperament was his
sole patrimony and for many years his chief dependence. He was the
eldest of seven children. None, save he, passed unscathed through the
privations and trials of the growing household with its accumulating
burdens of debt. For Fritz these trials meant but the tempering of his
wit, the mellowing of his humor, the deepening of his sympathies.

When Fritz was two years old the family moved to Joditz, another
village of the Fichtelgebirge. Of his boyhood here Jean Paul in his
last years set down some mellowed recollections. He tells how his
father, still in his dressing gown, used to take him and his brother
Adam across the Saale to dig potatoes and gather nuts, alternating in
the labor and the play; how his thrifty mother would send him with the
provision bag to her own mother's at Hof, who would give him goodies
that he would share with some little friend. He tells, too, of his
rapture at his first A B C book and its gilded cover, and of his
eagerness at school, until his too-anxious father took him from
contact with the rough peasant boys and tried to educate him himself,
an experience not without value, at least as a warning, to the future
author of _Levana_. But if the Richters were proud, they were very
poor. The boys used to count it a privilege to carry the father's
coffee-cup to him of a Sunday morning, as he sat by the window
meditating his sermon, for then they could carry it back again "and
pick the unmelted remains of sugar-candy from the bottom of it."
Simple pleasures surely, but, as Carlyle says, "there was a bold,
deep, joyful spirit looking through those young eyes, and to such a
spirit the world has nothing poor, but all is rich and full of
loveliness and wonder."

Every book that the boy Fritz could anywise come at was, he tells us,
"a fresh green spring-place," where "rootlets, thirsty for knowledge
pressed and twisted in every direction to seize and absorb." Very
characteristic of the later Jean Paul is one incident of his childhood
which, he says, made him doubt whether he had not been born rather for
philosophy than for imaginative writing. He was witness to the birth
of his own self-consciousness.

[Illustration: JEAN PAUL]

"One forenoon," he writes, "I was standing, a very young child, by
the house door, looking to the left at the wood-pile, when, all at
once, like a lightning flash from heaven, the inner vision arose
before me: I am an _I_. It has remained ever since radiant. At that
moment my _I_ saw itself for the first time and forever."

It is curious to contrast this childhood, in the almost cloistered
seclusion of the Fichtelgebirge, with Goethe's at cosmopolitan
Frankfurt or even with Schiller's at Marbach. Much that came unsought,
even to Schiller, Richter had a struggle to come by; much he could
never get at all. The place of "Frau Aja" in the development of the
child Goethe's fancy was taken at Joditz by the cow-girl. Eagerness to
learn Fritz showed in pathetic fulness, but the most diligent search
has revealed no trace in these years of that creative imagination with
which he was so richly dowered.

When Fritz was thirteen his father received a long-hoped-for promotion
to Schwarzenbach, a market town near Hof, then counting some 1,500
inhabitants. The boy's horizon was thus widened, though the family
fortunes were far from finding the expected relief. Here Fritz first
participated in the Communion and has left a remarkable record of his
emotional experience at "becoming a citizen in the city of God." About
the same time, as was to be expected, came the boy's earliest strong
emotional attachment. Katharina Bärin's first kiss was, for him, "a
unique pearl of a minute, such as never had been and never was to be."
But, as with the Communion, though the memory remained, the feeling
soon passed away.

The father designed Fritz, evidently the most gifted of his sons, for
the church, and after some desultory attempts at instruction in
Schwarzenbach, sent him in 1779 to the high school at Hof. His
entrance examination was brilliant, a last consolation to the father,
who died, worn out with the anxieties of accumulating debt, a few
weeks later. From his fellow pupils the country lad suffered much till
his courage and endurance had compelled respect. His teachers were
conscientious but not competent. In the liberally minded Pastor Vogel
of near-by Rehau, however, he found a kindred spirit and a helpful
friend. In this clergyman's generously opened library the thirsty
student made his first acquaintance with the unorthodox thought of his
time, with Lessing and Lavater, Goethe and even Helvetius. When in
1781 he left Hof for the University of Leipzig the pastor took leave
of the youth with the prophetic words: "You will some time be able to
render me a greater service than I have rendered you.

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