Графични страници
PDF файл

vanced civilisation could supply, form- exist. There remained, then, for the ed, with all these united, a complete people, within the limits of their actual poetical system. The old cultivated intelligence, only those of the sixth poets had disdained the popular poesy. class, which, as we have said, were More learned than poetical they pro. for their own times what the old balposed to themselves the imitation of lads had been for theirs. In such a exotic originals. Those of the new state of sterility the great, and even school, on the contrary, reaching the the mediocre poets, at the end of the summit of perfection about the last sixteenth century, who addressed their quarter of the sixteenth century, did songs to a people now more instructed not wish to destroy the poesy of the and cultivated, took possession, as it people before thoroughly adopting it were, of the national spirit which reigns as the best and principal element in in the old ballads, freed them from the foundations of ihat which they were their barbarous rusticity, inoculated erecting. From the fountains of the ibem with whatever knowledge, taste, ancient ballads and old popular songs, or culture was popularly diffused around the best poets of the sixteenth and se. them, adorned them with the new venteenth centuries drank in the na- graces of a melodious lyricism, capable tional spirit which animated their pro- of expressing and of adapting itself to ductions, and by means of which they the highest creations of genius. Now were enabled gradually to educate the appeared the new ballads - Moorish, popular mind to the extent of making chivalrous, historical, vulgar, amatory, it comprehend and relish the beautiful satirical, doctrinal, and the rest forms of perfeet poesy. Hitberto these works in which the poet made the lywere unknown or unappreciated by rical element preponderate, and in the people generally. For a while which he proposed to himself, almost deprived of their own minstrels, they on every occasion, to sketch his own saw themselves reduced to the condi- proper impressions, his own intimate tion of receiving no new sustenance in thoughts, as well as the events which the shape of song which might sustain revolved about him, independent of their national affections, and had thus his own identity. to be content with the old poems, which In acting thus they but obeyed the had grown insipid through age, or oc- spirit of society and of their era, and casionally with some of the later pro- gave life and elevation to the poetical ductions of the literary or lettered system which was forming itself from epoch, which, far from being restora- the elements of the ancient schools. tions of the vigorous youth of the older This magnificent work of time and naballads, were reproduced, despoiled of ture was formed, diffused, and scatall their originality and simplicity. tered without any centre of union :

The interest which lies between the but under the organising influence of seventh artistic class of the fifteenth art it contrived to emerge from the century, and those of the eighth class state of embryo and chaos in which it down to the close of the sixteenth, is lay hid. The poets, who in order to filled by ballads of the sixth class, pre. nationalise the new poesy, formed it viously described, wbich were halt pe- out of the original elements of the old, dantic and half artistic. In this pe- by amalgamating with it all the imriod, as we have said, the people, de- provements of contemporaneous culprived of their own class poets, were ture, and by borrowing from it what. compelled, in order to obtain some ever was within the comprehension novelty, to surrender themselves to the of the people, began to divest tbe spirit of pedantry which was then in primitive popular ballad of its natural the ascendant - a spirit which ever rudeness, to soften by means of art comes in the wake of ignorance; and the asperities that deformed it, to thus the compositions which were in- smooth its language and modes of utfected with the fashionable vice easily terance, and, finally, to adapt it to the became popular. The old ballads, expression of passions, sentiments, and and their imitations, written in the ideas in an elevated and dignified manlanguage of a remote epoch, had be- It must be adınitted, that some come almost unintelligible to the peo- of the earliest poets who dedicated ple. Those of the troubadours of the themselves to this more perfect style fifteenth century were equally strange of composition, fell frequently (doubtto them; and the truly artistic ones of less because even art itself does not the new school bad scarcely begun to always work on fixed principle), not only into the defects peculiar to the ruled the world, and the enchanting traditionary ballads, but also into those lyre which was the model and delight that belong to the lettered or pedantic of men. The same great geniuses era. It is on this account that even who elevated the national poesy, placed still there may be discovered in their it from the very beginning in the path works much carelessness and inele: of retrogression, by impregnating it gance of language, a turgid fulness of with that false taste and that ominous style, a defective and not over delicate affectation of which it sickened, even taste, and an excessive desire of pa- unto death. The fantastical conceits rading whatever learning they pos. of Gongora invaded the most eminent sessed, which was badly digested and mind; but while they admitted, their absurdly out of place. Among the own eminent poetical inspirations were poets who imitated the new popular sufficient to palliate their defects; and school may be mentioned Pedro de Lope, Tirso, and Calderon, even when Padilla, Lucas Rodriguez, Lobo Lasa they Gongorised, awoke flashes of a de la Vega, and many others, who in brilliant and noble poesy. It was not their own publications, or in the 80 with those who succeeded them; ! Romancero General,” and later col. wanting the creative fire and the de lections, published ballads either anony- liberate taste which genius, art, and mously or with their names.


sound criticism produce, they abanBut soon afterwards, when the bal- doned themselves to a servile imitation lad emancipated itself from the fetters of all that was vicious and corrupt, that bound it, when art became to it without being fortunate enough to be like a second nature, without inter- able to understand, much less to re. fering with the spontaniety of original produce, the portion that was really inspiration - when, in fine, the great excellent. Thirty years before this poets, such as Lope and Gongora, who catastrophe took place, who would shed such a light over the closing year of have believed that the beautiful and the sixteenth century, took it into their inspired poesy that then existed could own possession, then indeed it clothed have so far deteriorated that even the itself in all the splendour of poesy, rude ballads of the streets would be diffusing among the people an intense preferred to it? The popular romances feeling of poetio enjoyment, which at the least preserved a certain na. found its fullest fruition in the drama, turalness, a certain moving interest, to which it contributed materials that which were wanting in the vicious, even yet are unexhausted. The bal. affected, and pedantic works of the lad became once again the repository artistic poets who, from the end of the of the popular poesy, in contradis. seventeenth to the middle of the eightinction to the learned and classical teenth centuries, cultivated the Spanschool which, at their respective ish Muse. Such was the destiny of periods, Boscan, Garcilasso, Luis de that divine inspiration which animated Leon, Herrera, and Riojo brought to the illustrious men of genius, who a the highest perfection, and which, few years before created and enlarged possessing qualities that were accepted the dominion of Castilian poesy. This by the ballad poets, diffused itself proves that the people became coramong

the people, polishing their taste rupt in their taste less readily than and enlarging their intelligence. Un- the educated classes, and that ignofortunately the vigorous youth of the rance itself does not go so completely new national poetry was of short du. astray as that false and presumptuous ration; and it was already past, when, knowledge which, in order to distin. in the seventeenth century, the Spanish guish itself the more conspicuously, nation, forgetful of its triumphs and rushes beyond the boundary of the its glories, let fall from its listless real, and loses itself in tortuous ways hands the sceptre of power which and labyrinths that have no exit.*

* The ballads of the eighth class, from their birth to their maturity, are to be found in the ** Romancero General ” and the lesser“ Romanceros," which, previously published in detached portions, were subsequently reunited in it. These forin the first seven parts out of the thirteen of which the entire work was eventually composed. To these may be added, " The Second Part of the Romancero General and Flower of Miscellaneous Poesy,” which had been publisbed by Miguel de Madrigal, and some other collections of a similar class which subsequently appeared.


We feel confident of having chosen than from some continental travellers both an interesting and an instructive who now and then could not fail to subject, in bringing before our readers turn an accidental and transitory a short account of the German univer- glance towards the German Universisities. In no country, not even in ties, and who allowed them sometimes England, are there any institutions of a rank, however secondary, amongst higher importance than they are, for the objects of their attention. Of the the advancement of learning and best we have met with, we may men. science; and it is not only to perform tion “ Russell's Tour in Germany in a public task profitably, but also to 1824 and 1825," a book which is cerpay a debt of private gratitude, that tainly written in a vigorous and judiwe invite consideration of those seats cious style, though it may pass someof erudition which have been visited times rather a harsh criticism upon the and looked upon with reverence by so peculiar national habits of the Germany British scholars, divines, philo- man student. The author, who resided sophers, and medical professors, in the some time at Jena, and seems to have age of Cranmer and of Porson, in the acquired most of his information on time of Canning and of Dr. Arnold ; the German Universities at the time albeit, amongst so many English vi- of his stay at this particular universitysiters, and some true admirers, the town, rates the inoral standard of the German Universities have never yet German academicians very low. This met with one who was sufficiently ac- will not astonish him who knows that tuated either by gratitude or else by a Jena has been formerly noted in Gerdesire of criticising, as to lay before many for the wildness and extrava. the public of this country a more gances of her students; but it is lengthened and, if possible, just ac- obvious, for the same reason, that Jena count of them. Satisfied to reap their can hardly be considered as a fair speadvantages, content to borrow or to ex- cimen. In the latter part of his book, plore their intellectual treasures, we the author himself admits that the life have never thought it necessary or ex- of the students at Berlin and at Göt. pedient to consider the peculiar system tingen does not generally exhibit the of the German Universities in general, crude forms which he found to be chaor to form a correct estimate of the racteristic of the Jena student. moral and scientific tone that pervades Thus we must refer our readers for them. Men recorded their impressions further information on our subject of them in little more than a doggrel principally to German publications. verse or so, which Canning could It may be well to add, that the Ger. address to Göttingen, * or Porsont mans have shown a greater interest devote to the memory of Brunck, in the scientific institutions of their Ruhnken, or Hermann, who at the neighbours, than the latter have shown same time, as Porsen confesses, made for the institutions of Germany. him drunk with their knowledge. From They possess a most elaborate acthem less information is to be derived count of the English universities by

* We allude to his well-known verses on

" -- the U

niversity of Göttingen." † Richard Porson :

"I went to Frankfort and got drunk
With that most learned Professor Brunck ;
I went to Wortz and got more drunken

With that more learn'd Professor Ruhnken."
Νήιδί, έστι μέτρων, ώ Τεύτονες, ουχ ο μεν δς δου:

Πάντες, πλήν Ερμαννος · ο δ' "Eρμαννος σφόδρα Τεύτων.
"Skilled ye are in Metrics, Germans, not the one or the other,

But all, except Hermann. But Hermanu is a thorough German."

Huber; and but as lately as 1851, which does not belong, in the same a Professor from Joachimsthal Col- degree, to the universities in other lege, Berlin, L. Weise, paid a visit countries, both by the greater fre. to England and Scotland for the es- quency with which they were resorted pecial purpose of inquiring into the to, and by the political ascendancy state of education at schools, both high which, in the turn of events, has de. and low, in these countries. The let- volved upon them. ters in which he published the results We are fully aware of the impossi. of his inquiries, after his return to bility of doing so comprehensive a subPrussia, establish a close comparison ject full justice within the narrow li. between educational establishments in mits of this essay. We shall therefore Prussia and those of England. “G. limit our description of the German Bell's Journal of English Education" Universities to leading points of gehas given the only translation of them, neral interest, and treat of their pecuas far as we know, up to the present liar system of instruction, their intertime.* Whatever we may think of the nal composition and constitution, their author's opinions--according to which relation to the State; and instead of a the moral and religious part of educa- longer and more precise discussion of tion would seem better attended to in their moral and political character, England, the mental and intellectual offer some short sketches of the life and better in Prussia--the letters of Wiese habits of the German student, which will be worth the notice of all who the personal experiences and recollectake an interest in educational to- tions of the writer have partly sugpics.

gested. We hope that at a time when the A statistical and historical survey question of University reform is so of the German Universities will fitly strongly engrossing public attention, afford us a proper beginning. Germany an account of the Universities of a boasts at present of about twenty-five neighbouring people may not be un- universities; the uncertainty of the corwelcome. But we consider the sub- rect application of the terms German ject not merely from an educational and University does not allow of a more point of view. It would be very short- exact statement. They are of very difsighted, and doing the question little ferent ages, some very old, some quite justice, were we to view them only as recent. But, as regards their origin, schools where the young are initiated they have been all erected by the soin the rudiments of science.

Their vereigns or secular powers of the difinfluence is not limited to the rising ferent provinces, and none of them exgeneration ; and their claims to our isted before the middle of the fourexamination rest upon a still broader teenth century. This enables us already foundation—they are nurseries for the to draw a twofold conclusion concern. philosopher, the scholar, and the states- ing their nature. It explains, on one man for all who are to fill the most hand, the entire absence of mediaval important stations of a country - in institutions, and of monastic, secluded short, we may call them the foci of a habits; and it shows, on the other also, nation's intellectual life, the sources of why they were, and are yet, dependent its learning, and the fountains of its on the governments. The earliest uniscience—the illustrious assemblages of versity in Germany was that of Prague. all its wisest and most thinking men. It was in 1348, under the Emperor Moreover, as great social bodies, they Charles IV., when the taste for letters display in a remarkable way the genius had revived so signally in Europe, and character of a nation, and exer- when England may be said to have cise a decisive influence on its moral, possessed her two old universities alpolitical, and social condition. And ready for three centuries, Paris her this particularly applies to the univer- Sorbonne already for four, that this sities of Germany, which have at all university was erected as the first of times acted in that country a singu- German Universities. The idea origiJarly conspicuous and prominent part; nated in the mind of the Emperor, who and have acquired there an importance was educated in Paris, at the univers

We see that one or two translations of Wiese's letters have appearel since this was written.

sity of that town, and was eagerly taken the necessity of an entire reformation up by the townspeople of that ancient of the Church. The phenomenon is and wealthy city, for they foresaw that characteristic of the bold spirit of inaffluence would shower upon them if quiry that must have grown up at the they could induce a numerous crowd new University. However, the poliof students to flock together within tical consequences that attended the their walls. But the Pope and the promulgation of such doctrines led alEmperor took an active part in favour- most to the dissolution of the Univering and authorising the institution; sity itself. For, the German part of they willingly granted to it wide privi- the students broke up, in consequence leges, and made it entirely independent of repeated and serious quarrels that of Church and State. The teaching of had taken place with the Bohemian and the professors, and the studies of the Slavonic party, and went to Leipzig, students, were submitted to no con- where straightway a new and purely trol whatever. After the model of German University was erected. While the University of Paris, they divided Prague became the seat of a protracted themselves into different faculties, and and sanguinary war, a great number made four such divisions one for di- of Universities rose into existence vinity, another for medical science, a around it, and attracted the crowds tbird for law, and a fourth for philo. that had formerly flocked to the Bohesophy. The last order comprised those mian capital. It appeared as if Gerwho taught and learned the fine arts many, though it had received the imand the seiences, which two depart. pulse from abroad, would leave all ments were separate at the Sorbonne. other countries bebind itself in the All the German universities have pre- erection and promotion of these learned served this outward constitution, and institutions, for all the districts of the in this, as in many other circumstances, land vied with each other in creating the precedent of Prague has bad a pre- universities. Thus arose those of Rosvailing influence on her younger sister tock, Ingolstaldt, Vienna, Heidelberg, institutions. The same thing may be Cologne, Erfurt, Tubingen, Greifssaid particularly of the disciplinary walde, Trèves, Mayence, and Bâles tone of the university. In other coun- schools which have partly disappeared tries, universities sprang from rigid again during the political storms of clerical and monastic institutions, or subsequent ages. The beginning of bore a more or less ecclesiastical cha- the sixteenth century added to them racter, which imposed upon them cer- one at Frankfort on the Oder, and tain more retired habits, and a severer another, the most illustrious of all, kind of discipline. Prague took from Wittenberg. Everyone who is acthe beginning a course widely different. quainted with the history and origin of The students, who were partly Ger- the Reformation, knows what an immans, partly of Slavonian blood, en- portant part the latter of these univerjoyed a boundless liberty. They lodged sities took in the weighty transactions in the houses of the townspeople, and of those times. The Reformation ori. by their riches, their mental superi- ginated in a disputation of university ority, and their number (they are re- professors, on the famous ninety-five corded to have been as many as twenty theses of Dr. M. Luther, and in its thousand in the year 1409), became the earliest stage the whole movement had undisputed masters of the city. The the appearance of a mere academical professors and the inhabitants of squabble. But soon the overwhelming Prague, far from checking them, rather eloquence of the chief champion of the protected the prerogatives of the stu- new doctrines, the deep researches of dents, for they found out that all their Melancthon and its other adherents, prosperity depended on them. We can the burning of the Papal decrees by the desire no clearer or more powerful whole studentship of Wittenberg, with proof of the tendency of the German Luther at their head, convinced the University system, than that which we world that questions of greater moment must recognise, when we see Prague were hidden under the learned discusenter at once upon the arduous task of sions of the Wittenberg professors. It spiritual reform. Not two generations is not our business here to follow up had passed since the erection of an in- the further course of those memorable stitution thus constituted, before Huss events. Wittenberg remained by no and Jerome of Prague began to teach means the only champion of Protes

« ПредишнаНапред »