Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

tering, and the impression which they Peculiar notions of honour, and a deep leave on readers of their accounts is love of independence and liberty, bethat they are a wild, lawless, drunken, long to his most deep-rooted principles. fighting, and hectoring class, of little Song and music, social parties, convigentlemanly bearing, and of savage vial fêtes, a martial, undaunted spirit, habits and dispositions. A more cha- and excitement of the patriotic feelings, ritable and thoroughly German-tinc- throw over his life an enchantment tured account of German student life which gilds it yet in all his later recolhas been given by William Howitt, lections. who lived some years amongst them, Each student lives in apartments and appears to have availed himself of hired at some townsman's house, acthe excellent German authorities he cording to his choice and particular had occasion to meet with. It would requirements. From thence be resorts be useless to deny that the customs of to the University only for three or four drinking and duel-fighting are some of hours daily, to attend lectures. The the dark sides of the German universi. rest of his time is either spent at home ties, and we can only wish that, fast in reading, or else with his comdisappearing as they are, they may rades. The absence of a link of union soon quite cease to disgrace those es- among the members of German unitablishments. It is unjust, however, versities, has compelled the students in criticising a class of men, to turn almost everywhere to form certain one's eyes merely at one or two topics, clubs or clans, the sole object of which and we ought rather to attempt to is to enjoy themselves together, after form a more general estimation of their true students' fashion. These fratermerits and pervading tone.

nities wear their own peculiar colours It is true, the life of a German stu- on their caps, Aags, and breastbands; dent is one of enjoyment as well as of they are organised with seniors, prestudy. They hear their lectures, and sidents, articles of comment or stuponder over them at home ; they read dents' usage, and meet at their parti. books on the objects and questions cular inns and on especial days of that interest them most; they consult every week. There you may see them, their professors; they form little clubs sitting together around two oblong or societies for discussions, and stoutly tables, before their beer or wine-gobmaintain their individual opinions lets, drinking and singing till late into against their professors or against the night, and often hidden in thick each other. But these pursuits are clouds of tobacco-smoke. They will not the only thing that occupies their discuss the duels that have been fought minds. Youth claims its rights; and lately, or are going to be fought; they as the German student is free of super- will scheme some joke upon a sordid intendence on every side, he allows Philistine or landlord ; they will agree fair play to his favourite propensities. to bring a serenade to their favourite It cannot be astonishing that their ex. professor; they make their political uberant spirits should have a peculiar speeches on the prospects of their national turn which does not coincide fatherland, and the whims of its with the habits of students of other princes; they drink and sing, and sing countries. A German student does and drink, whilst wit and sarcasm, not feather his oar in a university-boat pun and taunt, fly across the room in on regatta-day; he does not kick the quick succession, and all is dissolved foot-ball on Parker's piece; he does in infinite laughter and merriment. not skilfully take the balls at a cricket- Many of the students are fond of match. These gentle pastimes would gymnastics, or Turnen. They spend not satisfy his bolder and noisier disa accordingly much of their time upon position. His thoughts are more ex- excursions and exercises for that purcitable and somewhat enthusiastic. pose, and form associations which are His manners are more cordial and called Turner-Vereine. unreserved. His appearance and de- But by far the majority of Burschen meanour are less aristocratic. Yet he delight in fencing and the practice of is well-bred, and spirited, and high

This would certainly be very minded; he is frank and open; a harmless and praiseworthy, if it did faithful friend, and an eccentric lover not induce them to try their swords of his fatherland. He is a sworn and rapiers in actual contest upon each enemy to all falsehood and all deceit. other." But such is still the case to it

VOL. XLVI.-N0. CCLXXI.

arms,

H

great extent at almost all the German as forgotten and as expiated, and that Universities, and especially among the they will neither bear one another any members of the above-mentioned fra. grudge from it, nor allow any infor. ternities. The facility with which mation of the occurrence to spread. some German students come from a This is vowed, as throughout transpugnacious disposition to offensive actions of this nature a certain chival. words, and from offences to challen- rous air and appearance of good grace ges, will always appear equally extra- is preserved. Thus the mischief wbich ordinary and lamentable to an observer. duels cause consists fortunately in little There are amongst them a number of beyond disfiguring the face by sword. braggaducios, eager to test their skill cuts, as lives are but seldom or never and the metal of their swords, and glad set at stake. Yet we have no desire to pick a quarrel with any one to of cloaking the savage and barbarous whom they are just in the humour for nature of a custom which is so utterly addressing their pert provocations. It repugnant to all the humane feelings. is to this spirit tbat most duels must The governments and college authoribe traced ; and they have not always ties have long since proscribed and foreven the excuse of personal antipathy, bidden duelling; but of late even the or difference of opinion, or a previous students of Berlin, Bonn, and Bresquarrel, or a miscarried joke, or some lau have themselves made efforts to public or private insult that might have prevent and eradicate them entirely, by set the parties at war. For a few the erection of a students' jury (Ehrenhasty words, satisfaction with arms is gerichte), before which quarrels may desired and promised; cards are ex:

be settled peacefully. changed, seconds chosen, the cartel The students' associations have alsolemnly declared, and time, place, ways been suspected, and repeatedly and weapon agreed upon. After a dissolved by the governments; for delay of some days or weeks, which these self-constituted clubs continually are conscientiously made use of for fostered a feeling of political dissatispractising at the noble art, the parties faction, and were sometimes decried as repair, early on the appointed morn. the haunts and refuge of secret coning, with their friends, to the place spiracies. It was under similar preof rendezvous, on some neighbouring tences that the general Burschenshaft heath. An umpire and a medical stu- was dissolved, after the murder of dent must always be present. Arrived Kotzebue by a young enthusiast of the on the ground, they fix the spot and dis. name of Sand. tance for the fight, mark the mensura The principal reason, however, why or circles within wbich the combatants the ancient student-associations are must keep, strip the upper part of their dying away, is not so much the order body, and, after close examination of of the authorities, but is due to the the weapons, the sanguinary contest existence of a strong feeling against begins. The umpire holds his rapier them amongst the majority of the steadfastly between them, in order present German academicians. The to stop them at the first wound that is traditional Burschen-Comment, with inflicted, and to prevent foul play. all its rude and ludicrous appendages, Thus the two antagonists may stand, begins to fall into utter disrespect, and parrying and returning each other's is looked upon as antiquated, useless thrusts for some minutes, until at rubbish, or as toys for insipid freshlength their vigour relaxes. Now

The actual generation of Burcomes the moment for the decisive schen is a more refined class of men; blow. The contest becomes more des. they have exchanged the gauntlet for perate, and the swords glance almost a pair of kids, the cap of the corps invisibly, whilst the shouting of the (or association) for a common chapeau, anxious friends mingles with the rapid the sword or rapier for a riding-whip clash of the rapiers. Suddenly the or a walking-stick ; and it has almost umpire shouts-Sitzt, one of the two ceased to be considered as a merit to is hit; blood has been drawn and the provoke duels, to besot oneself with duel is over. And, wbilst the medical beer, wine, and tobacco; or to go student advances to attend to the swaggering along the street with a wound, the umpire summons the two professed view to annoy each Philistine, antagonists to shake hands and to pro- beadle, or night-guard, who may come mise that they will consider the offence in their way. The old customs are only practised on the sly, and are care- recapitulate the main outlines of the fully hidden from the eyes of the world, picture, so as to leave a distincter iminstead of parading in public as for- pression of them as a whole. The merly ; even the old slang is hardly German Universities, which have many ever used or referred to, without pro- defects among much that is good, bear voking a smile on every countenance. distinct traces and marks of the soil Nor is it likely that the sober, reflect- on which they are planted. They ing, and assiduous nature of the Ger- stand under the control of more or man students should make no reaction less arbitrary governments, and are to against the crude and boisterous tone of them the instruments for educating a some of their comrades. It is in general supply of officers and professional but the smaller Universities which take employés, which those bureaucratical delight in them, in order to bring some States require in order to be governed. change into the uniformity of conti- But the Universities fulfil their task nual study in their rural towns. In not in a little or slavish manner. As Berlin and Vienna little of the old pre-eminently national institutions, students' habits is to be met with. they uphold the principle of univer

men.

The predominating spirit of the sal admissibility, and exclude no larger German Universities bears of doctrine, no creed or nationality late reference rather to the political from teaching or learning among struggles of the country. It is cer- them. They pursue an independent tainly not the business of young men, system of instrution which scorns any nor of learned schools, to fight the but scientific authority; they omit all battles of their fatherland, nor to dis- mercenary means of stimulation, and cuss what laws and constitution they expect their adepts to cultivate science will establish. But it was to be ex- purely for its own sake. They have pected that the Universities, which sacrificed all the practical business of hold in Germany such a pre-eminent education, because superintendence is rank, should have also taken a leading thought at once contrary to their conpart in the present aspirations of Ger- stitution, and unsuitable to their stumany after constitutional liberty. The dents, who are expected to educate academicians of Vienna and Berlin themselves. Assiduity and enthusihave made themselves the avowed asm form the leading features of the champions of popular reform; and if youth who frequent them, and which, freedom has yet hardly begun to shed in spite of some habitual excrescences, her beneficent lustre over the middle are still found amongst them; they of Europe, it is certainly not owing to yield to Germany and to Europe a a lack of patriotism and enthusiasm number of profound scholars, divines, among the youth of the German high and philosophers, who unite a closeschools. The force and generality of looking, microscopic understanding the liberal sympathies among them is with a wide and gigantic grasp of inthe most evident proof that, in the tellect. Situated in the heart and following decennium, when the gene- centre of Europe, visited by strangers ration of young men who frequented from all quarters of the globe, the those schools in 1848 and 1849, will German Universities have acquired a have succeeded to the offices and ad- far-spreading influence on the world of ministration of the German States, letters, both by their position, and by that country must, by internal neces- the nature of their intellectual stores. sity, give way to the demands for li- They stand as the strongholds of mo. berty. It is sincerely to be wished dern European intelligence, and form that Heaven may grant to Germany a the safest and firmest anchors of gepeaceful and steady solution of her in- neral civilisation and knowledge. May ternal difficulties, and that her Univer. they remain true to their trust, may sities may unite moderation with firm. they prosper and flourish, and never ness, in the open and untiring pursuit cease to infuse wisdor

and learning of free institutions.

into the generations that annually gaIn conclusion, it may be useful to ther around them!

ALBERICO PORRO; A TALE OF THE MILANESE REVOLUTION OF 1848.

BY AN OFFICER OF THE SARDINIAN SERVICE.

CHAPTER 1.-THE FIRST IMPULSE.

" Weep on, weep on--your hour is past,

Your dreams of pride are o'er ;
The fatal chain is round you cast,

And you are men no more."--MOORE. ITALY! what a thousand associations distance was seen the city of Padua does not thy name recal? Vases filled the learned, the birth-place of the imwith flowers of beauty strew the path mortal Livy, on whose gorgeous buildof childhood, offering to the memory ings glittered the last rays of the setting of the exile, pain and joy, sorrow and sun. Around, stretching far and wide, love, all blended together in links lay the fair plains of Lombardy, decked never to be forgotten! In thee the poor with its vineyards, its hills, and its rivuexile, casting his longing glance from lets, which, meandering through wood, afar, beholds his country — his heart's and dale, and field, presenting to the centre-his beam of future happiness; gaze beauties scarcely to be described. and thy name cannot be uttered by Here and there, dotting the distant the stranger without recalling (how vi- landscape, rose the country dwelling vidly!) the sufferings and struggles of some signor, from whose gardens untold, he has risked, and is still numerous plants and flowers yet shed willing to risk, for thy redemption. their odour around; whilst from tree Thy glories of past days, when proud to tree was heard the plaintive warble of thy might, and the love of thy sons, of the bird, as if lamenting the departhou stoodest forth the mighty mistress ture of summer. of the world, the protectress of thy It was on such an evening as this, weaker neighbour, and the arbitress along a road leading to Padua was of all around thee.-Those glories are seen a carriage, led by two weary still enwrapt within our minds - still horses, toiling up a steep and difficult cherished within our hearts' core, and hill. A little before it, arrayed in tend, while raising our pride, but to travelling dress, were two persons call forth our emulation to rival and walking quietly along, seemingly the excel thy antiquity. Even in thy owners of the carriage which slowly fallen greatness there is a nameless followed them, carefully conducted charm to us surpassingly beautiful; for by a postilion and a servant in livery. not a monument can the eye gaze Disliking both postilions and lackeys upon, not a tesselated tower deck from some uncontrollable recollecthy horizon, but each speaks of its tion of having suffered at their hands, legends of its heroes, once treading we shall pass over them, to ob rve there-of the perishable of all around. more attentively the appearance of History, as if in pity to man's weak. their masters. ness, embalms his future greatness, Both of the persons whom we and leaves behind a record for future have first mentioned were evidently, ages to emulate the virtues and avoid from their dress and looks, par. the guilt.

ties belonging to the best grade of Our tale opens in the latter end of society. Both of them were young ; the year 1847. Autumn had laid his yet it could be easily seen there was brown hand on the face of nature, scat- a difference of some eight or ten years tering with impunity the green verdure, in their respective ages.

The elder and leaving behind, on every side, of the two was a man of about twentysad memorials of the approach of seven or thirty years of age, of a midstern winter. But with it there still dle stature, with fine, bold and powerlingered a beauty and fascination, nei. ful features. His countenance told that ther season nor the destruction of time with him to resolve was to do; but could possibly erase, and which has whether his resolutions were always given to that fairy clime the proud wise and good was much to be doubted Litle of the Garden of Europe. In the - for, by the eager and vehement

con

manner in which he spoke, passion, it feelings as whilst gazing on what is could be seen, and not reason, would before you? I know with your heart often guide his decision; yet if some it must have been impossible to strong motive acted as an incentive, do so; for on the ground you tread, by the powerful effort of a ready mind on every plant you pass, on every he could so control his temper as to breeze wafted towards you, there is a exactly suit his purpose; and his most voice-a silent one, I admit-speaking intimate associates could scarcely tell, to your mind, this is your own, your while honeyed and flowery words issued native land!” from his lips, that there was a storm of “But why this long lecture, Signor passion lying in his heart, which, if Barrone. If my fancy does choose to given loose to, would have swept both rove, am I not free to go and come? thought and reason away. Kind he What tie is there that should bind me could be, when that kindness did not eternally to one spot, when clime after interfere with any settled plan of his clime beckons me to explore their cuown; and even generous, when his riosities? I am not like my good old heart took a liking; but if any obstacle father's steward, Giacomo, who the stood in the way of his accomplish- more and more he gazes on his houseing his end, or any person opposed hold gods, the more he wishes to gaze. his interests, nothing could

Give me the wide world to traverse, trol the vindictive feeling he felt, or the reins of a noble horse in one hand, the eagerness with which he pursued and a golden purse in the other," anhis hatred, until all opposition was swered his companion with a gay laugh. overcome, and his object attained. “My dear friend, to you who are Such was the Baron Pinaldi.

thus young, who have never given, perThe other was a young man over haps, a second thought to any serious whom twenty summers had scarcely subject sped. His countenance was of that "There you are mistaken, carissimo, light, open, and joyous appearance, for it cost me many a passing sigh to with a gay, laughing eye, sparkling bring my own dear selt back to my with hope and pleasure, which easily told father's halls-to leave behind all those the observer that sorrow had not yet joyous spirits free as air, who smoke, placed its hand there, to dim a heart drink, and make love at the Ecoles de yet full of the freshness of confiding Paris, twenty-three hours out of twenyouth. His hair, of a dark brownish ty-four-leaving the other, I know not colour, fell in long profusion from whether right, to pore over their dry under a cap, usually worn by the stu. and prosy studies." dents of the Paduan Universities : and “Well, well, Porro, be it as you say, as he walked beside bis companion for I believe I did you wrong in hawith a free and careless step, his eye zarding such an accusation; but you roving over the beauties of his native must adınit, few would think a spirit soil, be seemed the reflection of his so light and gay as yours, rambling own pure atmosphere-all smiles, and from place to place, as if its restingtruth, and beauty. Of a tall stature, spot could never be found, would think with well-proportioned limbs, capable a serious question could occupy your of doing good strong manual exercise, mind for a quarter of an hour's conthe reader bas before him the portrait sideration. It is only those who have of Alberico Porro, the heir to a long watched you for years past, who have line of princely ancestors.

continually mingled in your society, “ Caro Porro,” exclaimed the elder would dream you could so bend yourof the two, as if continuing a conver- self, as when any particular study has sation, “I do entreat you not to be seized your imagination, you have newandering, further in your travels. ver rested till you have inastered the Look on this noble landscape, teeming subject, and astonished your friends at with every richness the eye can con. the rapidity with which you have outceive or the heart can feel, full of a done all others who have attempted thousand allurements and pleasures, the same task conjointly with you. In and say, if in all your journeys, ex- you, Porro - for me your gay heartitended as they have been to Spain, ness cannot deceive there are the maItaly's rival to Greece, the seat of the terials that should be bent to a far exploits of a Leonidas — whether you nobler study than any you have hitherto have felt the same sensations, the same pursued, and which, if pursued with a

« ПредишнаНапред »