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external result, valueless. Most cordially, therefore, do we agree with the professor as to the value of merely personal details as a supplement to the ponderous military and diplomatic records of modern history; and there is no English reader of Alison's ninth volume of European History'-not to speak of German—who will not willingly concede to Steffens the old man's privilege of talking copiously about himself, when himself is merely the introducer of such names as Gneisenau, and Scharnhorst, Marshal Blücher, and the Baron von Stein.
The two volumes which contain these patriotic reminiscences are the seventh and the eighth of a series, to which our readers have been already (No. Ixi.) introduced. When noticing the first six volumes, we purposely eschewed all matter of a political nature, and confined ourselves, for the sake of unity, to a few gleanings of literary particulars, such as we thought might be interesting to the student of German literature. In the present supplementary notice we shall, for the same reason, reverse the procedure, and, excluding the literary and philosophical passages, confine ourselves to what is purely political and patriotic; military we can hardly say, for the professor, with an instinct of good sense which does him credit, in these pages systematically avoids giving any opinion on matters which his speculative genius never fitted him to understand. The purely military reader, therefore, will expect nothing from the Erlebtes;' to him Clausewitz, and other sources, are open; while, on the other hand, those who love from the side-glimpses and chance-aspects of war, which the formal historian ignores, to supplement their ideas, not of military science, but of human nature, will find in the warlike professor's reminiscences some food convenient for them. At the same time we are forced, as honest critics, to repeat here the general censure which we already passed on the previous volumes, Es ist breit! gar zu breit!' When will the Germans learn to select and to arrange their materials, and to bring them within the compass of an ordinary English reader's patience? There are some of Tintoretto's pictures at Venice, where whole walls are so figured over with the swift impressions of a quick fancy and a ready hand, that the spectator for very multitude of objects can literally see nothing. Thus Steffens wearies the ear with a continuous hum of small voices, till it becomes utterly unfit to receive a distinct notice of a truly strong and heroic articulation. This voluminosity, however, is a vice not so much of Steffens, as of Germany; and we must even bear with it on condition that those Germans who choose to indulge themselves in it will at the same time supply the truly German book-virtue, which is its antidote, an accurate and comprehensive index.
The Liberation War in Germany.
When we fix our eye on the war of 1813, in Germany, the first thing that strikes us is its singularly popular, and because popular, personal character. It is remarkable how much of the purely human and individual comes here gallantly and triumphantly into the foreground, casting not court and cabinet merely, but even diplomacy and tactics, strangely into the shade; inspiring them, at least, with a poetic soul that does not belong to them, and dressing them in a free and natural garb that seems borrowed rather from the pages of Homer than from the War-office of a modern ministry. As in the stout conflicts of the 'Iliad,' the strong Diomede,' and the lusty-roaring (Bony ayatos) Menelaus,' the delicate Aphrodite, and the furious Ares, gods with mortals in one sublime fray struggle face to face and hand to hand, with all the freedom of a school-boy scuffle, unconscious of rank and file, and of all the perplexing detail of tactics and strategics; so the hot hussar, Marshal Blücher, the old man with the young heart; the glowing poet, Körner, with the sword in one hand, and the lyre in the other; Fichte, the philosopher of the iron will, and Jahn, the white-bearded prophet of gymnastics and Germanism, all come forward here, in the broad fullness and intense energy of their personal character, fighting as free men, not as professional soldiers-a group of most motley consistence, and most marked individuality, bound together for a season by the strength of one common feeling the feeling of love to fatherland, and hatred of Napoleon. It is in vain, therefore, that a historian shall describe the liberation war in the same fashion that so many other wars of ancient and modern times may be described, by a detailed account of the campaign, and a skilful exhibition of the military movements. These form the principal matter in many wars, and, therefore, may justly claim the principal place in the historian's narration; but in the liberation war, the moral soul and popular character are the principal thing; and whoever has not known and valued this element, whoever has not brought it dramatically and prominently forward, has gilded the skeleton of the matter only, and brought forth a dead book. We make these remarks here to show more distinctly the proper value of such personal memoirs as those of Steffens, Arndt, Varnhagen, &c., in regard to a war of this kind, even when they furnish us with such merely incidental gleanings, and fragmentary personal notices, as those which we can gather from the present work. There is no author who furnishes us with fewer tangible and available independent facts of the war, than Henry Steffens; but there is none, if we except Arndt, in whom its inspiration glows more fervidly, who may be regarded as a fitter exponent of that moral power which
God raised up in Germany, to overthrow the physical force dynasty of Napoleon.
We may commence our extracts by a few remarks of the professor on this very point-the peculiarly popular and national, moral and human, character of the war.
"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 existence; as little could it be called a war to maintain the balance of power. There was no balance of power to fight about: it had long ago vanished. It is not from the wars of the French revolution that we have to date the disturbance of the balance of power in Europe. So far as Germany was concerned, our true subjection dates from the peace of Westphalia: since then the predominance of France was decided: and the struggle that followed afterwards, if we except the wars of Frederick the Great, though here and there favourable, exercised no permanent influence in restoring Germany to its true position in Europe. The truth is that a nation, when morally conquered, can never pursue any external success to its legitimate consequences; political or military triumphs are mere delusions; and however humbling to France were the events that clouded the last days of Louis XIV., however weak that country appeared under Louis XV., the French still remained morally the masters of Europe. Germany, in particular, seemed altogether to have given up its right of thinking for itself: and in this unhappy country there was no higher honour than clumsily to imitate the French. the courts of German princes the most worthless adventurer from Paris stood in the highest estimation; friseurs, ballet-dancers, and all sorts of cattle from the banks of the Seine, could make their fortunes among the higher circles of Germany, provided they only condescended to take office under the German 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 signify to Europe a corresponding moral inferiority in the people thus forward to pass sentence upon itself. It was not till the victory of the encroaching enemy was complete, till decisive measures had been taken to choke every germ of national and independent spirit violently in the bud, that the original strength of the people began to show itself, and to start up with elastic impulse against the weight that oppressed it. The war was not of that kind, which, being engaged in at the mere external word of a master, is carried on by indifferent or unwilling combatants: it was a war that each individual honest mind in the country had determined on for itself, before a public declaration was made in the name of the community. As in the moral conflicts of the individual, the enemy makes one deceitful inroad after another, 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
The Liberation War in Germany.
presents itself, whether a rescue of the moral man be yet possible, or an unconditional surrender must be made? then the intended victim suddenly recognises the enemy in all his hatefulness, and pierces with an eagle eye through every possible mask he can assume; so in the political existence of the German people a critical moment had arrived: the question was put to all, stern, clear, decided: it was felt by all that nothing but an answer equally stern and decided could suit the emergency. It is well known, indeed, that a great part of Germany was still in league with Napoleon, that (as in the unhappy times of the thirty years' war), reduced and controlled by France, Germans fought against Germans; but there was an element of German feeling now alive that was utterly unknown in the seventeenth century. The relations of the old German empire were too perplexed to allow any thing like a national German feeling to assert itself; now, however, circumstances had brought out this feeling in great potency: the contrast between France and Germany was no longer doubtful. Napoleon's historical significance is based mainly on this, that, not merely externally by his conquests, but internally in every German bosom, he dissipated those fair Gallic delusions that had been accumulating and deceiving us for centuries, and thereby compelled every German to put to himself the question, whether he was prepared to surrender all claims to a separate national existence, or would not rather make one strong determined effort for self-preservation? This political crisis, assisted by a general popular regeneration, restored Germany to its station among the nations, and delivered Europe from the otherwise unavoidable danger of French ascendancy.”
Such were the grand moral elements of the war, a war containing on a vastly greater scale all that renders the memory of Marathon sacred to the Greeks, of Bannockburn to the Scots. It is quite characteristic, therefore, to find Germany, at this period, shaking itself free, as by some new Heaven-imparted instinct, from those numberless strings and trappings of merely official authority through which it is wont to manifest its political existence. Our patriotic professor goes about at Breslau so early as December, 1812, and fired at once with sympathy for his captive friends at Cassel, with prophetic glimpses of the fatal precipitation of Napoleon from Moscow, and with copious potations of champaign, spouts politics vehemently before high persons,' 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 Hansetowns, between living Rothschilds and Goldschmidts, and the Fuggers and Pirkheimers of an 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 Burschen, against Napoleon. 'Meine Herren'-with these words he concluded his morning lecture, Gentlemen, 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 present occasion, excited as the public mind was, a universal ferment was the consequence. Before the half of the announced interval was expired, the lecture-room was crowded. The walls were scaled, the windows were besieged, the doors stood agape; on the corridor, on the stairs, in the street, the eager crowds were swarming. The situation of the professor with his swiftracing pulse, and fierce-heaving billowy 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 day of rescue for Deutsch