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rest ecclesiastic scruples, and show that around the standard now raised the progressive tendencies of civilised Europe, be the baptism that consecrates them what it may, are assembling themselves for mutual protection. England is prepared to be faithful to such an alliance. She is falsely accused, as an entire people, of selfish indifference to the political courses of the outlying world. Show her a nation, or group of nations, free of the soldier, free of the priest, reverent to law, resolute for justice, trusting in reality and truth; and we believe she will own, at .any sacrifice, her natural affinity. Till international relations are determined less by dynastic diplomacy and more by these inartificial attractions, European societies must remain in the most precarious condition. From the Tuscan Sea to the North Cape, the Continent has scarcely a government that is not either paralysed or retrograde,—that either dares to win or has not utterly forfeited the active loyalty of its best subjects. Yet in every country the elements of regeneration abound, either motionless in despondency or wildly tossing about for want of sympathy and guidance. In the east of Europe is a power that systematically uses for her own ends the weaknesses, the jealousies, the fears, the bigotries of courts and hierarchies. In the west let there be, in expression of its own genius and for the well-being of the world, an alliance around which the strength, the aspirations, the hopes and highest faith of nations may rally and find support. We ask for no propagandism, but only for self-protection to the ripest fruits of political experience and developed Christianity. We would raise a breakwater against any return of the tide of barbarism, which has now had its ebb of centuries, and which nothing but the fierce east-wind can hurl upon us again. And the contribution to these ends for which we pray in 1856 is—A CAMPAIGN IN POLAND.
OF RECENT WORKS SUITABLE FOR BOOK-SOCIETIES.
History of England. By T. B. Macaulay. Vols. 3 and 4. Longman.
[A faithful if not very vivid piece of historical biography.] A History of Rome. By H. G. Liddell, D.D. 2 vols. Murray. The History of Piedmont. By Antonio Gallenga. 3 vols. Chapman and Hall.
[A thorough and valuable as well as most opportune book, yet not
untinged by personal prejudices.] The Life and Works of Goethe. By G. H. Lewes. 2 vols. Nutt. The Life of Henry Fielding. By Frederick Lawrence. Hall, Virtue,
and Co. Faith and Practice. By Rev. John Penrose. Murray. Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination. By Rev. J. B. Mozley, B.D. Murray.
[A disquisition of great clearness as well as subtlety.] Sermons by the late Rev. Frederick W. Robertson of Brighton. Second Series. Smith and Elder.
[Fully equal in interest to the former series.] Men and Women. By Robert Browning. 2 vols. Chapman and Hall. The Rivulet. By Thomas T. Lynch. Theobald. Noctes Ambrosianæ, 2d vol, By Professor Wilson. Blackwood. Lectures to Ladies on Practical Subjects. By Messrs. Maurice,
Kingsley, &c. Macmillan. Minnesota ; or, the Far West. By Lawrence Oliphant. Blackwood.
[A very amusing volume.] My Exile in Siberia. By Alexander Herzen. 2 vols. Hurst and
Blackett. The Last of the Arctic Voyages. By Sir Edward Belcher. 2 vols. Lovel Reeve.
(A book full of interesting details conveyed in the most struggling,
inarticulate style. The drawings and maps are very well got up.] Five Years in Damascus. By Rev. J. L. Porter. 2 vols. Murray. Western Wanderings; or, a Pleasure-Tour in Canada. By W. H. G.
Kingston. Chapman and Hall.
Recent Works suitable for Book-Societies.
Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon. By S. W. Baker. Longman.
[A strange life ruggedly told. The Indian glossaries are interesting
to the philologist.)
Hughes. Smith and Elder.
Bell and Daldy
THE NATIONAL REVIEW.
ART. I.-CHARACTERISTICS OF GOETHE.
The Life and Works of Goethe: with Sketches of his Age and Con
temporaries, from published and unpublished sources. By G. H.
Lewes. 2 vols. Nutt, 1855. Freundschaftliche Briefe von Goethe und seiner Frau an Nicolaus
Meyer, aus den Jahren 1800-1831. Leipzig, Hartung, 1856. [Friendly Letters from Goethe and his wife to Nicolas Meyer,
between the years 1800 and 1831. Leipzic, 1856.] Goethe tells us in his Autobiography, that while his mind was wandering about in search of a religious system, and thus passing over the intermediate areas between the various regions of theological belief, he met with a certain phenomenon which seemed to him to belong to none of them, and which he used to call therefore dæmonic influence. “ It was not divine, for it seemed unintellectual; nor human, for it was no result of understanding; nor diabolic, for it was of beneficent tendency; nor angelic, for you could often notice in it a certain mischievous
It resembled chance, inasmuch as it demonstrated nothing; but was like providence, inasmuch as it showed symptoms of continuity. Every thing which fetters human agency seemed to yield before it; it seemed to dispose arbitrarily of the necessary elements of our existence.” It is not always, says this great observer of life," the first and best, either in moral nature or in abilities,” who possess this magnetic influence, and it is but rarely “that they recommend themselves by goodness of heart; but a gigantic force goes out of them, and they exercise an incredible power over all creatures, nay, even over the elements themselves; and who can say how far this influence may reach ? All moral forces united are powerless against them. The masses are fas
No. IV. APRIL 1836.
cinated by them. They are only to be conquered by the universe itself,” when they enter into conflict with it. Of course Goethe was thinking mainly of Napoleon, and men like him, as he afterwards told Eckermann, when he wrote this passage. Such men put forth, he says, a power, “if not exactly opposite to, yet at least crossing, that of the general moral order of the world; so that the one might be regarded as the woof, the other as the warp.” He adds, that his life-long friend and patron, the Duke of Weimar, had this magnetic influence to such a degree that nobody could resist him, and no work of art ever failed in the poet's hands which the duke had suggested or approved. “He would have been enviable indeed if he could have possessed himself of my ideas and higher strivings; for when the dæmon forsook him, and only the human was left, he knew ndt how to set to work, and was much troubled at it. In Byron this element was probably very active, giving him such powers of fascination, especially with women.' Eckermann, with his usual delightfully childlike simplicity, anxiously asks, “ Has not Mephistopheles traits of this nature ?" “No,” replies Goethe, “Mephistopheles is too negative a being. The dæmonic manifests itself in positive active power among artists. It is found often in musicians, more rarely among painters. In Paganini it shows itself to a high degree, and it is by means of it that he produces such great effects.” Of himself he says, “it does not lie in my nature, but I am subject to its influence;" by which Goethe probably meant modestly to disclaim having any personal fascination of this kind over other men, but to indicate, what we know from other conversations he really held to be true, that apparently arbitrary and quite inexplicable impulses had often exercised the most decisive and frequently fortunate influence on his own career. But it is quite clear that Goethe did possess in no common degree this faculty for, in a certain sense, fascinating men by his presence, as well as by his writings. If Byron had more of it as a man, Goethe succeeded in imparting far more of it to his works, and neither his life nor works can be properly judged without reference to its influence. It is something quite distinct from mere beauty, power, or general merit, either of personal character or of literary creation. It is a power which goes out from the individual man, and which can imprint itself only on such writings as carry with them the stamp of individual character; and not always even on those, if, as for example in the case of Byron's earlier works, the play of character is a good deal merged in some exaggerated mood of sentiment. It is not intensity : numbers of writers have surpassed Goethe in the intensity both of literary and personal characteristics. Schiller was a man of far keener and intenser, though narrower nature, and yet he could