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with spots, and my face covered with them; and I lay for many days blind and in great pain. They tried the only possible alleviation, and promised me golden mountains if I would keep my self quiet, and not increase the mischief by rubbing and scratching. I prevailed so far over myself, while, according to the ruling prejudice, I was kept as warm as possible, and the evil was thus only increased. At last, after a sorrowful time, there fell as it were a mask from my face. The spots had left no visible mark upon the skin, but the features were observably altered. 1 was myself contented with merely seeing again the light of day, and gradually losing my spotted skin. But others were inhuman enough to remind me often of my former state; especially a very vivacious aunt, who had before made me her idol, could even in after years seldom look at me without exclaiming-" O, the devil! coz-how ugly he is grown!"
Then she would relate to me circumstantially how I had formerly been her delight, and what attention she excited when she took me about with her; and thus I early learned that people very often make us do severe penance for the pleasure which we have afforded them. I neither escaped measles, nor small-pox, nor other the like torments of youth. And always I was assured that it was a happiness to have now suffered each successive misfortune, once for all. But, alas! there was still another in the background, and moving forward. All these things increased my tendency to reflection; and as, in order to escape the pain of impatience, I had already often exercised myself in endurance, the virtues which I had heard praised in the Stoics appeared to me highly deserving of imitation, and the more, as the like was recommended by the Christian doctrine of patience.
On occasion of this family affliction, I will also make mention of a brother about three years younger than I, who was similarly seized by that infection, and suffered not a little from it. He was of a tender nature, quiet, and capricious, and we never had a real intimacy with each other. Moreover, he scarcely survived the years of childhood. Among several other children born afterwards, who similarly did not live long, I only remember
one very pretty and pleasing little girl, who also, however, soon passed away; so that, after the lapse of some years, I and my sister found ourselves the only survivors, and therefore the more inwardly and affectionately united.
Those maladies and other unpleasant vexations were in their consequences doubly burdensome. For my father, who seemed to have laid down for himself a certain calendar of education and instruction, was resolved to make good again immediately every loss, and imposed double lessons upon the young convalescents. It was not difficult to me to accomplish these; but was in so far annoying, as it hindered, and in some degree repressed, my inward development, which had taken a decided bent.
From these didactic and pedagogic afflictions we commonly took refuge with my grandfather and grandmother. Their house stood in the Friedberg Street, and appeared to have been formerly a castle; for on approaching it nothing was seen but a large gate with battlements, which joined on each side the two neighbouring houses. On entering, one reached at last, through a narrow passage, a tolerably wide court, surrounded by dissimilar structures, which were now all united into one dwelling. We usually hastened at once into the garden, which stretched with considerable length and breadth away behind the buildings, and was very well kept. The walks were mostly bounded by vine-trellises; a part of the space was used for vege tables, and another for flowers, which from spring till autumn adorned in rich succession the borders and the beds.
The long wall looking to the south was employed for well-grown peach-trees, of which the forbidden fruit ripened temptingly before us through the summer. Yet we rather avoided this side, because here we could not satisfy our longings; and we turned to the opposite, where an endless row of currant and gooseberry bushes furnished our greediness with a series of harvests on till the autumn. Not less interesting to us was an old, high, wide-spreading mulberry-tree, both on account of its fruits, as also because we were told that the silk worms fed upon its leaves. In this peaceful region my grandfather was found every evening pleasantly busy in forwarding with his own hands the
growth of the finer fruits and flowers, while a gardener did the ruder work. He never let himself be vexed with the manifold pains required in order to preserve and propagate a beautiful pink. He himself carefully tied the branches of the peach-trees in a fan shape to the espaliers, in order to promote an abundant and proper growth of fruit. He trusted to no one else the sorting of the bulbs of tulips, hyacinths, and similar plants, and the care for the preservation of them. And I still like to remember the diligence with which he employed himself in budding the different kinds of roses. In this work he put on, to escape the thorns, those antique leathern gloves, of which three pairs were annually given him at the pipers' sitting, so that he never was without them. He wore, also, a robelike dressing-gown, and on his head a folded black velvet cap, so that he might have passed for an intermediate person between Alcinous and Laertes.
He pursued all these garden labours as regularly and accurately as those of his office; for, before he came down, he had always arranged the list of causes for the following day, and read the legal papers. In the same way he went in the morning to the Council-house, dined on his return, then nodded in his great chair; and went through every day as he had gone through the day before. He
spoke little, showed no sign of passion, and I do not remember that I ever saw him angry. Every thing about him was old-fashioned. I never saw any innovation in his wainscoted room. His library contained, besides juridical works, only the first travels, voyages, and discoveries of countries. On the whole, I remember no state of life which could so well as this have produced the feeling of an inviolable peace, and an eternal duration.
But that which raised to the highest point the reverence we felt for this excellent old man, was the persuasion that he possessed the gift of prophecy, especially in things concerning himself and his own destiny. He expressed himself, indeed, decidedly and circumstantially to no one, except my grandmother. But we all knew, however, that he was instructed by significant dreams in that which was to happen. Thus, for example, he assured his wife, at the time when he
was still among the younger members of the Court, that, at the next opportunity, he would obtain the vacant place on the bench of the councillors; and as, in fact, one of the councillors died soon after of apoplexy, he commanded, on the day of the choice and decision by lot, that all should be quietly prepared in the house for the reception of the guests and congratulating visiters. And the decisive golden ball was actually drawn in his favour. The simple dream which gave him this knowledge, he confided to his wife as follows:-He had seen himself in the full ordinary assemblage of the court, where all went on according to custom. Suddenly, the now deceased councillor had risen from his seat, stepped down, begged of him in an obliging way to take the vacant place, and so had gone out through the door.
Something similar occurred on the decease of the chief magistrate. On such an occasion there is little delay in filling up this office, because there is always a fear that the Emperor will take some opportunity of reviving his old right to the appointment of the chief magistrate. This time an extraordinary sitting for the following day was notified about midnight by the court messenger. Now the light in his lantern was going out, and he therefore asked for a candle's end, which would enable him to proceed upon his way. "Give him a whole one," said my grandfather to the women; "for, after all, his trouble is on my account.' The result also corresponded to this expression. He actually became chief magistrate; in which event this circumstance also was particularly remarkable, that although his representative in drawing the balls, which served for lots, was the third and last to draw, the two silver balls came out first, and therefore the golden one remained for him at the bottom of the bag.
The other dreams that we heard of were also quite prosaic, simple, and without a trace of the fantastic or wonderful. Further, I remember having rummaged as a boy among his books and notes, and found there, among other remarks on gardeningThis night came N. N. to me, and said. -the name and revelation being written in cipher. Or in the same way-This night I
-the remainder again being in cipher, except the conjunctions and other words, from which nothing of the meaning could be conjectured.
As to this matter, it still is remark able, that persons who showed in general no trace of any mysterious power of foresight, obtained for the moment in his company the presentiment, through means of sensible signs, of certain events of disease and death taking place at the same time, but locally distant. But no such gift has descended to any of his children or grandchildren. For the most part they have rather been sturdy people, full of the enjoyment of life, and resting only on the actual.
This leads me to recall them with gratitude, for much kindness which I received from them in my youth. Thus, for instance, we were employed and amused in very many ways when we visited the second daughter, married to a drug-dealer, Melbert, whose house and warehouse lay in the market, in the midst of the liveliest and most crowded part of the town. There we could look very pleasantly from the windows at the crowd and crush, in which we feared to lose ourselves. And although at first, among the many different articles in the warehouse, only liquorice, and the small brown stamped cakes made from it, had any great interest for us, yet we gradually became acquainted with the profusion of ob jects which pass in and out in such a business. This aunt was the liveliest of that generation of the family. While my mother, in her earlier years, liked to be nicely dressed, and engaged in some pretty female work, or in reading a book; the other went about the neighbourhood to take charge of neglected children, to attend to them, comb them, and carry them about, which, indeed, she had practised for a good while with me. At a time of public solemnities, or at coronations, she could not be kept at home. Even as a little child she had grasped at the coins scattered on such occasions. And it used to be related, that once when she had got together a good share, and looked at them complacently in the palm of her hand, some one had struck them away, and so she had lost at once the well-won spoils. She took also much pride in the fact, that standing on a stone-post while
the Emperor Charles VII. was going by, at a moment when all the people were silent, she cried into the coach an eager Vivat! and so caused him to take off his hat to her, and even to thank her graciously for this bold compliment. In her house, too, every thing about her was in movement, joyous and brisk, and we children were indebted to her for many a pleasant hour.
A second aunt was in a more quiet state, but also one suited to her character as the wife of the minister Stork, incumbent of St Catharine's Church. He lived, suitably to his disposition and employment, much alone, and possessed a fine library. Here I first became acquainted with Homer, and that in a prose translation, as it is found in the seventh part of Herr Von Loen's new collection of the most remarkable travels, under the title, Homer's Description of the Conquest of the Kingdom of Troy, which is ornamented with engravings in the theatrical French taste. These designs corrupted my imagination in such a degree, that for a long time I could represent to myself the Homeric heroes only under the like forms. The incidents themselves unspeakably delighted me. Only as to the work itself, I had much complaint to make that it gives us no account of the capture of Troy, and ends so abruptly with the death of Hector. My uncle, to whom I expressed this reproach, referred me to Virgil, who then completely satisfied my demand.
It will be taken for granted, that we children had, among our other lessons, a continued and progressive instruction in religion. But the Church Protestantism imparted to us was properly nothing but a kind of dry morality. Of lively exposition there was no thought; and the doctrine suited neither the understanding nor heart. Thus, there were many kinds of dissent from the Established Church. There arose the Separatists, the Pietists, the Moravians, the Quiet-in-the Land, and others, however named or characterised, who all, however, had only the one purpose of approaching the Deity, especially through Christ, more nearly than seemed to them possible under the form of the Established religion.
The boy heard these opinions and propensities unceasingly spoken of; for the clergy as well as the laity divided
themselves into the for and against.
This and the like might easily make an impression on the boy, and excite a similar disposition in him. In short, he fell upon the thought of directly approaching the great God of Nature, the Creator and Preserver of heaven and earth, whose earlier displays of wrath had long been effaced from memory by the beauty of the world, and the manifold blessings which are bestowed on us in it. But the way to accomplish his purpose was very peculiar.
The boy had, in the main, confined himself to the first article of belief. The God who stands in immediate union with nature, and owns and loves it as his work-this seemed to him the true God, who no doubt can enter into a closer relation with man, as with every thing else, and will care for him as well as for the movement of the stars, for days and seasons, for plants and animals. Some passages of the gospel said this expressly. The boy could not assign a form to this being, he therefore sought him in his works; and, in the true Old-Testa ment manner, would raise an altar to him. Natural productions were figuratively to represent the world. Over these a flame was to burn, and dignify the heart of man aspiring towards his Maker. Now the best ores and specimens were taken out of the cabinet of natural objects which he possessed, and which had been accidentally increased; but how to range and pile up those was the next difficulty. His father had a handsome red-lackered gold-flowered music-desk, in the shape of a four-sided pyramid, with different stages, which was very convenient for
quartetts, although it had latterly been but little used. The boy possessed himself of this, and built up in steps the representatives of nature, above another, so that the whole looked agreeable, and at the same time expressive enough; so, at an early sunrise, the first adoration was to be performed-only the young priest had not settled with himself how he was to produce a flame which should give at the same time a pleasant smell. At last the thought struck him of combining the two, as he had some pastils of incense, which, if not with a flame, yet with a glimmer, diffused the most agreeable fragrance. Nay, this gentle burning and exhalation appeared to express what passes in the heart still better than an open flame. The sun had long risen, but neighbouring houses concealed the roofs. east; at last it appeared above the
Immediately a burning-glass was taken up, and by means of it the pastils were lighted, which stood upon the summit in a handsome china basin. All succeeded according to the wish, and the devotion was complete. The altar remained as a peculiar ornament of the room which had been granted to him in the new house. Every one saw in it only a well-decorated collection of natural objects, but the boy knew better what he did not tell; he longed for the repetition of that solemnity. Unhappily when the most suitable sun rose, the china cup was not at hand. He placed the pastils immediately upon the top of the music-desk; then they were lighted, and the devotion was so great that the priest did not observe what damage his offering caused, until it was too late, for the pastils had burned mercilessly into the red lacker and the fine golden flowers; and, as if it were an evil spirit that had disappeared, they left behind their black indelible footsteps. This threw the young priest into the most extreme perplexity; he was able, indeed, to hide the mischief by the largest and showiest pieces of ore, but he had lost the spirit for new offerings. And this accident might almost be regarded as a hint and warning how dangerous it always is to try to draw near to God by such proceedings,
WHIG AND TORY FINANCE.
AMONG the many subjects of pressing importance and painful interest, which the present state of the empire forces on our attention, there is none which is of more serious national concern than the state of the public finances. It is of the more importance that the subject should be carefully considered and duly pondered, by all persons capable of forming a rational opinion on the existing state of affairs, that it is one which never, till a crisis arrives, attracts the general notice of the people. If, indeed, a suspension of the dividends to the public creditor, or of the regular pay to the army and navy, were to occur, the public terror would know no bounds; and one-half of all persons of property in the empire would soon be ruined by the universal pressure that would take place upon all persons connected with either agricultural or manufacturing engagements. But, till such a calamity occurs, the bulk of the people take very little interest in the financial concerns of the nation; and, when they are roused on the subject, it is generally for no other object but to clamour for a reduction of taxation, or oppose the imposition of any new assessment. General systematic views for the regulation of financial concerns are never embraced by the majority of the people, either in private or public affairs; and the system of living from hand to mouth, unhappily so common in domestic concerns, speedily proves fatal to the financial affairs of any old state, in which the popular voice is rendered paramount in the legislature.
Among the evils which have been brought upon the country by the Reform Bill, and the consequent substitution of the vacillation of multitudinous for the steadiness of patrician rule, it is perhaps the greatest; because it is certainly the most irremediable, that all attempts, even at foresight, or a prospective system in our financial concerns, has been abandoned —that no administration ever thinks of doing more than getting through the session of parliament with as little clamour as possible - and that the imposition of any new taxes, unless under the pressure of some instant national danger, which strikes the senses of
all, is a thing which, by universal consent, is never to be thought of. Future ages will probably concur in the conclusion, that the imprudent and uncalled for remission of taxation, and the wide breaches effected in the Sinking Fund, from 1815 to 1830, are the greatest stain upon the Tory administrations of Great Britain; and that, if a more manly and far-seeing system of financial policy had been adopted, the burden of the debt, and the pecuniary embarrassments of the state, would by this time have almost entirely disappeared. But, disastrous and inexpedient as were the prodigious and uncalled for reductions in indirect taxes which they made, their system of finance was wisdom itself, compared to that which has been adopted by their successors; and, as the nation has now enjoyed four-and-twenty years of profound peace, of which fifteen were passed under Conservative, or semiConservative, and nine under Liberal administrations, all classes have had ample materials on which to form an opinion, both as to the probability of the debt ever being materially diminished under the present system of popular government, and of the political party whom they have to thank for the present hopeless financial situation of the country.
It is no easy task even for those most experienced in these matters, to state accurately, upon a retrospect of a considerable part of a century, what progress has been made in the reduction of the debt in every particular year; because so many financial operations take place, by which the stock is apparently affected, and so much translation of the debt is made from an unfunded to a funded state, that the ordinary financial tables, if not examined by a person accurately acquainted with the details, are often more calculated to mislead than to inform. There is one test, however, which, after the lapse of considerable periods, affords a certain criterion by which to judge of the progress which has been made either in diminishing or augmenting the public debt. is by comparing the sum total of the funded and unfunded debt at the commencement and termination of two