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dency. C. F. Sibbern, the author of “Psychological Pathology” and “The Letters of Gabriel,” has, like Fichte and Hegel, entered into his own mind, to trace, as far as possible, the laws and the instincts of its being; but, unlike them, has brought thence the firmest anticipations of a future worthy of both God and man, and in fullest accordance with revelation. In these works we have a profoundly interesting history of the progress of a human spirit through all the sorrows and troubles of sceptical doubt and fear, to victory and peace. The same views are powerfully promulgated both from the pulpit and the press, by the eloquent Bishop Mynster and the Titanic Grundtvig. Martensen, in his “ Anatomy of Self-Consciousness," his “Attempt at a System of Moral Philosophy,” “Master Eckhardt,” and “The Christening, follows convincingly in the same track ; and the brothers Kierkegaard have done signal service in it. Peter Christian Kierkegaard made himself intimately acquainted in his youth, not only with the writings, but the persons and living thoughts of the German moral philosophers, of however differing views-Hegel, Schleirmacher, Neander, etc.; and has shown his own convictions, not only in his writings, but by his long and zealous friendship and cooperation with Grundtvig. Sören Aaby Kierkegaard, “the solitary philosopher,” has also probed the depths of the same metaphysic systems in the society of the great advocates of them, having especially devoted himself to the study of Schelling; and in his singular but remarkable works, “Enten-Eller :" that is, “ Either—Or,” a Life's Fragment, by Victor the Hermit; “Reiteration;" “ An
* Attempt in Experimental Psychology;"“Fear and Trembling;" a Dialectic Lyric, by John de Silentio; and his “Instructive Tales,” dedicated to that individual, has with wonderful eloquence, and with the warmth of an
actual experience of the “ Fear and Trembling” and the “Gospel of Suffering” of which he speaks, proclaimed his firm adhesion to that true spirit of the North, which of old saw, in the myth of Valhalla, combat and death as leading only to victory and life.
We must not close our present remarks without a brief allusion to two of the most remarkable men of Denmark-the brothers Oersted. We have seen these two ever-united brothers appearing, in the life of Oehlenschläger, in the vigour and beauty of a young existence which promised high eminence. That promise has been fully realized. They were the sons of an apothecary at Rudkjöbing, in Langeland. They were sent to Copenhagen together to study, and boarded at their aunt's, where Oehlenschläger also boarded ; and by which circumstance they became great friends, Anders Sandöe afterwards marrying Oehlenschläger's sister, Sophia.
The two brothers always continued united in the most beautiful brotherly affection. Anders Sandöe Oersted became a great lawyer and statesman. He has not only occupied some of the highest posts in the Government, but has done much by his writings to clear and establish the principles of state economy. Hans Christian, on the contrary, devoted himself to physics, and has won one of the greatest names of the age. His discovery, in 1820, of electro-magnetism—the identity of electricity and magnetism-which he not only discovered, but demonstrated incontestably, placed him at once in the highest rank of physical philosophers, and has led to all the wonders of the electric telegraph. His great work, in which he promulgates his grand doctrine of the universe, “The Soul in Nature, we are glad to see is about to appear in an English translation in Mr. Bohn's Scientific Library. In that he argues from analogy, that the whole universe
is constructed on great, infinite and uniform principles, and that, therefore, we are bound by the most direct kinship to all spiritual and intellectual life, wherever, and under whatever diversified form it may appear in the empire of space. Death has for a time divided the so long inseparable brothers : the philosoper died a short time ago--the lawyer and late minister is still living.
MODERN SWEDISH LITERATURE.
OUR task here will be comparatively brief. The ancient literature of the Swedes, was that of the common Scandinavia. We have already given it under the heads of the Eddas and the Sagas. As with Denmark and Norway, so with Sweden, the first independent literature which it possessed was that of the Visor. This, too, we have given, and as the reader will have seen, it is a particularly rich and vigorous department; affording ample promise of a rich future harvest; ample proof that in the native soil of the popular mind there was prolific vigour, which, under the influence of culture, would send up a noble intellectual growth. That too, in modern days, has been realized. But during the middle ages, precisely the same causes which destroyed the native literature of Denmark and Norway, annihilated that of Sweden. It was the incubus of Latinity and Rome. From the time that monkery set its foot in Sweden, till the Reformation shook its yoke from the soul of the people, there lay a dark and barren waste of mind, in which the Visor and the Sagas, circulating amongst the uneducated population, and keeping alive the germ of intellectual life,
amid woods and hills, were almost the only evidences of intellectual taste and genius.
The Swedish literary annalists divide the history of their literature into four grand periods. First, The Romantic; Second, The Germanico-Italian, or Stjernhjelm period of the seventeenth century; Third, The Gallic period ; and Fourth, The New School, commencing with 1809.
Of the first of these periods, we have already given the most remarkable productions in the Visor and Sagas. Such was the dearth of actual genius, that the period is extended to the commencement of the seventeenth century. The Germanico-Italian period, and the Gallic, have little or nothing so prominent as to deserve minute examination, or afford novelty by extracts. We shall, therefore, only have to give a passing notice to these epochs, and come down at once to the modern school, in which is, in truth, to be found the true glory and greatness of Swedish intellect.
But there is another cause which will much shorten our labour in reviewing the Swedish literature, and that is, that it is especially and distinctively lyrical. The genius of Sweden is confessedly neither epic, dramatic nor historic, but essentially lyrical, and that only in one department, but pre-eminent in that—a lyrical realism. On this head we may quote the assertion of Lénström :*
“ We are too lyrical to be purely epic, and too epic to be purely lyrical. We stand between the two poetical poles, the ideal and the physical. This mediate position generally produces a dramatic element, which we, how
, ever, do not possess. Why? Because this mediation does not act inwardly but outwardly with a partial jurisdiction. The highest sphere of the inward life, reason, is the only
* “Svenska Poesiens Historia,” p. 9.