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The works of Baggesen in Danish, fill twelve volumes, exclusive of his works in German, amongst which latter are some of his most considerable productions, as his “Parthenais," “ Oceana," " Adam and Eve," and his ,

“ “ Heideblumen.”

It is impossible in a work like this, to give a complete idea of the works of so voluminous and various a writer. Comic stories, humorous poetic letters, satiric sallies, and serious and passion-breathing lyrics, songs and ballads, make

up a large portion of his writings. We have given ample specimens of his very amusing and sparkling prose in his travels, and a beautiful proof of his tenderness in his “When I was Little.” But his dramas and

operas“ Holger Danske," “ Erik Eiegod,” “ The Trylleharpe,' a passionate and very beautiful lyrical drama of Pandion and Dione, from the Greek Mythology, and “ Thora," must be read to be estimated. In the “Poems to Nanna," which again have a romantic basis, we have unquestionably his most beautiful love poetry, which curiously enough was written in his later years. In these, however, everything like the effervescence of physical feeling is absent-purged away by the progress of time, and deeper and truer views of love and human life. In these, Nanna is the type of the pure and eternal principle of love, and Balder is the type of the human heart, which is perpetually yearning after it, in sorrow, and yet in hope. Nanna appears lost, vanished, departed into a higher and invisible world ; and Balder, while for ever seeking after her, bears with him an internal consciousness that there he shall overtake her in the end, and possess her eternally. These poems are unquestionably not only amongst the most beautiful of Baggesen’s, but of the whole Danish poetry. No man could have written them until he had gone through the deep and ennobling baptism of suffering.


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In “Thora,” though the story abounds with dark and often repulsive elements, there is still great beauty. The character of Thora, of Roller, of old Alrun, and of Gorm, are admirably and graphically drawn. There is a charming feeling of the wonderful blending with the sweetest paintings of natural scenery. We regret that it remains unfinished.

But one of Baggesen's great characteristics is that of great schemes and works unfinished. Coleridge, he abounds with fragments and projects of great things which never were accomplished. He was of too quick, outwardly impressibleandexcitablea nature; too much addicted to the pleasures of the society of the gifted, and of the contemplation of the world's varied scenery; too fond of living in the present, in the charmed circle of admired and admiring friends, to achieve works otherwise within the reach of his powers. Unlike his more fortunate rival, Adam Oehlenschläger he wanted that solid ballast in his soul which could rein his active phantasy ; that strength which could control the intellectual forces, and while they worked, direct them into a determinate course, producing in the midst of the whirlwind of passion, the profound repose of the directing spirit; that union of vigour and expansiveness by which the great monuments of genius are wrought out; and therefore, instead of productions like “Hakon Jarl,” “Palnatoké and the Gods of the North," we have “Thora" unfinished, the two first books of the “Iliad," and the two-and-twentieth book of the “ Odyssey,” in splendid hexameters, which should have grown into the whole of "Homer.” But, with all

“ his faults and short-comings, Baggesen's works will always remain, amid the literary wealth of Denmark, brilliant and beautiful, and his life and travels a deeply interesting romance.

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The name of Kund Lyne Rahbek is connected inseparably with the literature of Denmark, during the close of the last, and the opening of the present century. For fifty years of that time, he was actively and influentially at work in it. But Rahbek is a very different figure in that history to Baggesen. Baggesen was the quick, sensitive, wayward, but brilliant man of genius; Rahbek, on the contrary, was the genuine representative of the literary man. He has left no original works which can fix his name pre-eminently in the temple of his country's fame, but he has left a mass of able and interesting writings in poetry, in criticism-especially dramatic criticism-in periodical essays, and in almost every branch of polite literature, so mixed up with the people, the incidents and the interests of his time, that they must always stand there—they cannot be torn out of the general web, even were there a disposition to ignore them. But, besides that, there is so amiable and genial a feeling connected with Rahbek—with his “Camma” and his “Bakkehuus ;" he lived so kindly and helpfully amid all his cotemporaries, that Rahbek is a household word, which must always be heard when this period of Danish letters is spoken of. Rahbek was a man of all-work, but his great passion was for the drama, and he lived amongst the chief dramatic actors of his time, and has filled his autobiography, his “Erindringer, or Reminiscences, ” five volumes, with the testimonies of his intense interest in all that concerned the theatre and the opera, both in Denmark and Germany. He wrote plays, none of which had much success, and he also criticised those of his cotemporaries; he wrote songs, drinking songs, and songs of the social board, which were favourites with the young throughout Scandinavia; he edited several periodicals, and wrote the lives and edited the works of his cotemporaries. He collected the popular poems of the Danish authors into a Reading Book, thus making them more known; and was at the same time a Professor in the University of Copenhagen. He was indefatigable ; fond of knowledge, fond of diffusing it by his pen, fond of the society of literary men; clever, possessed of taste, if not of the very highest pitch; and, in short, was an able and most estimable man, but not great. Perhaps the best specimens of his writings are to be found, after all, in the pages of “The Minerva," which he edited at first in conjunction with Pram, and afterwards alone; and in

2 his “Danish Spectator," a periodical professedly on the model of Addison's.

The estimate of his literary character, given him by Molbech, in his " Anthologia,” is perhaps as fair a one as can be drawn : “He belonged rather to the eighteenth century than to our own, but he carried over the fruits of his youthful life and his manhood's activity into the nineteenth : during the first thirty years of this, he continued, with rare perseverance and unweariedness, to labour as a writer in the sphere which was peculiar to him, and for which he had formed himself in an earlier school, in vhat is called the Transition period in the eighteenth century, without being properly able to penetrate deeply into the new spirit in criticism and esthetics, which, towards the end of that century, began to make itself felt. As poet, and as creative author, he was deficient in the fire and concentrated force of genius, though he possessed many talents of a distinguished character; yet, by certain of his works, especially his prose stories and the earlier years' Spectators,' he produced a deeper impression, by his abilities of a certain kind, on the public, than all the other Danish authors of his time; and his services in these departments of the language and literature are in the highest degree important, and deserving of esteem.

“As esthetic critic, he acquired, during the most brilliant period of his life, that is, from 1790 to 1800, a great name and status: but that which in this respect he affected, was, at the best, but preparatory, and of far less result than might eventually have been expected from an author so full of native talent, so variously accomplished, of so rich a knowledge, and extensively artistic acquirements. There wanted in him a judgment possessed of clear acumen, and based on philosophic depth : and his taste, though in some respects elevated and correct, was neither delicate, strong, nor sufficiently purified and liberalized, to enable him efficiently to draw forth the hidden beauties of a poetical work, and present the best side of an average production to the light. In fact, there was in his mind, not sufficient of the poetic element, too little of the ideal vision, too much pleasure in dwelling on particular features, and in a material view of a work of art; a certain confined one-sidedness in some respects in his faculty of perception, and his mode of observation, and a proneness to substitute for his own loose and uncertain judgment, the opinions and dicta of others. These qualities, combined


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