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The next chapter, on the character and manners of the Germans,' is more important. The estimate which Mad. de S. has formed of them, is probably not very different from that which many of our readers have been led to form for themselves. Sincere, and strictly conscientious; more formed for thought than business ; quick, apprehensive, persevering in the former,--slow, and without energy to wrestle against difficulties in the latter; fond of music and every thing that draws out the imagination ; a nation of pbilosophers and poets rather than warriors and patriots ; independent in speculation, submissive in conduct:-such is the general account given of the Germans. The love of music is universal among them.

* As soon as we rise above the very lowest order of people, we recognize immediately that inner principle, that poetry of soul, which characterizes the Germans. Inhabitants of town or country, soldiers or labourers, almost all are acquainted with music. I have entered little huts, blackened with the smoke of tobacco, and found not only the good woman, but the good man of the house, playing extempore on the harpsichord, as the Italians string verses exiempore. On market-days, in almost every town, there are performers on wind-instruments in the balcony of the hôtel-de-ville which commands the market-place; and thus the peasants have their share in the enjoyment of this first of the arts. The scholars, on Sunday, promenade the streets, singing the psalms in chorus : it is said ihat Luther in his youth frequently made one of such parties.'

We are not sure that this love of music must be connected very intimately with the imagination. Mad. de Staël might find a harpsichord in the houses of many taylors, butchers, and bakers, in England; then there is a bassoon in almost every village church; and what tribes of organists, fidlers, bag-pipers, and hurdy-gurdy players in our streets? Yet we do not see that the imagination of the lower orders among us is much drawn out by all this ' ravishing harmony.' We just mention this, because we are afraid that national characters are frequently drawn pretty much at random, and inductions made from very few particulars.

For the deficiency in soldiership, which the author ascribes to the Germans, she thus accounts. There are,' she says, • three grand motives which in general lead men to battle, -patriotism, desire of honour, and fanaticism. Now, in á nation, divided as Germany has been for ages, German fighting against German, patriotism has no place : and as for glory, where there is no centre, no capital, no society, there can be no very ardent desire of glory. Religion too, among the Germans, lives in the heart, independent and unbigotted.

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• There is nothing, in Germany, 'like a political and social link among the people; they do not live under one government, under the same laws; they have not the same worship, the same interests, a classical literature, an established taste. This makes each state more independent, each science better cultivated ; but the whole nation is so subdivided, that one cannot tell to what part of the empire this same name of nation belongs.' I. 29.

Among such a people there can evidently be but little nationality, indeed but little national character. Accordingly, in this sketch, Mad. de S. pretends only to give a few principal traits of the German character. She next considers more particularly Southern and Northern Germany, Germany without literature, and Germany under the influence of literature. There are certainly, however, family features common to both.

The characteristic of the German of the South seems to be heaviness ; nothing brisk, nothing lively, nothing spark ling about him ; every thing is orderly, timed, proportioned, every thing done by system, every thing made a business of, every thing unvaried and monotonous.

• In Austria, and in the rest of Germany, all pleadings are carried on by writing; preachers are heard, not for their eloquence, but because every one feels it his duty to hear them ; public amuse. ments are neglected, and above all tragedy. The administration is conducted with much wisdom and justice; but there is so much method every where, that you can scarcely, if at all, perceive the influence of men. Affairs are treated according to a certain system, which nothing in the world is suffered

to derange. In: variable rules decide everything, and all passes in profound silence. Crime or genius, intolerance or enthusiasm, passions or heroism, neither trouble nor exalt their existence.' I. 55.

The same gravity and business-like method of proceeding, is carried into their parties and amusements. Whether they walk or dance, meet at the dinner-table or in the drawingroom, all is done systematically and in good earnest. • They treat pleasures like duties, carry as much precision into their amusements as into their serious affairs, and lose their time as methodically as they employ it.'

• All the good company of the city move in a mass, three or four times a week, from one drawing-room to another. On these grand occasions, a certain time must be lost at the toilette, a certain time in the streets, a certain time on the stairs, waiting till your carriage comes in turn, and a certain time in sitting three hours at table, and in these large parties you never by any chance hear any thing out of the common routine of fashionable phrases.' I. 77.

• The ancient forms of politeness, which are yet in full force almost throughout Germany, are in direct opposition to every thing that is easy and familiar in conversation : you must repeat long and inconsiderable titles twenty times during a meal, press every dish and every wine upon your company in a manner mortally fatiguing to strangers.' I. 97.

As to conversation, the thing is not known in Germany, nor indeed, if we will believe Mad. de S.,—and every native of France, anywhere else but at Paris.

It seems acknowledged,' says she, that Paris is the city, where the spirit and taste of conversation are the most generally diffused, and what is called the mal du pays, that undefinable regret after one's country, which is independent even of the friends that one has left behind, refers particulárly to this pleasure of chatting, which a Frenchman finds no where in such perfection as at home. ... . The kind of pleasure which one takes in animated conversation does not arise exactly from the subject of the conversation; the ideas started, and the knowledge acquired do not form it's principal interest: but a certain manner of acting upon one another, of creating mutual pleasure in a quick reciprocation, of playing with oneself, of gaining applause without effort, of exhibiting one's mind in all its shades by accent, by gesture, by look, in short of producing at will a sort of electric shock, which strikes off brilliant sparks, relieves one part of the company of their excess of vivacity, and rouses another from painful apathy. Nothing can be more foreign from all this than the character of the Germans; they aim at a serious result in every thing.' I. 95.

The consequence is that a German can discuss, can even converse, but cannot chat: and while a Frenchman throws off“ an infinite deal of nothing," the German is pondering how to express some novel or profound thought that he wishes to produce. There is something too in the rigid uprightness and veracity of the German not very favourable to free and easy conversation : he knows nothing of words without meaning, has no skill in flattery, no notion of accommodating his opinions and character to those of the people around him, no ambition of meriting the eulogy pronounced by Montesquieu upon Voltaire" il a plus que personne l'esprit que tout le monde a." A Frenehman, says Mlad. de s., was extolling with rapture an actress whom he had just been hearing; he perceives a smile on the lips of the company, and he begins to modify his eulogy; the obstinate smile remains, and inspires the fear that it may end in a laugh; må foi,' says the Frenchman, the poor thing did as well as she could.' A German would have set about discussing the merits of the actress, and proving metaphysically that she gave the different passions their proper • There is nothing,' in Germany, like a political and social link among the people; they do not live under one government, under the same laws; they have not the same worship, the same interests, a classical literature, an established taste. This makes each state more independent, each science better cultivated ; but the whole nation is so subdivided, that one cannot tell to what part of the empire this same name of nation belongs.' I. 29.

Among such a people there can evidently be but little nationality, indeed but little national character. Accordingly, in this sketch, Mad. de S. pretends only to give a few principal traits of the German character. She next considers more particularly Southern and Northern Germany, Germany without literature, and Germany under the influence of literature. There are certainly, however, family features common to both.

The characteristic of the German of the South seems to be heaviness ; nothing brisk, nothing lively, nothing spark. ling about him ; every thing is orderly, timed, proportioned, every thing done by system, every thing made a business of, every thing unvaried and monotonous.

• In Austria, and in the rest of Germany, all pleadings are carried on by writing; preachers are heard, not for their eloquence, but because every one feels it his duty to hear them ; public amuse. ments are neglected, and above all tragedy. The administration is conducted with much wisdom and justice; but there is so much method every where, that you can scarcely, if at all, perceive the influence of men. Affairs are treated according to a certain system, which nothing in

in the world is suffered to derange. In variable rules decide every thing, and all passes in profound silence. Crime or genius, intolerance or enthusiasm, passions or heroism, neither trouble nor exalt their existence.' I. 55.

The same gravity and business-like method of proceeding, is carried into their parties and amusements. Whether they walk or dance, meet at the dinner-table or in the drawing, room, all is done systematically and in good earnest, . • They treat pleasures like duties, carry as much precision into their amusements as into their serious affairs, and lose their time as methodically as they employ it.'

• All the good company of the city move in a mass, three or four times a week, from one drawing-room to another. On these grand occasions, a certain time must be lost at the toilette, a certain time in the streets, a certain time on the stairs, waiting till your carriage comes in turn, and a certain time in sitting three hours at table, and in these large parties you never by any chance hear any thing out of the common routine of fashionable phrases.' I. 77.

• The ancient forms of politeness, which are yet in full forco almost throughout Germany, are in direct opposition to every thing that is easy and familiar in conversation : you must repeat long and inconsiderable titles twenty times during a meal, press every dish and every wine upon your company in a manner mortally fatiguing to strangers.' I. 97.

As to conversation, the thing is not known in Germany, nor indeed, if we will believe Mad. de S.,—and every native of France, anywhere else but at Paris.

• It seems acknowledged,' says she, that Paris is the city, where the spirit and taste of conversation are the most generally diffused, and what is called the mal du pays, that undefinable regret after one's country, which is independent even of the friends that one has left behind, refers particularly to this pleasure of chatting, which a Frenchman finds no where in such perfection as at home. .... The kind of pleasure which one takes in ani. mated conversation does not arise exactly from the subject of the conversation ; the ideas started, and the knowledge acquired do not form it's principal interest : but a certain manner of act. ing upon one another, of creating mutual pleasure in a quick reciprocation, of playing with oneself, of gaining applause without effort, of exhibiting one's mind in all its shades by accent, by gesture, by look, in short of producing at will a sort of electric shock, which strikes off brilliant sparks, relieves one part of the company of their excess of vivacity, and rouses another from painful apathy. Nothing can be more foreign from all this than the character of the Germans; they aim at a serious result in every thing.' I. 95.

The consequence is that a German can discuss, can even converse, but cannot chat: and while a Frenchman throws off“ an infinite deal of nothing," the German is pondering how to express some novel or profound thought that he wishes to produce. There is something too in the rigid uprightness and veracity of the German not very favourable to free and easy conversation : he knows nothing of words without meaning, has no skih in flattery, no notion of accommodating his opinions and character to those of the people around him, no ambition of meriting the eulogy pronounced by Montesquieu upon Voltaire" il a plus que personne l'esprit que tout le monde a.” A Frenehman, says Mad. de S., was extolling with rapture an actress whom he had just been hearing; he perceives a smile on the lips of the company, and he begins to modify his eulogy; the obstinate smile remains, and inspires the fear that it may end in a laugh ; 'má foi,' says the Frenchman, the poor thing did as well as she could.' A German would have set about discussing the merits of the actress, and proving metaphysically that she gave the different passious their proper

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