Goethe Sentence Examples
She invented a deity of her own, a mysterious Corambe, half pagan and half Christian, and like Goethe erected to him a rustic altar of the greenest grass, the softest moss and the brightest pebbles.
Erasmus Darwin (Zoonomia, 17 94), though a zealous evolutionist, can hardly be said to have made any real advance on his predecessors; and, notwithstanding the fact that Goethe had the advantage of a wide knowledge of morphological facts, and a true insight into their signification, while he threw all the power of a great poet into the expression of his conceptions, it may be questioned whether he supplied the doctrine of evolution with a firmer scientific basis than it already possessed.
She was as fond of acting as Goethe, and like him began with a puppet stage, succeeded by amateur theatricals, the chief entertainment provided for her guests at Nohant.
As a critic of independent views he won the approval of Goethe; on the other hand, he fell into violent controversy with Ranke about questions connected with Italian history.
It was first noticed in 1789, and in 1806 was named after the poet Goethe.Advertisement
Moreover, whatever the value of Goethe's labours in that field, they were not published before 1820, long after evolutionism had taken a new departure from the works of Treviranus and Lamarck - the first of its advocates who were equipped for their task with the needful large and accurate knowledge of the phenomena of life as a whole.
The term morphology, which was introduced into science by Goethe (1817), designates, in the first place, the study of the form and composition of the body and of the parts of which the body may consist; secondly, the relations of the parts of the same body; thirdly, the comparison of the bodies or parts of the bodies of plants of different kinds; fourthly, the study of the development of the body and of its parts (ontogeny); fifthly, the investigation of the historical origin and descent of the body and its parts (phylogeny); and, lastly, the consideration of the relation of the parts of the body to their various functions, a study that is known as organography.
Metamorphosis.It has already been pointed out that each kind of member of the body may present a variety of forms. For example, a stem may be a tree-trunk, or a twining stem, or a tendril, or a thorn, or a creeping rhizome, or a tuber; a leaf may be a green foliage-leaf, or a scale protecting a bud, or a tendril, or a pitcher, or a floral leaf, either sepal, petal, stamen or carpel (sporophyll); a root may be a fibrous root, or a swollen tap-root like that of the beet or the turnip. All these various forms are organs discharging some special function, and are examples of what Wolff called modification, and Goethe metamorphosis.
But this phylogenetic differentiation of the organs was not what Wolff and Goethe had in mind; what they contemplated was an ontogenetic change, and there is abundant evidence that such changes actually occur.
Thence he went to Germany, where he met Goethe.Advertisement
It was from the Moravians that Schleiermacher learnt his religion, and they even made a passing impression on Goethe; but both these men were repelled by their doctrine of the substitutionary sufferings of Christ.
Here he lived in close intercourse with Schiller, Goethe, Herder and the most distinguished literary men of the time.
An enemy to all controversy and all violence, whether in act or thought, he had a serenity of character comparable only to that of Sophocles or Goethe.
By his wife Margarethe Schleierweber, the daughter of a French corporal, but renowned for her beauty and intellectual gifts, he was the father of Karl Friedrich Moritz Paul von Briihl (1772-1837), the friend of Goethe, who as intendant-general of the Prussian royal theatres was of some importance in the history of the development of the drama in Germany.
Urgent messages were sent off to the Commissary von Goethe (the poet), at Weimar for permission to requisition food and firewood.Advertisement
After holding minor educational posts, he obtained in 1791, through the influence of Herder, the appointment of rector of the gymnasium at Weimar, where he entered into a circle of literary men, including Wieland, Schiller, and Goethe.
Hence a beautiful road, immortalized by Goethe in Dichtung and Wahrheit, leads across the Vosges to Pfalzburg.
He is the Magyarizer of Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra, Othello, Macbeth, Henry VIII., Winter's Tale, Romeo and Juliet and Tempest, as also of some of the best pieces of Burns, Moore, Byron, Shelley, Milton, Beranger, Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Goethe and others.
The tracing out of this identity in diversity, whether regarded as evidence of blood-relationship or as a remarkable display of skill on the part of the Creator in varying the details whilst retaining the essential, became at this period a special pursuit, to which Goethe, the poet, who himself contributed importantly to it, gave the name " morphology."
Himself a scholar and author, he was a notable patron of letters, and was the friend of Goethe, Schiller and Wieland.Advertisement
Among his principal works upon these subjects may be noted the four volumes of Letteratura della nuova Italia (1860-1910); his essays upon Goethe, Ariosto, Shakespeare, Corneille, and the Poetry of Dante; his two volumes Storia della storiografia italiana del secolo XIX.
The popular hero of the Servians and Bulgarians is Marko Kralyevich, son of Vukashin, characterized by Goethe as a counterpart of the Greek Heracles and the Persian Rustem.
He has, however, left a curious sketch of his projected school reforms. His new duties led him to Strassburg, where he met the young Goethe, on whose poetical development he exercised so potent an influence.
He co-operated with a band of young writers at Darmstadt and Frankfort, including Goethe, who in a journal of their own sought to diffuse the new ideas.
In 1776 he obtained through Goethe's influence the post of general superintendent and court preacher at Weimar, where he passed the rest of his life.Advertisement
There he enjoyed the society of Goethe, Wieland, Jean Paul (who came to Weimar in order to be near Herder), and others, the patronage of the court, with whom as a preacher he was very popular, and an opportunity of carrying out some of his ideas of school reform.
His personal relations with Goethe again and again became embittered.
In the Grosser Hirschgraben is the Goethehaus, a 16th century building which came into the possession of the Goethe family in 1733.
Here Goethe lived from his birth in 1749 until 1775.
In 1863 the house was acquired by the Freies deutsche Hochstift and was opened to the public. It has been restored, from Goethe's account of it in Dichtung and Wahrheit, as nearly as possible to its condition in the poet's day, and is now connected with a Goethemuseum (1897), with archives and a library of 25,000 volumes representative of the Goethe period of German literature.
The statue of Goethe (1844) in the Goetheplatz is by Ludwig von Schwanthaler.
His adventures were the subject of plays by Euripides and Goethe.
The most important building in Weimar is the palace, a huge structure forming three sides of a quadrangle, erected (1789-1803) under the superintendence of Goethe, on the site of one burned down in 1774.
The interior is very fine, and in one of the wings is a series of rooms dedicated to the poets Goethe, Schiller, Herder and Wieland, with appropriate mural paintings.
Of more interest, however, is the house in which Goethe himself lived from 1782 to 1832.
It has therefore a double interest, as the home of the poet, and as a complete example of a German nobleman's house at the beginning of the 19th century, the furniture and fittings (in Goethe's study and bedroom down to the smallest details) remaining as they were when the poet died.
The interior, apart from the scientific and art collections made by Goethe, is mainly remarkable for the extreme simplicity of its furnishing.
The atmosphere of the whole town is, indeed, dominated by the memory of Goethe and Schiller, whose bronze statues, by Rietschel, grouped on one pedestal (unveiled in 1857) stand in front of the theatre.
The theatre, built under Goethe's superintendence in 1825, memorable in the history of art not only for its associations with the golden age of German drama, but as having witnessed the first performances of many of Wagner's operas and other notable stage pieces, was pulled down and replaced by a new building in 1907.
The most beautiful monument of Goethe's genius in the town is, however, the park, laid out in the informal "English" style, without enclosure of any kind.
Of Goethe's classic "conceits" which it contains, the stone altar round which a serpent climbs to eat the votive bread upon it, inscribed to the "genius hujus loci," is the most famous.
Just outside the borders of the park, beyond the Ilm, is the "garden house," a simple wooden cottage with a high-pitched roof, in which Goethe used to pass the greater part of the summer.
Finally, in the cemetery is the grand ducal family vault, in which Goethe and Schiller also lie, side by side.
He idolized Frederick the Great, and denounced Jews, Greeks, and the cosmopolitan Goethe.
His experiments greatly interested Benjamin Franklin, who used to visit him and Goethe always regarded his rejection by the academy as a glaring instance of scientific despotism.
The form Mephistopheles adopted by Goethe first appears in the version des Christlich Meinenden, c. 1712.
Goethe's Mephistopheles is altogether another conception.
In literature, its leading names were Winckelmann, Lessing and Voss, and Herder, Goethe and Schiller.
At the congress of Erfurt, Daru had the privilege of being present at the interview between Goethe and Napoleon, and interposed tactful references to the works of the great poet.
With Goethe, who viewed with interest and appreciation the poetical fashion of treating fact characteristic of the Naturphilosophie, he continued on excellent terms, while on the other hand he was repelled by Schiller's less expansive disposition, and failed altogether to understand the lofty ethical idealism that animated his work.
The town preserves associations of Goethe, who wrote Die Leiden des jungen Werthers after living here in 1772 as a legal official, and of Charlotte Buff, the Lotte of Werther.
It was speedily translated into many European languages, and Herder and Goethe (in his earlier period) were among its profound admirers.
They were perhaps influenced by the example of Goethe, who in his Autobiography describes, at considerable length, the plan of a poem he had designed on the Wandering Jew.
He concluded his years of preparation by a European tour, in the course of which he received kind attention from almost every distinguished man in the world of letters, science and art; among others, from Goethe, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Byron, Niebuhr, Bunsen, Savigny, Cousin, Constant and Manzoni.
He survived into the era of Kant, Goethe and Schiller, but he was not of it, and it would have been unreasonable to expect that he should in old age pass beyond the limits of his own epoch.
The chief object of his reverence was Goethe.
In many most important respects no two men could be more unlike; but, for the present, Carlyle seems to have seen in Goethe a proof that it was possible to reject outworn dogmas without sinking into materialism.
Goethe, by singularly different methods, had emerged from a merely negative position into a lofty and coherent conception of the universe.
A friendly letter from Goethe, acknowledging the translation of Wilhelm Meister, reached him at the end of 1824 and greatly encouraged him.
Goethe afterwards spoke warmly of the life of Schiller, and desired it to be translated into German.
Goethe received Carlyle's homage with kind complacency.
The gift of a seal to Goethe on his birthday in 1831 " from fifteen English friends," including Scott and Wordsworth, was suggested and carried out by Carlyle.
Goethe was then in Italy, and the duke of Weimar was absent from Weimar; but the poet was kindly received by Herder and Wieland, by the duchess Amalie and other court notabilities.
It obtained for him, on the recommendation of Goethe, a professorship in the university of Jena, and in November 1789 he delivered his inaugural lecture, Was heisst and zu welchem Ende studiert man Universalgeschichte?
These remarkable letters were published in Die Horen, a new journal, founded in 1794, which was the immediate occasion for that intimate friendship with Goethe which dominated the remainder of Schiller's life.
The two poets had first met in 1788, but at that time Goethe, fresh from Italy, felt little inclination towards the author of the turbulent dramas Die Rduber, Kabale and Liebe and Don Carlos.
By degrees, however, Schiller's historical publications, and, in a higher degree, the magnificent poems, Die Gotter Griechenlands (1788) and Die Kiinstler (1789), awakened Goethe's respect, and in 1794, when the younger poet invited Goethe to become a collaborator in the Horen, the latter responded with alacrity.
Under Goethe's stimulus he won fresh laurels in that domain of philosophical lyric which he had opened with Die Kiinstler; and in Das Ideal and das Leben, Die Macht des Gesanges, Wiirde der Frauen, and Der Spaziergang, he produced masterpieces of reflective poetry which have not their equal in German literature.
In the Musenalmanach were also published the "Xenien" (1797), a collection of distichs by Goethe and Schiller, in which the two friends avenged themselves on the cavilling critics who were not in sympathy with them.
Towards the end of 1799 he took up his residence permanently in Weimar, not only to be near his friend, but also that he might have the advantage of visiting regularly the theatre of which Goethe was director.
But since the re-establishment of the German empire in 1871 there has been, at least in intellectual circles, a certain waning of his popularity, the Germans of to-day realizing that Goethe more fully represents the aspirations of the nation.
As a young man he was drawn into the Romantic movement then at its height; but both the classics and contemporary classical poetry took hold upon his receptive mind (he visited Goethe in 1827).
As to colour, he follows Goethe, and uses strong language against Newton's theory, for the barbarism of the conception that light is a compound, the incorrectness of his observations, &c. In chemistry, again, he objects to the way in which all the chemical elements are treated as on the same level.
In this respect it stood to philosophy in somewhat the same relation that the influence of Goethe stood to literature.
He came, on his father's side, of Thuringian stock, his great-grandfather, Hans Christian Goethe, having been a farrier at Artern-on-the-Unstrut, about the middle of the 17th century.
The best elements in Goethe's genius came from his mother's side; of a lively, impulsive disposition, and gifted with remarkable imaginative power, Frau Rat was the ideal mother of a poet; moreover, being hardly eighteen at the time of her son's birth, she was herself able to be the companion of his childhood.
From his father, whose stern, somewhat pedantic nature repelled warmer feelings on the part of the children, Goethe inherited that "holy earnestness" and stability of character which brought him unscathed through temptations and passions, and held the balance to his all too powerful imagination.
In 1759, during the Seven Years' War, the French, as Maria Theresa's allies, occupied the town, and, much to the irritation of Goethe's father, who was a stanch partisan of Frederick the Great, a French lieutenant, Count Thoranc, was quartered on the Goethe household.
Goethe has also recorded his memories of another picturesque event, the coronation of the emperor Joseph II.
The discovery of the affair and the investigation that followed cooled Goethe's ardour and caused him to turn his attention seriously to the studies which were to prepare him for the university.
In October 1765, Goethe, then a little over sixteen, left Frankfort for Leipzig, where a wider and, in many respects, less provincial life awaited him.
Artificial as this poetry is, Goethe was, nevertheless, inspired by a real passion in Leipzig, namely, for Anna Katharina SchOnkopf, the daughter of a wine-merchant at whose house he dined.
She is the "Annette" after whom the recently discovered collection of lyrics was named, although it must be added that neither these lyrics nor the Neue Lieder, published in 1770, express very directly Goethe's feelings for Kathchen SchOnkopf.
From the first moment Goethe set foot in the narrow streets of the Alsatian capital, in April 1770, the whole current of his thought seemed to change.
The second moment of importance in Goethe's Strassburg period was his meeting with Herder, who spent some weeks in Strassburg undergoing an operation of the eye.
In this thinker, who was his senior by five years, Goethe found the master he sought; Herder taught him the significance of Gothic architecture, revealed to him the charm of nature's simplicity, and inspired him with enthusiasm for Shakespeare and the Volkslied.
Meanwhile Goethe's legal studies were not neglected, and he found time to add to knowledge of other subjects, notably that of medicine.
Another factor of importance in Goethe's Strassburg life was his love for Friederike Brion, the daughter of an Alsatian village pastor in Sesenheim.
Even more than Herder's precept and example, this passion showed Goethe how trivial and artificial had been the Anacreontic and pastoral poetry with which he had occupied himself in Leipzig; and the lyrics inspired by Friederike, such as Kleine Blumen, kleine Blcitter and Wie herrlich leuchtet mir die Natur!
To Strassburg we owe Goethe's first important drama, Gotz von Berlichingen, or, as it was called in its earliest form, Geschichte Gottfriedens von Berlichingen dramatisiert (not published until 1831).
Revised under the now familiar title, it appeared in 1773, after Goethe's return to Frankfort.
In estimating this drama we must bear in mind Goethe's own Strassburg life, and the turbulent spirit of his own age, rather than the historical facts, which the poet found in the autobiography of his hero published in 1731.
The latter supplied only the rough materials; the Gotz von Berlichingen whom Goethe drew, with his lofty ideals of right and wrong, and his enthusiasm for freedom, is a very different personage from the unscrupulous robber-knight of the 16th century, the rough friend of Franz von Sickingen and of the revolting peasants.
Still less historical justification is to be found for the vacillating Weisslingen in whom Goethe executed poetic justice on himself as the lover of Friederike, or in the women of the play, the gentle Maria, the heartless Adelheid.
Having received his degree in Strassburg, Goethe returned home in August 1771, and began his initiation into the routine of an advocate's profession.
But Goethe's professional duties had only a small share in the eventful years which lay between hips return from Strassburg and that visit to Weimar at the end of 1775, which turned the whole course of his career, and resulted in his permanent attachment to the Weimar court.
In 1775 Goethe was attracted by still another type of woman, Lili Schonemann, whose mother was the widow of a wealthy Frankfort banker.
But Goethe - more worldly wise than on former occasions - felt instinctively that the gay, social world in which Lili moved was not really congenial to him.
Goethe's departure for Weimar in November made the final break less difficult.
It had been inaugurated with Gotz von Berlichingen, and a few months later this tragedy was followed by another, Clavigo, hardly less convincing in its character-drawing, and reflecting even more faithfully than the former the experiences Goethe had gone through in Strassburg.
With Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (1774), the literary precipitate of the author's own experiences in Wetzlar, Goethe succeeded in attracting, as no German had done before him, the attention of Europe.
This, however, was not the lesson which was drawn from it by Goethe's contemporaries; they shed tears of sympathy over the lovelorn youth whose burden becomes too great for him to bear.
A lighter vein is to be observed in various dramatic satires written at this time, such as Cotter, Helden and Wieland (1774), Hanswursts Hochzeit, Fastnachtsspiel vorn Pater Brey, Satyros, and in the Singspiele, Erwin and Elmire (1775) and Claudine von Villa Bella (1776); while in the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeiger (1772- 1773), Goethe drove home the principles of the new movement of Sturm and Drang in terse and pointed criticism.
Goethe's hero changed with the author's riper experience and with his new conceptions of man's place and duties in the world, but the Gretchen tragedy was taken over into the finished poem, practically unaltered, from the earliest Faust of the Sturm and Drang.
With these wonderful scenes, the most intensely tragic in all German literature, Goethe's poetry in this period reaches its climax.
It remained for Goethe, in the next period of his life, to construct on classic models a new vehicle for German dramatic poetry.
In December 1774 the young "hereditary prince" of Weimar, Charles Augustus, passing through Frankfort on his way to Paris, came into personal touch with Goethe, and invited the poet to visit Weimar when, in the following year, he took up the reins of government.
In October 1775 the invitation was repeated, and on the 7th of November of that year Goethe arrived in the little Saxon capital which was to remain his home for the rest of his life.
But the latter, although himself a mere stripling, had implicit faith in Goethe, and a firm conviction that his genius could be utilized in other fields besides literature.
Goethe was not long in Weimar before he was entrusted with responsible state duties, and events soon justified the duke's confidence.
Goethe proved the soul of the Weimar government, and a minister of state of energy and foresight.
As Friederike had fitted into the background of Goethe's Strassburg life, Lotte into that of Wetzlar, and Lili into the gaieties of Frankfort, so now Charlotte von Stein, the wife of a Weimar official, was the personification of the more aristocratic ideals of Weimar society.
We possess only the poet's share of his correspondence with Frau von Stein, but it is possible to infer from it that, of all Goethe's loves, this was intellectually the most worthy of him.
There was something more spiritual, something that partook rather of the passionate friendships of the 18th century than of love in Goethe's relations with her.
A religious epic, DieGeheimnisse, and a tragedy Elpenor, did not, it is true, advance much further than plans; but in 1777, under the influence of the theatrical experiments at the Weimar court, Goethe conceived and in great measure wrote a novel of the theatre, which was to have borne the title Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung; and in 1779 himself took part in a representation before the court at Ettersburg, of his drama I phigenie auf Tauris.
This I phigenie was, however, in prose; in the following year Goethe remoulded it in iambics, but it was not until he went to Rome that the drama finally received the form in which we know it.
In September, 1786 Goethe set out from Karlsbad - secretly and stealthily, his plan known only to his servant - on that memorable journey to Italy, to which he had looked forward with such intense longing; he could not cross the Alps quickly enough, so impatient was he to set foot in Italy.
To the modern reader, who may well be impressed b y Goethe's extraordinary receptivity, it may seem strange that his interests in Italy were so limited; for, after all, he saw comparatively little of the art treasures of Italy.
Disappointment in more senses than one awaited Goethe on his return to Weimar.
Goethe, meanwhile, satisfied to continue the freer customs to which he had adapted himself in Rome, found a new mistress in Christiane Vulpius (1765-1816), the least interesting of all the women who attracted him.
She was not accepted by court society; it did not matter to her that even Goethe's intimate friends ignored her; and she, who had suited the poet's whim when he desired to shut himself off from all that might dim the recollection of Italy, became with the years an indispensable helpmate to him.
On the birth in 1789 of his son, Goethe had some thought of legalizing his relations with Christiane, but this intention was not realized until 1806, when the invasion of Weimar by the French made him fear for both life and property.
The period of Goethe's life which succeeded his return from Italy was restless and unsettled; relieved of his state duties, he returned in 1790 to Venice, only to be disenchanted with the Italy he had loved so intensely a year or two before.
In later years Goethe published his account both of this Campagne in Frankreich and of the Belagerung von Mainz, at which he was also present in 1793.
The French Revolution, in which all Europe was engrossed, was in Goethe's eyes only another proof that the passing of the old regime meant the abrogation of all law and order, and he gave voice to his antagonism to the new democratic principles in the dramas Der Grosskophta (1792), Der Burgergeneral (1793), and in the unfinished fragments Die Aufgeregten and Das Miidchen von Oberkirch.
Meanwhile, however, Goethe had again taken up the novel of the theatre which he had begun years before, with a view to finishing it and including it in the edition of his Neue Schriften (1792-1800).
Of all Goethe's works, this exerted the most immediate and lasting influence on German literature; it served as a model for the best fiction of the next thirty years.
In completing Wilhelm Meister, Goethe found a sympathetic and encouraging critic in Schiller, to whom he owed in great measure his renewed interest in poetry.
After years of tentative approaches on Schiller's part, years in which that poet concealed even from himself his desire for a friendly understanding with Goethe, the favourable moment arrived; it was in June 1794, when Schiller was seeking collaborators for his new periodical Die Horen; and his invitation addressed to Goethe was the beginning of a friendship which continued unbroken until the younger poet's death.
The friendship of Goethe and Schiller, of which their correspondence is a priceless record, had its limitations; it was purely intellectual in character, a certain barrier of personal reserve being maintained to the last.
As far as actual work was concerned, Goethe went his own way as he had always been accustomed to do; but the mere fact that he devoted himself with increasing interest to literature was due to Schiller's stimulus.
It was Schiller, too, who induced him to undertake those studies on the nature of epic and dramatic poetry which resulted in the epic of Hermann and Dorothea and the fragment of the Achilleis; without the friendship there would have been no Xenien and no ballads, and it was his younger friend's encouragement which induced Goethe to betake himself once more to the "misty path" of Faust, and bring the first part of that drama to a conclusion.
Goethe's share in the Xenien (1795) may be briefly dismissed.
But in 1798 appeared Hermann and Dorothea, one of Goethe's most perfect poems. It is indeed remarkable - when we consider by how much reflection and theoretic discussion the composition of the poem was preceded and accompanied - that it should make upon the reader so simple and "naive" an impression; in this respect it is the triumph of an art that conceals art.
Goethe has here taken a simple story of village life, mirrored in it the most pregnant ideas of his time, and presented it with a skill which may well be called Homeric; but he has discriminated with the insight of genius between the Homeric method of reproducing the heroic life of primitive Greece and the same method as adapted to the commonplace happenings of 18th-century Germany.
Hardly less imposing in their calm, placid perfection are the poems with which, in friendly rivalry, Goethe seconded the more popular ballads of his friend; Der Zauberlehrling, Der Gott and die Bayadere, Die Braut von Korintli, Alexis and Dora, Der neue Pausias and Die schone Miillerin - a cycle of poems in the style of the Volkslied - are among the masterpieces of Goethe's poetry.
Goethe's classic principles, when applied to the swift, direct art of the theatre, were doomed to failure, and Die natiirliche Tochter, notwithstanding its good theoretic intention, remains the most lifeless and shadowy of all his dramas.
Goethe's classicism brought him into inevitable antagonism with the new Romantic movement which had been inaugurated in 1798 by the Athenaeum, edited by the brothers Schlegel.
The sharpness of the conflict was, however, blunted by the fact that, without exception, the young Romantic writers looked up to Goethe as its master; they modelled their fiction on Wilhelm Meister; they regarded his lyrics as the high-water mark of German poetry; Goethe, Novalis declared, was the "Statthalter of poetry on earth."
Again, in Winckelmann and seine Zeit (1805) Goethe vigorously defended the classical ideals of which Winckelmann had been the founder.
In its original form the poem was the dramatization of a specific and individualized story; in the years of Goethe's friendship with Schiller it was extended to embody the higher strivings of r8th-century humanism; ultimately, as we shall see, it became, in the second part, a vast allegory of human life and activity.
The third and final period of Goethe's long life may be said to have begun after Schiller's death.
Goethe, the cosmopolitan Weltbierger of the 18th century, had himself no very intense feelings of patriotism, and, having seen Germany flourish as a group of small states under enlightened despotisms, he had little confidence in the dreamers of 1813 who hoped to see the glories of Barbarossa's empire revived.
Thus Goethe had no great sympathy for the war of liberation which kindled young hearts from one end of Germany to the other; and when the national enthusiasm rose to its highest pitch he buried himself in those optical and morphological studies, which, with increasing years, occupied more and more of his time and interest.
The works and events of the last twenty-five years of Goethe's life may be briefly summarized.
Bettina von Arnim came into personal touch with Goethe in 1807, and her Briefwechsel Goethes mit einem Kinde (published in 1835) is, in its mingling of truth and fiction, one of the most delightful products of the Romantic mind; but the episode was of less importance for Goethe's life than Bettina would have us believe.
Since the beginning of the century the conviction had been gaining ground that Goethe's mission was accomplished, that the day of his leadership was over; but here were two works which not merely re-established his ascendancy, but proved that the old poet was in sympathy with the movement of letters, and keenly alive to the change of ideas which the new century had brought in its train.
Less important than Die Wahlverwandtschaften was Pandora (181 o), the final product of Goethe's classicism, and the most uncompromisingly classical and allegorical of all his works.
Goethe felt, even late in life, too intimately bound up with Weimar to discuss in detail his early life there, and he shrank from carrying his biography beyond the year 1775.
But a number of other publications - descriptions of travel, such as the Italienische Reise (1816-1817), the materials for a continuation of Dichtung and Wahrheit collected in Tagand Jahreshefte (1830) - have also to be numbered among the writings which Goethe has left us as documents of his life.
In West-ostlicher Diwan (1819), a collection of lyrics - matchless in form and even more concentrated in expression than those of earlier days - which were suggested by a German translation of Hafiz, Goethe had another surprise in store for his contemporaries.
Goethe had lost the thread of his romance and it was difficult for him to resume it.
But the crowning achievement of Goethe's literary life was the completion of Faust.
But Goethe was a type of literary man hitherto unrepresented among the leading writers of the world's literature; he was a poet whose supreme greatness lay in his subjectivity.
Only a small fraction of Goethe's work was written in an impersonal and objective spirit, and sprang from what might be called a conscious artistic impulse; by far the larger - and the better - part is the immediate reflex of his feelings and experiences.
It is as a lyric poet that Goethe's supremacy is least likely to be challenged; he has given his nation, whose highest literary expression has in all ages been essentially lyric, its greatest songs.
Goethe's dramas, on the other hand, have not, in the eyes of his nation, succeeded in holding their own beside Schiller's; but the reason is rather because Goethe, from what might be called a wilful obstinacy, refused to be bound by the conventions of the theatre, than because he was deficient in the cunning of the dramatist.
For, as an interpreter of human character in the drama, Goethe is without a rival among modern poets, and there is not one of his plays that does not contain a few scenes or characters which bear indisputable testimony to his mastery.
It is as a novelist that Goethe has suffered most by the lapse of time.
Goethe could fill his prose with rich wisdom, but he was only the perfect artist in verse.
Little attention is nowadays paid to Goethe's work in other fields, work which he himself in some cases prized more highly than his poetry.
Indeed, the deduction to be drawn from Goethe's contributions to botany and anatomy is that he, as no other of his contemporaries, possessed that type of scientific mind which, in the 19th century, has made for progress; he was Darwin's predecessor by virtue of his enunciation of what has now become one of the commonplaces of natural science - organic evolution.
The Europe of his later years was very different from the idyllic and enlightened autocracy of the 18th century, in which he had spent his best years and to which he had devoted his energies; yet Goethe was at home in it.
From the philosophic movement, in which Schiller and the Romanticists were so deeply involved, Goethe stood apart.
As a moralist and a guide to the conduct of life - an aspect of Goethe's work which Carlyle, viewing him through the coloured glasses of Fichtean idealism, emphasized and interpreted not always justly - Goethe was a powerful force on German life in years of political and intellectual depression.
Goethe's Nachgelassene Werke appeared as a continuation of this edition in 15 volumes (Stuttgart, 1832-1834), to which five volumes were added in 1842.
These were followed by several editions of Goethe's Sdmtliche Werke, mostly in forty volumes, published by Cotta of Stuttgart.
There is, as yet, no uniform English edition, but Goethe's chief works have all been frequently translated and a number of them will be found in Bohn's standard library.
The definitive edition of Goethe's diaries and letters is that forming Sections III.
Waetzoldt, Goethe and die Romantik (1888).
A GoetheVerein has existed in Vienna since 1887, and an English Goethe society, which has also issued several volumes of publications, since 1886.
Of Walther von Goethe little need be said.
Wolfgang or, as he was familiarly called, Wolf von Goethe, was by far the more gifted of the two brothers, and his gloomy destiny by so much the more tragic. A sensitive and highly imaginative boy, he was the favourite of his grandfather, who made him his constant companion.
To maintain himself on the same height as his grandfather, and to make the name of Goethe illustrious in his descendants also, became Wolfgang's ambition; and his incapacity to realize this, very soon borne in upon him, paralyzed his efforts and plunged him at last into bitter revolt against his fate and gloomy isolation from a world that seemed to have no use for him but as a curiosity.
In 1870 Ottilie von Goethe, who had resided mainly at Vienna, returned to Weimar and took up her residence with her two sons in the Goethehaus.
Goethe's grandsons have been so repeatedly accused of having dis p layed a dog-in-the-manger temper in closing the Goethehaus to the public and the Goethe archives to research, that the charge has almost universally come to be regarded as proven.
From one cause or another, principally Ottilie von Goethe's extravagance, the family was in very straitened circumstances; and the brothers, being thoroughly unbusinesslike, believed themselves to be poorer than they really were.
With an almost exaggerated Pieteit Goethe's descendants preserved his house untouched, at great inconvenience to themselves, and left it, with all its treasures intact, to the nation.
Wolf Goethe (Weimar, 1889) is a sympathetic appreciation by Otto Mejer, formerly president of the Lutheran consistory in Hanover.
The book is remembered solely through Goethe's scornful attack on its want of taste; its immediate effect was to produce Bahrdt's expulsion from Giessen.
From 1789 to 1811 the Weimar court theatrical company gave performances here of the plays of Schiller and Goethe, an attraction which greatly contributed to the well-being of the town.
This was granted in 1816 by Charles Augustus, the patron of Goethe, and was revised in 1850 and again in 1906.
An intelligent patron of literature and art, he attracted to his court the leading scholars in Germany; Goethe, Schiller and Herder were members of this illustrious band, and the little state, hitherto obscure, attracted the eyes of all Europe.'
Even Goethe crossed the Alps with his carriage shutters closed.
Ever since the time of Kant and Goethe, the intellectual leadership of Europe had been slowly passing into the hands of the Germans, and Catholic theology shared the lot of other branches of learning.
He had an exact knowledge of classical German writings, more especially of Goethe's, and of the literature connected with him.
This was with Goethe, who succeeded in securing his interest for those investigations on colours on which he was himself engaged.
It had been sent in MS. to Goethe in the autumn of 1815, who, finding in it a transformation rather than an expansion of his own ideas, inclined to regard the author as an opponent rather than an adherent.
This theory of complementary colours as due to the polarity in the qualitative action of the retina is followed by some criticism of Newton and the seven colours, by an attempt to explain some facts noted by Goethe, and by some reference to the external stimuli which cause colour.
In 1837 Schopenhauer sent to the committee entrusted with the execution of the proposed monument to Goethe at Frankfort a long and deliberate expression of his views, in general and particular, on the best mode of carrying out the design.
Lessing, Goethe, Herder, Novalis and Schleiermacher, not to mention philosophers like Schelling and Hegel, united in recognizing the unique strength and sincerity of Spinoza's thought, and in setting him in his rightful place among the speculative leaders of mankind.
She published in 1897 a biography of the Swedish author, Almqvist; in 5899 she collected her finest essays in the volume called Thought Pictures; in 1900 appeared, under the title Human Beings, studies of the Brownings and of Goethe; but the finest of Ellen Key's books is The Century of Childhood (1901), a philosophical survey of the progress of elementary education in the last hundred years.
There must also be mentioned the university church, the new university buildings, which occupy the site of the ducal palace (Schloss) where Goethe wrote his Hermann and Dorothea, the Schwarzer Box Hotel, where Luther spent the night after his flight from the Wartburg, and four towers and a gateway which now alone mark the position of the ancient walls.
It was most numerously attended about the middle of the 18th century; but the most brilliant professoriate was under the duke Charles Augustus, Goethe's patron (1787-1806), when Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, Schlegel and Schiller were on its teaching staff.
Coleridge was in England the creator of that higher criticism which had already in Germany accomplished so much in the hands of Lessing and Goethe.
It has, in addition to those above enumerated, statues of Queen Louisa, Goethe and Lessing.
A correspondence which he carried on with Goethe and Charles August, grand-duke of Saxe-Weimar, was collected and published at Weimar by Schade in 1856.
Other literary studies are Les Romanciers (1866) and Goethe et Diderot (1880).
Goethe in his famous criticism has said all that needs to be said of it.
It was a favourite resort of Goethe, who wrote here his Iphigenie, and often stayed at Gabelbach in the neighbourhood.
It was, in some degree, an imitation of Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, and its plot, which was derived from Hawthorne's American Note-Books, is even simpler than that of the German poem, not to say much more touching.
He then studied Italian, French and German poetry, and made translations from Voltaire .and Goethe.
Private confession and absolution were, however, still permitted; though as may be seen from Goethe's experience, related in his Dichtung and Wahrheit, it tended to become a mere form, a process encouraged by the fact that the fees payable for absolution formed part of the pastor's regular stipend.
Of these the Brocken (q.v.) is celebrated for the legends connected with it, immortalized in Goethe's Faust.
Wieland was appointed tutor to her son; and the names of Herder, Goethe and Schiller shed an undying lustre on her court.
In 1788 she set out on a lengthened tour through Italy, accompanied by Goethe.
Dr Yovan Yovanovich, called by his admiring countrymen Zmay (the Dragon) on account of the high flight of his poetry and his ardent patriotism, began his poetical career by producing melodious translations of some of the best poems of other nations (the Hungarian Arany's Toldi Jdnos, Petofi's Jdnos Vitez, Lermontov's Demon, Tennyson's " Enoch Arden," Bodenstedt's Mizra-Shaffy, Goethe's Iphigenie, &c.).
Close to the old Rathaus is Auerbach's Hof, built about 1530 and interesting as being immortalized in Goethe's Faust.
Towards the middle of the 18th century Leipzig was the seat of the most influential body of literary men in Germany, over whom Johann Christoph Gottsched, like his contemporary, Samuel Johnson, in England, exercised a kind of literary dictatorship. Then, if ever, Leipzig deserved the epithet of a "Paris in miniature" (Klein Paris) assigned to it by Goethe in his Faust.
The young Lessing produced his first play in the Leipzig theatre, and the university counts Goethe, Klopstock, Jean Paul Richter, Fichte and Schelling among its alumni.
This was because, as Goethe said, under his orders men were sure of accomplishing their ends.
Through his philosophical writings he became acquainted with many distinguished persons - Goethe, Herder, Princess Amalia of Gallitzin, and especially Jacobi, with whom he had much in common.
In 1843 appeared her first volume of translations, Selections from the Dramas of Goethe and Schiller.
He was familiar with all German literature up to the date of his Kritik, but ceased to follow it in its great development by Goethe and Schiller.
In 1799 Scott translated Goethe's play GÃ¶tz von Berlichingen, the tale of a chivalrous medieval German knight.
Goethe said that every bon mot of his had cost a purse of gold.
We may define these courses by the terms esoteric and exoteric - the former the philosophy of the school, cultivated principally at the universities, trying to systematize everything and reduce all our knowledge to an intelligible principle, losing in this attempt the deeper meaning of Leibnitz's philosophy; the latter the unsystematized philosophy of general culture which we find in the work of the great writers of the classical period, Lessing, Winkelmann, Goethe, Schiller and Herder, all of whom expressed in some degree their indebtedness to Leibnitz.
He came to England with his parents in 1799, but in1804-1805spent a winter with them at Weimar, where he met Goethe and Schiller, and received a bias to German literature which influenced his style and sentiments throughout his whole career.
Lamarck, Treviranus, Erasmus Dar win, Goethe, and Saint-Hilaire preached to deaf ears, for they advanced the theory that living beings had developed by a slow process of transmutation in successive generations from simpler ancestors, and in the beginning from simplest formless matter, without being able to demonstrate any existing mechanical causes by which such development must necessarily be brought about.
Besides mentioning the encouragement bestowed by leading Germans like Goethe, Herder, Raumer, etc., on Czech poets and scholars, the book gives an appreciative account of the Emperor Joseph.
At Gotha he heard Goethe read his I phigenie auf Tauris, and made the acquaintance of the dignified Herder and "fat little Wieland."
Until 1846 it was open at the north side; but this space has since been occupied by the museum, a beautiful Renaissance building, the exterior of which is adorned by statues of Michelangelo, Raphael, Giotto, Dante, Goethe and other artists and poets by Rietschel and Hahnel, and it contains the famous picture gallery.
Here Schiller applied his aesthetic theories to that branch of art which was most peculiarly his own, the art of poetry; it is an attempt to classify literature in accordance with an a priori philosophic theory of "ancient" and "modern," "classic" and "romantic," "naive" and "sentimental"; and it sprang from the need Schiller himself felt of justifying his own "sentimental" and "modern" genius with the "naive" and "classic" tranquillity of Goethe's.
In point of fact, Schiller's genius lacks that universality which characterizes Goethe's; as a dramatist, a philosopher, an historian, and a lyric poet, he was the exponent of ideas which belong rather to the Europe of the period before the French Revolution than to our time; we look to his high principles of moral conduct, his noble idealism and optimism, rather as the ideal of an age that has passed away than as the expression of the more material ambitions of the modern world.
Hegel, like Goethe, felt no patriotic shudder at the national disaster, and in Prussia he saw only a corrupt and conceited bureaucracy.
Books, pictures, objects of art, antiquities, reminiscences of Rat Goethe's visit to Italy, above all a marionette theatre, kindled the child's quick intellect and imagination.
These months of slow recovery were a time of serious introspection for Goethe.
This work may, to some extent, be regarded as supplementary to Faust; it presents the lighter, more cheerful and optimistic side of Goethe's philosophy in these years; Graf Egmont, the most winning and fascinating of the poet's heroes, is endowed with that "demonic" power over the sympathies of men and women, which Goethe himself possessed in so high a degree.
Of other events of this period the most notable were two winter journeys, the first in 1777, to the Harz Mountains, the second, two years later, to Switzerland - journeys which gave Goethe scope for that introspection and reflection for which his Weimar life left him little time.
It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of Goethe's Italian journey.
With regard to painting and sculpture, however, Goethe felt that a protest was necessary, if the insidious ideas propounded in works like Wackenroder's Herzensergiessungen were not to do irreparable harm, by bringing back the confusion of the Sturm and Drang; and, as a rejoinder to the Romantic theories, Goethe, in conjunction with his friend Heinrich Meyer (1760-1832), published from 1798 to 1800 an art review, Die Propyliien.
Thus the elements of which Faust is composed were even more difficult to blend than were those of Wilhelm Meister; but the very want of uniformity is one source of the perennial fascination of the tragedy, and has made it in a peculiar degree the national poem of the German people, the mirror which reflects the national life and poetry from the outburst of Sturm and Drang to the well-weighed and tranquil classicism of Goethe's old age.
It is difficult even still to get beyond the maxims of practical wisdom he scattered so liberally through his writings, the lessons to be learned from Meister and Faust, or even that calm, optimistic fatalism which never deserted Goethe, and was so completely justified by the tenor of his life.
The cold reception it met with shattered at a blow the dream of Wolfgang's life; henceforth he realized that to the world he was interesting mainly as "Goethe's grandson," that anything he might achieve would be measured by that terrible standard, and he hated the legacy of his name.
He " had woven," according to an often quoted phrase of Goethe, " a certain sly element of irony into his method;.
By the side of it ranks the Faust Symphony (1854-1857), in which the moods of Goethe's characters - Faust, Gretchen and Mephistopheles - are depicted in three instrumental movements, with a chorus of male voices, supplying a kind of comment, by way of close.
At Weimar her talents, hitherto held in check, found an atmosphere to stimulate and foster them, her aesthetic and literary tastes formed themselves under the influence of Goethe and his circle, and her little salon gained a certain celebrity.
On the political storms which shook his country and drove him from one employment to another, he seems to have looked not with the passionate participation of a Dante or a Michelangelo but rather with the serene detachment of a Goethe.
His sojourn in Europe fell exactly in the time when, in England, the reaction against the sentimental atheism of Shelley, the pagan sensitivity of Keats, and the sublime, Satanic outcastness of Byron was at its height; when, in the Catholic countries, the negative exaggerations of the French Revolution were inducing a counter current of positive faith, which threw men into the arms of a half-sentimental, half-aesthetic medievalism; and when, in Germany, the aristocratic paganism of Goethe was being swept aside by that tide of dutiful, romantic patriotism which flooded the country, as soon as it began to feel that it still existed after being run over by Napoleon's war-chariot.
I took the greatest delight in these German books, especially Schiller's wonderful lyrics, the history of Frederick the Great's magnificent achievements and the account of Goethe's life.
In the French course I read some of the works of Corneille, Moliere, Racine, Alfred de Musset and Sainte-Beuve, and in the German those of Goethe and Schiller.