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New Testaments published by Bagster, would be a perfect Encyclopædia, or Panorganon, for such a scheme of coach discipline, upon dull roads and in dull company. As respects the German language in particular, I shall give one caution, from my own experience, to the selfinstructor: it is a caution which applies to the German language exclusively, or to that more than to any other, because the embarrassment which it is meant to meet, grows out of a defect of taste characteristic of the German mind. It is this: elsewhere you would naturally, as a beginner, resort to prose authors, since the license and audacity of poetic thinking, and the large freedom of a poetic treatment, cannot fail to superadd difficulties of individual creation to the general difficulties of a strange dialect. But this rule, good for every other case, is not good for the literature of Germany. Difficulties there certainly are, and perhaps in more than the usual proportion, from the German peculiarities of poetic treatment; but even these are overbalanced in the result, by the single advantage of being limited in the extent by the metre, or (as it may happen) by the particular stanza. To German poetry there is a known, fixed, calculable limit. Infinity, absolute infinity, is impracticable in any German metre. Not so with German prose. Style, in any sense, is an inconceivable idea to a German intellect. Take the word in the limited sense of what the Greeks called Συνθεσις ὀνομάτων i. e., the construction of sen
-I affirm that a German (unless it were here and there a Lessing) cannot admit such an idea. Books there are in German, and, in other respects, very good books too, which consist of one or two enormous sentences. A German sentence describes an arch between the rising and the setting sun. Take Kant for illustration: he has actually been complimented by the cloud-spinner, Frederick
Schlegel, who is now in Hades, as a most original artist in the matter of style. Original,' Heaven knows he was! His idea of a sentence was as follows: We have all seen or read of an old family coach, and the process of packing it for a journey to London some seventy or eighty years ago. Night and day, for a week at least, sate the housekeeper, the lady's maid, the butler, the gentlemen's gentleman, &c. packing the huge ark in all its recesses, its ' imperials,' its wills,' its Salisbury boots,' its swordcases,' its front pockets, side pockets, rear pockets, its • hammer-cloth cellars,' (which a lady explains to me as a corruption from hamper-cloth, as originally a cloth for hiding a hamper stored with viaticum,) until all the uses and needs of man and of human life, savage or civilized, were met with separate provision by the infinite chaos. Pretty nearly upon the model of such an old family coach packing, did Kant institute and pursue the packing and stuffing of one of his regular sentences. Everything that could ever be needed in the way of explanation, illustration, restraint, inference, by-clauses, or indirect comment, was to be crammed, according to this German philosopher's taste, into the front pockets, side pockets, or rear pockets of the one original sentence. Hence it is that a sentence will last in reading whilst a man
" 'Might reap an acre of his neighbor's corn.'
Nor is this any peculiarity of Kant's. It is common to the whole family of prose writers of Germany, unless when they happen to have studied French models, who cultivate the opposite extreme. As a caution, therefore, practically applied to this particular anomaly in German prose writing, I advise all beginners to choose between two classes of composition - ballad poetry, or comedy as their earliest school of exercise; ballad poetry, because
the the stenza (usually a quatrain) prescribes a *** range to the sentences; comedy, because tuge, and the imitation of daily life in its A conversation, and the spirit of comedy thug a brisk interchange of speech, all * slut seulences. These rules I soon drew from 4 on aperience and observation. And the one sole Por was which I either sought or wished for aid, Noveau de patiunciation: not so mach for attaining a just Awa.ca! was satisfied could not be realized out of Gerdah bis di tudi, out of a daily intercourse with Germans) lg he formation, unawares, of a radically Tural and palatine sounds of the ch, and cuilarities, cannot be acquired withAn indie pracce. But the false Westphalian or Jewish p of the vowels, diphthongs, &c., may easily be occurd, though the true delicacy of Meissen should happy to be missed. Thas much guidance I purchased, wad a very few gads, from my young Dresden tutor,
de was oss dues for permission to extend his assistance; dut als would not hear of: and, in the spirit of fierce peaps foodsh) independence, which governed most of my accons at that time of life, I did all the rest for 122.vt、4,
These, or words like these, in which Wordsworth conveys the sudden apocaly y an apparition, to an ardent the stupendous world of an exhalation, with all its annes, and its pomp of have applied to
ocean of the
It was a banner broad unfuri'd,
The picture of that western world.'
the form of the stanza (usually a quatrain) prescribes a very narrow range to the sentences; comedy, because the form of dialogue, and the imitation of daily life in its ordinary tone of conversation, and the spirit of comedy naturally suggesting a brisk interchange of speech, all tend to short sentences. These rules I soon drew from my own experience and observation. And the one sole purpose towards which I either sought or wished for aid, respected the pronunciation; not so much for attaining a just one (which I was satisfied could not be realized out of Germany, or, at least, out of a daily intercourse with Germans) as for preventing the formation, unawares, of a radically false one. The guttural and palatine sounds of the ch, and some other German peculiarities, cannot be acquired without constant practice. But the false Westphalian or Jewish pronunciation of the vowels, diphthongs, &c., may easily be forestalled, though the true delicacy of Meissen should happen to be missed. Thus much guidance I purchased, with a very few guineas, from my young Dresden tutor, who was most anxious for permission to extend his assistance; but this I would not hear of: and, in the spirit of fierce (perhaps foolish) independence, which governed most of my actions at that time of life, I did all the rest for myself.
'It was a banner broad unfurl'd,
The picture of that western world.'
These, or words like these, in which Wordsworth conveys the sudden apocalypse, as by an apparition, to an ardent and sympathizing spirit, of the stupendous world of America, rising, at once, like an exhalation, with all its shadowy forests, its endless savannas, and its pomp of solitary waters-well and truly might I have applied to my first launching upon that vast billowy ocean of the German literature. As a past literature, as a literature of