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LoG , , , also Prose, and , notes. Whitman, like Goethe, conceives God as inseparable from the universe. A comparison with Jacob Boehme, farfetched as it may seem, suggests itself to our mind. Traces of Boehme's ideas are perceptible in Goethe and Whit- man alike.
We only need to think of the chorus of the angels that receives Faust in heaven or the Chorus mvsticus : "Alles Vergangliche 1st nur ein Gleichnis. Like Goethe, Whitman has been charged with paganism, or even atheism. Both charges are equally unreasonable and un- just, and have been definitely repelled by sound critics. The terms that Goethe applied to his creed in conversation with Lavater, hold good for Whitman too : He is by no means anti- Christian, not even un-Christian, but indeed non-Christian.
The motley variety of churches, creeds and sects, each claiming in its advertisements to be the right and only-saving, was repulsive to these profound and tolerant thinkers. Er stehe fest und sehe hier sich um ; Dem Tiichtigen ist diese Welt nicht stumm. Was braucht er in die Ewigkeit zu schweifen! Was er erkennt, lasst sich ergreifen. Why should I wish to see God better than this day? This idea explains Goethe's word, postulated by Kant's Critique of Practical Reason: " If there were no God now, we should have to invent one " Eckermann.
I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is signed by God's name. His personality and his works are inconceivable without the national, political and social background of the New World. No wonder, then, if Goethe's apparent lack of patriotism strikes Whitman as strange. It was not beau- tiful to me, like Goethe's love for Schiller, like Schiller's love for Goethe. Although he does not men- tion Herder as his own teacher. LXXI, No.
The single passage, in which he speaks of Herder, clearly discloses our poet's indebtedness to the Ger- man poet-philosopher : " Herder taught to the young Goethe, that really great poetry is always like the Homeric or Biblical canticles , the result of a national spirit, and not the privilege of a polished and select few. Herder's chief interest was centered in poetry.
In all his critical treatises. Whitman invariably comes back to poetry : "The problem of humanity all over the civi- lized world is to be finally met and treated by literature. Herder had started from Hamann's proposition : " Poetry is the mothertongue of the human race. What Herder says about these elements might well have been written by a critic of the Leaves of Grass : " Eine Nachahmung der tonenden, handelnden, sich regenden Natur ; — die Natursprache aller Geschopfe, vom Verstande in Laute gedichtet, in Bilder von Handlung, Leidenschaft und lebender Einwirkung personifi- ziert.
Poetry ranks the higher, the nearer the nation or the individual, that composes it, stands in its relation to "l. For culture is dangerous for poetry. Culture has weakened our eyes, lamed our hands ; it has made us lose the pregnancy of thought and expression, the flexibility and sincerity of sentiment, all of which the old heroes of litera- ture possessed.
But not by imitating these great masters may we expect to raise our literature to a higher and nobler plane, but only by learning from them the art how to write poetry. These poets knew how to absorb and reflect their own nature and history, the current thoughts and the language. We must become imitators of ourselves — we must be original. After the above citations bearing upon this phase, we discontinue to give parallel passages from Whitman's works, for we would have to reprint all of Defnocratic Vistas, the Preface to Leaves of Grass, Poetry in America To-day and American Natiwial Literature.
The almost literal coincidence of ideas is evident. To stress our point, we may add that Whitman shares with Herder the admiration of Homer and Shakespeare, and the enthusiastic valuation of the Bible as a work of art. Herder calls Homer " Ganz Natur " ; so Whitman, who secured for himself " the best translated versions he could get of Homer," read the Iliad in Buckley's prose version for the first time thoroughly '' in a sheltered hollow of rocks and sand, with the sea on each side.
Likely, because he " read them. Whitman asks, in reminiscence, above all the nations of the earth, two special lands, petty in themselves, yet inexpressibly gigantic, beautiful, columnar? Immortal Judah lives, and Greece im- mortal lives, in a couple of poems.
Yet, despite many instances of accordance, such an investigation would lead us too far into the realm of philosophic conjecture ; moreover, we have not, as in the former instances, any direct indication whatsoever that Whitman had acquainted himself with that side of Herder's work. Despite the vast currency that Schiller's ideas have had in America, according to the recent proofs offered by American scholars, they have left no trace in Whitman's works.
Schiller's doctrine and practice of aesthetics and form of poetry were incompatible with Whitman's views. A certain similarity between the young Schiller's Shaftesburyean eudae- monism and demand of general brotherhood and Whitman's ideas of comradeship and universal humanity are merely inci- dental. This sort of personality we see in. From his scant allusions, it is impossible to say in how high or mean estimation Whitman held Heine.
One citation sounds rather depreciatory : " For American literature we want mighty authors, not even Carlyle- and Heine-like, born and brought up in and more or less essentially partaking and giving out the vast abnormal ward or hysterical sick chamber which in many respects Europe, with all its glories, would seem to be. Heine, more invigorating to accomplish something bad than something empty. Martin Maack, Dichter-Lexicon, Liibeck, , p.
Schliemann interesting but fishy about his excava- tions there in the far-off Homeric area, I notice cities, ruins, etc. Whitman was little occupied with speculations on Eupo- pean or German plastic art. For this, the very opportunities of visiting satisfactory galleries were wanting. At the great Ex- position of at New York, he had access to "a very large and copious exhibition gallery of paintings, hundreds of pictures from Europe, many masterpieces — all an exhaustless study.
If this is really a national trait. Whitman is a true native of America. In " Proud Music of the Storm " the poet intonates a passionate psean on music, comparable only with Schiller's hymn: "Die Macht des Gesanges. The air was borne by a rich contralto. Very likely. But I was fed and bred under the, Italian dispensation, and ab- sorbed it, and doubtless show it.
What his abstractions really are may be be. Perhaps Symonds hits it nearest by saying : " It is useless to extract a coherent scheme of thought from his voluminous writings. Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections? The way is suspicious, the result uncertain, perhaps de- structive, You would have to give up all else. I alone would expect to be your sole and exclusive standard, Your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting, The whole past theory of your life and all conformity to the lives around you would have to be abandoned.
But Whitman, who has a somewhat vulgar inclination for technical talk and the jargon of philosophy, is not content with a few pregnant hints ; he must put the dots upon his i's ; he must corroborate the songs of Apollo by some of the darkest talk of human meta- physics. I — May iSApr. Appendix — Gesner's Death of Abel. Literary Notice. II — July 2, June 20, From the German. I — Aug.
Reprint from Blackwood's Mag. I— Oct. A tale from the German of Koize- bue. II— Apr. A tale of the Alps. I— Nov. A Dutch Legend. A Legend. By a Lady of Phila. Spirit of the Pilgrims. I— Ill— Free Enquirer. Refer- ence to the school at Hofwyl, Switzerland. Ladies' Magazine.
II— By Herder. The Emir. By Wieland. The Idyll. Mary Stuart. Third Act Scene in park. By Schiller. Lorenzo Stark. By Engel. The Fair E'ckbert. By Tieck. Trans, from the German. I — Jan. I— Feb. Trans, from the German by F. By his Highness. Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Wiema-Eisenach. A novel from the German of Goethe. Boston, Article iv. By John Russel. Edin- burgh. Boston reprinted By Henry E. I, Western Luminary.
V— July 2, 1 July I, Youth's Companion. II — May 30, May 14, Rural Repository. V — June 7, May 23, I— July 5-Dec. Irish Shield. Literary Museum. I — June Mar. Questions on the geography and history of Ger- many. Adam Mueller. Theodore Koerner. S03, , , — The German Language.
Lecture Courses. I — New Year. From the German of Richter. From the German of Schiller. I — The Water Spirit. Founded on the German Undine of Baron la mottc Foque. Remember Me. Cabinet of Instruction. I — Sept. Column — Roman Antiquities in Holland.
Odille near Fribourg in the Black Forest. Column 24 — Difiference between the French and Germans. Column — The Great Haarlem Organ. A German Novel. I — Apr. Written by himself. II — Apr. Literary Recreations. A Dutch Story. From Goethe's Journal in Italy.
Literary Gazette. I— Sept. I — May Oct. Literary Journal. I — May July Lady's Book. Traveller, — Boston. Bernard [in Switzerland]. In English : Appeal-courts-chief-prothonotary's-deputy. Ill — Guillaume Tell. National Magazine. Davis University of Pennsylvania. It is an old story that English lecturers are considered just a bit more acceptable to American audiences than our best, and often superior, American representatives of the same subjects.
But a new importation of foreign talent has now set in with the recent exchange of German and American professors at the universities. Simultaneously with this ex- change of university courtesy the recently organized Ger- manistic Society of America has begun to invite distinguished German scholars to lecture in America.
Among those who have lectured under the auspices of this society are Pro- fessors Friedrich Delitsch, the Ass3Tiologist, and Dr. Ludwig Fulda, the German dramatist and critic. As the visit of a German poet to America is of rare oc- currence, the German Department of the University of Penn- sylvania, thought it fitting to make a special occasion of the poet's visit to show the public both the man and his work, by combining the performance of one of his plays with his lecture.
In order to prepare the public for a better understanding of Fulda's dramatic work Dr. February 21st. The following Friday, February 23, Dr. Fulda lectured in the University on the "Modern German Drama," and the same evening the " Maskerade" was given by President Conried's company before a most brilliant audience in the Academy of Music, with the following cast: 56 Ludwig Fulda in Philadelphia.
Schauspiel in 4 Aufziigen von Ludwig Fulda. Personen : Max Freiherr von Wittinghof , Gesandter a. Provost Charles Custis Harrison Mrs. Charles Custis Harrison Dr. Weir Mitchell Mrs. Weir Mitchell Mr. Joseph G. Rosengarten Mrs. George F. Baer President George F. Houston Mr. Edward Rowland Dr. Vaughan Merrick. Robert E. Frazier Dr. Charles J. Rosengarten Mr. Joseph Morwitz Mrs. Hexamer Professor Marion D. Learned Mrs. Learned Mr. Victor Angerer Mr. Karl H. Huch Mr. Bachman Prof, and Mrs.
Morris Jastrow Mr. Carl P. Berger Mr. Arnold Katz Professor and Mrs. Max Blau Professor and Mrs. Keller Dr. Bliss Mr. Klahre Mr. Simon L. Bloch Miss Elise von Klock Dr. Brede Mr. Charles Kossman 58 Liidwig Fiilda in Philadelphia. Martin Collin Mrs. Brinton Coxe Dr. Davis Mr. Henry Detreux Professor and Mrs. Alvin E. Duerr Mr. Ehlers Mr. Franz Ehrlich, Jr. Federschmidt Mr. Fischler Wx. Penrose Fleisher Dr.
Freimd Dr. George Friebis Mr. Frotscher Dr. Fussell Professor and Mrs. Gummere Mr. Edward Hahn Mr. Heintzelmann Mr. Isaac Herzberg Professor and Mrs. Hilprecht Mr. Hirschbach Professor J. Hoskins Consul G. Ritschl Mr. Rosengarten Miss Rosengarten Mrs. Rossmassler Mr. Charles Rosenau Mr.
Rumpp Professor L. Schwatt Professor and Mrs. Shumway Miss H. Herman Schloss Mr. Albert Schoenhut Mr. Peter A. Schemm Professor and Mrs. Sclinabel Mr. Henry Schwemmer Miss E. Seligsberg Miss Emma L. Simpson Mr. Carl F. Lauber Mr. Max Livingston Mr. Edward Loeb Mr. Lowman Dr. Lyman Mr. Mayer Mr. Carl Mayer Mr. John B. Mencke Dr. Miller Professor and Mrs. Morris Mrs. Fannie ISIuhr Dr. Musser Mr. Julius Nachod Mrs. Neuhaus Mr.
John C. Oeters Dr. Parry Dr. Patterson Miss Elizabeth G. Peabody Professor and Mrs. George A. Piersol Mrs. Poulterer Professor C. Prettyman Dr. David Riesman Professor and Mrs. Rolfe Mr. Rollmann Mr. Jacob Singer Mr. Samuel Snellenberg Mr. Charles A. Spiegel Mr.
Steinbeisser Mrs. Stern Mr. Carl Strauss Mr. Teufel Mr. Max Thiel Mrs. Tunis Mr. Plans Weniger Mr. Weil Mr. Wesselhoeft Mr. Max J. Walter Mrs. Wilde Mr. Woerwag Miss C. Wunder Mrs. Zimlich Ludwig Fiilda in Philadelphia. Gerda Huebner, a governess, on entering her own modestly furnished room in BerHn, finds her landlady, Frau Schwalb, weeping over a novel. The woman, a typical Berlin boarding-house keeper, predicts to Gerda that her lover, Edmund von Schellhorn, will yet marry her. Edmund himself is introduced and in loving conversa- tion he and Gerda recall the story of their meeting at the house of Edmund's aunt, Ellen von Toenning, who has taken a motherly interest in the lonely girl.
But Gerda cannot free herself from sad thoughts. The memory of her dead mother and of her father, whom she has never seen, her insincerity toward her protectress, Madame von Toenning, who puts unlimited trust in her character, her hopeless love for Edmund distress her naturally cheerful mind. The lovers are interrupted by Frau Schwalb, who announces a vis- itor, Frau von Toenning. Edmund takes a hasty leave. Ellen von Toenning".
Now Gerda's pride asserts itself; she prefers to remain the self-made woman who owes her position to her own efforts. However, she finally consents to seeing her father, who tells her his life story, the story of a life full of high aspirations, of vmhappy love and of sad disappointments. After retiring from his career as foreign ambassador, he had only the one desire to invest his child with all her rights and titles.
Only the thought of rendering pos- sible her union with Edmund induces the girl to give in to her father's entreaties. On learning that Edmund is his daughter's lover. Baron Max decides to test the sincerity of the young man's love. For Edmund's father, an ambitious Privy Councilor, is notori- ous in diplomatic circles as an unprincipled hypocritical toady. Gerda, after some hesitation, consents to the Baron's plan and in- augurates her new role in life calling him "Father!
The Schellhorn family is engaged in a very frosty conversation on a Sunday morning. Edmund is reprimanded by his father for his 6o Liidwig Fiilda in Philadelphia. Edmund excuses himself and Schellhorn examines the morning mail, dropping a hiWei doiix, which he nervously tries to hide. His wife, Johanna, asks him for a tete-a-tete, the issue of which her husband avoids by drawing her attention to a scandalous newspaper story, in which his sister-in-law.
Ellen von Toenning, plays an important part. The Privy Councilor declares to his wife that after that he wall no longer officially receive Ellen in his house. Just then, Ellen herself calls on Johanna to emphatically deny the scandalous tale. She explains that she has merely been a friend of Aubert. Director of the Ministerial Cabinet, and that his over- jealous wife has. On learn- ing Schellhorn's desire to drop her, she calls him from his study and in cutting words exposes all his mean Pharisaism.
After her departure, Schellhorn again takes his son to task, trying to induce him to seek a marriage with a girl of his own rank. It was an extremely ingenious custom of the Renaissance that a man of rank wore a mask when out on dis- creet adventures, wishing thereby to indicate : 'Whatever I do now, is done incognito, that does not concern my official personality.
This has a decided efifect upon the Privy Councilor and he now gives his son distinctly to understand that he is to discard his present sweetheart and to devote his efforts to winning the hand of the baroness. When he finally threatens to cast oflF his son unless he obeys, Edmund, after a half-hearted resist- ance, gives way and reluctantly writes Gerda a farewell note. Act hi. Gerda has moved to her father's residence and, while trying to accustom herself to the unfamiliar surroundings, is anxiously look- ing forward to the formal visit of Edmund's parents, which will mark the first step toward her final union with her fiance.
Baron Max gives his daughter a humorous account of the eager and selfish Ludwig Fulda in Philadelphia. She entreats the Minister, Baron Karl von Wittinghof, who comes to see his brother, to estab- lish her innocence. Baron Karl assures the poor woman of his high- est personal esteem, but officially he declares himself unable to espouse her cause. For a legal suit would uncover too many weaknesses of the social body, and as for slander, he says, "We are all outlaws.
Every one of us may wake up some morning and may not find again the good name with which we went to bed. Baron Max is indignant at his brother's upholding the mock morality of society, and after the Minister has frankly declared to him that in case of the legal adoption of Gerda he could no longer receive his brother. Baron Max comes to the final conclu- sion that "our entire official morality is nothing but a masquerade.
Two views about everything — one for private life and one for soci- ety; everyone deceiving and everyone knowing that he is being deceived ; our thinking in continual contrast with our speaking, our speaking with our acting; our Yes a No, and our No a Yes; the whole social organization a business concern for keeping up empty appearances. Just before Edmund himself calls, Gerda leaves the room. At the moment when Schellhorn takes his son aside to con- gratulate him upon his good luck, Gerda rushes into the room, and, indignantly swinging Edmund's last letter, tears the mask from the face of her unprincipled lover, who has so heartlessly discarded the poor governess for the rich baroness.
The Schellhorns stand aghast and are compelled to submit to the girl's scathing reproaches. Act IV. Schellhorn again calls on Baron Max in order to vindicate him- self if possible. At the thought of a scandal the Privy Councilor unconditionally yields, and the Baron, in order to save his daughter's honor, then proposes a match between Gerda and Edmund.
Johanna Schellhorn announces the sudden departure of her sister Ellen to Italy, where, defying all conventionality, she has joined her friend Aubert. The Baron cannot but admire the brave woman. Upon this Johanna opens her heart to him and tells him the pitiful story of her married life.
It has been a constant tragi-comedy designed to keep up appearances. The Baron and Gerda are deeply moved by the woman's sad story, and for her sake Gerda is willing to receive Edmund once more. Edmund really dares to propose to her, and Gerda, in spite of herself, still loves him enough to grant him another trial. She will accept Edmund for her husband, if he is willing to prove the sin- cerity of his love by renouncing all her claims to title and fortune and by marrying her as a simple governess.
When Edmund finds that idea absurd, Gerda needs no further proof. She shows him the door : "Go! I despise 3'ou! To the Privy Councilor, who again drops in to tell the glad news of his nomination in Aubert's place, nothing is left but to call his son a "blockhead. After the performance the German Department enter- tained Dr. Fulda at a banquet at the Hotel Walton.
Addresses were made by Dr. Rosengarten, Dr. Hexamer, Imperial German Consul G. Ritschl, Professor J. Hoskins, Professor C. Prettyman and Professor Grimm. Professor M. Learned was toast-master. About ninety guests were present. Ludwig Fulda in Philadelphia. Du sprachst zu uns in wohlvertrauten Zungen, Du labtest uns nach Tages wilder Jagd. Richard Riethmuller. University of Pennsylvania, February 23, Den Machten, die uns widerstrebend zwingen, Haltst du erbarmungslos den Spiegel vor!
Es folget dir mit leisem Schellenklingen, Halb lachend und halb weinend — der Humor: So zeigst du kiihn der Wahrheit herbe Ziige Und reisst den Schleier von der glatten Liige. University of Pennsylvania, February 22, Brandt, Julius Goebel, Hamilton College. Harvard University. Carpenter, J. Hatfield, Columbia University. Northwestern University. Carruth, W. Hewett, University of Kansas. Cornell University. Hermann Collitz, A. Hohlfeld, Bryn Mawr College.
University of Wisconsin. Cutting, Hugo K. Schilling, University of Chicago. University of California. Dodge, H. University of Illinois. University of Chicago. Columbia University. Adolph Gerber, H. White, Late of Earlham College. Continued V. Gessner and Lord Byron. The general impression on my recollec- tion is delight ; but of the contents I remember only that Cain's wife was called Mehala, and Abel's, Thirza.
In the following pages I have called them 'Adah' and 'Zillah,' the earliest female names, which occur in Genesis. They are those of Lamech's wives : those of Cain and Abel are not called by their names. Whether, then, a coinci- dence of subject may have caused the same in expression, I know nothing, and care as little. It was very little that I ever knew of it.
Abel wajs one of the first books my German master read to me ; and whilst he was crying his eyes out over its pages, I thought that any other than Cain had hardly committed a crime in ridding the world of so dull a fellow as Gessner made brother Abel.
I always thought Cain a fine subject, and when I took it up, I determined to treat it strictly after the Mosaic account. Medwin has said of him: "His memory was remarkably retentive of his own writings, I believe he 67 68 Gessnrr and Lord Byron. Lord Byron could re- member years after he had left school the names of all the fellows in his class, Mr.
Not only in such minor matters as the destructon of Cain's altar by a whirlwind, and tlie substitution of the Angel of the Lord for the Deus of the Mysteries, but in the Teutonic domesticities of Cain and Adah, and the evangelical piety of Adam and Abel, there is a reflection, if not an imitation, of the German idyl.
On opening Byron's Cain, the very first scene reminds one of the Death of Abel in the tactless persistence of all Cain's relatives in tormenting him. They cannot let him alone. Cain — my son — Behold thy father cheerful and resigned — And do as he doth. Wilt thou not, my brother? Why wilt thou wear tliis gloom upon thy brow, Which can avail thee nothing, save to rouse The Eternal anger? My beloved Cain, Wilt thou frown even on me?
No, Adah! Abel, I'm sick at heart; but it will pass; Precede me, brother — I will follow shortly. And you, too, sister, tarry not behind ; Your gentleness must not be harshly met: I'll follow you anon. Gessner sums up this same impatience of Cain in the following words : u Vol.
V edition by Earnest Hartley Coleridge, M. Ists nicht, als ob sie laut zu mir sagte : Kain hat sich ge- bessert; vorher war er ein boser lasterhafter Mann, ein Hasser seines Bruders? Ich war so lasterhaft nicht, und lacher- lich! Hab ich den Bruder gehasset, weil ich nicht immer mit meinen Thranen und meinen Umarmungen ihn verfolgte? There is probably no suffering which is greater than that of being misunderstood. Gessner has shown that to be Cain's condi- tion in this passage.
The same thing is shown again by Byron in the lines: "My father is Tamed down ; my mother has forgot the mind Which made her thirst for knowledge at the risk Of an eternal curse ; my brother is A watching shepherd boy, who offers up The firstlings of the flock to him who bids The earth yield nothing to us without sweat; My sister Zillah sings an earlier hymn Than the bird's matins ; and my Adah — my Own and beloved — she, too, understands not The mind which overwhelms me.
Byron and Gessner both picture Cain as a loving husband. Like Adah's face : I turn from earth and heaven To gaze on it. In Gessner's work Cain addresses his wife : "O du! Was fur Trost leuchtet in das Dunkel meiner Seele? Das inbriinstigste Umarmung, alle meine Thranen konnens nicht! In both works Cain's wife is the same loving, devoted wife: "Cain! I will bear Enoch, And you his sister. Ere the sun declines Let us depart, nor walk the wilderness Under the cloud of night.
To me — thine own. The same faithfulness Gessner expresses thus : "O wie konnt ich in diesen Hiitten wohnen, indess dass du einsam verlassen in Wildnissen jammerst? Nein Kain! Wie wiirde jeder traurige Ton, der in der Natur um mich her tonte, wiird er nicht mit der marternden Angst mich schreken?
Vielleicht ist ers, vielleicht winselt er in hiilfloser Todes- Angst. In the Death of Abel, Thirza, in her first outburst of grief, calls down a curse upon Cain. Cain is a loving father. Of his infant child, he says : "How lovely he appears!
When the mother fears Cain will, in his anger, harm his son, he assures her: "Fear not! The tenderness and love of Cain toward his children, as de- scribed by Gessner, has been already mentioned in connection with Coleridge's Wanderings of Cain. Abel is, in both works, the same good, but uninteresting, char- acter. The Eve in Byron's Mystery has more life and energy than the Eve of Abel's Tod, but the other characters remain very much the same.
In Cain's character Byron adds that unquenchable thirst for knowledge which he did not have in the German work. His spirit of discontent and gloom, warring against the present, he has retained. In both works it is the Angel of the Lord who announced to Cain his punishment and places the mark upon him. In both is the crime committed as the result of a dream or vision.
In neither case wais Cain a malicious murderer. We have referred 72 Gessner arid Lord Byron. He was still un- der the influence of this dream when he struck the fatal blow. In Byron's Mystery Cain, on realizing what he had done, said : "I am awake at last — a dreary dream Had maddened me. In both works a vision auginents Cain's dissatisfaction with hh present condition, by revealing to him a happier state of existence enjoyed by another race, thus humbling his pride.
The act of murder was the result of this depression of spirits, and irritation at the thought of his own insignificance, rather than the result of pre- meditation. The acceptance of Abel's sacrifice, and the rejection of Cain's, are marked by the same signs in these two works.
In the language of Byron : "The fire upon the altar of Abel kindles into a column of tK brightest flame, and ascends to heaven ; while a whirlwind throws down the altar of Cain, and scatters the fruits abroad upon the earth. Abel has laid his lamb upon the altar and kneels to pray. It is of importance to note that Cain and Abel marry their own sisters, as in the Death of Abel. It is just as easy to believe, how- ever, that Byron, at least, received this idea from Gessner, for while he was taking so much from Abels Tod, he may just as well have taken this, too.
Gessner has represented the marriages between brothers and sisters in the first family, as natural and right. Byron does the same and Adah is grieved to know that , it cannot always be so in their children. She asks : "What is the sin which is not Sin in itself? Can circumstances make sin Or virtue? The revolutionary movement carried to an extreme, could easily lead to such a conclusion. Liberty meant to both Byron and Shelley the severance of every restraint laid down by custom, which limited their freedom.
Godwin refused to believe in the marriage tie. Just how far Gessner influenced this extreme aspect of the revolutionary school, it is hard to say. That his influence was unintentional in this respect, there is no doubt; for a belief in such a theory would have been the farthest from his thoughts. Nevertheless, the picture which he draws, even though it was intended only for the first years of the world's existence, could easily be transferred to modern times by one whose imagination was sufficiently active.
There was a restlessness felt everywhere, and dissatisfaction with existing in- stitutions. This was accompanied by a longing for, and belief in, an ideal state of existence. In the Conversations of Lord Byron with Lady Blessington she writes: "Byron wished for that Utopian state of perfection which ex- perience teaches us it is impossible to attain — the simplicity and good faith of savage life, with the refinement and intelligence of civiliza- tion. Ubersetzt und eingeleitet von A.
Stodtman, i' The two parallel passages are quoted which had been cited by Dr. Yet Schaffner himself admits that in both works Abel is the same character, "der redselige Sittenprediger. The first, "Oh thou beautiful And unimaginable ether! Schaffner sees in these passages a similarity "nur ganz ausserlich erweist. The similarity which exists is not "ausserlich," but one far more important. The similarity lies in the use that has been made of the landscape. In each case, it is introduced to draw Cain away from his real life and to picture in his mind, by means of a delusion, an imaginary state which shall make him so dissatisfied with his present condition that he will revolt aganst it.
They too must share my sire's fate, like his sons; Like them, too, without having shared the apple; Like them, too, without the so dear-bought knowledge! Schaffner says: "Bei Eva ist es eine Regimg reuvollen Mitleids, die ihr die Selbstanklage auspresst ; — Cains Worte sind nur eine neue Variation seines ewigen Themas : Death and no knowledge! We do not question the fact that Byron used the same idea for a different dramatic purpose than that for which Gessner had employed it ; but the important fact in our discussion is, that the same idea does exist in both passages — that bird and beast have been made to suffer through the sin of our first parents.
Schaffner says moreover : "Es erscheint doch etwas gewagt, aus diesen beiden einzigen Stellen — denn weiter 'Aehnlichkeiten' aufzufinden ist uns nicht gelungen — auf eine Beeinflussung Byron's durch das altere Gedicht zu schliessen.
The chief point of similarity lies, not in the language — for that reason the citing of parallel passages is not altogether satisfactory — but in the portraiture of the characters themselves. We recognize them still, even in their Byronic dress; their patriarchal atmosphere has been unchanged ; and much of the incident was suggested by the Death of Abel.
The author simply tells the story of the Mystery and then expresses his own opinions regarding the influ- ence of Milton and Gessner upon this drama. He finds no similarity between the Death of Abel and Cain: a Mystery except in the character of Abel, and a few points of resemblance in Cain's wife, as she is drawn by the two poets. In Heaven and Earth much of the pride and defiance of Cain is retained in the character of Aholibamah.
Speaking of Cain, she says: ''Shall I blush for him From whom we had our being? Look upon Our race ; behold their stature and their beauty. Their courage, strength, and length of days. We have shown that in his pride, Byron's Cain resembles the Cain of Gessner. Special interest attaches to the sketch of the second part, as given by Medwin. Here a parting takes place between the lovers. The Patriarch is inexorable and she is swept by a wave from the rock. Byron complicates the situation by introducing many lovers, but it is worth noting the fact that in Gessner's Silndiint the last beings to survive the flood were two lovers who perish in each other's arms.
In Manfred we meet again that element of remorse which was so important a feature of the Death of Abel. In Coleridge's Re- morse relief is found through the love of a brother ; in Gessner's Death of Abel, through the love of Cain's wife. Manfred was written four years previous to Cain: a Mystery, but even then the poet was strongly influenced by the thought which he later expressed in the character of Cain: "The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.
In his longing for self-oblivion Manfred is like Gessner's Cain. Cain prays: "Umhiille mich, schwarzes Dunkel! Verbirg mich vor den Augen der Natur! Yet he knows that even in the remotest places of the earth he will not find forgetfulness, and it is that which he craves : "Wenn dann der Schlaf Schreknisse von schwarzen Fliigeln iiber mich ausstreut, dann wird sein Bild vor mir streben mit zer- schmettertem Haupt und Blut-triefelnden Loken.
The name must have had a fascination for him. We quote the following from Coleridge's edition of Byron : "On one occasion he showed Lady Byron a beautiful tress of hair, which she understood to be Thyrza's. He said he had never mentioned her name and that now she was gone his breast was the sole depository of that secret.
T took the name of Thyrza from Gessner. She was Abel's wife. Very well then I contradict myself. There is no philosophy, consistent or inconsistent, in that poem — there Brinton would be right. Each piece is handcrafted by me and is one-of-a-kind. Custom requests are welcome! NEW - Everlasting Prints With our Metal Clay, we are able to create one of a kind fingerprints of your children and loved ones that you will treasure for a lifetime.
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