Jean. [from old catalog] Paul.

The Campaner Thal and Other Writings online

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RICHTER'S WRITINGS.


TITAN. A Romance. 2 vols. 16mo. $3.00.

FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 2 vols. 16mo. $2.75.

LEVANA; Or, The Doctrine of Education. 1 vol. 16mo. $1.50.

THE CAMPANER THAL, and Other Writings. 1 vol. 16mo. $1.50.

HESPERUS. 2 vols. 16mo. _Preparing_.

_The above volumes are printed in uniform size and style_.


IN PRESS.

LIFE OF JEAN PAUL. By Eliza Buckminster Lee. New Edition, Revised. 1
volume.


TICKNOR AND FIELDS, Publishers.






THE


CAMPANER THAL,


AND


OTHER WRITINGS.



_From the German of_

JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER.





BOSTON:
TICKNOR AND FIELDS.
1864.






University Press:
Welch, Bigelow, and Company,
Cambridge.





CONTENTS.


_THE CAMPANER THAL_.

Introduction.


501st STATION.

The Diversities of Life. - The Dirge as Billet-Doux. - The Cavern. - The
Surprise.


502d STATION.

The Thundering Morning. - The Short Trip after the Long One. - The
Sofa-Cushions.


503d STATION.

Lampoon on the Chaplain. - Praise of Him. - The Diamond. - Opinions
against Immortality. - Eden Jokes.


504th STATION.

Flower Toying.


505th STATION.

The Ephemera. - Relative Conclusions. - Doubts of the Length of the Chain
of Living Beings. - The Wart-Eaters. - The Cure.


506th STATION.

Objections to Immortality. - The Second Childhood of the Outer and Inner
Man.


507th STATION.

The Theft of the Souvenir. - Answers to previous Stations. - On the
Emigration of the Dead to the Planets. - The Threefold World in
Man. - Grief without Hope. - The Seal of Immortality. - The
Country-Seat. - The Balloons. - Ecstasy.




LIFE OF QUINTUS FIXLEIN.


Letter to my Friends, instead of Preface.


FIRST LETTER-BOX.

Dog-Day's' Vacation. - Visits. - An Indigent of Quality.


SECOND LETTER-BOX.

Frau von Aufhammer. - Childhood-Resonance. - Authorcraft.


THIRD LETTER-BOX.

Christmas Recollections. - New Occurrence.


FOURTH LETTER BOX.

Office-Brokage. - Discovery of the promised Secret. - Hans von Füchslein.


FIFTH LETTER-BOX.

Cantata-Sunday. - Two Testaments. - Pontac; Blood; Love.


SIXTH LETTER-BOX.

Office-Impost. - One of the most important of Petitions.


SEVENTH LETTER-BOX.

Sermon. - School Exhibition. - Splendid Mistake.


EIGHTH LETTER-BOX.

Instalment in the Parsonage.


NINTH LETTER-BOX.

Or to the Marriage.


TENTH LETTER BOX.

St. Thomas's-Day and Birthday.


ELEVENTH LETTER BOX.

Spring; Investiture; and Childbirth.


TWELFTH LETTER-BOX.

Steeple-Ball Ascension. - The Toy-Press.


THIRTEENTH LETTER BOX.

Christening.


FOURTEENTH LETTER-BOX.

CHAPTER LAST.




_SCHMELZLE'S JOURNEY TO FLÄTZ_.


Preface.

Circular Letter of the proposed Catechetical Professor Attila Schmelzel
to his Friends; containing some Account of a Holidays' Journey to
Flätz, with an Introduction, touching his Flight, and his Courage as
former Army-Chaplain.

Journey to Flätz.

First Stage; from Neusattel to Vierstädten.

Second Stage; from Vierstädten to Niederschöna.

Third Stage; from Niederschöna to Flätz.

First Day in Flätz.

First Night in Flätz.

Second Day in Flätz.




_ANALECTS FROM RICHTER_.


The Happy Life of a Parish Priest in Sweden.

Dream upon the Universe.

Complaint of the Bird in a darkened Cage.

On the Death of Young Children.

The prophetic Dew-Drops.

On Death.

Imagination untamed by the coarser Realities of Life.

Satirical Notice of Reviewers.

Female Tongues.

Forgiveness.

The Grandeur of Man in his Littleness.

Night.

The Stars.

Martyrdom.

The Quarrels of Friends.

Dreaming.

Two Divisions of Philosophic Minds.

Dignity of Man in Self-Sacrifice.

Fancy.




_MISCELLANEOUS PIECES_.


Reminiscences of the best Hours of Life for the Hour of Death.

The New-Year's Night of an Unhappy Man.

The Death of an Angel.

A Dream and the Truth.

The Beauty of Death in the Bloom of Youth.





THE

CAMPANER THAL;

OR,

DISCOURSES ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.

TRANSLATED BY JULIETTE BAUER.





"Report also, we regret to say, is all that we know of the _Campaner
Thal_, one of Richter's beloved topics, or rather the life of his whole
philosophy, glimpses of which look forth on us from almost every one of
his writings. He died while engaged, under recent and almost total
blindness, in enlarging and remodelling this _Campaner Thal_. The
unfinished manuscript was borne upon his coffin to the burial vault;
and Klopstock's hymn, _Auferstehen wirst du!_ 'Thou shalt arise, my
soul!' can seldom have been sung with more appropriate application than
over the grave of Jean Paul." - From _Carlyle's Miscellanies_.




INTRODUCTION.


In my distilling processes, I frequently precipitated the phlegma
of our earthball - its polar deserts, its Russian forests, its
icebergs - and from the sediments extracted a beautiful by-earth, a
small satellite. If we extract and regulate the charms of this old
world, we can form a delightful though minutely condensed world.

For the caves of this miniature or ditto-earth, we will take the
caves of Antiparos and of Baumann, for its plains, the Rhine
provinces - Hybla, Thabor, and Mont Blanc shall be its mountains - its
islands, the Friendly, the Holy, and the Palm isles. Wentworth's park
and Daphne's grotto, and some corner-pieces from the Paphian, we have
for its forests - for a charming valley, the Seifer's-dorfer and that of
Campan. Thus we possess, besides this dirty, weary world, the most
beautiful by or after-world - an important dessert service - an
Ante-Heaven between Ante-Hells.

I have purposely included this valley of Campan in my extract and
decoction, as I know none other in which I would rather awake, or die,
or love than in this one; if I had to command, I would not permit my
valley to be mixed up or placed beside the vale of Tempe or the Rose
Valley, perhaps with Utopia. The reader must have known this valley in
his geographical lessons, or in the works of Arthur Young, who praises
it even more than I do.[1]

I must take for granted, that in July, 1796, the Goddess of Fortune
descended from her throne to our earth, and placed in my hand - not
mammon, nor garters, nor golden sheep - nothing but her own, and led
me - by this I recognized the goddess - to the Campan vale. Truly, man
needs but look into it, and he will have - as I had - more than the Devil
_offered_ to Christ and Louis XIV., and _gave_ to the popes.

The test of enjoyment is memory. Only the paradises of the imagination
willingly remain, and are never lost, but always conquered. Poetry
alone reconciles the past to the future, and is the Orpheus's lyre
which commands these two destroying rocks to rest.[2]

As stated, in the year 1796, I made a trip through France, with my
friend H. Karlson. He is honorary master of horse in the * * * service.
The wise public cares little for true names, it always treats them as
fictitious ones, by way of literary taxation; and the existing
characters, at least those of any importance, may prefer not to be torn
over the wheel of criticism, and dragged piecemeal through libraries
and reading-clubs. At almost every milestone, I despatched the best
hourly bulletin to my friend Victor: when I had sent him the following
valley-piece, he persecuted me until I promised to grant this
illuminated portrait of nature, not alone to the letter, but also to
the printing-press. Therefore I do it. I know already, my poor Victor
sees, that in our days no green branch is left as a spinning-hut
for the man-caterpillar, and that inimical divers try to cut our
anchor-rope, sunk in the sea of death. Therefore he thinks more of the
conversations on immortality, than of the valley in which they took
place. I know this, because he calls me the counterpart of Claude
Lorraine, who only drew the landscape, while another drew the human
beings in it. Truly such a valley deserves that the mining and
sabbath-lamp of truth should be lowered into the suffocating air of the
grave, in place of our _self_, merely to see if that _self_ can breathe
at such a depth.

I have jokingly divided my letters into stations. I of course omit 500,
and commence at the 501st, wherein I appear in the valley.




CAMPANER THAL.

501st STATION.

The Diversities of Life. - The Dirge as Billet-Doux. - The
Cavern. - The Surprise.


_Campan, 23d July_.

Here have I been since the day before yesterday. After descent into
hell and purgatory, and passage through _limbos infantum et patrum_,
man must at last reach heaven. But I owe you yet our exit from our inn
on the 20th. Never can the head have a harder couch than when we hold
it in our hands. The reason that this happened to Karlson and myself
was, that in the rooms adjoining ours a wedding-dance was taking place,
and that below, the youngest daughter of our _maître d'hôtel_, who had
not only the name, but also the charms of _Corday_, with two white
roses on her cheeks, and two red ones in her hair, was being interred,
and that human beings with pale faces and heavy hearts waited on happy
and blooming ones. When fate harnesses to Psyche's car, the merry and
the mourning steed together, the mourning one ever takes the lead;
i. e. if the muses of Mirth and Sorrow play on the same stage in the
same hour, man does not, like Garrick,[3] follow the former; he does
not even remain neuter, but takes the side of the mourning one. Thus we
always paint, like Milton, our lost Paradise more glowing than the
regained one, - like Dante, hell better than purgatory. In short, the
silent corpse made us cold to the warm, joyful influence of the
dancers. But is it not absurd, my dear Victor, that a man who, like
myself, knows nothing better than that every hour unfolds at once
morning bloom and evening clouds; that here an Ash Wednesday and there
a black Monday commence; that such a man, who grieves little that
dancing music and funeral marches should sound at the same time on the
broad national theatre of humanity, should yet hang his head and grow
pale, when, in a side scene, this double music sounds in his ears? Is
not this as absurd as all his other doings?

Into Karlson's eyes something of this cloud had fallen. It was to him
the restirred ashes of a funeral urn. He can withstand all sorrows, but
not their recollection. He has replaced his years by lands, and the
space he has travelled over must be called his time. But the firm youth
changed color when he came to tell that the lover of the pale Corday
had torn her folded taper hands asunder, and, on his knees, had dragged
them to his burning lips.

He perceived his paleness in the glass; and to explain it, he imparted
the last and most secret leaf of his life's Robinsonade to me. You see
what an opaque gem this youth is, who follows his friends through all
France, without opening to his communicative friend and travelling
companion, even a fold or a loophole in his relation to them. Now only
from emotion on entering the Campan Vale, he draws the key from the
keyhole, which shall become a prompter's hole for you.

That he had accompanied the Baron Wilhelmi and his betrothed Gione,
with her sister Nadine, to Lausanne, in order to celebrate their
Arcadian marriage in the Campan Vale, you know already; that he had
left them suddenly at Lausanne, and returned to the Rhine fall at
Shaffhausen, you know also, but not the reason, which will now be
related to you by me and by him.

By daily contact Karlson had at last penetrated the thickly-woven veil,
magically colored by betrothed love, thrown over the strong, firm, and
kindred mind of Gione. Probably others discovered him ere he had
discovered himself. His heart became like the so-called world's eye[4]
in water, first bright, then varying its colors, then dull and misty,
and at last transparent. Not to cloud their beautiful intimacy, he
addressed the suspicious part of his attentions to Nadine. He did not
explain to me clearly whether he had led her into a beautiful error,
without taking a beautiful truth from Gione.

The sword of death seemed likely to separate all these stage knots.
Gione, the healthy and calm Gione, was suddenly attacked by a nervous
disorder. One evening, Wilhelmi, with his usual poetic ardor, entered
Karlson's chamber weeping, and, embracing him, could only sob forth the
words, "She is no more."

Karlson said not a word, but in the tumult of his own and others'
griefs, departed that night for Shaffhausen, and probably fled at the
same time from a beloved and a loving one, - from Gione and from Nadine.
By this eternal waterspout of the Rhine, this onward pressing, molten
avalanche, this gleaming perpendicular milky-way, his soul was slowly
healed; but he was long imprisoned in the dark, cold, serpent's-nest of
envenomed pains; they entwined and crawled over him, even to his
heart. For he believed, as most world-men among whom he had grown up
do, - perhaps, also, too much accustomed to analyzed ideas and opinions
by his favorite study, chemistry, - that our last sleep is annihilation,
as in the epopee the first man imagined the first sleep to be the first
death.

To Wilhelmi he only sent the name of his retreat and a poem, entitled,
"Grief-without Hope," which declared his disbelief, for he had never
broken the Ambrosia, whose delights a trust in immortality affords. But
just that strengthened his enfeebled heart, that the muses led him to
Hippocrene's spring of health.

Wilhelmi answered, that he had read his beautiful requiem to the
deceased, or the immortal one. A long swoon had occasioned the painful
mistake. Gione and he entreated him to follow speedily. Karlson
replied: "Fate had separated him from their beautiful feast by the
Alpine Wall, but as it would, like the Campan Vale, ever renew its
springs, he hoped to lose nothing but time by his delay."

Now that the next world had cast its supernatural light on Gione's
countenance, Karlson loved her too much to be capable of assisting at
the ceremony of losing her forever. I will give you the opinion I
formed of her by listening to his description.

Even by a love and a praise in a person's absence we may be won; how
much more, then, if both are thrown to us as farewell kisses after the
ascent to Heaven! Therefore the idea of the future funeral procession
behind my gay, richly decorated dust, onion and relic box is only
another incentive, not only to drug, but also to absolve myself, for
when older we are less missed. And even you, who so seldom hang us, or
drive us all to the Devil, I mean, how seldom soever the tempest of
anger sours the beer-barrel of your breast! Even you have no more
efficacious morsel of white chalk, no better _oleum tartari per
deliquium_,[5] with which you can sweeten your internal fluids, than
the thought how we shall all turn pale round your death-bed, and be
dumb at your grave-mound, and how none will forget you! I cannot
possibly believe that there exists one being who, when death draws him
into the diving-bell of the grave, will not leave _one_ weeping eye,
_one_ bending head behind, and therefore each one can love the soul
which will some time weep for him.

When I think now of the convalescent Gione, with her wounded heart,
which had received a new sensitiveness in the hot electric atmosphere
of the sinking thunderbolt of Death, I need not measure her emotion at
Karlson's poem, by the dew and hygrometer, nor with the loadstone of
her love. But not Wilhelmi's brilliant riches, nor his still more
brilliant conduct, her first choice, her first promise, forbade her
even to touch the diamond scales.

When Karlson told me all this, he turned Gione's ring-portrait upwards
on his finger, and pressed the hard edge of the ring-finger with his
tearful eyes, till the adorned hand was unconsciously touched by the
lip's kiss. The bashfulness of his grief moved me so much, that I
offered to take another route into the Vale, under the pretence that
the dreams of it had lessened the desire for the reality, and that we
should disturb the newly-affianced in their first rose-honey days, as
they had probably waited for the mild late spring. He divined my
intention; but his promise to come to-morrow dragged him by chains.
Right gladly would I have missed the new spring-filled Eden, and drawn
from my friend's feet the Jacob's ladder from which he might gaze on
his former glad heaven, but could not ascend to it. On the other hand,
I rejoiced at his firm, promise-keeping character, which opposed its
strong nature to the thorns and boring-worms of sorrow; as with the
increase of moonlight, tempests decrease. Unperceived, I now added
Gione, not only Karlson, to the list of rare beings, who, like
Raphael's and Plato's works, uncloud themselves only on earnest
contemplation, and who, as both, resemble the Pleiades, which to the
naked eye seems only to have seven suns, but with a telescope discloses
more than forty.

On the 20th, we started towards the Vale. On the way, I looked too
often into Karlson's faithful, heavenly, deep-blue eyes. I descended
into his heart, and sought the scene of the day on which the holy
church tie would tear the noble Gione forever from out his pure muse
and goddess-warmed heart. I confess I can imagine no day on which I
regard my friend with deeper emotion that on that never-to-be-forgotten
one, on which Fate gives him the brother kiss, the hand-pressure, the
land of love and Philadelphia and Vaucluse's spring, united in one
female heart.

The day before yesterday, at ten in the evening, we arrived at
Wilhelmi's Arcadian dwelling, which pressed its straw roof against a
green marble wall. Karlson found it easily from its proximity to the
famed Campan Cave, from which he had often broken stalactites. The sky
was clouded with colored shadows, and on the green cradle of slumbering
children night threw her star-embroidered cradle-cover, fastened to the
summits of the Pyrenees. From out Wilhelmi's hermitage advanced some
men in _black_ attire, with torches in their hands, who seemed to be
waiting for us, and told us the baron was in the Cave. By heaven, under
such circumstances, it is easier to imagine the most circumscribed,
than the _largest_ and most _beautiful_ Cave! The sable attendants
carried the flame before them, and drew the flying smoke-picture from
oak-top to oak-top, and led us, stooping, through the catacomb
entrance. But how splendidly was arched the high and wide grotto,[6]
with its crystal sides, shining like an illumined ice Louvre, a
gleaming sub-terrestrial heaven vault. Wilhelmi threw away a handful of
gathered spars, and joyfully hastened into his friend's arms. Gione,
with her sister, advanced from behind a connected stalactite and
stalagmite. The gleaming of the torches gave her an undecided outline,
but at length Wilhelmi advanced to her, and said, "Here is our friend."
Bending low, Karlson kissed the warm living hand, and was dumb with
emotion. But the firm features of Gione's earnest face, which wanted
but Nadine's juvenile bloom, changed into a shining joy, greater than
he dared to return or reward. "We have long expected and missed you in
this paradise," she said, with unshaken voice; and her clear, calm eye
opened a view into a richly-gifted, steadfast soul. "Welcome to the
infernal regions," said Nadine; "you believe in reunion and Elysium
now?" Though she received him with an assemblage or Flora of wit, or
was it grace? for they were difficult to distinguish, this cheerfulness
of character and acquirement seemed not to be the cheerfulness of a
contented or reposeful mind.

My friend introduced me properly, that no supermember or _hors
d'[oe]uvre_ should remain in this corporation of friendship.

To all of us - even to me - for around me never before seen beings
floated in silver reflections - it seemed as if the world had ceased,
Elysium had opened, and the separated, covered, sub-terrestrial regions
cradled only tranquil, but happy souls.

There was a certain heartfulness in the joyous interest which this
affectionate trinity took in Karlson's appearance, which generally
accompanies the last step before the disclosure of some hidden plan,
but this plan was concealed. To speak something also to me, Nadine
said, that there was a critical philosopher and arguer with them, who
would rejoice to hear any one _for_ or _against_ his opinions, - namely,
the house-chaplain. When we stepped from the illumined diamond and
magic cave into the dark night, we saw the cloak of Erebus hang in
thick cloudy folds over the earth, and pale lightning shot from the
nightly mist, the flowers breathed from covered calysses, and under the
fast approaching storm the nightingales raised their melodious voices
behind their blooming hedges.

Suddenly Gione walked more slowly by Karlson's side, and said, with
much warmth, but without hesitation: "I heartily love truth, even at
the expense of stage-like effect: I must, in the name of the Baron,
discover to you that he and I will to-morrow be forever united. You
must forgive _your_ friend that he would not celebrate this ceremony
without _his_."

I think that now, in Karlson's heart, the cooled lava immediately
became fluid and glowing. Suddenly lightning flashed from a cloud
around the rising moon, and illumined the rain-drops, intended for
darkness, in Gione's and in Karlson's eyes. Wilhelmi asked, "Can you
not forgive me?" Karlson pressed him warmly and lovingly to his
grateful heart: this lofty confidence of friendship, and this
affectionate proof of it, raised his strengthened soul above all
desires, and another's virtue spread in his breast the calm
tranquillity of his own. We took shelter for the night in three Thabor
huts, - the ladies in the first, Wilhelmi with the critical philosopher
in the second, Karlson and myself in the third, - which the Baron had
hired for us. The fatigue of the journey, and even of our feelings,
deferred our joys and confidences for another night. But I cannot tell
you how nobly sorrow changed into exaltation in my friend's
countenance, how grief fell like a cloud from his heaven, and
discovered the serene blue beneath. The sacrifices and virtues of our
beloved ones belong to the inexpressible joys which the soul at least
can count and appreciate; which it can imitate.

His and my eyes overflowed with holy gladness from a singularly elysian
mood of harmony in anticipation of the coming day. Ah, my Victor!
nations and men are only the _best_ when they are the gladdest, and
deserve Heaven when they enjoy it. The tear of grief is but a diamond
of the second water, but the tear of joy of the first. And therefore
fatherly fate, thou spreadest the flowers of joy, as nurses do lilies
in the nursery of life, that the awakening children may sleep the
sounder! O, let philosophy, which grudges our _pleasures_, and blots
them out from the plans of Providence, say by what right did torturing
_pain_ enter into our frail life? Have we not already an eternal right



Online LibraryJean. [from old catalog] PaulThe Campaner Thal and Other Writings → online text (page 1 of 26)