Salomon Maimon.

Solomon Maimon : an autobiography online

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"in cold blood" was intolerable.! Yet in many
instances the attachment of his friends was marked with
an unusual degree of warmth, and brought many an
hour of sunshine to a life which otherwise would have
been shadowed with insufferable gloom.

Among all Maimon's friends, the most conspicuous
place must be given to the man by whose generous

* Ibid., p. \IbU., pp. 165-6.

304 Solomo7i Mainion:

hospitality he was able to close his chequered life amid
the comforts of a luxurious home. While he was living
in a miserable lodging in one of the suburbs of BerHn,
he learned from one of his friends that a Silesian noble-
man, Graf Kalkreuth, who had formed a high opinion of
his writings, was anxious to make his personal acquain-
tance. After a good deal of delay, Maimon was at last
induced to call upon the Graf at his residence in Berlin.
Fortunately he was very favourably impressed with the
character of his noble friend j and the friendship thus
begun led before long to his taking up his abode
permanently with the Graf.* The generous considera-
tion which the host displayed for all the eccentricities of
his guest, made this arrangement one of the happiest for
the poor philosopher, who since his childhood had
seldom enjoyed the comforts of a home.

But it is evident that the hardships of his life had at
an early period begun to tell upon his constitution, and
that this was further shattered by irregular habits in his
later years. Symptoms of serious trouble in the lungs
excited his alarm in the winter of 1795, ^^^ ^^ ^^s
induced to seek medical advice. Partly from an unwise
scepticism in regard to medicine, partly from his usual
failure to adhere to any fixed rule in his conduct, the
services of his physicians commonly ended with the con-
sultation ; he seldom or never acted on their advice, f

* Ibid., pp. 201-210. i Ibid., pp. 183-8.

An Autohiogrnphy. 305

He lived in indifTerent health for five or six years more.
When his last illness overlook him, he was living in the
house of Graf Kalkreuth at Siegersdorf near Freistacll,
in Lower Silesia. The only account of him at this crisis
was written by the pastor of Freistadt, for a monthly
periodical of the time, entitled Kronos. It forms the
close of Wolffs little book ; and as it is the only account,
it may be of some interest here. The pastor, Hcrr
Tscheggey, had made the acquaintance of Maimon
about the year 1795 ; but their intercourse had become
much closer about six weeks before Maimon's death,
when he used to visit the pastor two or three times a
week. On hearing that Maimon had been confined for
some days, the good pastor at once went to see him. He
found him in a state of great weakness, unable to leave
his room, and besought him earnestly, but in vain, to
take medical advice. A few days afterwards he called
again, and saw that evidently the end was drawing nigh.
Curious to know whether Maimon in this situation would
remain true to his principles, he gave the following turn
to the conversation, which he professes to report word
for word.

" I am sorry to find you so ill to-day, dear Maimon,''
said the pastor.

" There will perhaps be some improvement yet," re-
plied Maimon.

"You look so ill," his friend proceeded, "that I am

doubtful about your recovery."


3o6 Solomon Maimon :

" \Vhat matters it after all ? " said Maimon. " When
I am dead, I am gone."

" Can you say that, dear friend," rejoined the clergy-
man, with deep emotion. " How ? Your mind, which
amid the most unfavourable circumstances ever soared
to higher attainments, which bore such fair flowers and
fruits — shall it be trodden in the dust along with the
poor covering in which it has been clothed ? Do you
not feel at this moment that there is something in you
which is not body, not matter, not subject to the condi-
tions of space and time ? "

" Ah !" replied Maimon, "these are beautiful dreams
and hopes "

" Which will surely be fulfilled," his friend broke in ;
and then, after a short pause, added, " You maintained
not long ago that here we cannot reach further than to
mere legality. Let this be admitted ; and now perhaps
you are about to pass over soon into a condition, in
which you will rise to the stage of morality, since you
and all of us have a natural capacity for it. Why ?
Should you not wish now to come into the society of
one whom you honoured so much as Mendelssohn ? "

The zealous pastor says he gave the conversation this
turn on purpose, in order to touch this side of the philo-
sopher's heart. After a while the dying man exclaimed,
" Ay me ! I have been a foolish man, the most foolish
among the most foolish — and how earnestly I wished it
otherwise ! "

An Autobiography. 307

" This utterance," observed the pastor, '* is also a
proof that you are not yet in complete accord with your
unbelief. No," he added, taking Maimon by the hand,
"you will not all die ; your spirit will surely live on."

" So far as mere faith and hope are concerned, I can
go a good way ; but what does that help us ? " was
Maimon's reply.

" It helps us at least to peace," urged the pastor.

" I am at peace (Ich bin ruhig)^' said the dying man,
completely exhausted.

Here Tscheggey broke off the conversation, as the
sufferer was evidently unable to continue it. When he
rose to leave, Maimon begged him to stay, or at least to
come back again soon. He came back the following
morning, but found the patient unconscious. At ten
o'clock on the same evening — it was the 22 nd of Novem-
ber, 1800 — this strangely tossed life had reached its

" He died at peace," says the kindly clergyman,
" though I do not venture to say from what source the
peace was derived. When a few days afterwards I
passed the castle of his noble friend, I looked up with
sadness to the window of his former room, and blessed
his ashes." It is to be regretted that the generous piety
of the friendly minister was not universal, and that the
ashes of the unfortunate doubter were only with a
grudge allowed to find a decent resting-place.

Notes on some Books of Special Interest





JAMES HEPBURN, Free Church Minister.

By Sophie F. F. Veitch, Author of "Angus Graeme, Game-
keeper," etc. 2 vols., Crown 8vo., 21s.

" A strong story of real life and cannot fail to give Miss Veitch a
prominent position among modern novelists. . . . The whole story
is exceedingly powerful."— <Satwr(/a(/ Review.

" The work of fiction which heads the list may fairly be described as a singularly powerful and
fascinating novel. Description by comparison is frequently convenient, tliough occasionally mis-
leading ; but we do not think we shall convey a wrong impression if we say that 'Tames Hepburn *
bears a strong resemblance to some of the most vigorous and characteristic of Mr^ i^' •■ • ■• r ^
realistic Scottish stories. . . . James Hepburn is one of the most truly heroic <-■ i

recent fiction, with a certain largeness and grandeur in his heroism which are wor':
pressive, and yet with a homeliness which never permits him to slip for a moment outside the ■^^''ji^
of our imaginative belief. In creating an ideal character of unmistakable flesh and blood, ^'>**
Veitch has achieved an unequivocal success, and one or two of the pivot situations in the book are
conceived and presented with such dramatic power and sympathetic insight, that in virtue of them
alone 'James Hepburn' takes place among the most remarkable and admirable of re^c"' "l^^ >
. . . There are chapters in ' James Hepburn ' of which we feel convinced that the authorof
Sce>ies of Clerical Life would not have been ashamed. . . . Such a novel is not only a book
to admire, but one for which to be grateful." — TJie Spectator.

" 'James Hepburn' is a novel in two volumes, which is quite start-
ling in the freshness and beauty of its conception. . . . This book
deserves careful reading ; there is much more in it than the mere in-
terest of a clever story, and only good can result from its influence." -
Literary World.

"The author of 'Angus Graeme, Gamekeeper," has produced another Scottish novel of re-
markable power. ' James Hepburn, Free Church Minister,' is at once a striking character Mudy. a
skilful picture of the social life of a country town and district, and a powerful sensational rtory.
It IS in the first of these aspects that it displays most ongmal vigour. . . .It f""**^ ?°*
- mitted to be one of the strongest productions of the fictional art that have recently appcarea.
Scotsman. .

" There can be no question that ' James Hepburn' is the most notable Scottish story that will b«
* issued in the jubilee year." — The Christian Leader.

" And of this tendency towards pure character-painting and everyday incident Miss Sophie
V'eitrh promises to be the best exponent. In the two volumes which contain the story of episodes
ill ilie life of fames Hepl)urn, each character is carefully studied and presented as a finished
masterpiece. . . . The book is a drama palpitating with intense and real life, whose author
should have a grand professional future." — Whitehall Review.

-The book deserves the highest praise. Hepburn's relations with Lady Ellinor — his pure and
noble love for her — are fitly crowned by his splendid self-sacrifice. . . . The descriptive part
of this fine and often brilliant novel is admirably done." — London Figaro.

'■ No one who begins this story will pause till he has seen the hero through his troubles, and we
are sure no one who has done so will think he has spent his time badly." — The British Weekly.

Jatiits Hepburn is a story of very unusual power, promise, and desert. . . . The story of
Lady Elinor is exceedingly pathetic ; and all her moods, as she gradually progresses along a path
of peril, are described with a hand at once sure and delicate. — Academy.

Seldom do we meet with a novel by a comparatively unknown author which can afford such un-
alloyed pleasure. ... It is not every writer who can, like Mrs. Oliphant, throw a glamour
over the sordid details of botirgeois life. Amongst the few who can do so Miss Veitch may now
claim to rank ; her novel is a remarkable one, and if it does not attain to considerable popularity
the fault will not be with the author. . . . There is intense pathos in the loyal struggle of the
beautiful young wife who believes herself to be unsympathised with. . . . We had marked
more than one passage for quotation, but space warns us that the pleasure must be forgone. We
must, however, draw special attention to Lady Ellinor 's withering summary of RadicaHsm (vol. ii.
p. 242). The novel is one of the very few that follows Mr. Weller's recipe, and makes us " wish
that there was more of it." — Pictorial World.

" A SuccESSFfL Scotch Novel. — It is long since a Scottish novel met with such a demand or
created such a genuine sensation as has attended the publication of 'James Hepburn, Free
Church Minister,' which was issued a few weeks ago by Mr. Gardner, of Paisley, and which we
noticed in the week of its publication. We hear that already Mr. Mudie has ordered four sepa-
rate supplies, the latest being for a large number of copies, so great is the demand for the story on
the part of the subscribers to his library. Miss Sophie Veitch, the authoress, had already made
her mark by her fine novel of ' Angus Graeme, Gamekeeper.' "—Daily Mail.

_ " 'James Hepburn,' by Miss Veitch, is a clever and strong novel. ... Its power and
literary skill are undeniable."— W'i?r/<3f.

" Novel-readers who may think there is not much promise of entertainment in the title which
Sophie F. Veitch has chosen for her new story, will commit the common blunder of forming an
erroneous judgment from superficial appearances. A more interesting or vigorously-written tale
we have not met with for some time hs^ck."— The Scottish Leader.

''Acleverly written story here includes both interesting incident and well-drawn character."—
file Queen.

TISH DICTIONAR Y. By David Donaldson. Now Ready,
Price 25s.; Large Paper, 42s.

The work, taken as a whole, entitles Mr. Donaldson to the gratitude of all
interested in the study of philology, for having performed so thoroughly and so
well a difficult and laborious \.-a.%\C — -Scots maji.

" The soundness of the judgment which he has applied to this portion of his
herculean is only equalled by the fulness of his knowledge of those works
which cover the whole period of Scottish history, during which the vernacular was
written and spoken by all classes of society. A very large number of the words in
the Supplement are recorded by Mr. Donaldson for the first time, at least as Scot-
tish words, and of many of them the explanation will be found nowhere else. . .
Of Mr. Donaldson's work, it may safely be said that it is the most complete and

scholarly endeavour that has thus far been made to accomplish a very difficult

task."— J/a/7. • '

" On every page we find evidence that Mr. Donaldson has mastered all the workt
that cover the entire period of Scottish history during which the vernacular wm
written and spoken by all classes of society. lie has, furthermore, • ' an
extensive personal knowled[];e derived from the livinfj speech of the ml

alike in the definitions and illustrations he displays unfailing soundi nt,

shown sometimes as much in what he has omitted as in that whi An

excellent memoir of Dr. Jamieson, admirable both for the fullness ul i:
and the generous warmth of its sjiirit, adils to the value (jf a Wf)rk wr.
we may safely alftrm, no Scottish library can henceforth be regarded aj> u>u)|>leU."


Other Pieces. With Etchings. By James Sharp. Crown 8vo,
cloth, 6s.

"The author gives undoubted evidence of his right to l)e heard, and our |>cru«al
of this volume enables us to commend his wide reading and knowledge of the worhl,
both in its physical and ethical aspects. It is neealess to add that Mr. Gardner
has done his part admirably." — The Kelso Chroniele.

"Whether Mr. Sharp's poetry be regarded in the abstract, or as the pro<luct of
the hours of leisure of a man of business, much of it is cnniin.rKi.ii.U-. mi.l imuh is
genuine and sound in feeling." — The Scottish News.

Mr. James Sharp does not miss the occasion in his vulume of po<;uj3, Thi
Captive King (Alexander Gardner). His Jubilee Ode, like those of lielter-known
bards, scarcely represents his poetic powers, as the following couplet may show : —
Much as we love the Prince of Wales, the Princess fair, serene,
We want no other sovereign ! We want no other Queen !
" Tullibardine's Bride," though a little diffuse, is a readable narrative
on a Perthshire legend. In other lyrical pieces Mr. Sharp sustains a ;
with fervour. — Saturday Revie-cu.

Mr. Sharp's lyrics and shorter pieces, are always pleasing in senumcnt, ana arc
often sweet iu expression. — Scotsman.

The book of poems which we introduce to our readers to-day has, we think,

amply justified its issue in the beautiful form in which it is presented t'> •' - • "''lie
. . . This delightful book will do something to modify that concij i lo

show that mercantile pursuits and the exalted, if traditionally prosaic, <ii.,nuy ol
Bailieship are not incompatible with a successful cultivation of the .Mum». In
depicting one of the most tragic chapters in our national annals, .Mr. S!.
attained charming results in his use of those heroic measures whirh the .
Scott and of Edmonstone Aytoun has made classic, and thr(^
masters have made the dim shadows that erewhilc flitted acros<; th ■

history to stand forth as living men. . . . Wc have di: • <->*

our readers to these poems because of their intrinsic merits. —

If it be the poet's task to feel pleasure in life and discern beauty in nature, to
praise virtue and rejoice in love, and make his readers do the same, then Mr.
Sh.irp has succeeded admirably in edecting his purpose. — Dundee Advertiser,

Mr. Sharp is seen at his best in his shorter poems. In these, as a rule, healthy
sentiment is expressed in unpictenlious verse. — Academy.


LA IV LYRICS. Fcap. 8vo, 3s. 6d.

"The anonymous author of the 'Lyrics'— is he not to be met with among the sheriffs?— plays
his tunes for session and vacation on the ' goose-quill ' of the law,' and he mana^res to produce from
that ancient instrument a considerable variety of expression. . . . His pronounced national
tastes are admirably shown in ' Oatmeal,' etc. ; in lyrics like ' Stornoway Bay,' there is the true
lyrical gush ; while in such poems as ' A Still Lake,' there is revealed an exquisite power of word-
painting. . ." — Scotsman.

" For neatness and aptness of expression, it is equal to anything we have seen." — Scots Law

" A very agreeable little book for an idle hour. The author shows himself equally at home in
the serious as in the comic." — Graphic.

" They are exceedingly clever, and brimming over with fun and humour. The author has earned
a righi to be called theLaureate of the Law, for certain it is that he invests the most prosaic of all
professions with quite a halo of poetical interest." — Nojiconforjnisi.

" Unkempt enthusiasm and rollicking good humour are the chief features of this little volume."
— Academy.

"A charming little book. We should seek the author on the bench, not at the bar." — Glasgow
Daily Mail.

'■ Will please not only those ' gentlemen of the long robe' to whom the tin^' volume is dedicated,
but a far larger circle. It is a delightful book of verses daintily got M'p."— Glasgow Herald.

" These lyrics will bear comparison with the best work that has been done in this particular line
Will rival some of the best of Outram's lyrics in common sense and humour."— Scotiis/i News.

" The lyrics are written for the most part with sprightliness and ease. The more serious and
imaginative pieces disclose a rich vein of poetic fancy. There are many who will procure the
second edition from a recollection of the pleasure which the first gave them." — Journal of Juris-

"Will bear comparison with Outram's, Neave's, and Aytoun's. Faultless in rhythm, and re-
markable for rhyme." — Evening News.

" The picture seems to us exquisite. Altogether, the work proves the writer to be a true poet." —
Stirling- A dvertiser.

" The verses are inspirited and inspiring, expressive of the feelings of many in these golden days
of summer. To the second edition the author has added some sixty pages brimful of the delightful
verses which are found so attractive in the first edition." — Weekly Citizen.

" One of the two strongest and purest writers in the Scottish vernacular that have been added to
the choir of Northern minstrels during the present Q.^n\.uxy ."—Christian Leader.

" The admirable La7v Lyrics . . . bright with strokes of pawky humour, and abounding in
verses each of which contains a picture, the volume is one which will become a lasting favourite
with its readers. " - /"At^ Bailie.

" Strongly incentive to hearty honest laughter which makes the heart grow brighter, while to
staid and grave and reverend seigniors the sweet lark-song-like verses relating to nature, no less
form subjects for reflection." — Ayrshire Weekly News.

" The little volume is interesting from the first page to the lMl."—/iivfm*i$ Cfunrr.

" Some of the verses exhibit a power of picliiresqiic de*<-ri|>tinn whl^-h it wwi'H Kc <*«W'-tV ta

match, except out of the masters of sonR. Reveal in attractivf ttylr t' m%

the poet, and establishes a claim additional to that of his undoubted . *-
ciative Scotch audience."— (^r^^«^c-t Telegraph.

" Such pieces as 'Scotch Porridt^e, etc' are amoncst the mo«t feiicitona eiampi«a of Scelcll
poetry we have seen in recent yca.TS." — Brechin Advertiser.

" Strong common sense pervades the whole, and the viewsi of the author ar« ■■priwud wbll •
directness, force, clearness, and simplicity, which leaves nothing to be dcMrad."— A'#r/4 B*iN»k


" Of a highly captivating nature, the author being possessed of a keen tense of th« httmoaroa*."

— Stirling Observer.

" Equal to anything of their kind known to us after Burns. A very genial and cajo^sbl*

volume." — Aberdeen Gazette.

" He expresses himself with a felicity and pawky humour that equal I^ord Neave* and Oatnua
at their best, and in several poems the natural grace and pith of expre*%ion ftii;- .1 '>n«- n^f* of
Burns than any other writer. This may seem pitching it very high, but in our - ■««

will bear out the assertion. We recommend it to all in the pro'es>ion of it« autl. . •o«

who can appreciate true humour and good poetry." — The People's Friend.

" Many of the lyrics which celebrate the charms of rural life and scenery are extremely fi»». dis-
playing as they do rare observing powers, a rich fancy, and flowing tasteful language." — Duaafrin


" He is a follower of Robert Bums and finds in the Court, and in the Temple, an inapiration
which the great Scotch poet found in the fields of Ayrshire."— /'<»// Mall Gatett*.

"He possesses the power of writing simple flowing verse in an eminent degree." — Litrrmry


of Natural Laiu in the Spiritual World. By Rev. A. \ViL.«iON.
Crown 8vo, cloth, 2S. 6d. Post free.

" In a former number of this Review we drew attention to two or three of th«
main fallacies of Professor Drummond's shallow but attractive book. Wc arc glad
to see that Mr. Alexander Wilson has, with a scientihc kno\vIe«lj;e to Fro-
fessor Drummond's, and with a logical faculty far superior, subjcried it to ■ far
more systematic and exhaustive analysis. Those who were interested in the daxthnc
pages of Natural Law in the Spiritual World, but not l)linde<i l>y their j»litter. will
welcome this justification of their doubts in the solid form of f.n •-
and those who were fascinated by the Professor's brilliant rhetorir
have a rather painful awakening. Thfy will see the idol shatters
to fall down and worship as a condition of attaining to an intcll
from which they might see all known facts in their harmony and <
no doubt, very fascinating to be able to harmonize and to systema ; .
your theory of law, identical in the natural and in the spiritual worl
the necessity of assuming that man is nothing more than a part of mn'
until he is "converted," and of believing that the survival of the fittest n
salvation of the few (according to the analogy of the -scfil> of an •■''chi.l, < . ^
one person in a generation), would a God who has made men so be the oljject oC


religious fcelinjr, or this spiritual world, with its rare and lonely tenants, be worth
arguing for ? It is probable that few readers of this new " analogy" drew such in-
ferences, but were merely interested in Professor Drummond's spiritual and scientific
gymnastics ; but for the thoughtful few who may have been disturbed by them it is
well that he has been answered by one so capable, both from a Christian and
scientific point of view, as Mr. Wilson." — Saturday Revieiv.

*• It is this fallacy, the presumption that the laws of matter are continuous
through the spiritual universe, that Mr. Wilson finds himself first called on to meet;
and he does so by contending that the principle of continuity applies only if the
spiritual universe be itself material, and not necessarily even them, inasmuch as
there are in the material universe imponderable bodies to which the law of gravita-
tion, for example, does not extend. . . . Mr. Wilson has written a very able,
acute, and temperate criticism, in a thoroughly religious spirit, with perfect courtesy
to his opponent ; and we should be glad to think that his work would be widely
read." — Scotsman.

". . . The critique is interesting, clever, earnest, and, we may add, respect-
ful to Professor Drummond. . . . Here, we think, Mr. W^ilson occupies a
very strong — indeed, an invulnerable position. This is not, however, so much the
critic's own position as that of other writers, but, he appears to us, in great measure,
to recognise and accept it. His own words farther on are: 'The identification of
the natural and spiritual laws, if taken absolutely, would lead to the confounding
together of mind and body, God and Nature.' . . . We are much interested

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Online LibrarySalomon MaimonSolomon Maimon : an autobiography → online text (page 19 of 21)