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about her a circle of which her great gifts
would have made her the center. Goethe
says : ^ I must candidly confess that when
I dwdt oft^i in &mcy upon her lot, I could
not tiiink of her as a wife, but rather as an
abben, as the head xA some hcmored com-
munity. She possessed every qualification
that so lofty a position requires, but lacked
those which the world persistently demands."
In the lonely house in the Black Forest there
was nothing left for Ccmielia but intellectual
and social starvation, to which was added
ill health. She writes : " We are here en-
tirdy akme ; there is no soul * to be focmd
within three or four miles. My husband's
occupations allow him to pass but little time
with me, and so I dra^ slowly through the
world with a body which is fit for nothing
but the grave. Wmter is always unpleasant
and burdensome to me; the beauties of
nature afibrd us here our single pleasure,
and when nature sleeps, every&ing sleeps.**
Cornelia died in childbed in the fourth
year after her marriage, leaving two daugh-
ters, of whom the younger died in her six-
teenth year, and the elder married Professor

* That is, no one her equal in education or position*



Nicolorius. Schlosser survived his wife
many years, married again, died, and was
buried at Frankfort; but pitiless fate left
to Cornelia not even her remote and lone-
ly grave at Emmendingen. The grave
was obliterated during an enlargement of
the chtux:h-yard, and thus, while the oaken
coffin containing the remains of Wolfgang
Goethe lies in state by that of Schiller in the
Grand Ducal Vault at Weimar, the last
resting-place of Cornelia is not merely un-
marked, but unknown.

The most widely known and loved mem-
ber of Croethe's family was his mother. She
possessed the qualities which win afiection —
a joyous temperament, a strong desire to
please every one, a lively imagination, hearty
good nature, and great common sense.
Her youdi and inexperience at the time of
her marriage have already been alluded to.
But she could not long remain a child in the
difficult position in which she found herself
between the children and the stem exacting
fiither. All her energies were bent to secur-
ing tranquillity in the household, and she was
the pilot who, with ready skill and quick
wit, carried them all safely through many a
stcMiny passage. The Frau Rath survived
her husband twenty-six years, and this was
the happiest period of her life, when she saw
realized all her fondest anticipations of her
son's genius, and fidt that there was no
prouder tide than that of Goethe^s mother.
She concealed her joy and exaltation behind
no thin mask of shyness, but openly laid
claim to the honor she thought her due.
She was very fond of singing in the circle of
her fiiends her son's songs, which had been
set to music by Reichardt; the song in
" Faust," " Es war einmal ein Konig," she
was especially fond of; she would call upon
the company to make a chorus, and at the
conclusion would place her hand upon her
heart and proudly exclaim, " Den hab' ich
geboren." *

The coronation of the Emperor Leopold
in 1790 filled Frankfort to overflowing, and
guests were billeted upon all the inhabitants.
The Frau Rath writes to Friedrich von Stein :
" The quartermasters have not yet been here.
Consequently I do not venture outside the
door, and in this magnificent weather sit as
it were in the Bastile, for if they should find
me absent, they might take the whole house ;
these gentlemen are confounded quick at



•Literally, "Him I bore," or as an English-
speaking mother would prol^bly have expressed it,
'* He is my son."



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122



THE GOETHE HOUSE AT FRANKFORT



I



taking, and when they have once marked
rooms, I would not advise any one to dis-
pose of them in any other manner."

Two Mecklenburg Princesses were as-
signed to her, one of whom became after-
ward Queen of Hanover, and the other the
celebrated Queen Louisa of Prussia.

These princesses, young girls, glad enough
of a litde freedom and liberty from the re-
straint of a court, begged to be allowed, for
a frolic, to pump water frt^m the old pump
in the court-yard. The Frau Rath was only
too glad to afford them so simple a pleasure;
but when their governess found it out she
was struck with all the horror becoming to
a right-minded governess in such an emer-
gency. The Frau Rath, accustomed all her
Hfe to stand between youth and authority,
used every argiunent she could think of to
divert her from her purpose of putting a stop
immediately to such unprincess-like behavior;
and finding all argument unavailing, pushed
the governess into her room, and locked her
in. " For," said she, " I would have brought
down on my head the greatest annoyance
sooner than have disturbed them in their
innocent amusement, which was permitted
to them nowhere except in my house." The
Frau Rath conceived a great affection for
these princesses, always speaking of them as
"wy princesses." They were afterward taken
on a visit to the Elector's Court at Mayence,
where a lady of high position at the Court,
Frau von Coudenhoven, repiroved the Prin-
cess Louisa for appearing ¥rith long sleeves,
which circumstance, coming to the knowl-
edge of FVau Rath Goethe, filled her with
indignation. Some years later, when the
Princess Louisa had become Queen of Prus-
sia, she came to F^'ankfort, and invited the
Frau Rath to visit her at Wilhelmsbad, near
Frankfort The Queen took her to the
spring, and had her sit by her side while
the guests came to pay theu* respects. The
Frau Rath asked the name of every one,
and among them was Frau von Couden-
hoven. t'What! the one who was so cross?
Please your Majesty, order her to cut off
her sleeves!" exclaimed she in the greatest
rage.

After she sold the house in the Hirsch-
graben, the Frau Rath lived in hired apart-
ments in a house on the Rossmarkt, near
the central guard-house. The windows
looked down the whole length of the Zeil,
the principal street of Fraiikfort, and the



lively old lady doubdess found much com-
panionship in die busy scene. Befcne she
died she had spent nearly all of her pr(^
erty. It was once suggested to Goethe that
his mother should be placed under guardian-
ship, a suggestion which he warmly resented,
dedaring that his modier had the right to
spend everything, if she wished, after having
borne dose restraint so many years with the
noblest patience.

She died on the 13th of September, 1808,
having given, as Goethe relates in a letter to
Zdter, die minutest directions in regard to
her fimeral, even to the kmd of wine and
the size of the cakes which were to be offered
to the mourners. Others have added that
she impressed it upon the servants not to
put too few raisins in the cake, a thing she
never could endure in her life-time, and
which would vex her in her grave. Hearing
in the house the voice of an undertaker who
had come to oflfer his services, she sent him
a sum of money, with her regret that the ar-
rangements had been aheady made.

The church-yard where die members of
the Goethe &niily were buried is now a
public promenade; here and there a monu-
ment or head-stone protected by a paling
remains to tell of its former use. The Goethe
burial-place had long frdlen into neglect, and
been forgotten, when the centennial celebra-
tion of Goethe's birthday in 1849 awakened
attention to it The piosition of the Herr
Rath's grave could not be definitely ascer-
tained, but the grave of Goethe's mother
was found, and a simple stone was placed
over it, inscribed, " Das Grab der Frau Rath
Goethe," with the dates of birth and death.
The grave is near the outside wall of the
endosure, a few rods fix>m one of the gates.
Few visitors to Frankfort fail to step aside
to read die brief inscription, and note the
appropriateness of the spot As the daugh-
ter of a Chief Magistrate of Frankfort, and
sprung frx>m a £unily for many years repre-
sented in its councils, no more fitting burial-
place could be found for Goethe's modier
than in the very heart of the dty where all
her life was passed, and with which she so
thoroughly identified hersdfl The busy life
of the dty goes on all about her grave, roses
bloom over it, children play about it, and
the whole place seems thoroughly in unison
with the memory of this genial, large-hearted
woman, one of the flowers of the Frankfort
civilization of the last century.



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"3



RED LILIEa .

Strike fuller chords, or let the music rest !

Of tender songs the world has yet no dearth,

Which scarce survive the moment of their biith.
Be thine in passionate cadences expressed,
And banish morning-glories from thy breast!

A purple dream-iower of the woods is worth

So litUe in the gardens of the earth ;
If gift thou givest, give what we love best

Snce Life is wild with tears, and red with wrongs,

Let these red lilies tjrpify thy songs,
If witti full ferae thou would'st be comforted.

Since Life is red with wrongs, and wild with tears,

Oh move us, haunt us, kill our souls with fears,
And we will praise thee, — after thou art dead !



TOPICS OF THE TIME.



Th« Mmg%akB»*% If cw Ymr.

£lsswh£&e the publishers have displayed to our
readers their tempting bill of &re for the new year.
It is not necessary to rdiearse it " from the top of
the table ; ** but we wish to call attention to the fact
that we are endeavoring to make an American maga-
snie. It seems as if American readers most be tired
by this time of ^e ordinary Eng^h-sodety-norel,
pfociirahie in any qnantity at a dieap rate. It has
ID do wtAl a foan of sockl life more conventional
thm oar own, with scenery less grand and attractive^
with persooaMes more feebly individualized* and
with events and incidents as much less interestiBg
than those of American life as the conditions of
English life are more artificial than ours. Men may
taOL as they choose, or as they believe, about age as
being necessary to the creation of an atmosphere of
ranance. We do not agree with them. A child's
age of romance is its own childhood. Tlie life it
lives, and the tilings it sees about it, form its roman-
tic realm; andtheduldhoodofanationispecufiKrly
its rvmamfc age, not only to tiie age whidi succeeds
it, b«t to itseli There is nothing more iaterestii^
to aa American than a good story, either of his own
time or of the time which has hardly letiied from
bis personal memory. As in the realm of fiction, so
in the department of philosophical and speculative
discussion, we propose to make the magazine specif-
kally American, so that all the questions of the time,
rekting either to others or ourselves, shall be treated
from tiie American stand-point. If anybody prefers
to import either his fiction or his opinion, he can
easOy do so in English books and magazines, whidi
fetmkh the appropriate vehicle for them.

The two leading novels of the year upon which
the present iasae of our magazine enters, could only



have been written in America by Americans. Both
relate to social and political beginnings, and are fiiU
of incident and diaracter only to be developed in
exceptional ccmditions of society, and only to be
fouikl on the American continent Both will be
surcharged with interest, and they are sure to have
a univmal reading. The Revolutionary Letters
whidi we are to publbh, the articles on American
Colleges, with their host of brilliant illustrations
whidi are to be produced, with a hundred essays,
poems, and skctdies of travel, will all go to the
maki^ up of a magizine which we intend shall not
only sati^ readers at home, but fitiy represent
American literature abroad*

So(changing oar figure), withall sails set, andoolors
flyings we float off into the new year, the cheers of a
generous press ringing in our ears, anda great oom^
pany on board, for whom we are to provide entertain-
ment for a gokien twelvemonth. May the skies be
kind and the wind prosperous to passengers, officers,
and crew!

The PoUtical OuUook.

Wb have a number of men and several parties in
training ibr tiie Presidency. It would be very easy
to name the men who are shaping their coarse and
manipulating the wires for their personal advance-
ment to tiiat post, and at least two parties that are
wondering what prindples it will be best, on the
whole, to adopt, in order to secure the ascendency.
It is the old tridc, whidi grows more and more dis-
gusting every year ; but it is to be played again.
The people have nothing to say— the politidans
everydiing. The man who wants to be President,
and the duster of pc^tidans who wish to make him
President, expect to wheedle the American people
into their support. On one side or the other, they



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TOPICS OF THE TIME,



will do this. No nomination, and no declaration of
principles, will emanate from the people. Platforms
will come forward at the proper time, all ready for
.the endorsement of the people, and a man will be
nominated for their support They are to be led,
nsed, and despised by a set of political hacks, who
hope to run the country for their own personal
advantage. We shall be informed that there is ''a
crisb ; " we shall be summoned to the support of
^ the principles of free government ; " we shall be
assured that Tubbs is our man, and that now is our
time to rebuke corruption in high places, and ''vin-
dicate the majesty of the American people.''

The position of the American voter is not a very
dignified one. Theoretically, he has something to
say and do in the selection of the man who is to rule
over him. Practically, he has nothing to do but to
endorse or condemn Uie num selected by a circle of
politicians. Theoretically, a democratic government
affords a fine opportunity for the selection of the
best man for the highest office by the voice of a
grateful, trusting, and admiring people. In fact, the
best man never gets the highest office, and would
never stoop to tl^ low tricks and disgraceful com-
promises of personal dignity and political principle
by which alone, under the present condition of things,
the highest office can be secured. Instead of having
a government of the people, we have a government
of rings. The rings may not always be flagrantly
oorrvpt; but they are rings nevertheless, and Tweed's
ring^ in its day, was no more real or vital than the
rings which are now endeavoring to get the control
of die country.

Still, the voters have the privilege of scoldings of
warnings of protesting. It cbes not amount to modi
in practical results, but it helps U> work off indignant
feding, and carries the semblance of independence.
And now, " on behalf of many voters," aiMl with no
man and no party to serve, there is one word that
vre take the privilege of sajring to the politicians,
viz., that there is a sin^ question which, in making
up their platforms, and selecting their man, tfaey will
do well to consider very carefully, and handle very
wisdy. It relates to the currency of the country,
and it has but one ri^t side. " Much may be said
on both sides," undoubtedly, by the office-seekers
and politidant ; but sound policy lies with the truth.
No party in the next Presidential election can make
iUelf responsible for the continuance of our present
anomafous system of currency-^much less for an
exaggeration of it-^withont mhiing itsdf^ to say
nothing of ruining the country. A nation, in the
exceptional drcumstanoes of a war, may Uve through
its crisis on paper lies ; but die moment the neces-
sity retires, as peace comes in, it must take its lie
along with it, for it can only remain as a curse. No
nation can thrive permanently on irredeemable paper
money. We can never have good times again until
we do our business with truths, and not with £slse-
hoods. We are living, not only in defiance of all
sound financial policy, but in discord with the whole
business world. Every dollar that we handle is
practically a protested nole, and has n« value save
as it re^ upon another promise, not matured, and



sure to be indefinitdy renewed. The S3rstem is
rotten, root and branch, and, if the nation cares for
its life, the quidcer it gets ''out frt>m under" the
better.

It is strange that at this very time, when there is
more money than can be used— when men do not
know what to do with the money they have — there
can be anybody who seriously proposes to increase
its volume, and preserve its bMis. " Ccnned paper"
is not money, and can never be used as anything
but a representative of money. Our paper does not
even represent money. We buy it and sell it for
money, and it goes up and down in the maricet like
paper rags. It is subject to just as many mutations
as flour or potatoes. The paper a man takes to-day,
at any given price, he may be obliged to sell to-
morrow at a discount The rise and foil of gold, as
they relate to the price of paper, are constantly chang-
ing the values of everything, so that we have this de-
ment of uncertainty added to all the other elements.
Wheat sells high or low, not simply through the
operation of the law of demand and supply relating
to itsdf^ but through the operation of the law of
demand and supply as it relates to gold.

No» this state of things cannot, must not, last, and
the party that will give us rdease firom it is the party
of the immediate future. Any success achieved by
adherence to the present policy oMist be temporary.
Nothing but disaster has come of it ; nothing but
disaster can come of it ; and the adoption of it into
any national platform, by any party, will be sufficient
reason, to any rational man, for leaving that party.
We have arrived at the golden age of bolting, and
voters, even though they have little to do with fbnn-
ing platforms and nominating men, can bolt If
they foil to exercise that privilege, they prove them-
sdves to be the tools which politidans suppose them
to be. Here is where the people can readi the poli-
ticians, and cause thdr opinions to be respected ;
and we really know of no other point where the
politidans are so helplessly wdnerable. Let us all
be ready to try it« if we have occasion.

iff. Ifoody and hia Work.

We suppose there is no question that Mr. Moody
has done a marvelous work in Great Britain. There
is a great deal of cariosity here to know exactly
what it was, and how it was done. The remarka-
ble thing about it seems to be diat there was no
i«markable thing about it, save in its results. Not
a revivalist, but an evangelist; not a stirrer up of
exdtement, bnt a calm pneacher of Jesus Christ, Mr.
Moody went to the British people, and talked in his
earnest, homdy way upon those truths which he
deemed essential to thdr spiritual welfore, in this
world and the next Men went to hear him not
only by thousands, but by tens of thousands. Not
only the common people "heard him gladly," but
very uncommon people — prime ministers, earls,
dudicsses, members of Parliament, doctors of the
law, doctors of divinity, and clergymen by the hun-
dred. All testified to the power of his preadiing.
The doubters were convinced, the wicked were



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converted, weary teadicrs of religion were filled
with firesh courage and hopefnhiess, and there was
a great turning of thoughts and hearts Godward.
Mr. Tyndall and Mr. Huxley and Mr. Herhert
Spencer were not very much in men's minds while
Mr. Moody was around. One thing was very cer-
taln» vix. : the people wanted something that Mr.
Moody hsl to bestow, and they *' went for it."

Since the return of Mr. Moody to America, with his
companion, Mr. Sankey, the interviewers have ascer-
tained firom both of those gentlemen that die work
they have seemed to do has not been done by them
at all, hot by the Spirit of the Almighty. It looks
tike it« we confess. Either the truth which Mr.
Moody preached was wonderfully needed, and won-
derfiilly adapted to human want; either tiie mul-
titudes were starving for the br«ul of their souls'
Ufe, or there was some force above Mr. Moody's
modest means which must be held accountable for tiie
stupendous results. This is a scientific age. Eng-
land is a scientific country. The great lights of
science now engaged in uprooting tiie popular faitii
in Christianity live there. Sir Henry Thompson
and the prayer-gauge originated there. Here is a
nut for them to crack. Was tiiere enough in Mr.
Moody's eloquence, or personal influence, to account
for the eflect produced? Would it not be very
unscientific to regard these little means sufficient to
aocoont for these results ? It is a £ur question, and
it deserves a candid answer. Until we get this
answer, people who have nothing but common
sense to guide them must repose upon the convic-
tion that the power which Mr. Moody seemed to
wi^d was in the truth he promulgated, or that it
emasated firom a source which he recognized as die
spirit of God.

Bat not alone have the scientists received a lesson
firom die wonderful results of Mr. Moody's simple
preaching. The Christian ministry, all over the
world, have found instruction in it which ought to
last them during their life-time. As nearly as we
can ascertain by reading the reports, Mr. Moody
has not paid very much attention to the preaching
of Judaism — involving a theism and a system of
doctrine which Christ came to set aside and super-
sede. He has not paid very much attention to Old
Testament theology, in short. Paul resolved that
he wouldn't know anything but Jesus Christ, and
we are indined to think that Mr. Moody doesn't
know anything but Jesus Christ. It is a fortunate
ignorance for him, and for the world. Our preach-
ers, as a rule, know so many things besides the
Master; they have wrought up such a complicated
sdieme, based on a thousand other things besides
Jesus Christ, that they confess they don't under-
stand it themselves. The man who offered a pair
of skates to the boy who would learn the catechism,
and a four-story house, with a brown stone fi-ont,
if he could understand it, risked nothing beyond the
fimcy hardware ; and yet we are assured that the path
of life is so plain, that a wajrfaring man, though a fool,
need not err therein. And, considering the fact
that Christ is the veritable "Word of God"— that
he is, in himself alone, ** the Way, the Truth, and the



Ufe," and considering also the use that has been
made of the Bible in complicating and loading down
his simple religion with the dieological inventions
of men, it may legitimately be questioned whether
the progress of Christianity has not been hindered
by our possession of all the sacred books outside
of the evangelical histories.

At any rate, we see what has come to Mr. Moody
from prraching without much learning, without much
theology, and without much complicated machinery,
the trutii as it is in Jesus Christ. A salvation and
a cure he has somehow and somewhere found in
the life, death, and teachings of this wonderfiil his-
torical personage. For the simple story of this
personage, he has found more listeners than could
count his words — attentive, breadiless, hungry,
diirsty, believing. They have flocked to the refuge
he has opened for them like doves to their windows.
He has helped to start tens of diousands in the true
way of life. He has done well not to be proud of
his work. He has done well to refuse the wealth
they were ready to bestow upon him. In this, he
has exemplified the religion of his Master, and shown
a just appreciation of the real sources of the power
which he has been enabled to exert

Against such demonstrations of the power of
Christ and Christianity as are aflbrded by the Lon-
don meetings, infidelity can make no headway.
They prove that man wants religion, and that when
he fbds what he wants, in its purity and simplicity,
he will get it They prove that Christianity only
needs to be preached in purity and simplicity to
win the triumphs for whidh die Church has looked
and prayed so long. The cure for the moral evils
of the world is just as demonstrably in the Chris-
tian religion as dif elements of vegetable life are in
the soil. Penitence, forgiveness, reformation, the
substitution of love for selfishness as the governing
principle of life, piety toward God, and good- will
to men— in short, the adoption of Christ as Savior,
King, exemplar, teadier - this is Christianity — the
whole of it. Christianity reveals die fadierhood of
God, and men want a fiither. Christianity reforms
society and governments by reforming their con-



Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 22 of 163)