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GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY. Houghton,
Mifflin & Co. 1907

HANDBOOK OF THE GERMANIC MU-
SEUM OF HARVARD UNI VERSITY. Pub-
lished by the University. Cambridge, 1906

A HISTORY OF GERMAN LITERATURE,
AS DETERMINED BY SOCIAL FORCES.
New York, Henry Holt & Co. London,
George Bell & Sons. 1901

GLIMPSES OF MODERN GERMAN CUL-
TURE. Dodd, Mead & Co. 1898

SOCIAL FORCES IN GERMAN LITERA-
TURE. Henry Holt & Co. 1896



HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY
Boston and New York



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY




FROM KLINGER'S STATUE OF BEETHOVEN



GERMAN IDEALS OF
TO-DAY



AND



OTHER ESSAYS ON GERMAN CULTURE



KUNO FRANCKE




BOSTON AND NEW YORK

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY

m>t fitoer£i&e pre?*, CambriDge

1907



COPYRIGHT 1907 BY KUNO FRANCKE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



Published April igoj



Fl



TO
MY BROTHER HUGO

WHOSE LOVE HAS PROTECTED ME FROM EARLY YOUTH
AND TO

FRIEDRICH PAULSEN

WHOSE FRIENDSHIP HAS GUIDED AND INSPIRED THIRTY

YEARS OF MY LIFE THIS LITTLE BOOK IS

AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED



HEIMATGEFUHL

Die Heide bluht. Ein endlos Flimmern,
Ein Summen, Briiten weit und breit;
Am fernen Horizonte schimmern
Die Diinen, still und traumbeschneit.
Die Heide blunt. Wie Purpurquellen,
Aus braunem Sande stromt's hervor ;
Und tausendfache Farbenwellen
Erzittern uberm dunklen Moor.
Die Heide bliiht. Aus dunklen Tiefen
Ziehn Sehnsuchtstimmen durchs Gemiit,
Als ob sie meine Seele riefen
Zur Ewigkeit. Die Heide bliiht.






Ofc



PREFACE

The essays and sketches brought together
in this book deal with what may be called the
higher life of modern Germany. For even
in so far as they are concerned with earlier
epochs of literary or artistic development,
they consider these earlier phases only in their
relation to the life of the present. Taken as
a whole, they form perhaps a slight contribu-
tion to the psychology of the German national
mind.

The temper of these papers is frankly pro-
pagandist. They wish to arouse sympathy
with German views of public life, education,
literature, and art ; and they try to set forth
some German achievements in various fields
of higher activity. The author hopes, how-
ever, that love for his native land has not
blinded him to shortcomings and defects in-
herent in the German character.



viii PREFACE

All of the papers, except the last one, have
been published previously, — four of them in
the Atlantic Monthly, seven in the Nation, one
in the International Monthly, one in the Inter-
national Quarterly, one in the Outlook, and one
in the Boston Transcript. The verses accom-
panying the dedication were first printed in the
Berlin Weekly, Die Woche. To all these peri-
odicals the author is indebted for the privilege
of republishing his contributions.

The head of Klinger's Beethoven, which
forms the frontispiece of the book, is taken
from a photograph of the statue published by
E. A. Seemann in Leipzig. It seems to ex-
press with particular emphasis and power the
concentrated striving of contemporary Ger-
many for the vision of eternal things. A few
remarks about this greatest creation of modern
German sculpture will be found on pages 43
and 210.

K. F.

Harvard University, March, 1907.



CONTENTS

I. German Ideals of To-Day 3
II. Three Anniversary Addresses

1. Goethe's Message to America 53

2. Schiller's Message to Modern Life 74

3. Emerson and German Personality 93

III. The Evolutionary Trend of Ger-

man Literary Criticism 129

IV. The Inner Life in German Sculp-

ture 193

V. The Study of National Culture 215
VI. Sketches of Contemporary German
Letters

1. Hauptmann's Fuhrmann Henschel 243

2. Sudermann's Die drei Reiherfedern 249

3. Paulsen's Philosophia Militans 257

4. Herman Grimm — An Obituary 268

5. Hauptmann's Michael Kramer 275

6. Hauptmann's Der Arme Heinrich 282

7. The Struggle for Individuality on

the German Stage 293

8. Widmann's Der Heilige und die

Tiere 304

VII. The Future of German Literature 329



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

One of the most interesting fragments that
have been preserved to us from Schiller's
literary workshop, is a Hymn to Germany
which occupied the poet's mind during the
last years of his life. This Hymn never passed
the stage of sketches, partly in verse, partly
in prose ; but even these sketches give us an
idea of the noble conception of the whole.
Apparently, Schiller wanted to proclaim the
greatness of Germany in the midst of her na-
tional disasters ; he wanted to tell his people,
threatened in its very existence by the Napo-
leonic invasion, that there was still a hope left
for it ; he wanted to contrast the brute force
of military prowess with the eternal achieve-
ments of literature and art. " May Germany,"
— thus runs the beginning of this sketch, —
"may Germany, at a moment when she issues
without glory from a terrible war, when two
arrogant nations have set their feet upon her
neck, when the victor rules her fate, — may



4 GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

she feel herself? May the German take pride
in his name? May he lift his head, and with
firm step appear in the company of nations ?
Yes, he may. He has been unsuccessful in the
fight ; but that which makes his worth he has
not lost. German Empire and German people
are two different things. Bereft of political
power, the German has found his worth in
another sphere, a sphere of his own ; and even
if the Empire were to crumble to pieces, Ger-
man greatness would remain unimpaired.

Das ist nicht des Deutschen Grosse,

Obzusiegen mit dem Schwert ;

In das Geisterreich zu dringen,

Vorurteile zu besiegen,

Mannlich mit dem Wahn zu kriegen,

Das ist seines Eifers wert.

To him, the German, the highest destiny has
been set. He has been chosen by the World-
Spirit, in the midst of temporary struggles, to
devote his work to the eternal structure of
human culture, to give permanence to what the
fleeting moment brings. Therefore he has as-
similated and made his own what other na-
tions have produced. Whatever came to life
in other ages and countries, and disappeared
again, he has stored up, — the treasures of



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY 5

centuries are his. Every people has its day ;
the day of the German is the harvest of all
time."

How strangely out of date do these words,
born from a patriot's grief over the political
humiliation of his people, appear at a time
when " German nation " and " German Em-
pire " are happily not any longer contradic-
tory terms ; when through extraordinary mil-
itary achievements, as well as through a
wise and far-seeing statesmanship, the political
power of Germany has been more firmly' estab-
lished than ever before; when German com-
merce and industry are competing for the front
rank among nations in every quarter of the
globe. The question which confronts us of
to-day is precisely the opposite from the one
which confronted Schiller and his contempo-
raries. Then the question was: Will the high
state of intellectual refinement, of literary and
artistic culture, reached by the educated few
react upon the masses and bring about a new
era of popular energy? Will the striving of
the German mind for universally human and
eternal values, for enlightenment, for spiritu-
ality, for cosmopolitanism, result in a height-
ening of national power also, and in a revival



6 GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

of public activity for material ends ? Now the
question is : Will the new era of popular pros-
perity and national self-assertion result in a
reawakening of spiritual strivings also? Will
it give a new impetus to the longing for eter-
nal possessions? Will it lead to a nobler con-
ception of humanity, to a deeper faith in the
Infinite, to a more exalted view of the mean-
ing of life and the mission of art? Will it, in
short, bring about a new era of idealism ?

The following observations, gathered dur-
ing a recent visit in the land of my birth, may
perhaps serve as an attempt to analyze the
physiognomy of contemporary German life
from this point of view.

Even a first impression of the external con-
ditions of the Germany of to-day must con-
vince the unprejudiced that German progress
of the last thirty years has not been confined
to industrial and commercial development.
Not since the days of the Renaissance and
the Reformation has there been a time when
the outward aspect of the country bespoke
such ardent life, such intense activity in every
domain of national aspirations, as now. Even
the most casual observer cannot fail to be
impressed with the picture of healthfulness,



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY 7

power, orderliness, and enlightened citizen-
ship, which meets the eye of the traveler on
every hand, on every square mile of German
soil, north and south, east and west. These
flourishing, well-kept farms and estates, these
thriving villages, these beautiful, carefully re-
plenished forests, these bustling cities teeming
with a well-fed and well-behaved population,
these proud city halls, stately court houses,
theatres, and museums rising everywhere,
these admirable means of communication,
these model arrangements for healthy recrea-
tion and amusement, — how plainly all this
testifies to a remarkably high state of public
consciousness ! This magnificent army, with
its manly discipline and its high standard of
professional honor (occasional excesses of
youthful Hotspurs notwithstanding), these
universities and technical schools, with their
joyousness of student life, and their earnest-
ness and freedom of scientific investigation,
this orderly management of political meetings
and demonstrations, this sober determination
and effective organization of the laboring
classes in their fight for social betterment,
this respectful and attentive attitude, even of
the masses, toward all forms of art, — what



8 GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

unmistakable proofs of a wonderfully organ-
ized collective will, of an instinctive reaching
out toward higher forms of national exis-
tence !

It has been said, and not without some rea-
son, that the distinguishing quality of Ameri-
can patriotism, as compared with Old-World
sentiment, consisted in this, that it was pre-
eminently directed toward the future. The
absence of a long historical tradition, as well
as the gigantic tasks pressing in upon a people
still in the making, undoubtedly accentuate
this forward leaning of American patriotic sen-
timent. But it would be a mistake to think
that German patriotism of to-day was preemi-
nently looking backward, that it was chiefly
concerned with the maintenance of the tradi-
tions of the past, that it lacked the outlook
into an ideal future. Germany, too, is a young
nation; here, too, a new order of things, new
tasks, new ideals, are forcing themselves upon
the national consciousness ; here, too, the sub-
stance of patriotism, if not its form, is con-
cerned with the working out of the problems
of to-morrow.

Let us consider some of the ideals which
consciouslv or unconsciouslv dominate the in-



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY 9

tellectual and moral world of the German of
to-day, shaping his conception of what the
Germany of the future is to be.



The average American, if asked to define
his political creed, would probably without
much hesitancy sum up his answer in the one
word, Liberty. The German would find it less
easy to give a generally acceptable answer to
this question. His answer would vary accord-
ing to the variety of fundamental political
demands contained in the programme of the
party with which he might be affiliated. The
Conservative would maintain that a strong
monarchy was the only power to whose guid-
ance the ship of state might safely be commit-
ted ; and the principal safeguard of a strong
monarchy he would see in the army. He
would further declare a close alliance between
throne and altar, between the State and the
Church, to be absolutely necessary for the
maintenance of public morals; and as to gov-
ernmental maxims, he would have no hesita-
tion in giving preference to the methods of
paternalism and state regulation. The Liberal
would probably point to the English Consti-



io GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

tution as his ideal of government; he would
speak of the necessity of parliamentary gov-
ernment, he would deplore the impotence of
the present parties, he would deride militarism,
clericalism, and protectionism, and he would
declaim on the beauties of free thought and
free trade. The Centrist would above all in-
veigh against the principle of state omnipo-
tence, he would speak of "a free Church in a
free State," he would exalt the work done by
the Catholic Church for the moral and econo-
mic improvement of the working classes, and
he would demand the admission of Catholic
thought and scholarship on equal terms with
Protestant science in the higher schools and
universities. The Socialist, finally, — not to
speak of a number of other, ephemeral par-
ties and fractions of parties, such as the Pan-
Germans, the Anti-Semites, and so on, — the
Socialist would squarely come out for a repub-
lic as the ideal form of government ; he would
condemn the whole existing order of things
as utterly corrupt and untenable ; he would
wish to replace the standing army by a militia
system, abolish the established Church, na-
tionalize the great industries, and what not.
In short, it would seem from such an inquirv



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY n

as though there was a great chaos of political
opinions furiously at war with each other, as
though an agreement on some few funda-
mental tenets, irrespective of disagreement in
matters of practical expediency, was an impos-
sibility in German politics.

Closer questioning, however, would reveal
the fact that the picture of the future hover-
ing before these representatives of the various
German parties was, after all, not so radically
different as it first appeared.

In the first place, the headlines in the va-
rious party catechisms — in Germany as well
as elsewhere — are for the most part not much
more than hypnotic formulae designated to
catch the eye and to delude the party-follower
into a comfortable state of sleepy assurance
that he believes these things. In reality, no
sane Conservative would deny that, if the
monarchy had no other justification for its ex-
istence than that founded upon bayonets and
guns, it would not be worth while for the
people to maintain so costly an institution ;
and as to the reestablishment of patriarchal
methods of government without popular con-
trol, that is a pious wish which may swell the
breast of a few fanatics, such as the notorious



12 GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

Count Piickler, but the practical execution of
such wishes would involve the perpetrator in
serious conflicts with the courts, or land him
in an asylum. On the other hand, the record
of the Liberal party — which, by the way, for
the moment has almost been effaced in na-
tional as well as in state politics J — has been
such that one may well doubt its ability to
convert into constructive achievements its
doctrinaire programme of self-government and
civil rights. Its course has been, in the main,
negative ; and on more than one occasion,
especially during the days of the " Kultur-
kampf," it has gone back on its own princi-
ples by making itself a tool of coercive legis-
lation. As to the Centrist party, its motto,
" a free Church in a free State," is in reality
only a euphemism for " the State controlled
by the Church," and would disappear from
its programme the moment the State showed
the slightest intention of carrying it out, that
is, of disestablishing the Church. And lastly,
the Socialist talk about a German republic is

1 Since this was written, the new elections for the Reichs-
tag have taken place. They seem to indicate a revival of
Liberalism throughout Germany; let us hope that it will be
Liberalism ot the practical, common-sense kind.



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY 13

so manifestly a mere catchword, or at best so
shadowy a dream of immature brains, that it
need not be seriously considered.

While, then, a good many of the apparent
differences and contradictory principles of the
various parties turn out to be, as a matter of
fact, mere surface ebullition and froth, it will
be found that all German parties have one es-
sential thing in common, a strong confidence
in government supervision. This confidence
is well founded, historically. By whatever ill-
sounding name one may call it, — bureaucracy,
officialdom, governmental caste, or what not,
— the fact remains that the government ser-
vice, both civil and military, has during the
last two hundred years been the chief task-
master of the German people in its evolution
to national greatness, the strongest force in the
gradual working out of an enlightened public
opinion. It may be doubted whether the gov-
ernment service of any other country, except
possibly that of modern Japan, has been so
unremittingly and steadfastly committed to the
principle of public welfare as the only law of
conduct for a public servant, as that of Prussia
and those German states which have taken the
keynote of their administration from Prussia.



i 4 GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

The idea that a public office is a public trust,
and that efficiency and trustworthiness are
the only indispensable prerequisites for hold-
ing office, has come to be something so self-
evident to the German mind that it needs no
place in any party platform. It is tacitly ad-
mitted by all parties, and, although it would be
too much to say that in point of fact the Ger-
man administration of to-day is strictly non-
partisan, it certainly must be said that this is
the principle to which it tries to live up.

The recent conflict of the Prussian Ministry
of Education with a large part of the Prussian
student body, as well as with not a few gov-
erning bodies of the universities and techni-
cal schools, is a good illustration of this fact.
During the last decades, Catholic clubs have
had a great ascendency in the German univer-
sities. These clubs admit as members only
young men who regularly perform their reli-
gious duties, and are in every respect faith-
ful sons of the Church. They are affiliated
with the Centrist party, and make no secret of
their desire to make propaganda for its policy.
Naturally, they have brought upon themselves
the hatred and contempt of the larger part of
the student body, which is still dominated by



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY 15

free thought and decidedly anti-clerical feel-
ings. When, some time ago, the Catholic Club
of the Polytechnic at Hannover demanded
an official representation in the General Stu-
dents' Committee, this demand was refused
by the other student organizations, on the
specious plea that the Catholic clubs were es-
sentially opposed to the principle of academic
freedom, and disdained fellowship with the
rest of the student body. Strangely enough,
the Faculty coincided with this view, and
other polytechnics and universities followed
suit. The Ministry of Education, however,
applying the principle of non-partisan admin-
istration, sided with the Catholic clubs, and
refused to sanction their exclusion from the
General Students' Committee. Thereupon a
storm of indignation throughout the Prussian
universities, a flood of high-sounding talk
about freedom of science, about the defense
of modern civilization against Romanism and
mediaevalism, mass meeting after mass meet-
ing filled with denunciations against the " re-
actionary " government. But the outcome
undoubtedly will be a triumph of the non-
partisan view of the government ; and the
only pity is that it does not seem at present



16 GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

likely that the same view will be maintained
by the government to guard the rights of
other student bodies, less acceptable to the
powers that be, — for instance, Socialist socie-
ties.

But to return to our main question, the
question whether there is one political ideal
uniting the great diversity of German parties
in a common aim. The traditional non-par-
tisan methods of German administration, we
saw, have brought it about that all German
parties rely much more readily than is the
case in most other countries on government
action. This widespread trust in government
action, on its part, has brought it about that
the government is looked upon, much more
generally than in England or America, as the
great harmonizer and arbitrator between con-
flicting interests. And this view of the function
of government, in its turn, has forced into the
very centre of political life a demand which in
other countries is more commonly based on
moral and economic grounds, — the demand
for social justice. I believe I am not mistaken
if I designate the idea of social justice as the
peculiarly German ideal of political life.
That the Socialist party should have been



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY 17

the first to proclaim this ideal is in the nature
of things ; for it represents the cause of the
masses to whom, all over the globe, social jus-
tice is so largely denied, the disinherited and
the downtrodden. But it is by no means an
ideal of the downtrodden only, it is an ideal
inspiring the best minds of every party and
class ; it is part and parcel of the very make-up
of the people. The Conservative is bound to
it by the certainty that only in rallying the
masses about the Imperial standard can the
monarchy in the long run be saved. The Cen-
trist cannot escape the conviction that social
justice is one of the foremost tenets of Chris-
tian teachings. The Liberal is forced to ac-
knowledge that without this principle there
is no really enlightened civilization. And the
common man throughout the land feels in-
stinctively that Germany, of all countries, is
the one where this idea is destined to play
the leading part in shaping the future of the
nation.

How threadbare and antiquated most of the
other ideals have come to be that held their
sway during the last one hundred years !
How few of those that swelled the breasts of
Schiller and his contemporaries are a living



1 8 GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY

force to-day ! The brotherhood of nations ?
Germany has had every reason during the last
two or three generations to doubt the sin-
cerity of those who make it a business to
declaim about humanity and the peace of the
world. Every step which she has made toward
national unity and consolidation has been con-
tested by her good friends and neighbors :
the Empire had to be welded together in a
bloody war brought about by Napoleonic
intrigues; and now the beginnings of Ger-
man sea power are grudgingly watched, de-
nounced, and as much as possible, thwarted,
by commercial rivals all over the world. No,
the brotherhood of nations has no particular
charms for the German of the twentieth cen-
tury. Enlightenment? The time has long
passed when this word thrilled the elite of the
nation beyond any other. We have come to
see that, priceless a possession as intellectual
enlightenment is, it is after all not without its
dangers, and easily leads the masses to mate-
rialism and moral indifference. Freedom ? To
be sure, the mission of freedom is endless,
and there is plenty of work left for her in
contemporary Germany, as everywhere, par-
ticularly in religious matters; but it would be



GERMAN IDEALS OF TO-DAY 19

absurd to deny that the German Constitution
of to-day allows to the individual an amount
of political freedom undreamed-of a hundred
years ago, and larger than the great majority
of individuals are capable of carrying. Even
to the Socialist, freedom is not any longer the
one magic formula to conjure with ; what he de-
mands is not freedom, but justice. National-
ity ? To the great mass of Germans this word
would appeal more than either human bro-
therhood or enlightenment or freedom. And
yet even this word does not any longer ex-
press a widespread, elemental longing : it ex-
presses rather satisfaction at the fulfillment of
national aspirations, pride at national achieve-
ments; it has ceased to be an ideal. The
question : " Was ist des Deutschen Vater-
land?" does not any longer make the Ger-
man heart beat faster. Industrial progress and
supremacy ? Certainly, this is a thing for
which thousands and thousands of heads and
hands are ceaselessly at work, a goal of ambi-
tion hovering before the keenest and best
trained minds of the country. But how could
one forget that this very progress is often


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