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whelming avalanche of snow from a roof. The dramatist has one work to do; the "Police Gazette" or the "Terrific Register," another. Corneille and Voltaire failed to perceive this delicate distinction. They robbed other departments of their inherent rights. They bodily stole the electrician's prescriptive claim to make man's hair stand on end, and insisted that it belonged to the drama alone.

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The Hamburg enterprise had come to wreck. Again was Lessing compelled to strike his tent, and wander forth into the world. He stood, worse than penniless, in debt. The matchless papers which had dethroned such potent idols, and were to break the abject thraldom to France in which the nation stood, from Frederic on the throne to every scribbler in his garret, had brought their author nothing but detraction and ill-will. They had been widely read, but in pirated editions. In this sad juncture of affairs, he received a call to Wolfenbüttel, as Librarian to the Duke of Brunswick. The salary offered was only a wretched pittance; but promises of a better place and an ampler support were freely extended by the prince. It was a bitter thing to Lessing to give up his liberty, and enter into service; but to the stress of poverty now was added the stress of love. In Hamburg he had met the first woman that ever won his heart, Madame Eva König; and for her he must build a home. In an unhappy hour he accepted the position. And now began the dark days of Lessing's life. Henceforth it was to be one long, heartrending tragedy. The prince was a hollow-hearted, shameless cheat. He wanted Lessing for the glory of having him; but he wanted the glory cheap. His money was for his pleas. ures and his mistresses; and other pay, the pay of broken pledges, must serve for the famous man.

All shapes of evil now accumulated on the head of Lessing,— poverty, hope deferred making the heart sick, utter loneliness in wretched Wolfenbüttel, a malarious climate, which ruined his constitution, and made him a martyr to chills and rheumatism. The disordered condition in which the affairs of Eva König had been left by her former husband necessitated that she should spend years in weary journeyings to and fro, and

debarred all present hope of union. It is heart-rending to behold so grand a man for six long years plunged in such woes and humiliations. They are described with painful distinctness in the "Life of Lessing," and we are made to feel them in all their long-drawn anguish. And when at last a bright day dawns, and the two noble beings we have learned to love and venerate are united, it proves after all but a fitful gleam of sunshine. On Christmas Eve of the year 1776, his wife, to Lessing's unspeakable joy, bore him a son. In twenty-four hours the child was dead; and, in a few days, the mother followed. When anguish grows too oppressive to express itself through the common channels, it finds vent in strange and startling ways. To one who knows the human heart, could any serious language tell the tale of woe so movingly as these words, so full of the "wit of sorrow," he wrote to Eschenberg?

"I seize the moment, when my wife is lying senseless, to thank you for your kind sympathy. My joy was only short. And I was so sorry to lose him, this son; for he had so much sense! so much sense! Do not think that my few hours of fatherhood have already made me such an ape of a father. I know what I say. Did it not show his sense, that they were obliged to draw him into this world with forceps? that he so soon became disgusted with his new abode? Was he not wise in seizing the first opportunity to make off again? To be sure, the little hasty-head drags the mother also away with him; for there is little hope left that I shall save her. I wished, just for once, to prosper like other men; but it has fallen out badly for me."

And yet these years of sorrow and humiliation in Wolfenbüttel were full of enduring fruit. A tragedy, indeed, they were; but a tragedy which purifies every beholding soul, which forbids alike all emasculate sympathy and all craven fear. They were the years which witnessed the birth of Lessing's "Emilia Galotti," of "The Wolfenbüttel Fragments," of "The Controversy with Goeze," of "Nathan the Wise," of "The Education of the Human Race," - works full of an inspiration, a glow of beauty, a wit, a wisdom, a fire of passion, which awaken our amazement when we reflect against what

pressure of misery their author was contending. The limits of a single article forbid all extended criticism of these. They are mainly theological in their subjects; but let no man who associates theology and dryness confound them here. He who would burn with indignation at bigotry, arrogance, and priestly tyranny, and shout for joy at seeing the representatives of these flayed alive, - let him read "The Controversy with Goeze." He who would feel with awe and gladness the guiding hand of God in human history, let him read "The Education of the Human Race." He who would have his heart set aglow with divinest charity for all mankind, and live an hour at least in the Millennial Kingdom,— let him read and re-read, with ever-fresh delight, "Nathan the Wise."

It is hard to conceive a more exhilarating surprise than they would feel, who, long fed on the dry bran and stubble of ordinary theological literature, should open first upon the luscious pastures and sparkling waters of any one of Lessing's pamphlets on these subjects. No theologian by profession, he yet outweighs whole hosts of the foremost names in this department. Not that he is strong on every side. His nature had its limits. He lacked the gushing, lyric element, which, in the soul of his loved Spinoza, overflowed in joy and worship, and greeted the driest abstractions with the rapt adoration of St. Theresa. He is cast too much in the Stoic mould, is too born a gladiator, is too inflexible in fibre, to be swept and made musical by the divinest breath of the Spirit. There are intimations from on high, whose whispered secrets his ear was not framed to hear. But, his foot on his own native heather, he was a matchless man. No formal treatises, no ponderous bodies of divinity, have ever come down from him; but on every page he scatters seed-thoughts that have the germs of revolutions in them. He set a nation thinking. His Hercules' arms and his Hercules' club cleansed the Augean stables of rotten, infectious accumulations, and smote down the monsters who held the land in terror. His words are "half-battles." Every word is rammed with life. Every page comes hot from the heart of a man who cannot trifle, will press close to the soul of things. Truth as result, as dogma,

as thing outside the present life of mind, has no attraction for him. The powers it sets in action; the thought, the love, the integrity, the reverence, the loyalty, it keeps in glowing, blissful play, these are its worth to man. It reveals to him his nature; it glorifies his life; it makes it a joy and dignity to be. Lessing's own oft-quoted, yet still unhackneyed, words are full of this brave conviction:

"Not the truth a man has stored up, or thinks he has stored up, not this constitutes the dignity of the man, but the conscientious work he has done in getting at the truth. For it is not the possession, but the pursuit, of truth, which develops the powers. Possession breeds content, sloth, pride. Did God hold shut in His right hand all Truth, and in His left but the unquenchable thirst for Truth (although with the condition that I should ever and eternally err), and say to me, 'Choose,'-with all humility would I fall upon His left hand, and say, 'Father, give. Absolute truth is for Thee alone.'"

It is the contagion of this example, far more than any posi tive results he reached, which constitutes the worth of Lessing to the reader's mind. The spirit he brings to bear in all his investigations, the sense we gain of the ennobling influence on character of the devout and brave pursuit of truth, -these are what do us good. It is not clear in every case what were his own conclusions. In his "Life," by Stahr, there is too much special pleading to rope him in with some given consistent school. In the chapter especially in which is discussed Lessing's position in regard to immortality, there is an amount of "reading between the lines," of interpolating what the writer thinks ought logically to have been his thought, which leaves an unsatisfactory feeling in the mind. But, alike whether man lives but his earthly day, or is conscious heir of the eternal future, one spirit alone is to animate his life. He is to seek his reward in the blessedness of doing right, and not in any ultramundane bribe. This much is clear in Lessing's view, and this is the substance of what he urges.

The motto prefixed to the "Life of Lessing" tells the faithful story, "To go back to Lessing means to go forward."

No writings are more full of that perennial life which is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. They are instinct with the primal qualities, ever old and ever young, which animate all enduring literature. Once more we give a hearty welcome to the work, and thank Professor Evans for it. May it give an impulse to the study of Lessing's works, and bring him in as a power in our young, growing land! We need him. He will leave his life-long mark on every mind which shall give him hospitable greeting.


The Character of Jesus Portrayed; a Biblical Essay, with an Appendix. By Dr. DANIEL SCHENKEL, Professor of Theology, Heidelberg. Translated from the third German Edition, with Introduction and Notes, by W. H. FURNESS, D.D. 2 vols. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. 1866.

WE have here not merely two volumes, but two separate works, one by Dr. Schenkel, and one by his translator. Nor is one by any means the echo of the other. Dr. Furness is not, after the fashion of most editors, continually bidding you stop just to admire this or that sentiment or argument in his author's book. When he agrees with Dr. Schenkel, he says nothing; but, when he disagrees, he bids you stand. And this he does so often, that, long before the reader reaches the end, he wonders why Dr. Furness translated a book so carefully, only for the sake of afterward refuting it at every step. It certainly seems very generous. But, after all the difference, there is a great deal in common between Schenkel and his translator. The London "Quarterly," in a recent article on the various lives of Jesus that have recently appeared, ascribes to Schenkel "a certain democratic twang." What the London "Quarterly" would be apt to characterize in this way, enemy of all progress as it is, would be very certain to attract a man like Dr. Furness, whose life has been divided

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