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manacks or pocket-books. Poets, dra matic authors, and novelists bind up their best productions in the most elegant manner as presents for the ladies. The greater part of German polite literature makes its first appearance in a most seducing form. None of these pocket-books exceed in size a duodecimo or crown octavo, and they are mostly hot-pressed, gilt edged, and adorned with some of the best productions of the German burine. Their contents are of every description. New plays, novels, poetry, by the first authors of Germany, are in general borne before the public by these butterflies of literature; for they are spangled with gold, and live only for a season. Such of these productions as find favour with the public are afterwards reprinted in a cheaper form, and cease to be spoken of by critics as they become in general popular and accessible to strangers. The alteration they mark in German literature is worth recording, and we borrow a few observations on this subject from a German Review. *

on

"Our literature is at present very different from what it formerly was. Half a century ago immense folios hardly allowed the most favoured quartos to find a place our book-shelves, and these peered proudly above the few octavos which had crept in amongst them as if for protection. Thick parchment covers, often fastened together with locks, promised eternally to preserve all this wisdom. At present nothing is seen but sedecimos and duodecimos, and the eyes of the human race-ever degenerating-have become too weak to read, and their hands to wield, the mighty quartos and folios of our ancestors. Among the neatest modern volumes are almanacks and pocket-books. A history of their rise and progress would form a considerable branch of the literary tree. Originally intended as Christmas presents, they seem likely not to reach their proper maturity from untimely birth; and are published so early in the year, that they are at times forgotten before Christmas arrives. They are multiplied in such a manner as to keep present reputation prevents our authors from looking at posterity, and the most powerful minds of our day, in which we are richer than our reverence for antiquity permits us to believe, allow the catalogues of Leipsic to remain empty, while they fill up the pages of a pocket-book. Gallantry seems predominating over learning, and our au

books from the market. The desire of

thors prefer, to the dusty library, the gay and ornamented boudoir."

Hermes, No. 6, article Die Deutschen Taschen bücher for 1820.

We hardly know any literary German, of any eminence, who is not editor or contributor to some one of these. Schiller, Tieck, and Voss, were editors, in their day, of almanacks. At present we find Müllner in the Theatre Almanack. Fouque is editor of the Frauentaschenbuch. Oehlenschläger writes in the Urania, and Clauren is the editor of the Vergiss-meinnicht. Kotzebue published a dramatic almanack, and Goethe instituted, within these two years, a periodical work, to describe arts and antiquities. In the article from which the above quotation is made, above twenty pocket-books and almanacks are mentioned for 1820, and as only the principal ones are reviewed, there are probably twenty more. When this annual production of light and elegant literature is compared with the heavy philological pursuits for which alone the Germans were once famous, it is obvious that a great alteration is in progress in Germany. From wanting an historical character, rendered valuable in their own estimation by the admiration of the rest of the world, they are ready to initate whatever is praised among their neighbours, and, anxious to catch the light and agreeable spirit of the French, they now make their books conform, at least, in size, shape, and titles, to those of France. They cannot, however, catch the spirit. There is nothing in all these volumes heavier than a romance, and as if German authors were not content, without employing the understanding of their readers, many of their lightest productions are so mystical, that close attention is requisite to find out the little meaning they possess. The nation is, in this respect, like its language, which can be adapted to every other tongue, because it has not been long enough cultivated to be perfectly fixed in its construction. Voss makes it conform, word for word, both to the Latin and Greek, Schlegel to the English, and Messrs Bopp and Gerhard to the Sans

The other names are probably too well known to our readers, to require any illus tration from us; but it may be necessary to say, Mr Clauren is the author of several dramatic pieces, and of a celebrated little tale called Mimili.

crit; but it retains its own original dragging character in all their translations.

In order to give our readers a little more accurate information on this part of German literature, we shall place in our literary notices a list of such almanacks and pocket-books as we have seen mentioned, with the names of their editors, as far as we can supply them. Our fair readers, SOME who may be studying German, will be enabled to choose, by the sweet sounding names, which of these Christmas presents they will commission us, or our publisher, which is all the same, to order for them. It may encourage them, if we inform them, that a great number of the contributors to the almanacks are of their own sex, and that the reviewer has selected, among others, the contributions of four ladies,-Helmina von Chezy, Carolina Pichler, Louisa Brachman, and Theresa Huber, as worthy of being preserved, and as likely to be transmitted to posterity.

Literary meteors are so common in Germany, as well as in England, that when we see a young man rising suddenly resplendent as an author, we forbear to stake our critical reputation on predicting his future excellence. Much has recently been said in Ger, man works of criticism, of a Baron Von Auffenberg, who is the author of several new plays, all made at once known to the public. He seems to have been long labouring in secret, and suddenly to have made large demands on public approbation, both for the quantity and quality of his productions. Four dramas of his writing have been noticed within a few months, and we never before heard his name. Though they have been much praised, they do not appear to have been represented. They are called the Syrakuser; the Flibuster, or Conquest of Panama; Diè Bartholomaus Nacht, and Wallace. The latter is, at least for us Scotchmen, a tempting subject. We have seen no specimens, nor do we know their fables, but the reviewer assures us they are remarkable for the beauty of their poetry. The Baron styles himself Lieutenant of the Horse Guards to the Duke of Baden, a title that reminds us of celebrated travels in Canada, by a Lieutenant of Light Dragoons. One of the most agreeable

signs of the present times for us, is to see, in every country of Europe, so many military men cutting out their fortunes with the pen, rather than the sword, and more ambitious of the praise, or the emoluments of authorship, than of the glory of merciless

war.

ACCOUNT OF MRS CAROLINE
PICHLER.

We believe our fair readers, though they are well acquainted with the names of Goethe and Schiller, have never heard of any distinguished authoresses of Germany; and, therefore, we presume, we shall feed both their curiosity and their desire for the literary honour of their sex, by making them partially acquainted with the lady whose name is prefixed to this paper. We regret, indeed, that our materials are so scanty as only to allow us to give a very brief and partial notice. Though her reputation, owing to the slight acquaintance which our countrymen and country women have with her native language, scems never to have travelled across the sea which divides Germany from Britain, she enjoys, in her own country, a considerable share of fame. Perhaps we shall not give her an improper name by calling her the Madame de Stael of Germany. As far as her works have fallen under our notice, she does not appear to possess so masculine an understanding as the lamented Baron ess. She was not cradled amidst those storms of political revolutions which seem to have called forth the manly energies of the French woman. Neither was she introduced to the world by the hand of one of its rulers, and was not, therefore, taught from her infancy, that language of command, and that confidence of superiority, which may be found in the writings of Madame de Stael. Madame Pichler is, however, of good family, and is at present the wife of a very respectable bookseller in Vienna. Perhaps this circumstance may have facilitated the publication of her writings, and have added to the fecundity of her genius. Her collected works, in 1818, amounted to twen ty-three volumes. They consist chiefly of plays, odes, and novels. She does not appear to have been a suc

cessful dramatist. Her odes and her biblical idylls are much praised, but, like our own Miss Edgeworth, she derives the greater part of her fame from her novels. She has not so graphic a pencil as this lady; but, in her Grafen von Hohenburg, she has given us a very interesting tale, and a very accurate picture of the manners of the Germans in the fifteenth century. Indeed, her knowledge is principally of an historical cast, and most of her dramas are taken from the early periods of German history. Her Agatocles, however, is a romance of the first ages of Christianity. The fable of this, perhaps her most celebrated work, is very interesting, the language is pure, correct, and elegant, -and the moral is rather of an exalted kind. Her latest work with which we are acquainted was published in 1818, and is entitled Frauen-Wurde, -The Dignity of Women. In this she has attempted, for the first time, to sketch modern manners; and she has done it well, though with too great a mixture of that false sort of sentimentality which is common to German literature, and which seeks to make vice lovely by clothing it with all the splendour of talents. We do not mean, however, to enter into a detailed criticism of her works, and of that national literature of which they form a part. Our intention is confined to noticing her existence, the quantity of her works, and the extent of her fame. And we shall conclude with stating the chief characteristic of her writings, as we find it given by a German reviewer. "Though she is always visibly led by some ruling ideas, she does not seem to be indebted to them for her inspiration, but she seizes with delight the various appearances of the past and the present, and whatever she finds noble in these she strives to bring nearer the heart, by using the noble vehicle of poetry."

THE MODERN DECAMERON.

No. III.

On the night on which one-half of the windows of Edinburgh were il luminated, and the other half smashed, in honour of Queen Caroline, we were sitting in our snug Attic at the top of the highest house in the Old

Town-the same individual apartment which we have occupied since the year 1739, when we first began our Editorial labours. One little farthing candle twinkled from our casement, at so great a height from the ground, that it might well be mistaken for a star of the smallest magnitude; and our ears (we are, moreover, now a little deaf) were scarcely assailed by the din of the multitude below, whose loudest shouts sounded but as the murmurs of a distant ocean. We were, as usual, dozing in our arınchair, and dreaming of the Porteous mob, when a thundering alarm upon our rasp awoke us, and we for a moment thought that we were Captain Porteous ourselves, and that the turbulent lieges were assailing our prison doors in the intent of carrying us off to the place of suspension in the Grass Market. We were even about to make a retreat up the chimney, when our alarms were quieted by the sudden entrée of our friends Jannes and Jambres, who rushed in greatly fatigued, and in no small agitation. They had been endeavouring, it seems, to force their way through the crowd on the North Bridge, but, refusing (which we thought very silly of them) to take off their hats, and cry "Huzza for the Queen!" they were obliged to make a rapid wheel, and came puffing up our stair of fifteen stories,-a height to which no mortal thought of pursuing them. We seated them on our only two remaining chairs, from which we were obliged first to displace two venerable aged cats, the sole companions of our solitude, and, if the truth must out, our familiar spirits; and, having produced a bottle of excellent Fairntosh, as old as the forty-five, and a kebbuck of precious mite-eaten_ewe-milk cheese, we contrived, by degrees, to draw our friends into literary conversation, and, forgetting alike mobs and ministers-men of the people or princes' favouritesall those

In hearts of Kings or arms of Queens who lay,

from one kind of chat to another, we came, in the true Decameron style, to tell stories. Jannes, who has been studying German, has his head, and commonly his pockets, stuffed full of the little novels with which that lite

rature abounds. We must own they
seem to us silly enough in the main,
and, both in their horrors and play-
fulness, fitter for children than for
grown men. He pulled out a transla-
tion which he had that day made from
Langbein, of a story entitled ALBERT
LIMBACH, OF THE MARTYR OF THE
FAIR SEX, which he said was not in-
applicable to his own and Jambres's
adventure that night, as they had al-
most suffered martyrdom from the
hands of the zealous adherents of her
Majesty. "I will not read the whole
of it," said he, "
as many of the inci-
dents are trashy, and some of them
over decent,-(although that
is but a small consideration now',)-
but, giving you a sketch of the whole,
I will read such parts as are best. It
begins as follows:-

not

"EVERY one says flattering things to the women. I alone must swim against the stream, for cruelly have they used me. Can I owe all the sufferings they have brought upon me to my having cost a woman her life? But how could I, a little innocent, help it, that my good mother was forced to pay for my existence with her death? From my very entrance into life have had foul play from the daughters of Eve, as the following account, which I had from my father, (who, by the bye, was an opulent merchant,) will show: You were not fortunate enough, said he, to have a mother of your own to suckle you, and I was accordingly compelled to entrust you to a nurse. She was a young, neat, good-looking, creature ; and, on the very day on which you came into the world, had born a son, who, as I was given to understand, had lived but a few hours.

1

tions. Her wish was complied with,
and it turned out that her illness be
came more and more serious every
day. At last she sent and begged me
to come and see her, as she had a
thing of the highest importance to
Communicate. I made haste to go,→→
found her reduced to a skeleton, and
already on the brink of the grave.

"I cannot die,' said she, with
streaming tears, and with a voice so
low and weak as scarcely to be heard,
'I cannot die without disclosing to
you a fraud which lies like a millstone
on my mind. I trust that God and
you will forgive me!'

66

"It seemed to myself, and to every one else, that I was very lucky in finding such a person, who, in the performance of her duty, was more like a tender mother than a hired servant. But, alas! she was, in reality, the mother of the boy, who was reared in my house like the son of a prince, and whom, for full three years, I regarded as my own.

"Perhaps I should have remained in that error for ever, had not the awful form of death forced from that wretch a confession which filled me with horror. She fell ill in my house, when she desired to be conveyed away and put under the care of her rela

VOL. VII.

C

Greatly affected at what I saw her suffer, I said to her gently, I forgive you, whatever it may be, and God, I hope, will likewise forgive you; only unload your heart and give it ease.'

"Hear, then, my sorrowful-my heart-rending confession!'-her sobs almost stifling her; the boy whom I have nursed and tended in your house, and whom you so tenderly love as your son, is not yours but mine, whose death I falsely gave out.'

C

"I was petrified at her words. IO heavens' exclaimed I, What then is become of my son-my Albert?-Abominable creature, did you murder him?'

666

No, so great a criminal I have
not been,' was her answer;
he is
alive he is in the Foundling Hospi-
tal. In the Foundling Hospital?-
how is that possible?' asked I, quite
distracted.

C

"Allow me,' said she, to employ any strength I have remaining in discovering to you all the circumstances. To have it in my power to take the advantageous place of a nurse in your house, I committed my own new-born infant to the care of a female relation. When I told you my child was dead, my only intention was at first to induce you to receive me, without hesitation, intoyour service. But I no sooner remarked a striking resemblance between the two children, than the wicked thought entered my mind of putting my own in the place of yours. My detestation of myself would be less, if the blindness of natural affection had seduced me; but no, I was seduced by covetousness and vanity alone. I wished to put my son in possession of your inheritance, that I

38

my arms.

myself might one day, through him, become a great and wealthy lady. I put this horrid plan in execution the first day I was allowed to take a walk in the open air with your infant in I hastened to my relations stripped my boy of the rags he had on-dressed him out in all the finery of Albert, and returned to your house. I met you on the stairs, and trembled lest my crime would that instant be found out. But you neither observed my anxiety, nor the exchange which had been made. You kissed my little bastard for your own Albert, who a few hours after was carried away by my relation in the dusk of the evening, and laid down at the gate of the Foundling Hospital.' Here she stopped, and I immediately sent for some gentlemen of the law, before whom she might repeat her confession. Fortunate it was, that death left her time to finish her tale: in a few moments after she died. The woman, by whom you were exposed, was that moment taken up, and her confession perfectly coincided with that of the deceased. It was likewise mentioned in the books of the hospital, that, on the evening of the day mentioned by the woman, a boy had been found at the gate, and received into the house. You were accordingly restored to me without more ado. On the other hand, the bantling, who had so long occupied your place, was now turned out of doors. I had, however, taken such an affection to the poor boy, that I could not find it in my heart to abandon him to want and misery. I therefore bestowed a certain sum to have him suitably brought up.

"You see, my son, in what a shameful manner you had almost become a sacrifice to female artifice in your earliest days. May you, in your future life, experience no further vexations from the sex!

earth. Among those who visited at my father's, there was a young of ficer, who called almost daily, and was always most kindly received. One day, when my father was at 'Change, I saw him walk into my stepmother's room. I thought nothing of that: and it was not till an hour after, that being hungry, and wishing to ask mama for something to eat, I tried to open her door, but found it was locked. Can the officer have taken his departure and mama be gone out? thought I, and put my eye to the key-hole.'

[What follows would have made a fine incident in the mouths of Sacchi or Majocchi, and would be very edifying reading for all the young ladies in this enlightened country, if it came recommended under the moral imprimatur of the House of Lords. Suffice it, however, to say, that the lady, as generally happens in these cases, came off triumphant,-her husband was obliged to pocket the affront,

the poor boy, who, without dreaming that he was doing any mischief, had merely told what he had seen, led ever after the life of a dog. His stepmother had almost got him sent back again to the Foundling Hospital, on the supposition that, after all, he was the real son of the nurse, when, happily, his father himself discovered, with his own eyes, the fact of the intrigue, and turned the lady out of doors, without even the ceremony of a bill of pains and penalties.

Our hero's next mishap at the hands of the fair sex was a kind of love adventure. He was placed, with some other children, under the tuition of a pedagogue something like Mr Vindex in the Fool of Quality. A pretty little girl, called Nancy, one of the scholars, inspired him with his first passion. She was one day illtreated by the master, and got Albert to avenge her cause, on the promised reward of three kisses. Albert contrived to pull the pedagogue's wig over his ears, and then, in running down stairs from his fury, fell and broke a leg and arm. On his recovery he went to call on Nancy.]

"I found her in company with a highly perfumed courtier, who had just been borrowing a large sum of money from her father, and who now, out of gratitude, vouchsafed to say flattering things to the little daughter

66 So my father concluded; but his wish has not, alas! been fulfilled, and to this he himself not a little contributed. After he had been a widower for ten years, he entered into wedlock again with a young person, in whom not one single vice of a stepmother was wanting. She did not seem to have any dislike to me at first; but I lost all favour by a certain incident, which prepared for me a hell upon

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