From this it follows that the monarchy was thrice interrupted by democratic governments, and that there were four periods. This is the Indian tradition. But the whole was conceived as one history, doubtless with a prehistoric ideal beginning, like our Manus and Tuiskon. Therefore, no cosmic periods (Brahmanical imposture), but four generations of Aryan history in India.
The Kaliyuga is a new world, just as much as Teutonic Christendom, but no more. The Indians will probably have commenced it A. D. 410, as friend Kingsley too (in his "Hypatia"). Where is the starting-point? I hold to 1015 years as the chronological computation up to the time of the Nandas.
For the Nandas, I hold to the 22 years.
If they say that Kalasoka and his ten sons reigned 22 years; and Nanda, nine brothers in succession, 22 years; the 22 years is not wrong, either here or there, but the 22 is correct and the ten kingly personages also, for aught I care: but the names are altered (and really to do away with the plebeian Nanda), therefore it is neither 44, nor 88, nor 100 (which is nothing), but
22 —— From Parikshit to the 1037 year before Sandrakottus Sandrak's first year 312 317 (?), 317 (?), 320 (?). I have no opinion on the point, therefore take the middle number about —— Beginning of the fourth 1354 B. C. period Interregnum, popular 120 government —— End of the third period 1475
Nakshatra era 1476? (Weber, "Indian Studies," ii. 240.)
This fourth period is that of the supremacy of the Brahmans in the beginning, with its recoil in Buddha towards the end.
In the year 1250 B. C. about the one hundredth year of the era, Semiramis invaded India (Davpara).
Third period of the royal dynasties, the great empire on the Jumna, not far from the immortal Aliwal. Beginning with the Dynasty of the Kurus. (Here the names of the kings and their works, as canals, etc. Seat of the empire, the Duab; Hastinapura, Ayodhya; or still on the Sarasvati)
0 years Interregnum between III. 300 and II. (Must have left its traces. A pasted up break is surely there.) Second period of royal 0 years. dynasties (Treta)
(Is this the historical life in the Punjab, with already existing kingdoms?) N. B. What is the third of the pure flames? Is it the people? Atria, latria, patria?
Interregnum between II. 200 years. and I.
First period. Beginning of the history after first x years, with an ideally filled up unmeasured period.
Beginning: Manu 6402 317 —— 6719 B. C.
Deduct from this a mythical beginning: a cycle of 5 x 12 = 60, or 600: at most 60 x 60 = 3600, at least 12 x 60=720. Or about 6 kings of 400 years each. Mean time: 2160.
(There remain, deducting 6 from 154 kings (with Dionysos), about 148.)
Length of time: 4559 - 1354 = 3205 / 148 = 21-1/2 mean number of years for each historical government; which is very appropriate.
Zoroaster lived, according to Eudoxus and Aristotle (compared with Hermippos) 6350 or 6300 B. C. This points to a time of Zoroastrians migrating towards India, or having migrated, returning again. Accept the latter, and the beginning of the 6402 years lies very near the first period, and the Indianizing of the Aryans. Those accounts about Zoroaster are (as Eudoxus already proves) pre-Alexandrian, therefore not Indian, but Aryan. Do not the hymns of the Rig-veda, of which several are attributed to the kings of the Treta period, contain hints on that schism? If it really occurred in the Punjab some reminiscence would have been left there of it. The Zend books (wretched things) only give negative evidence.
The Brahmans of the most sinful period have of course smothered all that is historical in prodigies, and this wretched taste long appeared to the Germans as wisdom; whilst they despised the (certainly superficial) but still sensible English researches of Sir W. Jones and Co., as philistering! One must oppose this more inflexibly than even that admirable Lassen does. (N. B. Has Colbrooke anything on this? or Wilson?)
There may have been two points of contact between the Aryans and the kingdoms on the Euphrates before the expedition of Semiramis.
a. By means of the Zoroastrian Medo-Babylonian kingdom, which had its capital in Babylon from 2234 B. C. (1903 before Alexander) for about two centuries.
b. In the oldest primitive times, by the Turanian-Cushite or North African kingdom of Nimrod, which cannot be placed later than in the seventh chiliad. The Egyptians had a tradition of this, as is proved according to my interpretation by the historical germ in the story in the Timaeos of the great combat of Europe and Asia against the so-called Atlantides: but these are uncertain matters.
That is a general sketch of my frame-work. If you are able to do anything with it, I make you the following proposition: You will send me an open letter in German (only without your Excellency, and as I beg you will always write to me, as friend to friend), in which you will answer my communication. Send me beforehand a few reflections and doubts for my text, which I must send away by the 15th of May. Your open letter must be sent in in June, if possible before the 15th, in order to appear before the 15th of July as an Appendix to my text of Book V. b. (fourth division) first half. I can do nothing in the matter; everything here is wanting. I cannot even find German books here. Therefore keep Lassen's maps, if you have them. I have in the mean time helped myself by means of Ritter and Kiepert to find the old kingdoms and the sacred Sarasvati. That satisfies me for the present.
Soon a sign of life and love to your sorely tormented but faithful B.
CHARLOTTENBERG, Sunday Morning, April, 27, 1856.
I have laid before you my restoration of the text of Megasthenes, and added a few preliminary thoughts on the possibility of the restoration of his traditions, and something of my restoring criticism. I have not however been able to rest since that time, without going to the very ground of the matter, to see if I am on a side-path, or on the right road. I now send you the summary of the two chapters which I have written since then.
I. The restoration of the list of Megasthenes. (153 kings in 6402 years.)
1. The list begins, like the Sanskrit tradition, with the first generation; three interregnums presuppose four periods.
2. The whole fourfold divided chronology is one: three sections of historical recollections lie before the Kali age. Lassen is therefore wrong in saying that Megasthenes began with the Treta age. The progress of the gradual extension of the kingdom is organic.
3. The foundation of the whole tradition of the four periods of time are the genealogical registers of the old royal families, which must if possible be localized; of course with special reference to Magadha, which however begins late. As in Egypt, every branch tried somewhere to find its place; we must therefore throw away or mark all names not supported by the legend (that is, the Vedic traditions). The contemporary dynasties must be separated from those that follow each other.
4. Each period was divided from the preceding by an historical fact,—a dissolution followed by a subjugation or a popular government. The first is divided from the second by Herakles—Krishna. The third from the second by Rama, the extirpator of the heroes and royal races (great rising of the people). The fourth from the third by purely historical revolutions, caused or fostered by the Assyrian invasion.
5. The mythical expression for these periods is one thousand years.
6. The historical interregnums are 200, 300, 120.
7. As both are the same, therefore 3 x 1000 years vanish, and there remain but the 620.
8. Therefore Megasthenes' list:
Megasthenes' list 6402 3000 —— Kings from the first 3402 years. patriarch to Sandrakottus Interregnums 620 —— 4022
A. Aryan recollections. Megasthenes' list unites the traditions of the Moon-race (Budha) with that of the Sun-race (direct from Manu).
(1.) Questions. First question. What do the names Ayus and Yayati mean? Is Nahusha = man?
(2.) I know king Ikshvaku, i.e., the gourd. Who are the Asuras, conquered by Prithu?
(3.) Anu, one of the four sons of Yayati, is the North, not the Iranian, nor the Turanian, which is Turvasa, but the Semitic, i.e., Assur. Anu is the chief national god of the Assyrians, according to the cuneiform inscriptions. The cradle of the old dynasty was therefore called Telanu==hill of Anu. Salmanassar is called Salem-anu, i.e., face of Anu.
B. Indian primitive times.
1. Manu (primitive time) 1000 2-14. Thirteen human 468 kings in the Punjab, each reigns on an average thirty-six years 15. Krishna, 1000 destruction
2468 years, representing really only 268 + 200 years, with an unknown quantity representing Aryan migrations and settlements in the Punjab.
(4.) Question. Is Jones' statement correct in his chronology (Works, i. 299), that the fourth Avatar must be placed between the first and second periods?
The kingdom of the Puru, and the Bharata kings. Royal residence, province of the Sarasvati. Epos, the Ramayana.
A. Period from Puru to Dushyanta.
Conquests from the Sarasvati on the north, and to Kalinga (Bengal) on the south. Conquerors: Tansu, Ilina, Bharata, Suhotra (all Vedic names).
B. Period of destruction through the Pankalas.—Agamidha (Suhotra's son, according to the unfalsified tradition) is the human Rama, the instrument of destruction.
(5.) Question. Why is he called in Lassen, i. 590, the son of Rikshu? (This is another thousand years.)
Riksha is called in M. Bh. (Lassen, xxiii. note 17) son of Agamidha, and in another place, wife of Agamidha, or both times wife!
The Kurus; the Pankalas; the Pandavas. Seats in Middle Hindostan. Advance to the Vindhya (Epos, the Mahabharata of the third period, as the Ramayana of the second).
A. Kingdoms of the Kurus.
B. Kingdom of the Pankalas. Contemporary lists; but the Pankalas outlast the Kurus. Both are followed by—
C. Kingdom of the Pandavas.
Ad. A. From Kuru to Devapi who retires (that is, is driven away), Santanu, Bahlika, the Bactrian (?), there are eleven reigns. Then the three generations to Duryodhana and Arguna.
Parikshit represents the beginning of the Interregnum.
The list in the Vishnu-purana of twenty-nine kings, from Parikshit to Kshemaka, with whom the race becomes extinct in the Kali age, does not concern us.
They are the lines of the pretenders, who did not again acquire the throne. The oldest list is probably only of six reigns; for the son of Satanika, the third V. P. king of this list, is also called Udayana (Lassen, xxvi. note 23), and the same is the name of the twenty-fifth king, the son of Satanika II. Therefore Brihadratha, Vasudana, and Sudasa (21, 22, 23) are likewise the last of a Parikshit line. But they do not count chronologically.
The kingdom of Magadha. Chronological clews for Megasthenes. The first part of the Magadha list preserved to us (Lassen, xxxi.) from Kuru to Sahadeva is an unchronological list of collateral lines of the third period, therefore of no value for the computation of time. The Kali list of Magadha begins with Somapi to Ripungaya, 20 kings. The numbers are cooked in so stupid a way that they neither agree with each other nor are possible. One can only find the right number from lower down.
Restoration of the Chronology.
Kali II. Pradyota, five 138 years. kings with Kali III. Saisunaga, ten 360 years. kings with Kali IV. Nanda, father 22 years. with eight or nine sons —— Kali V. Kandragupta king 317 B. C. —— 837 years.
If one deducts these 837 years from 1182, the first year of the Kali age, there remain 345 years for the twenty kings from Somapi to Ripungaya (First Dynasty), averaging 17-1/2 years. (That will do!) I adopt 1182 years, because 1354 is impossible, but 1181 is the historical chronological beginning of a kingdom in Kashmir. Semiramis invaded India under a Sthavirapati (probably only a title), about 1250. This time must therefore fall in the interregnum (120 years, after Megasthenes). The history of the war with Assyria (Asura?) is smothered by pushing forward the Abhira, that is, the Naval War on the Indus (Diodorus).
I pass over the approximate restoration of the first three periods. I have given you a scanty abstract of my treatise, which I naturally only look upon as a frame-work. But if the frame-work be right, and of this I feel convinced, if I have discovered the true grooves and the system—then the unfalsified remains of traditions in the Vedas must afford further confirmation. The Kali can be fixed for about 1150/1190 by powerful synchronisms. The three earlier ages can be approximately restored. One thus arrives, by adding 200 + 300 + 120 (=620) to each of the earlier and thus separated periods, to the beginning of the Treta (foundation of the Bharata kingdom beginning with Puru). This leads to the following computation.
I. Anarchy before Puru 200 years. II. From Puru to 200 years. Bharata's father, 10 reigns of 20 years From Bharata to 120 years. Agamidha's son, 6 reigns End of II. 300 years. —— III. From Kuru to Bahlika 200 years. (migration towards Bactria?) 10 reigns (Parikshit) apparently 120 years. 6-7 reigns —— End of the oldest Indian 1340 years. kingdom, before Kali 1182 years. —— Beginning of Treta = 1100 years. 2522 B. C. (2234 Zoroaster invaded Babylon from Media) Second dynasties in Babylon —— 3622 years.
We have still to account for the time of the settlement in the Punjab and formation of kingdoms there. This gives as the beginning approximately = 4339 B. C.
And now I am very anxious to hear what you have made out, or whether you have let the whole matter rest as it is. I have postponed everything, in order to clear up the way as far as I can. I shall try to induce Weber to visit me in the Whitsun holidays, to look into the details for me, that I may not lay myself open to attack. Before that I shall have received Haug's entirely new translation of the first Fargard, which I shall print as an Appendix, with his annotations. My Chinese restoration has turned out most satisfactory.
I may now look forward to telling them: (1.) The rabbinical chronology is false, it is impossible; it has every tradition opposed to it, most of all so the biblical—therefore away with it! (2.) Science has not to turn back, but now first to press really forward, and to restore: the question is not the fixing of abstract speculative formulas, but the employing of speculation and philology for the reconstruction of the history of humanity, of which revelation is only a portion, though certainly the centre if we believe in our moral consciousness of God.
This is about what I shall say, as my last word, in the Preface to the sixth volume of "Egypt." Volumes IV. and V. are printed. Deo soli gloria.
CHARLOTTENBERG, May 22, 1856.
MY DEAR FRIEND,—H. R. H. the Prince Regent, who starts for England to-morrow, wishes to see Oxford, and quietly and instructively. I therefore give these lines to his private secretary, Herr Ullmann, that he may by letter, or (if the time allows) by word of mouth, apply to you, to fix a day. Herr Ullmann is the son of the famous Dr. U., the present prelate and chief church-councilor, and a man of good intentions.
I have at last gone in for Vedic and Bactrian chronology, after having had Dr. Haug of Bonn with me for eight days. He translated and read to me many hymns from your two quartos (which he does very fluently), and a little of Sayana's commentary. By this and by Lassen and Roth, and yours and Weber's communications, I believe I have saved myself from the breakers, and I hold my proofs as established:—
That the oldest Vedas were composed 3000-2500 B. C., and that everything else is written in a learned dead Brahmanical language, a precipitate of the Veda language, and certainly very late: scarcely anything before 800 B. C.
Manu takes his place after Buddha.
The ages of the world are the miserable system of the book of Manu, and nothing more than evaporated historical periods. These epochs can be restored not by the aid, but in spite of the two epics and their chronology.
Petermann sends me a beautiful map. The routes and settlements of the Aryans from their primitive home to the land of the five rivers (or rather seven).
Haug has worked out all the fourteen names. Kabul and Kandahar are hidden amongst them. I hope he will settle in the autumn with me, and for the next few years.
In haste, with hearty thanks for your affectionate and instructive answers. God bless you.
P. S. I shall take the liberty of sending you, about the 1st of July, the first five sheets of my Aryans, before they are printed off, and ten days later the remaining three or four, and beg for your instructive remarks on them.
CHARLOTTENBERG, July 17, 1856.
MY DEARLY LOVED FRIEND,—Yesterday evening at half-past seven o'clock I wrote off my last chapter of "Egypt's Place" for press, and so the work is finished, the first sheets of which were sent to Gotha from London in 1843, the chief part of which however was written in 1838-39. You will receive the two new volumes (Books IV., V. a) in a fortnight; they will be published to-day. Of the third volume (the sixth of the German editions), or V. (b), twelve sheets are printed, and the other eighteen are ready, except a few sheets already at Gotha, including the index to I. to V. (a). I am in the main satisfied with the work.
You are the first with whom I begin paying off my debts of correspondence; and I rejoice that I can take this opportunity to thank you for all the delightful news which your last dear letter (sent by that most amiable Muir) conveyed to me; especially for the completion of the third big volume of the Rig-veda, and for the happy arrival of your mother and cousin, which has doubtless already taken place. You know it was a letter from the latter, which first told me of you, and made me wish to see you. And then you came yourself; and all that I prophesied of you after the first conversation in London and your first visit in the country, has been richly fulfilled—yes, beyond my boldest hopes. You have won an honorable position in the first English university, not only for yourself but for the Fatherland, and you have richly returned the love which I felt for you from the first moment, and have faithfully reciprocated a friendship which constitutes an essential portion of my happiness. I therefore thank you all the more for all the love and friendship of your last letters. I can only excuse myself by my book for not having sooner thanked you. I soon perceived that you were quite right, that the chronological researches on Indian antiquity have led to nothing more sure than the conviction that the earlier views, with few exceptions, were wrong or without foundation. As soon as I acquired this conviction, through reading the last works on the subject (Lassen and Roth), I grew furious, as it happens to me from time to time, and at the same time reawoke the longing after the researches which I had to lay aside in 1816, and which I now determined to approach again, in the course of my work, which is chronological in the widest sense. After I had read all that is written, I let Haug come to me in the Whitsun holidays. He brought with him the translation I wished for of the First Fargard of the Vendidad; and you can imagine my delight, when in Books XII. and XIII. he discovered for me (purely linguistically) the two countries, the non-appearance of which was the only tenable counter-reason which opposed itself to the intuition to which I had held fast since 1814—namely, that this document, so ancient in its primitive elements, contained nothing less than the history of the gradual invasion, founding of states, and peopling of Asia by the Aryans. How could Kandahar and Kabul be missing if this were true? Without the least suspicion of this historical opinion, Haug proved to me that they are not wanting. Petermann will make the whole clear in a little map, such as I showed him. You will find it in the sixth volume. Then he rejoiced my heart by translating some single hymns of the Rig-veda, especially in Book VII., which I found threw great light on the God-Consciousness, the faith in the moral government of the world. He comes to me: from the 1st of August he is free in Bonn, and goes for the Zend affairs to Paris, marries his bride in Ofterdingen, and comes here to me on the 1st of October for Mithridates and the Old Testament, the printing of which begins in January, 1857, with the Pentateuch. With him (in default of your personal presence) I have now gone through everything at which I arrived with regard to the period of the entry of the Aryans (4000 B. C.) in the Indus country (to which Sarasvati does not belong—one can as easily count seven as five rivers from the eastern branch of the upper Indus to the west of the Satadru), and with regard to the difficult questions of the connection of these migrations with Zoroaster. That is, I must place Zoroaster before the emigration; on the march (from 5000-4000) the emigrants gradually break off. Three heresies, one after another, are mentioned in the record itself. The not exterminated germs of the nature-worship (with the adoration of fire) spring up again, but the moral life remained. (1.) Therefore the Veda language is to me the precipitate of the Old Bactrian (as the Edda language of the Old Norse). (2.) The Zend language is the second step from the Northern Old Bactrian. (3.) The Sanskrit is one still further advanced from the Southern Old Bactrian, or from the Veda language. (4.) All Indian literature, except the Vedas, is in the New South Bactrian, already become a learned language, which has been named the perfect or Sanskrit language. The epochs of the language are the three great historical catastrophes.
A. Kingdom in the region of the Indus.—4000-3000. The Veda language as a living popular language.
B. Second Period.—On the Sarasvati and in the Duab. The Veda tongue becomes the learned language. Sanskrit is the popular language, 3000-2000.
C. Third Period.—Sanskrit begins to be the learned language, at least at the end.
D. Kali=1150 B. C. Sanskrit merely the learned language.
Therefore the oldest Vedas, the purely popular, cannot be younger than 3000; the collection was made in the third period, the tenth book is already in chief part written in a dead language. You see all depends on whether I can authenticate the four periods with their three catastrophes; for a new form of language presupposes a political change. Forms such as Har-aqaiti I can explain just as that the Norwegian names of places are younger than the corresponding Icelandic forms; in the colony the old remains as a fixed form, in the mother country the language progresses.
For what concerns now seriously the Mythology, your spirited essay opening the way was a real godsend, for I had just arrived at the conviction which you will find expressed in the introduction to Book V. (a): That the so-called nature-religion can be nothing but the symbol of the primitive consciousness of God, which only gradually became independent (through misunderstanding) and which already lies prefigured in organic speech. P——, K—— and Co., are on this point in great darkness, or rather in utter error. You have kept yourself perfectly free from this mistake. I however felt that I must proclaim what is positively true far more sharply, and have drawn the outlines of a method which is to me the more convincing, as it has stood the test of the whole history of old religion. For in taking up the Aryan investigations, I closed the circle of my historical mythological inquiry. What will you say to this? For I have written the whole especially for you, to come to an understanding with you. I arrive at the same point which you aim at, but without your roundabout way, which is but a make-shift. But in the fundamental conception of nature-religion, we do certainly agree altogether. If you come to Germany, you will find here with me the proof-sheets of Book V.(b) (about pages 1-200) which treat of this section, as well as the analysis of the table of the Hebrew patriarchs. They will be looked through before Haug's journey to Paris and mine to Geneva (August 1), and will be therefore all struck off when I return here on the 23d August.
Your essay holds a beautiful place in the history of the subject. The work on that section gave me inexpressible delight, and a despaired-of gap in my life is filled up, as far as is necessary for my own knowledge; and I believe too not without advantage to the faithful.
How disgraceful it is that we do not instinctively understand the Veda language, when we read it in respectable Roman letters, with a little previous grammatical practice! Your Veda Grammar will be a closed book to me, as you print in the later Devanagari goose-foot character. Haug shall transliterate for me the grammatical forms into your alphabet. He is a noble Suabian, and much attached to me; also a great admirer of yours.
My "God-Consciousness" is printed (thirty-two sheets), twenty are corrected (and fought through with Bernays). This work, too, will be carried through the second revise before my journey. I wonder myself what will come of the work. Its extent remains unaltered (three volumes in six books), but its contents are ever swelling. I hope it will take. I shall strike the old system dead forever, if we do not go to ruin; of this I am sure; therefore I must all the more lay the foundations of the new structure in the heart, the conscience, and the reason.
O! what a hideous time! God be praised, who made us both free. So also is Carl now, through his official efficiency and his happy marriage. The wedding will take place in Paris between the 9th and 15th October. We shall go there.
I take daily rides, and was never better. Please God I shall finish the "God-Consciousness" (II. and III.) between the 25th August and the end of October (the third volume is nearly ready), and then I shall take up the "Biblework," the proof-sheets of which lie before me, with undivided energy. The contract with Brockhaus is concluded and exchanged. I shall perhaps come to England in October, 1857; that is to say with the first volume of the Bible, but not without it.
Neukomm and Joachim have been with us for six weeks, which gave us the greatest enjoyment. Neukomm returns here at the end of August.
My children promise me (without saying it) to meet here for the 25th August, to introduce the amiable bride to me. I am rejoicing over it like a child.
Why do you not make a journey to the Neckar valley with your mother and cousin? My people send hearty greetings. With true love, yours.
I am purposely not reading your Anti-Renan all at once, that I may often read it over again before I finish it. I think it is admirably written. Perhaps a distinguished philologist, Dr. Fliedner (nephew of the head of the Deaconesses), may call on you. He has been highly recommended to me, and is worthy of encouragement. What is Aufrecht about? I cannot cease to feel interested about him.
CHARLOTTENBERG, October 7, 1856.
Yesterday, my dearest friend, I sent off the close of the last volume of "Egypt," together with the printed sheets 13-19, and at the same time to Brockhaus the last two revised sheets of the "God in History," Volume I.; and to-day I have again taken up the translation of the Bible (Exodus), with Haug and Camphausen—that is, Haug arrived the day before yesterday. (Between ourselves, I hope Bernays is coming to me for three years.) How I should have liked to show you these sheets, 13-19 (the Bactrians and Indians and their chronology). You will find in them a thorough discussion of your beautiful essay (which has been admired everywhere as a perfect masterpiece), not without some shakings of the head at K—— and B——. In fact I have gone in for it, and by New Year's Day you shall have it before you. This, with the journey to Switzerland and three weeks of indisposition afterwards, are an excuse for my silence.
It always gives me great and inexpressible pleasure when you talk to me by letter and think aloud. And this time I have been deeply touched by it. I am convinced you have since then yourself examined the considerations which oppose themselves to your bold and noble wish with regard to the Punjab. What would become of your great work? I will not here say what shall we in Europe do without you? Also; do you mean to go alone to Hapta Hendu, or as a married man? There you will never find a wife. And would your intended go with you? And the children? All Englishmen tell me it is just as unbearably hot in Lahore as in Delhi; in Umritsir there is no fresh air. No Sing goes to Cashmir because he who reigns there would soon dispatch him out of the world at the time of the fever.
By the by, what has become of your convert? Does he still smoke without any scruple?
Your gorgeous Rig-veda at Brockhaus' frightens people here because of its extent (they would have given up the Sanhita, satisfied with various readings) and the exorbitant price. Others would willingly have had your own Veda Grammar besides the Indian grammatical treatise, especially on account of the Vedic forms. In fact you are admired, but criticised. You must not allow this to annoy you. I find that Haug thinks about the mythology nearly as I do.
Everything in Germany resolves itself more and more into pettinesses and cliques, and the pitiful question of subsistence. "The many princes are our good fortune, but poverty is our crime." Had not Brunn offered himself to take Braun's place, giving up his private tutorship, we must have given up the Archaeological Institute at Rome! With difficulty Gerhard has found one man in Germany who could undertake the Italian printing of the "Annali" (appearing, as you know, in Gotha). "Resta a vedere se lo puo!" All who can, leave Prussia—and only blockheads or hypocrites are let in, with the exception of physical science; whoever can do so turns engineer, or goes into a house of business, or emigrates. My decided advice on this account therefore is, reserve yourself for better times, and stay at present in England, where you have really won a delightful position for yourself.
Now for various things about myself. Every possible thing is done to draw me away from here (my third capitol, the first of my own). The King quite recently (which I could not in the least expect) received me here at the railway station, in the most affectionate way, and demanded a promise from me that I would pay him a visit within a year and a day. But I have once for all declared myself as the "hermit of Charlottenberg," and hermits and prophets should stay at home. I do not even go to Carlsruhe and Coblentz. Cui bono? What avails good words, without good deeds? But the nation is not dead. Don't imagine that. Before this month is out you will see what I have said on this subject in the Preface to the "God in History." Within six to ten years the nation will again be fit to act. Palmerston will cut his throat if nothing comes of the Neapolitan business, and just the same if he cannot make "a good case;" the principle of intervention even against Bomba is self-destruction for England, and disgraceful in the highest degree. The fox cannot begin war in Italy at the present moment from want of money, and his accomplices are afraid of losing their stolen booty. So he tries to gain time. He will still live a few years.
I have seen ——: he knows a great deal more than he allows to appear, but is the driest, and most despairing Englishman I have ever seen. He has suffered shipwreck of everything on the Tuebingen sand bank. The poor wretches! Religion and theology without philosophy is bad; philosophy without philosophy is a monster! So Comte is a trump-card with many in Oxford! He is so in London. What a fall of intellect! what a decay of life! what an abyss of ignorance! Jowett is a living shoot, and will continue so; but John Bull is my chief comfort, even for my "God in History." America is my greatest misery after my misery for Germany; but the North will prove itself in the right.
With hearty greetings of truest attachment and love to your mother, truly yours.
We expect George on the 18th. Ernst is here.
CHARLOTTENBERG, January 29, 1857.
You have really inflicted it on me! For though I have but one leg to stand upon (I cannot sit at all), as the other has been suffering for four days from sciatica (let Dr. Acland explain that to you, whilst you at the same time thank him heartily for his excellent book on the cholera), still I am obliged to place myself at the desk, to answer my dear friend's letter, received yesterday evening in bed. The last fortnight I have daily thought of you incessantly, and wished to write you a dunning letter, at the same time thanking you for the third volume of the Veda, which already contains some hymns of the seventh book, as the admiring Haug read it out to me. Out of this especially he promises me a great treasure for my Vedic God-Consciousness, without prejudice to what the muse may perhaps prompt you to send me in your beautiful poetical translation; for my young assistant will have nothing to do with that. You will certainly agree with him, after you have read my first volume, that much is to be found in that Veda for the centre of my inquiries; the consciousness in the Indian Iranians of the reality of the divine in human life. I find in all that has yet come before me, almost the same that echoes through the Edda, and that appears in Homer as popular belief; the godhead interferes in human affairs, when crime becomes too wanton, and thus evil is overcome and the good gains more and more the upper hand. Of course that is kept in the background, when despair in realities becomes the keynote of the God-Consciousness, as with the Brahmans, and then with the much-praised apostles of annihilation, the Buddhists. You are quite right; it is a pity that I could not let the work appear all at once, for even you misunderstand me. When I say "we cannot pray with the Vedas and Homer and their heroes, not even with Pindar," I mean, we as worshippers, as a community; and that you will surely allow. Of course the thoughtful philosopher can well say with Goethe, "worship and liturgy in the name of St. Homer, not to forget AEschylus and Shakespeare." But that matter is nevertheless true in history without any limitation. I have only tried it with Confucius, but it is more difficult; it is as if an antediluvian armadillo tried to dance.
But what will my Old Testament readers say when I lead them into the glory of the Hellenic God-Consciousness? Crossing and blessing themselves won't help! My expressions therefore in the second volume are carefully considered and cautiously used. But the tragedy of my life will be the fourth book. Yet I write it, I have written it!
You are quite right about the English translation; all the three volumes at once, and the address at the beginning. But you must read the second book for me. It is no good saying you don't understand anything about it. I have made it easy enough for you. I have asserted nothing simply, without making it easy for every educated person to form his own opinion, if he will only reflect seriously about the Bible. The presuppositions are either as good as granted, or where anything peculiar to me comes in, I have in the notes justified everything thoroughly, although apparently very simply. Take the Lent Sundays for this, and you will keep Easter with me, and also your amiable mother (from whom you never send me even a word of greeting).
But now, how does it fare with "Egypt?" The closing volume, which, as you know, I wrote partly out of despair, because you would not help me, and in which I most especially thought of you, and reckoned on your guiding friendship, must surely now be in your hands (the two preceding volumes, of course, some time ago). Why don't you read them?
I am not at all easy at what you tell me about yourself and your feelings; even though I feel deeply that you do not quite withdraw your inmost thoughts from me. But why are you unhappy? You have gained for yourself a delightful position in life. You are getting on with your gigantic work. You (like me) have won a fatherland in England, without losing your German home, the ever excellent. You have a beautiful future before you. You can at any moment give yourself a comfortable and soul-satisfying family circle. If many around you are Philisters, you knew that already; still they are worth something in their own line. Only step boldly forward into life. Then Heidelberg would come again into your itinerary.
One thing more this time. I have not received Wilson's translation. I possess both the first and second volumes. Has he not continued his useful work? What can I do to remind him of the missing part? The third volume, too, must contain much that is interesting for me.
I cannot forget Aufrecht. Is he free from care and contented? The family greet you and your dear mother. We expect Charles and his young wife next week. Ernst is, as you will know, back at Abbey Lodge. With unaltered affection.
CHARLOTTENBERG, April 27, 1857.
The month is nearly over, my dear friend, before the close of which I must, according to agreement, deliver up my revised copy of the amendments and additions to the English edition of my "Egypt." (They are already there.) I hoped that in this interval you would have found a little leisure (as Lepsius and Bernays have done, who sent me the fruits of their reading already at the beginning of the month, in the most friendly way) to communicate to me your criticisms or doubts or thoughts or corrections on that which I have touched on in your own especial territory, as I had expressly and earnestly begged you to do. I have improved the arrangement very much. As you have not done this, I can only entertain one of two disagreeable suppositions, namely, that you are either ill or out of spirits, or that you have only what is disagreeable to say of my book, and would rather spare yourself and me from this. But as from what I know of you, and you know of me, I do not find in either the one or the other supposition a sufficient explanation of your obstinate silence, I should have forced myself to wait patiently, had I not to beg from you alone a small but indispensable gift for my "God in History."
I have again in this interregnum taken up the interrupted studies of last year on the Aryan God-Consciousness in the Asiatic world, and thanks to Burnouf's, yours, Wilson's, Roth's and Fausboell's books, and Haug's assistance and translations, I have made the way easy to myself for understanding the two great Aryan prophets Zaraduschtra and Sakya, and (so far as that is possible to one of us now) the Veda; and this not without success and with inexpressible delight. My expectations are far exceeded. The Vedic songs are by far the most glorious, which in first going through that fearful translation of Wilson's, seemed to wish to hide themselves entirely from me. The difficulties of making them intelligible, even of a bare translation, are immense; the utter perverseness of Sayana is only exceeded by that of Wilson, to whom however one can never be grateful enough for his communications. I now first perceive what a difficult but also noble work you have undertaken, and how much still remains doubtful; even after one has got beyond the collectors and near to the original poets. It is as if of the Hebrew traditions we only had the Psalms, and that without an individual personality like David, without, in fact, any one; on the contrary, allusions to Abraham's possible poems and the cosmical dreams of the Aramaeans. But yet how strong is the feeling of immediate relation to God and nature, how truly human, and how closely related to our own! What a curious similarity to the Edda, Homer, and Pindar, Hesiod, and the Hellenic primitive times! Nothing however gave me greater delight than the dignity and solemnity of the funeral ceremonies, which you have made so really clear and easy to be understood. This is as yet the only piece of real life of our blood relations in the land of the five rivers. I have naturally taken possession of this treasure with the greatest delight, and perfected the description for my problem by the explanation of Yama (following on the whole Roth, who however overlooks the demiurgic character), of the Ribhus (departing entirely, not only from Neve's mistaken views, but also from what I have read elsewhere, representing them as the three powers which divide and form matter, namely, Air, Water, and Earth, to whom the fourth, Agni, was joined under the guidance of Tvash'ar), and of the funeral ceremonies as the condition of the laws of inheritance; where I return to my own beginning. And here it strikes me at once that in the Vedas, so far as they are accessible to me, there is not a trace to be found of the joining together of the three generations (the departed and his father and grandfather), and making them the unity of the race through the sacrificial oblations. And yet the idea must be older than the Vedas, as this precise, though certainly not accidental limitation is found with Solon and the Twelve Tables, just as clearly as with Manu and all the books of laws, and the commentaries collected by Colebrooke. You would of course have mentioned this in your account if anything of the sort had existed in the tenth book. But even the Pitris, the fathers, are not mentioned, but it passes on straight to Yama the first ancestor. Haug, too, has discovered nothing; if you know anything about it, communicate it to me in the course of May, for my second volume goes to press on the 1st June. I shall read it aloud to George and Miss Wynn here, between the 25th and 31st.
But my real desire is that you should send me one of your melodious and graceful metrical translations of your hymn, "Nor aught nor nought existed." I must of course give it (it belongs with me to the period of transition, therefore, comparatively speaking, late); and how can I venture to translate it? I have, to be sure, done so with about five poems, which Haug chose for me out of the first nine books, and translated literally and then explained them to me; as well as with those which I worked out of Wilson's two first volumes by the help of Roth and Haug. But that is your hymn, and I have already written my thanks for your communication in my MS. and then left a space. That good Rowland Williams thinks it theistic, or at all events lets one of the speakers say so.
Rowland Williams' "Christ and Hinduism" has been a real refreshment to me, in this investigation of the Indian consciousness of God in the world. The mastery of the Socratic-Platonic dialogue, the delicacy and freedom of the investigation, and the deep Christian and human spirit of this man, have attracted me more than all other new English books, and even filled me with astonishment. Muir, that good man, sent it me through Williams and Norgate, and I have not only thanked him, but Williams himself, in a full letter, and have pressingly invited him for his holidays to our little philosophers' room. It is an especial pleasure to me that Mary and John, whose neighbor he is in summer, have appreciated him, and loved and prized him, and Henry also.
Henry will bring me "Rational Godliness." This book, English as it is, should be introduced into India, in order to convert the followers of Brahma and the English Christians! One sees what hidden energy lies in the English mind, as soon as it is turned to a worthy object, but for this of course the fructifying influences of the German spirit are required. I have, on the contrary, been much disappointed by G——'s communication contained in Burnouf's classical works, on that most difficult but yet perfectly soluble point of the teaching of Buddha, the twelve points "beginning with ignorance and ending with death." G—— leaves the rational way even at the first step, and perceives his error himself at the ninth, but so far he finds Buddha's (that is his own) proofs unanswerable. How totally different is Burnouf. He is fresh, self-possessed, and clear. I can better explain why William von Humboldt went astray on this subject. But I have already gossiped too much of my own thoughts to you. Therefore to Anglicis.
What are you about in Oxford? According to Haug's account you have abused me well, or allowed me to be well abused in your "Saturday Review," which passes as yours and Kingsley's mouthpiece. If it were criticism, however mistaken, but why personal aspersions? Pattison's article on the "Theologia Germanica" in the April number of the "Westminster Review" is very brave, and deserves all thanks. He has learnt to prize Bleek: in all respects he has opened himself more to me in the last few weeks, and I like him. But the man who now writes the survey of foreign literature in the "Westminster Review" might have just read my book: this he cannot have done, or else he is a thorough bungler; for he (1) understands me only as representing the personal God (apparently the one in the clouds, as you once expressed it, a-straddle, riding) and leaving out everything besides; (2) that the last twenty-seven chapters of the book of Isaiah are not, as one has hitherto conceived, written by one man, but by Jeremiah, although he is already the glorified saint of the 53d chapter, and by Baruch. Now thank God that the sheet is finished, and think occasionally in a friendly way of your true friend.
I shall to-day finish the ante-Solonic God-Consciousness of the Hellenes. That does one good.
CHARLOTTENBERG, Friday, May 8, 1857.
I must at least begin a letter to you to-day, because I feel I must thank you, and express my delight at the letter and article. The letter confirms my fears in the highest degree, namely, that you are not well, not to say that you begin to be a hypochondriacal old bachelor. But that is such a natural consequence of your retired sulky Don's life, and of your spleen, that I can only wonder how you can fight so bravely against it. But both letter and article show me how vigorous are both your mind and heart. It is quite right in you to defend Froude, though no one better knows that the general opinion is (as is even acknowledged by members of the German romantic school) that Shakespeare intentionally counteracted the corrupt instinct and depraved taste of his nation in the matter of Oldcastle. Whatever strange saints there have been in all countries, yet the Wycliffites, true to their great and noble master, were martyrs, and Milman has insisted on this most nobly. To misapprehend Wyeliffe himself, that is, not to recognize him as the first and purest reformer, the man between the Waldenses, Tauler, and Luther, is, however, a heresy more worthy of condemnation than the ignoring of Germany in the Reformation, and doubly deplorable when one sees such blind faith in the bloody sentences of that most miserable court of judgment of Henry VIII. I must therefore invert your formula thus, "L'histoire romanique (romantique) ne vaut pas le Roman historique." (I am not speaking of "Two Years Ago," for I only began to read the book yesterday.) But I am very glad that you think so highly of Froude personally, and therefore this matter does not disturb me. On the other hand, I rejoice without any but, that you have taken up Buddha so lovingly and courageously. (Do you know that extracts from the article have found their way into the papers, through "Galignani" as "Signs of the Times.") You will soon see how nearly we agree together, although I cannot say so much of the humanizing influence of Buddhism: it makes of the Turanians what the Jesuits make of the people of Paraguay, "praying machines." In China the Buddhists are not generally respected; in India they could not maintain their position, and would with difficulty convert the people, if they tried to regain their lost ground. But Buddha, personally, was a saint, a man who felt for mankind, a profound man. I have said in my section, "Buddha has not only found more millions of followers than Jesus, but is also even more misunderstood than the Son of Mary." Have you read Dhammapadam? What is the authority for Buddha's "Ten Commandments?" I have always considered this as an invention of Klaproth's, confirmed by Prinsep. I do not find them on Asoka's pillars, nor in that didactic poem; on the contrary, four or five ad libitum. I shall, however, now read the sermons of the (really worthless) convert Asoka at the fountain head, from Sprenger's library.
You have represented the whole as with a magic wand. We really edified ourselves yesterday evening with it. Frances read aloud, and we listened; and this morning early my wife has made it into a beautiful little book in quarto, with which I this afternoon made Truebner very happy for some hours. He is a remarkable man, and is much devoted to you, and I have entered into business relations with him about my "Biblework," the first volume of which goes to press on the 1st of January; the other six stand before me as far finished as they can be, till I have the printed text of "The People's Bible" in three volumes before me, on which the "Biblical Documents," three volumes, and the "Life of Jesus and the Eternal Kingdom of God," one volume, are founded. He appears to me to be the right negotiator between America, England, and Germany. He will before long call on you some Saturday. (Write me word how you think of him as a bookseller.) The duty you pay for your place, by putting together a Chresthomathy, is very fair; whether you are obliged to print your Lectures I cannot decide. I shall curse them both if they prevent you from tearing yourself away from the Donnish atmosphere and bachelor life of Oxford, and from throwing yourself into the fresh mental atmosphere of Germany and of German mind and life. You must take other journeys besides lake excursions and Highland courses. Why don't you go to Switzerland, with an excursion (by Berlin) to Breslau, to the German Oriental Congress? There is nothing like the German spirit, in spite of all its one-sidedness. What a loeta paupertas! What a recognition of the sacerdocy of science! And then the strengthening air, free from fog, of our mountains and valleys! You bad fellow, to tell me nothing of your mother's leaving you, for you ought to know that I am tenderly devoted to her; and it vexes me all the more, as I should long ago have sent her my "God in History," had I known that she was in Germany. (Query where? Address?) Therefore fetch her, instead of luring her away to the walks under the lime-trees. George is going too at the end of June from here to the Alps; we expect him in a fortnight. He is a great delight to me.
Now something more about Yama. I think you are perfectly right with regard to the origin. It is exactly the same with Osiris, the husband of Isis, the earth, and then the judge of the dead and first man. Only we do not on this account explain Anubis as a symbol of the sun, but as the watchful Dog of Justice, the accuser. So there are features in Yama (and Yima) which are not to be easily explained from the cosmogonic conception, although they can be from the idea of the divine, the first natural representation of which is the astral one. I think, however, that Yama is Geminus, that is "the upper and lower sun," to speak as an Egyptian. The two dogs must originally have been what their mother the old bitch Sarama is; but with the God of Death they are something different, and the lord of the dead is to be as little explained by the so-called nature-religion without returning to the eternal factor, as this first phase itself could have arisen without it as cosmical—therefore, as first symbol. How I long for your two translations! The hymn which you give in the article is sublime: the search after the God of the human heart is expressed with indescribable pathos; and how much more will this be the case in your hands in a new Indian translation! For we are most surely now the Indians of the West. I am delighted that you so value Rowland Williams. We must never forget that he has undertaken (as he himself most pointedly wrote to me) the difficult task "to teach Anglican theology (and that to Anglican Cymri)." He has not yet quite promised to pay me a visit,—he is evidently afraid of me as a German and freethinker, and is afraid "to be catechised." He, like all Englishmen, is wanting in faith. He seems to occupy himself profoundly with the criticism of the Old Testament. Poor fellow! But he will take to Daniel.
The Harfords are determined to keep him there, in which Henry has already encouraged them. I, however, think he ought to go to Cambridge if they offer him a professorship. Muir has written to me again,—an honest man; but he has again taken a useless step, a prize, for which Hoffmann (superintendent-in-general) is to be the arbiter; and the three judges will be named by him, Lehnert as theologian (Neander's unknown successor), H. Ritter as the historian of philosophy (very good,—and who as Orientalist)! No magister will touch his pen, his ducibus and tali auspicio. You should perform the Benares vow by a catechism drawn up for the poor young Brahmans in the style of Rowland Williams, and yet quite different, that is, in your own manner, telling and short. At all events, no one in Germany will write half as good a book for the Brahmans as Williams has done. The Platonic dialogue requires a certain breadth, unless one is able and willing to imitate the Parmenides. At the same time the ordinary missionaries may convert the lower classes through the Gospel and through Christian-English-German life, in which alone they prove their faith. By the by, it seems that Williams hopes for an article from you in the "North British Review." That you intend to read my "Egypt" is delightful; only not in the Long Vacation, when you ought to travel about. Have you read the friendly article on "God in History" in the "National Review" (April), which however certainly shows an ignorance bordering on impudence. Even the man in the "Westminster Review" pleases me better, although he looked through my book fast asleep, and puts into my mouth the most unbelievable discoveries of his own ignorance,—Isaiah chapters xlix.-lxvi. are written by Jeremiah and Baruch, and similar horrors! When will people learn something? But in four years I hope, with God's help, to state this, in spite of them, and force them at last to learn something through "the help of their masters and mine." With true love, yours.
CHARLOTTENBERG, Friday Morning, August 28, 1857.
See there he remains in the centre of Germany for a month, and lets one hear and see nothing of him! Had I not soon after the receipt of your dear and instructive letter gone to Wildbad, and there fallen into indescribable idleness, I should long ago have written to Oxford; for the letter was a great delight to me. The snail had there crept out of his shell and spoke to me as the friend, but now "Your Excellency" appears again; so the snail has drawn his head in again.
Now, my dear friend, you ought to be thanked for the friendly thought of paying me a visit, and writing to me. Therefore you must know that I returned here on the 19th, in order to greet, in his father's native country, Astor, my now sixty-three years old pupil, who proposed himself for the 20th to the 25th, and who for my sake has left his money-bags in order to see me once again. And now Astor is really in Europe, and has called at Abbey Lodge; but his wife and granddaughter have stayed on in Paris or Brussels, and Astor is not yet here. This, however, has no effect on my movements, for I do not accompany him to Switzerland, where, I know, Brockhaus would send a hue and cry after me.
That the Oxford Don should ask him if I would afford him a "few hours," shows again the English leaven. For you well know that my hermit's life is dear to me for this reason,—that it leaves me at liberty to receive here the Muses and my friends. And what have we not to talk over? The "hours" belong to the Don's gown; for you know very well that we could in a "few hours" only figure to ourselves what we have to discuss by turns. So come as soon as you can, and stay at least a week here. You will find my house to be sure rather lonely, as Henry has robbed me of the womankind, and Sternberg of Theodora; and that excellent princess keeps Emilia from me, who is faithfully nursing her benefactress in an illness that I hope is passing away. We two old people are, however, here and full of old life. Perhaps you will also still find Theodore, who, however, soon after Astor's departure will be hurrying off to Falmouth for sea-bathing, in acceptance of his brother Ernst's invitation. Laboulaye has announced himself for the 8th; Gerhard and his wife for the first or second week in September; therefore, if you do find any one, they will be friends. Besides Meyer, there is Dr. Sprenger, the Arabic scholar, as house friend, whose library I have at last secured for us,—a delightful man, who is my guide in the Arabian desert, so that I may be certain of bringing the children of Israel in thirty months to the Jabbok, namely, in the fifth of the eight volumes.
I can give you no better proof of my longing to see you than by saying that you shall even be welcome without your mother, who is so dear and unforgotten to us all, although we by no means give up the hope that you will bring her with you here. For I must see her again in this life. I ought to have thanked her before this for a charming letter, but I did not know where she had gone from Carlsbad; her son never sent me the address. Should she not come with you, you must pay toll for the delay, which, however, must not be longer than one year, with a photograph, for I must soon see her.
So you have looked at my Genesis! I am pleased at this. But I hope you will look at the chapters once again, when they are set in pages, after my last amendments; also at my discussions on Genesis i. 1-4, ii. 4-7, as i. and ii. of the thirty thorns (in the Appendix, p. cxxxv.) which I have run into the weak side of the Bible dragon, though less than one thirtieth of its heaviest sins. I feel as if I had got over three quarters of the work since I sent the eleven chapters and the thirty thorns into the world. My holidays last till the 21st of October. Haug is in the India House, over Minokhired and Parsi Bundehesh. If you have a moment's time, look at my quiet polemic against you and Burnouf in favor of Buddha, in reference to the Nirvana. Koeppen has given me much new material, although he is of your opinion. I am quite convinced that Buddha thought on this point like Tauler and the author of the "German Theology;" but he was an Indian and lived in desperate times. A thousand thanks for the dove which you sent me out of the ark of the Rig-Veda. I had sinned against the same hymn by translating it according to Haug, as I had not courage enough to ask you for more. And that leads me to tell you with what deep sympathy and melancholy pleasure your touching idyl has filled me. You will easily believe me that after the first five minutes I saw you vividly behind the mask. I thank you very much for having ordered it to be sent to me. I am very glad that you have written it, for I would far rather see you mixing in the life of the present and future, with your innate freshness and energy. I must end. All love from me and Fanny to your incomparable mother. So to our speedy meeting. Truly yours.
George will have arrived in London yesterday with wife and child; his darling Ella has a serious nervous affection, and they are to try sea air. He is much depressed.
CHARLOTTENBERG, February 17, 1858.
Your affectionate letter, my dear friend, has touched me deeply. First your unaltered love and attachment, and that you have perfectly understood me and my conduct in this affair. Naturally my fate will be very much influenced by it. I must be every year in Berlin: this year I shall satisfy myself with the last three weeks after Easter. In 1859 (as I shall spend the winter in Nice) I shall take my seat, when I return in April across the Alps. But later (and perhaps from 1859) I must not only live in Prussia, which is prescribed by good feeling and by the constitution, but I must stay for some time in Berlin. They all wish to have me there. God knows how little effort it costs me not to seek the place of Minister of Instruction, to say nothing of declining it, for everything is daily going more to ruin. But it could only be for a short time, and Bethmann-Hollweg, Usedom, and others can do the right thing just as well, and have time and youth to drag away the heavy cart of a Chinese order of business, which now consumes nine tenths of the time of a Prussian minister (who works twelve hours a day).
What I wish and am doing with my "Biblework," you will see between the lines of my first volume; other people, twelve months later, when my first volume of the Bible documents "comes out:" and even then they will not see where the concluding volume tends,—the world's history in the Bible, and the Bible in the world's history. Already in the end of 1857 I finished all of the first volume: the stereotyping goes on fearfully slow. You will receive one of the first copies which goes across the Channel; and you will read it at once, will you not? I am delighted that you are absorbed in Eckart: he is the key to Tauler, and there is nothing better, except the Gospel of St. John. For there stands still more clearly than in the other gospel writings, that the object of life in this world is to found the Kingdom of God on earth (as my friends the Taipings understand it also). Of this, Eckart and his scholars had despaired, just as much as Dante and his parody, Reineke Fuchs. You will find already many pious ejaculations of this kind in my two volumes of "God in History;" but I have deferred the closing word till the sixth book, where our tragedy will be revealed, in order to begin boldly with a new epos. I send you to-day four sheets by book-post, "The Aryans in Asia;" for I cannot finish it without your personal help. You will find that you have already furnished a great portion of the matter. The same hymn which I translated with difficulty and trouble from Haug's literal translation (in strophes which you however do not recognize?) (Ps. li.), you have translated for me, in your own graceful manner, on a fly-sheet, and sent to me from Leipzig. Of course I shall use this translation in place of my own. I therefore venture to request that you will do the same with regard to the other examples which I have given. If you wish to add anything new, it will suit perfectly, for everything fits in at the end of the chapter: the number of the pages does not come into consideration in the present stage. You will receive the leaves on Saturday; it would be delightful if you could finish them in the course of the following week, and send them back to me. (We have a contract here with France, which gives us a sort of book-post.) I expect next week the continuation of the Brahmanism and Buddha. I should like to send both to you. The notes and excursus will only be printed at the close of the volume, therefore not before May. The rest (Books V., VI.) will be printed during the summer, to appear before I cross the Alps. In this I develop the tragedy of the Romano-Germanic world, and shall both gain many and lose many friends by it. I have read your brilliant article on Welcker with great delight. I possess it. Have you sent it (if only anonymously) to the noble old man? He has deserved it. The article makes a great noise, and will please him very much. In fact, everything would give me undisturbed pleasure, did I not see (even without your telling me, which, however, you have done, as is the sacred duty between friends) that you are not happy in yourself. Of one thing I am convinced,—you would be just as little so, even less, in Germany, and least of all among the sons of the Brahmans. If you continue to live as you do now, you would everywhere miss England,—perhaps also Oxford, if you went to London. Of this I am not clear: in general a German lives far more freely in the World-city than in the Don-city, where every English idiosyncrasy strengthens itself, and buries itself in coteries. Unfortunately I have neither read "Indophilus" nor "Philindus:" please tell me the numbers of the "Times." I can get a copy of the "Times" here from the library from month to month. Trevelyan is an excellent man, occasionally unpractical and mistaken, always meaning well and accessible to reason. But does any one study in London? Dubito! But I don't understand the plan of an Oriental College. Perhaps it is possible to undertake London without giving up Oxford entirely. The power of influencing the young men, who after ten or twenty years will govern the land, is far greater in Oxford or Cambridge than in London. I am curious about your "German Reading Book."
I maintain one thing,—you are not happy; and that comes from your bachelor life. The progress of your Vedic work delights me: but how much in it is still a riddle! Thus, for instance, the long hymn (2 Ashtaka, third Adhyaya, Sukta viii. CLXIV.) p. 125. The hymn is first of all, as can be proved, beyond verse 41 not genuine; but even this older portion is late, surely already composed on the Sarasvati. The Veda is already a finished book (verse 39), Brahma and Vishnu are gods (35, 36). The whole is really wearisome, because it wishes to be mysterious without an idea. (See 4 Ashtaka, seventh Adhyaya, vol. iii. p. 463.) Is not Brahma there a god like Indra?
I depend on your marking all egregious blunders with a red pencil. Many such must still have remained, leaving out of view all differences of opinion. Tell me as much as you can on this point in a letter, for on the Continent only notes for press are allowed to go as a packet. (But of these you can bring in as much as you wish: the copy is a duplicate.) At the end I should much like to write something about the present impossibility of enjoying the Rig-Veda, and of the necessity of a spiritual key. But I do not quite know, first of all, whether one can really enter upon the whole: there is much that is conventional and mortal by the side of what is imperishable. An anthology in about two or three volumes would find a rapid sale, and would only benefit a more learned and perfect edition. If you have arrived at the same conclusion, I will blow the trumpet.
George greets you heartily, as do his mother and sisters. Perhaps I shall move in April, 1859, to Bonn; here I shall not stay. Deus providebit. With truest affection, yours.
Best remembrance to your mother. Have you read my preface to "Debit and Credit?" I have poured out my heart about Kingsley in the Introduction to the German "Hypatia," and told him that everybody must say to himself, sooner or late, "Let the dead bury the dead."
CHARLOTTENBERG, July 31, 1858.
With threefold joy, my loved friend, have I heard the news through your great admirer Mme. Schwabe, of your charming intention of delighting us in August with a visit. First, on account of the plan itself: then because I can now compress into a few lines the endless letter I have so long had in my thoughts, to develop it in conversation according to my heart's desire; thirdly, because really since yesterday the day has come when the one half of the concluding volume (iii.) of "God in History" has gone to press, so that its appearing is secured. A letter to you, and a like debt to Lepsius, therefore open the list. And now before anything else receive my hearty thanks for your friendly and instructive letter, and what accompanied it in Vedicis. It came just at the right time, and you will see what use I made of it in the work.
And now here first come my congratulations. Nothing could be more agreeable and suitable; it is personally and nationally an honor, and an unique acknowledgment. I can only add the wish that you may enjoy the dignity itself as short a time as possible, and take leave as soon as possible of the Fellow-celibates of All Souls'. Your career in England wants nothing but this crowning-point. How prosperous and full of results has it been! Without ceasing to be a German, you have appropriated all that is excellent and superior in English life, and of that there is much, and it will last for life. I imagine you will bring your historical Chrestomathy with you, and propose to you, as you most probably give something out of the Heliand and Ulphilas, to reserve my Woluspa for the next edition, as I have just established the first tenable text of this divine poem, on which the brothers Grimm would never venture. I have had this advantage, of working on the good foundation of my studies (with a Danish translation) of 1815 from Copenhagen. Neither Magnusson, nor Munch, nor Bergmann has given the text of the only MS. (Cod. Regius); one has disfigured it with the latest interpolations, another with unauthorized transpositions. I have at last worked out the unity of the Helgi and the Sigurd songs with each other, and the oldest purely mythological stratum (the solar tragedy) of both, as an important link in the chain of evidence, for the reality of the God-Consciousness of mankind and its organic laws. What people will say to the "results" (Book VI.) which fall into one's hands, I do not know.
I have been obliged to postpone the journey to Italy from September to November. October (the 23d) is the great crisis for Prussia, and I ought not to forsake the Fatherland then, and have willingly agreed not to do so. A brighter, better day is approaching. May God give his blessing. Every one must help; it is the highest time.
But nothing disturbs me from the work of my life. The fourth volume of the "Biblework" goes to press the day after to-morrow; on the 1st of September, the fifth (Documents I. a). I have now finished my preliminary work for the Old Testament in the main points, and only reserved the last word before the stereotyping; so I begin at once on the New Testament and Life of Jesus. The friendly and clever notice of the first volume of the "Biblework" in the "Continental Review" gave me and my whole family great pleasure: and Bernays is here since yesterday (for August and September), which helps the printing of the Pentateuch very much, as I always sent him a last revise, and now all can be worked off here. I finish with Haug in the beginning of September; he will go probably to Poonah with his very sensible bride. Charles and Theodore are well. I expect George this week with Emilia for a visit. My family greet you. Bernays sighs. He has again made some beautiful discoveries; that of Aristotle (about the tragedies) I have carried further philosophically. Suggest to that good Arthur Stanley (to whom I have sent my "Biblework") to send me his "Palestine." I cannot get it here, and should like to say something about it.
With most true love, yours.
CHARLOTTENBERG, July 23, 1859.
My sons knew too well what delight they would give me through their confidential communication, which has already given us all a foretaste of the delight of your visit with your bride, and meanwhile has brought me your expected and affectionate letter.
I have felt all these years what was the matter with you, and I sympathize with your happiness as if it concerned one of my own children. I therefore now, my loved friend, wish you all the more happiness and blessing in the acquisition of the highest of life's prizes, because your love has already shown the right effect and strength, in that you have acquired courage for finishing at this present time your difficult and great work on the Vedas. The work will also give you further refreshment for the future, whilst the editing of the Veda still hangs on your hands.
Therefore let us all wish you joy most heartily (my wife has received the joyful news in Wildbad), and accept our united thanks beforehand for your kind intention of visiting us shortly with your young wife. By that time we shall all be again united here. Your remarkable mother will alone be wanting. Beg your bride beforehand to feel friendly towards me and towards us all. You know how highly I esteem her two aunts, though without personal acquaintance with them, and how dear to me is the cultivated, noble, Christian circle in which the whole family moves. I have as yet carried out my favorite plan with a good hope of success; six months in Charlottenberg on the true spiritually historical interpretation of the Old Testament, in the first volumes of the second division of the work (the so-called documents); six months of the winter on the "Life of Jesus," and what in my view immediately joins on to that. The first volume of the Bible documents is printed, the Pentateuch. You will see that I have handled Abraham and Moses as freely here as I did Zoroaster and Buddha in my last work; the explanation of the books and the history from Joram to Zedekiah is as good as finished.
We shall keep peace; Napoleon and Palmerston understand each other, and Palmerston is the only statesman in England and Europe who conceives rightly the Italian question. Russia follows him. I still hope by the autumn to be able to bless the God of free Italy beside Dante's and Machiavelli's graves. With us (Prussia) matters move fairly forwards; here they have been fools, and begin to feel ashamed of themselves. So a speedy and happy meeting.
Your heartily affectionate friend,
1 This article formed the preface to a collection of extracts published in 1858, under the title of German Classics. The extracts are arranged chronologically, and extend from the fourth to the nineteenth century. They are given in the original Gothic, Old High-German, and Middle High-German with translations, while in the more modern portions the difficult words only are explained in notes. A list of the principal works from which the extracts are taken will be found at the end of the article, p. 44.
2 "Ut easdam homilias quisque (episcopus) aperte transferre studeat in rusticam romanam linguam aut theodiscam, quo facilius cuncti possint intelligere quae dicantur."—Conc. Tur. can. 17. Wackernagel, Geschichte der Deutschen Literatur, 26.
3 Lateinische Gedichte des X. und XI. Jahrhunderts, von J. Grimm und A. Schmeller. Goettingen, 1838.
4 Reinhard Fuchs, von Jacob Grimm. Berlin, 1834. Sendschreiben, an Karl Lachmann. Leipzig, 1840.
5 Poems of Grave Ruodolf von Fenis, Her Bernger von Horheim; see Des Minnesangs Fruehling, by Lachmann and Haupt. Leipzig, 1857.
6 Poem of the Kuerenberger; see Des Minnesangs Fruehling, pp. 8 and 230.
7 See an account of the Italian Guest of Thomasin von Zerclaria by Eugene Oswald, in Queene Elizabethe's Achademy, edited by F. J. Furnivall. London, 1869. This thoughtful essay contains some important information on Thomasin.
8 Des Minnesangs Fruehling. Herausgegeben von Karl Lachmann und Moritz Haupt. Leipzig, 1857.
9 Sebastian Brant's Narrenschiff. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Zarncke. Leipzig, 1857.
10 Rede auf Schiller, von Jacob Grimm. Berlin, 1859. (Address on Schiller, by Jacob Grimm.)
Schiller-Buch, von Tannenberg; Wien. From the Imperial Printing Press, 1859.
Schiller's Life and Works. By Emil Palleske. Translated by Lady Wallace. London, Longman and Co., 1860.
Vie de Schiller. Par Ad. Regnier, Membre de l'Institut. Paris, Hachette, 1859.
11 See The Times' Special Correspondent from Vienna, November 14.
12 The Prince of Holstein-Augustenburg was the grandfather of the present Duke and of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.
13 Preface to a new edition of Wilhelm Mueller's poems, published in 1868, in the Bibliothek der Deutschen National-literatur des achtzehnten und neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Leipzig, Brockhaus. Translated from the German by G. A. M.
14 "Free, and strong, and pure, and German, On the German Rhine, Nothing can be now discovered Save alone our wine; If the wine is not a rebel, Then no more are we; Mainz, thou proud and frowning fortress, Let him wander free!"
15 "And let me have my full glass, and let me have my hearty laugh at these wretched times! He who can sing and laugh with his wine, you need not put under the ban, my lords: mirth is a harmless child."
16 "Europe wants but peace and quiet: why hast thou disturbed her rest? How with silly dreams of freedom dost thou dare to fill thy breast? If thou rise against thy rulers, Hellas, thou must fight alone, E'en the bolster of a Sultan, loyal Europe calls a throne."
17 I am enabled through the kindness of Mr. Theodore Martin to supply an excellent translation of these two poems, printed by him in 1863, in a volume intended for private circulation only.
18 Ptol. ii. 11, ἐπὶ τὸν αὐχένα τῆς Κιμβρικῆς Χερσονήσου Σάξονες.
19 Grimm, Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache, p. 609. Strabo, Pliny, and Tacitus do not mention the name of Saxons.
20 Grimm, l. c. p. 629.
21 See Poeta Saxo, anno 772, in Pertz, Monum. I. 228, line 36; Grimm, l. c. p. 629.
22 See Grimm, Deutsche Sprache, p. 781.
23 Germania, c. 40. Grimm, l. c. p. 604.
24 Grimm, p. 641.
25 Beda, Hist. Eccl. I. 15. "Porro de Anglis, hoc est, de ilia patria quae Angulus dicitur," etc. Ethelwert, Chron. I., "Porro Anglia vetus sita est inter Saxones et Giotos, babens oppidum capitale, quod sermone Saxonico Sleswic nuncupatur, secundum vero Danos, Haithaby."
26 Grimm, l. c. p. 630.
27 "Guti vero similiter cum veniunt (in regnum Britanniae) suscipi debent, et protegi in regno isto sicut conjurati fratres, sicut propinqui et proprii cives regni hujus. Exierunt enim quondam de nobili sanguine Anglorum, scilicet de Engra civitate, et Angliei de sanguine illorum, et semper efficiuntur populus unus et gens una. Ita constituit optimus Ina Rex Anglorum.... Multi vero Angli ceperunt uxores suas de sanguine et genere Anglorum Germaniae, et quidam Angli ceperunt uxores suas de sanguine et genere Scotorum; proceres vero Scotorum, et Scoti fere omnes ceperunt uxores suas de optimo genere et sanguine Anglorum Germaniae, et itu fuerunt tunc temporis per universum regnum Britanniae duo in carne una.... Universi praedicti semper postea pro communi utilitate coronae regni in simul et in unum viriliter contra Danos et Norwegienses semper steterunt; et atrocissime unanimi voluntate contra inimicos pugnaverunt, et bella atrocissima in regno gesserunt." (Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, ed. Schmid, p. 296.)
28 Klaus Groth writes: "The island of Friesian speech on the continent of Schleswig between Husum and Tondern is a very riddle and miracle in the history of language, which has not been sufficiently noticed and considered. Why should the two extreme ends only of the whole Friesian coast between Belgium and Jutland have retained their mother-speech? For the Ost Friesians in Oldenburg speak simply Platt-Deutsch like the Westphalians and ourselves. Cirk Hinrich Stueremburg's so called Ost-Friesian Dictionary has no more right to call itself Friesian than the Bremen Dictionary. Unless the whole coast has sunk into the sea, who can explain that close behind Husum, in a flat country as monotonous as a Hungarian Pussta, without any natural frontier or division, the traveller, on entering the next inn, may indeed be understood if he speaks High or Low German, nay, may receive to either an answer in pure German, but hears the host and his servants speak in words that sound quite strange to him? Equally strange is the frontier north of the Wiede-au, where Danish takes the place of Friesian. Who can explain by what process the language has maintained itself so far and no farther, a language with which one cannot travel beyond eight or ten square miles? Why should these few thousand people not have surrendered long ago this 'useless remnant of an unschooled dialect,' considering they learn at the same time Low and High German, or Low-German and Danish? In the far-stretching, straggling villages a Low-German house stands sometimes alone among Friesian houses, and vice versa, and that has been going on for generations. In the Saxon families they do not find it necessary to learn Friesian, for all the neighbors can speak Low-German; but in the Friesian families one does not hear German spoken except when there are German visitors. Since the seventeenth century German has hardly conquered a single house, certainly not a village." (Illustrirte Deutsche Monatshefte, 1869, p. 330.)
29 Histoire de St. Louis, par Joinville. Texte rapproche du Francais Moderne par M. Natalis de Wailly, Membre de l'Institut. Paris, 1865.
OEuvres de Jean Sire de Joinville, avec un texte rapproche du Francais Moderne, par M. Natalis de Wailly. Paris, 1867. M. Natalis de Wailly has since published a new edition of Joinville, Histoire de Saint Louis, par Jean Sire de Joinville, suivie du Credo et de la lettre a Louis X.; texte ramene a l'orthographe des Chartes du Sire de Joinville. Paris, 1868. He has more fully explained the principles according to which the text of Joinville has been restored by him in his Memoire sur la Langue de Joinville. Paris, 1868.
30 See Paulin Paris, p. 175.
31 In his last edition of the text of Joinville, which was published in 1868, M. de Wailly has restored the spelling of Joinville on all these points according to the rules which are observed in Joinville's charters, and in the best MSS. of the beginning of the fourteenth century. The fac-similes of nine of these charters are published at the end of M. de Wailly's Memoire sur la Langue de Joinville; of others an accurate transcript is given. The authentic texts thus collected, in which we can study the French language as it was written at the time of Joinville, amount to nearly one fifth of the text of Joinville's History. To correct, according to these charters, the text of Joinville so systematically as had been done by M. de Wailly in his last edition may seem a bold undertaking; but few who have read attentively his Memoire would deny that the new editor has fully justified his critical principles. Thus with regard to the terminations of the nominative and the oblique cases, where other MSS. of Joinville's History follow no principle whatever, M. de Wailly remarks: "Pour plus de simplicite j'appellerai regle du sujet singulier et regle du sujet pluriel l'usage qui consistait a distinguer, dans beaucoup de mots, le sujet du regime par une modification analogue a celle de la declinaison latine. Or, j'ai constate que, dans les chartes de Joinville, la regle du sujet singulier est observee huit cent trente-cinq fois, et violee sept fois seulement; encore dois-je dire que cinq de ces violations se rencontrent dans une meme charte, celle du mois de mai 1278, qui n'est connue que par une copie faite au siecle dernier. Si l'on fait abstraction de ce texte, il reste deux violations contre huit cent trente-cinq observations de la regle. La regle du sujet pluriel est observee cinq cent quartre-vingt-huit fois, et violee six fois: ce qui donne au total quatorze cent vingt-trois contre treize, en tenant compte meme de six fautes commises dans le texte copie au siecle dernier. De ce resultat numerique, il faut evidemment conclure, d'abord, que l'une et l'autre regle etaient parfaitement connues et pratiquees a la chancellerie de Joinville, ensuite qu'on est autorise a modifier le texte de l'Histoire, partout ou ces regles y sont violees. (D'apres un calcul approximatif, on peut croire que le copiste du quatorzieme siecle a viole ces regles plus de quatre mille fois et qu'il les respectait peut-etre une fois sur dix.)"
32 Table Methodique des Memoires de Trevoux (1701-1775), precedee d'une Notice Historique. Par le Pere P. C. Sommervogel, de la Compagnie de Jesus. 3 vols. Paris, 1864-65.
33 Chasot: a Contribution to the History of Frederic the Great and his Time. By Kurd von Schloezer. Berlin. 1856.
34 Speech delivered at Stratford-on-Avon on the 23d of April, 1864, the Tercentenary of Shakespeare's birth.
35 Franz Baco von Verulam: Die Realphilosophie und ihr Zeitalter. Von Kuno Fischer. Leipzig. Brockhaus. 1856.
36 Pauli Hentzneri J. C. Itinerarium Germaniae, Galliae, Angliae, Italiae: cum Indice Locorum, Rerum, atque Verborum commemorabilium. Huic libro accessere nova hac editione—1. Monita Peregrinatoria duorum doctissimorum virorum; itemque Incerti auctoris Epitome Praecognitorum Historicorum, antehac non edita. Noribergae, Typis Abrahami Wagenmanni, sumptibus sui ipsius et Johan. Guentzelii, anno MDCXXIX.
37 Antiquities, Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall. By William Borlase, LL. D. London, 1769.
A Week at the Land's End. By J. T. Blight. London, 1861.
38 Plin. H. N. xvi. c. 44. "Non est omittenda in ea re et Galliarum admiratio. Nihil habent Druidae (ita suos appellant magos) visco et arbore in qua gignatur (si modo sit robur) sacratius. Jam per se roborum eligunt lucos, nec ulla sacra sine ea fronde conficiunt, ut inde appellati quoque interpretatione Graeca possint Druidae videri. Enimvero quidquid adnascatur illis, e coelo missum putant signumque esse electae ab ipso deo arboris. Est autem id rarum admodum inventu et repertum magna religione petitur, et ante omnia sexta luna, quae principia mensium annorumque his facit, et seculi post tricesimum annum, quia jam virium abunde habeat, nec sit sui dimidia. Omnia sanantem appellantes suo vocabulo, sacrificiis epulisque rite sub arbore praeparatis, duos admovent candidi coloria tauros, quorum cornua tune primum vinciantur. Sacerdos candida veste cultus arborem scandit, falce aurea demetit; candido id excipitur sago. Tum deinde victimas immolant, precantes ut suum donum deus prosperum facial his quibus dederit."
39 Tre, homestead; ros, moor, peatland, a common; pol, a pool; lan, an enclosure, church; caer, town; pen, head.
40 Cranmer's Works, ed. Jenkyns, vol. ii. p. 230.
41 Observations on an ancient Manuscript, entitled Passio Christi, by —— Scawen, Esq., 1777, p. 26.
42 Borlase's Natural History of Cornwall, p. 315.
44 Her age was certainly mythical, and her case forms a strong confirmation of the late Sir G. C. Lewis's skepticism on that point. Dolly Pentreath is generally believed to have died at the age of one hundred and two. Dr. Borlase, who knew her, and has left a good description of her, stated that, about 1774, she was in her eighty-seventh year. This, if she died in 1778, would only bring her age to ninety-one. But Mr. Haliwell, who examined the register at Paul, found that Dolly Pentreath was baptized in 1714; so that, unless she was baptized late in life, this supposed centenarian had only reached her sixty-fourth year at the time of her death, and was no more than sixty when Dr. Borlase supposed her to be eighty-seven. Another instance of extraordinary old age is mentioned by Mr. Scawen (p. 25), about a hundred years earlier. "Let not the old woman be forgotten," he says, "who died about two years since, who was one hundred and sixty-four years old, of good memory, and healthful at that age, living in the parish of Guithian, by the charity mostly of such as came purposely to see her, speaking to them (in default of English) by an interpreter, yet partly understanding it. She married a second husband after she was eighty, and buried him after he was eighty years of age."
45 Specimens of Cornish Provincial Dialects, by Uncle Jan Treenoodle. London, 1846: p. 82.
46 Greece, Ancient and Modern, by C. C. Felton. Boston, 1867, vol. ii. p. 314.
47 The Races of the Old World: A manual of Ethnology. By Charles L. Brace. London, 1863, p. 362 seq.