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acknowledged by all the liberal Catholics themselves. No, it is from tlie most German, as well as the most highly educated among Germans, that the bitterest complaints against the Government, their fellow-citizens, the condition and tendencies under the new empire, proceed. Germany always has beeu the country of the discontented. How the contemporaries of Goethe's youth (Stürmer and Dränger) complained of the narrow circumstances in their times! How the Weimar idealists complained of a generation which could find amusement in a Kolzebue aud a Knigge! How the leaders of the Romantic School complained of the shallow Rationalism of their contemporaries ! How the patriots of 1209 inveighed against servilily to the foreigner ; young Germany of 1830 against Teutowania ; Gervinus' generation in 1840 against the peglect of political life! It never seeing to occur tu auy one that a nation, which so readily perceives and confesses its shortcomings instead of piiding itself on them—which bas the courage to take itself w lask instead of accusing circumstances—which so keenly feels its own want of grace, of the sense for the beautiful, and of tact--a nation anyhow in which the cioakers alone furm an imposing lioop, with which the greatest civic deeds might be performed in any country where people were willing to sacrifice a small part of their personal opinions to the promotion of a common causethat a nation tinally which has still inen 10 show who remind one of Lutber, of Frederick the Great, of Lessing, that is, men who, without possessing any strikingly German trails, still are only possible on German soil and in a German atmosphere that such a nation must contain within itself not only a perennial spring of healing water, but also the metal of which a strong yet comely and agreeable people mily be made.
“The German is liy nature strongly inclined to be dissatisfied," said Prince Bismarck not long ago, adding, “I do not know if any of us is acquainted with a contented countryman. Nevertheless, the discontent lias never been so general and so persistent as during the last few years; and so one is tempted to go to the root of the matter, to trace ihe different causes of this universal discomfort, aud, if one is discovered that can be removed, to show how this may most effectually be done. I shall touch but briefly upon the greater number, in so far as I can discern them from a distance by reading and conversation, or from personal experience during short snjourus at home while living outside the rank and file of the combatants as well as of the workers. Then I shall dwell mure fully upon one of the principal causes of self-dissatisfaction, the half-culture, which is extending more and more, and investigate what might be done, either by the state or by private initiative, toward remedying it. Doubtless good advice in abstracto -such as to live contentedly with what one has, not to take tou
high a flight, to preserve the sense of the ideal, nay, even piety, do do one's own work thoroughly, and to be honest, thrifty, and ready to assist others besides...is apt to make even less impression upon nations than upon individuals. Miss Edgeworth's moral tales, us we well know, never made a boy better or more cheerful; but by a wise choice and change of employment, by insisting on order, diligence, and regular habits, it is quite possible for å father to develop his son's capacities as thoroughly as his natúre admits, and thus to provide him with such satisfaction as is compatible with his temperam, nt, and is seldom denied to those who feel themselves equal to the task life imposes upon them. Now the statė, although no longer paternal, still disposes of means were it only in military service and the schools that are sufficient to influence single individuals i e., to accustom, which is the only effectual mode of influencing them :
“For use almost can change the stamp of nature, notar & boni With wondrons potency.".
And muster thus the devil or throw him out, The deepest source of the present discontent in Germany Kes of course in the essence of human nature. The possession of a longwished for object will always suffice to make that object appear less desirable. It loses none of its value, dor, on the whole, is it less highly esteemed on that account. How easy it is to forget past privations under the pressure of present grievances ! Still, were we to try for a single day to do without the daily postal delivery, which does not leave us in peace one morning in the year, we should be just as unhappy as if tomorrow the German Empire were to be overtbrown and the old Confederation restored with its thirty-six independent potentates. To be sure, this benefit, too, came somewhat unexpectedly, like all the triumphs of civiliza. tion;" nevertheless, the nation helped to prepare it and bring it abuut, though not officially-it feels that a great work has been accomplished, and is done-.e., has become indifferent to it.
Things won are done ; joy's soul lies in the doing, from whom no high or deep thing was hid, and we experience it bitterly enough within ourselves. Doubly do we feel it, because
we had mistaken the form for the substance, and now become -> suddenly aware that this necessary form, which was worthy of the
greatest sacrifices, which we could on no account dispense with, has to be filled out with national life; only instead of going steadily to work, we aliow ourselves to be frightened by the overpowering magnitude of the task before us, by all the petty hindrances, by lhe many new sacrifices demanded after those already made; above all, we do not seek to understand and grasp this task. Italy is in a somewhat similar position ; yet although her deficiencies are far greater than thuse of Germany--for neither her finances,
ier administration, lier judicature, her legislation, her army, her ublic education, por her commerce and manufacture, will bear a omparison with ours she takes things less to heart, and therefore eels ber shortcomings less kuenls. Besides, she has the advanage of being more united than wu are if not in the degree of evelopment or in the material interests of her different provinces, tall events in the seemingly external circumstance that she con. kins no longer any single independent states. And even in the eart of her national life has she not unity of religious as well as f political and philosophical belief ? For, however high personal, rovincial, or party passions may run, peither Catholicism, nor arliamentary government, nor Rationalism are ever seriously called 1 question. Now, although a true-born German is sure at all times fight against these three un-German things with all his might
it do so nut nly on the frontiers, but in the heart of his country, and that this mbat should be an impediment to all united efforts to establish national culture, a national form of government, and a national But here lies a second reasun for our discontent: the discord hieh is felt throughout our public life. Even those among us, jucated Germans, who have cast aside all positive religion, know id feel that our nationality is four upon Protestantism ; 'still,
the sins of our forefathers, we have inherited a remnant of utholicism which it is impossible to ignore, and which has to be alt with whether we like it or not. We are all convinced that è real German view of the universe is summed up in Goethe's eal scepticisin, which admits the possibility of higher states of istence, without deeming it necessary to reduce them to definions and set forms, and still we feel that if we are to rescue our itional palladium from the enemy's hand, we have to fight aguinst e flattest Utilitarianism, which has already taken hold of a large oportion of honest workers, and is so powerfully supported by e progress of practical science. Finally, we feel it is true not 1, but a good many of us—that the Prussian monarchy, which sts on the army, the bureaucracy, and the schools, is the only storical power of Germany, and that such exotics as parliament. y government with all its inachinery only serve to cramp its vital ergies, or at least to fetter the liberty of its movements ; but we e also aware that these foreign agencies have exercised so deep influence on our national life that it is now impossible simply exclude them from it, and that we must come to terins with em as well as with Catholicism and Utilitarianism. Who, again, at has not yet lost all sense of individuality, does not sometimes gret that so much gregariousness in opinion and custom should ve taken the place of the antique German Babel, in which every one went his own way, and none cared to adapt himself to the service of a common cause? Who that still has a feeling for what is genuinely German dues not lament from the depths of his heart the un-German direction of our political education, with its Franco Euglish claptrap and unassimilated forms of bought? What man of higher culture, whether of an artistic or of a contemplativo nature, is not disagreeably impressed by the current exaggeration of the state principle? There was a time—nor is it yet forgotten -when the state was held of little account, and the individual alone had value ; when art and science were louked upon as interests superior to politics ; when the élite of the nation esteemed the development of the individual before all things, and allowed the community to deteriorate. The reaction which has taken place against the deficiency of political feeling in former years is as lively as that which opposes the cosmopolitanism of those times ; and it is just the most ietined intellects of the German nation who do not consider that this new tendency to favor the state as well as the new abrupt form of patiotism in the present day, belong to a necessary historical phase which soon will, nay, must pass away. .To them the Prussian “ drill," which liolds schools, army, admin. istration, the whole nation in fact, under its iron thumb, is quite as distasteful as that foreign mode of viewing political matters which is so vigorously put forward by the liberal opposition in Parliament and the Press, and in which there is so strange a mixture of English parliamentary and self-governmental traditious with the revolutionary ideas of democratic France. And this discrepancy lies deep ; ii is from this discord that we are now ailing, and likely to continue ailing yet a while ; nor is it the only one.
Not only have we a Piuliament without parliamentary government, but we expect it to act in contradictory ways: it is to sup: port Bismarck and to attack Bismarckian policy ; it is on no account to touch our defensive forces, but not to graut another farthing toward their maintenance, should Moltke himself declare it necessary; it is to protect our liberty and 10 deprive our Communist brethren of equal rights ; it is id fuither the unity of Germany. yet nnt to encroach upon the privileges of the single states that compose this Germany, etc. Aud as with the Parliament, so also willi the Press, our system of association, or right of free settlemout. No doubt a free Press is desirable, we say, yet no sooner does its abuse begin to offend our cars, or its arguinevis assail the foundation of our society, than we cry out for its mouth to be stupped. We are conscious that the German nation is fully as mature :18 any other for the exercise of the right of meeting and asse'ciation-ibis, at Icası, is no ivy of foreigu importation, but * good, sound German inheritance, which not even the modern police-slale has been able entirely to suppress-slill, we only admit the right to associate and meet together as long as.the words, deeds, and decisions of those who assenible are in accordance with all that is sanctioned by the educated middle classes ; we have no desire to revoke the right of free settlement and of free Trade, still we are always ready to throw the blame on them at times when there is a momentary stagnation in commercial life; or when certain localities show-alarmiog symptoms of congestion ; and so on through the endless variations of the trivial theme,“ Wash me, but don't wet me !" Thus the contradiction in our expectations proceeding from the heterogeneousness of our political education, combines with the actual contradiction in our established institutions, just as the contradiction between our cosmopolitau traditions and our patriotic aspirations, our habits of freethinking and our antirationalistic tendencies, unites with the actual contradiction of our churches and schools, to reuder us distrustful of ourselves, and ju consrquence thoroughly discontented.
Add to all this our wounded vanity, and the fact is we are by nature touchy. Surely we are not to blame for wishing the world to like us! As we-I always speak of the really cultured among the malcontents-feel that we regard other nations, even the French-nay, the French, perhaps, inore than any other-willi siucere recognition, impartiality, and cordial sympaily, is it astonishing that we should, at any cost, wish in turn not to be misunder. stood by, not to say repulsive 10, our neighbors? Yet, if we have ears to hear and eyes to see, we cannot hide from ourselves that we are just now the “ hest hated” people on the face of the earth, as our leading statesman has liimself been obliged to own that he is the " best hated” man ju Europe. Englaud, too, had her period of European unpopularity ; but her national greatness was of too ancient å date to allow her to be disconcerted by continental abuse of ber selfishness, her perfidy, her harshness, her plutocracy. She calmly looked down upon all this uupopularity with patrician haughtiness, perhaps she rather liked it, cven as Coriolanus did the haired of the plebeians. We Germans are as yet tou young as a national state to have so thick a skin, and besides, we have before our eyes the example of our southern brethren in fate, who met with so different a reception from the worll at large. nut united, resuscitated Italy forsonu the pet, her founder the favorite, of the European public ? Were not all ready to admire, flatter, spoil her? Was it strange that Germany should anticipate á siunilar welcome when she had fought her way to unity and independence at the cost of no less an effort and no smaller a sacrifice of human life, than her former colleague in state disunion ? Alas! shę forgot that the strong are always inconvenient. Europe, it is true, endeavored, much as individuals are wont to do, to justify its instincts by reasons. As the Italians had decorated their re