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German-lawless, rude and natural. Lawless it was, and rude it was, but whether it was natural according to nature of any reputable type may be doubted." The works of this period (which extended over about twenty years) are, needless to say, marked by the most extraordinary characteristics. Blood and terror prevail; invective and satire of the most bitter description are present, against militarism, the nobility, and princely despotism.

To what must we look for the causes of this Storm and Stress, so varied, so important, and extending on almost to the beginning of the present century? Underlying all the absurdity and extravagance there was a real force which gave to this apparently fantastic disturbance the dignity of a literary revolution. To what was this power due?

In the first place, the Storm and Stress was not a single unrelated outburst. It was part of the immensely greater influence that urges mankind upon the way of gradual development. It was connected with the vast emancipation then going forward all over the world. Thus, about the same time the American War of Independence was fought; a little later came the beginning of the romantic revival in England; and in 1789 the most striking expression of the whole movement took place in the French Revolution. So much for the outside world. As regards the particular aspect of affairs in Germany, the following facts many be noted: At the close of the Seven Years' War the conditions of public life

were not happy; the country was impoverished and the people were worn out by the gigantic struggle through which they had passed. But, to counterbalance this physical exhaustion, we find a very marked awakening of the national intellect. The achievements of Frederick the Great roused the patriotism and touched the imagination of the people, while the writings of Klopstock, Wieland and Lessing-especially the last-had prepared their minds (at least in the case of the upper middle class) for the acceptance of a life of wider and more varied interest. Now, the political freedom which should give them this broader life was as yet a vision of the future. Therefore, it was to books that they turned for comfort and refreshment; to books which could stir them with the memories of old. And within a very short time, by a natural sequence of events, arose that enthusiastic company of young men who called themselves "the original geniuses." Inspired by the intellectual alertness of the time, they struck out at once a line of action, the most prominent feature in which was discontent with existing circumstances. The strong influence of Lessing, the enthusiasm for Shakespeare originated by Wieland, the revival (primarily under Herder) of ballad literature, all in one great stream overflowed the banks of established authority. Thus, given a band of clever young writers, animated by intense enthusiasm and by a hatred, not only for tyranny and superstition, but everything that prevented the

indulgence of any powerful emotion, it is easy to see what extremes they would reach. These were the influences which brought about that strange thing called "Sturm und Drang." Hand in hand with it went a religious movement carried on by men who knew themselves by the lofty name of Illuminati-The Enlightened. The chief effect of the whole revolution was "an extraordinary increase of poetic and scientific power, and the wide extension of literary interests throughout Germany." Moreover, there were other tendencies which, dormant for some years, awoke to fresh vigor in what was termed the Romantic School (cir. 1800-10). To quote once more: "National and popular in all its tendencies, this great movement was in fact a revulsion from the spirit of Voltaire to that of Rousseau, from the artificiality of society to the simplicity of nature, from doubt and rationalism to feeling and faith . . . from hard and fast æsthetic rules to the freedom of genius." It was the triumph of romanticism in Germany.

Early in 1773 was published a little book, entitled On German Style and Art, a few Flysheets. It contained contributions by Justus Möser, Herder and Goethe, and it struck the keynote of Sturm und Drang. The same year appeared a strong drama, Götz von Berlichingen, written by Goethe, and dealing with the history of a robber knight of the sixteenth century. These two works form the prelude to the literary revolution. And this brings us

to Goethe, the greatest of German writers. He occupies the same relation to German literature as Shakespeare does to English, or Dante to Italian. His life covers its period of loftiest achievement. His work throughout was of the highest value, while, owing to the breadth of his sympathy, his influence told upon every one of his contemporaries.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE was born at Frankfort-on-the-Main, August 28, 1749. He was a distinctly precocious child. His youth was spent in Frankfort and his studies were overlooked by his father, a stern but upright and truth-loving man with a sincere regard for learning. His mother also had the most helpful influence on the poet; she was a mother worthy of so great a man, and is


one of the pleasantest figures in German literature." To these parents Goethe owed a debt of gratitude which he was always ready to acknowledge with deep reverence. In 1765 he went to Leipzig "Little Paris "—to undertake the study of law, as his father wished; his own tastes inclined irresistibly in the direction of "man, of nature and of human life." He himself has given an account of his life up to the year 1775 in an autobiography called Poetry and Truth. But this was written a good many years after his youth had passed by, and, as his English biographer says, the calm narrative of His Excellency J. W. von Goethe but inaccurately depicts the student life of the wild and headstrong young man, full of vitality and incipient genius. Too

apt are we, in regarding the stately figure that stood so long at the head of German literature, to forget the years of fierce endeavor, of experience and of trial which moulded that character into its final shape of dignity and conscious strength. Goethe's college days teemed with all manner of excitement and experiment. In fact, he lived very much the life that might be expected of a young student, handsome, clever, popular, rich, possessed, in a word, of all that makes life desirable. It was but natural that he should fall in love; and fall in love he did, with ease and fervor. The history of his collegiate career is similar to that of many another great man: he was diligent, but not according to the University curriculum; he read extensively, but not at all the books which the authorities required. In 1768 he made a flying visit to Dresden in order to gratify his new artistic tastes with the paintings of the old masters. On his return he tried his hand at engraving; but no very marked result seems to have come from this attempt. September of the same year saw the close of his career at Leipzig. The irregular life he had been leading seriously affected his health. He returned to Frankfort, and it was not until the end of the year that he recovered his strength. From his father's point of view the time at Leipzig had been thrown away, and with the unshaken determination of making his son a lawyer he arranged for the pursuit of the necessary studies at Strasburg Uni

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