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strength of his soul, and even deem it a precious privilege to hazard his life for his country, and for liberty, we would say, that it is a very different thing to celebrate the deeds of our ancestors, for the purpose of cherishing a love of freedom and our native land, and to make this pride a source of national hatred. There is likewise a great difference between a hatred towards the enemies of freedom, and towards the particular nation by whom our own freedom may have been in former times overthrown, or endangered. Does an American hate the English, because of his love for Washington; and cannot he read the Declaration of Independence with a beating heart, and no feeling of enmity? A thousand reasons concur to convince us, that the moral character of the individual, and the political character of the nation, require that the youth of a free country should be deeply impressed with the history of their native land, and the noble deeds which have secured its welfare; that every means should be used, to excite in their breasts an honourable emulation, and a love for the liberty purchased by their fathers' blood.
Would it not be a national advantage that our youth should celebrate important anniversaries, with active exercises, with songs and conversations recalling the past, thus making amusement a preparation for the duties of active life, and receiving impressions which would last as long as they lived ? Our history affords many days deserving of general national celebration, and many which are worthy of local commemoration. Is it a matter of indifference, whether the battles of Bunker Hill, and New-Orleans, and the capture of Cornwallis, should be held in honourable remembrance? Even important sea-fights might be celebrated on the seacoast, with games on the water, or the beach, as the Athenian youth long commemorated the battle of Salamis. Every great exploit is important, as an example, no less than in its immediate consequences. Long after its immediate effects have gone by, its influence may remain. Is not this true of the exploits of Pelopidas, Leonidas, Arnold Winkelried, William Tell, &c.? A free state should cherish with care, the heroic deeds of its children; should look upon every noble exploit as a treasure, to be preserved with an ever-living gratitude. History soon passes from the heart, into books; and is learnt as a task, if provision is not made to keep alive its interest. No one can know, how much a people's welfare may depend on their interest in the past, on the recollection of the value which their ancestors set upon liberty, and the sacrifices which they made to secure it. In monarchical, at least in despotic governments, the memory of ancestral glory is valuable, only as affecting the character of the individual, for the people have no political existence; but in free countries, certainly in republics, the energy of the people is the reliance of the state, in the hour of difficulty and peril; and the spirit of the people finds its true nourishment in the memory of their fathers' virtues; which can be kept alive, only by seizing on every means to awaken it in the breasts of the young.
We pass now to the consideration of medical gymnastics, or gymnastics for the sick. There are many valuable works, both ancient and modern, on gymnastics, as a means of preserving health ; for instance, Galenas de sanitate tuenda, Lond' Gymnastique Medicale, and many others; but we know of none which selects from the immense number of bodily exercises, such as are especially adapted to particular infirmities, though we have known many convincing proofs of the beneficial effects of their application. A work on medical gymnastics, according to the conception which we have of it, should be written by an experienced physician, thoroughly and practically acquainted with the whole subject of gymnastics; and we have no doubt, that some of the apparatus used in a gymnasium, might be introduced to great advantage in every hospital. The preparatory exercises, those on the horizontal and parallel bars, and balancing, deserve particular consideration ; for many of them call particular muscles into play, with comparatively little exertion of the rest. Patients suffering under complaints of the stomach, would derive great benefit from a judicious use of gymnastics; and we imagine that a physician might find a gymnasium, appropriated exclusively to the sick, a profitable experiment. The writings of the ancients on this subject, deserve to be studied; but their directions cannot be implicitly followed. Since their time, the habits, the exercises, the very diseases of the world, have undergone important changes; and, as we before said, a work on medical gymnastics must be founded on an intimate acquaintance with existing diseases, and a thorough knowledge of the gymnastic art, derived from personal experience.
A swimming school, on the plan of those existing in Berlin, in Paris, Vienna, and more lately in Boston, might be made of great service to the sick; for if the patient can endure cold bathing and can swim, the advantage of swimming is far greater than that of the simple cold bath; and a particular edifice, adapted to the purposes of a swimming school, is very desirable, on account of the conveniences which it affords for dressing and undressing. Such a school should always be found in towns affording proper situations, even were it only for the benefit of the sound and healthy. It is true, that swimming may be, and often is, learnt without systematic instruction; but when we consider how many persons, in the sea-ports particularly, learn to swim, and how many lose their lives for want of suitable precautions, while acquiring the art, we shall hardly esteem swimming schools useless. There is, too, a great advantage gained by learning to swim well in a short time, instead of acquiring, as is often the case, a miserable paddle after long continued efforts. All parents will agree with us, that it is better to send a boy to a school, where it is known that suitable precautions are taken for his safety, than to let him run into the sea or the river, with a crowd of boys like himself, to say nothing of its advantages in a moral point of view. For adults, a swimming school is highly important. They cannot learn the art from boys, or in an exposed place; and almost always neglect its acquisition, where conveniences are not provided for dressing and undressing. A swimming school has also a great attraction, inasmuch as one is sure, besides having the advantage of a teacher, of finding company there in a suitable dress, preventing indecent exposure.
ART. VII.-GERMAN LITERATURE.
1.-C. M. Wieland's sämmtliche Werke. The complete Works
of C. M. Wieland. Vols. 50 and 51. Leipzig: 1827. ( These two volumes contain Wieland's Life, by J. G.
GRUBER.) 2.-Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's sämmtliche Werke. The
complete Works of G. E. Lessing. Vols. 1-23. Berlin. (This new and very cheap edition of Lessing's Works is now printing.)
Less than a century ago, Germany possessed no national literature. Public taste was tame; original genius inactive; the propensity to imitate predominant; and the talent for imitating exceedingly feeble. No powerful minds investigated the principles of taste; no invention was exercised in creating national works. The intellectual condition of the empire resembled its political ; its native energies were impaired by foreign alliances, and the German language and literature seemed as much neglected as the permanent interests of the state. The style of writing degenerated into a diffuse and pedantic barbarism.
Nor was there any particular source, from which a renovation of taste and a revival of nationality could be expected. Could any thing be hoped of the men of letters ? A foreign system, limiting the free exercise of the mind and of taste, had been introduced, and the works of the great French masters lost the delicacy and splendour which they possess in their own idiom, by the tedious manner in which they were transferred to the German. Could patriotism cnkindle genius? The nation, as a political body, had ceas
ed to have a common feeling: in the quarrels of Europe, the princes of Germany were ranged on different sides, and no impulse of enthusiasm even united the opposing powers. What might justly be called civil wars, were not objects of horror; a community of political feeling did not exist even in theory. Might a hope be indulged, that religion would animate the aspirants after literary fame? The age of deep religious feeling, cherished and sanctified by universal respect, was past; and if scepticism was not prevalent, it at least had counteracted the former energy of the religious principle. And the princes and German courts were all French in taste and manners; and though many were lavish of their means, in gaining new luxuries and increasing their splendour, yet it never occurred to them to gather round their baby thrones the best spirits of their nation, and so to gain respect for their petty principalities, and embalm their memories in a permanent literature. And even the wealthier class of society seemed indifferent to national culture. Thus letters had nothing hope from the government, the nobility, or the opulent; and could find inspiration neither in national taste, nor in religion, nor in patriotism.
But of the leading monarchies in Germany, of none was the government administered in a national spirit. Motives of local policy and relative aggrandizement swayed the cabinets. The imperial constitution had lost its efficacy, and was a frail bond of union for the heterogeneous elements, which had at no period been well consolidated into one empire, and which were now forcibly repelling each other; all the strength of the Germanic constitution did but resemble that of a decrepid old man, whose gray hairs, by calling to memory the activity of his youth, may gain a respect which his strength cannot command. The influence of Prussia at the diet was exercised rather to make the. imperial crown still more an empty pageant. The political alliance of Austria with the French, though it ended in the degradation and loss of the latter, was yet of an unfavourable tendency to the national spirit; while Frederic, who had to contend against the Bourbons for his very existence, yet trampled on the nationality of his subjects, and himself a German, and gaining triumphs by a German army, yet gathered round his person the writers of France, and contemplated the literary occupations of his own countrymen with supercilious indifference or wanton contempt.
There was indeed too much reason for discontent with the native writers of Germany. The change which had taken place in the species of merit that was desired, had thus far been productive of no good effects. A general languor characterized style; nothing of natural passion, or even of uncouth energy, appeared; and the diction, far from failing by attempt at gorgeous splendour, was miserably meagre. The noble dialect of Germany was
degraded; no one used it with dignity or grace; and it seemed to have lost its power. . A sort of medley of foreign tongues became the vogue ; and even a good thought looked strangely
enough in the piebald dress prescribed by fashion. The mediocrity was so thorough, that there was nothing strange or striking in all that was produced ; and German letters resembled not so much a waste, where desolation itself now and then appears in striking forms, as a wide pool, with just motion enough to keep the waters from stagnating, and not even with will o' the wisps to diversify and light up its dulness.
The practice of indiscriminate praise, that pest of letters in either hemisphere, breaking down the distinctions between merit and dulness, depriving the public expressions of opinion of all value, and essentially calculated to promote and sustain mediocrity, had also been lavishing honours, as if genius had been a thing of every-day growth, and as if learning were to be upheld by the eulogies, reciprocally and prodigally bestowed by inferior minds.
A new day began to dawn, when public discussion became more free; and a Saxon and a Swiss school were formed, at first in rivalry, and finally in declared hostility. Of the former, Gottsched was the leader, at Leipzig; while Bodmer, at Zurich, with Breitinger for his ’squire, buckled on his armour, and, seizing the weapons of offence, challenged his adversaries to battle. A thirty years' war preceded the establishment of the civil and religious liberties of Germany; a thirty years' literary feud, between two men of narrow minds and boundless vanity, went before its literary awakening.
Of the belligerent parties, Bodmer made the attack, and Gottsched for several years acted on the defensive. The Swiss called in the English to his assistance; the Saxon took the French for auxiliaries. Bodmer deemed himself sure of victory and unlimited praise, when he brought forward a translation of Milton's Paradise Lost; (and indeed, though his translation be barbarous, and his criticisms show neither delicacy, nor acuteness, nor lively sentiment for the beautiful, we yet venerate the man who could summon Milton as his witness ;) but Gottsched damned the translation with faint praise, and having, as a Professor of Eloquence and Poetry in the University of Leipzig, formed a literary circle in which he was the dictator, he issued a decree for translations from the French, and imitations for poems in Alexandrines, comedies, and tragedies. The rules of criticism having been established, these poems were written, very much as questions, illustrating a principle in arithmetic, would be solved; and the proposition to be demonstrated was always the sanctity of Gottsched's notions of poetry
Fame, “the bright guerdon," is distributed by favour. Many a man has suffered martyrdom for his faith; but John Rogers