stranger. By virtue of an autocratic ukase, Paul had appointed himself · Professor of his own History, and delivered to the Universe three beautiful · Lectures' on that subject ; boasting, justly enough, that, in his special department, he was better informed than any other man whatever. He was not without his oratorical secrets and professorial habits : thus, as Mr. Wortley, in writing his parliamentary speech to be read within his hat, had marked, in various passages, • Here cough, so Paul, with greater brevity, had an arbitrary hieroglyph introduced here and there, among his


and purporting, as he tells us, “ Meine Herren, niemand scharre, niemand gähne, Gentlemen, no scraping, no yawning!” - a hieroglyph, we must say, which many public speakers might stand more in need of than he.

Unfortunately, in the Second volume, no other Lectures came to light, but only a string of disconnected, indeed quite heterogeneous Notes, intended to have been fashioned into such ; the full free stream of oratory dissipated itself into unsatisfactory drops. With the Third volume, which is by much the longest, Herr Otto appears more decidedly in his own person, though still rather with the scissors than with the pen ; and, behind a multitude of circumvallations and outposts, endeavours to advance his history a little ; the Lectures having left it still almost at the very commencement. His peculiar plan, and the too manifest purpose to continue speaking in Jean Paul's manner, greatly obstruct his progress ; which, indeed, is so inconsiderable, that at the end of this third volume, that is, after some seven hundred small octavo pages, we find the hero, as yet, scarcely beyond his twentieth year, and the history proper still only, as it were, beginning. We cannot but regret that Herr Otto, whose talent and good purpose, to say nothing of his relation to Richter, demand regard from us, had not adopted some straightforward method, and spoken out in plain prose, which seems a more natural dialect for him, what he had to say on this matter. Instead of a multifarious combination, tending so slowly, if at all, towards unity, he might, without omitting those · Lectures,' or any * Note' that had value, have given us a direct Narrative, which, if it had wanted the line of Beauty, might have had the still more indispensable line of Regularity, and been, at all events, far shorter. Till Herr Otto's work is completed, we cannot speak positively ; but, in the mean while, we must say that it wears an unprosperous aspect, and leaves room to fear that, after all, Richter’s Biography may still long continue a problem. . As for ourselves, in this state of matters, what help, towards characterising Jean Paul's practical Life, we can afford, is but a few slight facts gleaned from Herr Otto's and other meaner works ; and which, even in our own eyes, are extremely insufficient.

Richter was born at Wonsiedel in Bayreuth, in the year 1763; and as his birthday fell on the 21st of March, it was sometimes wittily said that he and the Spring were born together. He himself mentions this, and with a laudable intention : "this epigrammatic fact,' says he, “that I the • Professor and the Spring came into the world together, I have indeed brought out a hundred times in conversation, before now; but I fire it off here purposely, like a cannonsalute, for the hundred and first time, that so by printing I may ever henceforth be unable to offer it again as bon-motbonbon, when, through the Printer's Devil, it has already 'been presented to all the world.' Destiny, he seems to think, made another witticism on him ; the word Richter being appellative as well as proper, in the German tongue, where it signifies Judge. His Christian name, Jean Paul, which long passed for some freak of his own, and a pseudonym, he seems to have derived honestly enough from his maternal grandfather, Johann Paul Kuhn, a substantial cloth-maker in Hof; only translating the German Johann into the French Jean. The Richters, for at least two generations, had been schoolmasters, or very subaltern churchmen, distinguished for their poverty and their piety: the grandfather, it appears, is still remembered in his little



circle, as a man of quite remarkable innocence and holiness ; “in Neustadt,' says his descendant, “they will show ‘you a bench behind the organ, where he knelt on Sundays, and a cave he had made for himself in what is called the Little Culm, where he was wont to pray.' Holding, and laboriously discharging, three school or church offices, his yearly income scarcely amounted to fifteen pounds : ‘and at this Hunger-fountain, common enough for Bayreuth school' people, the man stood thirty-five years long, and cheerfully

drew. Preferment had been slow in visiting him: but at length ‘it came to pass,' says Paul, `just in my birth-year, that, on the 6th of August, probably through special con“nexions with the Higher Powers, he did obtain one of the most important places ; in comparison with which, truly, * Rectorate, and Town, and cave in the Culmberg, were well worth exchanging; a place, namely, in the Neustadt

Churchyard.? - His good wife had been promoted thither 'twenty years before him. My parents had taken me, an 'infant, along with them to his death-bed. He was in the act of departing, when a clergyman (as my father has often

told me) said to them: Now, let the old Jacob lay his hand on the child, and bless him. I was held into the bed of death, and he laid his hand on my head. Thou good old "grandfather! Often have I thought of thy hand, blessing as it grew cold, when Fate led me out of dark hours into clearer, — and already I can believe in thy blessing, in this material world, whose life, foundation and essence is ‘Spirit !'

The father, who at this time occupied the humble post of Tertius (Under-schoolmaster) and Organist at Wonsiedel, was shortly afterwards appointed Clergyman in the hamlet of Jodiz; and thence, in the course of years, transferred to

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1 Gottesacker (God's-field), not Kirchhof, the more common term and exactly corresponding to ours, is the word Richter uses here, — and almost always elsewhere, which in his writings he has often occasion to do.


Schwarzenbach on the Saale. He too was of a truly devout disposition, though combining with it more energy of character, and apparently more general talent; being noted in his neighbourhood as a bold, zealous preacher; and still partially known to the world, we believe, for some meritorious compositions in Church-music. In poverty he cannot be said to have altogether equalled his predecessor, who through life ate nothing but bread and beer ; yet poor enough he was ; and no less cheerful than poor. The thriving burgher's daughter, whom he took to wife, had, as we guess, brought no money with her, but only habits little advantageous for a schoolmaster or parson ; at all events, the worthy man, frugal as his household was, had continual difficulties, and even died in debt. Paul, who in those days was called Fritz, narrates gaily, how his mother used to despatch him to Hof, her native town, with a provender-bag strapped over his shoulders, under pretext of purchasing at a cheaper rate there; but in reality to get his groceries and dainties furnished gratis by his grandmother. He was wont to kiss his grandfather's hand behind the loom, and speak with him ; while the good old lady, parsimonious to all the world, but lavish to her own, privily filled his bag with the good things of this life, and even gave him almonds for himself, which, however, he kept for a friend. One other little trait, quite new in ecclesiastical annals, we must here communicate. Paul, in summing up the joys of existence at Jodiz, mentions this among the number:

'In Autumn evenings (and though the weather were bad) the Father used to go in his night-gown, with Paul and Adam into a potato-field lying over the Saale. The one younker carried a mattock, the other a hand-basket. Arrived on the ground, the Father set to digging new potatoes, so many as were wanted for supper; Paul gathered them from the bed into the basket, whilst Adam, clambering in the hazel thickets, looked out for the best nuts. After a time, Adam had to come down from his boughs into the bed, and Paul in his turn ascended. And thus, with potatoes and nuts, they returned contentedly home; and the pleasure of having run abroad,

some mile in space, some hour in time, and then of celebrating the harvest-home, by candlelight, when they came back. — let every one paint to himself as brilliantly as the receiver thereof.'

To such persons as argue that the respectability of the cloth depends on its price at the clothier's, it must appear surprising that a Protestant clergyman, who not only was in no case to keep fox-hounds, but even saw it convenient to dig his own potatoes, should not have fallen under universal odium, and felt his usefulness very considerably diminished. Nothing of this kind, however, becomes visible in the history of the Jodiz Parson : we find him a man powerful in his vocation ; loved and venerated by his flock; nay, associating at will, and ever as an honoured guest, with the gentry of Voigtland, not indeed in the character of a gentleman, yet in that of priest, which he reckoned far higher.

Like an old Lutheran, says his son, he believed in the great, as he did in ghosts; but without any shade of fear. The truth is, the man had a cheerful, pure, religious heart; was diligent in business, and fervent in spirit: and, in all the relations of his life, found this wellnigh sufficient for him.

To our Professor, as to Poets in general, the recollections of childhood had always something of an ideal, almost celestial character. Often, in his fictions, he describes such scenes with a fond minuteness ; nor is poverty any deadly, or even unwelcome ingredient in them. On the whole, it is not by money, or money's worth, that man lives and has his being. Is not God's Universe within our head, whether there be a torn skull-cap or a king's diadem without ? Let no one imagine that Paul's young years were unhappy; still less that he looks back on them in a lachrymose, sentimental manner, with the smallest symptom either of boasting or whining. Poverty of a far sterner sort than this would have been a light matter to him ; for a kind mother, Nature herself, had already provided against it; and, like the mother of Achilles, rendered him invulnerable to outward things. There was a bold, deep, joyful spirit looking through those

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