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appreciation of the care and faithfulness into the inner circles of their families, and with which he had discharged the onerous there was, in fact, no general social interduties incident to the intellectual and course. moral education of her children.

What charm or incitement could such Kunth remained through life the ad- a state of things present to young and ministrator of Alexander's property. gifted minds like those of the Humboldts? ? When he entered the service of the state, What inducement could even the more nine years before the death of the Ba- enlightened circles, who had banished roness, 1796, he continued an inmate of Lessing as a free-thinker, offer to youths her dwelling, and at his own decease, in who were already moved by the prompt1829, his last resting-place was selected ings of a new mental world? in the family vault at Tegel, close to the The picture drawn by George Forster, grave of Wilhelm von Humboldt. although severe, may give some indication

of the state of society in the Prussian THE SOCIAL CONDITION OF BERLIN IN 1780. capital, and of the impression it made

upon an intelligent Englishman. He writes Ere we follow the brothers Humboldt to his friend Jacobi, during his stay in to the university, a glance may well be Berlin, in 1779: “I have deceived myself thrown at the position of Berlin society very much in the opinion I brought with as forming the historic back-ground to me about this great city. Thus, I found the bright picture presented by the bro- the exterior much handsomer, and the inthers.

terior far blacker, than I had pictured to The influence of the great king was myself. Berlin is, no doubt, one of the still felt during Humboldt's youth. He handsomest cities in Europe. But the inbelonged, as he expressed it at the cele- habitants ! Hospitality and rational enbration of the centennial jubilee in honor joyment degenerated into licentiousness of Frederick ascending the throne, “to and gluttony-I might almost say vorathat old generation whose souls still re- ciousness-free and enlightened thinking ceived the image of the great monarch into barren wantonness and unbridled infrom personal youthful contemplation.” fidelity. And then the sensible, clever But although Berlin may then already, clergymen, who, out of the plenty of their and especially since the time of Lessing virtue and moral perfection, purify reliand Mendelssohn, have made some pro-gion and wish to make it perfectly comgress in an enlightened way of answering prehensible to the common understandreligious, social, scientific, artistic, and ing! I expected to find here extraordinary even political questions, yet these pulsa- men, pure, noble, inspired with God's Holy tions of a higher life were very weak and Spirit, simple and full of child-like humiintermittent; they exhibited themselves lity, and lo! I meet with the pride and so rarely and so isolated that there could conceit of the wise and learned; and these have been no idea of a universal preva- wise men, they are blind, yet possessing lence of the higher affections. The num- clear sight, and deaf with sound hearing. ber of really enlightened men was very The French Academy! Permit me to small, and the domestic social circles in shake the dust from my feet, and proceed which they could permit their lights to further. About the fair sex I would

. shine were still fewer. The court was rather not speak at all. If ever they were composed of and limited to a few friends, thoroughly corrupt anywhere they are chiefly Frenchmen. The high court and so at Berlin, where selfishness and coquetry military officials, who formed the aristo- are as much at home as in Paris—where cracy, were deficient in all intellectual and the tone of good society proceeds in exengaging sociabilities. The inferior em- actly the same footsteps, inclined to insipid ployés were underpaid and overworked, witticisms and compliments, and to an unand business and general distress checked interrupted effort after the so-called jolis every effort at intellectual or moral im- riens—where nothing is thought of, and, provement. The wealthier portion of the except the grossest sensuousness, nothing mercantile community distinguished itself is felt; and this from the princely circles only in the extravagance with which they down to the lowest citizen." educated their children; but there were It need excite no surprise that such a not even the remotest symptoms of real society should have generally disliked a cultivation. The men of science withdrew man like Goethe during his stay at Berlin,

and up

or that the great poet should have felt dis particularly valued owing to the excellence gusted and discontented with the degener- of the experiments which accompanied ate brood. He expressed his dislike of the them, and among others they attracted Berliners in one of the coarsest sentences: the two Humboldts to the Herz dwelling. “I swear,” he says “no obscenity, no The immediate cause was the consultation donkeyism of the Jack-pudding kind is about a lightning conductor at Tegel, a so disgusting. I have prayed to the gods safeguard then little known at Berlin. that they may sustain my courage

Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt rightness unto the end, and rather to entered almost from the very first moment change the destination than allow me to into the most intimate relations with the creep so miserably along the last stage of Herz family. Surrounded from their ear. my journey."

liest infancy by all the elements of a higher Scarcely had Frederick the Great cultivation, it followed that the brothers breathed his last when a stop was put to were, even at the ages of eighteen and intellectual progress, and all the elements sixteen, distinguished for the elegance of of mischief broke loose; shallow bureau- their manners, their vivacity and intellicratic politics, arrogant barrack patriotism, gence, and, in fact, for their amiability and governmental and ecclesiastical interfer- comprehensive range of knowledge. To ence with the affairs and liberties of men, their love of the sublime and beautiful, canting hypocrisy and fraudulent mysticism, there was, no doubt, also added some inalchemists, and “illuminati,” back-stairs terest for beauty itself. Alexander, particintrigue and depraved female influences, ularly, was a graceful dancer; he taught censorship and mental oppression—all ran Mrs. Herz the new minuette à la reine; riot with brazen effrontery, and blunted and he had in the affairs of the heart a péand stifled every free and noble aspira- culiarly keen instinct. The reminiscences tion.

of other ladies,

in later times, who saw him This view of Berlin is confirmed by at his brother Wilhelm's residence at Jena, Forster in 1788, ten years after his first where he visited often, picture him, the visit, in a letter to the then celebrated great naturalist who was continually occuanatomist Sommering, and, also, in a letter pied with galvanic and electric batteries, written to a friend in 1788, by Professor and other implements of science, as a most Fischer, the tutor of both the Humboldts. engaging, handsome man — unquestion

A limited few, who belonged to the ably as the handsomest of the two brothers. school of Lessing and Kunth, kept alive A peculiar feature of the society we have the smouldering flame of a higher intelli- here described is the fact that the chief gence. The chief among these were Engel, elements were composed of Jews and JewBiester, Mendelssohn, David Friedlander, esses; and it is remarkable that at the time Marcus, Herz, and Zöllner. The great we speak of, the intelligence which procharm of these circles was the influence perly proceeded from Lessing was concenexercised in them by some of their female trated in Jewish circles. members. We need only mention the Henriette Herz mentions, through her daughters of Mendelssohn, the pious and biographer, how at that time Jewish society romantic Doreathea Schlegel, Henriette in Berlin was sought after in preference to Mendelssohn, the instructress of the un- every other. How free Humboldt was fortunate Duchess of Praslin, Fraulein from all religious prejudice, may be inBriess (afterwards Frau von Rochow, and ferred from the words of the same lady; then Frau von Fouqué), Henriette Herz, she mentions: “That when Alexander von the friend of Schleiermacher and the two Humboldt in these past years correspondHumboldts, and the great Rehel, a lady ed with a mutual lady friend and myself of, perhaps, the most extraordinary men- from his family seat, Tegel, he generally tal powers.

headed his letters, “Castle Tedious;' cerThe social réunions of Rehel became in tainly, he only did this in such letters as time an historical element of Berlin edu- were written in Hebrew characters, for in cation, and the lectures on philosophy and those I had given him and his brother natural history delivered by Marcus Herz Wilhelm the first instructions, which were in his own house, from the commencement subsequently continued with considerable of the eighth decade, became the resort of success by another.” Several of the letters the most select portion of Berlin society. addressed to Mrs. Herz and David Fried.

The lectures on natural philosophy were lander are still in existence, and are cha

racterized by extreme good-nature and the could not avoid expressing his deep gratimost pleasant humor. In letters whose tude in the warmest terms the same evecontents were accessible to every one, it ning from the royal palace at Potsdam, would have been injudicious for a young where the king's wish had summoned him. noble of that day to have confessed that But to return from our digression. he found more amusement in the society While the men of this inner society were of young Jewesses than in the castle of his occupied with the pursuits of science and forefathers. Those friendships which philosophy, the females devoted them. Humboldt formed in early life have been selves with all the ardor of youth to polite maintained by him through succeeding literature. · French, English, and Italian generations up to the present day; he is classics were studied earnestly; the mighty on the most intimate footing with the genius of Goethe was early appreciated; Mendelssohns; he visits them twice in they raved with Werther, joyed with every week-once at the house of the Schiller, and, above all, they almost idolwidow of Joseph Mendelssohn, and once ized Lessing. The great aim of those at that of her son; and if not engaged to youthful enthusiasts was to do for society appear at the king's table, he visits the what Lessing had done for literature, viz., Mendelssohns more frequently.

to free it from all conventionalisms, and Thus did he spend the last 14th of Sep- lead it back to nature. No wonder that tember — his eighty-sixth birthday - at a community inspired at once by the greatMrs. Joseph Mendelssohn's, in the circle est intelligence and the highest fancy, conof the family who are bound to him by fined to itself

, and thrown upon its own ties of the deepest attachment and vene- resources by the surrounding profligacy ration. During the dinner, the hostess sent and want of taste, should first have ento the home of the venerable old man an nobled every member, and then reacted easy chair, surmounted by a laurel crown. upon society at large until their influence He was so agreeably overcome by this has converted the Berlin of 1780 into what mark of friendship and affection, that he it has become in 1855.

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From the New Monthly Magazine.


Louis XIII. was accustomed to con- of likely to disgust the king. Louis, not verse every evening with Madame de liking to appear the slave of his minister, Hautefort-for, having obtained the situa- affected sometimes to blame his measures, tion held by her grandmother of lady in and to applaud all that Madame de Hautewaiting to the queen, she was, although fort said in his disparagement. One day unmarried, always addressed as Madame. he presented her with four hundred thouThe king only talked to her about hunt- sand a year pension, assuring her that the ing, dogs, and the game he killed. Ma- cardinal knew nothing about it, and that dame or Mademoiselle de Hautefort, she owed it to his bounty alone. She who was very fond of the queen, faith- did not conceal from him that she exceed. fully reported to her all these conversa- ingly mistrusted his discretion, and was tions. Anne of Austria constantly en quite aware that he reported every thing treated her to speak against the cardinal, to the cardinal that he heard said against and suggested every thing she could think him, and that she herself feared that some VOL XXXVII-NO, IV.


day she too would become the victim of dame de Hautefort. He was not so much this confidence, and of the freedom with alarmed at the plans she herself might which she presumed to censure his con- form—the person he dreaded was her duct. The king endeavored to reassure friend, Mademoiselle de Chérault, who her by promising that the cardinal would exercised the most absolute power over never know what she said in confidence her. As he was determined that no one to him; adding, however, that she was should approach the king who was not his the only person in the world to whom he decided partisan, he determined to destroy would make such a promise, which she an ascendency that might become dangerought to consider as the highest proof of ous, and decided on removing the recalled the affection he felt towards her. Some- favorite by similar means to those he had times he was of another opinion, and de- employed already with so much success. fended the cardinal's conduct with the Mademoiselle de la Fayette had supersedutmost warmth, adding that he was much ed Madame de Hautefort, then Madame attached to him, that he could not govern de Hautefort had again caused the king without his assistance, and that, whatever to forget her rival, and now he hoped, by she might say to dissuade him, he was de- placing the young Marquis de Cing Mars termined to continue him as his minister, about the person of Louis, that he should and be guided entirely his advice. by degrees succeed in destroying the in

“I see well enough,” replied she, “that fluence that the lady in waiting appeared I can place no dependence either in your gaining over the mind of a monarch whose promises or in your affection. You would timid nature reduced him to a state of at any moment sacrifice me to the cardi- perpetual childhood. The work I have nal, for you have not the courage to op- already quoted thus describes the conpose him. He would force you to dismiss clusion of the platonic affections of Louis me, and it would not any day surprise me and the intrigues of Richelieu : to be obliged to leave the court in con- The cardinal had succeeded in his desequence of a dismissal signed by your sire of weakening the attachment of the own hand.”

king to Madame de Hautefort. When The king protested that she had no- she came to see him at Fontainebleau, in thing to fear, that the cardinal should 1639, she was received with the most never force him to sign such an order, marked coolness and indifference; and in and that she must never believe those a private interview that took place bewho might come in his name under such tween them, the king reproached her a pretence, as it would never be with his with having spoken against the Marquis consent.

de Cinq Mars, to whom he was much The cardinal, seeing that Madame de more attached than he had ever been to Hautefort began to exercise a certain her (a compliment any thing but gallant). degree of influence over the king's mind, After some days had elapsed she received a endeavored to gain her to his interests. visit from Monsieur de Brienne, who signiHe represented to her that, far from fied to her his majesty's order that she wishing to oppose the confidence reposed should immediately retire from the court. in her by Louis, he only sought to in- She replied that he had no power to send crease it, and that if she would sincerely her away. This reply having been reportforward his interests he would create hered to the king by the secretary of stateduchess; he even volunteered some ad- “It is true," said he, “I promised her vice as to how she should act in order to that no one should have the power of perpetuate the king's regard for her, and exiling her; but it was on condition that when they had had any little disagreement she would act with prudence, and give he endeavored to reconcile them. The me no cause to complain of her conduct. king was much gratified at seeing that Does she imagine that her reputation of the cardinal supported Madame de Haute virtue is every thing that is necessary to fort, and when she was inclined to op- insure my friendship? I require from pose him with unusual determination, he her, as well, that she should avoid all threatened to tell the cardinal, as if the cabals and intrigues; and this is what she minister was more to be feared than the will not do." sovereign. Richelieu, always suspicious He ordered that a lettre de cachet should and jealous of his authority, grew uneasy be sent her, which she only laughed at, at seeing the increasing influence of Ma- saying to those who brought it, that she had the king's commands never to pay As to Madame de Hautefort, after her any attention to such threats, and that departure from court, she still preserved she should never obey it unless she re- her reputation for virtue, which was ceived from the king's own lips the sen- rather increased by the publicity of her tence of her banishment. She was intimacy with the king. She was nickthen told that the king wished to speak named by the courtiers Sainte Hautefort. with her. She at once obeyed the sum- She retired to Le Mans, where she lived mons; and lowering her veil so as not to after her exile until the death of Louis be recognized, awaited his approach in the XIII., when Anne of Austria recalled her guard-room, through which he was obliged to court, and reïnstated her in her former to pass on his way to mass. As soon as situation. The lady in waiting, soon after he approached she presented herself be- her appearance, was married, when about fore him, and, raising the veil that con- thirty, to the Maréchal de Schomberg: cealed her features, she told him that she Cardinal Mazarin succeeded Richelieu had refused to believe those who had sig- in the government of France. Anne of nified to her his wish that she should Austria, now become regent, was addressleave the court; adding, that after the ed by her old friend, Madame de Hautesolemn assurances he had given her to the fort, in the language of truth, without contrary, she would never believe such having requested her opinion. She reprean order really emanated from himself, sented to her majesty that Mazarin was until, at least, she heard it directly from still young enough to give rise to scandals his own lips. Louis, thoroughly discon- fatal to her reputation ; and she repeated certed and confused, could not conceal this so often that it was ultimately the his embarrassment; and, after having cause of her own disgrace. Anne of Ausmuttered some inaudible excuse, with tria had long cooled towards her, and drew suddenly, without giving her any only awaited an opportunity of ridding further explanation. Madame de Haute- herself of so unwelcome a monitor, The fort retired, and was again banished. following, according to the valet de cham

The young Marquis de Cinq Mars had bre, La Porte, was the pretext that was the art of amusing Louis XIII., and soon seized on to occasion the dismissal of the made himself entire master of all the too rigid lady in waiting: friendship and the favor that monarch had A gentleman about the queen's person, to bestow. It must be confessed that, a native of Brittany, by name Néda, begwith all his tact, Richelieu was extremely ged Madame de Hautefort to ask some faunfortunate in the choice of the persons vor for him of the queen. She willingly that he placed about the king for the pur-complied, being always ready to assist pose of gaining his friendship. Cinq Mars those whom she considered worthy of her did precisely what Mademoiselle de la Fa- protection. As her majesty was retiring yette and Madame de Hautefort had done to rest, she presented his petition, which before him: he sought, by every means, the queen refused, saying that others had to diminish the authority of the minister, already made the same request. Madame by advising the king to take the reins of de Hautefort insisting on the claims of her government into his own hands, and to protégé, the queen gladly availed herself reign alone. But the king, subjugated of the opportunity of quarrelling with by the all-powerful ascendency of the ge- her; and such high words passed that the nius of the cardinal, dared not undertake next morning she received an order to the direction of public affairs himself, feel- leave the palace, to the astonishment of ing incapable of either the fortitude or the whole court, as well as of that of all the talent for so arduous a position. He France, Even when she reappeared at himself was the first to inform bis minister court after her marriage with Maréchal of the intrigues formed against him, and de Scomberg, the queen always treated basely exculpated himself by surrender- her with coldness. Some time after Ma ing up to the implacable vengeance of the zarin told La Porte that Madame de cardinal those, both male and female, who Hautefort was wanting in consideration had the greatest claims on his gratitude. and politeness to the queen, and that she Cinq Mars suffered, like his predecessors, was too proud. The valet de chambre rethe forfeit of having been the king's favor- minded him that she was a Gascon by ite; and expiated on the scaffold his pre- birth, and that ought to be some excuse, sumption and inexperience.

particularly as she was one of the best

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