Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/412

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in the noisy Present, with all its glittering and dazing magnificence? Must we not, in the words of the "Schwalbenlied," exclaim, "Oh, how remote from me is that which once was mine!" In the revolution which Germany has undergone within a generation, has not the good been sacrificed as well as the evil? Besides its vague longings, its futile struggling, its uneasy doubts as to its own powers, has not the German nation furthermore dropped somewhat of its enthusiasm for ideals—its unselfish striving after truth, its deep and quiet inner life? Like a dream the short-lived bloom of our literature has vanished. As politics and natural science, with their harsh realities, have silenced the delightful causerie of the Parisian salons, so here, too, have they given poor entertainment to the descendants of the heroes of classic story and of romance. Goethe himself, were he now a young man, would, in all probability, leave "Götz," and "Werther," and "Faust," unwritten, and would rather practise in the Imperial Diet his power of public oratory, diagnosed in him by Gall, but which, during his life, he tested only with the "birds of Malcesine."[1] With all the splendor of German science to-day, we painfully miss, in the rising generation, the noble passion which alone guarantees the continuity of intellectual effort. The recently reawakened liking of the Germans for philosophic speculation simply proves the truth of the old saying—

"Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret;"

but it is not calculated to quiet our apprehensions, with regard to the universally-diffused and rapidly-increasing indifference of our youth toward everything that they cannot see through and through, or that does not bring money or advancement.

[To be continued.]


MR. PRESIDENT: In attempting to fulfill the task you have imposed upon me, I am mindful that I address myself to an audience which is already familiar with William Harvey's claims to the honor which we are assembled to show him. For, within these walls, the memory of your illustrious Fellow and chief benefactor is kept perennially green by the customary piety of the speaker of the annual oration which Harvey founded; and his merits have been placed before you, with exhaustive completeness, by a long succession of able and eloquent orators. Even if the time and place were fitted for a disquisition on these topics, I could not hope to be able to add to the facts

  1. Birds in Aristophanes's sense. The allusion is not easy to explain in a few words.—(See Goethe's "Italian Journey.")