The Works of Heinrich Heine/Vol. 7/Preface

The Works of Heinrich Heine  (1893)  by Heinrich Heine, translated by Charles Godfrey Leland


"Those who can read will of themselves remark that its greatest faults cannot be attributed to me, while those who cannot read will nothing note." With this simple syllogism, which precedes the Roman Comique of Scarron, I may also well begin these more serious pages.

I give here a series of articles and daily bulletins which I wrote for the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung (The Universal, or generally public, Gazette of Augsburg), in stormy circumstance of every kind, with an object which may easily be guessed, under restrictions which may be still more readily conjectured. I am now obliged to publish these anonymous and ephemeral leaves under my own name, lest some other person—as I have been threatened—should do so according to his own fashion or fancy, and change them as he may please, or perhaps mingle with them altogether foreign material which may be erroneously attributed to me.

I avail myself of this opportunity to declare, in the most positive manner, that I have not for two years past published a line in any political journal of Germany, with the exception of the Allgemeine Zeitung. This publication, which so well deserves its world-renowned authority, and which may be well called the Universal Gazette of Europe, appeared to me, on account of its importance and its unparalleled circulation, to be best adapted for information referring to a comprehension of the present time. When we shall have brought it so far that the great mass of the people really understand the present, they will no longer allow themselves to be goaded by the hireling writers of the aristocracy to hatred and war; the great confederation of races, the Holy Alliance of nations, will be formed; we shall not need, out of mutual mistrust, to feed standing armies of many hundred thousand murderers; we will use their swords and horses for ploughs, and so attain to peace, prosperity. and freedom.

My life has been consecrated to this active duty—it is my office. The hatred of my enemies may serve as pledge that I have fulfilled this duty truly and honourably. I will ever show myself worthy of that hatred. My enemies will never misunderstand me, although my friends, in the delirium of excited passion, may mistake my deliberate calmness for lukewarm feeling. Doubtless the latter will misunderstand me less in these times than they did in those days when they believed they had attained the goal of their desires, and the hope of victory swelled every sail of their thoughts. I took no part in their folly, but I will ever share their misfortunes. I will never return to my native land so long as one of those noble fugitive exiles, who would not listen to reason because of too great inspiration, lingers in a foreign land in wretchedness. I had rather beg a crust from the poorest Frenchman than take service among those distinguished knaves[1] in the German Fatherland who regard every moderation of power as cowardice or as a prelude of transition to slavery,[2] and who consider our best virtue or belief in the honourable feeling of a foe mere hereditary stupidity. I should never be ashamed to be deceived by those who inspired our hearts with beautiful and smiling hopes; "how everything should be most peaceably managed; how we should remain delightfully moderate, so that concessions should not be compelled, and thereby prove unfruitful; as they themselves well perceived that one could not without danger long deprive us of liberty." Yes, we have been duped again, and we must confess that falsehood has again scored a great triumph and harvested fresh laurels. In fact, we are the conquered, and since the heroic deception has been officially proclaimed, since the promulgation of the deplorable resolutions of the German Diet of the 28th June, our heart has been made sick in our breast with anger and affliction.

Poor unhappy Fatherland! What shame is before thee should'st thou endure this outrage—what agony if thou dost not!

Never yet was a people so cruelly insulted by its rulers. Not only in this, that those ordinances of the Diet presuppose that we agreed to everything—they would persuade us that we have suffered no wrong or injustice! Yet, if you really could reckon with confidence on slavish submission, you had at least no right to regard us as fools. A handful of common nobles, who have learned nothing beyond horse-trading, card-sharping, drinking tricks, and similar stupid rascal accomplishments, with which, at the utmost, only peasants at fairs can be duped—such men think they can befool an entire race, and one at that which invented gunpowder, and also printing and the "Criticism of Pure Reason." This undeserved affront, that you regard us as stupider than yourselves, and fancy that you deceive us—that is the most irritating insult which you have put upon us in the presence of surrounding races, who wait with astonishment to see what we will do. "It is," they say, "no longer a question of liberty, but of honour."

I will not accuse the constitutional German princes. I know the difficulties of their situation; I know that they pine in the fetters of their petty camarillas, and are really not responsible. And they have been tampered with and tempted and compelled in every manner by Austria and Prussia. Let us not blame, but pity them. Sooner or later they shall reap the bitter fruits of an evil seed. The fools! they are still jealous one of the other, and while every acute eye can perceive that they will be in the end mediatised by Austria and Prussia, all their souls and efforts are only directed to getting from some neighbour a piece of his trifling territory. They are indeed like thieves who pick one another's pockets while they are being led to the gallows.

On account of the great deeds of the Diet, we can only unconditionally accuse Austria and Prussia. Nor can I determine to what degree they deserve our recognition or thanks. It seems to me, however, that Austria has been shrewd enough to shift the detested burden of responsibility to the shoulders of its wise colleague.

In fact, we may war with Austria daringly unto death, with sword in hand, but we feel in our inmost heart that we are not justified in reviling this Power in abusive terms. Austria was ever an open and honourable enemy, which never denied, nor did it for a moment suspend its attack on Liberalism. Metternich never ogled with loving eyes the Goddess of Liberty; he never played the demagogue with troubled anxious heart; he never sung the songs of Arndt while drinking white beer; he never played at gymnastic exercises on the Hasenheide;[3] he never played the pietist, nor did he ever weep with the prisoners of the fortresses while he kept them chained. One always knew exactly where he stood on such subjects—knew that he was to be guarded against, and so one governed one's self accordingly. He was always a sure man, who neither deceived us by gracious looks nor irritated us by private malice. We knew that he was neither inspired by love or petty hatred, but acted magnanimously in the spirit of a system to which Austria had been true for three centuries. It is the same system which induced Austria to oppose the Reformation, the same for which it battled with the Revolution. For this system not only the men, but also the daughters of the House of Habsburg fought. For this system Marie Antoinette waged war desperately in the Tuileries, and to maintain it Maria Louisa, who, as declared Regent, should have combated for husband and child, in the same Tuileries abandoned the strife and laid down her arms; and for it the Emperor Francis suppressed his deepest feelings and desires, and suffered unspeakable agonies of heart; even to this day he wears mourning for the beloved, blooming grandson whom he sacrificed on its account. This new grief deeply bowed the grey head which once bore the German Imperial crown; this poor Emperor is still the true representative of unfortunate Germany!

As to Prussia, we may speak of it in a very different tone. Here at least we are restrained by no regard or respect for the sacredness of an Imperial German head. The learned menials on the banks of the Spree may dream ever on of a great Emperor of the realm of Borussia, and proclaim the hegemony and protecting lordliness of Prussia. But thus far the long fingers of the Hohenzollern have not succeeded in grasping the crown of Charlemagne, and to put it in the same sack with so many other stolen Polish and Saxon jewels. As yet that crown hangs far too high, and I doubt much whether it will ever descend to the witty head of that golden-spurred prince whom his barons already hail and offer homage to as the future restorer of chivalry. I much rather believe that his kingly highness will prove to be, instead of a successor to Charlemagne, only a follower of Charles the Tenth and Charles of Brunswick.

It is true that even recently many friends of the Fatherland have desired the extension of Prussia, and hoped to see in its kings the masters of a united Germany. They have baited and allured patriotism to it; there was a Prussian Liberalism, and the friends of freedom look confidingly towards the lindens in Berlin. As for me, I have never shared this faith or confidence. On the contrary, I watched with anxiety this Prussian eagle, and, while others boasted that he looked so boldly at the sun, I was all the more observant of his claws. I did not trust this Prussian, this tall and canting, white-gaitered hero with a big belly, a broad mouth, and corporal's cane, which he first dipped in holy water ere he laid it on. I disliked this philosophic Christian military despotism, this conglomerate of white-beer, lies, and sand. Repulsive, deeply repulsive to me was this Prussia, this stiff, hypocritical Prussia, this Tartuffe among states.

At last, when Warsaw fell, there fell also the soft and pious cloak in which Prussia had so well wrapped itself, and then even the dimmest-eyed saw the iron armour of despotism which was hidden under it. It was to the misfortune of Poland that Germany owed this salutary discovery.

Poland! The blood thrills in my veins when I write the word, when I reflect how Prussia behaved to these noblest children of adversity, and how cowardly, how vulgar, how treacherous was her conduct.[4] The writer of history will, from deepest disgust, want words when he narrates what occurred at Fischau; those shameful deeds were better written by an executioner.[5] I hear the red iron already hissing on the lean back of Prussia.

I read recently in the Allgemeine Zeitung that the Privy Councillor Friedrich von Raumer, who not long ago gained for himself the reputation of a royal Prussian revolutionist by revolting, as member of the Commission of censure, against its excessive severity, has now received the order to justify the proceedings of the Prussian Government as to Poland. The defence is finished, and the author has already received for it two hundred Prussian dollars. However, I hear that it has not given satisfaction to the camarilla of Brandenburg, because its style is not sufficiently servile. Trifling as this incident may seem, it is of importance as indicating the spirit of the ruling minds and of their subordinates. I knew by chance poor Frederic von Raumer, having seen him now and then walking in his blue-green little coat and grey-blue little cap under the lime-trees, and I heard him once in the chair as he depicted the death of Louis XVI., and shed on the occasion several royal Prussian official tears. I have also read in a lady's almanac his History of the Hohenstaufen, and I also know his "Letters from Paris," in which he communicates to Madame Crelinger and her husband his views as to the theatres and public of this place. He is altogether a peaceable person, who falls quietly into line with the rest. He is the best among mediocre writers,[6] nor is he entirely devoid of salt, having a certain superficial erudition, resembling therein an old dried herring wrapped up in the waste-paper leaves of a learned book. I repeat it, he is the most peaceable, patient creature, who always lets himself be loaded by his betters, and trots obediently with his burden to the official mill, only stopping now and then where music is being played. To what a degree of baseness must the spirit of oppression in a Government have descended when even a Frederic von Raumer lost patience with it, and became restive and would trot no further, and even began to speak like a man! Did he perchance see the angel with the sword who stood in the way, and whom the blinded Balaams of Berlin could not behold? Alas! they gave the poor creature the most deliberate kicks, and goaded it with their golden spurs, and beat it thrice. But the people of Borussia—and by that one may judge its condition—exalted its Friedrich von Raumer as an Ajax of freedom.[7]

This royal Prussian revolutionist has now been employed to write an apology for the proceedings against Poland, and to honourably rehabilitate the Cabinet of Berlin in public opinion.

Oh this Prussia! how well it understands how to make the utmost of its people—even its revolutionists! For its political comedies it employs assistants of every colour. It even puts to use zebras with tri-coloured stripes. So it has of late years set on its most fiery demagogues to preaching everywhere that all Germany must become Prussian. Hegel must justify the permanence of servitude as reasonable, and Schleiermacher is compelled to protest against freedom, and commend Christian submission to the will of superior authority. And it is irritating and infamous this turning to profit philosophers and theologians to influence the people, and who are thus compelled, by treason to God and common-sense and reason, to thus publicly dishonour themselves. How many a noble soul, how much admirable talent, has been thereby degraded for worthless aims! How great was the name of Arndt before he, by higher command, wrote his scabby, shabby little work, in which he wags his tail like a dog, and, doggish as a Wendish dog, barks at the sun of July! The name of Stägemann had once the most honourable sound, but how deeply has he fallen since he wrote his Russian Songs! May he be forgiven by the Muse whose kiss once consecrated his lips to nobler poems! But what shall I say of Schleiermacher, the knight of the third class of the order of the Red Eagle? Once he was himself noble[8] and belonged to the first class. But not only the great, even the lesser men have been ruined. There is poor Ranke, whom the Prussian sent travelling at its expense; a fine talent—good at carving little historical figures and arranging them picturesquely—a good harmless soul, pleasing as mutton with Teltower turnips—an innocent man, whom, should I ever marry, I would choose for a family friend, and who is certainly also a Liberal; and he was lately compelled to publish in the Staats Zeitung (the State Journal) a defence of the resolutions of the Diet. Other stipendiaries, whom I will not name, have done the like, and are still all "Liberals."

Oh, I know them, these Jesuits of the North! He who has ever, be it from dire need or heedlessly, accepted the least thing from them is thereby lost for ever. Even as hell kept Proserpine because she had eaten there the seed of a pomegranate, so those Jesuits never give liberty again to any one who has in the least profited by them, and be it only a single seed of the golden apple, or, to speak more prosaically, a single louis-d'or, they hardly allow him, like hell to Proserpine, to pass half the year in the light of the upper world. At such times they indeed appear as the children of light, and take their places among us, the other Olympians, and speak and write with ambrosian liberality; but when the appointed time comes, they are found again in infernal darkness, in the realm of obscurity, and they write Prussian apologies, declarations against the Messager,[9] rules for the censorship, or even a defence of the resolutions of the Diet.

I cannot pass by these resolutions of the Diet without comment, yet neither to refute them, much less, as has been often done, to seek to demonstrate their illegality. As I very well know who the persons were who prepared the document on which those resolutions were founded, I do not doubt—that it that is to say, the federal act of Vienna—contains the most legal rights to any despotic caprice. As yet but little use has been made of this masterpiece of the noble gentility, and its contents were of little consequence to the people. Now that it has been placed in a proper light, and all the peculiar beauties of the chef-d'œuvre—its secret springs and hidden staples to which chains may be attached, its fetters for feet, its concealed iron collars, thumb-screws—in short, the whole artistic elaborate work—is generally visible, every one sees that the German people, having sacrificed its princes, property, and blood, when it should receive the promised reward of gratitude, was most impiously deceived; that we were infamously juggled, and instead of the promised Magna Charta of freedom, what was drawn up was a legal contract of slavery.[10]

In virtue of my academic authority as Doctor of both laws, I solemnly declare that such a document, prepared by faithless agents, is null and void; in virtue of my duty as a citizen, I protest against all the consequences which the resolutions of the Diet of June 28th deduced from this worthless paper; in virtue of my power as popular publicist or speaker, I lodge my complaint against those who prepared it, and accuse them of lese-nationality and of high treason to the German people.

Poor German people! It was while you were resting from battling for your princes, and were burying your brothers who had fallen in battle or were binding up your faithful wounds, smiling to see the blood running from your true hearts so full of joy and confidence—of joy that your beloved princes were saved, and of confidence in the humanely holy feeling of gratitude—even then in Vienna they were forging the federal act in the old workshop of the aristocracy.

Strange! Even the prince who owed the most gratitude to his people, and who consequently promised that people a representative constitution, or one such as other free races possess; and who in the time of need promised it in white and black with the most positive words; this very prince has now been crafty enough to induce to falsehood and breach of faith the other German princes, who also promised their subjects a free constitution, and he now supports himself on the Vienna federal act to destroy the newly blown German constitutions; he who should not dare to utter the word Constitution without blushing!

I speak of His Majesty Friedrich Wilhelm, third of the name, King of Prussia.[11]

Having always had, as I shall always have, a liking for royalty, it is repugnant to my principles and feelings to criticise too severely princes as individuals. My inclinations are rather to praise them for their good qualities. Therefore I willingly praise the personal virtues of the monarch of whose system of government, or rather of whose Cabinet, I have spoken so unreservedly. I attest with pleasure that Friedrich Wilhelm III. as a man deserves the highest honour and regard, such as the great majority of the Prussian people give him. He is good and brave. He has shown himself steadfast in adversity, and, what is much more unusual, gentle in prosperity. He is of chaste heart, of touchingly modest manner, with citizen-like simplicity, of good domestic manners, a tender father, especially so towards the beautiful Zarewna,[12] to which tenderness we owe perhaps the cholera, and a still greater evil with which our descendants will do battle, and be duly grateful. Moreover, the King of Prussia is a very religious man; he holds strongly to religion; he is a good Christian; firmly attached to the evangelical confession of faith; he has even himself written a liturgy; he believes in the symbols—ah! I wish he believed in Jupiter, the father of the gods, who punishes perjury, and that he would at last give us the promised constitution.

For is not the word of a king as holy as an oath?

But of all the virtues of Friedrich Wilhelm, that which is most praised is his love of justice, of which the most touching tales are told. As, for instance, that he not long ago paid 11,227 thalers and twenty-two "good groschen" from his private treasury to satisfy the legal demand of a Kyritzer citizen. It is said that the son of the miller of Sans Souci being in straitened circumstances, wished to sell the celebrated mill in regard to which his father had the celebrated lawsuit with Friedrich the Great. The present King, however, had paid to the needy man a large sum of money, so that the celebrated windmill might remain in its old condition as a monument of Prussian love of justice. That is all very fine and praiseworthy; but where is the promised constitution, to which the Prussian people have the most decided right according to every principle of divine and human justice? So long as the King of Prussia does not fulfil this most sacred obligatio, so long as he withholds from the people their well-earned free constitution, I cannot call him just, and the windmill of Potsdam does not remind me of Prussian love of justice, but of Prussian wind.[13]

I know well enough that literary hirelings maintain that the King of Prussia promised this constitution of his own accord and free will, which promise is quite independent of all circumstances of the time. Fools without soul or sense that they are, not to know that men when we keep from them that which is theirs by legal right, are much less offended than when we refuse to give them what has been promised out of pure love, for in this latter case our vanity is wounded by feeling that he who voluntarily offered something does not care for us.

Or was it perhaps a mere personal caprice, quite independent of all temporal circumstances, which induced the King of Prussia to promise to his people a free constitution? In that case he had not even the intention to be grateful; and yet there was very great reason why he should have been, for never before did any prince find himself in such lamentable case as that into which the King of Prussia had fallen after the battle of Jena, and from which he was rescued by his people. Could he not then have availed himself of the consolations of religion, the insolence with which he was treated by the Emperor Napoleon must have brought him to despair. But, as I said, he did find support in Christianity, which is truly the best religion after a lost battle. He was strengthened by the example of his Saviour; for he too could say, "My kingdom is not of this world!" and he forgave his enemies, who had occupied all Prussia with four hundred thousand men.[14]

If Napoleon had not then been occupied with far more important matters than thinking of His Majesty Frederic William the Third, he would certainly have put the latter entirely out of the way. Some time after, when all the kings of Europe united in a rabble of conspiracy against Napoleon, and the man of the people succumbed to this émeute of princes, and the Prussian donkey gave the dying lion the final kick, he regretted too late the sin of omission. When he paced up and down in his wooden cage of Saint Helena, and remembered that he had cajoled the Pope and forgotten to crush Prussia, then he gnashed his teeth, and if a rat then came in his way, he stamped upon and killed the poor beast.

Now Napoleon is dead and lies well closed in his leaden coffin under the sands of Longwood on the island of Saint Helena. All round him spreads the sea. Therefore you have nothing to fear. Nor need you fear the last three gods who yet remain in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; for you are on good terms with their holy following. Nothing have you to fear, for you are powerful and wise. You have gold and muskets, and all that is for sale you can buy, and what is mortal you can kill. Your wisdom is equally irresistible. Every one of you is a Solomon, and it is a pity that the Queen of Sheba, the beautiful woman, no longer lives, for you would have unriddled her to her very chemise. And ye have iron pots in which you can enclose those who give you to guess anything of which you would remain ignorant, and you can seal them up and cast them into the sea of oblivion—all like King Solomon. Like him, too, you understand the language of the birds; you know all that is chirped and piped in the land; and if the song of any bird displeases you, you have a great pair of shears wherewith to clip his bill, and, as I hear, you intend to provide a larger pair for those who sing more than twenty sheets. And you have also all the cleverest birds in your service, all the noble falcons, all the ravens—that is, the black-coats—all the peacocks, all the owls. And the old Simurgh still lives, and he is your grand vizier, and is the wisest, shrewdest bird in the world. He will renovate the world as it was in the days of the pre-Adamite sultans, and to this end he unweariedly lays eggs by night and day, and they are hatched out in Frankfort. Hut-hut, the accredited hoopoo, runs meanwhile through the sand of the Prussian marshes, carrying the most significant despatches in his bill. Ye have naught to fear!

But I bid you beware of one thing—the Moniteur of 1793. That is a Hollenzwang—a book of invocation of evil spirits, and there are words of magic therein which you cannot bind—words which are mightier than muskets or gold—words with which the dead can be called from their graves, and the living sent to join the dead—words with which dwarfs may be raised to giants and giants overwhelmed—words which can fell all your power as the guillotine decapitates a king.

I will tell you the truth. There are people who are brave enough to utter those words, and who have never been appalled by the most terrible apparitions; but they know not where to find the right spell in the book of gramarye, nor could they pronounce it with their thick lips, for they are no conjurors. And there are others who are indeed familiar with the mysterious divining-rod, who know where to find the magic word, and even to utter it with tongues skilled in sorcery. These are timid and fear the spectres whom they would evoke; for alas! we do not know the spell with which to lay the spirits when the ghostly scene becomes too terrible; we know not how to ban the inspired broomstick back into its wooden repose when the house has once been inundated with blood; we know not how to conjure down the fire when its raging tongues are licking everywhere. We are afraid!

But do not rely on our weakness and fear. The disguised man of the time, who was bold of heart as ready with his tongue, and who knows the great word and has to utter it, is perhaps even now near you. It may be that he is masked in servile livery, or even in a harlequin's dress, and ye do not forbode that he who, perhaps, servilely draws off your boots, or who by his jokes tickles your diaphragm, is to be your destroyer. Do you not often feel a strange shudder when these servile forms fawn round you with an almost ironic humility, and it suddenly occurs to you, "This is perhaps a snare, and this wretch, who behaves so absolutely, so idiotically slavish,[15] is perhaps a secret Brutus"? Have you not sometimes by night dreams which warn you against the smallest winding worms whom you have perchance seen crawling in the daytime?[16] Be not afraid, I am only jesting, and you are quite safe. Our stupid devils of serviles do not disguise themselves. Even Jarke is not dangerous. And have no fear of the little fools who juggle round you ever and anon with jokes of dubious import. The great fool will protect you from the petty fellows. The great fool is a very great fool, giant-great, and his name is—the German people.

Yes, a very great fool, in faith! His motley jacket is made of six-and-thirty patches. Instead of hawks'-bells, mighty church-bells weighing tons hang upon his cap, and he bears in his hand a colossal harlequin's sword of iron. And his heart is full of pain, but he will not think upon his griefs, for which reason he plays all the more merry pranks, and laughs to keep from weeping. When his sufferings come too bitterly to mind, then he shakes his head as if mad, and deafens himself with the pious Christian chiming of his cap. But if a good friend comes to him who would speak sympathetically of his pains, or even give him some domestic remedy against them, he becomes a raging lunatic and strikes at the adviser with his iron weapon.[17] He is particularly enraged at any one who means him well. He is the bitterest foe unto his friends and the best of friends to his enemies.[18] Oh, the great fool will always remain faithful and submissive; he will always amuse your knightlings (Junkerlein) with his giant jests or tricks; he will every day repeat his old feats of dexterity, and balance countless burdens on his nose, and let many hundreds of thousands of soldiers trample over his belly. But have no fear lest the load become all at once too heavy, and that he will shake away your soldiers, and, in jest by the way, squeeze your head so with his little finger that your brains will spirt out up to the stars. Have not the least fear lest he in his merry gossiping, out of mere folly, should utter the terrible all-powerful word of incantation, when the great change will unexpectedly begin, and he himself the fool, all at once disenchanted, will stand before you in his original beautiful blonde heroic form with his great blue eyes, the purple mantle instead of the harlequin jacket, and the sword of empire in his hand instead of the dagger of lath. But ye need not fear; the great fool will never speak the word. The great fool remains most submissively obedient to you, and if the little fools would injure you, the great one at a wink would strike them dead.[19]

(Written in Paris, Oct. 18, 1832.)


  1. German "bei jenen vornehmen Gaunern." French version, "Ces orgueilleux protecteurs."—Translator.
  2. Servilismus.
  3. "Er hat nie auf der Hasenheide geturnt." In the French version, "II n'a jamais sauté avec Jahn des sauts gynastico patriotiques sur la Haasenheide" (Hare Heath). In reference to the gymnastic associations founded by Jahn, which were really national political societies.—Translator.
  4. In the first draft this sentence ends as follows: "How treacherously the Cabinet of Berlin—I will not say the Prussian people—treated Poland."
  5. Heine, in his hatred of Prussia, is here very inconsistent, and forgets, what Von Moltke has pointed out very clearly, that it was the completely feudal and aristocratic nature of Poland, and the intolerable dissensions among its governing class, which chiefly conduced to its overthrow. Before it was "cut into three" by surrounding nations, it had so radically divided itself into a triple community of nobles, Jews, and serfs, that it had become an anomaly in modern Europe. The conduct of its conquerors is not justifiable on such laws of morals as govern the individual, but it was politically inevitable. The serf went for absolutely nothing in Poland. A Polish Countess said to me in 1846 in Florence, in justification of this harsh rule, "Our serfs are even lower than those of Russia." In several works of the seventeenth century, e.g., in the Anthropodemus of J. Prætorius, the condition of the Polish serfs is dwelt on with much feeling, as that of the most cruelly treated race of men in Europe, of which there was also a song begining with the lines—

    "Ich bin ein Polnischer Bauer,
    Mein Leben wird mir sauer."


  6. To which is added in the original—"And is not at all so dry and hidebound (nicht so ledern) as he looks." All of which sneering should be taken with much allowance. In the French version—"Ne s'arrêtant que là où l'on faisait de la musique de Sebastian Bach."—Translator.
  7. In the original MS.—"As an Ajax who fights for freedom like—a lion. This lion, this terrible beast of the Berlin royal menagerie, this royal Prussian," &c.—German Publisher.
  8. French version—"Et par lui-meme un aigle."
  9. French version—"Et ils écrivent des declarations contre les journaux français."
  10. This conclusion is wanting in the first draft, and in its place we have the words "And that those who prepared this unofficial, deceptive, and consequently null and void document, are impeachable and guilty, as false proxies (mandatarien) or agents, of having abused public confidence."—German Publisher.
  11. Instead of this sentence, the following occurs in the original:—"I speak of His Majesty Friedrich Wilhelm, third of the name, King of Prussia, ruler of the Rhine, to whom I was transferred as subject in the year of grace 1815, with several millions of other Rhinelanders. As may be well supposed, my consent to this was not asked. I was exchanged, I believe, against a poor East Frisian whom I had never seen, who had never initiated me into his former feelings of devotion to the royal Prussian government, and who perhaps was made so unhappy by the exchange that he now lies buried as a Hanoverian. I, however, have not been made happy by that Prussian press-ganging (Ein preussung, or oppression), and all that I have gained by it is the right to most humbly remind that monarch that he should, according to his promise, graciously bestow on us a representative constitution."—German Publisher.
  12. French version "Czarina."
  13. This word requires no explanation in English, but it is thus made clear in a note in the French version:—"Le mot wind en allemand ne signifie pas seulement vent, mais aussi au figuré, charlatanisme, vanterie et mensonge." But in French dictionaries one of its synonyms is emptiness, and of windy, "vain, futile." The French version here adds the sentence:—"Je parle de sa Majesté Frédéric Guillaume, troisième du nom, roi de Prusse."—Translator.
  14. In the original first form the beginning of this sentence is as follows:—"But I can refute the defenders of this breach of promise by a sound document. It is the bulletin of the battle of Jena. In very truth the condition of the King of Prussia was then wretched in the extreme. From this he was rescued by his people, to whom he out of gratitude promised a free constitution. How deeply had he sunk when he lived as a private individual at Königsberg, and read nothing but Lafontaine's tales!"—Note by the German Editor.
  15. In German—"Dieser, Elende der sich so absolutistisch, so viehisch gehorsam gebärdet." Instead of dieser Elende, there is in the original draft "this obscure Jarke." The sentence concludes with the words "a secret Brutus who disguises himself, and who will put an end to the kingdom."—Translator.
  16. The following lines form the conclusion of the sentence in the original draft:—
    "Is it true what people tell in Saxony, that the King dreamed he stood before Whitehall and saw King Charles beheaded? Suddenly the mask fell from the face of the executioner, and the King recognised in him with horror the Leipzig censor, an old rascal named Daniel Beck! However, fear not these worms. The Roman Apostolic Catholic preacher, Herr Jarke, only half plays the rôle of a Brutus—that is, up to the death of Lucretia—and the trembling old knave of Leipzig with his executioner's shears has only courage enough to decapitate a thought. If it is not the slave, it is perhaps the fool. There is a very, very great fool, and he is called the German people. His motley jacket," 1c., as in the following sentence.—German Publisher.
  17. Instead of this sentence the following occurs in the original draft:—
    "I myself was seized with this folly, and had I not sprung quickly over the Rhine, the fool would have quickly split my head with his iron."—German Publisher.
  18. The following here occurs in the original MS.:—"And yet I cannot be severe with the old jester; I love him and weep for him here in the safe distance. Ye whom the fool regards as his gracious lords, ye need not fear him so long as he remains reasonable in his way."—German Publisher.
  19. The preceding two sentences form the conclusion in the original MS., and do not occur in later editions.
Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.