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Muslims, as she has also written legends, or traditional compositions, very pleasant to read, from her fascinating vein of narrative and description.
In a lady-like and elegant tone of mind she has also penned "Volksmahrchen" and historical novels. Her style is agreeable, and the tales are praiseworthy, from the train of refined sentiments with which they are garnished. The best and most successful of her novels is " Thekla von Thurn."
NOVELISTS AND TALE-WEITERS.
That order of composition we designate a novel, and which had been more or less neglected during the preceding period, or if at all taken up, was carried to no point of even comparative perfection, was now seriously adopted by many writers —among whom were Jung, Lafontaine, and Meisner— with a view to its further amelioration. They usually derived their subjects from scenes in domestic life, and originated an entirely new class of fictitious works, to which the name of " Familienromane" was given. Some of their productions are very highly thought of, and we may particularly adduce Jung's as an example.
JOHANN HEINEICH JUNG (1740-1817) Generally known under the name of "Jung Stilling," was born on the 12th of September 1740, near Nassau. He was the son of a poor tailor, who had not the means of giving him a liberal education, but brought him up to his own business. But the needle had naturally few charms for him; and a person in a higher station, fortunately discovering the abilities of the youth, adopted him, and became answerable for the completion of his education. Jung Stilling studied medicine, and became a very famous oculist. He died at Karlsruhe, on the 23rd of March 1817. The amiable private character of Jung may be easily inferred from his writings, wherein, although showing himself 62 JUNG STILLING.
rather a meagre thinker, he evinces a kind nature and considerable talents in description. Jung Stilling wrote his own life, which he entitled " Jugend," "Junglingsjahre," "Wanderschaft," " Hausliches Leben," "Alter," and this autobiography is a very precious and rare composition. In the whole circle of German literature, there is scarcely a book to be found, written in such simplicity of style, in such a tone of reality and truth, as this same life; it always has borne, and always will bear, the credit of possessing these qualities in an eminent degree.
Jung Stilling was a very peculiar phenomenon to poets like Herder and Goethe ;—the manner in which this man contemplated Life,—the way in which he related his fortunes and misfortunes,—how he conceived the ways of Providence —appeared to our poets as an idyl, and a poetry of a nature of a very peculiar cast, because it was not modelled, nor did it fascinate them by the artistic composition of the form, but by its peculiarity throughout.
After Jung Stilling had written his life, he was incorporated among the learned professors of the university, and he then founded a book-making establishment, and the manufactures he produced were his religious-mystical novels, such as "Theobald," "Das Heimweh," "Geschichte des Herrn von Morgenthau," and a goodly number of the same class.
AUGUST HEINPJCH JULIUS LAFONTATNE (1759-1831) Was born the 10th of October 1759, at Brunswick. He was the son of an artist. He applied himself to the study of theology, and became Doctor of Philosophy and "Canonicus" at Halle, where he died, on the 20th of April 1831.* All the novels by this writer are in the same strain, and
* August Lafontaine's Leben und Wirken von J. G. Gruber. 1833.
turn upon either domestic happiness or its reverse. For a number of years, these works were quite the fashion, and pleased by their naturalness and by their amusing style. Lafontaine was the author of an immense number of works of fiction, among which his "Rudolph von Werdenberg," "Die beiden Braute," "Sittengemalde," "Der Sonderling," "Die Pfarre an der See," may be considered his best.
AUGUST GOTTLIEB MEISSNER (1753-1807)
Was born on the 3rd of November 1753, at Bautzen ; pursued
his studies at Leipzig; and accepted,in 1785, the invitation
to become professor of aesthetics and the humanities to the
university of Prague. He expired on the 20th of February
1807, when master of the high school at Fulda.
Meissner was the author of a long series of historical
novels. The style he adopted was markedly polished and
ornate, while his language was fine, and for the most part
solemn. Meissner was not deficient in the imaginative
faculty, yet his delineations were often affected, and his
expressions in want of verisimilitude. His "Skizzen"
were, at the time, a favourite with the public. "Alcibi
ades," "Masaniello," "Bianca Capello," are among the
most successful of his productions, the majority of which,
however, have long since been laid on the shelf.
ADOLPH F. F. L. VON KNIGGE (1752-1796) This much-esteemed practical philosopher was born on the 16th of October 1752, at Bredenbeck, near Hanover. He studied at Gottingen. He died on the 6th of March 1796, as Hanoverian inspector of the Doom School. Knioge ranks far higher in our literature than the two preceding authors. He was endowed with great talents for the comic vein of letters. "Die Reise nach Braunschweig" is a richly humorous and racy narrative, that is even now read with pleasure and profit. He mingled with nearly all his works a tone of every-day philosophy, capable
64 KNIOGE AND JACOBS.
of being understood by all; a topic that refines the human mind, while it refreshes and instructs it.
His essay" Ueber den Umgang mit den Menschen" was once much admired; but, taken as a whole, we can hardly venture to coincide with it, as it enunciates a kind of social Machiavelism, which enshrines egotism in a pleasant and elegant garb.
KARL Kl. A. MUENCHHAUSEN. (1759-1836.) This celebrated lieutenant-colonel was born on the 11th of
February 1759, at Weserinsel, near Oldendorf, and died on
the 26th of December, 1836.
Munchhausen ought not to be discarded from this class of authors, were it merely on account of his " Abentheuer," which, although they happen not to have been written by himself, have, nevertheless, made their way among all nations. Munchhausen recounted them in company and among his particular friends, who willingly undertook the task of their publication. Surely there is no reader, in almost any nation, who does not know and appreciate the great and singular excellences of these " Abentheuer."
FRIEDRICH CHRISTIAN WILHELM JACOBS.
This veteran was horn at Gotha, on the 6th of October 1764.
Twenty years afterwards, we find him prosecuting his
Studies at Jena, though all his time subsequent to 1810 was
passed in his native town, where he had the good fortune
to be promoted to the honourable office of librarian-in-chief
and president of the ducal numismatic cabinet.
Jacors stands very high as a novel writer. He is, at the
same time, a sagacious philosopher, and had a correct taste
as a connoisseur of antiquities; being, in addition to this,
extremely clever as a tale-teller. His novel entitled
"Rosaliens Nachlass," is his principal work of fiction:
"Die beiden Marien" is also one of his chief productions.
These efforts of his pen were speedily followed by "Allwin und Theodor," " Die Feierabende in Meinau," &c. &c., both of them written in a highly classical style. The action in these pieces is generally rapid, the descriptions are managed with great skill, and the treatment is truly poetic.
They are all of them novels especially adapted for the perusal of the fair sex, — all the personages embodying a deep-seated piety, combined with great warmth of feeling and love of truth. They belong to the most distinguished attainments in modern German literature.
JOHANN JOACHIM WINKELMANN* (1717-1768) The son of a poor shoemaker, was born on the 9th of December 1717, at Stendal, and studied theology, with very limited means, in the university-town of Halle. While filling the office of librarian in the family of the minister von Briinau, a most ardent love of the fine arts appears to have taken possession of his soul, kindled, probably, by the treasure of ancient curiosities enshrined in the repository at Dresden. All his thoughts, therefore, now ran on Italy. Not very long afterwards, we find Winkelmann become a convert to Eoman Catholicism, and duly installed in the dignified posts of president of antiquities and secretary to the Vatican library. His end was tragical: while travelling to his native country, chance threw him, at Trieste, into the company of an Italian, one Francesco Archangeli, who, affecting to be seized with a numismatic mania, Winkelmann displayed to him very readily his whole store of gold coins. During this employment, his seeming friend, under the hope, probably, of appropriating the glittering hoard he saw before him, treacherously assassinated the president, on the 8th of June 1768. Winkelmann set up, in Rome, the torch, by whose light
* Goethe, Winkelmann und sein Jahrhundert.