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their place, and his spirit still lives; the movement which he inaugurated is still in progress.

The noble army of metaphysicians to whom Germany has given birth since the appearance of the "Critique of Pure Reason," and which no nation can match with so numerous and bright an array, including Fichte, Fries, Reinhold, Krause, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and many more, are Kant's spiritual offspring, and own the lineage of that master mind. The nature of the influence he exerted on German literature outside of the province of philosophy proper, it is difficult to define; but the fact of that influence is unmistakable. It is due not so much to any doctrine of his teaching, as it is to the lift which he gave to the national mind. Schiller, it is well known, was a zealous student of Kant, and owed to that study the direction of his thought as expressed in his philosophical essays. In a letter inviting Kant to contribute to the " Horen" he says: "Accept, in conclusion, the assurance of my liveliest gratitude for the beneficent light which you have kindled in my mind, — a gratitude which, like the gift on which it is grounded, is without bounds and imperishable." Jean Paul wrote in 1788 to his friend Vogel: "For Heaven's sake purchase for yourself two books: Kant's 'Grundlegung zu einer Metaphysik der Sitten,' and Kant's ' Kritik der praktischen Vernunft.' Kant is not so much a light of the world as he is a whole beaming solar system at once." Goethe confesses his indebtedness to the "Kritik der Urtbeilskraft" for a very joyful epoch of his life; and in answer to a question of Eckermann, " Whom do you regard as the greatest of modern philosophers?" he answered, "Kant, beyond all doubt. He is also the one whose doctrine has shown a continuing efficacy, and has penetrated most deeply our German culture. He has influenced you too, although you have never read him. Now you do not need to read him, for you already possess what he could give you." Wilhelm von Humboldt, one of the finest spirits of his day, bears this testimony : —

"Kant undertook and accomplished the greatest work that perhaps the philosophy of reason ever owed to a single individual. . . . Vastness and power of imagination are in him associated with acuteness and depth of thought. How much or how little of the Kantian philosophy has maintained itself to this day, or will maintain itself in time to come, I do not assume to decide. But three things remain as witnesses of the glory he has conferred on his nation, and the service he has rendered to speculative thought. Somewhat that he has demolished will never assert itself again; somewhat that he has founded will never perish; and — what is most important — he has established a reform to which few in the history of philosophy can be compared. ... It was not so much philosophy that he taught, as the way to philosophize. He did not so much communicate new discoveries as he lighted the torch of independent search. Thus he has given rise to systems and schools more or less divergent from his own. And this is characteristic of the lofty freedom of his spirit, that he was able to start other philosophies, which also, in perfect freedom, work on for themselves in self-created ways."

20

IRONY.

[From the " Atlantic Monthly," October, 1870.]

T^ MANUEL SWEDENBORG, reviving a doc^* trine of Origen, professed to have discovered in the sacred writings of the Hebrews this peculiarity, distinguishing it from other literatures, that, besides what the authors seem to say, — above or beneath the obvious meaning of the terms employed, — they say something else and very different. If the Swedish theosopher is right in this view of them, the Hebrew Scriptures excel in the quality of irony. Not that the writers themselves "palter with us in a double sense." The writers themselves are supposed to be unconscious of the trailing mystery accompanying their earnest speech. But a spirit more subtle than the writer, lurking behind the pen, plays hide-and-seek with the reader. It sounds odd to speak of the Bible as the literature of irony, but, according to this view, it possesses that quality in an eminent degree. For the essence of literary irony consists in the "something behind," a spirit, a meaning, not wholly expressed in the literal sense of the writing. "Irony of the spirit" we may term this species.

The Irony of Passion. — The principle of irony must have a deep foundation in human nature, so universal is its manifestation, so diverse and opposite the moods of mind that in it find their fit expression. Joy, sorrow, love, hate, — all ironize. It is the native idiom of all passion which thus ekes out its imperfect utterance by drawing on its opposite. Excessive joy, no less than grief, finds vent in tears, and is ready to die of its own fulness. "If it were now to die," says Othello,

"'T were now to be most happy; for I fear,
My soul hath her content so absolute,
That not another comfort like to this
Succeeds in unknown fate."

On the other hand, overwhelming sorrow, no less than joy, disposes to mirth. Hamlet, stunned with grief and rage by the recent revelations of his father's ghost, summons his companions with the "Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come !" of the falconer, and confides to Horatio, on promise of the strictest secrecy, the astounding fact that "there's ne'er a villain in all Denmark, but he 's an arrant knave." The backwoodsman, when, returning from his day's work, he finds that his whole family have been murdered by the Indians, says, "It's too ridiculous!" and laughs, and dies.

Love delights in minifying, and even disparaging, terms of endearment, and often teases by way of

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