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pany,” said I. " Is there among the given in vain, any more than she has living one more worthy than thy excel- the hair on the head. But man, in his lent wife, with the two Amorettas, or foolishness, imagines himself wiser among the dead, any more honorable than the Creator, and first smears his than these here?"
chin with soap, and then slicks it with “ Didst thou, then, doubt my good a knife. So long as the nations had taste?”
not altogether departed from Nature, No, indeed, Olivier; but I heard they stuck to the beard. Notwiththat thou hadst completely retired from standing Christ and the Apostles wore the world."
it, Pope Gregory VII. put it under Only because I love good company, ban. And still the clergy held to it for which is nowhere more scarce than in a long while, as do the Capucins at the assemblages of people of ton." this day; but when some old fools be
“ Still thou willst grant that it is gan to be ashamed of their grey hairs, possible that good company may be they went on to destroy that on their found out of Flyeln !"
chins, and to confine that on their “ Certainly, Norbert, but I will not heads in a peruke. As they had been waste time and money in going to find accustomed to belie themselves in all it. Let us, however, break off from this. things, they sought to belie their age. You Europeans have so frightfully de- Old men frisked about with blond hair parted from the holy simplicity of na- and smooth chins, like young girls, and ture, both in great things and small- that made them effeminate in disposifor more than a thousand years have tion; and other men followed the exSO
much resembled sophisticated ample, since they had no courage for brutes, that the unnatural has become the truth. Compare the heroic form your nature, and you no longer com- of an Achilles, Alexander, or Julius prehend a plain man. You are such Cæsar, with one of our modern Fieldcorruptors of the human race, that a Marshals or Lieutenants in their ủnhealthy being must dread to be among tasteful uniforms; one of our exquisites, you. No, thou noble Norbert, let us with his neckcloth and walking-stick, break off from it. Thou wouldst not with an Antinous; thyself, O Councilreadily understand me if I spoke. I man of Norbert, with a Senator of old value thee, I love thee-I pity thee.” Greece or Rome-must we not laugh “ Pity? Why?"
to split our sides over the caricatures “ Since thou livest among fools, and, that we are.” against thy conscience, must remain “ Thou art right, Olivier !" said I, among them.”
interposing, “ who will deny that the From these words of Olivier's, I in- old Roman or Greek dress is more ferred that he had gone over to his graceful than ours? But to ús in the fixed idea. It was uncomfortable to North-we Europeans-a close dress me to be with him. I wished to draw is proper and needful ; we should feel him to some other subject, looked an- somewhat uncomfortable in the beauxiously around, and began, as I hap- tiful flowing robes of an Oriental or a pened to remark his beard, to praise it, Southron.” and especially as it was so becoming. “Look at me, Norbert," said Olivier, “Since when hast thou suffered it to laughing, as he placed himself before grow,” " asked I.
me, drew his cap upon one side of his “Since I returned to my senses, and head, stuck his left arm jauntily on his had courage enough to be reasonable. hip, and continued, “I, a NorthlandDoes it really please thee, Norbert ? er, in my close, convenient, and simple Why not wear thine own so, too ?" dress, do I compare unfavorably with
I drew my breath, and said, “ If it an old Roman citizen? Why does were the common custom, I would the Spanish, Italian, and German coswith pleasure.”
tume of the middle ages still please us? “ That's it! While Folly is the Because it was beautiful. An Austrian fashion--while Nature, with an ugly knight, in his helmet, even a hussar, barber's knife upon the chin, must be would even now catch the eye of Jurooted out with brush and razor-thou lius Cæsar. Wherefore, you stiff gen. hast not the courage to be reasonable, tlemen, do you not follow after your even in a small matter. This orna. betters, as our women have already ment of man, mother Nature has not begun to do, since they have cast aside
trains and powdered toupees? Should old Romans and the Homeric Greeks you come to be ashamed once, of being I was troubled, on my return to the caricatures externally, perhaps you castle, as to his dinner. For to inser would then come nearer io nature in- from his cap, beard, and appearance, ternally. There is some truth in the in other respects, I could hardly do proverb, ‘Cloth makes the man.? And otherwise than expect a deportment at I tell thee, Norbert, my Amelia has table which would be highly uncomfound me handsomer, since I'have only fortable to me—that I should be cropped my beard with the shears, and obliged to take my soup either stretchnot destroyed it; yes, I believe since ed out in the Roman fashion upon that time, her affections have grown couches, or tailor-wise, and in good more ardent, as her cheeks lean no Oriental fashion, with my legs crossed more on a soft woman-face, but upon a under each other. man's ; for the women ever like a man The amiable Baroness met us and ly man.”
conducted us into the dining-room. My As Olivier spoke, he was quite ex- anxiety was removed as soon as I cited. In fact he stood before me as a caught sight of European tables and hero of the earlier times, as if one of chairs. The guests soon arrived ; they the old pictures had stepped out from were the maid, the servant, and the its frame alive, as a being of that dif- secretary of the Baron. An active ferent world, which we wonder at, but young chambermaid remained without cannot restore.
a seat, and waited, as a Hebe, at the “ Really, thou almost convertest me feasts of the Patriarchs. The Baron, to the noble beard,” said I to him, before we sat down, briefly said grace. " and I should profit by it, if thou didst, Then began the work of mastication. since three times every week I should The food was excellently prepared, escape the torture of the barber.” but in a simple style. I remarked that,
“ Friend,” exclaimed Olivier, laugh- except the wine, all the dainties were ing, “it would not stop with that. specimens of their own country and of The beard draws many things after it. the neighboring sea; and all the foreign Fancy thy figure, with its crisp beard, spices were wanting, even pepper, in and the three-cornered peaked hat on the place of which there were salt, cumthe head, like a Jew--the powdered min, and fennel. pate, with a ratstail in the neck-and The conversation was quiet, but soihe French frock, with skirts that stick ciable, and related chielly to rural out behind, like a swallow's tail! affairs, and the events of the immediate Away with the nonsense! Clothe neighborhood. The people behaved thyself modestly, becomingly, warmly, themselves in the presence of their comfortably, in good taste, so as to master, neither bashfully nor immoplease the eye, but not to distort the destly, but with great circumspection. sublime form of man. Banish all su. I seemed to myself among these goodperfluity. For what is superfluous is looking and bearded men, with their unreasonable, and what is unreason- brotherly and respectful thou, I must able is against nature.”
say it, somewhat odd and ludicrous, As we continued our dispute on this and I sat there, with my powdered head, point, the Baroness sent a servant to stiff pigtail, French frock, and smooth call us to dinner. I followed Olivier chin-there, in the midst of Europe silently, with my head full of thoughts as if in a strange world. It pleased me which I did not dare to utter. In my that, as different as I was from them, whole life, it had never happened to and as often as between the thous, me to hear so philosophical a fool. I especially when speaking with the was hardly prepared to make a reply Baroness, I slipped in a You, yet no one to his remarks on European habili- burst into a laugh. ments; for what he said seemed to be After a half hour the servants left right. The old saying is not without us, and we then protracted the feast, use, that
“ Fools and children speak and, under the influence of the old truth."
golden Rhine wine, grew unreserved in conversation.
“I perceive,” said the Baroness,
laughing, while she placed before mea Because of Olivier's liking for the choice bit of pastry, " that thou missest
in Flyeln the Hamburg or Berlin the wisest man, who, to the innocence cooking."
and purity of a child of Nature, joins “And I perceive by my amiable friend, the manifold knowledge and endowthat the praise—so much deserved-of ments of the age. Dost thou concede Flyeln cooking, is due from me, which this?" I can pay, at the cost of the Berlin and “Why should I not ?" Hamburgh kitchens, without being Well, thou dost grant this; yet obliged to borrow any flattery. No, thou makest not even a beginning of I have learned for the first time in my improvement in thy house and inward life, how luxurious a feast can be state." dished up from our own domestic pro “ That is still probable in certain ducts, and how easily we may dispense circumstances. Meanwhile, let me with the Moluccas.
tell thee, Olivier, that we artificial “Add to that, friend Norbert,” said men, as well as the more simple men Olivier, “and with the Moluccas, the of Nature, are bound by the hard-totorture of the nerves, and those foreign be broken bands of custom. Our fictivices which spring from irritated or tious being becomes itself a kind of exhausted nerves in a sickly body. Art-Nature, which cannot suddenly be
laid aside with impunity.” “Without healthy flesh and blood, "Formerly I thoughi the same NorNeither mind nor heart are good.” bert. I have been persuaded to the
contrary by experience. It costs only “ The most of Europeans are at this a single heavy moment-a strong day self-murderers-murderers of soul heart; the first struggle against the and of body—by means of cookery. frenzy of mankind will break through What your Rousseaus and Pestalozzis all to happiness and quiet. I hesitated correct, you destroy again with coffee, long: I contended long in vain. A tea, pepper, nutmegs, and cinnamon. mere accident decided, and that decided Live simply, live naturally, and two- my own fortune and the fortune of my thirds of your preachments, books of chosen friends." morals, houses of correction, and apo
“ And that accident, tell it to me thecaries, might be spared.”
quick," said I, for I was curious to “I grant it," said İ, “but that was learn what had worked so powerfully long since settled; yet—"
upon the determination and under"Well then," cried he, “even in standing of my friend as to draw him that consists the irredeemable foolish- over to such odd caprices, and such ness of the Europeans. They know fanciful life and conduct. the better way and avoid it; they He stood up and left us. abominate the worse and pursue it. * Not so, friend Norbert," said the They poison their meats, and drink Baroness, while she looked at me siwith dear poisons, and keep doctors lently for some time; and there lay in and apothecaries to restore them to the soft smile of her eyes a question health, in order to renew the poison- that went to my heart, “Thou feelest ing. They foster a premature ripeness pity for my husband ?'' in their young men and maidens, and * Only for the unfortunate, and not afterwards mourn inconsolably over for the happy do we have pity," their ungovernable impulses. They answered I with an evasion. incite, by means of laws and rewards, “Perhaps thou knowest, he is abanto the corruption of manners, and then doned by his relatives, scorned by his punish it with the gibbet and sword. acquaintances, and regarded by all the Are they not altogether like idiots ?” world as a crazy man.
But, dear Olivier, that has been so “Amiable friend, perhaps subtractfrom the earliest times !"
ing somewhat that appears an exagge“Yes, Norbert, from the earliestration to me, which with more prutimes—that is, as soon and as often dent circumspection might be avoided, as men passed a single step from Na- in order not to give offence—subtractture towards barbarism. But we should ing this, I find nothing in Olivier which be warned by the sufferings of our ances- is worth condemnation or disdain. tors, to be not only as wise, but more Yet I know much too little of him.” wise than they. Otherwise, of what “Dear friend," she continued, “and use is impledge? Him I regard as dost thou not regard public opinion ?"
“Not at least so far as it concerns their heated houses an artificial summer. Olivier," replied I, “ for I know how And since they are repelled by Nature, public opinion once condemned the In- and (turned upon themselves, they are nocent One to the cross: that public more driven than we, to occupy their opinion calls the destroyers of the peor which they never prosecute, and the in
minds with vain dreams, beautiful schemes ple, great; that it holds wisdom as foolishness; and adorns the high priest By that means, they are full of knowledge,
vestigation of whatever is remarkable. of folly and wickedness with the sur- and learned in all things which serve for pame of Most Holy,"
instruction or happiness; and they write “I rejoice,” said the Baroness with great books about matters that we do not animation, that thou wilt win the care for, and the names of which are hardly love of Olivier ; thou art a noble man, known to us. Indeed, for that purpose worthy of his friendship. Believe me, they institute schools and colleges. Olivier is an angel, and yet they thrust " But the weather, in the northerly him out of human society, as a crimi- parts of the world, is so ordered that heat nal or a bedlamite."
and cold, day and night, pass from one to As we thus conversed with each the other, without any middle state that other, Olivier returned to us. He car. is tolerable to the soul or body. For in ried in his hand a little book. He summer they suffer under as great a heat threw himself into a chair and said,
as they do in winter under deadly cold; “See here the accident, or the heaven- hours long, and the other half only six.
one half of the year the day is eighteen provided means of my restoration from No less undecided and dissolute are theweakness, and of my awaking from minds of men-as changeable as the delirium. It is an unnoted book; the weather. They lack all steadfastness of composer unknown and unnamed ; it thought or purpose. From year to year says many common and every-day they have new fashions in dress, new things, but now and then you meet schools of poetry, and new sects of philowith an unexpected flash of light. I sophers. Those who yesterday overthrew found it one day in the garrison, on the tyranny-having praised the blessedness table of an acquaintance, and took it of freedom with their lips, and tasted its with me, that I might at all events
sweets in their lives—on the morrow vohave something to read when I walked luntarily return to servitude. a little on the greensward beyond the
“So among these barbarians, there is town-gate. As I lay once in the broad portion of the people, consisting of a few
the greatest inequality in all things. A shadow of a maple, thoughtful of the families, possess every comfort and unlimimany perversities of life, the book ted wealth, and riot in excess; but the opened, and there fell out an extract majority are poor, and mostly dependent with this superscription :-“ Fragment upon the favor of the great. Thus, from the Voyage of Young Pythias to too, certain individuals are in possession Thule.”
of the treasures of knowledge, but the “Let us hear," said I, “what the greater part of the inhabitants live in the old Greek of Massilia can relate of us darkness of ignorance. The nobility and at the North. It should be, I think, priests not barely tolerate such ignorance coeyal with Aristotle.” He read : before their eyes, but they keep the mul
titude in it, who would not incline to it,
but for their poverty and indolence. « Fragment from the Voyage of Young Hence it is, that the rabble of every naPythias to Thule. (From the Greek.) tion love the customary knowledge of
their forefathers in all usages and ar- But I tell you the truth, my rangements relating to the mind, while friend, as incredible as it may appear. only in affairs of corporeal gratification Think, that in the rough country of the are they inclined to variety. Still, they North, Nature itself repels men by its un- approve any novelty be it right or wrong, genial rigor, and forces them to resort to if it brings them money or household dismany contrivances to render life endura- tinction. For gold and ardent spirits ble. These we do not need in our coun among barbarians, prevail over custom, try, where Nature is bountiful to mortals, honor, and the fear of God; and we live winter and summer in the “ Among the inhabitants of Thule, open air, procuring without trouble what freedom is unknown, and so much of it is useful to the prolonging and pleasure of as they may have had in former times, has existence. But those, who for half the been taken away from them by the force or
ear groan under the severity of winter, fraud of the great. They are governed ?must consider how they may create in by kings, who give themselves out as the
sons of God, and the kings and their same, and all boast that their dogmas satraps are governed as much by mistress- have one and the same author. es and sweethearts as by their counsel- their modes of worship are manifold, lors. The people are divided into castes as well as their opinions concerning the as in India or Egypt. To the first class person of the founder of their religion. belongs the king and his children alone. On this account, the sects hate each other To the second belong the great, whose with the most perfect hatred. They perchildren in the army and state, as well as secute and scorn each other. Among the around the altars of God, choose the best whole of them there is to be found much offices, without regard to their own worthi- superstition which the priests encourage. ness. What is incredible to us, is a cus- of the Supreme Being they have the most tom among these barbarians, with whom unworthy notions, for they ascribe to him rank or birth is more thought of than all even human vices. And when kings lead other qualifications. In the third class, their people to war against each other, dwell inferior officers, mechanics, mer the priests are appointed on both sides, to chants, common soldiers, artists, learned call upon the Supreme Being to destroy men and ordinary priests. In the fourth the enemy. After a battle has been class, are servants or slaves, who can be fought, they thank the Supreme Being, that sold or given away like other cattle. With he has ordained their adversaries to desome people, who have partly thrown struction. off their primitive rudeness, the fourth “ Their books of history hardly deserve and last class is wanting; there are some, to be read; for they contain commonly no also, where good princes, who recognize account of the nation, only of the kings the power of their nobility, make no laws and their advisers,—of successions, wars, but with the concurrence of a senate, se- and acts of violence. The names of uselected from the several classes of inhabit- ful inventors and benefactors are not reants.
ported, but the names of devastating geneThe kings in the countries of Thule, rals are advanced before all, as if they live in perpetual enmity with each other. were the benefactors of the human race. The weak are only safe through the mu- The histories of these people also, inastual envy of the strong. But when the much as their manners differ from ours, strong throw aside their jealousies, they are hard to be understood. For with wake war upon the weaker states on the them, there is not at all times, nor at any most trivial pretences, and divide them particular time under all circumstances, among themselves. Hence they cause the the same conception of honor or virtue. title of the Righteous to be added to In the higher classes, incontinence, adulthem,—the Fathers of the country or he- tery, dissipation, gaming, and the abuse roes,-since such vain surnames are every- of power, are deemed praiseworthy, or where, and especially among barbarians, appear as amiable weaknesses, which in much esteemed. But as often as the the lower classes are punished, as vices lower classes in any land, make use of and crimes, with death and the dungeon. their proper discernment, to resist the Against fraud and theft, the law has orpreposterous claims of the higher classes, dained its severest penalties; but if a they put aside the princes and nobles for great man cheats the government by his their own contests, and unite in the es- ingenuity, and enriches himself at the cost tablishment of order upon new founda- of his prince, he is frequently advanced to tions, often in a disinterested manner. higher honors, or dismissed with marks of Such a war is always looked upon among favor. Like as it is in virtue and vice, barbarians as holy, since they believe so is it in regard to honor, The members that kings and the arrangement of of the higher classes require no other ranks are disposed by God himself. honor than birth to deserve preference;
“Of the public disbursements, that for the least in the lower classes can but selthe maintenance of the splendor of the dom, by means of virtue, equal the concourt is the greatest, and next to that is sequence of these favorites of chance. the expense of the army,-even in peace But the honor which consists in the accithe most weighty. For the instruction of dent of birth, can also easily be annihilatthe people, for agriculture and all that ed by a simple abusive word. Still more concerns the happiness of men, the least odd is the mode of making reparation. is given. In most of the countries of He who has lost his honor by a word, and Thule, where the working classes have the he by whom it has been lost, meet in arms greatest number of duties and the fewest after a prescribed form, like two lunatics, rights, they must by means of taxes satisfy and seek to wound each other. As soon almost wholly the expense and necessity as a wound or death is brought about, no of the common existence.
matter to which of the two, they believe “ As far as their religion is concerned, sincerely, that there honor is again restored, they all affirm, that it is one and the “ Above all things these barbarians