Goethe

 

 

 

The Progress of Civil Society

Author: Mr. Knight

Source: Cornhill Magazine
New Series, Volume V
July to December 1898
Printed by: Smith, Elder, & Co.
15 Waterloo Place, London, England

 

 

Of whist or cribbage mark th' amusing game,
The Partners changing, but the sport the same;

Else would the gamester's anxious ardour cool,
Dull every deal, and stagnant every pool.

Yet must one man with one unceasing wife
Play the long rubber of connubial life.

Yes! human laws, and laws esteemed divine,
The generous passion straiten and confine.

* * * * * *

For Love then only flaps her purple wings
When uncontrolled by Priestcraft or by Kings.

* * * * * *

Yet bright examples sometimes we observe
Which from the general practice seem to swerve;

Such as, presented to Germania's view,
A Kotzebue's bold, emphatic pencil drew;

Such as, translated in some future age,
Shall add new glories to the British stage.

 

 

Note: The above excerpted poem itself is a part of a larger work, which was deemed rather Anti-Jacobin'. This designation describes persons, mostly of the English upper-class, who stood in opposition to the Jacobins, one of the revolutionary parties of the French revolution. And thusly, by extension, the designation denotes opposition to the French Revolution and any of its supporters.

 

Note: August Friedrich Ferdinand von Kotzebue was born in Weimar. After attending school there, he went in his sixteenth year to the University of Jena, and afterwards studied for a year in Duisburg. In 1780 he completed his legal course and became an advocate. Through the influence of Graf Gortz, Prussian ambassador at the Russian court, he became secretary of the governor-general of St. Petersburg. In 1783 he received the appointment of assessor to the high court of appeal in Reval, where he married the daughter of a Russian lieutenant-general. He was ennobled in 1785, and became president of the magistracy of the province of Estonia. In Reval he acquired considerable reputation by his novels, Die Leiden der Ortenbergischen Familie (1785) and Geschichte meines Vaters (1788), and still more by the plays Adelheid von Wulfingen (1789), Menschenhass und Reue (1790) and Die Indianer in England (1790).