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( 151 )
Xxy.—Bettina. By A German Lady.
XXY . —BETTINA . BY A GERMAN _LADY . _^ _ta—•
«> ^ In One Of Our Late Numbers We Gave ...
_«> _^ In one of our late numbers we gave a brief sketch of Goethe ' s
mother . We now propose to speak of Bettina , a friend of Frau Rath and her son . In so doingwe feel that it will be no easy task
, to interest our English readers in a woman whose heroic fancies and thoroughly German mind are perhaps incompatible with
Enin glish German taste and literature manners . . Her And letter yet s B are ettina the l is yric a striking effusions phenomenon of a highly
poetic soul ; their chief element is a musical one . They remind us of Mendelssohn ' s songs without words . Like these , they are a
repetition of simple themes in varied forms ; like these , they express a deep-felt longing , without allowing it to assume a distinct shape .
In judging Bettina , we must request our readers to divest their minds of all conventional standards . She is more of an elf than anything
else ; more a dream than a reality . But to a thinker , character only is of importance . Individuality is to him as a work of art , and he
bears the same relation to the creative power of nature which a critic does to a poet . A merely practical man makes use of his powers and
senses in a merely practical way . The life of the intellectual man is twofold , he fulfils the claims of his profession , position , and
outward relations , while at the same time he gives himself up to the hiher life of his mindhis ideas and experiences . The first is
governed g by what surrounds , him , while the second appeals to the universe and his own soul ; and , according to the form these two
lives assume in him , they neutralise , pervade , or elevate each other . Herr Brentano and his wife , the beautiful Maximiliane of Goethe ' s
Werther , lived in Frankfort . Both being amiable , intelligent , well connected , and possessing a considerable fortune , their house was
frequented by the best educated and most cultivated people of the day . The familBrentano was of Italian origin ; of seven children ,
Bettina was the y youngest and the pet of the family . She was born in 1785 and early evinced symptoms of that fanciful love of nature
which characterises , her whole life . Her mother died when she was seven years old . "With the fervor of an Italian , Herr Brentano
gave himself up to his grief , and while avoided by all his other childrenBettinathe pefcclung to him and begged him not to cry .
Soon , afterwards , the children , were sent to be educated in a nunnery at Fritzlar , whence , our heroine wrote the following laconic
letter to her father . ( A " hand Dear drawn Papa , " in pencil ) " the left rests on ' s heart" ( another
papa , hand to ) ? " the right round papa ' s neck . Having no hands , how can I write you Bettina
" , "
English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864), May 1, 1859, page 151, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ewj/issues/ewj_01051859/page/7/