(With a gesture.)
Apples still fondly ye desire, From paradise it hath been so. Feelings of joymy breast inspire That such too in my garden grow.Mephistopheles (with the old one)
Ah, could I but thy soul inspire! Thou honourest not the sacraments, alas!Faust}
Ere long thou wilt proceed with pleasure, To raise the casket with its treasure;I took a peep, therein are stored, Of lion - dollars a rich hoard.Faust
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the greatest of German men of letters, wasborn at Frankfort-on-the-Main, August 28, 1749. His father was a man ofmeans and position, and he personally supervised the early education of hisson. The young Goethe studied at the universities of Leipsig and Strasburg,and in 1772 entered upon the practise of law at Wetzlar. At the invitation ofKarl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, he went in 1775 to live in Weimar,where he held a succession of political offices, becoming the Duke's chiefadviser. From 1786 to 1788 he traveled in Italy, and from 1791 to 1817directed the ducal theater at Weimar. He took part in the wars againstFrance, 1792-3, and in the following year began his friendship with Schiller,which lasted till the latter's death in 1805. In 1806 he married ChristianeVulpius. From about 1794 he devoted himself chiefly to literature, and after alife of extraordinary productiveness died at Weimar, March 22, 1832. Themost important of Goethe's works produced before he went to Weimar werehis tragedy "Gotz von Berlichingen" (1773), which first brought him fame, and"The Sorrows of Young Werther," a novel which obtained enormouspopularity during the so called "Sturm und Drang" period. During the years atWeimar before he knew Schiller he began "Wilhelm Meister," wrote thedramas, "Iphigenie," "Egmont," and "Torquato Tasso," and his "ReineckeFuchs." To the period of his friendship with Schiller belong the continuation of"Wilhelm Meister," the beautiful idyl of "Hermann and Dorothea," and the"Roman Elegies." In the last period, between Schiller's death in 1805 and hisown, appeared "Faust," "Elective Affinities," his autobiographical "Dichtungund Wahrheit" ("Poetry and Truth"), his "Italian Journey," much scientificwork, and a series of treatises on German Art.Though the foregoing enumeration contains but a selection from the titles ofGoethe's best known writings, it suffices to show the extraordinary fertility andversatility of his genius. Rarely has a man of letters had so full and varied a life,or been capable of so many-sided a development. His political and scientificactivities, though dwarfed in the eyes of our generation by his artisticproduction, yet showed the adaptability of his talent in the most diversedirections, and helped to give him that balance of temper and breadth ofvision in which he has been surpassed by no genius of the ancient or modernworld.
If she should get him, 'twere almost as bad! Her myrtle wreath the boyswould tear; And then we girls would plagued her too, For we chopp'd strawbefore her door would strew!