Page:The Chartist Movement.djvu/38

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xxviii
THE CHARTIST MOVEMENT

familiarity with German enabled him also to deal with their difficulties in their own tongue. The only other academic work that he essayed was taking part in Professor Max Forster's English seminar. The lightness of the daily task gave him leisure for looking round, and seeing all that he could see of Germany and German social and academic life. He attended many lectures, delighting especially in Forster's clear and stimulating course on Shakespeare, broken on one occasion by a passionate exhortation to the students to forsake their beer-drinkings and duels, and to cultivate manly sports after the English fashion, so as to be able the better to defend their beloved Fatherland. He was much impressed by Wundt, the psychologist, "a little plain and unassuming-looking man dressed in undistinguished black, lecturing with astounding clearness and strength, at the age of 81, to a closely packed and attentive audience of fully 350 students, who look on him as the wonder of his age, and are eager to catch the last words that might come from the lips of the master." He heard all that he could from Lamprecht himself, with whom his relations soon became exceedingly cordial. He found him genial, friendly, and good-natured, and he was impressed by his dominating personality and missionary fervour, his broad sweep over all times and periods, the width of his interests, and the extent of his influence. He sincerely strove to understand the mysteries of the new science. The very abstractness and theoretical character of the Lamprechtian method was a stimulus and a revelation to a man of clear-cut positive temperament, schooled in historical teaching of a much more concrete character. It was easy to hold his own in the English seminar where the discussions were in his own tongue. But he gradually found himself able to take his share in Lamprecht's seminar, where all the talk was in German. "My reputation among the students," he writes, "was founded on my knowledge that the predecessor of the Reichsgericht sat at Wetzlar." It was a proud moment when he had to explain that the master's confusion of the modern English chief justice and the justiciar of the twelfth century was the natural error of the