The New International Encyclopædia/Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832). The greatest German writer and one of the greatest of the world, excelling in every literary genre, distinguished in many branches of science and in literary and artistic criticism. He was born in Frankfort-on-the-Main, August 28, 1749. Both his parentage and the place of his birth were significant for his future development. He was among the first of German literary men since the Meistersinger days to spring from a commercial environment and parents closely affiliated with political life in what remained of the old free cities. His father's father was a tailor and inn-keeper. His father received a good education, traveled in Italy, attained the distinction of Imperial Councilor, and, though never wealthy, was always in easy circumstances. He married (1748) Katherine Elisabeth Textor (or Weber), and Goethe was the first of their four children, of whom only himself and a sister, Cornelia, survived childhood.
In the pages of Goethe's brilliant autobiographical Dichtung und Wahrheit, we seldom see the councilor unbend from his philistine self-satisfaction. But the mother must have been a very remarkable woman, simple, hearty, joyous, affectionate, not highly educated, but with a faculty of rapid assimilation that made her no unworthy companion or correspondent of persons of deeper culture or higher station. The relation of mother and child was ideal. His childhood and youth owed more to her direct influence than to all else besides. She died in 1808. Her Letters are published by the Goethe Society (1894). Consult Heinemann, Goethe's Mutter (6th ed., Leipzig, 1900).
But Frankfort, too, had a molding influence on him. It was a commercial city, then even more than now the centre of German financial life, of industrialism grafted on an old feudal stock. Old and new in turn and together left their impress on the brilliant and receptive boy. He was precocious, knew something at eight of Greek, Latin, French, and Italian, had acquired from his mother a knack of story-telling and from a toy puppet-show in his nursery a taste for the stage and a stimulus to imagination on which his autobiography lays much stress. He never went regularly to school, and as a child showed consciousness of superiority. The French occupation of Frankfort in 1759 served to polish his French, and still further to cultivate his interest in the stage. He continued to study books and men at Frankfort till he was sixteen, and had had one love affair, from which he recovered with the facile mobility of youth before he went to Leipzig to study law and be fascinated by his host's daughter, Kätchen Schönkopf.
Leipzig in 1765 was a ‘little Paris’ in its social and literary ideals. Goethe's letters show that he quickly caught a spirit that accorded well with his nature. He studied little, wrote love songs, interested himself critically in art, learned far more about life than about law, lost his health, and by 1768 had come to look at life on its seamy side, and showed his disillusionment in a drama, Die Mitschuldigen, where vice and meanness in manifold variety find it convenient to forgive and forget. This was completed later in Frankfort. Another drama, Die Laune des Verliebten, begun in Leipzig, is an embellished version of his relation to Kätchen. It was his author's instinct to put into literary form every experience. All his works, he says, are confessions of his life. These two youthful dramatic essays, both in their matter and their form, show Goethe as a realist. He idealized neither the world nor individual characters.
Goethe returned ill to Frankfort in the autumn of 1768. He remained there sick or convalescent till April, 1770, gaining the while from the works of Lessing a sharpened æsthetic sense and a more balanced judgment. Here, too, he began the scientific studies that were later to round out his fame, and from an amiable acquaintance, Fräulein von Klettenberg, the Beautiful Soul of his Wilhelm Meister, he gained some insight into the phenomena of pietistic religious experience and became interested in alchemy and kindred lore, all of which proved useful for Faust.
FROM THE PORTRAIT BY CARL STIELER IN THE NEW PINAKOTHEK AT MUNICH
With health restored Goethe went to Strassburg to continue his legal studies. This city, French in government and institutions, German in people and spirit, was a good place in which to complete a cosmopolitan training. Goethe set himself earnestly to work to learn dancing and to pass his preliminary examinations. He studied also music, art, anatomy, and chemistry. He had begun to work on his dissertation when, in September (1770) he met Herder (q.v.), and in October made the fateful acquaintance of Friederike Brion, the winning daughter of a pastor of Sesenheim. He loved her, and let her love him till her visit to Strassburg broke the idyllic illusion. He would not, perhaps he felt he ought not, to fetter his fortunes and his genius to a yoke so unequal. He left Strassburg (August, 1771), carrying with him a sense of wrong to be atoned. Similar situations haunt his literary work of the next years. The Marie of Götz, the Marie of Clavigo, the Clärchen of Egmont, the Gretchen of Faust, spring from this experience, of which he has left a charming and wholly objective account in his autobiographic Dichtung und Wahrheit. Friederike died unmarried in 1813. They saw one another without strong emotion on either side in 1779.
Meantime Goethe had formed a close intimacy with Herder, who was confined for months to his room through an operation on the eyes. This was hardly less important to Goethe's literary development than the psychic trial at Sesenheim. They read literary masterpieces and talked of them. Goethe learned through Herder to distrust French classical canons, to appreciate Shakespeare, and to realize that all poetic development must be based on national character if it is to be enduring or beneficent. It was Herder, too, who brought Goethe under the influence of Rousseau, as appears in Götz, and especially in Die Leiden des jungen Werther. Herder's influence was furthering, even when it was merely restraining, for Goethe was already meditating his Götz and even his Faust, and both profited by a maturing delay. But Herder finished his work for Goethe at Strassburg. When they met again (1776) Goethe felt he had nothing to gain, and presently it was he who repaid the old debt.
Goethe with his licentiate's degree went back to Frankfort (1771),and began the nominal practice of law, contributing critical notices to the press, and working on Götz, which he intended for a more daring proclamation of the newly claimed liberties of the German stage than Lessing, who had won them, would have ventured or approved. It was the trumpet call of the decade of Storm and Stress (q.v.), in which German young blood held high carnival, and in a blind following of Shakespeare naturally showed more of his faults than of his spirit. Götz was a dramatic adaptation of the autobiography of a robber knight of the sixteenth century, striking in its local color and naïveté. In his sturdy independence Goethe saw foreshadowed the reassertion of individualism in the eighteenth century, and he made Götz, far more than that knight had made himself, typical of the national revolt against the Roman law and Church. For to Goethe at this time the only progress practicable for Germany lay in the stressing of individuality. But the play as written in 1771 proved too lawless even for his youthful taste. It was first printed in 1840, and remains a curious monument of a period of ferment. It appeared much modified in 1773, struck an answering chord in every heart, and made its as yet unnamed author the literary leader of his time. It gave an immense stimulus to dramatic production, though in casting all thought of the unities to the winds Lessing thought the ‘captivating monstrosity’ retarded the development of dramatic art. Goethe may have thought so, too; for he subjected it to a radical revision many years later (1804) for the Weimar stage.
This was a period of manifold activity. To it belong some fine songs, among them the “Wanderer's Sturmlied,” orations, essays, reviews, and minor work in much bulk, to which he was stimulated by the shrewd and cautious criticism of Merck, some of whose traits Goethe used for Mephistopheles. This production was interrupted by a new psychic experience. In 1772 Goethe went to Wetzlar to practice law, and fell in love with Charlotte Buff (Lotte), the betrothed of his friend Kestner. From the rather delicate situation thus created Goethe ran away (September 11, 1772), and on his way back to Frankfort managed to find heart for a flirtation with Maximiliane von Laroehe, who was to be the mother of one of his last adorers, Bettina von Arnim-Brentano, and from home he writes to Charlotte that he ‘found a new maiden,’ Antoinette Gerock, presently to be succeeded in his facile heart by Anna Mönch, for whom he wrote Clavigo, giving literary expression the while to his Wetzlar experiences in Die Leiden des jungen Werther, which revealed powers in the German tongue till then unimagined and still unsurpassed. The story, which has been often translated into many languages, is sentimentally morbid and typical of its generation. It was suggested by the suicide of Jerusalem, a student who had formed an attachment for a friend's wife, similar to Goethe's for Lotte. But Goethe, having expressed the mood of his time and age, quickly recovered from it to enter on a period of great creative fecundity, the fruits of which were to appear later in Faust, Prometheus, Egmont, and Stella, as well as in many lyrics. Then came his passing betrothal to Lili Schönemann (died 1817), a banker's daughter, the nearest that he was ever to come to a love match. For her he wrote some very beautiful songs, and he cherished her memory till death. But for the time they drew apart (September, 1775), and soon after Goethe was invited by Karl August to be one of his Court at Weimar. Meantime Goethe had written Clavigo (1774) and many slighter pieces, among them Götter, Helden und Wieland, and had found in Merck, an army paymaster at Darmstadt, a friend and a caustically discriminating critic, of much value to him in the discipline of genius. His relations to Lili found expression a little later in Stella (1776). In May, 1775, he had made a journey to Switzerland with his friends the Counts Stolberg, and there became intimate with Lavater, whom he had already met.
The coming of Goethe to Weimar is a turning-point in the literary life of Germany. From 1776 Goethe's influence begins to be paramount wherever German is spoken. Weimar was already what it has remained till now. a pleasant residence for the cultured. Goethe made it the Athens of Germany, aided by Karl August and his mother, Amalie, hindered at first by Karl's prim wife, Luise, and by a jealous group of courtiers. Goethe was received in Weimar with an effervescence of enthusiastic appreciation. For a time he led the Court a frolic dance, but presently settled down to be a prudent and blameless man of affairs, and found in this courtly life and the intimate contact with aristocratic society much to widen his mind and give his judgment a balanced calm. For the next ten years (1776-86) he wrote little save occasional verses and dramatic trifles, of which the chief is Die Geschwister. He began work on Wilhelm Meister in 1777. Study of natural science, mineralogy, geology, osteology, intercourse with Herder, Wieland, and others, and his interest in the mines at Ilmenau claimed his time, and he made a journey to the mining district of the Harz on their account, bringing back impressions that were of use, not only at Ilmenau, but for his Faust. He managed the Court Theatre (with some intermissions, till 1817) and the War Department, superintended the roads and bridges, accompanied Karl August on a journey to Switzerland, from which he gathered literary impressions and above all he maintained a platonic correspondence and intercourse with Charlotte von Stein, a lady of thirty-three, and mother of seven children, who, in making his life ‘an enduring resignation,’ gave his nature more refinement and self-control for the days of his emancipation. For when he had learned from her what she had to teach, he began to chafe both at this relation and at his Court life, until in 1786 he asked of Karl August unlimited leave of absence, that he might visit Italy. The literary precipitate of this decade is almost wholly lyric or epigrammatic; but he carried across the Alps the uncompleted Iphigenie (which in a prose form had been acted in 1779), Egmont, Tasso, and Faust — works not to be finished in the spirit of their inception.
For the Italian journey marks the most important epoch of Goethe's literary and moral development. All the work that follows is radically distinguished from all that went before. Here Goethe found at last his moral balance. From 1788 till his death he went his way among men with the serenity of perfect self-possession. He went first to Verona, then to Padua and Venice, where he stayed two weeks, and then turned southward to Ferrara and across the Apennines to Florence, where he lingered but three hours, so eager was the impetuous traveler to see Rome (October 29, 1786). Here the poetic stream that had long flowed so scantily was unsealed. By mid-January, 1787, he had turned Iphigenie into classic iambics, as a first fruit of the new influences, and was so sure that he was on the right track that he determined to do the same service for Tasso on a journey to Naples and Sicily, from which he returned in June.
In Rome he now remained nearly a year, perfecting Iphigenie, finishing Egmont, working on Tasso and Faust, and presenting zealously artistic and botanical studies. He also lived connubially with a Roman girl, and the connection seems to have revealed to him a joy of life dissociated from the sentimentality that had characterized his previous relations, especially that with Charlotte von Stein. This new moral attitude is reflected in the Römische Elegien (1788), an epithalamium addressed to Christiane Vulpius, a young woman of Weimar, with whom he lived quasi-maritally from 1788 till their marriage in 1806, and afterwards till her death (1816), to his own satisfaction, but to the scandal of the ladies of Weimar and the vexation of Bettina von Arnim-Brentano. According to Goethe's correspondence with Christiane, but recently published (Goethe-Gesellschaft, Weimar), she was the true and faithful companion of his after life, loving and beloved. His mother treated her from the first, as her daughter, and she earned, after the battle of Jena, the honor of a public recognition of her place by preserving, at the risk of her life, Goethe's house from French marauders.
Goethe brought to Weimar (June 18, 1788) Iphigenie and Egmont, with Tasso almost in its present form, and an essentially altered conception of Faust. Iphigenie was planned in 1776, and written in prose in 1779. It was a literary projection of his relation to Charlotte von Stein. Orestes recovers a clear mind in the angelic presence of his sister, as Goethe imagined he would do if Charlotte would ‘be a sister’ to him. Such ethics were unripe and unnatural, and the play lacks action. It was old work made over, and its exquisite versification did not suffice to make it harmonize with his new spirit. There is the same discord of old and new in the prose drama Egmont, ‘the weak, aristocratic twin brother of Götz’ (Hermann Grimm). Tasso has more unity of conception and execution, though it is sadly deficient in dramatic action, and, indeed, was not put on the stage for eighteen years after its publication (1790). It, too, in its pre-Italian prose form (1780-81) reflected Goethe ‘caught in the snare’ of Charlotte von Stein, a situation that in 1786 had ceased to have living interest for him. He concentrated his thought on its form, and made the iambics of Tasso so perfect that Schlegel said their very beauty made them unsuited to dramatic dialogue. He also changed the close to conform to his new ethical position.
Goethe's first homogeneous work after his return from Italy was the Römische Elegien, in the spirit, he said, of Tibullus, Catullus, and Propertius, the most antique in thought of modern German verse. The frankly naïve sensualism that they exhibit, borne out by his conduct, caused Goethe a temporary loss of social popularity in the ‘imperfectly monogamous’ society of Weimar, as well as a breach with Frau von Stein. He had outgrown her and the Weimar circle. Even his literary preëminence seemed threatened. In Götz and Werther he had led his countrymen. Now he had passed beyond them in his deepened æsthetic insight. For a time and until rejuvenated by the friendship of Schiller, he gave his time largely to scientific studies, to which he brought not only an original mind, but almost a seer's vision. In 1784 he had discovered the intermaxillary bone by a method that foreshadowed the science of comparative anatomy. In his essay Die Metamorphose der Pflanzen, he became, says Esenbeck, ‘the tender father’ of a just-born science; his experiments in optics were ingenious and valuable, though his theory of colors was false, and he was first to perceive the vertebrate character of the human skull. Thus, while his contemporary botanists and anatomists were wandering aimlessly or making dry registration of facts, he gave them ideas whose fruitfulness is not yet exhausted. From these studies Goethe was won back to literature by the friendship of Schiller.
Schiller had been living in or near Weimar since 1787, but a strange irony of destiny kept the poets estranged till 1794. though Schiller was drawing, unperceived, into closer sympathy with Goethe's classic ideals. Meantime Goethe's son August was born (December 25, 1789), the only one of several children to reach maturity. This and the storm clouds of the French Revolution led him to defer a visit to Italy, though in 1790 he went to Venice to meet the Duchess Amalie there, and wrote a group of Venetianische Epigramme, that show how his quasi-marriage had helped him to a calmer judgment of Italian culture than that of the Elegies. Work in lighter vein now attracted him, Wilhelm Meister and the Court Theatre (the management of which he undertook in 1791), till in the summer of 1792 he was summoned by Karl August to join him in the invasion of France that was to culminate in the defeat of the Duke of Brunswick at Valmy. Goethe recorded his six weeks' impressions in his Kampagne in Frankreich, and returned to Weimar to find almost ready for his occupancy a mansion presented to him by the Duke, and now, as the home of the Goethe Society and its museum, inseparably connected with his name. The pleasure of this enlarged domesticity is reflected in Reineke Fuchs, written in 1793 and published in 1794, the adaptation to social satire of an animal fable that can be traced back to Æsop and to India, though Goethe's immediate model was a German rendering of the mediæval Flemish version of the fable by a certain Willem (about 1250). Out of this comic epic he made, without local or personal allusions, a social and political satire full of ease and vigor, a humorous apotheosis of impudence that has become and is likely to remain one of his most popular poems, though at the time it passed almost unnoticed.
Goethe had met Schiller on several occasions since 1779, and had secured for him a professorship at Jena, though it had seemed to him that the author of Die Räuber stood in the way of development of classical taste which, since his return from Italy, Goethe had been anxious to foster. But Schiller was himself developing along these lines, and when they came to understand one another, in 1794, Goethe may well have felt that Schiller, more than any other in Germany, was fitted to appreciate and aid him. He was first to speak of friendship, first to visit his new-found friend. Their intercourse grew constant, especially after Schiller came to Weimar (1799), and was interrupted only by Schiller's death (1805). To Goethe the relation was of stimulating rather than of directing force. He contributed to Schiller's periodical Die Horen (1795-97) the Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten and the Römische Elegien, and to the Musenalmanach (1796-1800) his share of the Xenien — couplets of stinging literary criticism that aroused great excitement and lifelong enmities.
Under this new influence Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre (1795) was completed, a novel with no definite plot, its purpose being the unfolding of characters drawn from varied social spheres, wonderfully realistic studies involving much ripened worldly wisdom and philosophy. Mignon and Philine are enduring creations, the songs interspersed in the novel are among the most exquisite in any literature, and the analysis of Hamlet is a very acute criticism. Some fine ballads and elegies belong to this period also, and it closes with that hymn to the family and masterpiece of classic realism, Hermann und Dorothea (1797). Here all is studied from life; there is no idealization, no sentimentality. It was an old story, but instinct with a conservative patriotism in these years of revolution and social upheaval. Other less important works of this period are a realistic drama, Die natäöürliche Tochter, and Achilleïs, an attempt to continue the Iliad. Some work was done on Faust also; but sickness and public cares interrupted it, and the first part was not published till it was included in the first edition of Goethe's Works (13 vols., 1808).
Meantime Goethe had lost many friends — Gleim, Klopstock, and Herder in 1803, Schiller in 1805, his mother in 1808. In that year Goethe came in frequent contact with Napoleon at Erfurt. It was about this time, too, that Bettina von Arnim-Brentano conceived that violent attachment for him that appears in her Goethe's Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde, which, however, does not represent an actual correspondence; but Bettina could not endure Christiane, and the acquaintance ceased after 1811. In 1809 Goethe published his second novel, Die Wahlverwandtschaften, a story of the conflict of love and conjugal duty, with a tragic close. Though now little read, its influence has been great, for it is the starting-point of German psychologic fiction. It has also an autobiographical value. Charlotte is Frau von Stein, and Edward is what Goethe felt he might have become. Ottilie has been thought by some, probably wrongly, to be studied from a young Jena girl, Minna Herzlieb.
From 1811 to 1814 appeared the first three parts of Dichtung und Wahrheit, one of the most fascinating autobiographies in any language. It is early memories seen through a long vista of years and under the transforming influence of an artist's eye, beginning with infancy and closing with his coming to Weimar. Meantime the War of Liberation had restored national independence to Germany; but while the fate of his country was changing before his eyes Goethe was studying the Oriental poets and checking the effect of their exuberance by renewed reading of Homer. It was in these years that he wrote in great part the West-östlicher Divan (1819), foreign in externals, mysterious and oracular in parts, but aiming to cultivate international sympathies, social and literary, in years of intense Chauvinism. The Zuleika poems in the Divan have been thought to be addressed in gracefully platonic affection to Marianne Willemer, wife of his congenial host on a journey to the Rhine in 1815, but this is very doubtful. He also undertook at this time some antiquarian studies, standing intentionally aloof from the temporal aspirations of the German people that he might labor more effectively for their intellectual uplifting.
The West-östlicher Divan is the last work of Goethe's long connubial life. Christiane had died in 1816. He felt the blow severely, and said that what remained of life to him was but time granted “that he might mourn her loss.” His directorship of the Weimar Theatre he gave up in 1817. But the years that remained to him, “testamentary years,” he called them, were to yield much of interest. Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre may indeed seem dreary reading, though it contains many wise pedagogical observations and some episodes that recall the narrative power of Goethe's prime. To these years, also, we owe the Second Part of Faust, the necessary complement of the former, with its teaching that men rise by unselfish altruistic effort. Here, as Scherer noticed, Faust chooses, not wealth, but work, and finds in that choice his salvation. Mediately Gretchen brings him to the choice; immediately, Helena, the incarnation of Greek ideals, as though to suggest that beauty is positive, creative, revealing the worth of life, and freeing Faust at last from the Mephistophelean spirit of negation. So the teaching is the same as that of Wilhelm Meister. The scholar, as the poet, passes, in Goethe's conception, from a groping, contemplative, searching æsthetic existence under the spur of negative spirits and ideal models, to active, useful labor. Here is to be found Goethe's philosophy of life, which aims to realize the ideal by the idealization of the real, to correlate action with thought. “The rest of my life may be regarded as a free gift,” he said as he sealed the manuscript of this Second Part of Faust. “It is now really indifferent what I do, or if I do anything at all.” It was his philosophic testament to Germany.
It is to this last period, too, that we owe the Conversations (Gespräche) with Eckermann, which have preserved to us much keen criticism of men and things, for during these declining years he continued to be in closest touch with the intellectual movement of his own country and of others. Weimar became a goal of pilgrimage to men of many minds and nations. He seemed to Germans the survivor, almost the last, of a heroic age. Some of these visitors give us glimpses of the old man's life, among them Heine, Thackeray, and his old friend Lottie Kestner. After his wife's death he traveled but little, seldom farther than Jena, lingering especially over places associated with his prime, and toward the last working intermittently, as health permitted, on the annals of his Weimar life. In 1828 Karl August died, followed two years later by Goethe's son August, whose widow, Ottilie, cared for her father-in-law to the end. In the same year (1830) Grand Duchess Luise passed away. So Goethe was left, almost the last of his generation. He died in Weimar March 22, 1832, in his chair, so peacefully that men did not know the hour. Eckermann, who saw his body as it was prepared for burial, noted the deep peace and firmness of the features, the magnificence of the limbs, the broad, strong, and arched chest. Nowhere on the body, he says, was there a trace of wasting. “A perfect man lay in great beauty before me.” This body lies now, with that of Schiller, in the ducal mausoleum of Weimar in front of the bronze coffins of the two princely patrons of both, Luise and Karl August.
This is the most completely rounded literary life in history — a life of monumental proportion and yet of perfect symmetry, responsive to all intellectual impulses of art, philosophy, and science, open to every light, yet self-poised and self-controlled till its calm seems Olympian. Goethe is at once the representative and the prophet of the modern spirit, reconciling the antinomies of the ideal and the real in the world-wisdom of his Faust.
The literature that has gathered around Goethe would fill a library — indeed, it does so in the Goethe archives at Weimar, whence issue the Goethe Annual and the great edition of his works, embracing, also, the Tagebücher and Briefe, which is now drawing to completeness. Besides this edition may be named Heinemann's annotated edition of the Werke which began to appear in 1901 (Leipzig). Of the Briefe, there are annotated selections by E. von der Hellen (Stuttgart, 1901 et seq.) and Stein (Berlin, 1902 et seq.), who has edited also the correspondence with Schiller (Leipzig, no date). The correspondence with Fran von Stein is best edited by Schöll (3d ed., Frankfort, 1889-1900). Eckermann's Gespräche are edited with an introduction and notes by Moldenhauer, and, better, by Bartels (Leipzig, 1902). Von Biedermann has also edited Goethe's Gespräche (10 vols., Leipzig, 1889-1896).
Of the lives of Goethe, Düntzer's (Leipzig, 1883) is the most complete; Schäfer's, though old (Bremen, 1851, often reëdited), not antiquated; Goedeke's Goethes Leben und Schriften (Stuttgart, 1877) is shorter. Popular biographies are those bv Heinemann (Leipzig, 1899), Prem (ib., 1900), Witkowski (ib., 1900), and Bielschowsky (Munich, 1902 et seq.).
Among recent studies of Goethe the more significant are: Von Biedermann, Goethe-Forschungen (1st series, Frankfort, 1879; 2d and 3d series, Leipzig, 1886, 1899); Richard M. Meyer, “Goethe,” in Bettelheim, Geisteshelden (Berlin, 1898); Hermann Grimm, Goethe-Vorlesungen (6th ed., Berlin, 1899); Düntzer, Zur Goethe-Forschung (1891); Zarncke, Goetheschriften (Leipzig, 1897); Bernays, Der junge Goethe (Leipzig, 1875); Weissenfels, Der junge Goethe (Tübingen, 1899); Menzel, Der Frankfurter Goethe (Frankfurt, 1900); Diezmann, Goethe und die lustige Zeit in Weimar (2d ed., Weimar, 1901); Burkhardt, Goethes Unterhaltungen mit dem Kanzler Müller (1879); Fischer, Goethe und Napoleon (Frauenfeld, 1901); Funk, Goethe und Lavater (Weimar, 1901); Virchow, Goethe als Naturforscher (1861); Sell, Goethes Stellung zu Religion und Christenthum (Freiburg, 1899); Vogel, Goethes Selbstzeugnisse über seine Stellung zur Religion (Leipzig, 1899); Scherer, Aufsätze über Goethe (Berlin, 1900); Bode, Goethes Aesthetik (Berlin, 1901). To celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Goethe's birth there was issued Goethe, eine Biographie in Bildnissen (Leipzig, 1899), a folio with 166 portraits. See, also, for Goethe's descendants, Von Gerstenbergk, Ottilie von Goethe und ihre Söhne (Stuttgart, 1891). Lewes's Life (London, 1855) is the best in English. Wilhelm Meister has been admirably translated by Carlyle, Faust by Bayard Taylor and many others. Some of the lyrics have been rendered masterfully by Longfellow and others, but there is no worthy rendering of the poems or dramas as a whole.