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and become all that his father could wish; and now—now

time:2023-12-01 14:20:59 Source: Originally writtenedit:person

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By far the notablest arrival in Berlin is M. de Voltaire's July 10th; a few days before Hanbury got his First Audience, "five minutes long." But that arrival will require a Chapter to itself; --most important arrival, that, of all! The least important, again, is probably that of Candidatus Linsenbarth, in these same weeks;-- a rugged poverty-stricken old Licentiate of Theology; important to no mortal in Berlin or elsewhere:--upon whom, however, and upon his procedures in that City, we propose, for our own objects, to bestow a few glances; rugged Narrative of the thing, in singular exotic dialect, but true every word, having fortunately come to us from Linsenbarth's own hand. [Through Rodenbeck, Beitrage, i. 463 et seq.]

and become all that his father could wish; and now—now

Berlin, it must be admitted, after all one's reading in poor Dryasdust, remains a dim empty object; Teutschland is dim and empty: and out of the forty blind sacks, or out of four hundred such, what picture can any human head form to itself of Friedrich as King or Man? A trifling Adventure of that poor individual, called Linsenbarth CANDIDATUS THEOLOGIAE, one of the poorest of mortals, but true and credible in every particular, comes gliding by chance athwart all that; and like the glimmer of a poor rushlight, or kindled straw, shows it us for moments, a thing visible, palpable, as it worked and lived. In the great dearth, Linsenbarth, if I can faithfully interpret him for the modern reader, will be worth attending to.

and become all that his father could wish; and now—now

Date of Linsenbarth's Adventure is June-August, 1750. "Schloss of Beichlingen" and "Village of Hemmleben" are in the Thuringen Hill Country (Weimar not far off to eastward): the Hero himself, a tall awkward raw-boned creature, is, for perhaps near forty years past, a CANDIDATUS, say Licentiate, or Curate without Cure. Subsists, I should guess, by schoolmastering--cheapest schoolmaster conceivable, wages mere nothing--in the Villages about; in the Village of Hemmleben latterly; age, as I discover, grown to be sixty-one, in those straitened but by no means forlorn circumstances. And so, here is veteran Linsenbarth of Hemmleben, a kind of Thuringian Dominie Sampson; whose Interview with such a brother mortal as Friedrich King of Prussia may be worth looking at,--if I can abridge it properly.

and become all that his father could wish; and now—now

Well, it appears, in the year 1750, at this thrice-obscure Village of Hemmleben, the worthy old pastor Cannabich died;--worthy old man, how he had lived there, modestly studious, frugal, chiefly on farm-produce, with tobacco and Dutch theology; a modest blessing to his fellow-creatures! And now he is dead, and the place vacant. Twenty pounds a Year certain; let us guess it twenty, with glebe- land, piggeries, poultry-hutches: who is now to get all that? Linsenbarth starts with his Narrative, in earnest.

Linsenbarth, who I guess may have been Assistant to the deceased Cannabich, and was now out of work, says: "I had not the least thought of profiting by this vacancy; but what happened? The Herr Graf von Werthern, at Schloss Beichlingen, sent his Steward [LEHNSDIRECTOR, FIEF-DIRECTOR is the title of this Steward, which gives rise to obsolete thought of mill-dues, road-labor, payments IN NATURA], his Lehnsdirector, Herr Kettenbeil, over to my LOGIS [cheap boarding quarters]; who brought a gracious salutation from his Lord; saying farther, That I knew too well [excellent Cannabich gone from us, alas!] the Pastorate of Hemmleben was vacant; that there had various competitors announced themselves, SUPPLICANDO, for the place; the Herr Graf, however, had yet given none of them the FIAT, but waited always till I should apply. As I had not done so, he (the Lord Graf) would now of his own motion give me the preference, and hereby confer the Pastorate upon me!"--

"Without all controversy, here was a VOCATIO DIVINA, to be received with the most submissive thanks! But the lame second messenger came hitching in [HALTING MESSENGER, German proverb] very soon. Kettenbeil began again: 'He must mention to me SUB ROSA, Her Ladyship the Frau Grafin wanted to have her Lady's-maid provided for by this promotion, too; I must marry her, and take the living at the same time.'"

Whew! And this is the noble Lady's way of thinking, up in her fine Schloss yonder? Linsenbarth will none of it. "For my notion fell at once," says he, "when I heard it was DO UT FACIAS, FACIO UT FACIAS (I give that thou mayest do, I do that thou mayest do; Wilt have the kirk, then take the irk, WILLST DU DIE PFARRE, SO NIMM DIE QUARRE); on those terms, my reply was: 'Most respectful thanks, Herr Fief-judge, and No, for such a vocation! And why? The vocation must have LIBERTATEM, there must be no VITIUM ESSENTIALE in it; it must be right IN ESSENTIALI, otherwise no honest man can accept it with a good conscience. This were a marriage on constraint; out of which a thousand INCONVENIENTIAE might spring!'" Hear Linsenbarth, in the piebald dialect, with the sound heart, and preference of starvation itself to some other things! Kettenbeil (CHAIN-AXE) went home; and there was found another Candidatus willing for the marriage on constraint, "out of which INCONVENIENTIAE might spring," in Linsenbarth's opinion.

"And so did the sneakish courtly gentleman [HOFMANN, courtier as Linsenbarth has it], who grasped with both hands at my rejected offer, experience before long," continues Linsenbarth. "For the loose thing of court-tatters led him such a life that, within three years, age yet only thirty, he had to bite the dust" (BITE AT THE GRASS, says Linsenbarth, proverbially), which was an INCONVENIENTIA including all others. "And I had LEGITIMAM CAUSAM to refuse the vocation CUM TALI CONDITIONE.