Full text: Zeitungsausschnitte über Werke von Herman Grimm: Leben Raphael's

Staatsarchiv Marburg, Best. 340 Grimm Nr. Z 37 
The ÜSTation 
[Number 1097 
culture. Men have come to regard them as inte 
gral parts of their well-being.” 
Having but a limited space at his command, 
and many really important questions concerning 
the master to discuss, one can hardly understand 
why Grimm has thought it worth while to de 
vote no less than forty pages to the worn-out 
question as to the real subject of the “ School of 
Athens.” The theories of Vasari and Giorgio 
Mantovano, and the modern suggestion, which 
has found little favor in the eyes of competent 
critics, that it is “ St. Paul preaching at Athens ” 
—a suggestion which, as it seems to us, our author 
treats with more respect than it deserves—would 
appear to be completely controverted by the fact 
that Raphael adopted and always adhered to 
certain types in representing the Apostles, as 
well as by the certainty that had he intended to 
represent St. Paul as preaching at Athens he 
would have placed him on the Hill of Mars and 
not in a Roman temple. Finally, the painter 
would not have symbolized the fresco in a me 
dallion figure of Philosophy had his subject been 
taken from the Acts of the Apostles. 
In conclusion, we may mention two points on 
which Grimm’s statements are controvertible— 
viz.: one concerning the weaving of the tapes 
tries, which he says was accomplished at Arras; 
the other relating to the painting of the “ Trans 
figuration,” which he believes to have been fin 
ished by Raphael. In the second edition of his 
4 Life of Raphael, 1 p. 478, M. Miintz quotes M. 
Pinchard’s 4 Histoire g4n4rale de la Tapisserie,’ to 
show that the manufacture of tapestries in the 
upright frame at Arras ceased in 1477—i. e., be 
tween thirty and forty years before the Cartoons 
were executed—and on p. 479 cites a legal act of 
the 14th June, 1532, which proves that the tapes 
tries were woven from them by Pierre Van 
Aelst, the chief tapestry weaver at Brussels 
during the first third of the sixteenth century. 
Concerning the completion of the 44 Transfigu 
ration ” by Giulio Romano after Raphael’s death, 
the evidence seems no less conclusive. Two years 
after it occurred, Count Castiglione wrote to the 
Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici, who had commissioned 
■Raphael to paint the picture, at the price of 655 
gold ducats, for a church at Narbonne, asking 
him to pay Giulio a certain sum (224 gold ducats) 
for his work upon the “Transfiguration.” As 
Penni, who was employed with Giulio to finish 
the pictures left incomplete by Raphael, is not 
mentioned in the Count’s letter, it is fan- to con 
clude that he had no hand in the work, but it 
seems no less clear that it was done b i Giulio. 
Handbuch der Verfassung und Verwaltung in 
Preussen und dem deutsehcn Reiche. [Hand 
book of the Constitution and Administration in 
Prussia and the German Empire.] Von Graf 
Hue 'de Grais, 5te Auflage. Berlin: Julius 
Springer. 1886. 
Since its first appearance iu 1881, this work has 
been revised and reissued yearly, and has earned 
the well-deserved reputation of being the best, in 
fact the only adequate, exposition of the Prussian 
and German Governments which exists in a com 
paratively condensed form. The bulk of the 
book is devoted to Prussian matters, not only be 
cause Prussia occupies the more important field 
in the author’s view, but doubtless also because 
so many of the laws and regulations of the Em 
pire are but copies of Prussian models. The 
work is, as its name implies, merely a description 
of constitutional and administrative provisions 
of the Empire and monarchy, and contains very 
little historical matter, almost nothing that can 
be called theorizing, and but few criticisms of 
existing conditions. With German formality it 
is divided into chapters, headings, and numbered 
paragraphs, and is written in an involved style 
which is concise, but not always clear on first 
reading. It is necessarily only a sketch, and of 
ten gives but the barest outline where one would 
gladly pursue the matter further. The book is 
supplied with abundant notes, which, however, 
for the most part refer to works rarely accessible 
to the American reader. 
When one considers how young the Empire 
still is and of what various elements composed, 
he will naturally be struck, in reading this work, 
with the rapidity with which comparative uni 
fication has been brought about. The reason 
therefor the author himself gives (p. 13), basing 
it on the thorough practicalness of the imperial 
legislation. This has one drawback, especially 
to the German mind, in that it lacks system. That 
will doubtless come later. In the meantime, the 
several members are learning that their best in 
terests are closely bound up with those of the Em 
pire ; and though no constitutional change can be 
made in the internal regulation of any State, or 
in its relation to the Empire,without its own con 
sent, each year brings some further success of 
the imperial Government in this direction. 
In the minds of many Americans it is not clear 
whether there exist one or two legislative cham 
bers for the Empire. This is doubtless owing to 
the fact that not only does the Bundesrath pre 
pare bills for the consideration of the Reichstag, 
but its consent is also necessary for the confirma 
tion of those originating in the latter body. Its 
functions are, however, rather executive than 
legislative, and its power over administrative 
affairs very considerable. Its members do not 
vote according to their individual convictions, 
but in accordance with instructions from the 
Governments of their respective States. As any 
constitutional measure can be defeated by four 
teen opposing votes, Prussia, having seventeen 
votes, has the power to dictate at least what 
shall not be done when any important change is 
proposed. The members of the Bundesrath can 
not be members of the Reichstag; but they have 
the right of attending the sittings of the latter, 
and, on demand, can at any time have the floor. 
The same holds true of the Prussian Ministers in 
the House of Representatives (Abgeordneten- 
haus) of the Landtag. Here are precedents 
worth considering in the much-discussed ques 
tion whether our Cabinet officers should be heard 
in Congress. The Reichstag is the legislative 
body of the Empire; and its members are elected 
by universal suffrage and direct vote, which is 
very different from the elaborate Prussian sys 
tem of indirect vote based upon the comparative 
amount of tax paid by the respective citizens. 
In reference to Prussia’s greatness, our author 
calls attention to two important facts in that 
nation’s history, viz., (1) that its rapid gain of 
power in foreign relations and its internal de 
velopment 44 have been essentially the work of its 
princes” (p. 31); and (2) 44 that it was essentially 
the absolute form of the Government (Staats- 
form) which we have to thank for our magnifi 
cent development in the last century ” (p. 32). 
The two truths are so closely interwoven that 
they are practically one; for with all their ability 
the Hohenzollerns would have been unable to 
build up the Prussia of to-day by any other 
method than compulsion, as German individu 
ality tends naturally to the formation of small 
communities. With the modern advance of 
democratic ideas it would be practically impos 
sible to reestablish absolute government in 
Prussia. That country is still, however, far 
from adopting the opposite extreme of universal 
suffrage. The system of electing members of the 
Landtag is too complicated to be explained in a 
few words. It must suffice here to say that the 
voters are divided into three classes based on the 
census returns of property; so that wealth gives 
power. At the same time the principle is ap 
plied, which we Americans are slow to learn, 
viz., that responsibility should ever accompany 
power. In this respect the Germans criticise our 
politics severely, in that we have no method of 
inducing or compelling our best men to assume 
the cares of government, especially of those 
seemingly petty, but, in the end, weighty matters 
of local administration. A wealthy Prussian 
may have a dozen votes in his district; but in re 
turn he must assume the frequently annoying 
duties of magistracy, and not only serve with 
out pay, but be answerable in the regular courts 
for the slightest overstepping of the strictly de 
fined bounds of his jurisdiction. Furthermore, 
if he declines to accept the office, his taxes, al 
ready heavy, will be increased one-eighth or one- 
fourth; or he may adopt au alternative which 
seems still less attractive, i. e., appoint a substi 
tute, whom not only he will have to pay out of 
his own purse, but for whose every act he remains 
answerable in the courts. 
The administrative system of Prussia is exceed 
ingly complicated, and, for a foreigner, not al 
ways easy of comprehension. The book before 
us explains it, so far as the author’s prescribed 
limits allow. A knowledge of the details, how 
ever, is not necessary for the understanding of a 
few great principles which lie at the bottom of 
it, and which are in all probability the secret of 
its success. In the first place, almost all offices 
are held practically for life. No slight failure in 
performance of duty, not even an arbitrary abuse 
of power, unless it be a great enormity, is con 
sidered cause of dismissal. The delinquent may 
be reprimanded, fined, suspended ; but expulsion 
from the service is so weighty a matter that the 
unhappy man must either die or emigrate. There 
remains for him in Prussia no place of public or 
private trust. A man can therefore make choice 
of a Government career, and spend years in fit 
ting himself for it, in the certainty that, once ac 
cepted in the service, he is practically sure of a 
comfortable berth for life. The Government not 
only requires, by rigid examinations, that appli 
cants for office be well fitted for the positions 
they wish to fill, but it provides institutions of 
learning with courses specially adapted to the 
various careers open to a man desiring to enter 
the Government; employ. 
Not only are the positions life-long, but the 
system of pensioning old or disabled officials, or 
the families of deceased ones, is very complete. 
The sums thus given seem to an American some 
times ridiculously small. The salaries themselves 
are very moderate. But Germans, as a rule, are 
not accustomed to the luxury of American life ; 
and the certainty of a small sum, with compara 
tively light work, possesses great attraction for 
them. But this official life possesses still other 
advantages. Not only does position give a cor 
responding place in society, but the families of 
officials in the same department form social cir 
cles among themselves. Furthermore, in addi 
tion to their salaries, the higher officials receive 
a fixed sum yearly for entertaining their subor 
dinates, and these entertainments are given in 
handsome Government apartments provided ex 
pressly for this purpose. To these considerations 
add further the system of conferring orders and 
honors, from the Black Eagle down, for efficient 
service. Last, but not least, there is held out the 
hope of perpetuating one’s name in marble, 
bronze, or other material; if not in the form of 
a great statue in an open square, or a niche in 
the Hall of Fame, still in a panel in a public 
building or a portrait in a museum or picture 
gallery, there to abide for centuries to be seen 
and remarked of men. 
As a whole, and in spite of obvious disadvan 
tages, the service is so effective, and the protec 
tion of the citizens against abuse of power so 
complete, that the system deserves thorough

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