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Is not the quiet communion with one's self, which is our most precious treasure, destroyed or banished by living in such close relations with others?
I think that it is not, and only those who pine for rest shall enter the home.
I beg you not to consider this as the roof of my life-building; it is to be only a merry green bough which I would set up.
[Eric to Weidmann.]
This letter goes only three days before us to Europe, to the Rhine.
I am coming home.
Deliver the enclosed legal doc.u.ment to the proper authorities.
I herein declare that only a life interest is retained in Villa Eden for myself and Manna, my wife. I herein declare the house, the garden, the park, as described in the Registry office, and a sufficient sum, hereafter to be determined, irrevocably a.s.signed for the maintenance of deserving scientific men and artists.
My friend and teacher, Professor Einsiedel, is commissioned to draw up the rules regulating the admission and the mode of life of those who are to be inmates of Villa Eden.
My wish is, that there should be a peaceful refuge for deserving intellectual labor, a home for voluntary work, in VILLA EDEN, THE COUNTRY HOUSE ON THE RHINE.
(P.S.) I have promised Roland, if I live until the year 1887, to come back here to celebrate the hundredth birthday of the American Republic.
Then will we see and compare what each of us has accomplished in his father-land and for his fellow-men.
Messrs. Roberts Brothers' Publications.
BY THE AUTHOR OF "VILLA EDEN."
THE GREAT NOVEL OF THE DAY.
O N T H E H E I G H T S
By BERTHOLD AUERBACH.
One handsome volume, with Pictorial t.i.tle. Price, $2.00.
Only recently presented to American readers, this volume has made its mark, and will be henceforth cla.s.sed among those works of fiction which hold a lasting place in literature.
"'On the Heights,' in its calm beauty, is like a bill-side meadow on a bright May morning, when every blade of gra.s.s holds a sparkling world, and the air is stirred by no sound save the matin songs of the birds, and no darkness falls upon the ground save the occasional shadow of a cloud, which creeps slowly away, giving place to the full flood of sunlight.
"The 'heights' are heights of social position, of intellectual striving, and of moral purity; and the problems treated are the deepest problems of life."--_Rochester Democrat_.
The t.i.tle is beautifully chosen, originated by Goethe's line, "On every height there lies repose." Throughout it brings into sharp contrast the life of the palace and the life of the cottage.
"The _beauty_ of the work lies in the idyllic charm of the good, true-hearted cottage life. Nothing in literature surpa.s.ses it; we think it would be no exaggeration to say that nothing rivals it. We will not recount, however briefly, the story here; that were to mar a pleasure for some reader whom we hope to draw to this great work. Suffice it to say that it is a record of sin and of expiation,--not of sin in its outward act, but in its essence. There is nothing sensational here, nothing lurid,--no bigamy, no savage murders; this book is a soul history, and a great crime--no less a one than the ruin of a family through a falsely directed love--is seen in the distance,--obscurely, as in the death of Mary Stuart in the last scene of Schiller's play.
Amid the development of sin in a pure but pa.s.sionate soul, and amid its expiation, there are brought upon the stage characters of Roman grandeur, not attractive, indeed, because stiff and hard, but truly n.o.ble and quickening.
"To the Christian reader the book appeals with special force, for being absolutely Christless, and yet dealing with the deepest needs of a sinning soul, it presents an argument stronger than any which we have ever seen for a Saviour who shall expiate sin, and leave the offender free to go on and labor and enter into the joy of life, without condemning himself to an expiation which shall end only with his death.
Thus the book, which is a special plea in behalf of an absolutely Christless philosophy, leads directly and irresistibly to the cross of Christ. No religion is worth much, according to Auerbach, but for the poetry it guards and expresses. Yet, while this is the tone of the book, the writer of this article confesses that he rises from 'On the Heights' with a clearer sense of the need of Christianity to solve the deepest mysteries of woe and sin and suffering than he has had before, and that all who are able to see anything in this book but a charming and yet saddening story, will find themselves like-minded."--_Extract from a review by a Clergyman in the Hartford Evening Post._
"The author's last work, 'On the Heights,' has been p.r.o.nounced the finest German novel since Goethe's 'Wilhelm Meister.'"
"Auerbach is thought by many to be the first writer of fiction living."--_New York Evening Post._
"Among the living European novelists, Auerbach holds a pre-eminent rank."--_New York Tribune._
"The leading German novelist of these days."--_New Haven Palladium._
"The genius of the master is stamped on the production of his pen."--_Providence Post._
"'On the Heights' is the most remarkable novel that has come to us from the home of Goethe during the present century."--_Northern Monthly_, _May_, 1868.
"One of the few great works of the age."--JOHN G. SAXE, _in Albany Argus_.