Germany, From the Earliest Period

Wolfgang Menzel

Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 21,31 MB
  • EAN: 9780243845910
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The Romans regarded the forests of Germany with super stitious dread. There were said to be gigantic trees which, when hollowed into boats, held thirty men, and through the arches formed by their projecting roots a horseman could ride at full speed. The buffalo, the bison, and the elk, once nu merous in these wilds, have now totally disappeared; and the bears, whose skins were the chief article of the dress of our forefathers, the wolves, boars, and innumerable other large game, daily become more scarce. The country possessed neither towns, roads, nor bridges, and it is easily conceivable that, dissatisfied with their meagre forest fare, the people con tinually migrated to and took possession of the fruitful lands of neighbouring nations. Solitude created a desire, or romantic longing, in the breast of the ancient inhabitant of these wilds, for what was distant and unknown, whilst the habits of the chace rendered him enterprising and hardy. The laws founded upon personal freedom, the virtuous manners and cheerful temperament of the ancient German, originated in those mighty wastes, where, forced to trust to his own re sources, man necessarily became independent, and was secure from the corruption incidental to crowded communities. These wild forests also attached an idea of the marvellous, so novel to the Romans, to the character of the German, who, trained to war by the habits of the chace, associated piety with ferocity, and would still listen to the secret voice of Nature in the mysterious whisperings of the forest, now disposing him to deep musings, now creating strange forebodings, which were recognised as true prophetic inspiration in the women and maidens.