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The concept of action in the works of J.M.R. Lenz Pope, Timothy Fairfax 1980

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THE CONCEPT OF ACTION IN THE WORKS OF J.M.R. LENZ by TIMOTHY FAIRFAX POPE B.A., The University of Oxford, 1970 M.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Germanic Studies) We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1980 (c) Timothy Fairfax Pope, 1980 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f Germanic S t u d i e s The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 ABSTRACT Lenz's concept of action: Handeln, i s a pervasive idea i n his writings and an obvious preoccupation i n his l i f e . Lenz scholarship has tended to follow Goethe and other contemporaries of Lenz i n seeing Lenz's activism i n practice as mere intr i g u e , and as a mere obsession when i t was commended i n theory. Scholars have, at the most, looked for o r i g i n s for his views, or changes i n them, but have generally declined to take them as the serious and coherent statement that they were intended to be. This study views Lenz's ideas on action as a coherent whole that amounts to a credible philosophy of l i f e worth studying for i t s own sake, and with i t s p a r a l l e l s i n modern psychotherapy. Lenz's views are inseparable from the Societe de Philosophie  et de Belles L e t t r e s — t h e i d e n t i t y of which we f i n d i t necessary to c l a r i f y - - because they were expressed i n the context of this society and for i t s benefit. Its turgid s p i r i t was what provoked Lenz to urge i t s members to action. Most Lenz scholars to the contrary, one of the society's members: Johann Daniel Salzmann, stands apart from the others i n influencing and encouraging the poet i n his thinking. Responding warmly to Salzmann's ideas Lenz works out his own philosophical and theological system of salvation through action, i n which Goethe's GStz von Berlichingen stands as the model for powerful, spontaneous, a l t r u i s t i c action, creating and expressing the freedom of the i n d i v i d u a l . i i i Lenz's deepest in t e r e s t , though, i s not i n moral giants and t h e i r exemplary action, but i n ordinary humanity and the soteriology of any action. I t i s man's c a l l i n g to develop morally by learning from the consequences of his actions. Whether good or bad, action i s the basis for moral discovery, growth and salvation; as such i t i s a sacred expression of one's i n d i v i d u a l i t y and beyond the reach of judgmental moralising by others. As l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c Lenz defends Werther against N i c o l a i ' s parody, arguing that Werther's l i f e had pre c i s e l y this sacramental q u a l i t y . The spontaneity of Werther's actions was matched by his willingness to take moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for them, and to learn from them. Freedom of action i s freedom to make mistakes and to p r o f i t from those mistakes: t h i s , to Lenz, i s the gospel of C h r i s t . At the heart of i t i s the idea of metanoia, which i s the new menta-l i t y , the l o f t i e r perspective that comes about through the per-formance of action that i s followed by moral evaluation. Metanoia means not the p i e t i s t i c dwelling on past f a i l u r e s and past wrong-doing, implied by the German equivalent Bufie, but the sense of freedom to turn those f a i l u r e s to account. Lenz's f i r s t major drama: Per Hofmeister, brings the idea of metanoia to bear on the f a l l i b l e nature of human l i f e . The play concerns not so much the cause of the family tragedy: ostensibly the h i r i n g of a private tutor, as the way i n which that tragedy i s overcome by moral renewal and by the joy of believing that the curse of the past i s outweighed by the i n f i n i t e i v p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the future. In Die Soldaten, the painfu l and saddening consequences of erring action are barely overcome. But though blame for the disaster i s l a i d at society's door, i t i s again the i n d i v i d u a l that i s morally responsible. Since i t i s Marie's and Wesener's actions that are at f a u l t , there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r learning from the consequences and experiencing some degree of metanoia. Their predominant reaction i s , however, not the joy of renewal but the painful acceptance of suffering, which, i n Lenz's view, was one of the highest forms of action, with i t s own perspective of salvation. Thesis Supervisor V CONTENTS Introduction — Chapter One — Chapter Two — Chapter Three — Chapter Four — Conclusion — Footnotes — Bibliography -• Page 1 The Societe de Philosophie et de Belles Lettres 10 The Influence of Johann Daniel Salzmann on Lenz 58 The Theological Case for Lenz's Concept of Action 9 8 The Reflection of Lenz's Theology and Moral Philo-sophy i n his L i t e r a r y -C r i t i c a l Writings 165 Chapter Five — Metanoia i n Der Hofmeister 202 Chapter Six — Die Soldaten : Personal Responsibility or Social Conditioning ? 245 2 80 286 300 1 INTRODUCTION "Solange man mich nicht eines Bessern belehrt, gehe ich auf diesem Wege f o r t und glaube, daS es besser s e i , des HERRN Willen 1 . zu tun als ihn bloB zu wissen". Such i s J.M.R. Lenz's conclusion to a paper written for delivery to the Strassburg Society for Philosophy and Literature sometime during the period 1772-1774. The essay attempted to lay r a t i o n a l i s t i c foundations on which to base a system of morality that would s a t i s f y the demand, f e l t strongly by Lenz and widely shared by his age, for a new activism i n human e t h i c a l a f f a i r s : for aspiration rather than contentment, a s t r i v i n g for further improvement instead of s a t i s f a c t i o n with past achievements or indifference to present mediocrity, above a l l for p r a c t i c a l achievements rather than mere th e o r e t i c a l insights. The c a l l to action i s heard i n philosophical thought, being im-p l i c i t i n Leibniz's system of monadic inte r a c t i o n as well as i n Kant's e t h i c a l imperative; i t i s heard i n the Church where, under P i e t i s t influence the s t a t i c and passive nature of Lutheran teach-ing on the i n e f f i c a c y of human works for salvation and the need for " f a i t h alone" yielded to a more active concern to bring r e l i -gion to bear on the p r a c t i c a l matters of everyday l i f e , and i t i s heard i n the l i t e r a r y world as men came, with Herder, to see h i s -tory as drama and drama as history, as the sum of what happens and what people do. The demand for mere knowledge to be supplemented by action i s reinforced throughout Lenz's writings, however, by various theolo-g i c a l and psychological arguments, which encourage us to treat 2 this all-pervasive idea as more than merely a r e f l e c t i o n of the mood of the times, as more than Sturm und Drang impatience with the hide-bound t r a d i t i o n s of middle-class l i f e , or the inevitable reaction to the complacency that accompanied the Enlightenment's advances i n understanding. With Lenz, action, and the moral im-pl i c a t i o n s and problems associated with i t , are an overriding concern, and one i n which the uniqueness of Lenz's thought i s largely to be found. There i s l i t t l e i n common between Lenz's activism and the uncontrolled, heedless behaviour of Klinger's or Leisewitz' "Kraftkerle", chafing at the li m i t a t i o n s to t h e i r sphere of action. Lenz does not see action merely as a way to deploy the colossal energies of the genius. As Bertha Huber-Bindschedler points out i n her study of Lenz's psychology: "In Lenz war, abgesehen von Goethe und Herder, das kraftgeniale Streben am meisten von a l i e n Stiirmern und Drangern v e r t i e f t . Der nur a f f e k t i v e , schrankenlose Titanismus war seinem eigenen Wesen 2. fremd." Indeed Lenz consciously rejected such use of one's energies: "Nichts i s t aber der menschlichen Natur unwiirdiger", he says, "als Handlungen die nach keinem Z i e l gehen"(I.483). Nor can Lenz condone merely negative and destructive s o c i a l c r i t i -cism or s o c i a l action. Rather he rejects a l l action that i s not whole-heartedly devoted to the p r a c t i c a l improvement of society or the i n d i v i d u a l . Thus Huber-Bindschedler sums up Lenz's unique-ness: "Lenz begniigte sich aber damit hicht, Bestehendes einfach niederzureiBen, sondern machte es sich zur groBen Aufgabe, auch Plane zu Reformen zu entwerfen, also producktive K r i t i k zu iiben, und damit ragt er liber a l l e anderen kleineren Sturmer und Dranger hinaus" (19). 3 I t i s often stated that Lenz wished to reform society. What i s not so well appreciated i s the extent to which Lenz staked a l l his personal l i f e : his career, his reputation, his happiness, on the hope and b e l i e f that men were reformable, and reformable by the l i k e s of him. There were to be reformed, moreover, not by having t h e i r minds entertained with p r o f i t a b l e ideas, but by being personally challenged i n t h e i r hearts and feelings, and through an awakening of t h e i r moral awareness. Ottomar Rudolf, a r r i v i n g at a formulation i n the conclusion to his book of t h i s fundamental Lenzian purpose, too late though to make much use of i t , speaks of the poet's desire to awaken, through his a r t , the organic morality l y i n g dormant within man; he speaks of Lenz's b e l i e f that the proof of l i t e r a t u r e was i n 3 . i t s effectiveness i n leading the reader to a new l i f e . I t i s our view, too, that action i n Lenz i s not merely a highly developed idea, but also a way of l i f e , even a r e l i g i o n . His c a l l for action arises out of the conviction that moral goals are r e a l i s a b l e for i n d i v i d u a l and society a l i k e . His l i t e r a r y work of 1771-1776 i s i t s e l f his own way of working to achieve such goals, i t i s i t s e l f the sort of action that he commends i n his t h e o r e t i c a l essays. It has been common to dwell on the often u n r e a l i s t i c nature of much of Lenz's a c t i v i t y , to stress the f a i l u r e of his aspira-tions, and to show the f a i l u r e s to be symptomatic of an i n d i v i d u a l who, lacking "Verstand", as Wieland and Lavater were not slow to notice, fought his battles and strove for his reforms more i n the 4 4. realm of his own fantasy than i n the re a l world. C r i t i c s of Lenz have been a l l too readi l y inspired by Goethe's verdict on his former close f r i e n d to research his weaknesses rather than his strengths: "So hat er niemanden, den er l i e b t e , jemals ge-5. nutzt, niemanden, den er haBte, jemals geschadet." In the present study we s h a l l not attempt to evaluate the relevance or effectiveness of Lenz's action, partly because th i s has been done before, but partly also because i t i s not important here that Lenz's ideas and a c t i v i t i e s did not bring him personal and professional success. Success i s not always a measure of value or relevance; Lenz's v i s i o n of the world i s not rendered value-less merely by his lack of those q u a l i t i e s of character and per-sonality required for i t to make an impact on the re a l s o c i a l world with which i t was concerned. Lenz may well have suffered from a larger portion of "Disproportion des Talents mit dem Leben" than most poets, es p e c i a l l y as he saw his talents as useless ex-cept i n the context of p r a c t i c a l l i f e . But one thing that i s often overlooked i s that Lenz was well aware of his shortcomings. He knew that his ideas and aspirations outstripped his power to implement them, he was aware of his tendency for his fantasy to form i t s own image of r e a l i t y and supplant that truer image that sober r e f l e c t i o n subsequently gave him. I t i s because he i s aware of himself that he i s able to give l i t e r a r y shape to such personal experiences as he records i n Per Waldbruder and Das Tagebuch. In r e a l i t y , Lenz knew himself only too well; he had learnt from his P i e t i s t upbringing to monitor his inner l i f e , and had the l i t e r a r y g i f t s to explore them i n the objective medium of poetry and prose. 5 Whilst being sure, therefore, of his strengths he has a r e a l i s t i c awareness of his weaknesses; i n Pandemonium Germanicum Lenz makes Goethe say of him: "Leistet er nichts, so hat er doch groJ3 ge-ahndet"(11.276). I t serves l i t t l e purpose, therefore, to dwell on the d i s -crepancy i n his l i f e between his philosophy of action and his lack of p r a c t i c a l success, p a r t i c u l a r l y as his philosophy takes f u l l y into account the question of f a i l u r e , and of action done i n error and producing harmful consequences. Our aim i s to expound his ideas, not to c r i t i c i s e them or question his s u i t a b i l i t y to re-present them. What interests us i s what Lenz consciously and con-s i s t e n t l y advocates and attempts to put into practice. I t i s our b e l i e f that his views on action that were expressed over the period 1771-1776 do form a coherent whole, and can be studied for t h e i r own sake. This approach i s i n contrast to that which sees Lenz's optimistic activism as a short-lived struggle against a fundamental, overriding i r r a t i o n a l i s m , produced i n him by his P i e t i s t upbringing and f u e l l e d by his extreme s e n s i b i l i t y . Werner Wien's study, for example, discerns a development i n Lenz's thought from an i n i t i a l period of i r r a t i o n a l i s m , strongly coloured by P i e t i s t asceticism, through a period of Leibnizian rationalism, to a new form of his 6. e a r l i e r i r r a t i o n a l i s m . We consider the r e l a t i v i s m of th i s ap-proach harmful to a true understanding of Lenz's ideas. I t does not help to see aspects of Lenz's thought merely as stages on the way back to i r r a t i o n a l i s m and ultimate madness. What should be stressed i s what i s deliberate and consciously stri v e n a f t e r i n Lenz, not what happens when things get out of hand, as they did 6 from late 1776 onwards. Development, anyway, i s d i f f i c u l t to trace when the order of Lenz's works i s not known for sure, and when works are even m i s - i d e n t i f i e d and wrongly brought into re-l a t i o n with one another: an unfortunate defect of Wien's study, as we s h a l l see i n chapter three below. A study of development necessarily presupposes a certainty regarding the chronological order of the works concerned. A d i f f e r e n t order would demand a d i f f e r e n t theory of development. With many of Lenz's writings that certainty i s , at present, impossible to achieve; and to pro-ceed without i t i s , with Wien, to come p e r i l o u s l y close to adopt-ing an order which makes best sense of the theory of development already assumed, rather than derive a sense of development d i r e c t l y from a given order. By noting consistency i n Lenz's thought rather than change, we are therefore on safer ground, esp e c i a l l y as the period of Lenz's key writings covers a mere six years: scarcely a long enough period to allow us to talk of the poet's "early" or "mature" thought. We are focussing on recurrent ideas because these can be reasonably expected to represent fundamental convic-tions and, just as reasonably, to f i n d expression i n Lenz's drama-t i c works—the most valuable items of his l i t e r a r y legacy. Not that the idea of a development or change i n the Lenz of the years 1771-1776 should be altogether excluded. There i s no doubt that Die Soldaten, as a l a t e r play than Der Hofmeister, indicates a maturer poet. We s h a l l comment i n our conclusion below on what maturity the play reveals. This study, therefore, w i l l analyse Lenz's notion of action, as i t i s discussed i n theory, as i t i s urged on his l i s t e n e r s as 7 a p r a c t i c a l obligation, and as i t s implications are drawn out i n essays and i l l u s t r a t e d i n dramas. His ideas were f i r s t expressed for the benefit of a l i t e r a r y society: the Societe de Philosophie  et de Belles Lettres i n Strassburg (hereafter referred to as Societe). I t was for the weekly sessions of this group that most of Lenz's essays were produced, indeed i t was even to counter the apparently turgid s p i r i t of the group that Lenz was moved to stress his dynamic philosophy. The poet i s provoked on more than one oc-casion into impatient c r i t i c i s m of i t s practices, and he begins to regard his own a c t i v i t y i n i t s midst i n terms of a private mission to the unconverted. He complains of i t s "Schneckenmoralphilosophie", and declares his resolve "den Leuten Standpunkt i h r e r Religion 7 . einzustecken". I t i s to t h i s Societe that he makes the pronounce-ment, quoted at the beginning of t h i s study, that no amount of theorising w i l l replace the need for p r a c t i c a l action. The Societe w i l l be studied, therefore, as the i n i t i a l context of Lenz's ideas, as the i n i t i a l sphere of his a c t i v i t y , and as such a s t a r t i n g point for the reformation of society as a whole. We s h a l l show that he also found i n the Societe not only a pretext and audience, but also an important shaping influence for his views i n the p h i l o -sophical thinking of one member: Johann Daniel Salzmann. The con-cept of action w i l l then be studied i n s p e c i f i c t h e o r e t i c a l es-says, beginning with the moral-philosophical writings, where Lenz puts together and expounds a system of moral growth and freedom through action. Being no philosopher, however, and knowing f u l l well how unsystematically his thinking always proceeded, Lenz the theologian develops his thoughts on action most f u l l y i n his theo-8 l o g i c a l t r e a t i s e s . The c a l l to action i n our opening quotation, reminiscent of 8 . St. James's "Seid aber Thater des Worts und nicht Horer a l l e i n " , reveals the i d e n t i t y , to Lenz's mind, of morality and C h r i s t i a n i t y , and indicates how both of these come back down to the fundamental p r i n c i p l e of action. Religion i s action: "des HERRN Willen zu tun"; and action, being the p r i n c i p l e of morality, i s also r e l i -gion: "des HERRN Willen zu tun". The problem arises how we are to define the Lord's w i l l which man must be active to perform. In some of Lenz's writings this question does not seem to apply. The morality of action matters less than the fact that action i s mora-l i t y , i s r e l i g i o n . He writes: "Ihr werdet gerichtet werden, und seid schon j e t z t gerichtet vor Gott, nicht nach dem, was i h r ge-traumt habt, sondern was i h r gehandelt habt bei Leibes Leben, es se i gut O d e r bose"(I.509). His demand for action at a l l costs, whether good or bad, follows the model of Christ's parable of the Pounds: the one who i s censured i s the one who does nothing: "Nur dem Knecht, der sein noch iibriges Pfund anwendet, wird mehr gege-ben als er h a t — d e r andere kehr ins Chaos zuriick, aus dem er zur neuen Schopfung hervor hatte gehen konnen, vergrab es t i e f im SchweiBtuch und sterbe des Todes"(I.504). But action does pose a problem to Lenz; he i s aware of the d i f f i c u l t y of harmonising action with morality and with happiness, and of the sometimes tr a g i c consequences of well-meaning human action. I t i s his be-l i e f , though, that such consequences can be overcome by God's grace and by repentance, understood i n the l i t e r a l sense of the Greek word: metanoia. 9 The theological solution to the problem of action, then, that he works out i n his essays, and encapsulates i n the impera-t i v e : M£TavoE * L T E , has important implications for Lenz's dramatic theory, as i t i s presented i n his l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l writings. There i t also becomes a c r i t e r i o n by which to defend Goethe's Werther, and by which also to judge and condemn the l i t e r a r y prac-t i c e of Christoph Martin Wieland, whose moralism ran counter, he f e l t , to his notion of free action, and whose light-heartedness discouraged moral s t r i v i n g . The well-meaning, though erring, actions of the in d i v i d u a l deserve not an urbane, i r o n i c smile, but compassion and forgiveness, and the encouragement to do better next time. In the dramas. Per Hofmeister and Pie Soldaten Lenz tests out his theological solution. There he creates a world i n which his b e l i e f i n metanoia comes to bear on the mediocrity of human behaviour i n r e a l l i f e , as his n a t u r a l i s t i c genius perceives i t . He shows that since human beings are responsible agents, true happiness and fu l f i l m e n t comes by moral and s p i r i t u a l growth, achie-ved through the t r i a l and error of active l i v i n g . For the main characters i n these plays such growth i s seen i n enhanced human relationships and i n an acceptance of hardship. Through t h e i r ac-tion, though erring, Berg and Gustchen, Wesener and Marie learn to love and to su f f e r . These lessons, once learnt, enable Gustchen and her family to work a l t r u i s t i c a l l y on others' behalf. Work, love and suffering: we s h a l l b r i e f l y note i n conclusion how these three values f i n d a powerful echo i n twentieth-century psychology. The implications of Lenzian "action" have been r e d i s -covered i n the contemporary practice of r e a l i t y therapy and logo-therapy . 10 CHAPTER ONE The Societe de Philpsophie et de Belles Lettres Shortly a f t e r a r r i v i n g i n Strassburg i n the Spring of 1771, Lenz found his way to a Kosthaus run by the Lauth s i s t e r s i n what was then the Knoblauchgasse. Here, as Goethe and J u n g - S t i l l i n g record, he met a c i r c l e of ten to twenty friends united by a common enthusiasm for l i t e r a t u r e and contemporary thought. Jung-S t i l l i n g had belonged to t h i s Tischgesellschaft since 1770 and was to stay another year. Herder had just l e f t i n person but was un-doubtedly s t i l l very much present i n s p i r i t . Goethe was there, apart from his v i s i t s to Sesenheim, for the f i r s t four months of Lenz's stay, before returning to Frankfurt. Other Stammgaste i n -cluded Goethe's f r i e n d Lerse, immortalised i n Gotz von Berlichingen, and Meyer von Lindau, a l a t e r f r i e n d and correspondent of Lenz's. Throughout the summer months they met over lunch, discussing drama, r e l i g i o n , language, poetry and philosophy, and finding immense en-joyment and stimulation i n a highly creative exchange of ideas. The group had found i t s president i n the actuary Johann Daniel Salzmann, an older figure than the others and a f i t person to main-t a i n l o g i c and order i n the discussions as well as moderation i n the consumption of wine. I t was also here that Lenz learned, per-haps through J u n g - S t i l l i n g , of another, more formal l i t e r a r y socie-ty that met once a week expressly for the purpose of reading and discussing members' own writings. By the autumn of that year he had also attached himself to that group, known as the Societe de  Philosophie et de Belles Lettres or Gesellschaft der schonen Wis-11 s e n s c h a f t e n . The im p o r t a n c e o f a l l t h e s e g a t h e r i n g s cannot be o v e r s t r e s s e d . Out o f them came, as d i r e c t r e s u l t s , J u n g - S t i l l i n g 1 s a u t o b i o g r a p h y , Lenz's c r i t i c a l , p h i l o s o p h i c a l and r e l i g i o u s e s s a y s , H erder's e s s a y on Shakespeare p u b l i s h e d i n Von d e u t s c h e r A r t und Ku n s t , and Salzmann's Ku r z e Abhandlungen. Beyond t h e s e s p e c i f i c works t h e Sturm und Drang movement as a whole owes much t o t h o s e f o r m a t i v e and c r e a t i v e d i s c u s s i o n s i n t h e Knoblauchgasse and a t th e S o c i e t e . Lenz's t h e o r e t i c a l e s s a y s were composed f o r d e l i v e r y t o t h e S o c i e t e ; here i t was t h a t h i s i d e a s were shaped and a r t i c u l a t e d , and t h a t he i s s u e d h i s s t i r r i n g c a l l t o a c t i o n . W i t h o u t the S o c i e t e h i s c o n v i c t i o n s would p r o b a b l y have remained l a r g e l y un-e x p r e s s e d and much o f h i s work u n w r i t t e n . I t i s v i t a l , t h e n , t o c l a r i f y what t h e S o c i e t e was and who were t h e f i g u r e s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r s h a p i n g i t , and t h e r e b y f o r i n f l u e n c i n g Lenz's i n t e l l e c t u a l development. S u r p r i s i n g l y , a good d e a l o f c o n f u s i o n has r e i g n e d 1 . u n t i l t he p r e s e n t day on t h i s s c o r e , and on o c c a s i o n even the S o c i e t e ' s e x i s t e n c e has been c a l l e d i n q u e s t i o n , and t h i s , s t r a n g e -l y , by Goethe h i m s e l f . I n Book 10 o f D i c h t u n g und Wah r h e i t we f i n d him not o n l y q u e s t i o n i n g t h a t Lenz was i n v o l v e d i n such a s o c i e t y , b u t a p p a r e n t l y q u e s t i o n i n g as w e l l whether such a s o c i e t y e x i s t e d . T h i s i s a p u z z l i n g c o n t r a d i c t i o n , when we see Lenz a t -t e s t i n g so s t r o n g l y t o the S o c i e t e 1 s i m p o r t a n c e by the number o f times he r e f e r s t o i t , and r e f e r s h i s w r i t i n g s and i d e a s s p e c i f i -c a l l y t o i t . Lenz w r i t e s , f o r example, i n 1774 as a p r e f a c e t o h i s Anmerkungen i i b e r das T h e a t e r : "Diese S c h r i f t ward zwei J a h r e v o r E r s c h e i n u n g d e r Deutschen A r t und Kunst und des Gotz von B e r l i c h -12 i n g e n i n e i n e r G e s e l l s c h a f t g u t e r Freunde v o r g e l e s e n " ( I . 3 2 9 ) . Goethe, however, l o o k i n g back on h i s a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h L e n z , w r i t e s : " B e i d i e s e n (Anmerkungen) war es m i r einigermaBen a u f -f a l l e n d , daB e r i n einem l a k o n i s c h e n V o r b e r i c h t e s i c h d a h i n auSerte,. a l s s e i der I n h a l t d i e s e s A u f s a t z e s , der m i t H e f t i g -k e i t gegen das r e g e l m a B i g e T h e a t e r g e r i c h t e t war, schon v o r e i n i g e n J a h r e n , a l s V o r l e s u n g , e i n e r G e s e l l s c h a f t von L i t e r a t u r -f r e u n d e n bekannt geworden,zu der Z e i t a l s o , wo Gotz noch n i c h t g e s c h r i e b e n gewesen. I n Lenzens S t r a B b u r g e r V e r h a l t n i s s e n s c h i e n e i n l i t e r a r i s c h e r Z i r k e l , den i c h n i c h t kennen s o l l t e , etwas p r o b l e m a t i s c h " ( X . 1 1 ) . What ar e we t o make of Goethe's words? I s he q u e r y i n g t h a t Lenz r e a l l y b e l o n g ed t o a l i t e r a r y c i r c l e ? Or t h a t he r e a l l y r e a d h i s essay t o i t i n 1771? Or i s he q u e s t i o n i n g t h e v e r y e x i s t e n c e o f any s o c i e t y t h a t was o u t s i d e o f h i s own l i t e r a r y w o r l d ? Whether o r not he knows about th e S o c i e t e , he d i s g u i s e s h ere th e e x a c t o b j e c t o f h i s query i n a way t h a t a l e r t s us t o the f a c t t h a t more i s a t s t a k e , a t t h i s p o i n t o f h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h y , t h a n m e r e l y h i s t o r i c a l a c c u r a c y . There i s p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t i n the way he remembers h i s Sturm und Drang y e a r s ; i f he s u g g e s t s here t h a t Lenz i s i n e r r o r , o r even d i s h o n e s t i n h i s c l a i m s t o p r i o r i t y , i t i s n o t m e r e l y t o c l e a r up a f a c t u a l p o i n t , b u t be-cause he i s more concerned, h e r e , w i t h a p o r t r a y a l o f Lenz t h a t w i l l e x p l a i n the subsequent c o o l i n g o f t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p . Goethe sees Lenz as a somewhat m i s g u i d e d opponent, and as an example o f the k i n d o f u n s t a b l e s u b j e c t i v i s m t h a t he had p u t b e h i n d him i n Werther (X.11;571,notes 7,15). He i s s t u n g by what he sees as 13 the provocative nature of Lenz's claim to p r i o r i t y , and takes the provocation personally. Lenz i s a f t e r a l l seeking prestige for his own thinking at Goethe's and Herder's expense, and Goethe, for one, i s not prepared to grant i t . We might expect, though, that he would proceed to refute Lenz's claim by appealing to the known facts of the case: that i s , by going into the c i r -cumstances under which the ideas of the Anmerkungen were r e a l l y developed, expanding on the glimpse that he gives us i n Book XI of Dichtung und Wahrheit, where he describes the insights of the Anmerkungen as a r i s i n g out of group discussion at the lunch-time Tischgesellschaft. "Will jemand unmittelbar erfahren," he says there, "was i n dieser lebendigen Gesellschaft gedacht, gesprochen und verhandelt worden, der lese den Aufsatz Herders iiber Shaks-peare J^siciJ , i n dem Hefte von Deutscher Art und Kunst; ferner Lenzens Anmerkungen iibers Theater" (IX. 494) . Regardless of the question of Lenz's membership i n any other society, i t was almost c e r t a i n l y at t h i s Table Society that Herder's and Lenz's essays were born, and Goethe could have made thi s point. However he chooses rather to question the occasion on which Lenz's assertion of p r i o r i t y i s based: that i s , to question the l i k e l i h o o d of Lenz's belonging not only to the Tischgesellschaft but also to another society, out of which the new ideas were alleged to have come. Declining to discuss the facts of the case, Goethe sees only dishonesty i n Lenz's character. To him, t h i s "laconic pre-face" was just another instance of Lenz's apparent passion to pursue and attack him, out of Quixotic delusion, and to argue his own p r i o r i t y on f i c t i o n a l evidence. Was Goethe r i g h t to suggest 14 that Lenz's preface was a f i c t i o n i n rather poor taste? Actually, i f the analysis that Theodor F r i e d r i c h made of the Anmerkungen i s correct, Goethe was not altogether wrong to 2 . question Lenz's claim to p r i o r i t y . But he was wrong to question the l i k e l i h o o d of his membership i n the l i t e r a r y society mentioned by Lenz i n the preface to his essay. The fact i s that Goethe was not i n a position to judge whether a l i t e r a r y c i r c l e independent of him was a l i k e l y part of Lenz's Strassburg circumstances i n 1771. He l e f t , a f t e r a l l , i n August of that year, and i t must have seemed quite conceivable to him i n retrospect that Lenz could e a s i l y have become active i n a society that autumn and win-ter, and could have written up some of the l i t e r a r y discussion that had taken place i n the Table Society before Herder's and Goethe's departure and which Goethe mentions i n the passage from Dichtung und Wahrheit quoted above—presenting t h i s material then to the other society, the "Gesellschaft guter Freunde", as a paper of his own. We need not, then, be led astray by Goethe's comments, and assume that a l i t e r a r y society separate from Goethe's own Tisch- gesellschaft never existed. Its existence i s proved beyond any shadow of doubt by references made to i t by other writers than Lenz. Attention was drawn to the decisive testimony of J u n g - S t i l l i n g i n his autobiography by Karl Kochendorffer as early as 1890, i n an a r t i c l e which,.if i t had been better known, would have prevented much of the confusion that has reigned u n t i l today about the nature 3 . of the Societe. Although Kochendorffer i s concerned to c l a r i f y 15 t h i s o n l y i n as f a r as such c l a r i f i c a t i o n a b s o l v e s Goethe o f any impious charge o f f a l s e h o o d and c o n f i r m s h i s own ( K o c h e n d o r f f e r 1 s ) p r e j u d i c e a g a i n s t F r e n c h c u l t u r e , he does p e r f o r m t h e l a s t i n g s e r v i c e o f s e p a r a t i n g much o f t h e f a c t from t h e f i c t i o n t h a t s u r -rounds our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Goethe's and Lenz's S t r a s s b u r g a c t i -v i t i e s . H i s argument f o r the s e p a r a t e e x i s t e n c e o f Lenz's " G e s e l l s c h a f t g u t e r Freunde" and f o r d i s s o c i a t i n g Goethe from i t s l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t i e s , i s c l i n c h e d , a l b e i t w i t h a s l i g h t r e -s e r v a t i o n , by comments J u n g - S t i l l i n g makes about the S o c i e t e i n a l e t t e r t o a r e a d e r o f 1 7 7 9 — a l e t t e r w hich seems t o have been h i t h e r t o o v e r l o o k e d , even by K o c h e n d o r f f e r , i n d i s c u s s i o n s o f the S o c i e t e . Jung w r i t e s : " A l s i c h zu StraBfcmrg s t u d i e r t e , h a t t e s i c h d a s e l b s t e i n e A n z a h l e d l e r J i i n g l i n g e zu e i n e r G e s e l l s c h a f t der schonen W i s s e n s c h a f t e n zusammen g e b i l d e t , i c h g e r i e t h i n d i e s angenehme Band und a r b e i t e t e f l e l B i g - m i t i h n e n . Der groSe Dr. G. s t u d i e r t e auch d a s e l b s t , und ob e r s i c h g l e i c h n i c h t m i t e i n l i e s : so e r s c h i e n e r doch z u w e i l e n b e i uns, und munterte mich 4. sehr a u f , den l i e b e n . J u n g l i n g e n zu h e l f e n . " Dr.. : Goethe d i d know, t h e r e f o r e , o f t h i s o t h e r s o c i e t y , and cannot be seen i n D i c h t u n g und W a h r h e i t t o be q u e s t i o n i n g i t s e x i s t e n c e . However, s i n c e J u n g - S t i l l i n g i s r e f e r r i n g here t o a time b e f o r e Lenz a r -r i v e d i n S t r a s s b u r g , o r b e f o r e he j o i n e d t h e S o c i e t e , i t i s q u i t e l i k e l y t h a t by the time Lenz j o i n e d , Goethe had l o n g s i n c e ceased p u t t i n g i n an appearance, and i n d e e d might a l r e a d y have l e f t S t r a s s b u r g . I f they never met a t t h e S o c i e t e , t h e n , Goethe may i n d e e d n o t have known o f Lenz's i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h i t , a t l e a s t i n 1771, a l t h o u g h by 1774, when t h e Anmerkungen, w i t h t h e i r p r o v o -16 cative prologue, were sent to Goethe for publication, he would ce r t a i n l y have known. If Goethe seemed surprised to hear of Lenz's membership in the Societe as early as 1771, t h i s i s , then, because Goethe himself had stopped coming by the time Lenz joined; i t i s not, as Kochendorffer suggests, that Goethe spurned the Societe a l -together and assumed that Lenz would have done the same. This scholar asks us to believe, and to applaud the fact, that i t was contempt for French culture that led Goethe to avoid the Societe and to consider i t inconceivable that the German Lenz 5. might at a l l have wanted to have anything to do with i t either. There i s c e r t a i n l y no support for t h i s view. Goethe's reasons for not joining are not known for sure, but i t i s l i k e l y that he would have found l i t t l e to i n s p i r e him i n the enthusiastic but probably rather undistinguished and d i l e t t a n t i s h discussions and lectures that were held i n i t s midst. We should see i t as a Sturm und Drang sub-culture, that was nourished by the l a t e s t ideas of the time, but contained amongst i t s youthful members only a few who, l i k e J u n g - S t i l l i n g and Lenz, would make th e i r mark on the German l i t e r a r y scene. In comments from more than one source the Societe i s presented as a group of young thinkers i n need of help and encouragement, rather than as a creative body 6. from which someone l i k e Goethe might have derived p r o f i t . If he participated at a l l i n i t , i t would have been merely i n an advisory capacity. But that he did maintain contact with i t , i f in a l i m i t e d way, i s documented i n several places. Jung, i n his statement quoted above, mentions that Dr. G. did pay them a v i s i t 17 from time to time, and relates i n the same l e t t e r how the i n -stalments of his autobiography, which he sent to the Societe as they were completed, were passed on to Goethe, who was subse-quently to surprise Jung with t h e i r l u c r a t i v e publication. In another instance, Goethe himself writes i n September 1771 to Roderer, no doubt the secretary of the group at that time, pro-posing that the "Gesellschaft" put on a special celebration i n 7. commemoration of Shakespeare. F i n a l l y Lenz, i n his essay "tiber Gotz von Berlichingen", feels that the Societe' s lin k s with Goethe warrant t h e i r claiming him as one of the i r own: "Gotz von Berlichingen", he writes, "den einer aus unsern Mitteln geschrieben"(I.381-82). Referring again to Gotz in a l e t t e r to Goethe of February 1775, he speaks of the Societe and i t s short-comings i n a way that suggests that Goethe knew very well what he was talking about (Br.I.89). What, therefore, was the nature of th i s society? What was Lenz's involvement i n i t ? Who else were contributing members, and how did Lenz react to t h e i r ideas and to the s p i r i t and ethos of the Societe as a whole? The importance of these ques-tions, and of assessing the part that the Societe played i n the formation of Lenz's ideas, becomes apparent as we consider how many of Lenz's t h e o r e t i c a l essays were produced for delivery to i t . Apart from the Anmerkungen, the question of whose delivery to the "Gesellschaft guter Freunde" F r i e d r i c h ably researches, the following essays, including those that are central to the de-velopment of Lenz's notion of action, were papers written for delivery at i t s weekly sessions. 18 1) "tiber Gotz von Berlichingen". Apart from the formulae of address: "meine werten Briider", "meine Herren! " , t h i s essay-alludes to a l o c a l audience f a m i l i a r to him and to the f a c i -l i t i e s of the home i n which i t gathers: "Was konnte eine schonere Voriibung zu diesem groBem Schauspiel des Lebens sein, als wenn wir da uns i t z t noch Hande und Fiifie gebunden sind, i n einem oder andern Zimmer unsern Gotz von Berlichingen, den einer aus unsern Mitt e l n geschrieben, eine groBe Idee—aufzu-fiihren versuchten. Lassen Sie mich fiir die Ausfiihrung dieses Projekts sorgen, es s o i l gar s o v i e l Schwierigkeiten nicht haben als Sie sich anfangs einbilden werden"(I.381-82). I t i s not known i n which house the Societe met. 2) "Verteidigung der Verteidigung des tibersetzers der Lustspie-l e " . This essay alludes to the weekly schedule of meetings held by the Societe. 3) "Zweierley uber V i r g i l s erste Ekloge d. 6ten 9mbr 1773". 4) "tiber Ovid". This work contains enlightening hints as to the ethos of the Societe as we can deduce i t from Lenz's c r i t i -cisms of i t . 5) "Versuch tiber das erste Principium der Moral". This con-tains a reference to an essay by Salzmann delivered to the Societe sometime e a r l i e r . 6) "Supplement zur Abhandlung vom Baum des Erkenntnisses Gutes und Bosen". This was delivered one week afte r his "Abhandlung vom Baum des Erkenntnisses", unfortunately no longer extant. 7) The various sections of Meynungen eines Laien. The whole 19 work, as i t was p u b l i s h e d i n 1775, i s composed o f a l o n g s e r i e s o f i n d i v i d u a l p a p e r s . 8) " l i b e r d i e N a t u r unsers G e i s t e s " . O ther papers were d e l i v e r e d t o t h e l a t e r Deutsche G e s e l l s c h a f t , b u t do n o t r e f l e c t Lenz's c o n c e r n w i t h t h e i d e a o f a c t i o n and need not c o n c e r n us h e r e . The development o f Lenz's n o t i o n o f a c t i o n t a k e s p l a c e , t h e r e f o r e , i n the c o n t e x t o f t h i s S o c i e t e ' s a c t i v i t i e s . H i s i d e a s d i d not e v o l v e i n a vacuum but i n r e sponse t o o t h e r i d e a s , and can o n l y p r o p e r l y be u n d e r s t o o d , t h e r e f o r e , w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o the d i s c u s s i o n o u t o f w h i c h t h e y a r o s e . A n y t h i n g we can r e -c o n s t r u c t o f t h i s d i s c u s s i o n w i l l h e l p us t o u n d e r s t a n d what i t i s t h a t Lenz i s d r i v i n g a t . The S o c i e t e was a f t e r a l l not j u s t t h e f i r s t group o f p e o p l e who happened t o be exposed t o Lenz's i d e a s , i t was t h e o c c a s i o n and p r e t e x t f o r t h e i r development and d e l i v e r y . W i t h o u t i t s e x i s t e n c e t h e r e would p r o b a b l y have been no o c c a s i o n t o w r i t e most o f t h e t h e o r e t i c a l e s s a y s i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e . I n a t l e a s t t h r e e i n s t a n c e s , i t would seem, t h e y were w r i t t e n e i t h e r t o e l a b o r a t e on a s u b j e c t a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d by a n o t h e r member, o r t o make a d i r e c t c h a l l e n g e t o the assembled company. The "Versuch", as we w i l l show l a t e r i n d e t a i l , p a r t l y r e c a p i t u l a t e s an e a r l i e r paper by Salzmann, p a r t l y p i c k s up where t h a t essay l e a v e s o f f . Meynungen e i n e s L a i e n and " O s s i a n f u r s Frauenzimmer" J s i c l j were a p p a r e n t l y produced t o c o u n t e r s p e c i f i c t e n d e n c i e s i n the S o c i e t e . I t a l s o seems t o have been e x p e c t e d t h a t s o c i e t y members would be c o n t r i b u t i n g members, and t h a t t h e y would a l l r e a d a paper o r a l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n i n t u r n . 20 We know from the protocol of the Deutsche Gese11schaft, the 10. successor to the Societe, that t h i s was the custom there. I f , as i s most l i k e l y , the same custom prevailed i n the e a r l i e r Societe, t h i s external pressure would have been a further stimu-lus to the production of Lenz's works. Not, however, that he r e a l l y needed th i s pressure. He probably brought far more spontaneous i n i t i a t i v e to the a c t i v i t i e s of the Societe than any of the other members, as his t i r e l e s s labours on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft attest, even i f he can somewhat impatiently rebel against the idea of meeting as frequently as once a week (1.473). Much l i g h t could therefore be shed on Lenz's ideas i f i t were known what others were writing about i n the Societe. Un-fortunately, whilst Froitzheim has supplied us with a complete protocol of the sessions of the Deutsche Gesellschaft, which notes the subject matter of each contribution, we have no such record from the f i r s t society, which saw the development of 11 . Lenz's notion of action. And by the autumn of 1775, when the Gesellschaft was founded, his i n t e r e s t had partly turned from philosophical, moral and r e l i g i o u s concern to l i t e r a r y and socio-p o l i t i c a l matters, so there i s l i t t l e i n the new society that i s of relevance to our study. However there are various sources from which we can gain some idea of the subjects that were debated i n the Societe and catch a glimpse of i t s s p i r i t . There are f i r s t l y , of course, Lenz's own essays and l e t t e r s which contain numerous references to his p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n i t , references to other members, and to 21 aspects of i t that he disapproves of. Secondly^there are i s o -lated hints i n other writers, notably i n J u n g - S t i l l i n g . Thirdly, some of the writings of one important contributor mentioned a l -ready: Johann Daniel Salzmann, have survived, and these p a r t i c u -l a r l y a f ford some insight into the ideas that stimulated Lenz's thinking. These writings are his Kurze Abhandlungen tiber einige  wichtige Gegenstande aus der Religions- und Sittenlehre, pub-lishe d i n 1776 with Goethe's encouragement and help, but f i r s t 12. delivered as papers to the Societe from 1772-1774. In con-sidering these as a possible influence on the development of Lenz's own ideas, we must bring them into r e l a t i o n with the l e t t e r s written by Salzmann to Lenz during the summer and autumn of 17 7 2 — l e t t e r s which have not survived but which we know some-thing about i n d i r e c t l y through Lenz's written r e p l i e s , and which were important i n prompting him to think through cer t a i n p h i l o -sophical and r e l i g i o u s ideas. A study of Salzmann, therefore, w i l l be the best introduction to the Societe as a whole, since apart from Lenz he i s the member about whom we know most (Jung-S t i l l i n g had l e f t as early as March 1772). The Actuary i s a figure who looms f a i r l y large i n Goethe's Strassburg l i f e and i s enshrined i n his l a t e r memories. We know of him at second-hand from Dichtung und Wahrheit and from l e t t e r s to him from Goethe, Lenz, Wagner, Michaelis and others, and at first-hand from his own l e t t e r s to these correspondents and his 13. published essays. Several c r i t i c s have written about him and his thought, and some have drawn attention to the relat i o n s h i p 14. between his s p i r i t u a l world and the young Goethe's. Yet no 22 attempt has yet been made to trace the influence Salzmann might have had on Lenz. Certainly most studies on our poet refer to the passing on of basic elements of Leibnizian philosophy to Lenz by the Actuary during t h e i r correspondence of the summer and autumn of 1772, but no attention has been paid to the essays themselves, delivered i n 1772-1774, one of which i s expressly referred to by Lenz i n his "Versuch iiber das erste Principium der Moral." I t i s no doubt because no attention has been paid to Salz-mann1 s writings that scholars have been content to regard the older Actuary i n a rather uncomplimentary l i g h t , even as some-what of a thorn i n Lenz's f l e s h . At the root of t h i s misconcept-ion i s a confusion of his role i n the Tischgesellschaft with his di f f e r e n t role i n the Societe. This, i n turn, goes back to a fundamental confusion between the two s o c i e t i e s . Scholars that have distinguished between the soc i e t i e s have nonetheless assumed that what was true of the Tischgesellschaft was also true of the Societe: they have jumped to the unwarranted conclusion, that i s , that the Societe also was Salzmann's society representing Salz-mann' s i n t e r e s t s . Again i t i s probably Goethe's writings, along with Jung-S t i l l i n g ' s, that have encouraged th i s misconception, although th i s time through no deliberate obscurantism. Both writers, i n well-known passages, describe Salzmann i n glowing t e r m s — i f , i n Jung - S t i l l i n g ' s case, i n rather vague ones— as the beloved and respected president of the Tischgesellschaft at the Jungfer 15. Lauths'. He i t was who set the tone, who kept things within 23 the bounds of decorum, who encouraged his younger associates i n t h e i r l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t i e s but restrained them when they allowed passion or s e n s i b i l i t y to get the better of them. His philosophy, summarised by Goethe i n a l e t t e r to Susanna von Klettenberg, took i t s place along with that of others i n the -1 6 . discussions around the table. Let us note, though, that what i s being described here i s Salzmann's role i n the T i s c h g e s e l l -schaft, not the Societe. Unlike the Societe, t h i s "Round Table" was no l i t e r a r y c i r c l e founded for the express purpose of sharing ideas. I t became the focus for such a decisive encounter of minds purely because Goethe, Herder, Lenz, and J u n g - S t i l l i n g happened to a r r i v e i n Strassburg at around the same time and to patronise the same eating-place. This, i n every instance, i s the society that Goethe describes i n Dichtung und Wahrheit; and i t was over t h i s society that Salzmann presided. As Kochendorffer, who was the f i r s t to draw attention f o r c i b l y to the confusion over the two s o c i e t i e s and somewhat to c l a r i f y matters, pointed out i n his a r t i c l e , the l i t e r a r y Societe was already c l e a r l y distinguished from the Table Society by Jung-S t i l l i n g i n his autobiography. This work, written much sooner after the event than Goethe's, d e f i n i t e l y speaks of a l i t e r a r y society: "Die Gesellschaft der schonen Wissenschaften", not only apart from Goethe but also apart from the Table Society presided over by Salzmann. After speaking of the Tischgesel1schaft, and then, a l i t t l e l a t e r , of Goethe's private help i n acquainting him with the seminal works of l i t e r a t u r e of the time, Jung says: 24 "Es war auch eine Gesellschaft junger Leute zu StraBburg, die sich die Gesellschaft der schonen Wissenschaften nannte. . .auch hier lernte er die schonsten Biicher und den*, jetzigen Zustand der 17. schonen L i t e r a t u r i n der Welt kennen." Neither here nor i n his other reference to the Societe i n his l e t t e r of 1779 quoted above, i s Salzmann mentioned. I t might surprise us that J u n g - S t i l l i n g refers i n both cases to the Societe as "Gesellschaft der schonen Wissenschaften" and does not use the French t i t l e : Societe de ^hilosophie et de Belles Lettres, alluded to by Lenz, i n a l e t t e r to Goethe of February 1775, where he speaks of "Societat", "Schneckenmoralphilosophie" 18. and " B e l l i t e r a t u r " . We are not to conclude, however, that Lenz and Jung belonged to d i f f e r e n t s o c i e t i e s , the one oriented to-wards French l i t e r a t u r e , and the other towards German. Kochen-dorffer demonstrates t h e i r i d e n t i t y by pointing out that referen-ces to Ott, Lenz's close f r i e n d , are common to both Lenzs and Jung- S t i l l i n g ' s comments on t h e i r s o c i e t i e s . We s h a l l also argue below that there i s a close resemblance between Lenz's and Jung's c r i t i c i s m s of t h e i r s o c i e t i e s , which confirms t h e i r i d e n t i t y and assures us of a more objective impression of the ethos of t h i s one society. There i s , anyway, one occasion on which Lenz him-s e l f uses, i n a l e t t e r to his father, the t i t l e that J u n g - S t i l l i n g uses >(Br .1.35) . There i s no longer any cause, then, to confuse the Societe or "Gesellschaft der schonen Wissenschaften" with Salzmann's Table Society. Not that there were no close l i n k s between the two. J u n g - S t i l l i n g attended both socie t i e s from 1771 u n t i l his 25 departure on March 24th 1772, and Lenz joined the Societe only a few months afte r joining the Table Society. Salzmann, as i s well known, had attended and presided over the Table Society for many years and was also to support the Societe. But the fact that these three figures participated i n both s o c i e t i e s does not mean that the l i t e r a r y was an extension of the Table Society, catering to the same people, as Rosanow suggests when he writes: "Aus den Briefen (Lenz's to Salzmann of the summer and autumn of 1772) ersieht man schon, daB Lenz sich zu dieser Zeit mit Salzmann be-freundet hatte und Stammgast an der Table d'hote war, die nach den Erzahlungen Goethes i n naher Beziehung zu dem Salzmannschen 19. Kreise stand oder gar i n ihm aufging (Dichtung und Wahrheit i x ) " . It would be more correct to use the phrase "Salzmannscher Kreis" with reference to the Table Society, for that was c l e a r l y his society, as everyone acknowledged. I t i s by no means proven, however, that we should say the same of the Societe. The importance of such a d i s t i n c t i o n becomes apparent when scholars, a t t r i b u t i n g the same role to Salzmann i n the Societe as he played i n the Table Society, allow Salzmann i n so doing to be used as a scapegoat for the aspects of the Societe that Lenz c r i t i c i s e s so impatiently. Kochendorffer's a r t i c l e d i s s o c i a t i n g Salzmann from the origins of the Societe should have warned scholars away from that conclusion, but i n fact i t has not pre-vented the f i c t i o n of the "Salzmannsche Gesellschaft" from being perpetuated down to the present day. In almost every mention or discussion of Lenz's Societe, i t i s referred to as the "Salzmann-sche Gesellschaf t", sometimes even cp.ite erroneously as "Salz-26 manns Deutsche Gesellschaft". That such a confusion can s t i l l reign i n so authoritative a work as the "Hamburger Ausgabe" of Goethe's works makes i t necessary somewhat to labour the point that what Goethe describes i n Dichtung und Wahrheit i s the Table Society, not the Societe, and that there are no grounds for a l l o t t i n g to Salzmann the same role i n the l a t t e r as he 20. c e r t a i n l y had i n the former. He was c e r t a i n l y president of the Tischgesellschaft, which could j u s t l y be c a l l e d the "Salz-mannsche Gesellschaft", but with the weekly l i t e r a r y Societe he had quite d i f f e r e n t l i n k s . An example of the c o n f l i c t i n g accounts of the Societe's origins i n scholars writing as recently as the 1960's i s seen i n Albert Fuchs' postface to the Metzler r e p r i n t of Salzmann's Kurze Abhandlungen, on the one hand, and T i t e l and Haug's edi-tion of Lenz's selected works, on the other. Fuchs can write confidently i n connection with the supposed founder of the Societe: "Als President der von ihm gegriindeten und geleiteten 'Gelehrten Ubungsgesellschaft' hatte Salzmann seine 'Abhand-lungen' nur zum Vortrag im Kreise von deren jungen Mitgliedern 21 . bestimmt." T i t e l and Haug, on the other hand, deny that i t was Salzmann's society: "der Aktuar Salzmann scheirtder Gesell-schaft, i n der er dann eine bestimmende Rolle s p i e l t e , erst spater nahergetreten zu sein (der friihest d atierte seiner 1776 in Frankfurt erschienenen Vortrage. . . i s t auf den 16. Februar 22. 1772 angesetzt)". This question of Salzmann's ro l e i s impor-tant to us as we endeavour to assess his influence on Lenz, and the extent to which he i s responsible for the ethos of the 27 Societe about which Lenz l a t e r expresses considerable d i s s a t i s -f a c t i o n . Although not a great deal can be known about Salzmann 1s relations to the Sturm und Drang figures that gathered i n Strass-burg i n the 1770's, enough i s known for us to be able to i n d i -cate what influence he had at least on Goethe and Lenz. Salz-mann was an older man than a l l the others, though not quite as 23. old as Goethe estimates i n Dichtung und Wahrheit. Rudolf cor-r e c t l y points out Goethe's error i n putting his e a r l i e r mentor i n his s i x t i e s at the time of the poet's stay i n Strassburg; the Actuary was then actually forty-eight years of age, which, however, sets his year of b i r t h at 1732, not 1752 as Rudolf 24. says. Whilst, therefore, he was not quite as old a man as i t seemed to Goethe looking back, he was a much older man than any in his l i t e r a r y c i r c l e , being Goethe's senior by 27 years, Lenz's by 29 and J u n g - S t i l l i n g ' s 'by 18. I t i s no doubt the fac t that Salzmann belonged to an older generation that has led some c r i t i c s to imagine a large gulf between his temperament and philosophy of l i f e , and that of his younger associates. Fuchs, for example, i n making Salzmann the i n i t i a t e r of the Societe, makes him at the same time responsible for what Lenz describes to Goethe i n his l e t t e r of February 1775 as i t s "groBmiitterlichen Gang". Speaking of " l e jugement que Lenz, champion, comme Herder, de 1 1 agitation ; pfer.omantique du Sturm und Drang, porte sur l a 'Gelehrte Ubungsgesellschaft', l e cercle de lecture et de conferences fonde et _longtemps preside par Salzmann", he writes: "Avec l a conviction du revolutionnaire, 28 Lenz se dechaine contre 1'esprit qui y regne selon l u i : 'vagues Geschnarch von B e l l e l i t t e r a t u r , wo nichts dahinter i s t als Nesselbliiten. . . s t e i f e l e i s e Schneckenmoralphilosophie, die 25. ihren groBmutterlichen Gang f o r t k r i e c h t 1 " . Froitzheim, be-fore Fuchs, had given a s i m i l a r impression by the way i n which he had d i f f e r e n t i a t e d between the Actuary Salzmann and his younger r e l a t i v e F r i e d r i c h Rudolf:"Nicht also dem Aktuarius '•> Salzmann, der damals (1 775) schon miide, dem neuen Fluge der deutschen Jugend nicht mehr zu folgen vermochte, sondern F r i e d -r i c h Rudolf Salzmann. . . sind die unter dem Namen Salzmann im Protokoll genannten und im 'Burgerfreund 1 v e r o f f e n t l i c h t e n Ge-dichte und Prosa-Abhandlungen zuzuerkennen". (38-39). We are led to imagine a t i r e d and tedious notary unable to keep up with the active German youth. More recently even than Fuchs, Girard has also made Salzmann an object of Lenz's impatient c r i t i c i s m by i d e n t i f y i n g him with the aspects and practices of the Societe which Lenz d i s l i k e s . He writes: M§me les rapports q u ' i l entretient avec Salzmann et ses amis subissent les e f f e t s d'un comportement contra-d i c t o i r e . Le 2 decembre 1772, Lenz est a c c u e i l l i comme membre d'honneur dans l a "Societe" et remercie ses amis en termes emouvants et quelque peu pathetiques de 1'affection q u ' i l s l u i portent. Mais un an plus tard, i l s ' i r r i t e du caractere trop f a m i l i e r que prennent les rapports entre les membres du cercle, demande d'espacer les reunions et i r o n i s e sur les esp r i t s f o r t s qui ont reclame l a suppression de tous les debats theologiques pour se consacrer exclusivement a une a c t i v i t e soi-disant s c i e n t i f i q u e et l i t t e r a i r e . En f e v r i e r 1775, dans une l e t t r e a Goethe, i l condamne l a vanite du bavardage des-ordonne sur l a l i t t e r a t u r e et c e l l e de l a philosophie moralisante et sclerose qui se partagent les faveurs des compagnons de Salzmann. 26. 29 Now the picture i s one not of a s o l i d a r i t y of Lenz and the German youth against Salzmann, but a s o l i d a r i t y of Salz-mann and the Societe against Lenz. But either way we must ask what j u s t i f i c a t i o n there i s i n l i n k i n g Salzmann's name with the aspects and practices of the society that Lenz i s concerned to eradicate. Certainly Salzmann was no longer i n the f u l l f l i g h t of youth, but t h i s i s no reason to make him responsible for the Societe's lapse into tedious moralising or to assume that his . thought and writings served as a brake to the ideas, imagina-tion and a c t i v i t y of one such as Lenz. This assumption was already made by Froitzheim, basing himself on Stober: "Salzmann's l i t e r a r i s c h e Leistungen bewegten sich stets i n demselben Gleise moralischer Betrachtungen. 'Uber die Wiirkungen der Gnade, die Liebe, die Rache, uber , Tugend und Laster, Gemiitsbewegungen, Neigungen und Leidenschaf-ten, liber Religion und die Gliickseligkeit i n biirgerlichen Ge-sellschaften', so lauten die T i t e l seiner 1772-1776 factua l l y - I 7 7 4 J vorgelesenen Abhandlungen; kein Wunder, wenn Lenz, der nach dem Fortgang Goethes der geistige Mittelpunkt jener G e s e l l -schaft wurde, i n einem B r i e f an Goethe im Sommer 1775 seinem Unmut uber diese E i n s e i t i g k e i t l i t t e r a r i s c h e r Bestrebungen Aus-druck verlieh"(p.25). As we have seen, Goethe never was the leading l i g h t i n the Societe, and Lenz's l e t t e r to Goethe i s better dated i n February 1775; but Froitzheim i s c h i e f l y wrong to assume that Salzmann's subjects would have been ones cert a i n to displease Lenz, notably on account of th e i r recurrent theme. 3 0 There i s no evidence for t h i s assumption; indeed i f anyone, i t was Lenz himself who had developed the reputation for ever harping on the same theme. This seems to be the sense of his i r o n i c comments i n "Uber Ovid" concerning the apparent con-spiracy to exclude theological discussion of which he was him-s e l f so fond(I.691). Following Froitzheim, Fuchs understands Lenz to be blaming the degeneration of the Societe on Salzmann's tedious philoso-phising, and c a l l s the c o l l e c t i o n of essays that appeared i n 1776 a "resume de l a philosophie vilipendee par Lenz", seeking however to defend the essays against t h i s charge: "On n'a pas a f f a i r e au moralisme de grand'mere asthenique ;('groBmiitter lichen Gang'), dont parle Lenz, et c'est comme en une'sorte de p l a i d -oyer anticipe qui reduit a neant un t e l reproche, un t e l con-tresens, que Salzmann ecarte de sa pensee les affaissements de 27. v i e i l l e femme". Fuchs goes on to reveal Salzmann's thought to be characterised by power and dynamism, r e f e r r i n g quite cor-r e c t l y to such passages i n the Abhandlungen as: "Die Liebe i s t kein schmachtiges, schwaches und immer duldendes Miittergen, s i e 28. muB eine sehr starke Energie und Nachdenken haben". This Fuchs adduces as a defence against Lenz's accusation, and as e v i ^ dence that he has misunderstood the Actuary. A simpler explana-tion , however, i s that i t was not at a l l Salzmann's philosophis-ing that Lenz had i n mind when voicing his c r i t i c i s m s of the Societe i n t h i s l e t t e r to Goethe of 1775 to which Fuchs i s re-f e r r i n g . He i s much more l i k e l y thinking of other members, im-possible for us at present to i d e n t i f y . I t was not that Lenz was 31 branding as s e n i l i t y what was i n fact more a philosophy l i k e his own—he was g u i l t y of no such "contresens"--he simply was not r e f e r r i n g to the Actuary at the time. But viewing Salzmann i n t h i s way has become an ingrained habit, leading Fuchs on to describe the Deutsche Gesellschaft as not merely a successor to the Societe or even a reformation of i t , but as a competitor with i t : "II ne faut pas confondre J-D Salzmann et sa 'Gelehrte tibungsgesellschaft' avec Frederic-Rodolphe Salzmann, cousin de l'Actuarius, et l a 'Deutsche Ge-sellschaf t' i n StraBburg q u ' i l presida apres l e depart de Lenz, 2 9 . fondateur, en 1775, de cette r i v a l e du cercle de J-D Salzmann". Lenz did become very c r i t i c a l of the Societe and founded the Gesellschaft to replace i t , but not to r i v a l i t ; and, as we s h a l l see, i t was not a case of p i t t i n g the younger Salzmann's Society against the o l d e r 1 s . Certainly there are important differences between Salzmann's thought and Lenz's, and even greater d i f f e -rences of temperament; yet the indications are that these were f r u i t f u l i n stimulating the poet's development rather than s t i f l i n g i t . Contemporary testimonies to the Actuary's character are a l l highly favourable. The twenty-one year old Goethe writes enthu-s i a s t i c a l l y to a fellow-student: "Der A. und i c h , wir werden uns 30. ehstens copuliren lassen". The month before, he had written to F r l . von Klettenberg, expressing disappointment with the P i e t i s t contacts he had made i n Strassburg, but making favourable mention of Salzmann: "Eine andre Bekanndtschaft, grad das Widerspiel von dieser, hat mir bisher nicht wenig genutzt. . .Herr ** ein Ideal 32 fur Mosheimen und Jerusalemen, ein Mann, der durch v i e l Er-fahrung mit v i e l Verstand gegangen i s t ; der bey der Kalte des Bluts womit er von ieher die Welt betrachtet hat, gefunden zu haben glaubt: daB wir auf diese Welt gesetzt sind besonders urn i h r n u t z l i c h zu sein, daB wir uns dazu fahig machen konnen, wozu denn auch die Religion etwas h i l f f t ; und daB der Brauch-31 . barste der beste i s t . Und a l l e s draus f o l g t . " Fuchs shows how t h i s c a l l to useful a c t i v i t y was most timely for Goethe, invigorating for him i n the aftermath of his Frankfurt i l l n e s s , and stimulating i n contrast to his experience with P i e t i s t re-32. l i g i o n . J u n g - S t i l l i n g notes that the two were already "Her-zensfreunde" by the time he became acquainted with them at the 33. Table Society. J u n g - S t i l l i n g was equally impressed by Salz-mann, and both poets incorporate affectionate vignettes of the Actuary into t h e i r autobiographies. Goethe Writes:' "Sein Ver-stand, seine Nachgiebigkeit, seine Wiirde, die er bei allem Scherz und selbst manchmal bei kleinen Ausschweifungen, die er uns erlaubte, immer zu erhalten wufite, machten ihn der ganzen Gesellschaft l i e b und wert""(IX.359);and J u n g - S t i l l i n g : "Noch ein v o r t r e f f l i c h e r StraBburger saB da zu Tisch. Sein Platz war der oberste, und ware es auch hinter der Thiir gewesen" (Leben, p.275). Evidently the young men valued highly Salzmann 1s autho-r i t y and leadership, which was his not only on account of his s e n i o r i t y , but also and p a r t i c u l a r l y because of his appealing combination of firmness and indulgence. Girard suggests that Lenz p a r t i c u l a r l y needed the fatherly support of t h i s "pere sub-s t i t u t i f " : "Moraliste et philanthrope, r a t i o n a l i s t e et croyant, 33 de trente ans plus age que son protege, ce c e l i b a t a i r e domine l a s i t u a t i o n ; l ' i r o n i e b i e n v e i l l a n t e alterne avec les conseils judicieux. II est successivement pour Lenz un 'bon Socrate", un 'aimable mentor', un 'medecin aimable et doux'; Lenz-Alcibiade se soumettra volontairement, patiemment, a ses decrets. Pere d'adoption et pere s p i r i t u e l , Salzmann r e u s s i t 34. dans une entreprise d e l i c a t e : r e t a b l i r en Lenz un e q u i l i b r e . " We s h a l l suggest below that Salzmann influences Lenz ideo-l o g i c a l l y as well as psychologically, that Lenz finds i n him a powerful stimulus as well as s t a b i l i t y , that his ideas therefore prove to be stronger medicine than one might suppose from th i s urbane portrayal. But i t i s true that the Actuary was the one to whom Lenz turned for support during the emotional upheaval of his friendship with Friederike Brion i n the summer of 1772, and who was able to wean the poet back to a more d i s c i p l i n e d approach to his studies through a broadening of his i n t e l l e c t u a l horizon. Exactly one year before, Goethe, at Sesenheim, had also turned to the Actuary to express the c o n f l i c t of his feel-., ings, not addressing him, as Lenz does, as a superior: "mein Mentor", "mein Sokrates", but valuing nonetheless his f r i e n d l y 35. support. Nor, i t would seem, were these the only ones to p r o f i t from his fatherly care. Froitzheim sees more than mere habit i n Salzmann's longstanding patronisation of the Jungfer Lauths' dining-room: "Die friih verwaisten Predigerstochter, wel-che eine Kostanstalt anzufangen genotigt waren, fanden an Aktu-arius Salzmann, 'dem Vater Waisen', wohlwollende Unterstutzung" (p.14). From Stober's account i t would seem that Salzmann had a special a f f e c t i o n for children and a concern for t h e i r educa-..' 34 36. t i o n . This topic was not one that he wrote any paper on, however, as Rudolf t e l l s us(p.86). The notion that he did i s based on Stober's confusion of the Actuary with F r i e d r i c h Rudolph Salzmann: i t was the l a t t e r who delivered a paper to the Deutsche Gesellschaft on 18th July 1776 e n t i t l e d "Von den Fehlern i n der StraBburger Kinderzucht". The Actuary's own essays were a l l of a more general nature, dealing with f a i r l y broad moral and philosophical topics, which he l e f t i t to others to extend to s p e c i f i c s o c i a l goals. Lenz was one who responded eagerly to this challenge. Basing themselves, therefore, on Goethe's comments i n his l e t t e r s and autobiography, and on Lenz's correspondence with the Actuary up to the autumn of 1772, scholars of Lenz and of th i s period always present Salzmann i n a most complimentary l i g h t . Thereafter, as we have seen, they tend to blame him for the degeneration of the Societe that i s alleged by Lenz. The reason for t h i s inconsistency i s found i n the way they f a i l to d i s t i nguish c l e a r l y the Table Society from the Societe, and attribute to Salzmann the founding and leading of the l a t t e r , as well as the former. I t i s worth while tracing t h i s confusion to i t s o r i g i n . If Fuchs, Rudolf and Froitzheim can make Salzmann the president of the Societe, and responsible for i t s tone and a c t i -v i t i e s , i t i s because of August Stober's account i n his early 37. record of the Actuary's l i f e . Stober's sources, however, comprise l i t t l e more than the writings we s t i l l have at our d i s -posal today. He l i s t s them at the beginning of his book as 35 Dichtung und Wahrheit, J u n g - S t i l l i n g 1 s autobiography, Salzmann's obituary by Engelhardt, his l i t e r a r y remains, including his essays, l e t t e r s and papers, and a few pages of hand-written i n -formation given to Stober by two scholars of the Strassburg l i b r a r y . We might think that there would be important new ma-t e r i a l i n Salzmann's Nachlafi (unfortunately destroyed during the war of 1870-71) that would make Stober's account v i t a l to our understanding of Salzmann and the Societe. However a close study of the pages that describe the Societe indicates that very l i t t l e indeed of the information given cannot be e a s i l y de-duced from Goethe's and J u n g - S t i l l i n g 1 s writings alone. The statement, for example, concerning Salzmann's language prefer-ence: "Die deutsche Sprache iibte er i n Rede und S c h r i f t am liebsten; a l l e i n auch die franzosische hatte er sich auf eine 38. fur jene Zeit ausgezeichnete Weise angeeignet", i s simply based on the evidence of his written works and on Goethe's de-sc r i p t i o n , i n Book 11 of Dichtung und Wahrheit, of Salzmann's fine command of French. Stober simply puts together references from a l l his sources and then gives a f i n a l colouring to the re-su l t i n g composite picture. The u n r e l i a b i l i t y of such a collage becomes apparent when he defines the Societe i t s e l f : Schon zu Anfang der sechziger Jahre, hatte Salzmann eine gelehrte tibungsgesellschaft '(Footnote.: Diese Gesellschaft fiihrte nach und nach verschidene Namen: S t i l l i n g nennt s i e Gesellschaft der schonen Wissenschaften, das spater von Lenz gefiihrte Protokoll: Gesellschaft zur Ausbildung der deutschen Sprache) g e s t i f t e t , an welcher, ausser den stu-dierenden Jiinglingen der Tischgesellschaft, auch andere junge Manner, von des Vorsitzers liebenswiirdigem Charakter und v i e l s e i t i g e n Kenntnissen angezogen, Antheil nahmen. Hier wurden nicht nur, durch gemeinschaftliche Geldbeitrage, die neuen Erscheinungen i n verschiedenen Gebieten der L i t e -ratur angeschafft und von den Mitgliedern gelesen und be-sprochen, sondern auch eigene Arbeiten g e l i e f e r t und be-36 u r t h e i l t . Niemand war geeigneter, jugendliche Gemiither zu l e i t e n , a ls Salzmann. Den minder begabten, r e d l i c h Strebenden, war seine Theilnahme an ihren Versuchen ein aufregender Sporn, wahrend reicher ausgestattete, si c h l e i c h t iiberschatzende Oder iiberrennende Geister, o f f t unbewuBt, von ihm i n Schranken gehalten wurden. Dabei war er nichts weniger als ein s t e i f e r pedantischer magister docens, sondern "ein vermittelnder Obmann", man mochte sagen ein " l u d i moderator"(p.20). The source of most of these comments can e a s i l y be traced, but what concerns us about th i s composite picture i s that i t mixes Ju n g - S t i l l i n g ' s references to the Societe and Goethe's references to Salzmann as member of the Table Society, with the protocol of the l a t e r Deutsche Gesellschaft of which, as we have seen and as Froitzheim long ago pointed out, Salzmann himself was not even a member. Stober, then, evidently did not know any more than we do about the Societe, and had a d e f i c i e n t understanding of what he did know. His view of Salzmann's role as founder of the Societe i s contradicted, anyway, by what he l a t e r wrote about i t i n his book: Joharin Gottfried Roderer von StraBburg und seine Freunde, and so proves i t s e l f to have been merely an assumption on his part, not rooted i n f a c t . As he shows i n the l a t e r book, the l i t e r a r y Societe de Philosophie et de Belles Lettres was founded i n the 1760's by students, with 39. the encouragement of certain university le c t u r e r s . I t i s F r i e d r i c h who establishes for us the continuity between t h i s early society and those of the 1770's (the Gesellschaft being a re-formation of the Societe, which i s to be i d e n t i f i e d with the 40. student Societe of the previous decade). Stober says i n his second book that F r i e d r i c h Rudolf Salzmann was one of those students who belonged to the Societe i n the '60's. If indeed a 37 Salzmann founded i t , would th i s not much more l i k e l y have been the younger? The confusion of the Actuary with his younger cousin i s , however, the f i r s t of Stober's d e f i n i t e and c r i t i c a l errors, as Froitzheim pointed out. Other errors, again pointed o u t — somewhat g l e e f u l l y — b y Froitzheim, are his mis-location of the Jungfer Lauths' Kosthaus i n the Kramergasse instead of Knob-lauchgasse, his claim, when publishing the protocol of the Deutsche Gesellschaft, to be using an o r i g i n a l manuscript, when he was only using a copy, his addition to i t of headings of his own composition, and his mistaken dating of three of Lenz's 41 . l e t t e r s to Salzmann. We are led astray, therefore, i f , with Fuchs, we follow Stober i n imagining a "Gelehrte Ubungsgesellschaft" (Stober's phrase) founded and presided over by Johann Daniel Salzmann, our Actuary. The p o s s i b i l i t y that someone other than the Actu-ary was responsible for the Societe's genesis and development becomes less u n l i k e l y as we consider the l i n k s that we do know him to have had with i t . These date from 16th February 1772 onwards: the occasion on which he presented the f i r s t paper i n the c o l l e c t i o n published i n 1776. From then on, the other papers which we know about he delivered, on average, at a rate of two a year t i l l the summer of 1774. I t i s more than l i k e l y that others were produced and delivered during t h i s time, which were not published with the others, as the delivery of two unpublished 42. essays to the Deutsche Gesellschaft i n 1776 suggests. This evidence of his a c t i v i t y i n the Societe i s reinforced by referen-38 ces i n Lenz that indicate Salzmann 1s lin k s with i t . They come during Lenz's correspondence with the Actuary from June to October 1772, and are c l e a r l y distinguishable from references to the Table Society; the l a t t e r i s described separately and un-ambiguously as the "Tischgesellschaft" ''(letters 9, 19), and "die Lauth'sche Gesellschaft" ( l e t t e r 16), after the Lauth s i s t e r s who operated the dining room, and again by Lenz several months l a t e r , i n a l e t t e r to his brother Johann C h r i s t i a n ( l e t -ter 39), as a company of devotees to the true sciences: "Jetzt bewohn ich ein k l e i n Zimmer a l l e i n , speise t a g l i c h an einem Tisch wo einige meiner Freunde mitessen (die einzigen d i e . i n StraBburg Liebhaber der achten Wissenschaften zu seyn s i c h nicht 43. schamen)". The Societe, on the other hand, he refers to sepa-r a t e l y i n t h i s same l e t t e r (39) as "Societat" and i n a l e t t e r to his father (17) as "eine Gesellschaft der schonen Wissenschaften", the same t i t l e as the one that J u n g - S t i l l i n g uses i n his autobio-graphy. This i s c l e a r l y the society that Lenz i s speaking of i n an important l e t t e r to Salzmann of 5th, 6th or 10th August 1772. We s h a l l quote the passage i n f u l l as i t gives some in d i c a t i o n of what Salzmann's lin k s were with the Societe, and how Lenz views i t s purpose: Wollen Sie meine l e t z t e Ubersetzung aus dem Plautus lesen, so fordern Sie sie unserm guten Ott ab, denn ich glaube schwerlich daB s i e so bald i n der Geseilschaf t wird vorgelesen werden. Sie haben mir keine Nachricht gegeben, wie s i e mit der l e t z t e r n gegenwartig zufrieden sind. Ver-nachlaBigen Sie diese Pflanzschule Ihrer Vaterstadt nicht, theurer Freund, v i e l l e i c h t konnten wohlthatige Baume draus gezogen werden, auf welche Kindeskinder, die sich unter 39 ihrem Schatten freuten, dankbar schnitten: auch dich hat er pflanzen helfen. Es sieht noch ziemlich wild und t r a u r i g i n Ihrer Region aus—aber der erste Mensch ward i n den Garten Eden gesetzt um ihn zu bauen"(Br.I.28-29). Lenz i s away on his employers' service, unable to attend the meetings of the Societe i n person, but keen to remain i n touch. The beginning of th i s passage i s quite straightforward: we know that Lenz's Plautus translations were exposed to the Societe before being passed on by Salzmann to Goethe, who was eventually to have them published. And Ott was a longstanding member who p a r t i c u l a r l y sought Lenz's friendship. The second sentence i s somewhat mystifying: to whom does the second " s i e " refer? Grammatically i t should refer back to "Gesellschaft", or more cor r e c t l y , i n view of the p l u r a l verb, to i t s members. "Mit der letzteren" could refer to the previous Plautus trans-l a t i o n , i n which case Lenz i s asking how i t was received by the company. However, on account of the "gegenwartig", i t i s more l i k e l y that "mit der l e t z t e r n " refers to "Gesellschaft", so that Lenz i s seeming to ask how pleased everyone currently i s with the Societe. This prompts him to urge Salzmann not to neglect i t . Whilst t h i s makes good sense, we have good reason to assume that Lenz i s i n fa c t inquiring about Salzmann's own s a t i s f a c t i o n with the Societe, not how the others are s a t i s f i e d with i t . I t i s not uncommon i n Lenz to f i n d the p o l i t e form of the second personal pronoun without a c a p i t a l l e t t e r . Daunicht noticed t h i s as he was searching for possible anonymous a r t i c l e s by Lenz i n the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeigen and Teutscher Merkur; he writes: "Sogar die abwechselnde K l e i n - und GroBschreibung des 40 Personalpronomens "Sie" i n der Anrede i s t ein eigentiimliches Lenzzeichen (Footnote: v g l . B r i e f an Lavater, Sept. 1775, die 44. "Vertheidigung des Herrn Wieland" u.o.)". That Lenz should be asking a f t e r Salzmann's own feelings towards the Societe makes better sense as a prelude to his plea to Salzmann, that begins i n the next sentence, not to neglect the Societe. I t seems that the f a c t that Lenz has not heard much about i t from him leads him to think that the Actuary has not been attending i t s func-tions. Moreover the earnestness of Lenz's plea indicates that t h i s was no i d l e or p o l i t e inquiry. Salzmann has obviously not been t o t a l l y s a t i s f i e d with the Societe, and may already have hinted that he might not remain i n membership. A f r a i d that i t might disintegrate, Lenz stresses that more than ever i t needs the Actuary's support, and that i t needs to be regarded more i n terms of a mission f i e l d than as a place where one can already expect a budding and blossoming of the s p i r i t . That Lenz values Salzmann's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s s t i l l evident i n November 1775, when the Deutsche Gese11schaft was founded. Lenz, to whom c r e d i t for the founding i s usually given, did not secure Salzmann's f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the new s o c i e t y — h i s name i s not included i n the membership r o l l published by F r o i t z -heim—but the sessions were held, at least i n Lenz's time, i n the Actuary's house, and i t was to the Actuary that papers were to be f i r s t submitted. Lenz writes l a t e r to Salzmann from Wei-mar: "GruBen Sie die deutsche Gesellschaft"(Br.II.42), and the Actuary, obviously well-informed, r e p l i e s : "Die Gesellschaft 41 bestehet noch auf gutem FuB, j e t z t sind die Versammlungen bis i n den Janner e i n g e s t e l l t und werden alsdann bei Mag. B l e s s i g , welcher indessen Padagog worden i s t im Kloster fortgesetzt werden"(Br.II.63). Since Salzmann also continued to submit papers to the Gesellschaft, there i s r e a l l y l i t t l e evidence that his involvement i n 1775-76 was any less than i n 1772. I f he did p a r t i c i p a t e less i n 1775, i t was most l i k e l y on grounds of i l l - h e a l t h , to which Lenz refers i n a l e t t e r of t h i s same period, and because his work was beginning to be so demanding as to require the addition of an assistant(Br.II.45). Both Lenz's valuing of Salzmann's support and the l a t t e r ' s limited a b i l i t y to lend i t , give a d i f f e r e n t picture from the t y p i c a l one that has come down to us, of a Lenz frustrated by the conservative character supposedly given by Salzmann to the Societe, supposedly of Salzmann's own founding and leading. As Kochendorffer also shows, i f the Societe were Salzmann's own achievement, one might have expected Lenz to allude to t h i s , rather than describe i t simply as "diese Pflanzschule Ihrer Vaterstadt"; and i f Salzmann were the leading figure who set the tone i n i t , i t i s not so l i k e l y that he would need to be urged not to neglect i t . The end of the quotation above i n d i -cates Lenz's sense of mission for the Societe i n the c i t y and surroundings of Strassburg, which he views as somewhat of a c u l t u r a l backwater. The f a c t that he feels i t natural to point out the value of the Societe's goals to the Actuary comes more naturally i f i t i s not to i t s founder and leader that he i s speaking. And the evident respect with which Lenz speaks makes 42 i t harder s t i l l for us to believe that Lenz i s frustrated by Salzmann i n p a r t i c u l a r . A second l e t t e r to Salzmann, which Freye and Stammler tent a t i v e l y date i n mid-September 1772, gives a further r e f e r -ence to the Actuary's involvement i n the Societe, shows Lenz's readiness to accept Salzmann's judgment with respect to other members, and hints at Lenz's c r i t i c a l stance towards them: "Ist Ihre Abhandlung schon vorgelesen? Und wie haben sich Ott und Haffner das letztemal gehalten; ich zahle auf Ihr U r t h e i l da-von" ( l e t t e r 19). That Lenz i s r e f e r r i n g to the Societe i s clear. He mentions Ott i n other l e t t e r s i n connection with i t , and the paper by Salzmann that he inquires about i s almost c e r t a i n l y the one e n t i t l e d "Uber die Rache", and delivered to the Societe on 17th September, a fact that would confirm Freye/ Stammler's dating of the l e t t e r . As to the reference to Ott and Haffner, Lenz seems to be inquiring how the delivery of t h e i r l a t e s t papers went. How did they manage? Did they put up a good performance? We cannot say whether there i s any deeper purpose i n Lenz's question, but we can take note that here he i s consulting with Salzmann about two other members. At this point at least, i t i s not Salzmann himself that our poet i s c a l l i n g into question. I f Lenz dir e c t s a complaint against any s p e c i f i c member of the Societe, i t i s i n f a c t against the f i r s t of these two other members mentioned. There are stronger grounds for viewing Ott as a cause of Lenz's f r u s t r a t i o n than for seeing Salzmann i n t h i s 43 way, although even t h i s complaint against Ott i s a quite perso-nal matter, and i s m o l l i f i e d by Lenz's obviously good friendship with t h i s associate. Lenz writes to Salzmann: "Ich sehe, daJ3 mein guter Ott mich nicht versteht und durchaus glaubt, wenn ich nicht l u s t i g bin, musse ich ungliicklich seyn. Benehmen Sie ihm doch dieses schlechte Zutraun zu mir, welches i n der That mich schamroth machen muB. . .Ich furchte,weil ich an ihn j e t z t nicht mehr mit lachendem Mund schreiben kann, sein gar zu gutes und empfindliches Herz wird glauben, ich sey niedergeschlagen und i c h bin es doch niemals weniger gewesen als i t z t " ( l e t t e r 19). I t i s possible that Lenz's unwillingness to account for his state of heart at every turn, i s linked to his complaint directed at the Societe i n "Uber Ovid": "wir werden zu bekannt und f a m i l i a r mit einander, jedermann sieht dem andern auf die Finger, menagiert den andern weder mit der Feder noch mit der Zunge, dagegen uns eine halbjahrige Zusammenkunft i n den gehorigen Grenzen der Ent-fernung und H o f l i c h k e i t von einander erhalten wiirde, die wir uns nun einmal von selbst zu beobachten nicht versprechen konnen" (1.473). In both cases, Lenz r e s i s t s too intimate an acquaintance with his fellows, and i t may be that the degree of f a m i l i a r i t y expected by Ott was also an expectation i n the Societe as a whole. Lenz had already written to his father reporting on his a c t i v i -t i e s i n the Societe and mentioning i t s undue l i k i n g for s e l f -importance i n i t s formal r e l a t i o n s : "Nach StraBburg schicke ich von Zeit zu Zeit kleine Abhandlungen an eine Gesellschaft der schonen Wissenschaften, die mich zu ihrem Ehrenmitgliede erwahlt 44 hat, und die davon mehr Aufhebens macht, als mir l i e b i s t " ( l e t t e r 17). Such f a m i l i a r i t y i s disagreeable to Lenz, who has chosen Salzmann as his sole confidant, and had already asked of the Actuary a propos his a f f a i r with Friederike Brion: "Es i s t gut, da6 Sie meinen freundlichen Ott nicht mit meiner Thorheit umstandlich bekannt machen"(letter 10). A further l e t t e r to Salzmann speaks of Ott's immaturity, and again re-quests his mentor's confidence: "Zeigen Sie diese S t e l l e meines Briefes nicht meinem guten Ott—wenn er nicht noch Jiingling ware, wenn er die Stufe der Weisheit erstiegen hatte, wiirde ich tiber diesen Punkt nicht gegen ihn zuruckhaltend seyn" ( l e t t e r 15). Again, therefore, we are led to dissociate Salzmann from the shortcomings of the Societe, rather than to implicate him i n them, despite the f a c t that he seems to be now an important contributing member. Exactly how important and i n f l u e n t i a l he was cannot be known. Knowing his eminently likeable character and his talent for i n s p i r i n g r e s t r a i n t and decorum without s t i f l i n g the l i v e l i n e s s of the group, we must presume that i f he was able to spare much time for the Societe at a l l , he would have exerted some influence, and i n some way l e f t his mark. Froitzheim quotes Haffner's "Akademische Antrittsrede" as a testimony to Salzmann's character and s o c i a l g i f t s . I f i t i s to the Societe and not to the Table Society that he i s r e f e r r i n g (and there i s no evidence that Haffner did belong to the l a t t e r : indeed since his parents were inhabitants of Strassburg he would 45 more l i k e l y have been f e d a t home), then t h i s passage does g i v e us an a d d i t i o n a l g l i m p s e o f l i f e i n i t s m i d s t : "An dem Ruder uns e r s Fahrzeuges saB e r wie e i n Steuermann, E i n h e i m i s c h e n wie Fremden d u r c h v o l l e n d e t e Humanitat, d u r c h d i e ganz e i n z i g e L i e b e und Giite s e i n e s C h a r a k t e r s l a n g s t bekannt und a l i e n t e u e r . D i e -s e r l e n k t e u n s e r n L a u f , p f l e g t e uns v o r K l i p p e n zu warnen und 45. wufite d i e s t u r m i s c h e n Wogen j u g e n d l i c h e r Gemuter zu b e r u h i g e n " . I n c o n t r a s t t o the w e a l t h o f documentation p r o v i n g S a l z -mann 1 s i n v o l v e m e n t i n the S o c i e t e from 1772 on, t h e r e i s no r e -f e r e n c e t o h i s s u p p o r t o f i t b e f o r e t h e n . T h i s l a c k may, o f c o u r s e , be due t o t h e f a c t t h a t one o f the key p e o p l e l i k e l y t o r e f e r t o him and t o have had h i s r e f e r e n c e s p r e s e r v e d — n a m e l y L e n z — w a s h i m s e l f not y e t i n v o l v e d i n the S o c i e t e . But J u n g - S t i l l i n g was; y e t w r i t i n g o f the p e r i o d p r i o r t o h i s h u r r i e d d e p a r t u r e i n May 17 7 1 — a time a t which Lenz had b a r e l y a r r i v e d i n S t r a s s b u r g — h e mentions Salzmann, as we have seen, i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e T a b l e S o c i e t y and w i t h Goethe, b u t n o t i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e S o c i e t e . F i n a l l y , as K o c h e n d o r f f e r and F r i e d r i c h p o i n t o u t , i f t h e A c t u a r y had been an a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t i n t h e S o c i e t e i n t h e S p r i n g and Summer o f 1771, as he was t o be from the f o l l o w i n g y e a r on, he would, w i t h the o t h e r members, have had advance knowledge o f J u n g - S t i l l i n g 1 s f o r t h c o m i n g m a r r i a g e . That he d i d not know o f i t b e f o r e S t i l l i n g ' s r e t u r n , seems i n d i c a t e d by Goethe's p r o f e s s i o n , r e c o r d e d i n S t i l l i n g ' s a u t o b i o g r a p h y , h i m s e l f not t o have known 46. o f i t , even a f t e r the event. S i n c e Salzmann was i n c l o s e and r e g u l a r c o n t a c t w i t h Goethe t h a t summer, i t i s h a r d t o imagine him n o t t e l l i n g h i s " H e r z e n s f r e u n d " , i f he h i m s e l f had known. 46 The evidence does not encourage us, therefore, to see Salzmann as the originator and continuing i n s p i r a t i o n for the Societe i n such a way that he might be held accountable for i t s alleged degeneration, and therefore answerable to Lenz's c r i t i -cisms voiced i n his l e t t e r to Goethe of February 1775 and his essay "tiber Ovid". That Lenz i s c r i t i c a l of the Societe i s i n -disputable; i t i s , aft e r a l l , disbanded i n the autumn of 1775, Lenz being the chief i n s t i g a t o r of the new Deutsche Gesellschaft. But Salzmann has by now by no means faded out of the picture. Apart from his not renewing formal membership, the Actuary was, i n every other way, closely involved with i t : lending his home as a meeting-place, receiving papers destined for delivery at the sessions, and o f f e r i n g a paper of his own. That Lenz e v i -dently sought his cooperation i n the Gesellschaft shows the re-spect he s t i l l had for him, and i f , eventually, the sessions switched from his house to von Turckheim's, t h i s happened after 47. Lenz had l e f t for Weimar. F i n a l l y , knowing of Goethe's respect for Salzmann, and probably knowing that he was i n the process of having the Actuary's essays published, Lenz i s unlikely, i n a l e t t e r to Goethe, to refer i n such derogatory terms to the i n -t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y i n the Societe i f i t i s as clear to Goethe, as i t i s to Froitzheim and Fuchs, that i t i s indeed Salzmann's a c t i v i t y that Lenz has i n mind when he speaks of a: "vagues Ge-schnarch von B e l l i t t e r a t u r , wo nichts dahinter i s t als Nessel-bliiten. . . s t e i f e l e i s e Schneckenmoralphilosophie, die ihren groBmtitterlichen Gang fortkriecht"(Br.I.89). 47 What e x a c t l y t h e s e d e r o g a t o r y remarks are aimed a t , we s h a l l d i s c u s s below. But whatever they mean, Salzmann i s an u n l i k e l y t a r g e t from them. The charge o f f a m i l i a r i t y , l e v e l l e d i n "Uber O v i d " i s , as we have seen, more l i k e l y aimed a t o t h e r members th a n a t the A c t u a r y , w i t h whom Lenz chose t o have a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . The "vagues Geschnarch von B e l l i t e r a t u r " i n no way d e s c r i b e s S alzmann 1s works as we know them, as they d e a l e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h m o r a l p h i l o s o p h y . Not t h a t he was n o t v e r s e d i n l i t e r a t u r e as w e l l ; h i s l i b r a r y was one t h a t Lenz borrowed from, and we r e a d t h a t F r i e d e r i k e B r i o n was happy t o r e a d Salzmann's copy o f Tom Jones(Br.1.64). Lenz a l s o r e p o r t s t o him e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y on h i s r e a d i n g o f Winckelmann. However the A c t u a r y ' s p r e o c c u p a t i o n was c h i e f l y w i t h p h i l o s o p h y and p h i l o s o p h e r s , n o t a b l y B a y l e and L e i b n i z . As t o the r e f e r e n c e t o " f r a n z o s i s c h e L i q u e u r s " a few l i n e s l a t e r i n the l e t t e r t o Goethe: "Und nun S t u r m i c h m i t O s s i a n s Helden h i n e i n das a l t e E r d e n g e f u h l aufzuwecken, das ganz i n f r a n z o s i s c h e L i q u e u r s eva-p o r i r t war", t h e r e i s no r e a s o n t o attach t h i s image o f decadence t o Salzmann, who, a c c o r d i n g t o Goethe i n D i c h t u n g und W a h r h e i t , was known r a t h e r f o r h i s f i r m n e s s i n r e s p e c t t o d r i n k i n g . S p e a k i n g o f the s t u d e n t s o f t h e T a b l e S o c i e t y Goethe w r i t e s : "nur muBten s i e i h r gewohnliches Weindeputat n i c h t l i b e r s c h r e i t e n . DaB d i e s n i c h t l e i c h t geschah war d i e Sorge u n s e r e s P r a s i d e n t e n , e i n e s D o k t o r Salzmann"(IX.359). There remains the r e f e r e n c e t o " s a n f t e l e i s e Schneckenmoral-p h i l o s o p h i e " . F r o i t z h e i m , w r i t i n g i n 1888, s t r e s s e s t h e p a t r i o t i c 48 and p o l i t i c a l a s p e c t o f Lenz's f o u n d i n g o f the Deutsche G e s e l l -s c h a f t , q u o t i n g a t l e n g t h h i s e s s a y i n p r a i s e o f the e x p r e s s i v e -ness o f t h e German language compared w i t h the F r e n c h . We may n o t , however, c o n c l u d e t h a t Lenz had c o m p l e t e l y t u r n e d h i s back on m o r a l p h i l o s o p h y because now o n l y l i t e r a r y and s o c i o - p o l i t i -c a l s u b j e c t s i n t e r e s t him. I f t h i s were so, then Salzmann would n a t u r a l l y become a t a r g e t f o r h i s c r i t i c i s m . However t h a t t h i s i s n o t t h e case i s i n d i c a t e d by the f a c t t h a t i n t h e new s o c i e t y , under Lenz's l e a d e r s h i p and s e c r e t a r y s h i p , t h e r e c o n t i n u e t o be e s s a y s on m o r a l p h i l o s o p h y , one o f w h i c h was by Salzmann h i m s e l f and e n t i t l e d : "Von der G l u c k s e l i g k e i t i n b i i r g e r l i c h e n G e s e l l -s c h a f t e n " . A c e r t a i n H e r r B r e u a l s o d e l i v e r e d one: " M o r a l i s c h e Empfindungen", arid S c h l o s s e r spoke once on t h e s u b j e c t : " S k i z z e meiner V o r s t e l l u n g s a r t der M o r a l " . Two o t h e r e s s a y s p u b l i s h e d i n t h e s o c i e t y ' s j o u r n a l : "Der B i i r g e r f r e u n d " a r e on s i m i l a r sub-j e c t s : "Lob der F r e u n d s c h a f t " and "Uber den Werth des guten Her-zens", and s e v e r a l l e c t u r e s and e s s a y s i n t h e same j o u r n a l , w h i c h bore on i t s c o v e r t h e motto " G e s e l l i g k e i t , V e r t r a g l i c h k e i t , R e l i -48. g i o n " , were devo t e d t o r e l i g i o u s q u e s t i o n s . I t i s n o t , t h e r e -f o r e , t h a t m o r a l p h i l o s o p h y as such was t e d i o u s t o L e n z , nor does he c o m p l a i n o f i t because i t i s not a l i t e r a r y o r s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s u b j e c t ; f o r t h e answer t o " S c h n e c k e n m o r a l p h i l o s o p h i e " was Meyn-ungen e i n e s Layen, i t s e l f a n o n - l i t e r a r y and n o n - s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l work. E v i d e n t l y though, t h e r e was i n t h e S o c i e t e a g r e a t d e a l o f mediocre p h i l o s o p h i s i n g and m o r a l i s i n g , which L e n z , who p r o f e s s e d n o t t o have much a p t i t u d e f o r p h i l o s o p h y a t t h e b e s t o f t i m e s , 49 found disagreeable. Whether Salzmann's papers on moral p h i l o -sophy were ones that Lenz i s l i k e l y to have found tedious i s a question that w i l l be answered i n the following chapter, nega-t i v e l y , by a d i r e c t study of the Kurze Abhandlurigen. The trouble with the Societe was not Salzmann, therefore. Indeed, having eliminated the Actuary as the cause of Lenz's d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the Societe, we are now i n a better posi-tion to establish just what did provoke him. Probably unlike most of the membership, Lenz had ambitions for the group, and i t i s for t h i s reason that he was bound to f e e l frustrated when those ambitions were not being r e a l i s e d . One other member, though, seems to have had s i m i l a r goals to Lenz and therefore si m i l a r c r i t i c i s m s of the Societe. His comments enable us to understand Lenz's reactions more c l e a r l y . J u n g - S t i l l i n g , a f t e r mentioning i n his autobiography the c i r c l e of friends to which he had belonged i n 1771: "Goethe, Lenz, Leose [s i c i ] und S t i l -l i n g machten j e t z t so einen Z i r k e l aus, i n dem es jedem wohl ward, der nur empfinden kann, was schon und gut i s t " , alludes immediately afterwards to t h e i r differences of r e l i g i o u s opinion: " S t i l l i n g s Enthusiasmus fur die Religion hinderte ihn nicht auch solche Manner h e r z l i c h zu lieben, die f r e i e r dachten als er, 49. wenn si e nur keine Spotter waren." A l l four characters, whilst meeting mostly at the Table Society, were also connected with the Societe; Lerse and S t i l l i n g were members already, Goethe was an associate, and Lenz was to j o i n probably that autumn (1771). S t i l l i n g ' s observation, though, of the free-thinking but general-l y tolerant character of t h i s c i r c l e i s backed up by a l a t e r 50 passage which, not being intended for public consumption, ex-presses more e x p l i c i t l y a cer t a i n concern for his friends' s p i r i t u a l welfare. He writes i n a l e t t e r to a reader of 1779: Da ich nun wuBte, wie sehr meine Freunde i n StraBburg den leichten wizelnden franzosischen Geschmack li e b t e n , auch wie sehr i h r Glaubensgrund i n der Religion schwank-te, so glaubte i c h : wenn ich ihnen meine Lebensgeschichte in einem romantischen blumichten Kleide vorlegte: so wiirden die deutlichen FuBstapfen der gottlichen Fiirsicht ihnen auf eine angenehme Art gezeigt : s i e wiirden mit Freuden, und auch mit Nutzen lesen. Ich machte also den T i t e l : "Heinrich S t i l l i n g s Lebensgeschichte i n Vorlesung-en", und schickte dann und wann ein Stuck hinauf. So entstand S t i l l i n g s Jugend. Nun zerschlug sic h die StraB-burger Gesellschaft, und ich dachte an S t i l l i n g s Lebens-geschichte gar nicht mehr. 50. That J u n g - S t i l l i n g i s speaking t h i s time of the Societe i s clear, the presentation of his autobiography i n the form of a series of "Vorlesungen" indicates that the "StraBburger Ge-s e l l s c h a f t " was indeed the Societe and not the Tischgesellschaft, of which, of course, he was also a member, but at which free 51 . discussions rather than formal papers were the order of the day. Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t , however, are the terms i n which Jung-S t i l l i n g characterises the Societe. In matters of r e l i g i o n i t s members were weak in f a i t h , and i n need of reminders that divine Providence could s t i l l be personally experienced. In matters of l i t e r a t u r e they favoured "den leichten wizelnden franzosischen Geschmack." We are struck by the s i m i l a r i t y to Lenz's own c r i -ticisms of the same group of people three years l a t e r . He also complains of t h e i r "Unglauben", and t e l l s Goethe that i t was to counter t h i s unbelief that he had written Meynungen eihes Laien: "Daher fieng i ch an ut vates den Leuten Standpunkt ihrer Religion 51 e i n z u s t e c k e n , das i t z t u n t e r v i e l S c h w i i r i g k e i t e n v o l l e n d e t i s t , d i e E r f o l g e w i r d d i e Z e i t l e h r e n " ( B r . I . 8 9 ) . I t was from t h e same m o t i v e t h a t J u n g - S t i l l i n g had w r i t t e n h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h y ; what he c a l l s "Glaubensgrund i n der R e l i g i o n " and Lenz c a l l s "Stand-punkt i h r e r R e l i g i o n " , i s i n b o t h c a s e s a commitment t o a c t i v e f a i t h i n God, w h i c h , i n J u n g - S t i l l i n g 1 s c a s e , meant s e e k i n g t p f o l l o w God's l e a d i n g i n everyday l i f e , and i n Lenz's case meant w o r k i n g a c t i v e l y f o r t h e kingdom o f God on e a r t h . We might won-der why t h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e o f any s p e c i a l f r i e n d s h i p between t h e s e two members who would have o v e r l a p p e d i n b o t h S o c i e t e and T a b l e S o c i e t y by s e v e r a l months, c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t t h e y b o t h adop-t e d an e v a n g e l i s t i c s t a n c e towards t h e i r c o l l e a g u e s . Nowhere, however, does Lenz mention J u n g - S t i l l i n g , and t h e l a t t e r d i s p l a y s no s p e c i a l i n c l i n a t i o n f o r our poet as he does f o r Goethe. No doubt Lenz was s t i l l q u i t e a minor f i g u r e i n S t r a s s b u r g a t t h e ti m e J u n g - S t i l l i n g l e f t i n March 1772, and had n o t y e t d e v e l o p e d h i s r e l i g i o u s i d e a s t o a p o i n t a t wh i c h t h e r e m i g h t have been much f o r t h e two t o d i s c u s s . Perhaps a l s o J u n g - S t i l l i n g was t o o much o f a "Kopfhanger" f o r Lenz , who was l a t e r t o use t h i s c o l l o -q u i a l d e s i g n a t i o n o f P i e t i s t s t o r e f e r , i n annoyed terms, t o t h e fo u n d e r s o f t h e P h i l a n t h r o p i n a t Dessau, who were o f f e r i n g him a p o s i t i o n . I n 1772 we s t i l l f i n d Lenz making.appeal t o t h e l e a d i n g o f P r o v i d e n c e i n d i s c u s s i n g h i s c a r e e r p r o s p e c t s w i t h h i s f a t h e r , w h i c h i n d i c a t e s a t l e a s t some b a s i s f o r agreement w i t h J u n g - S t i l -52. l i n g . But he was most l i k e l y as l i t t l e d i s p o s e d as Goethe was t o a s s o c i a t e any f u r t h e r w i t h P i e t i s t s and P i e t i s m — t h e s e had 52 become too i n t e l l e c t u a l l y c o n s t r i c t i n g for his l i k i n g , and above a l l too remote from the arena of p r a c t i c a l l i f e i n society. Notwithstanding, Lenz shares one further opinion of the Societe with J u n g - S t i l l i n g . In the l a t t e r ' s case i t i s a mere observation, i n Lenz's case a c r i t i c i s m . J u n g - S t i l l i n g aims at a "flowery, romantic" s t y l e for his autobiography, because that, he f e e l s , would be most pleasing to readers given to the " l e i c h -ten wizelnden franzosischen Geschmack". Lenz seems to be re-f e r r i n g to the same thing when he describes his Ossian trans-l a t i o n to Goethe as an intended corrective to the influence of decadent French culture: "Und nun stiirm i ch mit Ossians Helden hinein das a l t e Erdengefiihl i n ihnen aufzuwecken, das ganz i n franzosische Liqueurs evaporirt war"(Br.I.89). Such decadence, combined with r e l i g i o u s unbelief, and a p r e d i l e c t i o n for i n a n i -ty and sleepy philosophising on moral and l i t e r a r y topics, a l l gives Lenz the overriding conviction that his colleagues need to be shaken up, to be committed to f a i t h , to l i v e out of the deeper regions of t h e i r natures, discarding the s u p e r f i c i a l ban-ter of French culture and getting back to the old "Erdengefiihl": the v i t a l forces that i t i s a r e l i g i o u s obligation to c u l t i v a t e and to harness for a l t r u i s t i c ends. To Lenz the key model for this kind of l i v i n g was Goethe's Gotz: "Da konnte Gotz nicht durch dringen, der beyden g l e i c h abspricht", he laments, r e f e r -ring perhaps to the e f f e c t of the play i t s e l f on his fellow so-ciety members, perhaps also to the e f f e c t of his own d i a t r i b e 53 a g a i n s t u n - G d t z i a n l i v i n g i n h i s e s s a y "Uber Gotz von B e r l i c h -i n g e n " — e i t h e r way Lenz shows he was d i s a p p o i n t e d t h a t t h e new s p i r i t o f Goethe's hero had made no impact on anyone o t h e r t h a n h i m s e l f . I t had f a i l e d t o break t h e c y c l e o f u n b e l i e f and l a c k o f commitment. But Lenz has n o t g i v e n up hope, b u t has r a t h e r r e d o u b l e d h i s e f f o r t s : "DaB w i r s a u s f i i h r e n konnen was i c h m i t ganzer S e e l e s t r e b e , auf Heyd und H i i g e l Deine Helden w i e d e r na-t u r a l i s i r e n . " Lenz wants and e x p e c t s change; G o t z i a n l i v i n g be-comes f o r him t h e g o a l o f r e l i g i o u s r e n e w a l , t h e means t o i t b e i n g h i s own t h e o l o g i c a l and l i t e r a r y w r i t i n g s : Meynurigen and " O s s i a n " . He had a l r e a d y l i n k e d Gotz and C h r i s t i a n l i v i n g i n h i s essay on t h a t hero. G o t z , b e i n g a model f o r a l t r u i s t i c a c -t i o n as t h e way o f p e r s o n a l f u l f i l m e n t , i s a l s o p r e s e n t e d as the L i g h t o f t h e World: " E i n Mann der weder auf Ruhm noch Namen Anspruch macht, der n i c h t s s e i n w i l l a l s was e r i s t . . .immer weg g e s c h a f t i g , t a t i g , warmend und wohltuend wie d i e Sonne, aber auch eben so v e r z e h r e n d e s Feuer [cp.Hebrews 12,29^, wenn man ihm zu nahe kommt—und am Ende s e i n e s Lebens geht e r u n t e r wie d i e Sonne, v e r g n i i g t , b e s s e r e Gegenden zu schauen, wo mehr F r e i h e i t i s t , a l s er h i e r s i c h und den S e i n i g e n v e r s c h a f f e n k o n n t e , und l a B t noch L i c h t und G l a n z h i n t e r s i c h " ( I . 3 8 1 ) . G o t z , as we have s a i d , i s a p e r f e c t i n c a r n a t i o n o f the a c t i v e a l t r u i s t i c p h i l o s o p h y p r o -pounded by Salzmann. F o r h i s p a r t , Lenz c o n c e i v e s him i n terms of h i s t h e o l o g y , o r more c o r r e c t l y C h r i s t o l o g y , o f a l t r u i s t i c i n v o l v e m e n t , o f w h i c h more w i l l be s a i d i n c h a p t e r t h r e e below. Theology, though, i s one s u b j e c t o f Lenz's n e x t c o m p l a i n t s c o n c e r n i n g the o r g a n i s a t i o n and e t h o s o f t h e S o c i e t e . They come 54 as a prelude to his essay "tiber Ovid" and r e f l e c t something of the s p i r i t of the complaints expressed i n the l e t t e r to Goethe. His f r u s t r a t i o n with the group i n general i s i m p l i c i t i n the number of bones he finds to pick, and i n the highly i r o n i c tone of the whole: the Societe i s attempting too much, the meetings are too frequent, there i s too great a f a m i l i a r i t y amongst the members, the decision made i n his absence to extend the group's a c t i v i t i e s to discussion of a l l branches of knowledge i s absurd-ly u n r e a l i s t i c , for even the limited goals of the Societe w i l l never be reached anyway. E x p l i c i t l y his f r u s t r a t i o n i s expres-sed i n words crossed out i n the manuscript: "Sozietat ja P f u i l 53. Sozietat! was geht mich die Sozietat an?" His heaviest sar-casm i s reserved, however, for his attack on the ban the Societe has imposed on theological discussion: Also nur noch ein halbes Wort von der andern Einrichtung, die wir verabredet, daB ins kunftige auf uns und unsere Nachkommen die Theologie von a l i e n unsern Vorlesungen aus-geschlossen bleiben s o l l e , denn sagt mir doch, i h r lieben Leute, was hat der li e b e Gott mit unserer Sozietat zu tun? Ich kann mich tiber nichts mehr argern und ver-wundern, a l s wenn man i i b e r a l l heut zu Tage unsern lieben Herrn Gott hinbringt, g l e i c h als ob der sich um was be-ktimmerte. LaB die Leute, die sich so schwach fiihlen, daB sie i n den Bedrangnissen des Lebens iib e r a l l nach einer Gottheit umsehen mussen,die ihnen ex machina zu H i l f e kommen s o i l , daB die meinethalben an ihren lieben Herrgott glauben, s o v i e l s i e wollcn,•aber es schickt s i c h doch mei-ner Seel nicht, davon i n honetter Gesellschaft zu reden. Wir f r e i e Geister wenigstens, denen die Mama a l l e Morgen Essen kocht und die doch auch i n der Welt was erfahren haben und das Ding verstehen mussen,wie man ohne Herrgott d r i n zurecht kommen kann"(I.474-75). Evidently the long series of papers that constitute Meyriungen eines Laien, as well as the shorter essays that adopt the stance 55 of theologian, had, i n the long run, become tedious to the group, had become examples of those "so wichtigen und weit-laufigt e n Vorlesungen" he alluded to e a r l i e r , and he sees the ban on theology as an attempt to silence him. To get his own back he demands a revocation of the decision to include scien-t i f i c t r e a t i s e s which, he argues with a l l the urgency of his whimsical rh e t o r i c , would be far more tedious than anything hitherto. To Lenz, theology means urging his hearers to re-li g i o u s commitment: "den Leuten Standpunkt ihrer Religion ein-zustecken"; what i t does not mean i s a mere system of r e l i g i o u s ideas. Lenz's theology needs an audience, or more co r r e c t l y a congregation. Like J u n g - S t i l l i n g he considers the Societe to be weak i n r e l i g i o u s f a i t h and commitment, and his active re-formatory zeal i n i t s midst i s c h i e f l y aimed at bringing i t s members back to active C h r i s t i a n i t y as he understands i t . Lenz's ambition, of course, i n endeavouring to influence the Societe, i s ultimately to influence society as a whole. I t was probably through the f i r s t that he influenced and became known i n the second, i f we are to believe his claim i n a l e t t e r to his father: "Wenigstens schmeichelt mir die Freundschaft einer ganzen Stadt . . .so sehr, daB ich sehr v o r t e i l h a f t e Antrage von andern Orten wie mich duhkt mit Recht ausgeschlagen habe"(Br.I.142). He be-lieved himself i n f l u e n t i a l i n the limited society of Strassburg, his ambition was to touch society at large. Several l e t t e r s speak of his grandiose plans for af f e c t i n g society(Letters 66,80, 99,130), and others t e s t i f y to his sense of being involved i n 56 matters v i t a l to humanity as a whole: "Seine Reisen sind fur 54. die Menschheit wichtig", i s Wieland's i r o n i c comment. For the time being, though, the Societe i s for him a congregation which may be persuaded to l i s t e n to him preach "ut vates", and with which a s t a r t can perhaps be made. Goethe's Gotz Lenz considered as God's g i f t to Germany, and he urged: "laBt uns den Charakter dieses antiken deutschen Mannes erst mit e r h i t z t e r Seele erwagen und wenn wir ihn gut finden, uns eigen machen." The play, says Lenz, may have f a i l e d to exert any influence on society at large, but l e t us, i n our Societe, learn i t s lessons and be changed into Gotz's likeness. In that way, mankind at large may be inspired to follow our example of Gotzian l i v i n g : "dann eingeladen a l l e s was noch einen lebendigen Odem in sich spurt—das heiBt Kraft Geist und Leben urn mit Nachdruck zu han-deln"(I.380-82). Another image i n a l e t t e r to Salzmann shows that i t was as early as 1772 that Lenz envisaged t h i s exemplary and reformatory role for the Societe: "VernachlaBigen Sie diese Pflanzsschule Ihrer Vaterstadt nicht, theurer Freund, v i e l l e i c h t konnten wohlthatige Baume draus gezogen werden, auf welche Kin-deskinder, die sic h unter ihrem Schatten freuten, dankbar schnit-ten: auch dich hat er pflanzen helfen. Es sieht noch ziemlich wild und t r a u r i g i n Ihrer Region aus—aber der erste Mensch ward i n den Garten Eden gesetzt urn ihn zu bauen" (Br.1.28-29). Salz-mann, to whom Lenz appeals, i s already Lenz's model, spreading the f i r s t glimmerings of enlightenment around him, as a l e t t e r of the same period expresses: "Wenigstens glanzt eine angenehme 57 Morgenrothe des Geschmacks i n StraBburg urn Sie herum"(p.46). Just how much dawned on Lenz as a r e s u l t of his acquaintance with Salzmann w i l l be documented i n the following chapter. 58 CHAPTER TWO The Influence of Johann Daniel Salzmann on Lenz We have said that Salzmann 1s essays were a l l of a general nature, dealing with f a i r l y broad moral and philosophical to-pics which he l e f t i t to others to extend to s p e c i f i c s o c i a l goals. Indeed they work out a dynamic philosophy of personal s p i r i t u a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l development as a foundation and j u s t i f i c a t i o n for active s o c i a l involvement. Whilst the sub-jects of the six essays range from the "Effects of Grace" to "Love", "Revenge", "Virtue and Vice", "Affections, Inclinations and Passions" and f i n a l l y "Religion", the p r i n c i p l e underlying a l l these i s the same, and can be stated quite b r i e f l y . Salz-mann writes i n "Uber Tugend und Laster": "Der Mensch i s t ein Geschopf, welches nicht i n allem Betracht selbstandig und frey, aber auch nicht auf a l i e n Seiten abhangig i s t . Der Gebrauch oder Nichtgebrauch seiner Geisteskrafte kommt auf ihn selbst an, und diese Krafte vermehren sich durch Ubung. Wir konnen daher schlieBen, der Mensch sey von dem Schopfer bestimmt, sic h durch Versuch und Ubung seiner Fahigkeiten, immer mehrere Selb-1 . standigkeit, Freyheit und Vollkommenheit zu verschaffen." Elsewhere he adds happiness to the l i s t of q u a l i t i e s man i s destined to achieve and enjoy, and stresses the cardinal point of his philosophy: that i t i s for the benefit of mankind as a whole that these q u a l i t i e s must be achieved, not for man apart from his fellow-man: "Wir behaupten hier f e y e r l i c h , daB wir keine andere moralische GroBe der Handlungen erkennen, a l s die-jenige, welche die wahre GroBe und vorziigliche Wurde der Mensch-59 h e i t , nemlich die allgemeine Freyheit, Selbstandigkeit, Gliick-s e l i g k e i t und Thatigkeit begunstigt und befordert"(p.116). These ess e n t i a l ideas are developed i n every essay, and we can be sure that they were ones that Salzmann would have expressed again and again i n the open discussion of the Tischgesellschaft, and for which, no doubt, he would have become known. A year and a half before the f i r s t essay was delivered, we f i n d Goethe high-l i g h t i n g the same q u a l i t i e s of the Actuary's thought: "daB wir auf diese Welt gesetzt sind besonders um i h r n i i t z l i c h zu seyn, daS wir uns dazu fahig machen konnen, wozu denn auch die R e l i -2 . gion etwas h i l f t ; u n d daB der Brauchbarste der Beste i s t . " Development of one's personal l i f e through a l t r u i s t i c i n -teraction with the world around: t h i s i s the philosophy of l i f e that emerges from each essay, whatever the s p e c i f i c argument may be. I t i s e x p l i c i t i n the f i r s t essay, i n which i t i s ar-gued that God's Grace operates to restore order and harmony i n the human psyche, through the sensations a man receives from the objects around him, for i t i s the ordered psyche that i s able t r u l y to love, to f i n d happiness and to give happiness to others. That God's Grace i s necessary for man i s seen to be evident from the state of perdition i n which he finds himself, a state which consists i n the i n a b i l i t y to use his powers aright to create either his own or others' happiness. The disorder i n his psyche i s due to the atrophy of his powers of understanding: his "Ver-stand". When thi s i s restored to i t s r i g h t f u l rule over the other powers of the soul and mind: over memory, imagination, 60 s e n s i b i l i t y , passion, and when i t i s exercised with energy and e f f o r t , then love and general happiness become possible. Grace i s described, therefore, as God's i n i t i a t i v e i n a process which only man can perform, but which, through the hard work of seek-ing to increase his powers of understanding, i t i s i n his power to perform, and indeed he must perform. God's i n i t i a t i v e , con-s i s t i n g of the i n - b u i l t mechanisms for i n d i v i d u a l and general improvement, whose operation Salzmann describes as God's contin-ual creation, i s accessible to a l l men. I t i s not d i r e c t l y ap-p l i e d to cer t a i n men: to believers, to the e l e c t , but to a l l who seek to develop th e i r powers. Salzmann has no use for su-pernaturalism, nor for any denial of human nature. Neither P i e t i s t s p i r i t u a l i t y nor asceticism, nor indeed, r a t i o n a l i s t i c subtleties have any place i n his system. The truth i s close to a l l men, i t i s even common sense, and t o t a l l y immanent. I t places a high premium on e f f o r t , action and human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and i t s goal i s the happiness of i n d i v i d u a l and society. The sensualist p r i n c i p l e , which Salzmann establishes i n th i s essay, and summarises thus: "daB durch die schonen und er-habenen Empfindungen, die s i e (sichtbare und fiihlbare Gegenstan-de um uns herum) i n uns erregen, die erste und vornehmste Fahig-k e i t unsers Geistes, namlich der Verstand einen genugsamen Schwung erhalte, mithin nach und nach durch Ubung und Bearbeitung die F e r t i g k e i t erlange, eines jeden Gegenstandes wahren Werth zu bestimmen und f o l g l i c h den iibrigen Seelenkraften ihre wahre Richt-ung zu geben"(pp.24-25), he then applies, i n the other essays, 6 1 to s p e c i f i c moral concepts. He indicates what role revenge and passion should play, and what love, v i r t u e and r e l i g i o n should consist of. Love, for example, arises naturally out of our de-pendence, for our personal development and happiness, on objects around us, supremely on fellow-man. Revenge, l i k e a l l punish-ment, creates fear and works counter to the creation of happi-ness through development of one's powers, so love, instead of revenge, must perform the service of deterring e v i l , but i t must be a firm, powerful love, for "die Liebe i s t kein schmachtiges, schwaches und immer duldendes Miittergen, s i e muB eine sehr star -ke Energie und Nachdenken haben"(p.67). To acquire such love i s ce r t a i n l y beyond men's powers at present. But, he asks, "sind deren Fahigkeiten und Empfindungen nicht a l l e einer fa s t unum-schrankten Ausdehnung und Erweiterung fahig?"(p.70). To acquire i t , a l l that i s needed i s application on our part. Virtue, i n the fourth essay, has to be seen i n i t s etymolo-g i c a l sense, as courage or strength; i t i s the e f f o r t that i s required to d i r e c t a l l our powers to the furtherance of general happiness. Vice, on the other hand, i s "ein Unkraut, das von selbst wachst"(p.92). The vicious are those who do not take the trouble to be virtuous. As for "Affections, Inclinations and Passions," the l a s t of these have no place i n Salzmann's thought. Not that they lack energy and strength, but they are misdirected energy, upsetting the harmony of the psyche. The other two emo-tions, however, are "an sich kostbare Geschenke des Himmels, urn unter den lebenden Geschopfen das Feuer der Thatigkeit und Wirk-samkeit zu unterhalten"(p.100). 62 Religion, f i n a l l y , i s defined as "KenntniB, Empfindung und Anwendung der Anstalten, welche die Gottheit sowol i n der Schopfung als auch i n dem Zusammenhang der Begebenheiten zu unserer hohern Existenz und selbstandigen moralischen V e r v o l l -kommnung gemacht hat"(p.150). Religion gives us the history of God's provisions to help man along the path of moral im-provement to perfection and happiness: such provisions are the revelations of the Law, of the One God and of eternal l i f e . Re-l i g i o n also provides motivation and stimulus to persevere along th i s road. C h r i s t i a n dogma:-, i s only of value i n as far as i t encourages man to s t r i v e after the true end of r e l i g i o n , which i s love and happiness. The drives towards perfection, happiness, and union with the perfection and happiness outside of oneself (love), the sense of man's po t e n t i a l : the unlimited p o s s i b i l i t i e s of perfection that are open to him—these are ideas Lenz has i n common with Salzmann. But for both, i t i s a question of putting such ideas into practice, of getting on with the job. To Salzmann th i s means a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of one's ideas and then working "mit Ener-gie und Nachdruck" for general happiness. Whilst salvation comes through r a t i o n a l c l a r i f i c a t i o n , . i t does not come through mere\knowledge; the development of "Verstand" only has sense i f i t leads to vigorous, a l t r u i s t i c action. But i n the process, there i s for the i n d i v i d u a l : independence, freedom, the image of God, and a heightened sense of his existence. Lenz, seeking for the same things, w i l l f i n d them /at least:'.in theory, i n very simi-l a r ways. I t i s the essay "tiber die Liebe" which Lenz refers to i n his own paper "Versuch iiber das erste Principium der Moral". The reference comes during his discussion of the relat i o n s h i p between the individual's sense of his powers, and the human beings around him. He sees love for fellow-man rooted i n the r e a l i s a t i o n that without him one's powers are useless. He goes on: "Mich iiber diese Materie weiter auszulassen wiirde sehr iiberfliissig sein, da ich Sie nur auf die unter Ihnen a l i e n noch unvergessene Abhandlung des Herrn Salzmann verweisen darf" (1.490). The fact that Lenz can refer to the other's essay without needing to name i t , and i n such terms as "unter Ihnen a l i e n noch unvergessen", may be important i n any attempt to date Lenz's "Versuch". What we do know i s that "tiber die Liebe" was delivered on 5th March, 1772, and that Lenz was absent from Strassburg for most of the summer and autumn of that year. The choice of a date for his own work, therefore, seems to be either that same spring, or a l t e r n a t i v e l y a f t e r December 1772. However we also hear that he sent i n essays to be read at the Societe, 3. from his temporary location i n Fort-Louis and Landau". -Whether thi s was one of them, we cannot t e l l , although the various rhe-t o r i c a l devices interspersed throughout the work might indicate 4. that Lenz intended to read t h i s one himself. The terms of the reference, therefore, make i t seem most l i k e l y that he i s wri-ting within a year of Salzmann's paper, possibly within three 5. months. For our purposes, the point i s that Lenz himself has far from forgotten the other's essay, indeed he i s conscious of 64 i t s argument as he writes his own. I t i s also quite possible, and even not unlikely, that he had Salzmann's text before him as he wrote, or that he had recently re-read i t . This becomes evident when a comparison i s made both of the subject-matter and of the phrasing of the two essays. Lenz's work begins by condemning the "Einheitssucht" i n the "republic of scholars": the desire to trace every phenomenon back to one p r i n c i p l e . Such a practice can only give r i s e to sectarian s t r i f e as each maintains his p r i n c i p l e i n the face of others. Instead of t h i s , Lenz argues for the multiple basis of concepts such as beauty and morality. To him, morality i s based on the twin p r i n c i p l e s of the "Trieb nach Vollkommenheit" and "Trieb nach Gluckseligkeit". Perfection he defines i n terms of the consciousness of one's human powers: "Der Trieb nach V o l l -kommenheit i s t also das ursprungliche Verlangen unsers Wesens, sich eines immer groBern Umfanges unserer Krafte und Fahigkeiten bewuBt zu werden"(I.488). Such human powers comprise both those of the s p i r i t and those of the body, but, says Lenz, i t goes without saying that the l a t t e r must be subordinated to the f o r -mer. The r e s u l t i n g harmony within the psyche amounts to the highest beauty as well as the highest good. But "good" i s no f i n a l state i n Lenz; he has no room for the idea of f i n i t e per-f e c t i o n . Instead, everything that i s good i s p e r f e c t i b l e , not perfect, for only God can be that. So un-falien Adam, whilst being good, was s t i l l i n need of greater perfection: "Gut, m.H., hieB bei den ersten Menschen, fahig zur Vollkommenheit, aber noch nicht vollkommen, denn sonst wiirden sie nicht gefallen 6 5 sein. A l l e Geschopfe, vom Wurm bis zum Seraph, miissen sich vervollkommnen konnen, sonst horten sie auf endliche Geschopfe zu sein, und wiirden sich nach dem Platonischen Lehrbegriff ins unendliche und allervollkommenste Wesen verlieren"(I.490). In th i s paragraph are contained the seeds of Lenz's theological ideas on the question of o r i g i n a l s i n and human destiny. The re-interpretation of Adam's state as one no longer of innocence but of p r i m i t i v i t y , and the re-defining of Adam's si n as the f i r s t necessary step for him to take i n the d i r e c t i o n of per-fec t i o n , autonomy and freedom of action, are quite characteris-t i c of Lenz, and w i l l be developed i n the theological essays. At t h i s point we may note the dynamic framework of p e r f e c t i b i -l i t y within which morality operates. Lenz goes on to f i n d a t h i r d i n s t i n c t i n man, not so basic as the others, but one performing an a u x i l i a r y function: "Der T r i e b — u n s mitzuteilen". Like Salzmann's a l t r u i s t i c urge, Lenz's i s also there to encourage the development of one's powers: "Wir suchen a l l e Fahigkeiten und Krafte, deren wir uns bewuBt sind, auch andern urn uns herum fiihlbar zu machen und eben dieses i s t das einzige M i t t e l , dieselben zu entwickeln und zu erweitern" (1.490). There i s great stress i n Lenz, however, on the con-sciousness of one's existence and one's powers. The i n d i v i d u a l needs his fellow-man not merely to develop his own powers, but also to make him conscious of them. Without fellow-man there i s not only arrested development, there i s also horror: "Die meisten, die groBesten und f i i r t r e f f l i c h s t e n unserer Fahigkeiten liegen tot, sobald wir aus a l l e r menschlichen Gesellschaft fortgerissen 66 uns v o l l i g a l l e i n befinden. Daher schaudert unserer Natur fur nichs so sehr, als einer ganzlichen Einsamkeit, weil alsdenn unser Gefiihl unserer Fahigkeiten das kleinstmogliche wird. Sehen Sie hier die Weisheit des Schopfers, sehen Sie hier den Keim der Liebe und a l l e r g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e n Tugenden auf den ersten Grundtrieb nach Vollkommenheit gepfropft"(I.490). With the reference to love, the l i n k i s established to Salzmann's essay, to which Lenz now re f e r s . Following this reference, Lenz, i n Salzmannian s t y l e , then extends his p r i n c i p l e of development and awareness of one's powers to the s p e c i f i c concept of friendship. The only true basis for thi s form of the a l t r u i s t i c i n s t i n c t i s the reci p r o -c a l sense of perfection two friends enjoy: "Wahre Freundschaft beruht also e i n z i g auf das wechselseitige Gefiihl unserer V o l l -kommenheit, oder, um j e t z t menschlich zu reden, auf das wechsel-s e i t i g e Gefiihl unsers Bestrebens nach Vollkommenheit" (1. 491) . We are tempted to translate t h i s into Sturm und Drang terms, as: true friendship i s only possible between geniuses, or when they relate as one genius to another, as Lenz goes on to imply: "Wahre Vollkommenheit kann also niemand gehorig schatzen, als der sie selber b e s i t z t . " Lenz does add a disclaimer i n parenthesis, however: "Bedenken Sie, daB ich hier von lauter Idealen rede." The ensuing d e f i n i t i o n of happiness, the i n s t i n c t for which i s the second basic drive i n e t h i c a l man, leads Lenz to emphasise that we can only be t r u l y happy when our s p i r i t s are continually i n motion. The idea of rest, championed, i n Lenz's view, by Rousseau, i s not only i n i m i c a l to human p e r f e c t i b i l i t y and 67 happiness, i t i s even a physical i m p o s s i b i l i t y : "Der Zustand einer absoluten Ruhe hat, wie die Rhysiker lehren, i n unserer Welt keine Statt, die Ruhe der Materie selbst i s t eine entge-gengesetzte Bewegung gleicher Krafte, die sich unter einander 6. aufheben." Absolute rest belongs not to t h i s created world, which i s ceaselessly active i n self-development; i t can only be imagined i n a place where the processes of l i f e are as yet unbegun—in the past, therefore, for the future holds nothing but continuing development. For the place to which rest must be consicne'd, Lenz finds Milton's image of "Chaos and old night" the most appropriate. Only a state of motion i s f i t t i n g for man with his dynamic drives: "Der hochste Zustand der Bewegung i s t unserm Ich der angemessenste, das heiBt derjenige Zustand, wo unsere aussera.: Umstande unsere Relationen und Situationen so zusammenlaufen, daB wir das groBtmoglichste Feld vor uns haben, unsere Vollkommenheit zu erhohen zu befordern und andern empfindbar zu machen, weil wir uns alsdenn das groBtmoglichstes Vergniigen versprechen konnen, welches. e i g e n t l i c h bei a l i e n Men-schen i n der ganzen Welt i n dem groBten Gefiihl unserer Existenz, unserer Fahigkeiten, unsers Selbst besteht"(I.492-93). Lenz de-mands only space and freedom to move, grow, develop, act and d i s -cover. I t i s i n conformity with t h i s demand that he w i l l l a t e r refuse the fixed boundaries of a moral code. Morality i s no pre-s c r i p t i o n of certain acts, it i s the authorisation to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a free process of perfection. The e a r l i e r d e f i n i t i o n of friendship i n terms of the drive to perfection i s now matched by a d e f i n i t i o n i n s i m i l a r terms of 68 such vices as voluptuousness, arrogance and avarice. In each case the practicant f a i l s either to develop his powers, or even to be aware of them. And i n no case does he f i n d happiness.. The b e l i e f that happiness comes according to our s t r i v i n g for perfection Lenz c a l l s f a i t h : a moral or natural f a i t h , that has always been held from Enoch to the Psalmist and to Socrates. I t i s , however, f a i t h i n a process which could not work without God. With the mention of God the essay quite suddenly changes,— before even Lenz announces the change and as i f Lenz has only been waiting for th i s moment—from being a philosophical to a theological and r e l i g i o u s work. The p r i n c i p l e , just established, of finding encouragement i n one's personal development by a l t r u -i s t i c involvement i n one's neighbour's, continues to be advoca-ted, but now not merely as an idea to be understood, but as an imperative to be obeyed: Horen Sie was wir tun miissen, horen Sie es, merken Sie es, dies i s t der fruchtbarste T e i l meiner P r i n c i p i e n . Wir miissen sucheri andere urn uns herum g l u c k i i c h zu machen. Nach a l i e n unsern Kraften arbeiten, nicht a l l e i n ihre Fahigkeiten zu entwickeln, sondern auch s i e i n solche Zustande zu setzen, worin s i e ihre Fahigkeiten am besten entwickeln konnen. Wenh jeder diesen Vorsatz i n sich zur Reife und zum Leben kommen laBt, so werden wir eine gliickliche Welt haben. Jeder sorgt bloB fur des- andern Gliick und jeder wird selbst g l i i c k l i c h , weil er urn sich herum Leute findet, die fur das seinige sorgeri. Diese bestandig wachsame und wirkende Sorgfalt fiir den Zustand meines Nebenmenschen wird auch das beste M i t t e l sein, hier i n dieser Welt meine Fahigkeiten zu entwickeln, meine Vollkommenheit zu befordern"(I.496). Lenz does not need to be reminded that t h i s v i s i o n of s o c i a l harmony i s remote from contemporary r e a l i t y , but i t only needs human action to make i t r e a l : "Frisch an die Arbeit, meine 69 Briider, die i h r Mut genug habt, Menschenfreunde zu sein. . . strebt e i n z i g und a l l e i n darnach besser zu werden und eure Nebenmenschen um euch herum nicht a l l e i n he's ser, sondern auch g l i i c k l i c h zu machen!." (1. 496) To the objection that such a task i s impossibly d i f f i c u l t , Lenz r e p l i e s with theological arguments based on the teaching of Christ concerning the f u l -filment of the Law, seeking the kingdom of God, and, most im-portantly, the prospect of eternal l i f e : "welch ein Zustand kann a l l e i n uns liegende Menschenkrafte mehr entwickeln, er-hohen und vervollkommnen a l s die unmittelbare anschauende Er-kenntnis des, der da wohnet i n einem Li c h t , da niemand zukommen kann"(I•499). We s h a l l examine Lenz's theological views, as they relate to the concept of action, more f u l l y i n the next chapter. Here we s h a l l merely note that they serve to support and confirm the dynamic p r i n c i p l e of s t r i v i n g for perfection and consciousness of one's powers, and lead up to the evangelical zeal of the conclusion: "Was helfen aber diese Spekulationen, wenn sie nicht ausgeiibt werden. . .Solange man mich nicht eines Bessern belehrt, gehe ich auf diesem Wege f o r t und glaube, daB es besser s e i , des HERRN Willen zu tun, als ihn bloB zu wissen." Such i s the argument of Lenz's essay. Salzmann*s, as we b r i e f l y saw, covers si m i l a r ground; a closer comparison of the two w i l l show how s i m i l a r . Salzmann*s opening paragraph announ-ces a proposition which Lenz w i l l echo: "daB Gott nichts anders von uns fordere, als daB wir uns die Miihe geben sol l e n uns durch die Liebe g l i i c k l i c h zu machen" (p-31 ). Lenz says: "ich habe schon .70 vorhin gesagt, daB ich i n der Tat das Reich Gottes auf Erden fur nichts anders als das bestandige Bestreben a l l e r Menschen einander g l u c k l i c h zu machen, halte" (1.497). Salzmann goes on to stress that the nature of love has been so misunderstood and misrepresented by philosophers and theologians, and so im-poverished as a p r a c t i c a l v i r t u e , that i t i s high time that i t s true stature were recovered, and that i t be seen once again to be the sum of a l l vi r t u e s : the essence of the Law and the Pro-phets. Defining happiness as the modulation of pleasant f e e l -ings that we receive through contact with the beauties and per-fections of the external world, and love as the rec i p r o c a l com-munication of pleasant f e e l i n g , l i k e Lenz's "Trieb uns mitzu-t e i l e n " , Salzmann then lays great stress on the important role of the world around, notably fellow-man, i n the development and useful deployment of our own powers. We need fellow-man for our own self-awareness and happiness, and i t i s i n t h i s sense that i t can be said: "Ein Mensch kann i n gewissem Verstande des andern Gott seyn" (p.36). General happiness i s created when a l l men work for the development of each other's perfection and growth, for then they w i l l f i n d t h e i r own development furthered: "Denn a l l e Schonheiten und Vollkommenheiten, welche wir mit schopferischer Kraft entwickelt haben, stralen wieder auf uns zuruck!! (p. 39) . Salzmann thus stresses a harmony of altruism and enlightened s e l f - i n t e r e s t . To thi s idea Lenz responds warmly, i t forms the point of contact between the one's concern for love and the other's concern for happiness. The state most conducive to love, 71 according to Salzmann, i s also the state, Lenz f e e l s , i n which personal happiness can thrive; to both thinkers i t i s the or-dered psyche that creates such a state. A d i r e c t comparison of the relevant passages from the two essays shows Lenz's debt to the other man. Salzmann had stressed the need for "Verstand" to rule the other powers of the soul i f love and happiness were to be possible, and writes of these ordered powers: "dieselben, i n immerwahrender Riicksicht auf den Zusammenhang des Ganzen, zu 7. entwickeln, zu erwarmen und zu erweitern suchen". Lenz, sub-s t i t u t i n g "Vernunft" for Salzmann's "Verstand", expands th i s to: "Wir sind also nur alsdenn wahrhaft g l i i c k l i c h , wenn wir i n einem Zustande sind, i n welchem wir unsere Vollkommenheit auf die le i c h t e s t e und geschwindeste Art befordern konnen, das heiBt, i n welchem wir die Fahigkeiten unsers Verstandes, unsers Willens, unserer Empfindungen, unserer Phantasie, a l l e r unserer untern Seelenkrafte, hernach auch unserer Gliedmassen und unsers Kor-pers immer mehr entwickeln, verfeinern und erhohen konnen und zwar i n einer gewissen tibcreinstimmung der T e l l e zum Ganzen, i n einer gewissen Harmonie und Ordnung, welche unsere Vernunft, die von a l i e n Vorurteilen befreit. i s t und die hochste Oberherrschaft liber a l l e unsere iibrigen SeeTenvermogen erhalten hat, selbst leh-ren wird". (1. 49 4) . Salzmann expresses the harmony of altruism and personal development as "der Hang unserer geiibten Seele, vermog dessen wir nicht nur unsere eigene Fahigkeiten und Vollkommen-heiten, sondern auch diejenigen, die i n unsern Mitmenschen ver-borgen liegen, immermehr zu entwickeln, zu verschonern, zur V o l l -72 kommenheit des Ganzen einzuleiten"(p.44). Lenz duly argues, placing a l i t t l e more emphasis on the enlightened s e l f - i n t e r e s t : "Diese bestandig wachsame und wirkende Sorgfalt fur den Zustand meines Nebenmenschen wird auch das beste M i t t e l sein, hier i n dieser Welt meine Fahigkeiten zu entwickeln, meine Vollkommen-hei t zu befordern"(I.496). To draw attention to s i m i l a r i t i e s of language and subject-matter i n the two thinkers i s , of course, not necessarily to prove the d i r e c t influence of the one upon the other. Discussion of the phenomenology of the soul: the d i f f e r e n t states of the mind that are produced during the acts of perception and knowing, and the various psychological powers: the "Seelenkrafte", that must harmonise i f there i s to be true insight or 'genial' a r t i s -t i c creation, was a favourite occupation throughout the Enligh-tenment period, an i n t e l l e c t u a l exercise that anyone could i n -dulge i n . The stress on the development of human powers found a p a r t i c u l a r l y warm response amongst the Sturm und Drang gene-rati o n . Goethe t e l l s us i n Dichtung und Wahrheit: Wir haben von dem gutigen Schopfer eine Menge Seelenkrafte, welchen man ihre gehorige Kultur, und zwar i n den ersten Jahren g l e i c h , zu geben nicht ver-absaumen muB, und die man doch weder mit Logik noch Metaphysik, Latein oder Griechisch k u l t i v i e r e n kann: wir haben eine Einbildungskraft, der wir, wofern s i e sich nicht der ersten besten Vorstellungen selbst be-machtigen s o i l , die schicklichsten und schonsten B i l d e r vorlegen und dadurch das Gemiit gewohnen und iiben miissen, das Schone iib e r a l l und i n der Natur selbst, unter seinen bestimmten, wahren und auch i n den feineren Ziigen zu erkennen und zu lieben. Wir haben eine Menge Begriffe und allgemeine Kenntnisse notig, sowohl fur die Wissen-schaften als fur das tagliche Leben, die sich i n keinem Kompendio erlernen lassen. Unsere Empfindungen, Neigungen und Leidenschaften sollen mit V o r t e i l entwickelt und ge-r e i n i g t werden. 73 Diese bedeutende S t e l l e , welche sich i n der "Allgemeinen deutschen Bibliothek" vorfand, war nicht die einzige i n ihr e r Art. Von gar vi e l e n Seiten her offenbarten sich ahnliche Grundsatze und gleiche Ge-sinnungen. Sie machten auf uns rege Junglinge sehr groBen Eindruck (IX.353-54). We can, of course, include Lenz among the "rege Junglinge" that read such passages with enthusiasm, and i t i s certa i n that Salz-mann was not the only one who might have introduced Lenz to such ideas. Both his and the Actuary's thought could, therefore, be merely running p a r a l l e l at thi s point, without i t being a case of the one influencing the other. Apart, however, from the hint given us by Lenz's e x p l i c i t reference to Salzmann, i t becomes apparent from the close s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two essays that Lenz i s here consciously being led by Salzmann's ideas, seeing i n them just the moral-philosophical arguments that he needed to back up his theological and r e l i g i o u s convic-tions . The further p a r a l l e l s between the two works, then, are as follows: both Lenz and Salzmann begin t h e i r essay with a c r i t i -cism of a l l exi s t i n g thinkers on the topic: Salzmann because they have not understood or represented love aright, Lenz because they have not recognised the multiple source of human i n i t i a t i v e : the twin p r i n c i p l e s underlying morality. To both writers, philoso-phers shoot far beyond the mark; Salzmann:"Die Philosophen? ja diese finden ihre Gliickseligkeit nirgend anders, als i n dem un-endlich GroBen und unendlich Kleinen; s i e messen l i e b e r den Him-mel als die Erde, worauf s i e herum gehen"(pp.31-32); Lenz: "Plato zog seine L i n i e i n die Spharen, Diogenes i n den Kot. . .Keinem 74 von diesen Herren aber i s t es eingefalien, das erste P r i n c i -pium der Moral das summum bonum i n uns selber zu suchen"(I.4 85). Both writers locate happiness i n the use of i n t e l l e c t u a l and physical powers, as well as i n self-awareness, Salzmann's "Empfindungen unserer eigenen Existenz" (p.35 ) , and Lenz's "Gefuhl unserer Existenz"(I.493). In both essays i t i s then stated that these powers ...lie-,dead when the in d i v i d u a l i s cut off from his neighbour; Salzmann says: "Die Menschen sind nicht bestimmt i n der Welt a l l e i n zu leben. Unsere Sinne wiirden zu gar nichts dienen, wenn auBer uns nichts ware: und unsere Geistes-krafte liegen todt und vergraben, b i s s i e durch die auBern Ge-genstande. . .belebet und auseinander gelegt werden"(p.35)• and Lenz: "Die meisten, die groBesten und f i i r t r e f f l i c h s t e n unserer  Fahigkeiten liegen tot, sobald wir aus a l l e r menschlichen Ge-s e l l s c h a f t fortgerissen uns v o l l i g a l l e i n befinden"(I.490). Both essays then acknowledge the wisdom of God i n causing love to be bound up with s o c i a l duty, personal f u l f i l m e n t and happiness; Salzmann states "daB die wahre Liebe der einzige r i c h t i g e Weg zur wahren und vollkommenen Gliickseligkeit sey, und daB also der giitige Urheber unseres Wesens unsere Bediirfnisse, unsere P f l i c h -ten und unsere Gliickseligkeit ganz nahe mit einander verbunden habe"(p.45); Lenz writes: "Sehen Sie hier die Weisheit des Schop-fers, sehen Sie hier den Keim der Liebe und a l l e r g esellschaft-lichen Tugenden auf den ersten Grundtrieb nach Vollkommenheit gepfropft"(1.490). Both essayists then digress to c r i t i c i s e Rousseau, Salzmann because he disagrees with the ide a l of primitivism, which seeks 75 to evade unhappiness, and Lenz because he cannot accept Rousseau's id e a l of r e s t . Salzmann also finds no room for the concept of rest. "Ruhe i s t Unthatigkeit"(p.61 )/ he pronounces in the next essay, which i s no mere tautology since "Untatig-k e i t " i n Salzmann's system, as i n Lenz's, means decadence. I t i s the awareness of contemporary decadence that leads Salzmann, after he has expounded the theory of love, to lament at the d i s -crepancy between theory and current practice: " A l l e i n wer wird diesen hohen Grad der Liebe erreichen konnen! Wir haben so v i e l e Hindernisse zu iiberwinden! " (p. 45) But, he urges, "Nur f 'risen an die Arbeit: man muB den Muth hier . n i c h t sinken lassen"(p.46). Lenz, at the same point i n his essay, likewise laments: "Aber--ach diese Welt i s t keine solche Welt. . .Es i s t schwer—es i s t unmoglich", only to echo Salzmann's very c a l l : "Frisch an die  Arbeit, meine Briider, die i h r Mut genug habt" (1.496) . Both essays then end by locating the s t r i v i n g towards happiness, love and perfection i n an eternal framework. I f man's high destiny i s not reached i n th i s l i f e , the prospect of l i f e a f t e r death gives hope of the ultimate f u l f i l m e n t ; Salzmann speaks of the "gegriin-dete Hoffnung, daB diese seelige Beschaftigung noch jenseits des Grabes fortdauern und die reichste Belohnung unserer. . .hier wohlangewandten Seelen- und Leibeskrafte. . .die niemals ver-siegende Quelle a l l e r unserer sowol gegenwartigen als zukiinftigen Gluckseligkeit sein werde"(p.47). Lenz, of course, i s ever ready to l i f t the discussion up to the theological l e v e l : "Das groBeste und l e t z t e Motiv, das uns unsere Religion zur Vollkommenheit gibt, i s t die Aussicht i n ein ewiges Leben. . .als worin die 76 hochste Gluckseligkeit b e s t e h t " ( I . 4 9 9 ) . The evidence a l l points to Lenz giving an enthusiastic re-ception to ideas that he was perhaps predisposed by temperament to embrace. Not only did they provide a philosophical basis for an activism i n s o c i a l a f f a i r s , but they also harmonised the ob-l i g a t i o n to act for the good of one's neighbour with the i n d i v i -dual's desire to l i v e out l i f e to i t s f u l l p o t e n t i a l . They gave him the sense that i f activism had now to be worked out i n theo-l o g i c a l terms, i t was at l e a s t morally and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y r i g h t . That Lenz's thought was moulded and inspired by Salzmann's seems apparent from our comparison of the essays. I t w i l l not be the only time that Lenz e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y embraces others' ideas, even to the point of taking over t h e i r wording. F r i e d r i c h , i n his study of Lenz's Anmerkungen ubers Theater, shows i t s "SchluBanmerkung" to be not only i n agreement with Herder's essay on Shakespeare i n Von deutscher Art und Kunst, but also modelled in d e t a i l on i t . "Mit dem p r i n c i p i e l l e n Standpunkt hat aber Lenz auch die Anlage des Ganzen heriibergenommen, " F r i e d r i c h t e l l s us, and goes on : "Die Verwandtschaft geht aber noch weiter, s i e be-t r i f f t auch Einzelheiten." He concludes: "So i s t also die SchluB-anmerkung nach Inhalt und Form nichts als eine verkleinerte, zum Q T h e i l erweiterte Nachbildung von Herders Shakespeare-Aufsatz." * Lenz evidently followed his models quite c l o s e l y . Yet to suggest that his "Versuch" was "nothing but" an imitation of Salzmann's essay would be to do i t an i n j u s t i c e . For what seems, i n the other case, to have been a polemical attempt to bring his A rimer k-77 ungen up to date, and yet s t i l l appear to have p r i o r i t y over Herder on a f a i r l y technical matter, i s , i n t h i s case, rather an enthusiastic, and acknowledged, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with a thinker whose ideas were of v i t a l importance to him and to which he would repeatedly return. Moreover, Lenz makes certain important modifications to Salzmann 1s system, and much i s revealed by the differences. The chief of these i s the extra emphasis placed on s e l f -consciousness, that was b r i e f l y noted above(p.58). Whilst both Salzmann and Lenz i d e n t i f y happiness with the agreeable f e e l i n g of one's existence, communicated by fellow-man, such self-con-sciousness takes the more dynamic form, i n Lenz, of a sense of his powers. Salzmann's "Gefiihl unserer Existenz" i s expanded to Lenz's "Gefiihl unserer Existenz, unserer Fahigkeiten, unsers Selbst"(I.493). The Actuary speaks of the agreeable feelings that come through r a t i o n a l discrimination, Lenz speaks of the agreeable consciousness of one's r a t i o n a l powers. Happiness he defines as the pleasure of knowing one's po t e n t i a l , and i t i s for such knowledge and pleasure that the i n d i v i d u a l needs his neighbour: "Ist das Gefiihl unserer Fahigkeiten nicht das, was unsere ganze Gliickseligkeit ausmacht?. . .Wahre Freundschaft be-ruht also e i n z i g auf das wechselseitige Gefiihl unserer Vollkom-menheit" (1. 491) . Not only happiness, though, comes from such self-consciousness, but also p e r f e c t i b i l i t y . Being p e r f e c t i b l e i s of no use unless one i s conscious of i t ; perfection cannot come except through insight into one's p e r f e c t i b i l i t y : "Der 78 Wolliistling f u h l t bloB seine S i n n l i c h k e i t . Er wurde er-schrocklich bose werden, wenn man ihm anschauend und.3ebehdi;g zu erkennen gabe, daB er hohere Fahigkeiten habe"(I.493). In the s t r i v i n g a f t e r happiness and perfection, i t i s not who you are, but knowing who you are, that i s the key. To explain the current decadence of man, Salzmann argues that people do not make the e f f o r t to give and to receive happiness. Lenz agrees, but traces t h i s lack of e f f o r t back further to a general unaware-ness of the personal potential the i n d i v i d u a l has and can f u l f i l through e f f o r t . Salzmann urges his hearers to s t r i v e for per-fe c t i o n , by holding out to them the incentive of happiness and s o c i a l harmony. To Lenz the bonus i n perfection, ;.as;:well:.as-the means to i t , i s the increased self-consciousness, the a b i l i t y to apply to oneself Hamlet's meditation:" what a piece of work i s man!" The most urgent requirement i n society i s , then, a renewed consciousness of the l o f t y destiny, which man has the potential to reach. Supported by God, man i s on the road to perfection, attainable by the development and exercise of human powers: to become aware of t h i s i s to take the f i r s t step towards reaching i t . To act towards th i s end we have to know what man i s , what he i s capable of. Sadly, we are not aware of our l o f t y c a l l i n g ; l i t t l e i s accomplished towards the perfection of man and society because the sights are set too low, the p o s s i b i l i t y of advancing higher i s not envisaged. In the theological essays Lenz w i l l stress that salvation can only come, therefore, through a renewal of consciousness, through a higher mentality that w i l l transcend 79 the l i m i t a t i o n s of the ordinary human mind; to denote t h i s change, Lenz w i l l use the C h r i s t i a n notion of metanoia. Does the need for such a change, however, indicate a f a l l e n humanity? Salzmann, i n his otherwise d e i s t i c conception of man and God, does use the Judaeo-Christian idea of an i n -i t i a l f a l l , whereby man, o r i g i n a l l y made i n God's image, l o s t that image, but i s destined now to recover i t . The loss of the image had a r a d i c a l e f f e c t on humanity. Salzmann speaks of the "Strome des allgemeinen Verderbens"(p.46): the current of human perversity against which love has strenuously to work i t s way. Lenz, more e x p l i c i t l y C h r i s t i a n than Salzmann, the d e i s t i c philosopher, nonetheless i s less w i l l i n g than he to admit that what i s c a l l e d o r i g i n a l s i n was not i n man from the day of his creation. The perfection of Adam, the image of God, was no ultimate perfection: "Gut, m.H., hieS bei den ersten Menschen, fahig zur Vollkommenheit, aber noch nicht vollkommen, denn sonst wiirden sie nicht gefalien sein" (1. 490) . Lenz, as we s h a l l see from the theological essays, was consistently at pains to por-tray Adam as subject to the same process and destiny of perfec-tion as contemporary man. Indeed, since he stands r i g h t at the beginning of human destiny, he i s far behifldeighteenth-century man who, with his gains i n self-awareness and independence of action, must think not of returning to primitive Adam, but on to a future and higher destiny of continuing perfection. This con-ception of Adam does not allow Lenz to entertain the idea of a r a d i c a l f a l l from man's intended state, nor i s there i n conse-80 quence much room for the idea of a depraved humanity ("Ver-derben"). Lenz voices his disagreement with Salzmann on t h i s point i n a l e t t e r of October 1772: "Das Eine b i t t ' i c h mir aus, nicht so verach t l i c h von dieser Welt zu sprechen. Sie i s t gut, mein Gonner, mit a l i e n ihren eingeschlossenen Ubeln"(Br.I.57). The world i s on i t s way to perfection, not back to Paradise; and i f p e r f e c t i b l e Adam was to progress towards that goal, he also had to turn his back on Paradise. Unlike Salzmann*s, therefore, Lenz's Heilsgeschichtc i s l i n e a r , not c i r c u l a r ; i t has to be understood as a gradual journey, that began i n the Garden of Eden, towards a fu l f i l m e n t of human destiny. The Actuary's concept of restoration of a l o s t image was too back-ward-looking for Lenz: i t involved confession of f a i l u r e and renunciation of Adam's action. Later, Lenz's prometheanism=~wlll take a somewhat humbler form, but he i s consistently reluctant to allow the curse of the past to trouble his aspirations for the future. Is t h i s understanding of Lenzian theology i n contradiction, therefore, to the views the poet expresses to Salzmann i n a l e t -ter of October 1772: "So v i e l i s t k l a r dabey, daB durch die Offenbarung seiner Gnade i n Christo Jesu, er nichts anders ab-zwecken w i l l , als unsere Wiederherstellung i n den Stand der Un-schuld, welche gleichsam die weiBe Tafel i s t , welche hernach beschrieben werden s o l i , und aus diesem i n den Stand der Gliick-seligkeit"(Br.I.53)? Here he seems indeed to advocate a return to square one i n order to reach f i n a l happiness. However, as we 81 s h a l l see i n the next chapter, i t i s l a t e r that same month that Lenz undergoes a sort of conversion, which i s accompanied by a s l i g h t s h i f t i n his views. From th i s time on, strangely, the notion of "Schuld" and "Unschuld" disappears from his theologi-ca l thinking. The Heilsgeschichte traced i n the "Versuch" cor-responds to t h i s post-conversion theology, which, i n c i d e n t a l l y , supports the argument for dating the essay aft e r his return to Strassburg i n December 1772. The tone of these l e t t e r s of that autumn suggests, anyway, that they are Lenz's f i r s t attempt to think through the question of happiness. He i s more self-con-scious about his philosophising than he seems to be i n the "Ver-such", complaining of his i n a b i l i t y to pursue a l i n e of p h i l o -sophical reasoning for more than a few minutes and confessing himself to be a philosopher manque: "ich hasche immer nach der ersten besten Wahrscheinlichkeit, die mir i n die Augen flimmert, und die l i e b e , bescheiden nackte Wahrheit kommt dann ganz l e i s e von hinten und h a l t mir die Augen zu. Eine lange Kette von Ideen, wo eine die andere gibt, b is man, wenn man eine Weile ge-r e i s t hat, die l e t z t e f i n d ' t und sich seines Zieles freuen kann, i s t fur meine Seele eine wahre Sklavenkette"(Br.I.56). Nonethe-less he does attempt i n the "Versuch" such a philosophical jour-ney, even i f , as he f r e e l y confesses, the leaps i n his thought indicate an emotional rather than r a t i o n a l l o g i c : "Meine p h i l o -sophischen Betrachtungen diirfen nicht uber zwo, d r e i Minuten wahren, sonst thut mir der Kopf weh. Aber wenn ich einen Gegen-stand fiinf, zehnmal so f l u c h t i g angesehen habe, und finde, daB er 82 noch immer da b l e i b t und mir immer besser g e f a l l t , so h a l t 1 ich ihn fur wahr, und meine Empfindung fiihrt mich darin r i c h -t i g e r als meine Schliisse" (Br. 1. 59) . Lenz's b e l i e f s were a compound of philosophical notions and r e l i g i o u s convictions. The two were complementary, he t e l l s Salzmann i n the l e t t e r reporting h i s conversion: "ich bin j e t z t . . .zu einer Uber-zeugung gekommen, wie sie mir notig war, zu einer philoso-phischen, nicht bloB moralischen. Der theologische Glaube i s t das complementum unserer Vernunft"(Br.I.65). I t i s i n the s p i r i t of t h i s conviction that the "Versuch" was written, where i t i s also stated: "Der theologische Glaube. . . i s t , wenn ich mit Baumgartenschen Ausdrucken reden s o i l : Complementum iriora- l i t a t i s " ( 1 . 4 9 9 ) . For Lenz, philosophy and r e l i g i o n had the same object:' the imitation of Christ i n a l t r u i s t i c action. Christ's l i f e was "eine lebendige Rede, oder vielmehr ein re-dendes Leben, welches, wenn wir es anschauend erkannt, wir nicht unnachgeahmt lassen konnen"(I.498). Apart from the question of the goodness or perversity of the world, the correspondence with Salzmann brings out further differences of opinion between the two correspondents. The Actuary follows Leibniz i n adhering to the notion of "continual creation", whilst Lenz argues for the B i b l i c a l doctrine of God's upholding of the universe. The problem involved i s that of imagining a timeless God working i n time. Salzmann ajrgues: "Zum wenigsten i s t das Geschaft eines Augenblicks und nachherige Unthatigkeit i n Gott v i e l schwerer zu begreifen, als i n ewiger 8 3 und unveranderter Ordnung fortgehende Wirksamkeit", for God i s "ein Wesen. . .welches bei einer unendlichen Thatigkeit auch unveranderlich i s t " ( p p . 10-11 )• For thi s same reason Salzmann excludes anything other than an i n d i r e c t and natural working of God i n the world. There can be no personal experience of God's hand such as the P i e t i s t J u n g - S t i l l i n g describes, no special favours shown by God towards certain humans, just as there could be no one act of creation i n history followed by a God "resting on the seventh day". Lenz argues, on the other hand, for a h i s t o r i c a l working of God, for the p o s s i b i l i t y of a super-natural, d i r e c t influence of God on man; for theism, therefore, not deism: "nur miissen wir das Ubernatiirliche nicht fur unnatiirlich halten, oder aus der Welt verbannen, i n der Gott nach einem Hohern Plane arbeitet, als unser kurzsichtiger schielender Verstand ubersehen kann"(Br.I.64). Salzmann's natural theology took too l i t t l e account of the divine mystery, but also too l i t t l e account of the d i r e c t p o s s i b i l i t i e s of grace, the d i r e c t working of the S p i r i t of God i n man, i n d i s -pensable to Lenz's conception of genius and genial action. A t h i r d point of difference i s that Lenz f e e l s himself closer to Shaftesbury than he f e l t Salzmann was: "Eine Lieb-lingsidee haben Sie, mein Theurer, und das freut mich, weil i c h auch eine habe. . .Die Ihrige i s t — d i e Liebe—und die Meinige, die Schonheit. . .So v i e l i s t gewiB, daB die l e t z t e r e die e i n z i -ge Idee i s t , auf die ich a l l e andern zu reduzieren suche. Aber es muB die achte Schonheit seyn, die auf Wahrheit und Giite ge-84 grundet ist"(Br.1.57-58). The preoccupation with harmonising beauty and morality c e r t a i n l y keeps Lenz busy for a while; i n the "Versuch" he seems to be making a comment on the side to Salzmann when, i f only for a moment, Lenz, taking Salzmann 1s essay on "Liebe", uses i t s argument to make a point about " Schonheit 1": "Es muB i n unserm Bestreben nach Vollkommenheit eine gewisse Ubereinstimmung a l l e r unserer Krafte zu einem Ganzen, eine gewisse Harmonie sein, welche e i g e n t l i c h den wahren Be g r i f f des hochsten Schonen gibt. Sehen Sie nun, daB die L i n i e n des wahren Schonen und des wahren Guten im streng-sten Verstande, i n einen Punkt zusammen laufen?"(I.489) The harmony of one's powers was Salzmann's recipe for the state i n which love became possible, as well as development towards per-fec t i o n . The theological essays also contain references to the "highest beauty" and to "subjective and objective beauty", but the essay i n which they were no doubt most f u l l y worked out i s no longer extant. However the difference to Salzmann's thinking, implied by t h i s aesthetic concern, i s c l e a r l y less great than Lenz leads us to think. Whilst, as a poet, he i s naturally concerned for aesthetics, he i s also very interested i n "Liebe", as his essays also indicate, and he can write to Salz-mann, a r t i c u l a t i n g his fundamental agreement with him: " i c h fiihle eine A f f i n i t a t zu Ihnen, die ganz erschrecklich i s t " (Br.I.58). The many other expressions of Lenz's sense of making common cause with Salzmann e n t i r e l y disprove the argument, from thi s same l e t t e r , that Lenz i s h o s t i l e to the Actuary's p a r t i -cular i n t e r e s t . Dollinger, for instance, writes: "Homme de 85 l e t t r e s jusqu'aux moelles, i l n'avait appaiamment jamais goute les homelies de Salzmann. Des 1772, i l l u i e c r i v a i t sur un ton f r i s a n t 1'impertinence: 'Vous avez une idee favori t e e t c . 1 II ne nous l a i s s e aucun doute sur l e sentiment que l u i i n -9. s p i r a i t '1'idee fa v o r i t e ' du respectable Actuarius." D o l l i n -ger's view of Lenz and his rela t i o n s h i p to Salzmann i s coloured, unfortunately, by his disapproval of Lenz's prejudice i n favour of German over French. The many l e t t e r s that have survived be-tween the poet and his mentor up to as late as December 1776, show that Lenz never had anything but the highest regard for Salzmann and his ideas. We do know that Salzmann was not u n c r i t i c a l of Lenz; i t i s clear from Lenz's l e t t e r s confessing to his f r i e n d his love for Friederike Brion that the Actuary thoroughly disapproved of the a f f a i r , as of Lenz's neglect of his studies. And, i n a l i t e r a r y matter, Salzmann could not approve of the language Lenz uses i n his Plautus translations. But i n the l a t t e r case Goethe himself defended the translations, defending at the same time, i n c i d e n t a l l y , his own use of popular language i n Gotz von Ber-lichingen; and i n the other case Lenz w i l l i n g l y submitted to 10. his friend's sage counsel. He writes to his father i n June 1772: "Salzmann—o wenn ich einen so erfahrenen liebenswiirdigen Mentor nicht hier zur Seite gehabt, auf welcher Klippe wiirde ich j e t z t nicht schon schif f briichig sitzen? " (Br. 1. 23) To Lenz, Salzmann always remained a kindred s p i r i t , from 1772 when he wrote to the Actuary about Spalding:"es macht wenigstens Ver-86 gnugen zu f i n d e n , daB Andere m i t uns nach demselben Punkt v i s i e r e n " ( B r . I . 3 8 ) , t o 1776, when Salzmann w r i t e s t o Lenz about h i s l a s t e s s a y d e l i v e r e d a t the Deutsche G e s e l l s c h a f t , s p e a k i n g o f i t i n a way t h a t s u g g e s t s he was s u r e o f Lenz's warm a p p r o b a t i o n : "Doch i s t meine l e t z t e r e ohngedruckte Ab-handlung i i b e r a l l g e m e i n e Oder g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e g l i i c k s e l i g k e i t u n v e r g l e i c h l i c h g e r a t h e n und wenn i h r m i r g u t wor t gebt so S c h i c k i c h ' s euch. S i e i s t i n der g e s e l l s c h a f t g e l e s e n und sehr a p p r o b i r t w o r d e n " ( B r . I I . 3 5 ) . Throughout Lenz's work t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l i d e a s e x p r e s s e d t h a t may i n d i c a t e Salzmann's i n f l u e n c e , and a t l e a s t prove t h a t t h e i r t hought r a n p a r a l l e l . Lenz's f i r s t s p e c i f i c d i s c u s s i o n o f Salzmann's i d e a s comes i n a l e t t e r o f September 1772: "Guter S o k r a t e s ! "Ohne mich n i c h t ganz g l i i c k l i c h " — F i i r c h t e n S i e s i c h der Siinde n i c h t , e i n e n jungen Menschen s t o l z zu machen, dessen Herz noch a l i e n P a s s i o n e n o f f e n s t e h t und durch Z e i t und E r f a h r -ung nur noch s e h r wenig v e r b o l l w e r k t i s t ? Da i c h so t i e f i n I h r System g e g u c k t , da i c h weiB, daB I h r e R e l i g i o n d i e G l i i c k s e l i g -k e i t i s t — s o konnte m i r k e i n g r o B e r e s Compliment gemacht werden, a l s , daB i c h im Stande s e y, m i t etwas b e i z u t r a g e n " ( B r . I . 4 4 - 4 5 ) . I f we r e c o n s t r u c t t h e q u o t a t i o n : "Ohne mich n i c h t ganz g l i i c k -l i c h " i n the form i n wh i c h Salzmann p r o b a b l y used i t , we s h o u l d have something l i k e : "ohne d i c h kann i c h n i c h t ganz g l i i c k l i c h s e i n " : s u r e l y a fragment o f h i s p h i l o s o p h y o f h a p p i n e s s t h r o u g h i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h one's f e l l o w - m a n . T h i s i s t h e "System" ex-p r e s s e d i n "Uber d i e L i e b e " and used by Lenz i n h i s "Versuch". Lenz's c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e system c o n s i s t s o f f o u r o b s e r v a t i o n s , a l l o f wh i c h Salzmann would have responded f a v o u r a b l y t o , b u t one 87 of which p a r t i c u l a r l y shows Lenz's b e l i e f i n the p r a c t i c a l re-a l i t y and relevance of the system. His optimistic observation that we can, i n t h i s world, f u l f i l our potential for happiness— something which perhaps Salzmann was not so sure o f — i s f i l l e d out by h i s emphasis i n a l a t e r l e t t e r that the kingdom of God i s not merely an idea: "das Reich Gottes, wovon Christus immer red't, i s t nicht a l l e i n i n jenem Leben zu hoffen, denn er selbst hat uns im Vaterunser beten gelehrt 'dein Wille geschehe im Himmel, wie auf Erden' . Wenn' s Gliick gut i s t , bin ich noch im-mer ein heimlicher Anhanger vom tausendjahrigen Reiche, wenigs-tens glaub' ich gewiss, daB der Zustand unserer Welt nicht immer derselbe bleiben wird. Und christlich-physisches libel muB immer mehr drin abnehmen, wenn das Moralische darin abnimmt"(Br.I.57). There remains, to be sure, the problem of e v i l , which seems to Lenz to knock down his house of cards. Salzmann, whose recent i l l n e s s i s the reminder to Lenz of the problem of e v i l , has sug-gested a solution along the l i n e s of Enlightenment theodicy: i l l n e s s might be "das Fegfeuer unserer Tugend"(Br.I.45). Lenz suggests that at l e a s t i t enables us per contraria to appreciate health. We s h a l l f i n d t h i s l i n e of reasoning repeated frequent-l y , that we only discover good by learning not to do bad, that morality i s suggested to us by the consequences of immorality. Both Salzmann and Lenz believe that the human mind, i f i t i s to be able e f f e c t i v e l y to love <(Salzmann) and to acquire freedom from determining factors (Lenz), must not seek to avoid the pain-f u l aspects of existence but to embrace them and overcome them: 88 "Unser Geist muB stark genug seyn, a l l e s dieses mit gleichem Muthe zu ertragen"("Uber die Rache",p.67). "Denken heiBt nicht vertauben—es heiBt, seine unangenehmen Empfindungen mit a l l e r i hrer Gewalt wiiten zu lassen und Starke genug in sich fiihlen, die Natur dieser Empfindungen zu untersuchen und sich so uber si e hinaus zu setzen" ("liber die Natur unsers Geistes"; :.1.575). The doctrine of human s t r i v i n g leads both to re j e c t the Lutheran dependence on God alone for any improvement:"(Die Ausleger der Religion). . .laugnen gradezu, daB der Mensch etwas zu seiner Besserung beytragen konne. Nach ihrem Be g r i f f muB Gott a l l e s von innen und aussen bey uns thun"(Salzmann, p.74)."Sollen wir aber nichts zu Verbesserung unsers Zustandes tun, hor ich Sie fragen. Sollen wir Gott versuchen und lauter Wunder von ihm er-warten?"("Versuch"1.495) . Man''s salvation depends on his own e f f o r t s , and God has given him various means of keeping these a l i v e ; for Salzmann i t i s our affections and i n c l i n a t i o n s : "Beide sind an sich kostbare Geschenke des Himmels, urn unter den lebenden Geschopfen das Feuer der Thatigkeit und Wirksamkeit zu unterhalten"(p.100). For Lenz th i s service i s performed by human concupiscence: "Die Konkupiszenz i s t dem Menschen zur Gliickse-l i g k e i t notwendig, eine Gabe Gottes. . .Die Triebfeder unserer Handlungen i s t die Konkupiszenz"(I.501-2). The way to vice and unhappiness l i e s , for both thinkers, i n "Tragheit". Indeed, i n -a c t i v i t y dehumanises man, lowering him to primitive^levelsoof creation; to Salzmann i t i s as much as "uns unter die andern Thiere herabsetzen, welche das wiirklich sind, was s i e seyn und 8 9 werden konnen"(p.152); to the i d l e , Lenz c r i e s : "Warum w i l l s t du zur Pflanze oder Mineral zuriickverwesen" (1.504) ? Both con-demn speculation and mere observation: Salzmann's dictum: "wir s o l l t e n keine bloBe Zuschauer i n der Welt seyn, sondern an allem, was darinnen i s t und vorgehet, Antheil nehmen, und nach dem MaBe unserer Kraften selbst handeln", w i l l be the moral of 1.1 . Lenz's play Die Freunde machen den Philosophen. We have sug-gested some of the main theological differences between the two men: a comparison of Salzmann's use of the image of a ship navi-gating between sand-banks and reefs, with Lenz's use of the same image shows how much Lenz f e l t the need to supplement Salzmann's 12. philosophy of s e l f - h e l p with a dependence on God's grace. However both have the same attitude towards the Bible, which i s "nur Geschichte der gottlichen Offenbarungen", not revelation 13. i t s e l f . In general, therefore, Lenz shows himself to be well-cate-chised i n the central tenets of Salzmann 1s philosophy of l i f e . The Actuary's scathing indictment of passion finds an echo i n Lenz's resolve,stated i n his "Lebensregeln", that he must not allow love to turn into a "sich wider Vernunft, Ordnung und Gott 14. emporende Leidenschaft"; and i t i s e n t i r e l y i n the s p i r i t of Salzmann's advocation of tolerance: "Alle Dinge i n der Welt haben hundert Seiten und jeder Mensch hat seinen eigenen Stand-ort, woraus er s i e betrachtet. F o l g l i c h kann einer nicht eben so sehen wie der andere, wenn er nicht i n . denselben Gesichts-punkt g e s t e l l t wird"(p.3), and quite i n his s p i r i t of p r a c t i c a l 9 0 u t i l i t a r i a n i s m : "daB der Brauchbarste der beste i s t " , that Lenz writes to his father i n September 1776: "Die Welt i s t groB mein Vater, die Wirkungskreise verschieden. A l l e Menschen konnen nicht einerley Meinungen oder v i e l l e i c h t nur einerley Art s i e auszudriicken haben. So unvollkommen das was man i n jedem Fach der menschlichen Erkenntnis modern nennt, seyn mag, so i s t es, wie Sie selbst mir nicht ganz absprechen werden, jungen Leuten doch nothwendig, sich hinein zu schicken, wenn s i e der Welt brauchbar werden wollen" (Br.II.37) . It need not be denied, of course, that others contributed to moulding Lenz's thought. He had, aft e r a l l , studied p h i l o -sophy under Kant at Konigsberg, and through him become acquain-ted with the main currents of eighteenth century thought, as represented e s p e c i a l l y i n Baumgarten, whose Metaphysica was a standard text i n Kant's courses, and Rousseau, whom the professor greatly admired. Kaat's own philosophy of 1768-71 was: "die f r e i e Erkenntnis des Menschen, seiner Bestimmung, der Ursachen und Ziele seines Daseins, der ihm verliehenen Krafte und der Stellung, 15. die ihm die Natur bestimmt hatte." I t i s in t e r e s t i n g , though, that whilst we hear that Lenz, who .apparently was known to neg-l e c t lectures as a rule, never missed one of Kant's, he never mentions him. I t i s Salzmann, on the other hand,whom he addres-u ses as his "Mentor", his "Sokrates"; i t i s his ideas of powerful, active love, f u l f i l m e n t of human potential for happiness, and t i r e l e s s s o c i a l concern that f i r e Lenz's enthusiasm and lead him to view society as a whole, and the Societe i n p a r t i c u l a r , as a sphere for th e i r p r a c t i c a l r e a l i s a t i o n . 91 More than his ideas expressed on paper, however, i t was Salzmann 1s personal influence over his younger acquaintances, at a time when such influence was badly needed, that was most widely and most l a s t i n g l y f e l t . The malaise from which the whole Sturm' und Drang generation suffered i s sketched by Goethe i n Dichtung und Wahrheit. He writes: "Man kennt jene Selbst-qualerei, welche, da man von aufien und von andern keine Not hatte, an der Tagesordnung war, und gerade die vorziiglichsten Geister beunruhigte"(X.7). The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i s mal du  s i e c l e he l i s t s as intense self-examination, an a l l i a n c e of the s t r i c t e s t moral demands on oneself with the greatest careless-ness and e c c e n t r i c i t y of behaviour, the uncertainty whether the inner turbulence was to be approved or condemned. Four members at least of t h i s generation knew and corresponded with Salzmann, not only Lenz, whom Goethe saw as a s t r i k i n g example of the tor-tured s p i r i t , but also Wagner, Goethe himself, and Lenz's f r i e n d Ott. To a l l these the Actuary was, as i t were, a physician to t h e i r souls, exorcising the daemon of Werther and d i r e c t i n g t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s to useful goals. Lenz actually c a l l s his mentor "mein sanfter freundlicher Arzt"(Br.I.30), for i t was Salzmann who helped him to overcome the anguish he f e l t over his a f f a i r with Friederike Brion, and encouraged him, successfully, to return seriously to his studies. We have seen how impressed Goethe was by Salzmann 1s advocation of useful a c t i v i t y . We get a glimpse of the sort of thing that Goethe might have heard the Actuary say, from a passage i n the essay on "Gemuthsbewegungen, Neigungen und 92 Leidenschaften", which shows his attitude towards mis-directed emotional energies: Es i s t unlaugbar, daB starke und heftige Empfindungen, si e mogen nun wahr oder fa l s c h seyn, auch starke und heftige Handlungeh verursachen. Es handelt also ein von Leidenschaften bezwungener Mensch offers mit v i e l e r Ener-gie, seine Absichten breiten sich weit aus, und seine Handlungen haben machtige Folgen. A l l e i n was i s t Energie in unsern Kraften, wenn sie nicht a l l e i n gleichem Grade gestimmt sind, wann wahre und r i c h t i g e Vernunft den ge-ringsten Antheil daran hat; was helfen Absichten, wann wir uns ein falsches Z i e l vorstecken, und was heifien groBe und machtige Folgen, wann sie sich nicht auf die Vermehrung der Summe, der allgemeinen Vollkommenheit und Gliickseligkeit beziehen?" (p. 114) The correct balance of one's powers under the rule of rea s o n — not the unbridled Sturm und Drang of the emotions—Salzmann sees as the only condition for active, a l t r u i s t i c endeavour. He describes such love i n action i n a passage s t r i k i n g l y prophetic not only of Goethe's Gotz but also of Lenz's appreciation of that hero expressed i n his paper "tiber Gotz von Berlichingen". I t i s worthwhile quoting the passage i n f u l l , since i t s main images of love as a young man, handsome and powerful, a support to the weak and a terror to the e v i l , and as the sun, warming and ani-mating, are echoed by Lenz: "Und so hatten wir denn die Liebe zu einem erhabenen Jiingling ausgebildet, welcher einen schonen, ge-iibten und zur Empfindung fertigen Geist i n einem wohlgebauten und geschickten Korper tragt, und, durch den Ruf seiner mit Verstand geleiteten Empfindsamkeit und unaufhaltsamen Starke des Muthes, zur erwarmenden und belebenden Sonne fur seine Freunde, seine Mitbiirger, seine Landsleute und die ganze Menschheit, zur Stiitze der Schwachen, zum Trost der Elenden und Ungliicklichen, zum 93 Schrecken der Bosheit und zum geschaftigen Werkzeug der gott-lichen Liebe und Gnade geworden ist".••(•pp. 43-4) . Lenz, f i r e d by the example Goethe has created of such genuinely a l t r u i s t i c and f u l f i l l i n g action, w i l l write i n 1774: Sehen Sie da i s t der ganze Mann, immer weg geschaftig, "tatig, warmend und wohltuend wie die Sonne, aber auch so verzehrendes Feuer, wenn man ihm zu nahe kommt--und am Ende seines Lebens geht er unter wie die Sonne, vergmigt, bessere Gegenden zu schauen, wo mehr F r e i h e i t i s t , als er hier s i c h und den Seinigen verschaffen konnte, und laBt noch L i c h t und Glanz hinter sich . Wer so gelebt hat, wahrlich, der hat seine Bestimmung e r f i i l l t , Gott du weiBt es wie weit, wie sehr, er weiB nur s o v i e l davon als genug i s t ihn g l i i c k l i c h zu machen. Denh was i n der Welt kann wohl uber das BewuBtsein gehen, v i e l Freud angerichtet zu haben(I.381). Both Goethe and Lenz seek that a l t r u i s t i c way of u t i l i s i n g t h e i r energies that was closed to Werther: Goethe by involvement i n p o l i t i c a l and i n d u s t r i a l l i f e , Lenz by devoting himself, through his writing, to the moral and s p i r i t u a l improvement of society. Both owe much to Salzmann for the re-orientation of t h e i r atten-tions, i n Goethe's case away from the introspective r e l i g i o s i t y of the p a r t i c u l a r P i e t i s t s he had met i n Strassburg—surely an unwholesome influence on a generation already i n c l i n e d , as Goethe t o l d us i n Dichtung und Wahrheit, to "Selbstbeobachtung" and the re s u l t i n g "undermining" of one's inner l i f e — a n d i n Lenz's case away from the sole preoccupation with his own unhappiness. He repeatedly confesses such unhappiness, but we can be sure, as sure as Lenz and a l l who knew Salzmann, what the Actuary's answer would have been. Salzmann, as a true c h i l d of his century, pre-scribes d i s c i p l i n e , order, a harnessing and d i r e c t i n g of human 94 energies, an imposition on the s e l f of rules and boundaries as the precondition for r e a l growth and development. At f i r s t Lenz responds somewhat petulantly to such a course of treat-ment: "Wie, mein liebenswurdiger Fiihrer, i c h s o l l t e wie ein ungezahmtes Ross a l i e n Zaum und Ziigel abstreifen, den man mir iiberwirft? Wofiir halten Sie mich? Ach j e t z t bekomm' ich einen ganz andern Zuchtmeister. Entfernung, Einsamkeit, Noth und Kummer, werden mir Moralen geben, die weit b i t t e r e r an Ge-schmack seyn werden, als die Ihrigen, mein sanfter freundlicher Arzt' l|Br. I. 30). But already i n September, he can write: "Ihre weisen Rathschlage iiber einen gewissen A r t i k e l meines Herzens, fang i c h an mit Ernst i n Ausiibung zu setzen" (Br. 1. 39) . Salz-mann suggests useful a c t i v i t y to Lenz i n the form of working for a Law degree. The l a t t e r , knowing that he did not have the disp o s i t i o n to immerse himself i n a profession which would not allow him to speak d i r e c t l y to his fellow-men, confesses: "In der Jurisprudenz habe ich nur noch eine kleine Sayte i n meiner Seele aufgezogen, und die gibt einen verhenkert l e i s e n Thon"(Br. 1.39). He responds rather to the message of Salzmann's theore-t i c a l essays and to the idea of working to influence society. Such a c t i v i t y i s the way out of depression and into a sense of personal f u l f i l m e n t , just as, according to his essay "tiber die Natur unsers Geistes", i t i s the way out of determinism into freedom. We should not, therefore, see a c t i v i t y i n the s o c i a l and moral spheres as a sign i n Lenz of compulsive insecurity, but as a v a l i d way of overcoming destructive tendencies i n the emo-95 tions. Lenz knows that he needs such a way, and f e e l s that i t i s r i g h t for s o c i a l , moral, theological and philosophical reasons. His op t i m i s t i c resolutions, and the development of his theory of action, both encouraged by his mentor, do give him, accordingly, a v i t a l i t y that w i l l impress others. Kayser, writing to Roderer i n 1776 a f t e r receiving a copy of c e r t a i n of Lenz's poems, exclaims:"0 Lenzl Lenz! Lenz! Lenz! konnt 1 ich dich durch die Winde herreiBen lassen, wenn mir so o f t Kraft 16. und Muth und Theilnehmung f e h l t ! " And three days before, he had written to the same Roderer of Lenz: "Dank ihm fur a l l e s , was er an uns, an mir! thut. Ich bin mein lebelang an wenig Menschen auf diese Art geheftet gewesen, a l s ich schon unsicht-17. bar an Lenzen." They do not, however, drive away the symp-toms of his malaise; these remain alongside his p r a c t i c a l aspi-rations and i n perpetual tension with them. I t i s no doubt f o r thi s reason that not only Lenz himself, but others also found Salzmann's friendship and support of l a s t i n g value. Ott, writ-ing to Salzmann i n 1780 from Vienna, and complaining of his lonely l o t , says: "Sie haben recht, es l i e g t Faulheit i n dem Wimmern, Abscheu fiir Anstrengung i n diesem Kleinmuth. Ich w i l l mich bestreben die Wiener zu gewinnen, die ich nicht l i e b e , w i l l h e r z l i c h uber die Abwesenheit a l l e r meiner Freunde weinen 18. und doch Mann bleiben." The passage speaks eloquently of Salzmann's influence over his younger friends, and his approba-tion of strength and e f f o r t . People did not f i n d i n Salzmann a sop to th e i r feelings, but an earnest stimulus to overcome them 96 and bend them to useful goals. S i m i l a r l y , Wagner writes to Salzmann three years aft e r t h i s : " ich w i l l Ihre Lehre beherzi-19. gen: mich herabzustimmen." Salzmann's writings preach strength and s t r i v i n g ; his personal advice, though,to those who surrender too f r e e l y to s t r i v i n g and allow i t to become passion, i s moderation. Of a l l the Sturm und Drang generation, J u n g - S t i l l i n g seems least affected by the Actuary. He speaks of him i n a kindly enough way, but whether i t was because the malaise of the time had not succeeded i n disrupting the security of his C h r i s t i a n f a i t h , or whether he could not respond to Salzmann on account of the l a t t e r ' s r e l i g i o u s scepticism, he adds to the vague de-ference of his l i t e r a r y p o r t r a i t of the Actuary: "Sein Platz war der oberste, und ware es auch hinter der Thiir gewesen," merely a passing acknowledgement of his supportive r o l e . The reference comes i n a l e t t e r to Lerse of 6th March 1780, i n which he reviews the fortunes of his former friends from the T i s ch ge s e l l s c h a f t : "Ein Kleeblatt vom Lauth 1ischen ehemals merkwiirdigen Tisch i s t noch iibrig: Goethe, Du und i c h . Die andern a l l e sind entweder—Werkeltagsmenschen oder i h r Feuer i s t schon verraucht. Salzmann—gehort nicht i n diese Reihe, er war 20. ruhiger Beobachter und Freund, i n dessen SchoS wir sp i e l t e n . " I t was those who needed Salzmann and became personally acquain-ted with him, that were the ones most affected by him. In Lenz's case, as we have indicated, Salzmann's influence was decisive. He was a mentor both on a personal and on an i n t e l l e c t u a l l e v e l . 97 Not only did he provide s t a b i l i t y and common sense at a time of great i n s t a b i l i t y , but i t was also out of Salzmann 1s p h i l o -sophy, i n the context of the Societe, that Lenz's philosophy of activism arose. Unlike Salzmann, though, Lenz was no r e a l philosopher, as he fr e e l y admitted, and fe e l i n g , as the Luthe-ran pastor's son that he was, that commitment to action comes only through r e l i g i o u s renewal, he developed a theology of action which i t w i l l be our task i n the following chapter to analyse. §8 CHAPTER THREE The Theological Case for Lenz's Concept of Action Lenz had already studied theology at Konigsberg for a l -most three years, and was on the point of taking his f i n a l examinations, when he suddenly packed his bags and l e f t the town i n company with the Barons von K l e i s t . Exactly why th e i r company and t h e i r service seemed more important to him than completing a degree, he never mentions. Whilst we f i n d him, one year l a t e r i n Strassburg, tackling the required reading for Jurisprudence instead of completing the theology degree there, he i s unenthusiastic about the change, as he writes to Salzmann: " J u r i s t muB ich doch werden, wenn mir anders die Theologie nicht verspricht mich zum Pabst von Rom zu machen" (Letter 14). In his next l e t t e r he speaks of his "zur andern Natur gewordenes Lieblingsstudium" (Letter 15), by which, as we are t o l d i n a l e t t e r of a few weeks l a t e r , Lenz means Chris-ti a n theology: "Ich bin also j e t z t ein guter evangelischer Christ, obleich ich kein orthodoxer bin. Kann ich i n meiner tJberzeugung weiter kommen, so w i l l ich dem Gott dafiir danken, der es weiB, daB dieses das Lieblingsstudium meiner Seele i s t und ewig bleiben wird" (Letter 27) . He goes on however: "Doch hoffe i c h , niemals Prediger zu werden." Evidently the subject i t s e l f was what attracted him, not the profession, and t h i s probably not for the reason given i n a l e t t e r to his father: that he found d i f f i c u l t y i n the p u l p i t projecting his voice--99 since to Salzmann he describes his one sermon delivered at Sesenheim rather as "ein Impromptu, das gut genug a u s f i e l " (Letter. 16). Rather, i t i s as an informed writer that he feels himself best equipped to speak to the world; not as a q u a l i f i e d professioral,but as a spokesman for the l a i t y , for as such he can both speak to the general public and address c r i t i c i s m to "die Herren Theologen". Eventually he did again matriculate i n theology, t h i s time at Strassburg university, 1 . no doubt, as Rosanow suggests, to a l l a y his father's, and perhaps Salzmann's, Roderer's and Pfenninger's concerns re-garding his career, but i t i s unlikely that, i£ he had not been c a l l e d to Weimar, he would have entered the Church. A f t e r his dismissal from Weimar his various plans for a career i n -cluded writing and educating, but never preaching. There i s no lack of documentation to support Lenz's pro-fession that theology was his favourite study. Besides his creative writing: his plays, poems, translations of Plautus and Shakespeare, and besides his l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , which took the form of several reviews i n l i t e r a r y p e r i o d i c a l s , as well as papers delivered to the Societe, he maintained a consistent output of theological t r e a t i s e s from the private discussions with Salzmann i n 1772 to the publication of Meynungen i n 1775. Salzmann himself had, i n "uber die Liebe", challenged theolo-gians to make a better case for the value of active love; such a challenge could not f a i l to arouse Lenz, the "candidate i n theology", and the theological works delivered to the Societe 100 should be seen as a reply to thi s challenge. 1773 was prob-ably the year i n which theology preoccupied him most, and no doubt most of the essays date from then or arose out of the ideas that c r y s t a l l i s e d i n that year. Daunicht suggests that a trace of thi s preoccupation with theology i s perhaps f e l t i n Lenz's growing friendship with Goethe: "Anregungen gingen ge-niigend von beiden Partnern aus, wofiir v i e l l e i c h t die theologi-2. sehen Aufsatze Goethes den Beweis l i e f e r n konnen." This scholar also i d e n t i f i e s two anonymous a r t i c l e s i n the Frank-furter Gelehrte Anzeigen of 1773 as being from Lenz's pen, since they c l e a r l y share the same c h a r a c t e r i s t i c style of his theological papers. Of the f i r s t a r t i c l e : "An einen unsrer Mitarbeiter" and "Antwort" of 11th June, Daunicht notes: "die groBe Rolle, die dazu die r e l i g i o s e Stellungnahme zu spielen hat, der Hinweis auf Paul, den der Verfasser gibt: das a l l e s weist auf Lenz. Er miihte sich derzeit noch, r e l i g i o s e Ge-dankengange i n dieser Weise auf das Leben zu iibertragen" (p. 33) . Of the second a r t i c l e : "Von der Orthodoxie" of 16th July, he writes: "Man vergleiche nur die Aufsatze, die Lenz fur die StraBburger 'Sozietat' im Jahre 1773 schrieb, wie lebhaft, wie sensibel, vorfiihlend und doch rednerisch dort sein S t i l i s t . Die r e l i g i o s e Ansicht entspricht ebenfalls ganz und gar der Lenzens" (p.34). Other a r t i c l e s which Daunicht attributes to Lenz, such as the review of Herder's filteste Urkunde des Men-geschlechts on 23rd August 1774, would t e s t i f y to the continuing productivity of his "Lieblingsstudium". There are probably many more contributions by Lenz, Daunicht f e e l s , hidden among the many 1 0 1 anonymous a r t i c l e s of t h i s journal, and he concludes: "Vor allem die theologischen K r i t i k e n sind der Beachtung wert-" (p. 46) . I t hardly comes as a surprise, therefore, to hear Lenz complaining i n 1775 about the Societe's ban on theological pa-pers. His. highly i r o n i c question: "was hat der liebe Gott mit unserer Sozietat zu tun?" (1.474) underlines his conviction of the importance of the l i n k between r e l i g i o n and other l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t i e s . From October 1772 on, when he opposed his key idea of "Schonheit" to Salzmann's notion of "Liebe", Lenz repeatedly sought to harmonise the aesthetic concern i n h i s writing with his theological-philosophical convictions. In the "Versuch" he had proposed that the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a t r u l y moral mind be "Eine gewisse Harmonie, welche e i g e n t l i c h den wahren Beg r i f f des hochsten Schonen gibt", and he goes on: "Sehen Sie nun, daB die Linien des wahren Schonen und des wahren Guten im strengsten Verstande, i n einen Punkt zusammen: laufen?"(1.489) The missing theological essay: "Vom Baum des Erkenntnisses" was apparently concerned "mit der objektiven und subjektiven Schonheit"(I.501), an idea which i s b r i e f l y mentioned at the end of the f i r s t "Supplement" and once i n "Stimmen des Laien", as "die Gesetze der hochsten objektiven Schonheit, oder vielmehr der von Gott geordneten N a t u r — d i e i n Christo Jesu r e a l i s i e r t wurden" (1.505), and as the imperative: "nur das Schone auBer uns bis zu Gott hinaus aufzusuchen"(I.547,526). Two other important statements reveal how cl o s e l y linked Lenz f e l t his l i t e r a r y work and his :. r e l i g i o u s convictions to be. For his theological magnum opus 102 he makes the impressive claim:. "Die Meynungen eines Layen sind der Grundstein meiner ganzen Poesie, a l l e r meiner Wahr-3 . heit, a l l meines Gefuhls", and i n a l e t t e r to Lavater of 1780 he w i s t f u l l y exclaims: "Wie nah grenzen doch o f t Ge-schmack und Religion aneinander, wie nah und innig sind s i e miteinander verbunden, wie weisen die Fehler gegen den ers-ten so sicher auf Fehler gegen die letztere"(Br.II.180). We would do well, therefore, to take the theological writings as an important statement of Lenz's b e l i e f s , not looking at them merely from the point of view of t h e i r o r i -gin, as Rudolf does when he points out Lenz's indebtedness to Spalding and Jerusalem; nor seeing them merely as evidence that Lenz's whole l i f e was underlain by a strong current of • 4. P i e t i s t i r r a t i o n a l i t y , ' as Wien would have i t ; but treating them rather as a theology: as a system of ideas about God, revelation, the Bible, the Mosaic Law, Ch r i s t , Grace and the teaching of the New Testament, which are understood and exe-geted by Lenz from the Bible i n such a way as to present his own coherent picture of man, his nature and destiny. From what Lenz says above about his Meynungen, which work Girard c a l l s a synthesis of a l l his theological views, we can reason-ably expect that the picture of man under God, presented here, w i l l be r e f l e c t e d somehow i n his dramas and l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l writings; i t w i l l be our task i n the succeeding chapters to ascertain how far th i s i s so. Since an attempt has already been made to systematise and put into chronological order 103 the ideas presented i n the theological essays, namely i n Wien's study: "Lenzens Sturm- • und Drangdramen innerhalb seiner r e l i g i o s e n Entwicklung", i t w i l l f i r s t be necessary to point out the main defects of his approach and correct errors he makes i n i d e n t i f y i n g and ordering the works under study. I t was b r i e f l y announced i n the Introduction above that our approach was to follow the consciously formulated ideas that run through Lenz's writings, and not i n s i s t that he can only be properly understood i f we ignore these and regard the i r r a t i o n a l impulses as the truer ones. The l a t t e r method i s Wien's, and numerous studies since his adopt a sim i l a r psycho-a n a l y t i c a l approach which, i n some instances, has led to f r u i t -5. f u l observations, but when followed exclusively d i s t o r t s the general outlines of the picture we have of Lenz. Wien defines his approach thus: "Wenn wir daher. . .einem entwicklungsmaBi-gen F o r t s c h r i t t innerhalb dieses seines religionstheorethischen Denkens auf die Spur kommen wollen, so werden uns das stereotype Thema und der bewuBte Zweck dieser Schriften am wenigsten zu sagen haben. Vielmehr miissen wir uns an die unwillkiirlichen kleinen Veranderungen haltefi, durch die Lenz sein Thema S c h r i t t fur S c h r i t t ein wenig verriickte, wenn wieder einmal die vernunf-tige Theorie seiner subjectiven Impulsivitat nicht standgehalten hatte, wir werden auf das gewissermaBen gerade nicht zum Thema Gehorige, absichtslos Mitgegebene zusehen haben, kurz: unser Interesse hat nicht das programmatisch Objektive, sondern das Programmwidrige, unbewuBt Subjektive zu betreffen"(p.16). The problem, as we have said, i s that any concept of "entwicklungs-104 maBiger • F o r t s c h r i t t " and "kleine Veranderungen" demands f i r s t l y a certainty as to the correct order of the essays between which the development i s to be discerned. Since there has rather been confusion on t h i s point, for which the source can be sought e a r l i e r than Wien's thesis, and since the confusion has not yet been adequately d i s p e l l e d , i t i s important to re-examine what evidence there i s concerning the .ordering and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the theological works, and to make what corrections can be made. The second prob-lem with Wien's approach i s that a preoccupation with "kleine Veranderungen" leads into a study of less and less tangible c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , so that i n the end i t i s not the changes of content that count but the more and more elusive changes of tone. He gives himself away when he complains that the Meynungen are written so c l e a r l y that i t i s hard to read be-tween the l i n e s : "gerade diese Vorzuge machen nun die "Meyn-ungen" fur unsern speziellen Zweck: namlich aus etwaigen sub-jektiven, unmittelbar-spontanen AuBerungen zwischen den Zeilen der objektiven Darstellung die Spuren eines latent weiterwirkenden i r r a t i o n a l - r e l i g i o s e n Grundverlangens heraus-zulesen, i n ausnehmendem MaBe unergiebig" (p.43). When he comes to "Stimmen des Laien" the same problem recurs, i n even more acute form. The p a r t i c u l a r importance of this work l i e s "nicht im Was des Gesagten, sondern nur i n ihren Stimmungs-werten, im Wie und Warum des Vorgebrachten" (p.61). This leads him to postulate the existence of an esoteric meaning 105 private to the author, behind the exoteric sense intended for public consumption; but a clear d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of these two le v e l s , he re a d i l y admits, would demand a great deal of the scholar, since i t would require an analysis of "jede einzelne Bemerkung auf die Gefuhlstone" (p.61). I t i s our b e l i e f that i f any r e l i a b l e information can be gained from such a method i t i s of l i t t l e help i n c l a r i f y i n g and appreciating Lenz's s p e c i f i c message to the Sturm und Drang generation. To discover the source of one of Wien's major errors,con-cerning the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the essays, we have to go back to B l e i ' s e d i t i o n of Lenz's complete works, published i n 1910. There, B l e i makes the quite unwarranted assumption that the u n t i t l e d manuscript that begins: "Welches i s t die erste von a l i e n Lehren" (Blei IV.31), which Rosanow had referred to by Lenz's own description within the text, as "Meine Lebensre-6. geln", i s to be i d e n t i f i e d with the essay Lenz read to the Societe and followed with three "Supplemente" and subsequently published i n 1780 i n the volume e n t i t l e d Philosophische Vor-lesungen fur empfindsame Seelen: namely, "Vom Baum des Erkennt-nisses Gutes und Bosen". But already Rosanow, who was the only Lenz scholar of thi s century to have seen a copy of thi s volume and therefore to have read the otherwise missing essay "Vom Baum des Erkenntnisses", had c l e a r l y distinguished i t from the "Lebensregeln" when he wrote "Lenz beriihrt hier v i e l e s i t t l i c h -theologische Fragen, ahnlich denen, die er i n seiner groBeren Handschrift "Meine Lebensregeln" zu losen sich bemiiht hat" 106 (p.476, note 143). Rosanow l i s t s the contents of th i s c o l -l e c t i o n of essays as: "Baum des Erkenntnisses Gutes und Bosen" (pages 1-14); "Erstes und zweites Supplement zur Ab-handlung vor acht Tagen" (pages 14-28); "Drittes und l e t z t e s Supplement" (pages 29-35); appendix: "Einige Zweifel iiber die Erbsiinde" (pages 36-50), and "Unverschamte Sachen" (pages 51-72). I t i s clear that the "Baum des Erkenntnisses" was a far shorter work than the "Lebensregeln", occupying the same num-ber of pages as the f i r s t two supplements. The description that Lenz himself gives i n the f i r s t supplement of his essay in no way t a l l i e s , as T i t e l and Haug were the f i r s t to point 7. out, with the contents of the "Lebensregeln". Lenz writes: "Ich nannte sie Baum des Erkenntnisses Gutes und Bosen: dieser T i t e l muBte Sie befremden, da die Abhandlung nicht darauf ant-wortete und ich Sie nur mit der objektiven und subjektiven Schonheit unterhielt, nicht mit der Rechtfertigung Gottes, daB er den Baum unsers vermeinten Elendes ins Paradies gesetzt, welches e i g e n t l i c h doch das Z i e l war nach dem ich schoss. Ich hab Ihnen gezeigt, daB die Konkupiszenz, das Streben nach Vereinigung, den F a l l unsrer ersten E l t e r n verursacht" (1.501). The aesthetic concern '("objektive und subjektive Schonheit"), which i s r e f l e c t e d i n Lenz's choice of opening motto for the volume of Philosophische Vorlesungen: " A l l e i n du wirst auch die Natur/Voll sanfter Schonheit sehn--/Wohl d i r , 8 . daB du geboren bist"(Ewald von K l e i s t ) , and i s picked up again at the end of the f i r s t supplement, i s completely absent from 107 the "Lebensregeln". That there i s an overlapping of subject-matter otherwise between the two works need not make us doubt that they are quite independent. The "Lebensregeln" do express doubt about o r i g i n a l s i n , and do discuss "unverschamte Sachen", but, as we s h a l l see, the same ideas recur i n almost everything Lenz wrote, and i t i s for thi s reason that we are opting for a study of recurrent rather than changing ideas. F i n a l l y , the case against i d e n t i f y i n g these two essays i s clinched by the fact that the t i t l e of the one i s actually re-ferred to i n the other. At one point i n the "Lebensregeln" Lenz writes i n parenthesis: "siehe meine Abhandlung von der Kon-kupiszenz und von unverschamten Sachen" (Blei IV.56). From a similar parenthesis i n "Meine wahre Psychologie" i t i s clear that the essay on concupiscence i s the same as the "Baum des Erkenntnisses": "siehe meine Abhandlung vom Baum der Erkenntnis des Guten und Bosen und der Konkupiszenz" ( i b i d . , p.30), and from the l i s t of contents of the Philosophische Vorlesungen, we know that the "Unverschamte Sachen" served as an appendix to the "Baum des Erkenntnisses". This error of B l e i ' s was unfortunately not r e s t r i c t e d to his edition, but has been perpetuated i n Wien, and,, i n the 19 70s, i n Rudolf, despite T i t e l and Haug's warning i n th e i r e d i -9. tion of 1966. I t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y unfortunate i n Wien's thesis, since i t undermines much of his argument and c a l l s into question the value of his approach. F i r s t of a l l , the m i s - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n obliges Wien to see the work "Meine Lebensregeln" as an "Abhand-108 lung", that i s , as an essay designed to be read to the Societe with a degree of unity and evenness of tone as b e f i t s such an occasion. The fact that such unity i s lacking, that "es ste.llt s i c h . . .seine S c h r i f t auch noch nicht als folge-r i c h t i g e und i n sich geschlossene Abhandlung dar" (p.19), leads him to view the work as a very early one: "Die S c h r i f t i s t spatestens 1771 verfaBt, jedenfalls noch vor dem F r i e d e r i -kenerlebnis und den darauf beziiglichen Salzmannbriefen, denn erst i n diesen wird Lenz t i e f e r i n die Welt der Leibnizischen Philosophie eingefiihrt, die hier noch so eigentumlich vage und unselbstandig b l e i b t . Auch der noch ganz predigthafte Ton, das standige Argumentieren mit B i b e l z i t a t e n s t a t t mit Vernunft-griinden weist auf die friihe Entstehungszeit hin" (p. 18). I t i s important for Wien to date the work very early since i t s con-tents appear to mark, for him, the f i r s t stage of Lenz's r e l i -gious development: his alleged r e j e c t i o n of the inherited P i e t i s t i c notion of r e b i r t h , and his acceptance, instead,of ascetic rules of l i f e . The absence of any reference to Leibniz and the concentration on B i b l i c a l exegesis seem to Wien to c l i n c h t h i s view. And whilst he does admit the l i k e l i h o o d that Lenz wrote i t at i n t e r v a l s , and that other essays, p a r t i c u l a r l y " U b e r die Natur unsers Geistes", might well have been written before the f i r s t was finished, he does view i t as a work designed to sustain an integrated argument, so that any changes of posi-tion within the work w i l l be seen to be developments i n the l o g i c of the argument. He feels he has to explain the switches i n 1 0 9 s u b j e c t and purpose between i t s v a r i o u s s e c t i o n s as d e v e l o p -ment i n Lenz's t h i n k i n g , and sees g r e a t s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h o s e changes: i n t h e way, f o r example, "der Katechismus e r w e i t e r t s i c h zum W e l t b i l d " (p. 22),. However n o t o n l y a r e t h e "Lebens-r e g e l n " n o t t h e "Abhandlung vom Baum des E r k e n n t n i s s e s " , b u t the y a r e n o t even an "Abhandlung", b u t much more l i k e l y a p e r s o n a l notebook, t o wh i c h Lenz c o n t r i b u t e d d i v e r s e p e r s o n a l m e d i t a t i o n s o v e r a p e r i o d o f t i m e . The c o n t e n t i s o f a f a r more i n t i m a t e n a t u r e t h a n any o f t h e e s s a y s , and i t i s i n c o n -c e i v a b l e t h a t L e n z , who, i f Wien i s t o be b e l i e v e d , b e t r a y s h i s p e r s o n a l problems "zwischen den Z e i l e n " , s h o u l d b l u n t l y expose a l l h i s p r i v a t e r e s o l u t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g c h a s t i t y and s e l f - d i s c i -p l i n e t o t h e c r i t i c a l e a r o f the p u b l i c , n o t j u s t i n t h e S o c i e t e b u t a l s o t o anyone who c a r e d t o buy a copy o f P h i l o s o p h i s c h e V o r l e s u n g e n , i n w h i c h , i f t h e " L e b e n s r e g e l n " were t h e "Abhand-l u n g vom Baum des E r k e n n t n i s s e s " , they were l a t e r t o be pub-l i s h e d . The notebook appearance o f the m a n u s c r i p t s u p p o r t s our c o n c l u s i o n : the s i z e o f w r i t i n g , t h e i n t e n s i t y o f t h e i n k , change from p a r a g r a p h t o p a r a g r a p h . Such a work we would n o t e x p e c t t o be a c a r e f u l l y shaped and l o g i c a l l y c o n s i s t e n t p i e c e o f w r i t i n g , n o r t o r e f l e c t t h e f u l l scope o f Lenz's p h i l o s o p h i - 5 . 1 c a l t h i n k i n g . The p o s s i b i l i t y t h e r e f o r e t h a t i t c o u l d j u s t as e a s i l y have been w r i t t e n i n 1774 as i n 1771, a l t h o u g h 1773 would be the most l i k e l y d a t e , i s c o n f i r m e d by our o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t r e f e r e n c e i s made i n i t t o the r e a l essay "Vom Baum des E r -k e n n t n i s s e s " ; i t cannot have been b o t h a subsequent work and a 110 p r i o r one. And t h a t i t must have been w r i t t e n a f t e r J a n u a r y 1773 i s p r o v e d by the h i t h e r t o o v e r l o o k e d f a c t t h a t Lenz q u o t e s , i n t h e " L e b e n s r e g e l n " , from Goethe's B r i e f e i n e s Pas-t o r s , w h i c h was p u b l i s h e d i n t h a t month. He i t was, o f whom Lenz w r i t e s : "Was i s t von der S t e l l e e i n e s s o n s t v o r t r e f f l i c h e n S c h r i f t s t e l l e r s zu h a l t e n : 'Und v e r f l u c h t s e i d e r , der e i n e n 10. D i e n s t A b g o t t e r e i nennt, dessen Gegenstand C h r i s t u s i s t ' ? " The q u e s t i o n o f the d a t i n g o f "Vom Baum" we cannot answer e x a c t l y , b u t s c h o l a r s g e n e r a l l y d a t e the t h e o l o g i c a l w r i t i n g s i n 1772-1774. We can a t l e a s t make a d e f i n i t e o r d e r i n g o f the t h r e e works under d i s c u s s i o n . The o r i g i n a l t i t l e o f the f i r s t o f the "Supplemente", a t i t l e t h a t Wien, f o l l o w i n g B l e i , seems not t o have been aware o f , was "Supplement z u r Abhandlung v o r a c h t Tagen". "Der Baum des E r k e n n t n i s s e s " , t h e r e f o r e , was im-m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w e d by the "Supplemente", n o t , as Wien b e l i e v e s , ,11. w r i t t e n v e r y much e a r l i e r . The i n t e r v a l between them was one o f o n l y one week: the normal i n t e r v a l between the s e s s i o n s , and h a r d l y enough time f o r a major s h i f t i n Lenz's r e l i g i o u s v iews t o i n t e r v e n e . Indeed a l l t h a t Lenz says i n the supplements i n -d i c a t e s t h a t he i s s t i l l i n complete agreement w i t h what he had w r i t t e n , o r a t l e a s t r e a d , a week b e f o r e . I t was sometime a f t e r t h e s e two o c c a s i o n s t h a t b o t h "Meine wahre P s y c h o l o g i e " and "Meine L e b e n s r e g e l n " (or a t l e a s t t h a t p a r t o f them i n w h i c h the r e f e r e n c e t o t h e essay o c c u r s ) were w r i t t e n . We a r e now i n a p o s i t i o n , t h e r e f o r e r t o c o r r e c t Wien's o r d e r i n g o f t h e t h e o l o -g i c a l works. W h i l s t he b e g i n s w i t h t h e " L e b e n s r e g e l n " and 111 p l a c e s "tiber d i e N a t u r u n s e r s G e i s t e s " and "Entwurf e i n e s B r i e f e s " , a l s o , b e f o r e t h e Salzmann correspondence i n the autumn o f 1772, f o l l o w e d t h e n by Meynungen, "Ver s u c h " , "tiber G o t z " , t h e "Supplemente" and f i n a l l y "Stimmen des Layen", i t i s our b e l i e f t h a t t h e correspondence w i t h Salzmann comes f i r s t o f a l l t h e t h e o l o g i c a l w r i t i n g s t h a t have s u r v i v e d , t h a t t h e "Versuch" a r o s e i m m e d i a t e l y o u t o f t h i s , and t h a t t h e main t h e o l o g i c a l works a l l come a f t e r t h a t i n 1773, namely: "Der Baum des E r k e n n t n i s s e s " , t h e "Supplemente", " L e b e n s r e g e l n " , f o l l o w e d l a t e r by "tiber G o t z " , and e v e n t u a l l y t h e complete Meynungen and "Stimmen", p u b l i s h e d i n t h e S p r i n g o f 1775. T h i s new o r d e r p r e v e n t s us from a g r e e i n g w i t h Wien's a n a l y s i s o f Lenz's r e l i g i o u s development. Not t h a t we would suggest a d i f f e r e n t l i n e o f development, b u t t h a t s i n c e t h e r e was no s i g -n i f i c a n t i n t e r v a l between t h e t h e o l o g i c a l w r i t i n g s , t h e r e can have been no g r a d u a l b u t s i g n i f i c a n t change o r development, such as Wien s u g g e s t s , i n t h e c o n v i c t i o n s e x p r e s s e d . The " i r -r a t i o n a l i s m " o f the phase t h a t produced the " L e b e n s r e g e l n " was not an e a r l y , immature dependence on the P i e t i s t l e g a l i s m o f h i s home background, from w h i c h Lenz was removed by h i s s t u d y o f L e i b n i z under Salzmann's g u i d a n c e , and t o whi c h he would r e -t u r n l a t e r when h i s new-found p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p t i m i s m began t o s l i p . R a t h e r , a l l h i s t h e o l o g i c a l p r e o c c u p a t i o n s b e l o n g t o t h e same c e n t r a l p e r i o d o f h i s S t r a s s b u r g days, and r e v e a l n o t s u c -c e s s i v e c o n v i c t i o n s b u t d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s of a r e l i g i o u s v i e w t h a t remains i n essence unchanged. I f t h i s i s s o , t h e n t h e s e 1 12 consistent r e l i g i o u s convictions provide a firm reference point for Lenz's l i t e r a r y works. Rather than b u i l d on the s h i f t i n g sands of Wiens "kleine Veranderungen" we prefer to base our consideration of these works on the rock of "das programmatisch Objektive": the ideas to which Lenz repeatedly returns. Approaching the theological writings i n t h i s way, we d i s -cover that one overriding concern governs Lenz's understanding of C h r i s t i a n doctrines. Whether he i s dealing with the con-cept of the merits of Christ, o r i g i n a l s i n , the atonement, Law and Grace, f a i t h , Christ's teaching i n the Sermon on the Mount, the Second Coming, eternal l i f e , or the Last Judgement, Lenz's concern i s to interpret them i n such a way as to give a primary role to human endeavour, to the individual's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and a b i l i t y tp pa r t i c i p a t e a c t i v e l y i n his own salvation. He i s very sensitive to any teaching that obviates human e f f o r t , and he banishes i t from his system. A study of one of the more re-current concepts: the doctrine of Christ's merit, his Verdi ens t, w i l l i l l u s t r a t e t h i s concern, and w i l l show, moreover, that in. t h i s matter there i s , at bottom, l i t t l e change or development to be discerned from one writing tc the next. The concept of Christ's merit i s i n i t s e l f a complex one and has been variously interpreted down the centuries. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g i f we f i n d Lenz repeatedly puzzling over i t s meaning, and fe e l i n g much surer about what i t does not mean, than about what i t does. The concept of Verdienst attempts to formu-1 1 3 late the significance of Christ's work: that i s , his perfect l i f e and his death, and i t s role i n human salvation. Did Christ l i v e and die for man's sake, as an example and warning? or for God's, as an appeasement of divine wrath? The . imodern answer i s that i t was both for man and for God: " C h r i s t i Leben und Sterben dient nicht nur zur Offenbarung der Liebe Gottes fur die Menschen, sondern hat Wert auch fur Gott selbst, als unerlaBliches - M i t t e l h e i l i g e r Versohnung mit der Menschheit. 1 2 . Gott i s t i n C h r i s t i Werk auch sich selbst gegeniiber. " Whilst both of these aspects are acknowledged at one time or another by Lenz, he generally emphasises the f i r s t : that Christ's work was for man's sake. What flu c t u a t i o n there i s i n his views i s seen i n the correspondence with Salzmann. In the second l e t t e r to Salzmann i n which Christ's Ver-dienst i s discussed, Lenz announces that he w i l l remain true to his o r i g i n a l explanation of i t , which i s "daB, nach dem Aus-druck der Bi b e l , a l l e bisher begangenen Siinden der Menschen. auf ihn gelegt werden, daB er sie tragt (was kann dies Anderes heissen, als daB a l l e iiblen Folgen der Siinde auf ihn gelenkt worden? Darin bestand sein Leiden)—Wir s o l l e n nur glauben, daB Gott uns um seinetwillen gnadig sey" (Br.I.55). Salzmann questions this proposition, prompting Lenz to reply: "Sie haben mich unrecht verstanden, wenn Sie glaubten, ich lieBe Gott die ubeln Folgen der Siinde auf den M i t t l e r lenken, bios um seine strafende Gerechtigkeit zu befriedigen. Leibnitz glaubt dieses; 114 er sagt, es i s t eine Convenienz, die ihn zwingt Gutes zu be-lohnen und Boses zu bestrafen. Ich denke aber, es geschieht bios urn unsertwi11en" (p.59). Christ's death i s now not a p r o p i t i a t i o n of God but a warning to men of the consequences of further sinning. Yet once again Lenz's views change, and i n what seems to be an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the new philosophical bent of his C h r i s t i a n f a i t h accompanying his announcement i n late October 1772: "Ich bin ein Christ geworden", he now comes closer to agreeing with Leibniz that Christ's death was a f t e r a l l for God's sake. He goes back on his view that "die Idee eines Verdienstes, und war es auch des vollkommensten, wider-spricht der allervollkommensten Barmherzigkeit Gottes, a l s wel-che nicht braucht erst durch ein Verdienst sich die Vergebung unserer Siinden gleichsam abfodern und abzwingen zu lassen" (p. 66) . God being God and evil-, being e v i l , any removal of s i n which did not indicate a judgement upon i t involved a philosophical contradiction, feels Lenz, and amounted to an encouragement to e v i l . On the other hand: "diese iibeln Folgen der Siinden einer ganzen Welt, auf einen d r i t t e n Gegenstand lenken, das konnte Gott, das wird der Vernunft nicht schwer zu begreifen, das war das einzige M i t t e l , Siinde zu vergeben, ohne sie zu strafen" (p. 66) . E v i l i s a r e a l problem, and had to be dealt with i n a r e a l way, not merely symbolically. Christ's death, therefore, was r e a l l y an atonement for s i n , not merely a demonstration of the love of God i n suffering with man, nor merely a warning of the mortal consequences of s i n , although i t i s s t i l l not to be seen as 115 punishment. We might think that Lenz would now be s a t i s f i e d with a doctrine that appealed to him both t h e o l o g i c a l l y and philosophically. He continues, on occasion, to speak of Christ as "Suhnopfer",and of his s a c r i f i c i a l blood i n a way that r e c a l l s the orthodoxy of his P i e t i s t upbringing: "Selbst wenn du f a l l s t , Mensch—ist ihre (der Gottheit) hiilfreiche Hand ausgestreckt, wallt i h r gottliches Blut d i r zum Siihnopfer ent-13. gegen." The harmonising of new-found philosophical con-v i c t i o n s with the b e l i e f s he was brought up with i s only ap-parent, however. In the long run, Lenz could not accept that Christ's merit consisted i n his s a c r i f i c i a l , atoning death. Speaking i n "Lebensregeln" of the Old Testament s a c r i f i c e s , Lenz says: "Allerdings waren und konnen sie mit als Vorbilder des leidenden Christus und seiner empfindsamen, liebetatigen Aufopferung seiner selbst gelten, aber nicht als seiner Genug-tuung, BiiBung, Ausmerzung unserer Siinden durch die von Gott auf ihn geschickte Pein und Strafen. Dies i s t eben der Be g r i f f , den Jesaias widerlegt wenn er sagt, wir hi e l t e n ihn fur den der von Gott gestraft, gemartert ward—aber nein, er i s t f r e i w i l l i g urn unsrer Siinde w i l l e n gestorben" (Blei IV. 38). The idea that God imposed upon Ch r i s t the penalty for man's s i n , so that man might thereby be acquitted of his g u i l t , i s i r r e c o n c i l a b l e , Lenz f e e l s , with the mercy of God. Orthodoxy has always traced t h i s forensic aspect of Christ's death back to the sin offerings of the Old Testament, and seen i n these the type of the supreme s a c r i f i c e of Christ for human s i n . Lenz does not dispute that . 116 these Mosaic s a c r i f i c e s were understood, by those who prac-t i s e d them, as expiation of s i n , but denies that God had i n -s t i t u t e d them for t h i s purpose, or indeed for any purpose. In the introduction to Meynungen he expresses his doubts on t h i s score: "Sind die Opfer gottlichen Ursprungs? Ich weiB nicht, ob dariiber schon was griindliches i s t gesagt worden, und doch hat diese Untersuchung den wichtigsten EinfluB i n die ganze Gestalt der Religion, daher i s t auch die Lehre vom Ver-dienste unsers Erlosers und Herrn noch immer i n so dunkelm Lic h t und so v i e l e n einschlafernden und schadlichen Misdeut-14. ungen ausgesetzt, oder wird--gar weggeworfen!" I f , Lenz ar-gues, the Old Testament s a c r i f i c e s were not intended by God to be understood as expiatory, we are under no obligation to un-derstand Christ's Verdienst i n the same way. Not that the very idea of blood s a c r i f i c e s has to be rejected, for even i f these are not e f f e c t i v e as s i n offerings, they are nonetheless a powerful picture of the serious consequences of e v i l : "da die-ser Brauch den grosten Eindruck auf die Moralitat und Gemiiths-ruhe der Menschen machte; so behielt Gott selbst dieselben bey, gab ihnen gottli c h e Autoritat". ( i b i d . ) . Christ's death, then, l i k e the animal s a c r i f i c e s , was meant as a warning to man. This view i s consistently represented i n Lenz, from as early as 1772, when he writes to Salzmann: "Ich denke aber, es geschieht bios um unsertwillen, well, (wenn) auf das moralische libel kein phy-sisches Ubel, als eine Strafe f o l g t ; wir l i e b e r Boses als Gutes thun wiirden" (Br.1.59), to "Lebensregeln" i n 1773, when Lenz .11 7 says: "Die Opfer waren aber nicht bloBe Vorbilder, sondern s i e hatten auch eigentumlichen, unraittelbaren Nutzen, dem Volk ein gewisses Grausen, einen gewissen Schrecken fur die Siinde beizu-bringen. . .Eben diesen Nutzen hat auch zufalligerweise die Auf-opferung Jesu Christ!'V (Blei IV. 38), to March 1 774 when Lenz writes to Lavater: "Ich habe eine S c h r i f t von Ihnen gelesen die den T i t e l fuhrt. . .Keine Versohnung geschieht ohne Blutver-gieBen.....ich sag Ihnen nichts von den schonen Sachen die ich drin gefunden--selbst die Hauptidee die v i e l l e i c h t manchen k a l -ten Griibler erwarmen. . .aber mir g e f a l l t es nicht, daB Sie unsern Gott wollen sterben lassen, weil es so seyn muB und i n dem ganzen Naturreich a l l e s Leben durch Tod eines andern er-halten werden muB. Wie war es, wenn wir den Tod C h r i s t i vielmehr als ein Sym-bol und Vorbild von den Erfolgen unsrer Mor- und Immoralitat ansahen" (Br.I.69-70)? Christ's Verdienst consists then, i n the exemplary nature of his death, i t i s symbolic, not forensic, demonstrating rather than performing anything. This view Lenz shares with his close f r i e n d and fellow-theologian Roderer, who writes i n a j o i n t l e t t e r with Lenz to Lavater i n June 1774: "Die Opfer waren kein Vorbild auf Christum—aber Christus war ein Gegenbild der Opfer. . .Das Leiden C h r i s t i i s t ganz und gar symbolisch"(Br.I.76). Why should Lenz need to interpret the doctrine of Christ's merit i n t h i s way? His further references to Verdienst i l l u s -trate the point with which we opened th i s discussion, namely: 11 8 that Lenz i s constantly at pains to interpret C h r i s t i a n doc-trines i n such a way as to allow a decisive r o l e to human i n -i t i a t i v e i n the achievement of his own happiness. The trouble with the orthodox understanding of Christ's merit was that i n describing the suffering of C h r i s t as punishment borne to atone for the g u i l t of man, and borne by Ch r i s t instead of man, i t not only i n s i s t e d upon the fact of human .depravity, about which Lenz also has serious reservations, as w i l l be shown be-low, but also on the i n s u f f i c i e n c y of any human e f f o r t i n the achievement of salvation. C h r i s t alone accomplished what g u i l -ty man could not accomplish, and man's only e f f e c t i v e p a r t i -cipation i n thi s work i s "by f a i t h alone". Lenz was t o t a l l y indisposed to accept t h i s view of man, and thi s doctrine of salvation, for i t seemed neither to encourage human e f f o r t s at moral self-improvement, nor even to permit them. Instead, the doctrine of Christ's merit seemed an encouragement and excuse for doing nothing, for "Tragheit". In the "Supplemente" Lenz l i s t s "Ergreifung des Verdienstes C h r i s t i " along with the f a l s e and i n e f f e c t i v e responses to Christ's c a l l to action (1.509), and i n the "Lebensregeln" rejects the notion of Christ's "Ver-d i ens t: "insofern als die Ergreifung desselben i n einem bloB unnotigen Vertrauen auf dieses Verdienst besteht, welches nicht a l l e i n f a l s c h , sondern zugleich ein sehr gefahrlicher Irrtum, den nur die menschliche Tragheit und Bosartigkeit erfinden konn-te" (Blei IV.37). Speaking of the same doctrine i n the "Ver-such", Lenz says: "Dieses legen v i e l e i h r e r Faulheit zu einem 119 Polster unter und glauben das beste s e i , nichts zu tun. Er-schrockliche Erkiarung die unsere ganze Religion umwirft und der Absicht Gottes gerade entgegen l a u f t " (1.498-99). The doctrine i s not meant to discourage human action, rather i t i s meant, Lenz f e e l s , to encourage i t , by l i b e r a t i n g man from the paralysing curse of s i n f u l past actions, freeing him for ef f e c t i v e action i n the present and future. Thus i n a l e t t e r to Salzmann: "Wir sol l e n nur glauben, daB Gott uns um seinet-w i l l e n gnadig sey; dies s o i l uns also nicht mehr beunruhigen, nicht mehr zuriick halten an unserer Besserung mit a l i e n Kraften unserer Seele zu arbeiten, well das Alte a l l e s vorbey" (Br.I.55). Christ's merit i s communicated p a r t i c u l a r l y through the Eucha-r i s t to the one who has f a i t h , enabling and encouraging him to achieve s p i r i t u a l and moral goals: "Wenn wir diese H i i l f f s m i t t e l a l l e , die uns die Gnade darbeut, annehmen, bon ca, es s o i l nicht dabey bleiben" ( i b i d . ) . These goals are subsequently l i s t e d as the love and imitation of Christ, devotion to God as the source of a l l truth, goodness and beauty, and doing his w i l l , which consists i n : "wie er ganz Liebe und Wohlthatigkeit gegen das menschliche Geschlecht, so kein groBeres Gliick kennen, als An-dere g l i i c k l i c h zu machen ". ( i b i d . ,p. 67) . The "Lebensregeln" confirm that Lenz viewed the imitation of Christ as consisting p r i n c i p a l l y i n a l t r u i s t i c service: "unser ganzes Ich dem Besten des gemeinen Wesens auf.zuop.fern. mit der schonen gewissen, f e l -senfesten Hoffnung, daB wir dabei mehr gewinnen als v e r l i e r e n werden, welches der eigentliche Glaube i s t " " ( B l e i , I V . 3 9 ) . But 1 2 0 only when the curse of the past has been l i f t e d i s man free to imitate C h r i s t in t h i s way; Christ's death, therefore, gives man t h i s freedom, i t s importance l i e s not i n s a t i s f a c -t i o n of divine wrath against human s i n , but s o l e l y , for Lenz, i n removing the impediments to human moral achievement. The "Lebensregeln" summarise what we have noted about Christ's Verdierist thus f a r : Diese Genugtuung war nicht auf seiten Gottes, denn vor Gott war sie unnotig, weil Gott nach seiner un-endlichen und uneingeschrankten Barmherzigkeit uns unsre Siindenschuld ohne Losegeld eirlaSt. Aber auf seiten der Menschen war sie notwendig, fur ihre Vor-stellungsart, weil Gott entweder a l l e Verbindlich-k e i t zum Guten aufhebt oder unter ihnen den Be g r i f f von Belohnungen und Strafen etablieren muBte. Sie muBten also einsehen, bose s e i bose und verdiene Strafe, um ihnen aber j e t z t a l l e Hindernisse zum Guten zu nehmen, als die untatige niedergeschlagene Reue (wie Kains seine), die knechtische Furcht vor Gott, das Angstliche, den Zwang des Gesetzes, a l l e s wesentliche Hindernisse der Tugend, welche f r e i aus bloBer Liebe, aus bloBer Wahl des Besseren w i l l aus-geiibt werden: so ward Christus fiir uns, uns zum besten v o l l g i i l t i g e r Biirge, Siihnopfer, daB wir j e t z t ganz f r e i von a l l e r Furcht bloB aus Liebe und eignem Herzensan-t r i e b das Gute wahlten und C h r i s t i B e i s p i e l als dem liebenswurdigsten Ideal folgten und nachahmten"(p.48). What concerns Lenz most of a l l i s freedom to act i n the present, rather than paying past debts. Remorse for past s i n , l i k e Cain's, paralyses present a b i l i t y . I t was pre c i s e l y to remove the need for remorse that Christ died: "damit du nicht nothig habest zu bereuen. . .um durch das Gefuhl von der Freudigkeit und Freyheit a l l e r Gewissensbisse sein Leben ganz auszuleben. . .nach diesen alten ewigen Gesetzen zu leben, ohne daB uns das .15. al t e begangene einmal druber e i n f a l l t . " Thus the message of 1.21 Meynungen matches that of "Lebensregeln", and also of the e a r l i e r "Supplemente": "ihr habt einen Gott, der miBlungene Versuche nicht mit dem Tode bestraft, sondern mit Leben, ewigem Leben, wenn sie nur fortgesetzt werden" (I.508). Re-morse: "Kopfhangen" as the P i e t i s t practice of i t was c a l l e d , i s unacceptable to Lenz for;, both theological and p r a c t i c a l reasons; i n a fragment of his play written against Wieland i n the manner of Aristophanes: Die Wolken, he reserves some of his irony for one such "Kopfhanger", the P i e t i s t woman who i s overcome with remorse at having surrendered her v i r t u e . In the context, the advice given her by Socrates/Wieland: "Die Reue i s t die allerniederschlagendste Leidenschaft der mensch-lichen Seele, die sie a l l e r i h r e r Krafte benimmt und zum fernern Guten untiichtig macht", i s pernicious, but i t i s not i n i t s e l f d i f f e r e n t from Lenz's theological conviction, and i t i s t y p i c a l of Lenz's c r i t i c a l stance towards Pietists that he makes the penitent P i e t i s t r e j e c t i t , with the lament: "Ewig 16. muB ich diese Siinde beweinen." To Lenz on the contrary, one of the main purposes of Christ's work was to give us: "die 17. F r e i h e i t vor dem Angesicht Gottes zu handeln wie wir wollen." If the P i e t i s t has a d e f i c i e n t understanding of Christ's merit, she also has a view of s i n which Lenz cannot share. For i f C h r i st died to s a t i s f y God's need to punish s i n , then s i n must be seen as an offence against God: as s i n , therefore, and not merely as f a i l u r e s with respect to oneself or to fellow-man. The doctrine of o r i g i n a l s i n i s one that Lenz can no more accept 122 in i t s orthodox formulation that he can the doctrine of Ver-dienst, and for the same reasons. A study of references to Erbsunde w i l l show what Lenz's interpretation i s , and how, once again, i t safeguards for him his desire for freedom of action. Like that of Christ's merit, the doctrine of o r i g i n a l s i n has been variously interpreted i n the C h r i s t i a n Church, now i n terms of man's relat i o n s h i p to God, now i n terms of the moral and psychological effects by which s i n i s expressed i n the i n -d i v i d u a l . In the Western Middle Ages, s i n was regarded "mehr nach ihrer ontischen Zustandlichkeit als i n der Gottesrela-t i o n " , whilst i n the Reformation i t was seen "ganz i n theo-zentrischer Perspektive als verkehrtes Verhaltnis des Menschen 18. zu Gott." Lenz, i n conformity with Enlightenment ideas of moral perfectionism, views i t i n terms of i t s moral and psycho-l o g i c a l e f f e c t s on man, but as a stage only, i f a necessary one, i n the moral his t o r y of man. He never denies s i n a l t o -gether, but he i s at pains to c a l l i t by any other name. In the correspondence with Salzmann o r i g i n a l s i n i s seen as re-su l t i n g from "angeborene Tragheit" or "das bose B e i s p i e l " , and as consisting i n "der unrechtmaBige ubelubereinstimmende Ge-brauch der Fahigkeiten" (Br.I.55). In the f i r s t "Supplement" i t i s again "Tragheit" and also "Furchtsamkeit", leading to 19 "Ungeduld" (1.504); i n the "Stimmen " i t i s "Unbestimmtheit". A l l of these circumlocutions emphasise that Lenz saw s i n as a paralysis of the individual's e f f o r t s and a b i l i t i e s , as he 123 writes, for example, i n the f i r s t "Supplement": "So versteckt sich noch hinter diese Begierde nach dem AuBerordentlichen unser Erbschaden, die zwQ Bleigewichte der Materie die unsrc ' emporstrebende V e l l e i t a t herabziehen, Tragheit und Furchtsam-k e i t , die eine w i l l nichts tun, die andere nichts hoffen"(I.504). Such paralysis does a f f e c t man's relat i o n s h i p to God, as Meynungen w i l l argue, but i t s seriousness l i e s above a l l i n i t s consequences within human l i f e . Sin i s e v i l not because i t offends against divine j u s t i c e , but i n so far as i t has "Folgen". I t i s a p r a c t i c a l and psychological rather than moral and s p i r i t u a l matter. The secu l a r i s a t i o n of this concept i s shown i n the way Lenz sets the question of sin's o r i g i n into a framework of natural philosophy rather than theology. The statement i n "Lebensregeln" that Adam's F a l l was "der notwendige Gang nach dem ewigen und einzigen Gesetz der Natur. . .der Anstalten Gottes" (Blei IV. 55)', i s elaborated most f u l l y i n Meynungen, where, i n the prefatory l e t t e r , the f i c t i t i o u s clergyman (sure-l y Lenz's deliberate counterpart to Goethe's "Pastor***") writes thus to his colleague: Sie wissen z.B. wie sehr i c h immer am Dogma von der Erbsiinde zweifelte, und doch konnte ich nie die Sache ganz wegwerfen. Ich hab sie immer als Real i t a t ange-sehn, und. . .gewiinscht, daB ein redlicher, erfahrner scharfsinniger Mann, so weit es moglich ware, die Na-tur des Menschen, die Bestimmung a l l e r seiner Triebe und Fahigkeiten, und das Verhaltnis, i n dem wir mit Gott und der Natur stehen, untersuchen mochte. Dies, deucht mich, ware der Ort, davon auszugehen ware, um zu bestimmen. was Erbsiinde i s t , — d e r Name i s t f r e y l i c h 124 a r g e r l i c h . Ich meyne immer, das, was so genennt wird, sey zu Erreichung unserer Bestimmung durchaus noth-wendig, also keine Folge des F a l l s , der nur partiku-l a r war (p. 170-1)'.' O r i g i n a l s i n , says Lenz, i s rooted i n the nature and psycho-logy of man, and has always been there. I t i s not a r e s u l t of the F a l l , but the F a l l was rather an instance of i t . Being b u i l t into man, s i n i s therefore necessary for f u l -filment of human destiny. The "Laye" accordingly represents the same view; interpreting the p r i n c i p l e of o r i g i n a l s i n as the workings of a "Weltseele" who, l i k e the d e v i l i n the Book of Job, cooperates with God to achieve the higher pur-poses of God, he concludes: "Jetzt haben Sie, wann Sie wol-len, Principium fur die Erbsunde, wann Sie sie so nennen wollen. Ich nenne sie Natur. . .Die Natur hat ihre Zwecke, der wahrhaftig freye Mensch die seinigen, und Vereingung dieser Zwecke giebt das vollkommenste Ganze" (p.177). Lay-ing the blame for o r i g i n a l s i n on Nature i s no gnostic de-cl a r a t i o n of the evilness of Nature, i n Lenz's thinking. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the two amounts more to an up-grading of sin , than to a down-grading of Nature. However to Lenz, Na-ture i s inadequate on her own. She i s not e v i l ! but she i s limited, and man's destiny i s to r i s e up from her to God. Since r e l a t i o n s h i p to God, i n whom l i e the goals of perfection and happiness, i s central to human destiny, s in i s also seen as "Vernachlassigung des Verhaltnisses, i n welchem wir mit der Gottheit stehen"(p.175). But without s i n , there would be 125 no awareness of our relationship to God, of the other-ness of God, and therefore of the growth and development that i s re-quired i f we are to reach God. Sin i s therefore seen as a de-vice to give man a sense of d i r e c t i o n i n his evolution: "Die Siinde—der physisch damit verkniipfte Tod, waren also die ein-zigen M i t t e l , wodurch die Gottheit ihren ganzen Abstand von ihm, ihm zu fiihlen geben konnte" (ibid.) . To summarise, then, Lenz's view of s i n and i t s r e l a t i o n to human action: f i r s t l y i t consists i n an abandonment -of e f f o r t and moral s t r i v i n g , whether out of indolence, t i m i d i t y or the lack of a sense of destiny. Secondly,it i s serious i n so far as i t has e v i l consequences, which hamper further active human development; i t was to take care of these consequences that Christ came. Thirdly, the sense of moral g u i l t that accompanies i t i s a useful device to remind man how far short he i s of the goal of perfection a f t e r which he i s to s t r i v e . Lastly, o r i g i n -a l s i n i s older than the F a l l , being Nature i t s e l f . In the form of concupiscence i t i s a force which, as we s h a l l see below, challenges the active, ordering powers of man and keeps them i n perpetual a c t i v i t y . If s i n , then, i s neither g u i l t before God, nor an avoidable misfortune for man, but rather a fact, i f a problematical one, of human psychology but indispensable to human moral evolution, then there i s no room for the orthodox interpretation of Christ's merit as restoration of f a l l e n Adam, nor for C h r i s t i a n remorse at the existence of s i n . Lenz i s quite sure about th i s point: 1 26 "Die Absicht seiner Sendung (Christi) war nicht das menschli-che Elend zu verbessern und wieder herzustellen, wie es die Theologen gemeiniglich v o r s t e l l e n , und das durch Adams Siinden-f a l l zertrummerte Haus gleichsam wieder zusammenzuflicken, das i s t nicht wahr. Es i s t i n Gottes Regierung durch Adams Siinden-f a l l gar kein Fehler, keine Liicke vorgegangen, die hernach wieder musste re d r e s s i e r t werden"(Blei IV.55). What, then, i s the meaning to Lenz of the " F a l l " ? On t h i s matter he has written probably more than on any other, devoting to i t not only much of "Lebensregeln" and Meynungen but also the published volume containing: "Der Baum des Erkenntnisses" with i t s appendices on o r i g i n a l s i n and concupiscence, and i t s supplements dealing with the importance of God's pr o h i b i t i o n i n the Garden of Eden. Although we do not have the key essay: "Der Baum des Erkenntnisses", we know from the context i n which the reference to i t i n "Lebensregeln" occurs what Lenz's argu-ment was. Elaborating on the b r i e f statement i n the e a r l i e r "Versuch" that "Gut. . .hieB bei den ersten Menschen, fahig zur Vollkommenheit, aber noch nicht vollkommen"(I.490), Lenz ex-plains: "Adam und Eva waren mitnichten im Stande der Unschuld vollkommene Menschen, das i s t nicht wahr, das i s t ein iibel schiefverstandener Ausdruck der S c h r i f t , denn daB s i e nach dem Bilde Gottes geschaffen waren, schlieBt gar nicht Weisheit, Hei-l i g k e i t und Gerechtigkeit i n sich, sondern bedeutet nur, daB sie sich von dem Ti e r durch eine v o r t e i l h a f t e r e Bildung unter-schieden, i n welcher s i e fahig waren, Gott i n seinen Werken zu 127 erkennen, das ganze nach dem voLlkommenen Spiel seiner harmo-nischen Verhaltnisse einzusehen, wie Gott"(Blei IV.55). Adam and Eve were primitive and limited, not already complete and perfect; they stood l i t t l e higher than animals, distinguished from them by t h e i r potential rather than by any actual superio-r i t y . If they were to r i s e higher, though, i t must be through the i r own e f f o r t s , and by a stimulation of th e i r desires without which there could be no motivation to achieve anything. The Garden of Eden provided that stimulus to human concupiscence, to the desires of the f l e s h , g r a t i f y i n g these desires and giving man a sense of pleasure i n existence. Enjoyment, however, was not the whole purpose of man's existence, but rather a c t i o n — h e needed the challenge of the unproductive s o i l and the hardship of l i f e outside the Garden, to enable him to deploy his powers and, l i k e God, impose order on chaos. Why, though, the prohibi-ti o n , and the banishment from the Garden as a punishment? Lenz answers: "Dieses i n eine Strafe ihrer Liisternheit und der draus entstehenden Wollust, die durch ein Verbot geweckt wurde, zu verwandeln war eine besondere Weisheit Gottes (siehe meine Ab-handlung von der Konkupiszenz und von unverschamten Sachen) um dem Menschen dies Geschenk sich aufs innigste zu vereinigen, das nur der Segen des Ehestandes war,, erwiinschenswerter und angenehm-er zu machen, dadurch, daB er es seiten, rar und kostbar machte" (Ibid.,pp.55-56). Adam's disobedience was not i n t r i n s i c a l l y _ e v i l , but i t was good for him to think i t was, for i n addition to the reason we noted e a r l i e r i n Meynungen that he thereby 128 gained a sober appreciation of God's superiority, which estab-lish e d i n him "den Ton und das rechte Verhaltnis," and the sense of "nicht bloB i n die Breite, sondern auch i n die Hohe empfinden"(p.175), he also learnt thereby that human desire, which i s the mainspring of human action, i s a l l the stronger as i t i s l e f t u n s a t i s f i e d . The "Supplemente", to which Lenz directs us, develop t h i s point and preach an asceticism which i s never completely absent from any of Lenz's work. What, though, i s the meaning of Konkupiszenz, which we have translated as "human desire" and which must be a s c e t i c a l -l y resisted? As a theological term i t normally refers to the sexual desire awakened i n Adam a f t e r his eating of the forbidden f r u i t . Lenz shows at the beginning of the f i r s t "Supplement" that what he had talked of i n his p r i o r essay was t h i s desire for sexual union: "das Streben nach Vereinigung", and i n many other passages i t i s clear that the most pressing form of de-s i r e was, to Lenz, sexual desire. His "Lebensregeln" concen-trate heavily on permissible and inadmissible conduct with re-spect to the other sex, and indicate that, i n his view, any form of sexual s a t i s f a c t i o n must be "nur der Segen des Ehestandes", being even i n marriage more of a weakness than a strength (Blei IV.57). For i n any circumstance, he f e e l s , i t i s desire that i s the source of strength and energy, not i t s g r a t i f i c a t i o n . The prominence of the sexual problem i n Lenz may be a reason for us to conclude, with Wien, that at least the "Lebensregeln" were 20. written: "aus der Qual seiner Pubertatsnote heraus"; however, 129 Lenz does also use the term Konkupiszenz i n a more general sense, as desire for a l l that brings happiness: "GenuB kann kein Vergniigen bringen, ohne zuvor begehrt zu haben. Nur der Hunger kann die Mahlzeit wiirzen, Koche konnen den Wert der Speisen nicht erhohen sondern nur den Appetit unsers Magens" (1.501). "Concupiscence", as the desire without which there cannot be the happiness of g r a t i f i c a t i o n , becomes, as such, a precious possession: "die h e r r l i c h s t e a l l e r Gaben Gottes." Is i t therefore a sin? asks Lenz, s l i p p i n g into the Pauline 21. s t y l e that marks th i s supplement. He r e p l i e s : "Das s e i feme! Nur ihre zu ungeduldige Befriedigung war es." Desire motivates man i n his active s t r i v i n g for happiness, i t i s "die Triebfeder unserer Handlungen. . .der Keim unserer T a t i g k e i t . " I t cannot i n i t s e l f be a s i n , although i t s unrestrained in d u l -gence i s . A number of arguments from the f i e l d of physics are brought i n , i n the "Supplement", to i l l u s t r a t e why t h i s should be so. Lenz believes that man i s destined for freedom of action, not merely to enjoy his freedom but to use i t to perform feats of altruism i n imitation of C h r i s t . But such freedom only be-comes accessible when the human psyche i s under a cert a i n ten-sion, namely the tension between desire and resistance to de-s i r e : "nur bei dem S t r e i t dieser beiden entgegen wirkenden Kraf-te konnte sich seine F r e i h e i t im Handeln, seine Selbstwirksam-k e i t , seine V e l l e i t a t auBern" (I... 502) . Desire was f i r s t aroused by the sensual pleasures available to Adam i n the Garden, but 130 the most e f f e c t i v e s t i m u l u s o f d e s i r e was performed by God's n e g a t i v e d e c r e e : "Thou s h a l t n o t e a t . . ." The p r o h i b i t i o n was t h e c o u n t e r - f o r c e needed t o s e t d e s i r e i n m o t i o n , j u s t as " i n der ganzen N a t u r a l l e K r a f t e nur entgegen w i r k e n . " He goes on: " A l l e A k t i o n i s t R e a k t i o n , w i r e r f a h r e n d i e s t a g l i c h , wo k e i n StoB, da k e i n e Bewegung, wo k e i n 'primus movens' und 'agens', da b l e i b t a l l e s ruhend und l e i d e r i d . " God's decree was t h i s " e r s t e StoB g l e i c h s a m , den G o t t f r e i e n Wesen gab, d i e h a n d e l n s o l l t e n V " i t was the ' v i s c e n t r i f u g a ' t h a t s t i m u l a t e d t h e ' v i s c e n t r i p e t a ' o f human c o n c u p i s c e n c e . As f o r the t h r e a t o f d e a t h t h a t accompanied i t , t h i s was God's way o f s a y i n g t h a t s a t i s f a c -t i o n o f d e s i r e w i l l weaken i t , so t h a t e v e n t u a l l y d e s i r e i t s e l f w i l l d i e , and w i t h i t man as a f r e e b e i n g : " i h r b e g e h r t , wiirisent, h o f f t n i c h t s mehr, i h r k e h r t i n Staub und Verwesung z u r i i c k , i h r s t e r b t des Todes." I f , on t h e o t h e r hand, i t s f o r c e i s r e s i s t e d , t h e n i t w i l l grow "Stunde f u r Stunde, Tag f u r Tag, i n E w i g k e i t " , becoming " d i e s L e b e n s f e u e r . . .das u n ser Prometheus vom Himmel 2 2 . b r a c h t e " , p e r m i t t i n g f r e e a c t i o n and g i v i n g d i v i n e p l e a s u r e . The m o r a l o f G e n e s i s 3, and Lenz's a s c e t i c a d v i c e t o h i s h e a r e r s i s : " G e i s t i g e Vergniigungen g e s u c h t , des F l e i s c h e s Ge-s c h a f t e g e t o t e t " ( I . 5 0 4 ) . The same a d v i c e i s r e p e a t e d e l s e w h e r e : "Uberhaupt i s t ' s gut das F l e i s c h zu k a s t e i e n und zu k r e u z i g e n , damit der G e i s t wachsen und s i c h b i l d e n konne"; the i m i t a t i o n o f C h r i s t c o n s i s t s i n the endeavour: "des F l e i s c h e s G e s c h a f t e zu t o t e n und den G e i s t i n uns wachsen und zunehmen zu l a s s e n " , f o r C h r i s t ' s i n c a r n a t i o n was t o show men "daB s i e h a u p t s a c h l i c h auf 131 die Welt gesetzt seien, um i n dem GefaB ihres Korpers ihren unsterblichen Geist zu bilden, zu erweitern, zu erhohen"(Blei IV.63,67,69). There must c e r t a i n l y be a curbing of the de-sir e s of the f l e s h , but beyond that, and more importantly, there needs to be an active pursuit of things of the s p i r i t . For whilst the f l e s h gives a fundamental stimulus to human l i f e , the purpose of existence i s to get beyond i t , beyond the raw substance of human creation, to the form imparted by s p i r i t and by morality. So i t was for Adam and mankind with him and so i t i s for the i n d i v i d u a l , who, l i k e Adam, has to face his own Tree of the Knowledge of Good and E v i l , but, unlike Adam, learn to r e s i s t the temptation to eat of the f r u i t of physical s a t i s f a c t i o n , being able instead to set his desire on higher things: on moral l i v i n g , on the imitation of Christ, on God himself. I t i s out of th i s conviction that Lenz wrote his p r i -vate "Lebensregeln", based on the e a r l i e r essay with i t s sup-plements intended for the public. And the same conviction w i l l l a t e r underlie Meynungen and "Stimmen". As the "Rules of L i f e " put i t : "Was i s t der Hauptgrundsatz und Regel der fortgehenden Schopfung? Die unaufhorliche unendliche Verwandlung der Materie i n Form oder die unendlich fortgehende Bildung a l l e s Materiellen zur Form bis zum Geist hinauf, welcher die hochste Form i s t . " So Christ a f t e r his Ascension was "ganz Geist, ganz Aether" (Blei IV,54,68). At t h i s point we may stop and wonder how the emphasis on s p i r i t alone can be reconciled with the e a r l i e r stress l a i d on 1 32 the desires of the f l e s h , p a r t i c u l a r l y as they both seem to be credited with the same function. Whereas e a r l i e r , concupis-cence was "die Triebfeder unserer Handlungen", now, Lenz says, "die tatige Kraft i n uns i s t unser Geist." As for human desire, the "rule of l i f e " i s now "nicht zu begehren, sondern zu lieben" (Blei IV,62,63). Powerful desire i s not now to be met with powerful r e s t r a i n t but i s to be transformed by the power of the s p i r i t into the higher impulse of love. To l e n z ' s mind, there i s nothing wrong with concupiscence, but there i s nonetheless some-thing higher, to which i t must aspire. Eventually s p i r i t , having transformed the desires of the f l e s h , w i l l take over the motive force which they exerted, and so, under the developing rule of s p i r i t , the in d i v i d u a l w i l l reach a higher moral plane, gaining freedom of w i l l and action, and the a b i l i t y to perform "Hand-lungen uber das Gesetz, uber die Regel des Rechts"(I.509). Con-cupiscence, as a source of i n i t i a t i v e i n man, has a subordinate function only. I t was man's most precious possession before he developed " s p i r i t " , and since then i s overruled by s p i r i t . Since i t i s also shared by the beast, any return to the domination of concupiscence i s a regression, undoing the progress made i n de-velopment up to freedom, to c r e a t i v i t y and to God: going counter, therefore, to human destiny. To summarise the argument from the point of view of Lenz's concern to esta b l i s h a theological j u s t i f i c a t i o n of action: God, in order to bring Adam beyond the l e v e l of the beast, which pas-s i v e l y enjoys and suffers i n t o t a l subjection to i t s condition, 1 33 placed him i n a garden whose sensual delights were calculated to arouse his desire and set him going on the quest for happi-ness. I f the quest was to be perpetuated, desire also needed to be perpetuated, not s a t i s f i e d , so the order was given: Thou shalt not eat. Adam's disregard of t h i s order was culp-able only i n i t s hastiness: there were other ways of encourag-ing human a c t i v i t y . But i t was good for Adam to think he had done wrong, because t h i s gave him an idea of the d i r e c t i o n i n which he ought, indeed, to develop. The banishment from the garden gave him the opportunity, and forced upon him the neces-s i t y , to become active for his own survival and betterment. Eventually, the development i n his physical l i f e led to a de-velopment of his s p i r i t u a l l i f e , but t h i s , as we, .shall now see, could only be brought about by the giving of the Law. Lenz's i n t e r e s t i n the role of Law derives from his acquain-tance with the writings of the Gottingen o r i e n t a l i s t and theo-2 3 . logian Johann David Michaelis, and with his own f a m i l i a r i t y with the l e t t e r s of St. Paul. I t i s evidenced by the consider-able space he devotes to the Law i n the "Supplemente" and i n Meynungen. Cle a r l y , i f man i s given freedom of action, the existence of divine law r e s t r i c t i n g that action needs to be ac-counted f o r . I f we have "die F r e i h e i t vor dem Angesicht Gottes zu handeln wie wir wollen," how can such apparent antinomianism be reconciled with God's giving of the Law? Lenz sees the need to answer two questions: f i r s t l y , do laws that circumscribe the sphere of human action, prohibitions therefore, undermine freedom 134 of action? Secondly, do pr e s c r i p t i v e laws destroy human i n -i t i a t i v e and c r e a t i v i t y ? We saw that the f i r s t law, the pro h i b i t i o n i n the Garden, functioned as a counter force to the force of human desire, keeping i t under tension and not allowing i t to be k i l l e d by immediate s a t i s f a c t i o n . By stimulating desire: the mainspring of action, Law also stimulated human action. But action was s t i l l l imited to the provision of man's physical needs; i t ex-pressed "Sorge fur seine Erhaltung, GenuB, Tati g k e i t , Ge-schlechterneigung und innigste Vereinigung mit seinesgleichen." Lenz goes on: " j e t z t ging aber der Geist unsers edleren T e i l s noch leer aus. . .durch wen konnte der seine Bildung erhalten? Daher muBte Moses das Gesetz geben"(Blei IV.56). The function of the Law was once again to l i m i t the expression of man's phy-s i c a l appetites, so that room was l e f t for s p i r i t to develop. For s t i l l i t i s sol e l y by denial of the f l e s h that any progress can be made towards freedom and God. Lenz believes that sexual release i s accompanied by a loss of s p i r i t : "da der Same der Menschen e i g e n t l i c h das Vehikel ihrer Geister i s t " (Ibid.,p.33). 24 Moreover, s a t i s f a c t i o n of sexual desire leads to "Erschopfung", destroying the active powers i n man that are the expression of "Geist". I t was to prevent such disastrous reversals of human destiny that the Mosaic Law was given. Its purpose was primari-l y to regulate physical l i f e , preventing anything that might lead to a diminution of human powers. The great l e g i s l a t o r s : Moses, Christ, and the Apostles, were therefore "Arzte des 135 menschlichen Geschlechts." Lenz c i t e s , i n support of his view, Exodus 15:26: "Denn ich bin der Herr, dein Arzt". Of the laws that regulated physical l i f e , he says: "was i s t s anders als Medecin fur Leib und Geist, Verhutung der Zerriit-tung unserer Maschine"(pp.193,198,200). Both p r o h i b i t i v e and prescriptive laws were meant, at the time, to work towards creating and preserving congenial conditions for the develop-ment of s p i r i t , and with i t , the unfolding of human po t e n t i a l . Of the two types of law, though, i t was the prohibitions that predominated, for these alone permitted and encouraged free action by a r e s t r a i n t of physical desires. Such i s the argument of the second "Supplement"—one with which the Meynurigen agree, (pp. 1 90., 191) : Was der Baum des Erkenntnisses im Garten, das i s t uns das Gesetz, welches verbietet, das heiBt, unserer Kon-kupiszenz die gehorigeri Einschrankungen zur allgemeinen Gliickseligkeit gibt. Von der Art sind die zehn Gebote, sowohl die welche wir zur Norm beibehalten, als die dem jiidischen Volk insbesondere gegeben wurden, imgleichen a l l e biirgerlichen Gesetze die der Geist der Gesellschaft zur Beforderung ihres Wohlstandes erfunden und denen wir ::uns unterwerfen, so bald wir an diesem Wohlstande T e i l nehmen. Die Gesetze also iiberhaupt sind die Ursachen a l l e r unsrer Handlungen so wie es das erste Gesetz oder Verbot Gottes im Garten von der ersten Handlung war, sie sind aber nur die gelegenheitlichen nicht die wirkenden Ursachen davon, die liegen bloB i n unserer W i l l e h s f r e i -h e i t , welche durch jene nur i n Bewegung gesetzt wird. Da aber a l l e Gesetze e i g e n t l i c h nur verneinen, Handlungen verbieten, die die allgemeine Gliickseligkeit storen, so gibt's e i g e n t l i c h nur zweierlei Handlungen, gesetzwidrige, die dem Verbot grad entgegenlaufen, oder ethische, die liber das Gesetz erhaben, die allgemeine Gliickseligkeit nicht nur nicht storen, sondern befordern und stufenweise erhohen, diese haben e i g e n t l i c h a l l e i n i n den Augen Gottes einen Wert." (I. 505-6) . Law gives man a minimum standard of behaviour, which he ignores . 136 at his p e r i l , for to do so would bring not g u i l t but conse-quences unpleasant to him and a destruction of his happiness. Rather, man w i l l see this minimum standard as a challenge to exceed i t , and thus exercise his freedom of w i l l and action. These e t h i c a l actions that exceed the basic requirements of the Law, which can be recognised by the f e e l i n g of happiness accompanying them, are those that Christ came to teach—they represent the "Evangelium". To regard the gospel as requiring the a b o l i t i o n of Law i s no more j u s t i f i a b l e i n Lenz's mind than i t i s i n St. Paul's, whose argument he now follows: "Wie? hebt denn nun dies Evangelium das Gesetz auf? Das s e i feme. Ohne Gesetz ware kein Evangelium m o g l i c h — f o l g l i c h auch keine Gluckseligkeit." Lenz's concept of freedom of action w i l l never be divorced from the concept of Law, of obeying God's w i l l , of imitating Ch r i s t . The antinomianism of some of his statements i s only apparent. Whilst man i s free to do what he l i k e s i n imitation of Christ, he i s s t i l l bound to observe the minimum standards set down by the Law. Indeed these reveal to him what scope he has for free action: "Nur das Gesetz zeigt uns die  Verhaltn1sse i n denen wir uns befinden, und nur diese konnen Handlungen einen Wert . und den sie begleitenden Empfindungen ein Vergnugen beiliegen"(I.507). Far from taking away freedom of action, negative law out-l i n e s the sphere within which free action i s possible. Its purpose i s not to t i e down a humanity that has frustrated the plan of God and cannot be r e l i e d upon to act aright; rather i t 1 37 introduces the next stage i n man's development up to active autonomy: "Es b i l d e t den Menschen bis zu dem Punkte, da er zu leben anfangt—und darnach lal3t es ihn laufen" (p. 192) . What, though, about p r e s c r i p t i v e laws: those that command certai n actions? As Lenz repeatedly emphasises, these are very few. He gives only one example of a law prescribed by God: the decree demanding the death of any person or beast which sheds human blood. A l l other laws are negative: "miis-sen negativ seyn, s ie zeugen uns, was wir unterlassen miissen, f a l l s wir uns nicht i n Schaden und Ungliick verwickeln wollen" (p.191). When the great l e g i s l a t o r s : Moses, Christ and the Apostles appeared to give a posit i v e law, thi s was "nichts als Hiilse zu einem oder dem andern negativen Gesetze, daB uns die Unterlassung dieser Siinde e r l e i c h t e r t e " (p. 192). The reason that p r e s c r i p t i v e l e g i s l a t i o n has no place i n God's economy i s that i t . i s incompatible with human freedom; i f the law orders us to perform some action, we are ...hardly free to perform i t : "Was wir zu thun haben, kann uns kein Gesetzgeber vorschreiben, oder er macht uns zu KIStzen und B l a c k e n , zu Maschinen und Radern, die herumgedreht werden miissen, well sie nicht von s e l -ber laufen konnen. Das mag der F a l l wohl beym p o l i t i s c h e n Ge-setzgeber seyn, der die Seele seiner Staatsmaschine i s t , der das unbehelfsame Volk mit GebiB und Zaum r e g i e r t wie ein Knabe den Elephanten—aber beim moralischen Gesetzgeber, der freyhandelnde selbstandige Wesen bilden w i l l , 1st ers nicht und kann es nicht seyn." (p. 1 91.)'. Attempts: have nonetheless been made to prescribe 1 38 moral action; Lenz enumerates, i n his second "Supplement", certain l e g a l i s t i c actions, "die weder unser noch andrer Gliick befordern und also l i e b e r Unta.tig.keit als Handlungen hei8en:..mogen (wie das Beten, Fasten, Almosengeben der Phari-saer.).". (1.506)-, and sees a contemporary counterpart i n "den heutigen Moralsystematikern. . .die uns so schon nach Z o l l und Linien zu berechnen wissen, was recht gehandelt sey, so und nicht anders"(p.192). From slavery to legalism only C h r i s t could save us, who came to heal a "bis i n die Knechtschaft der Moralsysteme v e r i r r t e menschliche Geschlecht"(p.193). Just as s a t i s f a c t i o n of desire was h o s t i l e to the development of human potential for action, so moral codes are h o s t i l e to the exer-cise of free action and run d i r e c t l y counter to the gospel of freedom introduced by Christ. How important this point was to Lenz i s seen i n the fact that he devotes the whole of "Stimmen des Laien" to the question of moral systems. We s h a l l discuss t h i s question f u l l y when we discuss the "Stimmen". The position Lenz adopts on moral codes w i l l then, i n the next chapter, be brought into r e l a t i o n with his utterances concerning whether he or any other author should aim to propound a certa i n moral teach-ing i n works of l i t e r a t u r e ; i t w i l l be seen that the view he re-presents i n the l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l essays e n t i r e l y matches that expressed i n his theological framework. At present, we s h a l l note two other points, repeatedly emphasised by Lenz, concerning the relationship of freedom, action and morality. 139 Lenz has said that beyond the minimum standard l a i d down by the negative laws, there i s freedom to act at w i l l . How-ever i n his h i e r a r c h i c a l framework some actions are l o f t i e r than others because they give proof of greater s p i r i t u a l auto-nomy. How can the better actions be distinguished from the lesser ones, and indeed from wrong actions, against which the negative commands cannot e n t i r e l y protect man? Lenz's em-phatic answer i s that morality i s an experimental matter, d i s -cerned, as i t were, by t r i a l and error, not by the p r i o r study of a code. For, once again, r i g h t and wrong are seen by Lenz not as absolute values by the standards of God's j u s t i c e , but according to t h e i r consequences to man. Those that increase happiness are r i g h t , those that diminish i t are wrong. The starting-point i s once again the drive towards happiness, of which the Meynurigen give a repeated reminder: "Religion s o i l uns g l i i c k l i c h machen, sonst nehmen wir sie nicht an" (p. 173), and "die Religion s o i l uns weder fromm noch gelehrt ganz a l l e i n machen, spndern g l i i c k l i c h " (p. 176) . Lenz goes on: "Und s o i l s i e das, so muS s i e empfunden werden, denn Gliickseligkeit besteht i n Empfindung"(p.173). With t h i s , the theme i s announced that i s developed i n the introduction to the Meynurigen and i s used as a basis for the exegetical discussion of Genesis. Feeling: Empfindung, i s Lenz's equivalent to the t r a d i t i o n a l conscience. I t monitors not g u i l t and innocence, but happiness and unhappi-ness. I t i s no transient movement of the psyche, but rather a mature conviction based on r e f l e c t i o n : "Empfindungen sind geord-1 4 0 netes i n Verhaltnis gebrachtes Gefiihl, Gefiihl das gewissen Vorstellungen untergeordnet i s t , Gefiihl unsrer Seele" (p. 1 73) . Feeling often needs to base i t s e l f on f a i t h , but f a i t h i s of l i t t l e use unless what i s believed i s also f e l t : "Es i s t bes-ser wenig zu glauben, aber das, was man glaubt, i n seinem ganzen Umfang zu empfinden, als a l l e s zu glauben und nichts zu empfinden"(p.174). In the second "Supplement" Lenz has already commended Empfindung as the guide to good and bad actions; those that exceed the law "haben e i g e n t l i c h a l l e i n i n den Augen Gottes einen Wert und sind von ihm mit den reinsten und himm-lischs t e n Empfindungen vergesellschaftet worden, deren Dauer wir i n der Tat S e l i g k e i t nennen mogen"(I.506). The p r i n c i p l e i s "daB man Handlungen tue, die solche Empfindungen hervorbring-eriV" But i s such f e e l i n g an i n f a l l i b l e guide to morality? Lenz feels that i t i s , even though i t may be ignored: "Glaube nur nicht der du das Gesetz verachtest, du konnest jemals wahre Empfindungen der Gliickseligkeit herausbringen, Dissonanz b l e i b t  Dissonanz du magst dein Ohr noch so sehr zu uberreden suchen" (1.507). With such a guide to r i g h t and wrong both primitive man (Meynungen) and contemporary man ("Supplement") are equipped to act i n such a way as to further t h e i r own development towards t h e i r destiny. Man, using his Empfindung, judges from the consequences of his actions whether they were good ones or not. That the conse-quences always r e f l e c t the moral nature of the action i s one of Lenz's firm convictions. I t appears to him to be the overriding p r i n c i p l e i n mankind's early history: "Besonders i s t es, daB i n 141 der ganzen Haushaltung Gottes moralisches libel, Verletzung der von Gott eingerichteten Verhaltnisse immer mit dem physischen i n gleichen Schritten geht"(p.178). Already i n Die Landplagen he has portrayed natural disasters as God's judgement on god-less men, just as Pastor Lenz had delivered and published, several years e a r l i e r , a sermon i n s i s t i n g that the f i r e that devastated the Livonian v i l l a g e of Wendeln was divine punish-ment for i t s inhabitants' e v i l ways. To Salzmann Lenz had written: "Christlich-physisches tibel (physical e v i l permitted by God as a warning consequence of wrong-doing) muB immer mehr drin abnehmen, wenn das Moralische darin abnimmt"(Br.I.57). Such a firm b e l i e f i n the c o r r e l a t i o n between human moral l i f e and human fate w i l l make i t impossible for Lenz not to conclude personal g u i l t from the eventual disappointment of his ambi-tions, which he experienced at Weimar, and l a t e r i n Livonia, when every sphere of f r u i t f u l a c t i v i t y seemed closed to him. At t h i s stage, however, at which a l l his best work i s being ac-complished, the b e l i e f appears to hold no problems. A l l that he reads i n the history of the patriarchs shows him: "daB sich die Menschen ihre Ideen vom Recht und Unrecht hierinnen selber machten—und selber machen muBten, die Vorsicht winkte ihnen nur durch die physischen Erfolge i h r e r Handlungen ein Gesetz fur derselben zu"(p.193). So i t was with Cain, whose anguish following the murder of Abel interpreted to him c l e a r l y the meaning of the physical punishment l a i d oh him: "Welche Empfind-ung von seinern Unrecht muste diese physische Strafe i n ihm 142 zuriick lassen, zugleich welche Empf indung des Verhaltnisses, das er v e r l e t z t hatte"(p.179). Like a l l men, Cain had to ab-st r a c t his own moral ideas from events; t h i s was "die bestandi-ge Oekonomie Gottes im alten und neuen Testamente. . .Die Gott-h e i t hat durchaus nie unterrichtende Wunder thun, nie vom Kim-mel herab reden wollen"(p.181). The thrust of t h i s emphasis on morality as an empirical matter i s that once again i t removes r e s t r i c t i o n s on human free-dom of action, for i n i t i a l l y i t does not matter how a man acts. The important thing i s that he should act, because i n so doing he w i l l learn to avoid those actions that he discovers to be wrong, and develop a higher moral sense by process of elimina-ri t i o n . I f t h i s i s the way God intended man to develop, then c l e a r l y the F a l l can no longer be seen as a reversal but, as Lenz sees i t , as the f i r s t step of discovery; so with every subsequent episode i n B i b l i c a l history. I t was only when man had learnt to judge for himself that the second stage i n God's history of salvation could begin: the coming of Christ and the i n i t i a t i o n of the Kingdom of God: "Sehen Sie aber j e t z t die Weisheit Gottes nicht a l l e i n gerechtfertigt (das Wort i s t arm) sondern i n ihrer vollen H e r r l i c h k e i t — d a B er Christum den Boten a l l e r Freude i n und auBer unsrer W e l t — e r s t da i n die Welt schickte, als der Geist des Menschengeschlechts sich durch mannigfalti.ge lange Erfahrungen ein allgemeines Gesetz—eine so ziemliche Idee von den P f l i c h t e n jedes Individui zur Gliickselig-k e i t des Ganzen, gebildet hatte"(I.508). S t i l l the p r i n c i p l e 143 i s that morality i s only discovered i n action: "Wer den Willen tut meines Vaters im Himmel, der wird sehen, ob meine Lehre 25. von Gott set," but the main emphasis i s not now on the d i s -covery of morality but on l i v i n g out an intense l i f e of action i n imitation of Christ; a switch i s made from negative to posi-t i v e : "von der negativen Gliickseligkeit des Gesetzes zur posi-tiven Gliickseligkeit des Evangeliums"(I.508). With th i s we reach the "Stimmen des Layen", which mark the climax of Lenz's appeal for active commitment to the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h . I t i s here that he seeks to counter the r e l i g i o u s i n -difference i n his fellow Society members, of which he complained to Goethe i n the l e t t e r of 1775 that we quoted e a r l i e r . He attacks t h e i r "Unglauben", i f somewhat self-consciously (p.208), with a strong plea for f a i t h and for commitment to the truth of the Bible, and sets about the task: "den Leuten Standpunkt i h r e r Religion einzustecken", by reminding them of the main points of C h r i s t i a n i t y . He discusses the importance of revelation and the mode of B i b l i c a l revelation, arguing that God reveals most to those who are most subject to h i s w i l l ; he describes Christ's incarnation as the ultimate example of obedience to God, showing that the greater the submission, the greater the reward of exal-tat i o n , and urges his hearers not.to be put o f f by the existence of e v i l , which, though i t diminishes man's happiness here and now, and i s unavoidable, does not destroy but merely holds back for a while the current of human happiness. L a s t l y Lenz defends the authority of the evangelists and apostles, and the divine 144 i n s p i r a t i o n and character of the Bible. Great stress i s l a i d , therefore, on "Dependenz von Gott"(p.204), and i t might seem that under grace man i s less free to l i v e out an intense per-sonal l i f e than under law. However i t i s not dependence on God that destroys human freedom, but slavery to moral systems, as the second "Stimme" argues. The question Lenz addresses here i s : "Kam Christus auf die Welt, uns ein moralisch System zu lehren, das heiBt, uns i n seiner Lehre ein moralisches Ideal eines vollkommnen guten ver-standigen, a r i i g e n - - k u r z — e i n e s Extramenschen zu geben?(p.217)" The importance of this question derives from the urgent need for some moral guide to l i g h t our way through the thicket of the human psyche, through: "eine unendliche Menge von Begierden, Bediirfnissen, Charakteren, Sentiments, Entschlussen, Nicht-handlungen." Lenz adds: "Mir schwindelts, wenn ich dran denke, daB Philosophen waren, die moralische Systeme furs Ganze erfi'n-den wollten." Taking as his text Christ's saying from the Ser-mon on the Mount: "Ihr miiBt nicht glauben, i c h sey kommen, euer Gesetz, eure Propheten aufzulosen, sondern zu e r f i i l l e n " (p. 21 9) , he suggests that C h r i s t i s here opposing a straight performance of the law not to an a b o l i t i o n of the law but to i t s transfor-mation into a moral system; C h r i s t came: "nicht. . .euch euer Moralsystem heraus zu drechseln, sondern zu e r f i i l l e n , zu thun und wer's Herz dazu hat, der thue mir nach." The law, that i s : ri g h t action, i s not meant to be taught but to be done, again i t i s not a pre s c r i p t i v e system but an obligation to act. Lenz 145 gives four reasons why he disapproves of moral systems. F i r s t -l y , to someone who desires to. become virtuous, a moral system tends more to be a discouragement than a spur. I t paralyses him with i t s daunting demands instead of stimulating him to do his best. Secondly i t tends to turn those who do aspire to practise i t into hypocrites. Thirdly, moral ideals are, desig-ned to make i t easier for man to l i v e morally, they allow man to rest i n the li m i t e d confines of the system; but, Lenz asks, "sollen wir denn ruhen, meine Herren?--Verflucht sey die Ruhe und auf ewig ein Inventarium der tauben Materie, aber wir, die wir Geist i n Adern fiihlen, ruhen nur dann, wann wir zu noch hoherm Schwunge neue Krafte sammeln, wenn wir f r e i w i l l i g zu s i n -ken scheinen, urn weit iiber den Gesichtskreis der gewohnlichen Sterblichen empor zu steigen"(p.225). Lastly, they paralyse action by d i s t r a c t i n g man from performance to evaluation. "Wer-den sie uns," Lenz asks, "nicht eben dadurch, da/3 sie uns bey der Qualitat unserer Handlungen zu lang aufhalten, an der Quan-t i t a t , an der groBern Anzahl unserer guten Handlungen Schaden thun?" Spontaneous action i s alone e f f e c t i v e ; moral evaluation before the event not only hinders action, but also brings a self-consciousness that soon degenerates into complacency, ego-tism and pride. The conclusion reached, then, i n the second "Stimme" i s t.h that Christ cannot have come to give a complete "inventory" of moral actions to r i v a l that of the Pharisees, nor to set an ide a l example of r i g h t action. For no moral system can take account of the perpetual change and development which i s man's 146 destiny. Certainly Christ made moral demands, but t o Lenz the question i s : "ob sie zusammen g e s t e l l t ein moralisch System heraus bringen, oder ob sie nur mit FleiB so nachlassig hinge-worfen scheinen, urn dem Menschenverstande einen Wink zu geben, es sey fur freye Geister, die i n ihrer Wirksamkeit immer f o r t -schreiten und fortschreiten sollen, kein allgemeines Moralsys-tem moglich, oder wenigstens miisse es so weit und groB seyn, daB a l l e moglichen Modifikationen, wenn sie nur nach der Analo-gie der angegebenen Grundlinien gezogen sind, hinein passen, urn das Gemahlde abwechselnd und dadurch desto anmuthiger und vollkommener zu machen?(p.227)" Man needs not a complete moral code to follow, but merely hints to encourage him to use the resources he already has to act according to p r i n c i p l e s he knows by i n s t i n c t . For, as the t h i r d "Stimme" argues, Nature has a l -ready given man a moral system, adequate for his self-improvement, and no other system i s necessary: "warum wollen wir aus Liebe zum Sonderbaren, uns ein ander System erkliigeln, als uns aus a l i e n Zeiten und Orten, aus der ganzen Natur zuwinkt. Jeder Mensch bringt sein MaaB von Begierden und Kraften, seine Harmo-nie und Ubereinstimmung von Begierden und Kraften, sein Moral-system mit sich auf die Welt, und nach MaaBgabe des Gebrauchs, deh er von denselben macht, erhohet und verbessert sich dasselbe unaufhorlich. Wir werden a l l e gut geboren, und das bessere und schlimmere unserer Handlungen und unseres Zustandes hangt l e d i g -l i c h von uns selber ab"(pp.229-30). A Rousseauistic conclusion, and indeed Lenz now reminds his hearers of the " s i m p l i c i t y " of 147 natural morality taught by that "obstinate Diogenes of Gene-va" (p. 231').. Yet how i s i t that i f true morality i s so "natural", i t should be so widely misunderstood and so widely neglected? Why should Rousseau's c a l l for a return to the s i m p l i c i t y of nature have become, i n a phrase that again parodies St. Paul: "den Deutschen ein Argernis und den Franzosen eine Thorheit?" Lenz's answer contains, despite his great admiration for Rousseau, once again a disagreement with him. Just as, i n the "Versuch", Rousseau i s chided for advocating Ruhe because i t was not conducive to active human development, so now h i s advo-cation of E i n f a l t i s shown to be wanting i n that i t f a i l s to take the goal of human existence into account, which i s not adequately revealed i n Nature alone. What i s needed i s divine revelation, which alone can show man what the law of Nature i s , namely: "eine Fortsetzung der Schopfung, Regeln, nach welchen Gott uns geschaffen, weiter ausgedehnt, nach welchen wir uns i t z t selber fortschaffen und unsre Existenz erhohen konnen" (p.232). Just as the Old Testament, which Lenz c a l l s not re-vela t i o n but the hi s t o r y of revelations, i s a hi s t o r y of the measures God took to teach and encourage man to press on with his moral self-development, so Christ's teaching was meant to give a further revelation of the d i r e c t i o n i n which man was to develop, and to spur him on beyond the p a r t i c u l a r stage already reached, teaching him that any "rest" on the way was incompati:^ ble with his destiny. Revelation does not replace Nature, but 148 orientates i t . I t gives man a sense of d i r e c t i o n and the motivation to make progress. Revelation i s , then, a new way of thinking, i t i s , i n Lenz's terminology, 'ye t a v o i a . With the frequently repeated motto: y e T a v o e i T e Lenz encapsulates a l l that he believes about basic human goodness, and man's l o f t y destiny. Already i n the second "Supplement" he has explained his interpretation and tr a n s l a t i o n of Christ's c a l l to repentance. He wrote there: " M e x a v o E" T E— n i c h t tut BuBe ;(das Wort hat ein boser Damon i n unser deutsches Worter-buch gebracht) sondern verandert euren Sinn, erhebt ihn"(I.508). Basing himself c o r r e c t l y on the root meaning of the compound Greek word, he repeats his d e f i n i t i o n i n the "Stimmen", stress-ing the force of the pr e f i x : " y e x a i y e t o g iiberweg iiber a l l e eure vorigen Meynungen von Vollkommenheit und Gliickseligkeit, iiberweg iiber euer non plus u l t r a , iiber euer Ideal selbst, und unaufhorlich iiberweg, so lang i h r noch weiter konnt. Das Her-aufsehen i s t nicht gefahrlich, nur das Herunter sehen i s t s " (p.227). Repentance does not mean, he says, dwelling penitent-l y on past s i n , l i k e the P i e t i s t woman of Die Wolken, for, thanks to God "der miBlungene Versuche nicht mit dem Tode be-s t r a f t , sondern mit Leben, ewigem Leben, wenn sie nur fortge-setzt werden," the past no longer matters, but only the new p o s s i b i l i t i e s held by the future. What i s v i t a l i s to know, by revelation, that man's destiny i s to climb ever higher and that he i s capable i n himself of doing so. I f Lenz needs to stress 149 t h i s message so earnestly i t i s because he feels that man has contented himself instead with mediocrity. He asks, using again his own circumlocution for repentance: "Ob Christus das vergeblich gesagt: Ich bin gekommen, die Sunder zur Erhebung ihre r Seele zu Gott zu rufen, nicht die Gerechten, die nemlich a l l e s schon sind oder zu seyn glaubten, was sie seyn sollen? (p.227)" For whilst Christ's revelation does no more than c l a r i f y to our minds what i s already present i n our nature, nature i s powerless to proceed with i t s destiny unless t h i s i s perceived and d e l i b e r a t e l y sought by the human mind with i t s freedom to w i l l i t s own development or to choose to neglect i t . Alongside Lenz's emphasis on Nature i s his urgent appeal to the responsible mind of man, which must i t s e l f allow and encourage Nature to operate i n i t s destined way. If the i n d i v i d u a l f a i l s to r i s e to any higher stature, i t i s because his mind cannot f i r s t conceive of that higher l e v e l to which i t must s t r i v e . The effectiveness of our actions and scale of our achievement are limited only by our a b i l i t y to conceive of them: "Grad i n der schlechten Meynung, die wir von uns haben, l i e g t die Ursach, daB wir's nicht konnen"(p.231). The keynote on which t h i s essay, then, closes i s that of f a i t h : f a i t h i n oneself, f a i t h i n one's pote n t i a l , f a i t h i n one's l o f t y destiny. I t i s f a i t h that en-ables one to move mountains, not by means of a miracle but by so furthering one's a b i l i t y to act that eventually even the :;.v. greatest actions are within one's competence. . If o r i g i n a l s i n consists i n a lack of a sense of destiny, undermining any a b i l i t y 1 5 0 for. virtuous action, f a i t h i s b e l i e f i n human destiny, em-powering the i n d i v i d u a l : "Glaube beschwingt, befacht, ent-ziindt unsere Krafte a l l e . . . i s t thun" (p. 239) . So f a i t h , l i k e every other a r t i c l e of Lenz's r e l i g i o n , comes down to the p r i n c i p l e of action for the purpose of human moral develop-ment. The "Lebensregeln" f u l l y share t h i s conviction, de-f i n i n g f a i t h as something "die sich i n Taten auBert," and going on: "darin besteht die V o r t r e f f l i c h k e i t a l l e r Tugend und tugendhaften Handlungen, daB s i e sich auf Glauben griinden, das eben gibt unserm Geist die Starke zu wachsen und sich zu b i l -den bis i n Ewigkeit, daB wir noch nicht a l l e s wissen was wir sein werden, damit wir uns desto e i f r i g e r anstrengen mehr zu werden als wir sind. Und wer's nicht glauben w i l l , daB Jesus auferstanden, der laB es bleiben, es i s t nicht notig daB er's glaubt, wer ein Vieh bleiben w i l l , esto" (Blei IV.64). Returning to the beast, to Milton's "Chaos and old night", to determinism, or advancing to divine heights of freedom and moral stature: these are the two options open to man. I f he chooses the second he must p i t against the force of i n e r t i a , of concupiscence with i t s urgent demands for s a t i s f a c t i o n , of sub-human nature, of the "Weltseele", the force of his free human powers, aided by God, exercised by action, stimulated by ascetic r e s t r a i n t of concupiscence, developed by "Geist", which i s "der prometheische Funke", "der Hauch von Gott", and orientated to-., wards a l t r u i s t i c service: "tun, handeln, t a t i g sein mit Geist und Leib wo es am meisten n u t z l i c h sein, H e i l bringen kann zur 151 Ehre Gottes an den Menschen und so von Form zu Form iiber-gehen ins ewige Leben" (Ibid. ,pp..61-2) . Even Lenz's eschato-logy i s transformed into a doctrine of further s t r i v i n g : the blessed as they continue on through the mansions of God, the damned as they have to return by transmigration of th e i r soul to the imprisonment of another body beyond which they again have an opportunity to s t r i v e . The Last Judgement occurs therefore at every man's death, God judging him "nach seiner Absicht und nach der Anstrengung seiner Krafte, nicht nach seinem Schicksal"(Ibid.,p.43), for, as the "Stimmen" re-empha-sise: "Grad die Miihe die Anstrengung unserer Kraft i s t , was uns die Religion oder die Kunst g l i i c k l i c h zu seyn, verstehen l e h r t " (p.235) . We may remind ourselves at thi s point of one point of d i s -agreement between Lenz and Salzmann. The l a t t e r questions Lenz's firm conviction, expressed i n one l e t t e r of October 1772, that God made good more d i f f i c u l t for man to perform than e v i l i n order to keep him active. Salzmann, more clos e l y dependent on Leibnizian philosophy than Lenz, believes that the force of i n e r t i a : the cause of e v i l , i s weaker than the force of active good, which can be r e l i e d upon to maintain the upper hand. Lenz i n s i s t s , however, that there i s only one force: the "vis activa", the "vis i n e r t i a e " being no actual force but neglect or resolu-t i o n of the force of action. Since the choice i s between a c t i -v i t y and i n e r t i a , naturally, Lenz f e e l s , i t w i l l be a c t i v i t y :.b. that w i l l demand e f f o r t and hence be more d i f f i c u l t to perform 1 52 than non-activity "welche i n Wirksamkeit und Thatigkeit zu setzen, allemal i n unserm Belieben steht oder nicht"(Br.I..61). To Salzmann, the dynamic nature of human l i f e i s a given quantity: l i f e i s l i k e that; to Lenz i t i s a moral obli g a t i o n and a potential only. Whereas Salzmann stresses action as a means of conscious p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a natural process, to Lenz the process i t s e l f cannot at a l l operate unless man i s a c t i v e l y w i l l i n g i t . L i f e i s l i k e that only i f we make i t so, only i f we force ourselves to expend e f f o r t , for "Positio i s t allemal schwerer als negatio, wirken schwerer als ruhen, thun schwerer als nicht thun." An e a r l i e r l e t t e r to Salzmann reveals that Lenz was d i s s a t i s f i e d with the i n s u f f i c i e n t room that Leibniz had : l e f t to human freedom and i n d i v i d u a l i t y . To describe God's continuing creation as a current that swept a l l along i n i t s . i r r e s i s t i b l e course l e f t l i t t l e for man to do i n d i v i d u a l l y towards his development(Br.I.51-52). Lenz suggests instead that God has merely implanted natural powers and a b i l i t i e s i n man, which i t i s his r e s p o n s i b i l i t y then to use and develop. This not only safeguards human autonomy but absolves God, Lenz f e e l s , of any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the existence of e v i l . If human moral achievement i s now man's work, so i s human e v i l . God gives us our "Zustand"(I.495), and our natural equipment for developing s p i r i t and achieving moral freedom, i t i s then up to man to use the powers he i s equipped with, improve his condition, and further his own creation. For whilst the process of action i s a natural one, i t i s not one that can be l e f t to 153 i t s e l f , not something given i n a pre-determined world order. Lenz asks not for insight into the dynamic nature of the world, but obedience to a moral obligation. The reward for performance of t h i s obligation of action i s not only the happiness that comes with developing s p i r i t , and moral stature, but i t i s also freedom. Lenz's desire for freedom and b e l i e f i n i t , i m p l i c i t already i n his discussions with Salzmann, becomes a burning issue i n the theological writ-ings of 1773 and the "Gotz" essay of 1774-1775(7). The ques-tio n : "1st der Mensch f r e i ? " i s addressed i n the short essay e n t i t l e d : "Entwurf eines Briefes an einen Freund der auf Aka-demien Theologie s t u d i e r t " ( B l e i .IV. 2"0f.f) . Lenz distinguishes metaphysical from moral freedom, explaining that the former implies a freedom from a l l determining conditions: "Metaphy-sische F r e i h e i t ware, wenn ein endliches, oder geschaffenes Wesen auBer den ewigen und notwendigen Gesetzen denken und handlen konnte, die der Schopfer denkenden und handelnden We-sen vorgeschrieben." Such freedom i s impossible, says Lenz, and to i n s i s t on i t i s to misunderstand the determining force of Nature, for "die Natur geht und wirkt ihren Gang f o r t , ohne sich um uns und unsere Moralitat zu bekiimmern. " However moral freedom i s possible, not that i t i s everywhere a r e a l i t y , but that i t i s a goal to which man must s t r i v e . Its attainment consists i n p i t t i n g ourselves against the forces around that determine us: "den uns entgegenwirkenden Kraften unsere Kraft entgegensetzen und nach Verhaitnis der angewandten Anstrengung oder Tugend uns immer wieder i n hohere Regionen schwingen." . 154 Even though we s h a l l never get beyond the reach of the f o r -ces acting upon us, for "uberall bleiben die ewigen notwen-digen gottlichen Gesetze, die a l l unsere Wirksamkeit ein-fassen", nonetheless, within the framework l a i d down by God, there i s freedom. In the l a t e r "Stimmen" Lenz writes:"Frey sind wir, aber frey vor Gott, wie Kinder unter den Augen ihres liebreichen Vaters frey scherzen und spielen diirfen, kehren wir ihm aber den Riicken, so rennen wir i n den Tod, und die Freyheit, die uns von dort entgegen winkt, i s t k a l t und 2 6 . grauenvoll, i s t der Wink des Chaos und der alten Nacht." Man creates his freedom, then, by his own e f f o r t s , by h i s re-sistence to determining forces. Freedom i s no already given quantity. The same conviction i s .forcibly expressed i n the es-say "Uber Gotz von Berlichingen". Lenz begins i t by portray-ing man as a prisoner i n a mechanistic universe: "als eine vor-zuglich-kiinstliche kleine Maschine, die i n die groBe Maschine, die wir Welt, Weltbegebenheiten, Weltlaufte nennen besser oder schlimmer hineinpaBt"(I.378). There i s l i t t l e that i s i n s p i r i n g about such an existence: "denn ein B a l l anderer zu sein, i s t ein trauriger niederdr.iickender Gedanke, eine ewige Sklaverei, c . eine nur kunstlichere, eine vernunftige aber eben urn dessent-w i l l e n desto elendere Tierschaft." L i f e must be more than t h i s , indeed to become aware of man's subjection i s to r e a l i s e that on the contrary, "handeln, handeln die Seele der Welt s e i , nicht geniessen, nicht empfindeln, nicht spitzfundeln, daB wir dadurch a l l e i n Gott ahnlich werden, der unaufhorlich handelt und unauf-155 h o r l i c h an seinen Werken s i c h ergotzt. . .daB diese unsre handelnde Kraft nicht eher ruhe, nicht eher ablasse zu wirken, zu regen, zu toben, als bis sie uns F r e i h e i t um uns her ver-schafft, Platz zu handeln: Guter Gott Platz zu handeln und wenn es ein Chaos ware das du geschaffen, wiiste und leer, aber F r e i h e i t wohnte nur da und wir konnten d i r nachahmend druber briiten, b i s was herauskame—Seligkeit1 S e l i g k e i t ! Got-tergefuhl das I" The exalted tone i s due to Lenz's excitement at discovering i n Goethe's hero a l i v i n g embodiment of his most deeply-felt r e l i g i o u s and philosophical convictions. Gotz f i t s p e r f e c t l y into his scheme of fu l f i l m e n t of human destiny, devoting himself t i r e l e s s l y to a l t r u i s t i c action, winning i f not complete p o l i t i c a l freedom from oppressive f o r -ces, then c e r t a i n l y moral freedom, and developing to l o f t y , C h r i s t - l i k e heights of moral stature, with i t s reward of hap-piness: "am Ende seines Lebens geht er unter wie die Sonne, vergnugt, bessere Gegenden zu schauen, wo mehr F r e i h e i t i s t , als er hi e r sich und . . den Seinigen verschaffen konnte, und laBt noch L i c h t und Glanz hinter sich . Wer so gelebt hat, wahrlich, der hat seine Bestimmung e r f i i l l t , Gofet. du weiBt es wie weit, wie sehr, er weiB nur s o v i e l davon als genug i s t ihn gl u c k l i c h zu machen"(1.381). Gotz shows us how to become free. One further essay: "tiber die Natur unsers Geistes" under-l i n e s the same message. Lenz begins once again with the obser-vation that man i s not independent of determining forces, how-ever shocking i t might be to r e a l i s e t h i s : "Wie denn, ich nur ein B a l l der Umstande? ich? i ch gehe mein Leben durch und finde 156 diese traurige Wahrheit hundertmal bestatigt"(I.572). I t i s true, the r e a l i s a t i o n expressed i n "Entwurf eines Briefes", that "wer dem Menschen die Dependenz von der Natur abspricht, der hat ihn noch nie recht angesehen"(Blei IV.22). I t i s our pride deceiving us i f we assert: "das t a t s t du, das wirktest du, nicht das wirkte die Natur." However, i f freedom i s not a present r e a l i t y , might i t not be a future one? Might there not be i n the human soul: "ein Bestreben ein Trieb. . .sich zur Selbstandigkeit hinaufzuarbeiten, sich gleichsam von dieser groBen Masse der i n einander hangenden Schopfung abzusondern und ein fur sich bestehendes Wesen auszumachen. . .sich iiber die Welt die sie umgibt zu erhohen und einen driiber waltenden Gott aus sich zu machen"? Man's destiny i s to create his own freedom, but how i s this to happen? Lenz sees two ways i n which the human soul can achieve i t s freedom i n the face of determining forces, p a r t i c u l a r l y when these forces are ones that bring pain and unhappiness; f i r s t l y by the power of Geist, by one's inner strength: "durch innere Starke den auBern unan-genehmen Eindrucken das Gegengewicht zu halten"(I.574). This i s the t r u l y l i b e r a t i n g function of thought: not to anaesthetise one's feelings against the pain of determining circumstances, but to meet the pain head on and f i n d one's way through i t to new understanding: "So, jnocht i ch sagen erschafft sich die Seele selber und somit auch ihren kuhf.tigen Zustand. So l e r n t s ie Verhaltnis der Dinge zu sich s elber—und zugleich Gebrauch und 157 Anwendung dieser Dinge zur Verbesserung ihres auBern Zu-standes finden. So sondert sie sich aus dem maschinenhaft wirkenden Haufen der Geschopfe ab und wird selbst Sch^pfer." The stress on ways to cope with "raging pain" i s no unique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of this essay. The strength advocated by Salzmann, as well as by Lenz, for active l i v i n g , i s not necessarily the strength of a sovereign Prometheus; i t can also be that of a humiliated Christ, submitting to God's w i l l , or to the h o s t i l i t y of others. Salzmann had written i n " U b e r die Rache": "Unser Geist muB stark genug seyn, a l l e s dieses mit gleichem Muthe zu ertragen. . .wir miissen hierinnen der Gottheit ahnlich werden, welche mitten unter der empfindlichs-ten Plagen,<die sie uber die Menschen zu ih r e r Besserung aus-streut, dennoch dieselben im ganzen ihre ununterbrochene Giite und Wohlthatigkeit empfinden 1 asset." (pp. 67-8) . In the "Stim-men", Lenz, commenting on Christ's advocation of "turning the other cheek", points out: "Nur der sich starker als der andere f u h l t , kann mit kaltem Blute ihm den andern Backen auch dar-reichen"(p.237), and the same i s true of poverty of s p i r i t as commended in the Beatitudes: "zu der Armuth des Geistes gehort v i e l Geist, v i e l Kraft"(p.234). After what he has written i n " U b e r Gotz", Lenz can obviously not rule out the appropriateness of h i t t i n g back i n some situa t i o n s : "mit eisernem Arme dazwischen schlagen wie Gotz, wenns noth thut und der Adler mehr zu fangen hat als Mucken" (p. 238) ,. but i n everyday l i f e the active strength that i s more often required i s that of the humble. So C h r i s t 158 becomes, i n the second part of "tiber die Natur unsers Geistes", the model for winning moral freedom through humble, s e l f - s a c r i -f i c i n g action. If man i s determined by circumstances, so the argument runs, he can become free less by thinking: by independence of s p i r i t , than by acting to change his circumstances. I t might be thought that Christ's l i f e of suffering was rather passive, considering that, i n Lenz's words, "er lebte um zu leiden und zu sterben"(I.576). However choosing his circumstances i n t h i s way, and the most painful ones at that, constituted the highest action: "Er handelte—er veranderte seine Lage—aber immer t i e -fer hinab." C h r i s t was aware of his l o f t y destiny but, being divine, did not need to exalt himself to reach i t . His w i l l i n g -ness to suffer the humiliation of a shameful death, "ohne sic h seiner hohen Bestimmung nach verteidigen zu konnen," becomes a symbol to man, showing him what human perfection i s and:..what i t must e n t a i l : "Zugleich hat er uns ein Symbol geben wollen, was den vollkommenen Menschen mache und wie der nur durch a l l e r l e i Art Leiden und Mitleiden werde und bleibe." Action i s suffering. As i t was with C h r i s t who "made himself of no reputation", so i t was with Gotz who was also "ein Mann der weder auf Ruhm noch Namen Anspruch macht, der nichts sein w i l l als was er i s t : ein Mann" (1. 3.81); so i t must be with the follower of Christ, as the "Lebensregeln" also affirm : "So ging Christus uns vor, ernied-r i g t e sich selbst bis zur Knechtsgestalt, bis zum Raubertot, j_e 159 mehx er war, desto mehr musst' er seinen Glanz verbergen. . . So miissen wir dem vollkommensten der Menschen nachahmen, je mehr wir sind, fur desto minder uns ausgeben, ja auch fur desto minder uns selber halten" (Blei IV. 40-41).' Demut i s f o r Lenz one of the "rules of l i f e " , and that i t was more than a passing conviction i s t e s t i f i e d by a diary entry made by Lava-27. ter on the subject of Lenz. LenzVs impromptu sermon delivered at Sesenheim i n 1772 had as i t s subject the p e r i l s of Hochmut. We may wonder how to reconcile such self-effacement with a l l that Lenz writes elsewhere about man's exaltation to divine heights of moral and s p i r i t u a l stature by an active furthering of his own creation. But to Lenz the l o f t y destiny he believes i n for man does not consist i n abasement but comes about as a  re s u l t of abasement. "tiber die Natur unsers Geistes" closes with the observa-t i o n that C h r i s t who was active i n s e l f - s a c r i f i c e on behalf of others, was also the one who rose from the dead and ascended to heaven: "Denn seine Auferstehung und Auffahrt sind nur Fort-setzung dieses selben groBen Plans zu leiden und zu handeln" (1.577). Christ's pattern of exaltation as a reward for active submission to God and to the e v i l s permitted by him, i s for our benefit: "um uns zu zeigen, daB je weiter diese Unterwerfung, diese Ergebenheit, diese Dependenz von dem Willen der Gottheit gehe, desto h e r r l i c h e r der Lohn sey, der unser warte,. daB a l l e die Einschrankungen unserer .zeitlichen Gliickseligkeit, die durch die Vermehrung und Ausbreitung des Menschengeschlechts und 1 6 0 seiner guten und bosen Begierden, guten und bosen Thatigkeit nothwendig geworden waren, uns an unserm innern und geistigen und zugleich ewigwahrenden und unveranderlichen Gliicke nicht den geringsten Abbruch thaten, sondern vielmehr als Damme an-zusehen waren, durch welche der Strohm der Gliickseligkeit nur darum eine Weile aufgehalten zu werden schiene, damit er her-nach desto gewaltsamer und iiberschwanglicher auf uns zustrohmen konne, und wir hernach i n vollem M'.aaB g l i i c k l i c h und trunken von 2 8 . S e l i g k e i t und Wonne den Himmel im Busen tragen mochten." Action means, then, not necessarily immediately successful, triumphant action, but i t does mean free action, which w i l l eventually reap i t s reward of triumph and happiness. Freedom i s achieved, t h i s essay argues, and freedom i s maintained, by a c t i v e l y choosing and changing one's own circumstances. With t h i s essay we have been brought through the f u l l range of Lenz's thoughts on freedom and action and are now i n a posi-tion to bring together the main strands of his argument. Two questions concern Lenz: that of human freedom from determining forces, and that of morality. I t i s stress on the p r i o r i t y of action that constitutes Lenz's answer to both of these questions. In view of the determining forces on man: forces of habit and of society, as portrayed at the beginning of the "Gotz" essay, and "Uber die Natur unsers Geistes", forces of Nature as analysed i n Meynurigen, coupled with the tendency to i n e r t i a underlying the whole world of matter, man cannot claim that he i s free qua man. He i s not "metaphysically" free but can become "morally" 1.61 free("Entwurf eines B r i e f e s " ) , and i n so doing begin to f u l f i l human po t e n t i a l . He becomes free by exercising his free w i l l in action; action i s the exercise of one's w i l l and constitutes freedom. The mind of man, therefore, imposes i t s w i l l on the forces of the f l e s h , of Nature, and on a l l determining circum-stances, .and both gains and deploys i t s freedom by a c t i v e l y ordering these circumstances to i t s higher ends. This i s , to Lenz, action: the implementation of decisions made by s p i r i t over the forces of nature. Whilst he uses the terminology of natural philosophy: "vis centrifuga, v i s centripeta", and whilst he speaks of natural drives and the law of Nature which has always contained i m p l i c i t l y what C h r i s t taught e x p l i c i t l y , the system of Nature i s subordinate to the system of s p i r i t u a l development, where man gains and exercises freedom of action to r i s e to ever greater heights of moral stature and f u l f i l his potential by ultimately acting i n imitation of God. Alongside the dynamic, rhythmical system of Nature i s the l i n e a r process of moral progression towards God. With Lenz, i n s t i n c t s and na-t u r a l drives are at the same time moral obligations: "empfind-l i c h und t a t i g s o l l e n wir sein, beides sind edle Instinkte der Natur." (Blei IV. 4 4 ) . The r e a l i s a t i o n of the potential inherent i n human nature i s something for which man i s morally responsi-ble: such r e a l i s a t i o n i s what Lenz means by handeln. The second question: concerning morality, i s a l i t t l e more complex. Lenz i s asking: how can I be t r u l y free to act i f I am bound to obey a moral code, i f i t i s prescribed to me what 162 acceptable actions are? He does not dispute the necessity for some moral guidance, describing God's revealed law, notably the Ten Commandments (which he c a l l s the Ten Prohibitions) as the minimum standard, above which a l l human action must take place. I t outlines, so to speak, the area within which human action w i l l be r i g h t , a function performed also by the New Tes-tament imperative, expressed i n the "Versuch", of imitating Christ, having the mind of Christ, following him above a l l i n a l t r u i s t i c action: "wir miissen suchen andere um uns her gliick-l i c h zu machen." If action observes these moral boundaries, then there are no other r e s t r i c t i o n s on i t . Indeed, not only are there no r e s t r i c t i o n s , but there are God's " H i i l f f s m i t t e l " , to encourage C h r i s t - l i k e , a l t r u i s t i c action: these are the strength and motivation communicated to man through f a i t h . In Lenz's realm of grace, therefore, i t i s the individual's free-dom to discover what actions are better ones by judging from the consequences. Those that bring greater happiness w i l l be seen to be morally preferable. Morality cannot be prescribed, then, since i t i s discovered i n d i v i d u a l l y i n action. Lenz anticipates the objection that learning by t r i a l and error could be a t r a g i c and discouraging process i f the mistakes made are serious ones. He points out that i t was to remove the e v i l consequences of wrong actions that C h r i s t came. His Ver-d i ens t l i f t s the curse of the past and guarantees the working of the process of experimental morality. Action need not be hin-dered, then, by doubts and fears about i t s correctness, but may 163 proceed, and must proceed, with impunity. When mistakes are made, there must be not remorse but a new mentality, a new a b i l i t y to conceive of higher actions, a new perception of the sublime heights of human destiny. In conclusion, i t must be said that whilst a l l Lenz's preoccupations are moral ones, whilst he asks himself repeated-l y the question: how do I behave i n order to be happy?, and whilst, as we s h a l l see, his l i t e r a r y and l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l work i s a l l highly e t h i c a l i n content, his answer i s nonethe-less a rej e c t i o n of moralism and moralising. L i f e comes f i r s t , then moral discovery. Man i s not to concern himself too much with the morality of his actions but rather he i s to act spon-taneously and energetically, seeking not the s a t i s f a c t i o n of moral rectitude but rather the happy consequences that w i l l i n -dicate that he has acted aright. A m o r a l i s t i c attitude towards others does no good either, he f e e l s , but rather there should be unjudging acceptance of the spontaneous action performed by others as a r e f l e c t i o n of t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y , f or "Jeder Mensch 29. bringt. . .sein Moralsystem mit sich auf die Welt.'- That thi s conclusion has important implications for Lenz's l i t e r a r y work i s suggested by the p a r a l l e l formulation: "Jeder Mensch hat seine Kunst i n sich"(Ibid.,p.240). The p r i n c i p l e of a r t i s t i c i n d i v i d u a l i t y that the Lenzian a r t i s t observes when portraying his subjects i s a co r r e l a t i v e to that moral and r e l i g i o u s i n d i -v i d u a l i t y that man receives from God. The re j e c t i o n of pre-scribed a r t i s t i c norms p a r a l l e l s the re j e c t i o n of a prescribed 164 m o r a l c o d e . I t w i l l b e o u r t a s k i n t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r t o a n a l y s e t h e ways i n w h i c h t h e r e l i g i o u s a n d m o r a l n o t i o n o f a c t i o n , f r e e f r o m t h e s h a c k l e s o f m o r a l i s m , i s e x p r e s s e d i n L e n z ' s l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l w o r k . 165 CHAPTER FOUR The r e f l e c t i o n of Lenz' s theology and moral philosophy i n his l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l writings Lenz's theological writings are, as we have said, summed 1 . up i n the lengthy published work: Meynungen eines Layen. I t would not be unnatural to assume that t h i s work r e f l e c t s and perhaps influences the preoccupations Lenz entertained i n the l i t e r a r y and l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l f i e l d , and indeed the author himself confirms such an assumption, as we know from a note published by B l e i : "Die Meinungen eines Laien sind der Grund-st e i n meiner ganzen Poesie, a l l e r meiner Wahrheit, a l l meines Gefiihls (in margin: mein Ohrkiissen) der aber f r e i l i c h nicht muB gesehen werden"(Blei IV.283). What does Lenz mean by "Grundstein meiner ganzen Poesie", and why must i t remain out of sight? The second question at least can be quickly answered. The attitude of secrecy cannot mean that he wished no one to read his Meynungen, for they were published soon afte r t h e i r comple-ti o n , and the number of times Lenz alludes to them and angles for an opinion on them shows what store he set by t h e i r p u b l i -cation. What he does conceal, however, i s his authorship; only twice, i n l e t t e r s to Herder. (Br.1.216) and to his brother Johann Chr i s t i a n ( l e t t e r 29) , does he l i f t the v e i l of anonymity. Why conceal his authorship of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r work? Are we to as-sume that Lenz was shy of becoming known for his theological . 166 ideas: for his equation of o r i g i n a l s i n and nature, his view that man's moral and r e l i g i o u s development consisted i n f i n d -ing i t a l l out for himself, judging r i g h t and wrong from the physical consequences of his actions, and for his r e j e c t i o n of moral ideals and moral systems as guides to human conduct? Or was i t not rather that he wished to conceal not his responsi-b i l i t y for these ideas but t h e i r seminal l i n k to his works of f i c t i o n . The syntax of his statement: "Die Meynungen sind der Grundstein meiner ganzen Poesie, der aber f r e i l i c h nicht muB gesehen werden", gives us to understand that what must remain hidden i s the fact that the Meynungen are a corner-stone to his poetry and his deepest convictions; the author of the Hofmeister, Me noza and Soldaten must not be seen to be the layman responsible for these opinions. Surprising as t h i s attitude may sound at f i r s t , i t i s actu-a l l y quite consistent with Lenz's l i t e r a r y theory as expressed in his essays, recensions and polemical writings against Wieland. The p r i n c i p l e emphasised there, as we s h a l l l a t e r show i n greater d e t a i l , i s that i t i s the business of the poet not to philoso-phise, not to set his works into his own personal, philosophical, moral or r e l i g i o u s framework, not to put across a view of l i f e of his : own, but to portray r e a l l i f e as i t i s and according to i t s own laws; the p r i n c i p l e that: "Der Dichter weiset anschau-end und s i n n l i c h , wie es i s t , aufs hochste wie es nach gewissen gegebenen Umstanden sein kann, der Philosoph sagt wie es sein soli"(T.H.438). To be a poet i s one thing, to be a philosopher another; only a mixing of philosophy and poetry i s i n t o l e r a b l e . 167 To be sure, the Meynungen are hardly philosophy, but Lenz f e l t them to be s u f f i c i e n t l y seminal to his whole attitude to l i f e and poetry that they needed to be kept well apart from his dramas purporting to show l i f e as i t presents i t s e l f , not l i f e as the poet understands i t . The point behind Lenz's concealment of his authorship of the Meynungen happens, then, to be one of the main points that l i n k t h i s work to his l i t e r a r y and c r i t i c a l writings. The Meynungen stress that the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of man, with his free-dom of action unshackled by a prescribed morality, whether i n the form of a moral system or a moral i d e a l , with his freedom to discover r i g h t and wrong experimentally and to f a i l without the consequences of his f a i l u r e needing to be t r a g i c , i s a sacred feature i n a world created by God. The sacredness of l i f e as i t i s was e a r l i e r expressed i n a comment i n "Entwurf eines Briefes" (Blei IV.24), i n which Lenz agrees with Leibniz that God has created t h i s world as the best of a l l possible worlds i f only i n the sense that i t , not some Utopian world that ought to be, i s the one on which man has to base a l l his search for truth. I t i s the best not because God chose i t out of a number of possible worlds, but because, from our point of view, i t i s the only one we have to go on. No imagined order, even a morally i d e a l one, can be of any use to us, but only l i f e 2. i n i t s present r e a l i t y . Zierau's a n t i c i p a t i o n of Utopia i n Per Neue Merioza; "Wenn die xjoldenen Zeiten wiederkommen," i s countered by the Prince's, and Lenz's rebuff: "Die stecken nur 168 im Hirn der Dichter, und Gott s e i Dank. . .Solang wir selbst 3 . nicht Gold sind, nutzen uns die goldenen Zeiten zu nichts". Not that present r e a l i t y w i l l not develop and progress towards the i d e a l . The Prince does not exclude the idea of a golden future, as the culmination of the present process of growth and advance. But r e a l i t y i s for Lenz always i n the present moment, never i n a future or possible moment. Just as the world as i t i s , then, i s sacred i n i t s i n d i v i -d u ality (the message of the Meynungen), so the poet must re-spect that i n d i v i d u a l i t y when he goes to work to paint "tableaus of the human race." I f he i s to portray the world as i t i s , then there i s no room for any correction or touching-up of r e a l i t y i n the work of art. Human l i f e must correct i t s e l f , i n obedience to drives inherent i n man: the drives towards per-fection, happiness, a heightened sense of being. I t i s not the business of the poet to do that correcting, although he must 4. show that i t i s possible and commend i t as desirable. I t i s i n the Anmerkungen ubers Theater that Lenz argues most f u l l y for an observance by the poet of the sacred indiv i d u -a l i t y of his object. Far from being merely a reckless r e j e c t i o n of A r i s t o t l e ' s dramatic u n i t i e s , as Goethe described i t i n Dicht-ung und Wahrheit, or a g l o r i f i c a t i o n of the promethean freedom of the poet-creator, as scholars have popularly viewed i t , t h i s 5 . essay, as B r i t t a T i t e l has c a r e f u l l y shown, whilst c e r t a i n l y celebrating the creative genius of the poet, actually emphasises the l i m i t s to. his c r e a t i v i t y , and the obligations under which he 1 6 9 goes to work. In the foreground of Lenz's thoughts i s the strong conviction that the r e a l a r t of poetry has been l o s t . Certainly i t can s t i l l be seen i n Shakespeare's dramas, but French works, p a r t i c u l a r l y V o l t a i r e ' s , but even to some ex-tent Rousseau's, and contemporary German plays based on the French models, have missed the essence of poetry as imitation of nature. Poetry, f i r s t l y should not obey the whims of the imagi-nation, for "Der wahre Dichter verbindet nicht i n seiner Ein-bildungskraft, wie es ihm g e f a l l t , was die Herren die schone Natur zu nennen belieben, was aber mit ihrer Erlaubnis nichts als die verfehlte Natur i s t " (1.336-7). The c i r c u l a r dilemma, as Lenz sees i t , of anyone who attempts to d i f f e r e n t i a t e be-tween nature and beautiful nature i s expressed i n the "Versuch": "Herr Batteux schwur hoch und teuer das erste Principium a l l e r schonen Kiinste gefunden zu haben. Ahmet der schonen Natur nach! Was i s t schone Natur? Die Natur nicht wie sie i s t , sondern wie sie sein s o i l . Und wie s o i l s i e denn sein? Schon". (1.486). To seek to extrapolate a concept of beautiful nature out of nature p l a i n and simple i s to lose touch with r e a l i t y , i t i s "zehn Jahre an einem Ideal der Schonheit zu z i r k e l n , das endlich doch nur i n dem Hirn des Kunstlers, der es hervorgebracht, ein solches i s t " (342). The Meynungen r e i t e r a t e that such a search can lead the poet astray into untruthful forms of a r t : "Denn die Natur i s t es nicht, die uns auf krumme Wege fiihrt, die Super-natur i s t es, die schone Natur, die das Ding besser verstehn w i l l , 1 70 a l s G o t t und a l l e s e i n e P r o p h e t e n , d i e Kunst. Der Mensch i s t 6. n i c h t zur Kunst gemacht." A e s t h e t i c norms must n o t o r i g i n a t e i n the mind o f the s u b j e c t b u t i n the i n d i v i d u a l i t y o f the o b j e c t : "Was i s t G r a n d i s o n , der a b s t r a h i e r t e getraumte, gegen e i -ne.n Rebhuhn, der da s t e h t ? " (341) The main argument a g a i n s t such i d e a l s o f beauty o r t r u t h o f n a t u r e as they a r e c r e a t e d i n the i m a g i n a t i o n o f the poet i s t h a t the c h a r a c t e r s c r e a t e d by the poet t e n d t o be mere r e f l e c t i o n s o f the l a t t e r " s own s e l f . Such, Lenz f e e l s , were many o f t h e d r a m a t i c heroes o f the day: "Daher sehen s i c h d i e h e u t i g e n A r i s t o t e l i k e r , d i e b l o B L e i d e n -s c h a f t e n ohne C h a r a k t e r e n malen (und d i e i c h i i b r i g e n s i n i h r e m a n d e r w e i t i g e n Wert l a s s e n w i l l ) g e n o t i g t , e i n e gewisse Psycho-l o g i e f u r a l l e i h r e handelnde Personen anzunehmen, aus der s i e darnach a l l e Phanomene i h r e r Handlungen so g e s c h i c k t und unge-zwungen a b l e i t e n konnen und d i e im Grunde m i t E r l a u b n i s d i e s e r H e r r e n n i c h t s a l s i h r e e i g e n e P s y c h o l o g i e i s t . " (341) But d r a -m a t i c a r t , t h i n k s Lenz, s h o u l d be a n y t h i n g b u t a mere e x p r e s s i o n o f the p o e t ' s s u b j e c t i v e s t a t e s o f mind and h e a r t , and t h a t Lenz f e e l s p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r o n g l y on t h i s p o i n t i s i n d i c a t e d by h i s w i l l i n g n e s s t o c r i t i c i s e even Rousseau: "Fur den m i t t e l m a B i g e n T e i l des Publikums w i r d Rousseau (der g o t t l i c h e Rousseau; • :.• • s e l b s t - - ) . u n e n d l i c h e n R e i z mehr haben, wenn e r d i e f e i n s t e n Adern der L e i d e n s c h a f t e n s e i n e s Busens e n t b l o B t und s e i n e L e s e r m i t Sachen a n s c h a u l i c h v e r t r a u t macht, d i e s i e a l l e v o r h i n schon d u n k e l f u h l t e n , ohne R e c h e n s c h a f t davon geben zu konnen, aber das Genie w i r d i h n da s c h a t z e n , wo e r aus den S c h l i n g e n und .1.73 Graziengewebe der feinern Welt.Charaktere zu retten weiS." (341) To chart the movements of the human heart has i t s uses, but when t h i s i s pursued so exclusively that the hero's wholeness of character i s disturbed, then the poet has l o s t "die i n d i v i d u e l l e , die unekle, immer g l e i c h glanzende, rtick-spiegelnde (Kenntnis)." (3.41) He has a general understanding of human nature, just as a moral i d e a l i s t has a systematised understanding of human moral obligations,"but he has l o s t as sense of the uniqueness of an ind i v i d u a l human being, and his plays or novels w i l l have limited appeal because they w i l l portray more what the poet knows than what his object i s . The uniqueness he needs to discover for his characters ("die i n d i -viduelle") and the three dimensional consistency ("die immer gleich glanzende") can only come from a firm faithfulness to re a l l i f e models ("die riickspiegelnde") ; no a r t i f i c i a l synthesis w i l l produce compelling human characters. I n d i v i d u a l i t y , then, does not mean s u b j e c t i v i t y but i t s opposite. As B r i t t a T i t e l stresses: "Lenzens Individualismus i s t nicht subjektiver Natur, hat nichts mit i n d i v i d u e l l e r Willkur, nicht mit schrankenloser Selbstdarstellung zu tun, sondern zeigt sich im Gegenteil streng 7. gebunden an die I n d i v i d u a l i t a t der Gegenstande." The p r i n c i p l e of a r t i s t i c imitation Lenz c a l l s "Ruckspiegelung". "Den Gegen-stand zuriickspiegeln", he says, "das i s t der Knoten, die nota d i a c r i t i c a des poetischen Genies." (336) "Ruckspiegelung" i s in T i t e l ' s words: "eine entschlossene Hinwendung. zur Wahrheit der Natur, die a l l e r erklugelten Kunst unendlich iiberlegen, 1 72 a l l e i n die Quelle echter Kunst abzugeben vermogend erscheint " (13). Lenz has e a r l i e r described the basis of poetry, imitation of nature, as imitation: " a l l e r der Dinge, die wir urn uns herum sehen, horen, etcetera, die durch die fiinf Tore unsrer Seele i n dieselbe hineindringen," (333), and commented that even animals can to some extent imitate i n t h i s way. However "Ruck-spiegelung" means not a mechanical copying, demanding at the most a merely technical s k i l l ; i t i s : "nicht das, was bei a l i e n Tieren schon im A n s a t z — n i c h t Mechanik—nicht Echo." (336) Rather i t means a penetrating understanding of the object, coupled with the genial a b i l i t y to portray i t i n i t s t o t a l i t y . Such understanding Lenz c a l l s "durchschauen"; i t d i f f e r s from ordinary understanding i n that by seeing through an object, i t sees everything about i t at once. I t does not need to put several successive impressions together to obtain a f u l l idea of i t s object, but has an immediate grasp of i t s t o t a l i t y . This, Lenz says i n "Entwurf eines Bri e f e s " (Blei IV,21), i s the way God knows and understands. Human beings, on the other hand, mostly have nothing more than a r a t i o n a l a b i l i t y to understand consecutive impressions, says Lenz on Sterne's authority: they have only: "die Gabe zu vernunfteln und Syllogismen zu machen", they do not even have the g i f t of "Arischauen". (1.334), possessed also by angels and s p i r i t s . But amongst humans there are the geniuses who have t h i s g i f t : "Wir nennen die Kopfe Genies, die a l l e s , was ihnen vorkommt, gl e i c h so durchdringen, durch und durch sehen, daB ihre Erkenntnis denselben Wert,. Umfang, Klar-. 3 73 hei t hat, als ob sie durch Anschaun oder a l l e sieben Sinne zusammen ware erworben worden. Legt einem solchen eine Sprache, mathematische Demonstration, verdrehten Charakter, was i h r wollt, eh i h r ausgeredt habt, s i t z t das B i l d i n seiner Seele, mit a l i e n seinen Verhaltnissen, L i c h t , Schatten, K o l o r i t dazu." (336) Genius i s needed, then, not to create a personal v i s i o n of the world, not to construct a world according to subjective standards and values, but to grasp and reproduce the world as i t i s : "Er nimmt Standpunkt—und danri muB er so verbinden. Man konnte sein Gemalde mit der Sache verwechseln." (337) The true poet i s l i k e a painter who cannot help viewing his sub-ject from a p a r t i c u l a r vantage-point. But once that point has been chosen, then the subject i t s e l f w i l l determine how the work of art ("Gemalde") w i l l appear. The only subjective ele-ment i s the degree of c l a r i t y andintensity with which the poet w i l l view his subject: "es kommt f r e i l i c h auf die spezifische Schleifung der Glaser und spezifische GroBe der Projektions-t a f e l an." (335-6) Human c r e a t i v i t y i s not a prism which f i l -ters and d i s t o r t s images of the world—Lenz uses the word prism for A r i s t o t l e ' s p r i n c i p l e s of poetry, which he disparages; i t i s rather a lens which c l a r i f i e s and magnifies those images, casting them up on a screen for a l l to see i n th e i r truth and d e t a i l . The test of the true poet i s his a b i l i t y "eine Figur mit eben der Genauigkeit und Wahrheit darzustellen, mit der das Genie s i e erkennt." (342) As T i t e l summarises: "Der Ausdruck 1 74 'Standpunkt nehmen', i n der a l l e i n dem Kontext entsprechenden Weise verstanden, meint also nicht mehr und nicht weniger als eine Garantie fur objektgemaBe Darstellung ". (15). T i t e l goes on to point out that Lenz saw even the choice of a "standpoint" as no a r b i t r a r y and subjective matter, but "daB es dabei gerade urn den angemessenen Standpunkt geht, von dem aus sich der Gegen-stand am t i e f s t e n und eigentlichsten erschlieBt " (ibid.). To adopt the correct "standpoint" the poet must put himself i n the position of his object and adopt i t s <mn point of view. Speak-ing of the need for poetic portrayal of genuinely autonomous characters, Lenz says: "Ha aber f r e i l i c h dazu gehort Gesichts-punkt, B l i c k der Gottheit i n Die Welt " (343). "Gesichtspunkt" i s the poet's a b i l i t y to see through the eyes of his object. As T i t e l again explains: Von Relativismus i s t hi e r nichts zu finden, und das beweist sich gerade da, wo nun Lenz selber von einer Mannigfaltigkeit von Gesichtspunkten spricht; wenn er es etwa gegen die Grafin La Roche fur das 'Geheimnis' des Dichters e r k l a r t (er redet von sic h als 'Comodien-schreiber"), s i c h 'in v i e l e Gesichtspunkte zu s t e l l e n ' ; denri er fahrt f o r t : 'und jeden Menschen mit seinen (=dessen!) eigenen Augen ansehen zu konnen1' Die V i e l -f a l t der Gesichtspunkte griindet a l l e i n i n der V i e l h e i t der Gegenstande, nicht i n der P l u r a l i t S t der Perspek-tiven, und so dient s i e gerade der angemessenen Er-fassung des Gegenstandes; nur darum muB der Dichter sich 'in v i e l e Gesichtspunkte' s t e l l e n , damit er jeden aus seinem wahren Gesichtspunkt erblicke." (16-17) To the same correspondent (Sophie La Roche) Lenz writes on an-other occasion: "Wer nur eines jeden Menschen Gesichtspunkt finden konnte; seinen moralischen Thermometer; sein Eigenes; r o sein Nachgemachtes; sein Herz . (Letter 56). Running through 175 a l l Lenz's l i t e r a r y theory, as through many of his l e t t e r s , i s the same concern as that expressed i n his theological essays; the concern for understanding, acceptance, tolerance of the in d i v i d u a l , the r e j e c t i o n of a l l pre-conceived ideas, a l l prejudices, a l l moral judgements on the i n d i v i d u a l , for truth i s found i n the p a r t i c u l a r , not i n the general: "Jeder Mensch hat seine Kunst i n si c h " , and "jeder Mensch bringt sein Moral-system mit sich auf die Welt." The philosophical basis for the sacredness of individua-l i t y i s given, i n this essay, i n several passages that c l o s e l y r e f l e c t the philosophical statements made i n other works we have already looked at: i n the Gotz essay p a r t i c u l a r l y , but also i n the theological essays. The desire for poetic imita-tion i s shown to be rooted i n human freedom and autonomy: "Wir sind, m.H., oder wollen wenigstens sein, die erste Spros-se auf der L e i t e r der freihandelnden selbstandigen Geschopfe, und da wir eine Welt hie da um uns sehen, die der Beweis eines unendlich freihandelnden Wesens i s t , so i s t der erste Trieb, den wir i n unserer Seele fiihlen, die Begierde's ihm nachzutun" (1.333). This desire i s seen as no promethean usurping of the place of God, but as God-ordained; the Almighty created man to r e f l e c t and share his free c r e a t i v i t y : "Der Schopfer sieht auf ihn herab wie auf die kleinen Gotter, die mit seinem Funken i n der Brust auf den Thronen der Erde sitzen und seinem B e i s p i e l gemaB eine kleine Welt erhalten." (337) The poet creates not according to his own whims and fancies, but i n f u l l accord with 1 7 6 the r e a l w o r l d as God has c r e a t e d i t . So the u n i t y i n h i s own work w i l l r e f l e c t t he u n i t y i n c r e a t i o n , and w i l l n o t d e r i v e from a r t i f i c i a l r u l e s : " G o t t i s t n u r E i n s i n a l i e n s e i n e n Werken, und d e r D i c h t e r muB es auch s e i n , w i e groB oder k l e i n s e i n W i r -k u n g s k r e i s auch immer s e i n mag. Aber f o r t m i t dem S c h u l m e i s t e r , der m i t seinem Stabchen einem G o t t auf d i e F i n g e r s c h l a g t ."(345). A r i s t o t l e ' s p r e s c r i p t i o n o f r u l e s f o r d r a m a t i c u n i t y has no p l a c e i f the poet goes t o work i n i m i t a t i o n o f God. I t s h o u l d be no t e d t h a t the mention o f God i s no i d l e one i n t h i s e s s a y , b u t t h a t i t r e f l e c t s t he H e i l s g e s c h i c h t e t r a c e d i n the Meynungen. A r i s t o t l e b e l o n g e d , l i k e t h e p a t r i a r c h s o f t h e O l d Testament, t o the age o f Law; humans, t h e n , were s t i l l bound by e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , they had not y e t acceded t o t h e r e a l m o f g r a c e , o f freedom o f a c t i o n , o f t h e " p o s i t i v e h a p p i n e s s o f the g o s p e l " . T h e i r p o e t r y was c o n s e q u e n t l y concerned n o t w i t h human m o t i v e s b u t w i t h human s u b j e c t i o n t o f a t e : "Da e i n e i s e r n e s S c h i c k s a l d i e Handlungen der A l t e n bestimmte und r e g i e r -t e , so konnten s i e a l s s o l c h e i n t e r e s s i e r e n , ohne davon den Grund i n der m e n s c h l i c h e n S e e l e aufzusuchen und s i c h t b a r zu machen ". (341). P o e t i c p r a c t i c e a l s o was governed by law, by r u l e s f o r u n i t y and f o r d r a m a t i c e f f e c t on t h e s p e c t a t o r . A r i s -t o t l e was the " S c h u l m e i s t e r " (Cp. S t . P a u l ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Law as " Z u c h t m e i s t e r , " G a l . 3 , 2 4 ) , d i s c i p l i n i n g p o e t s n o t y e t come o f age. But we a r e now, says L e n z , i n t h e age o f Grace, o f freedom, o f d i v i n e r e v e l a t i o n ; we now have " G e s i c h t s p u n k t , B l i c k d e r G o t t h e i t i n d i e W e l t , den d i e A l t e n n i c h t haben konnten, und w i r zu u n s e r e r Schande n i c h t haben w o l l e n " (343). A r i s t o t l e , 177 l i v i n g before Christ, could not be expected to understand human freedom and autonomy, the divine "spark" i n man, which C h r i s t came to bring man ("Supplement"). His poetics are no longer relevant therefore, unless we choose to go back on the Chris-tian revelation of man's greatness i n partnership with God, which, says Lenz, we can only do to our shame. The modern poet l i v i n g i n an age of freedom w i l l make sure that his characters also r e f l e c t true humanity; they w i l l be "Charaktere, die sich ihre Begebenheiten erschaffen, die selbstandig und unverander-l i c h die ganze groBe Maschine selbst drehen, ohne die Gotthei-ten i n den Wolken anders notig zu haben, als wenn sie wollen zu Zuschauern " (343). I t i s not that humans since C h r i s t are no longer dependent on God, no longer need him: for "Was ware unsere Welty" asks Lenz i n "Stimmen", "ohne die bestandige Ein-: 8 . mischung und Einwirkung der Gottheit.-" Whilst he advocates a submissive p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n God's nature, he rejects the slavery to a l l that the c l a s s i c a l gods stood for. Though man i s s t i l l under God, he i s free under God: "Ja frey sind wir, aber frey vor Gott, wie Kinder unter den Augen ihres liebreichen Vaters frey scherzen und spielen durfen"(Ibid., p.204)—free to l i v e out l i f e intensely, to discover happiness and r i g h t for himself, free from being judged by an external code of values, and free to be appreciated for himself and according to his own standards. The Anmerkungen argue, then, for freedom for poets from the prescribed rules of an A r i s t o t l e , but also freedom for dramatic characters from the function of serving as mere i l l u s t r a t i o n s i n 1 78 some metaphysical system. Just as the sovereign c r e a t i v i t y of the poet i s harmed by the pre s c r i p t i o n of aesthetic norms, so the sacred i n d i v i d u a l i t y of dramatic characters i s harmed i f they are not allowed to be simply what they are. Lenz does not, at t h i s point, e x p l i c i t l y attack/ the practice of using drama as a vehicle for moralising judgments, but the ground i s prepared for such an attack. Dramatic characters are not to be subordinated to any other concern; they are not to be a mere r e f l e c t i o n of the poet's own psychology, nor constructs of his imagination, nor should they exemplify cer-t a i n moral propositions. They e x i s t for t h e i r own sakes, as l i v i n g re-creations of true humanity. I f the poet passes judgment on his characters, or on anyone else's, he has de-stroyed t h e i r independent l i f e , t h e i r truth to l i f e ; he has strayed from his primary c a l l i n g of creating l i f e ; he has be-come, instead, a philosopher. This i s the argument developed by Lenz i n his l a t e r essay: "Verteidigung des Herrn Wieland gegen die Wolken." If Lenz saw i n A r i s t o t l e a schoolmaster laying down the law on poetics, he rebelled against the same practice of l i t e -rary hegemony maintained, as he f e l t , by Wieland. I t i s , how-ever, as a modern-day Socrates, not as a contemporary A r i s t o t l e , that he sees the older poet. For i n addition to d i c t a t i n g mat-ters of a r t i s t i c taste Wieland was seen also, by his mocking, worldly wisdom, to deny that anything was sacred, es p e c i a l l y the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of dramatic characters. He was f e l t to be 179 judgmental, intolerant a l i k e of poets, th e i r l i t e r a r y creations, and the issues they were devoted to. I t was following Wieland*s scornful r i d i c u l i n g of the Anmerkungen that Lenz saw i n him his arch foe and launched an acrimonious campaign to overthrow his tyranny i n matters of art and taste. I n i t i a l l y Lenz's c r i t i c i s m s followed those of Goethe as expressed i n the l a t t e r ' s Gotter, Helderi und Wieland. This work, which was published by Lenz without Goethe's knowledge, chided Wieland for a certain l i f e l e s s n e s s and st u f f y s t y l e i n the Teutscher Merkur and an o v e r a l l blase attitude i n a l l his writings. As Daunicht points out, Lenz makes what seems to be a clear sideswipe of his own at Wieland's s o p o r i f i c journal i n a passage from his essay "tiber Ovid" delivered to the Societe i n July 1775: "Dafiir i s t er (Ovid) aber auch Meister im Erzahlen, nur daB er wie er selbst vom Merkur erzahlt auch einen hundert-augigen Argus am Ende i n sanften und t i e f e n Schlaf damit bringt, da wir doch vom Dichter verlangen, daB er uns erwecken und be-leben, mit neuem prometheischen Feuer entziinden und i n s p i r i e r e n s o l i , so daB wir unsere Existenz zehnfach fiihlen" (1.478) . The concerns for human moral s t r i v i n g , for self-development, for freedom and spontaneity of action were f e l t to be absent i n Wie-land. Lenz writes i n July 1775 to Sophie La Roche: "Er (Wie-land) glaubt den Menschen, einen Dienst zu erweisen, wenn er ihnen b e g r e i f l i c h macht, ihre Krafte seyn keiner Erhohung fahig." In Lenz's essay i n "defense" of Wieland, he disparages the l a t -ter' s Socratic wisdom, which consists " i n der Z u f r i e d e n h e i t — e i n siiBes Wort—das aber, wenn man's herunter hat, im Magen krummet— 1 8 0 im Aufgeben a l l e r Rechte der Menschheit, Zusammenlegen der Hande i n den SchoB. . . iibrigens gewisse Versicherung, daB uns diese Weisheit,. diese MaBigung unsrer Begierden und Wiinsche im Himmel tausendfach werde belohnt werden, was die Herren Religion schimpfen" (1.441). The theological essays made i t clear that man's l o f t y destiny requires a continual s t r i v i n g for self-development, a constant discontentment with the way things are. The impetus for development was provided by de-s i r e which, far from needing to be moderated, had to be stimu-lated and maintained with a l l i t s force. True r e l i g i o n , says Lenz, involves a heightening of concupiscence. That desire here means the concupiscence of the theological essays: that desire which i s sacred to youth, the desire to experience love, i n i t s highest form, towards the other sex, i s made clear i n the follow-ing paragraph where Lenz condemns Wieland"s mockery of Werther: "Der Jungling, der noch dem ersten Stempel der Natur (ha, gewiB dem Bilde Gottes) getreu; fur den Trieb, der eben darum der h e i -l i g s t e sein s o l l t e , weil er der siiBeste i s t , auf den a l l e i n a l l e Gute der Seelen, a l l e Z a r t l i c h k e i t fur g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e P f l i c h -ten und Beziehungen, a l l e hausliche, a l l e burgerliche, a l l e po-l i t i s c h e Tugend und Gluckseligkeit gepfropft werden kann. . . einen solchen Jungling l a c h e r l i c h machen zu wollen?" (441-2) To mock such desires, described here as the source of morality and pleasure just as concupiscence was described as the source ("Keim") of human a c t i v i t y and excellence (502), i s to contradict God's way of creation: "Wie nun, daB wir den letzten Keim a l l e r 181 Moralitat, a l l e s Genusses, den Gott i n unsere Natur gelegt, herausreiBen wollen, den Glauben und die Hoffnung auf Ent-ziickungen, die eben durch die Leiden, Zweifel und Angstigungen vorbereitet werden miissen, um ihren hochsten Reiz zu erhal-ten " (443). Apart from t h i s basic opposition between Lenz's sense of the sacredness of s t r i v i n g and aspiration, and Wieland's blase mockery of i t , other s p e c i f i c c r i t i c i s m s are developed i n t h i s "Defense", a l l of which have to do with intolerance. Lenz be-gins the essay by suggesting that for too long Wieland has ruled as "dictator" over public a r t i s t i c taste, furthering his own cause and oppressing other a r t i s t i c points of view. He has exercised a "monopoly" over the reading public, against which Lenz c a l l s for free enterprise: "Erlauben Sie mir, Ihnen zu sagen, daB Poeten als Kaufleute anzusehen sind, von denen jeder seine Ware, wie n a t i i r l i c h , am meisten anpreist. Wie ungerecht, wenn da einer aus ihren M i t t e l n entscheiden, die l e t z t e Stimme geben s o i l ". (428). Exceptional q u a l i f i c a t i o n s are required i n anyone who aspires to make aesthetic judgments on others, to pronounce an "Endurteil" on a poet, as Wieland had done on both Goethe and Lenz. One needs to be a "Herodot, Solon, Lykurg. . . Demokrit and Pythagoras", to have such q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . Later i n t h i s essay Lenz attacks Wieland's r i d i c u l i n g of his a n t i -Aristotelean drama, arguing that the issue i s not one of rules and u n i t i e s but of truth and expression, and no one person i s able to pass a verdict on that: "Die Hauptsache wird immer die 182 Wahrheit und der Ausdruck des Gemaldes bleiben, von der ein Mensch a l l e i n nie u r t e i l e n kann, besonders wenn ihm Leiden-schaften die Augen verdunkeln " (440). You cannot judge truth; at least, no one in d i v i d u a l i s able to judge i t . For truth i s many-faceted, i t has many "points of view", and can only be perceived and evaluated c o l l e c t i v e l y . Yet Wieland was not the only one to preside as judge over others, i n Lenz's opinion and experience. N i c o l a i too, with his journal: Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek, had set up a tribunal for judgment of l i t e r a r y works, at which no appeals were allowed, and which employed " h i r e l i n g " c r i t i c s with no re a l pastoral concern for the l i t e r a r y public. Lenz's concer-ted attack on the intolerance of c r i t i c s might lead us to ask whether he i s not being as intolerant and as judgmental as they. Indeed, being intolerant of intolerance Lenz does wrap himself i n a contradiction:. However he i s most careful to point out that i t i s not Wieland and N i c o l a i as poets that he opposes: he i s not merely giving as good as he gets. He makes a point of reminding his readers how much he admires Wieland's Musarion, seen from a purely p o e t i c a l point of view . (4 38), and ref r a i n s from ever accusing Wieland of immorality, for to do this would be to make himself g u i l t y of the moralising with which he charges Wieland. He does indeed express the fear that the reading public might take Wieland's aesthetic sensua-l i t y as a philosophy of l i f e (Letter 103), and i n s i s t s that the other poet make i t clear that i n his writing he i s "nichts 183 weniger als g e f a l l i g e r komischer Dichter" (438) and i s not ap-9 . pealing for "Anwendung". Otherwise Lenz has nothing negative to say about Wieland qua poet. Likewise of N i c o l a i he:;writes: "Man mes.se mir hier nicht zu v i e l e Widrigkeit gegen diesen Mann be i , den ich als Buch-handler und anfanglicher Liebhaber und BefSrderer der deutschen L i t e r a t u r , auch i n seinem N. (Sebaldus Nothanker) als unter-haltenden Romanendichter schatze—sobald er aber Kunstrichter, Herr a l l e r Herren werden w i l l , mit a l i e n seinen aufgeblasenen AnmaBungen verspotte und verlache " (435). N i c o l a i ' s and Wie-land 's only f a u l t i s that they. desire to be both poet and c r i t i c at the same time; with t h e i r own l i t e r a r y productions they also prescribe t h e i r own aesthetic norms and impose t h e i r own moral convictions. In Lenz 1s terminology they thereby be-come "philosophers". The d i s t i n c t i o n Lenz draws between philosopher and poet i s an important one, since i t provides the basis for l i t e r a r y d i s -cussion i n other essays as well. The difference i s that between description and prescription: "Der Dichter weiset anschauenduuhd s i n n l i c h , wie es i s t , aufs hochste wie es nach gewissen gegebenen Umstanden sein kann, der Philosoph sagt wie es sein s o i l " (43 8), and, he might have added, "wie es nicht sein s o i l " , for c r i t i -cism as well as p r e s c r i p t i o n involves a moralism which should, he considers, be absent from poetry. Speaking of Wieland"s Musarion, he goes on to express the concerned hope that Wieland i s indeed playing poet and not philosopher: "Nun hoffe i c h doch 184 i n a l l e r Welt nicht, daB Herr W. verlangen wird, a l l e junge Amadisse, das heiBt, edle junge Gemiiter, die mehr als eine bloB sinnliche Liebe suchen, sol l e n und nuissen durch eben die Klassen gehen, die der Held seines neuesten komischen Ge-dichts durchlaufen i s t ? " (438) Despite th i s expressed hope, however, Lenz i s convinced that Wieland exceeds his poetic b r i e f , and puts on the mantle of Socrates i n order to mock at human weaknesses: Sbbald er sich aber neben Sokratessen s t e l l t , und doch der Hauptheld seines Stiickes eine lacherliche Rolle s p i e l t , so miissen wir dafiir arger warnen, als fur das korrosivste und beschleunigendste G i f t , das jemals von einem Menschenfeinde i n den Eingeweiden der Erde i s t zubereitet worden. Mag man mir immeri einwenden, er habe an diesem Charakter nur die Schwachheiten l a c h e r l i c h machen wollen, so sind an einem solchen Charakter auch die Schwachheiten ver-ehrungswert, und verdienen eher die Tranen des Menschenfreundes, als das Gelachter von Leuten, die solche Schwachheiten zu begehen niemals im Stande waren, weil s i e s i c h i n Ansehung dieses Lasters nie den geringsten Zwang angetan " (438-9), Mockery i s , to Lenz, a form of moralising, i t makes the mocker seem morally superior, and rejects the behaviour i t mocks as f u t i l e . I t i s just such intolerance that makes Lenz so b i t t e r . The wisdom which knows a l l the answers without having seriously encountered the problems i s , to him, no wisdom. The weak and f a l l i b l e , those who encounter the problems of existence and are shipwrecked on them, deserve sympathy and understanding, not moral judgment. To mock Werther, for example, i s to be i n d i f -ferent to the s o c i a l chaos that drives a Werther to c u l t i v a t e , instead, the human heart, i t i s to mock the noblest and most sacred movements of the heart, i t i s even to s a c r i f i c e the 1 85 heart i t s e l f wherein l i e s the divine spark given to man. To c u l t i v a t e the heart, on the other hand, i s to gain both one's soul and the whole world: "Bleibt Meister eurer Herzen, und ih r b l e i b t Meister der Welt. .Verachten konnt i h r s i e mit a l l ihrem Gewirr auBarerr Umstande und Zwangsmittel, die nur Zwangsmittel fur Sklaven sind, die den Adel des Funkens nicht kennen, der i n ihnen lodert, und der die VerheiBungen der ganzen Erde hat ". (446). Why th i s p a r t i c u l a r defense of Werther against the ve r d i c t of the "philosophers"? Goethe's hero i s seen by Lenz as having a superior wisdom to that of his mockers, since he l i v e s and dies not according to external, borrowed p r i n c i p l e s , abstrac-ted from someone else's l i f e , but according to the l i g h t given him by his own experiences and s e n s i b i l i t y . Werther f u l f i l s , though t r a g i c a l l y , Lenz's id e a l of discovering moral truth ex-perimentally. He acts according to the dictates of his heart, and his heart teaches him wisdom from the consequences of those 10. actions. The key i s : "aus den Abdrucken nicht aus der Luft gehaschter, sondern bewahrter Erfahrungen menschlichen Lebens (dem echten Probierstein wahrer Dichter) weise zu werden."(448) Against Wieland/Socrates, against philosophy and a l l f a c i l e moralising, Lenz claims the freedom to learn one's own lessons through personal experience. This r e j e c t i o n of Wieland as philosopher i s r e i t e r a t e d f r e -quently i n other writings. The formula: "Ich liebe Wieland a l s Menschen, i c h bewundere ihn als komischen Dichter, aber ich hasse 186 ihn als Philosophen ". (425), i s echoed i n a l e t t e r to Lavater (#72): "Wieland der Mensch wird einst mein Freund werden— aber Wieland der S c h r i f t s t e l l e r , das heiBt der Philosoph der Sokrates—nie." His remark to Sophie La Roche i n a l e t t e r of 1775(#63): "Er (W. ) s o i l uns nicht Philosoph und Lehrer des menschlichen Geschlechts seyn wollen, und seine Sachen fiir das geben, was s i e sind", i s p a r a l l e l e d i n an a r t i c l e i n the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeigen of that same year: "Gern wiinschen wir. . .daB man i n Dichtungen von der Art kiinftig a l l e Moral weglieBe, und sie fiir das gabe, was sie sind. . .Ein B i l d i s t 11 . ein B i l d , und eine Predigt eine Predigt." The p r i n c i p l e i s that poets describe, they do not prescribe, otherwise they are philosophers or even preachers, as a poem of January 1776 summarises: Nur b i t t ' i c h , halte man Poeten Nicht fiir Apostel und Propheten, Und sagen s i e , s i e waren es, So peitscht den falschen Sokrates. (1.162) One further passage should be mentioned, which Daunicht alone published, and which he dates around A p r i l or May. 1 776. I t i s from the fragment e n t i t l e d : "uber die Launigten Dichter", and again brings together the d i s t i n c t i o n between poetry and morali-sing with the mention of Wieland's writings: "Man vergiBt so of t , daB es nicht genug wiederholt werden kann, daB der Dichter niemals Sachen beschreibt wie s i e seyn s o l l t e n , sondern wie s i e sind. Je t r e f f l i c h e r der Dichter, desto mehr muB er s i e i n der Verbindung nehmen wie sie am besten wirken, nie wie sie seyn s o l l t e n , denn i n dem Augenblick, wo er B i l d e r der Moral mahlt, 187 12. htirt er auf Poet zu seyn." Examples of Lenz's determined re j e c t i o n of m o r a l i s t i c l i t e r a t u r e abound, such as these Lines i n Merialk und Mopsus: Doch die Moral i s t das, was Sehwefel bei den Weinen, Verdirbt sie zwar, doch macht sie besser scheinen Und blendet dem Volk die Augen. (1.184) A further remark i n a l e t t e r of May 1775 to Gotter:, "1st das erhort, eineri Roman wie eine Predigt zu beurteilen", brings us to Lenz's most i n s i s t e n t plea for a f i n a l separation of l i t e r a -ture, p a r t i c u l a r l y Goethe's novel about Werther, and a l l morali-sing. This plea i s contained i n the "Briefe liber die Moralitat der Leiden des jungen Werthers": a work written i n defense, thi s time intended as a genuine defense, of Goethe against Nico l a i ' s mocking parody, and against the charge of subverting pub-l i c morals by commending Werther's passion and suicide as an a t t r a c t i v e example to follow. The basis of Lenz's defense i s the r e j e c t i o n of any confusion between l i f e and art; Goethe's Werther contains no programme for r e a l l i f e , no more than any other poetry does, except i n as f a r as i t sets an example of free independent action i n obedience to the promptings of the heart. The f i r s t l e t t e r picks up from the "Verteidigung" the p r i n c i p l e of aesthetic autonomy. Just as there the work of art was to be evaluated s o l e l y on the basis of "Wahrheit" and "Ausdruck not on a moral basis, so here the c r i t i c must bring to bear on-l y "das echte Gefuhl a l l e s dessen was Schon GroB Edel i n der Na tur oder i n den Kiinsten i s t . " (1.383)- He i s to see Werther's 188 sorrows "nur a l s P r o d u k t des Schonen", f o r "das Schone i s t nur das Gute q u i n t e s s e n z i i e r t " ( 3 8 4 ) , and o n l y beauty g i v e s p l e a s u r e . L e t us not worry o u r s e l v e s about m o r a l i t y , says Lenz, f o r a work o f a r t i s meant t o p l e a s e ; i f i t p l e a s e s , t h e n i t i s a work o f beauty, and i f a work o f bea u t y , then a m o r a l work. I n s i s t i n g t h a t a f t e r t h i s p r i n c i p l e i s s t a t e d t h e r e i s n o t h i n g more t o be s a i d , Lenz goes on t o r e j e c t the s u g g e s t i o n t h a t Werther' i s a s u b t l e j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f s u i c i d e , on t h e grounds t h a t p o e t s a r e n o t pe o p l e t o whom we can a t t r i -b ute g e n e r a l m o r a l s t a t e m e n t s : "Warum l e g t man dem D i c h t e r doch immer m o r a l i s c h e Endzwecke u n t e r , an d i e e r n i e gedacht h a t ".' (384). Lenz's s u r p r i s e d tone i n d i c a t e s n o t t h a t t h i s mo-r a l i s t i c approach t o p o e t r y was something new o r r a r e , f o r i t was most common t h r o u g h o u t t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t p e r i o d ; b u t r a t h e r i t i n d i c a t e s how s t r o n g l y Lenz b e l i e v e d , c o n t r a r y t o t h e En-l i g h t e n m e n t , i n t h e s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y o f a work o f a r t : i t s i n -dependence o f a l l e x t r a - a e s t h e t i c p u rposes. As i t was s t a t e d i n t he " V e r t e i d i g u n g " , t o g e n e r a l i s e t h e i n d i v i d u a l c a s e s , p r e -s e n t e d by a p o e t i c work, i n t o a u n i v e r s a l m o r a l p r i n c i p l e i s t o t r a n s f o r m p o e t r y i n t o p h i l o s o p h y and m i s t a k e the a u t h o r ' s p u r -pose: " a l s ob d er D i c h t e r s i c h auf s e i n e n D r e i f u B s e t z t e , um e i n e n S a t z aus der P h i l o s o p h i e zu beweisen " (3.84). The work's s i g n i f i c a n c e l i e s i n i t s i n d i v i d u a l i t y n o t i n i t s u n i v e r s a l i t y ; t h i s i s t r u e o f Goethe's W e r t h e r ; " n i c h t s mehr und n i c h t s w e n i -ger a l s d i e L e i d e n des jungen Werthers w o l l t 1 e r d a r s t e l l e n " (3.85), as i t was t r u e o f h i s own p u b l i s h e d dramas. Lenz e x p l a i n s : 189 "Man hat mir a l l e r l e i moralische Endzwecke und philosophische Satze bei einigen meiner Komodien angedichtet, man hat sich den Kopf zerbrochen, ob ich w i r k l i c h den Hofmeisterstand fur so gefahrlich i n der Republik halte, man hat nicht bedacht, daB ich nur ein bedingtes Gemalde geben wollte von Sachen wie sie da sind und die Philosophie des geheimen Rats nur i n seiner I n d i v i d u a l i t a t ihren Grund hatte. Ebensso sucht man im neuen Menoza einen A u s f a l l auf die Religionsverbesserungen, da der neue Menoza unter den Umstanden doch nicht anders reden und handeln konnte, wenn er einige Personlichkeit behalten wollte " (385), How true t h i s characterisation of his own works i s , we s h a l l examine i n the following chapter. But whether or not the p r i n c i p l e of i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s maintained i n practice against the p r i n c i p l e of "moralische Endzwecke" and "philosophische Satze", i n theory i t i s f a i r l y consistently maintained. Lenz rei t e r a t e s that poetry i s a question of "das Herz und die Im-agination meiner Leser zu fesseln", not "nach der Moral fragen." Not, adds Lenz, that Werther i s amoral, for, to quote his young frie n d : "es i s t sehr v i e l e Moral d r i n . " Howeve-r the morality of the work consists not i n a s p e c i f i c moral generality stated de-l i b e r a t e l y by the author, but i n i t s "moral e f f e c t on the heart": "LaBt uns also einmal die Moralitat dieses Romans untersuchen, nicht den moralischen Endzweck den sich der Dichter vorgesetzt (denn da hort er auf Dichter zu sein) sondern die moralische . i Wirkung die das Lesen dieses Romans auf die Herzen des Publikums haben konne und haben miisse " (386).. Lenz asks us to dis t i n g u i s h 190 a r a t i o n a l , m o r a l i s t i c purpose from an e m o t i o n a l m o r a l e d i f i -c a t i o n . I n p l a c e o f the i n t e l l e c t u a l m o r a l i s m o f a W i e l a n d (whose j o u r n a l was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e vi e w t h a t Lenz's own 13. dramas were m o r a l l y and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y t e n d e n c i o u s ) , Lenz p u t s f o r w a r d a t h e o r y o f m o r a l improvement by an a p p e a l t o deeper l e v e l s o f human c o n s c i o u s n e s s than the m e r e l y i n t e l l e c -t u a l . H i s f i c t i t i o u s c o r r e s p o n d e n t i n t h e s e l e t t e r s i s made t o c l i n g t o t h e view t h a t l i t e r a t u r e a f f e c t s t h e r e a d e r by g i v i n g examples f o r him t o f o l l o w , t h a t Werther, t h e r e f o r e , w i l l i n -c i t e o t h e r s t o c o n s i d e r s u i c i d e , t h a t the r e a d e r comes t o t h e work w i t h t h e e x p e c t a t i o n o f b e i n g thus a f f e c t e d . But l i t e r a -t u r e has n o t so s i m p l e a r e l a t i o n t o t h e r e a d e r , i t s e f f e c t i s a e s t h e t i c , n o t m o r a l , a l t h o u g h b e i n g a e s t h e t i c i t i s , i n d i r e c t -l y , m o r a l l y i m p r o v i n g as w e l l : " A l s ob das e i n e so unbekannte noch n i e e r h o r t e W a h r h e i t s e i , daB niemand s i c h aus einem Roman eben zu bekehren s u c h t , sondern i h n l i e s t , w e l l und s o l a n g e e r ihm g e f a l l t . . .daB j e d e r Roman d e r das Herz i n s e i n e n v e r -b o r g e n d s t e n S c h l u p f w i n k e l n a n z u f a s s e n und zu r i i h r e n weiB, auch das Herz b e s s e r n muB, e r mag aussehen wie e r w o l l e " (392-3). I n t h e Anmerkungen i t was s a i d t o be an achievement by Rousseau o f l i m i t e d v a l u e o n l y , "wenn e r d i e f e i n s t e n Adern der L e i d e n s c h a f t e n s e i n e s Busens. e n t b l o B t und s e i n e L e s e r m i t Sachen a n s c h a u l i c h v e r t r a u t macht, d i e s i e a l l e v o r h i n schon d u n k e l f u h l t e n , ohne R e c h e n s c h a f t davon geben zu konnen" . (341), and i t was s t a t e d t h a t t h e g r e a t e s t l i t e r a t u r e w i l l p o r t r a y genuine hu-man c h a r a c t e r s t h a t t r a n s c e n d t h i s contemporary s e n t i m e n t a l p r e -191 o c c u p a t i o n w i t h f e e l i n g s and emotions. Now, however, Lenz seems t o c o n t r a d i c t the e a r l i e r s t a tement by p u t t i n g t h i s s e -condary i n t e r e s t i n t o f i r s t p l a c e : "Eben d a r i n b e s t e h t W e r thers V e r d i e n s t ; d a B e r uns m i t L e i d e n s c h a f t e n und Empfindungen be-kannt macht, d i e j e d e r i n s i c h d u n k e l f i i h l t , d i e e r aber n i c h t m i t Namen zu nennen weiB. D a r i n b e s t e h t das V e r d i e n s t j e d e s  D i c h t e r s (393). Werther i s now seen as a R o u s s e a u i s t i c embo-diment o f t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h s e n t i m e n t and p a s s i o n . But i f Goethe performs a s i m i l a r s e r v i c e t o t h a t p e r -formed by R o u s s e a u — a n d Lenz does admit grounds f o r comparing them:. " I n der T a t haben d i e S c h i c k s a l e des S t . Preux und Wer-t h e r s beim e r s t e n A n b l i c k e i n i g e A h n l i c h k e i t " . ( 3 9 7 ) — h i s hero Werther does a l s o f u l f i l Lenz's r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r h e r o i c c h a r a c -t e r . The passage t h a t p r a i s e s Werther's h e r o i s m reads v e r y much l i k e t h e a d u l a t i o n o f Gotz i n Lenz's e s s a y "Uber Gotz von B e r l i c h i n g e n " . J u s t as Gotz was " e i n Mann d e r weder auf Ruhm noch Namen Anspruch macht, d e r n i c h t s s e i n w i l l a l s was e r i s t " , so Werther i s p r a i s e d f o r "deine Geniigsamkeit m i t d i r s e l b e r und den Gegenstanden d i e so eben urn d i c h s i n d , d e i n e g a n z l i c h e F r e i h e i t von a l i e n P r a t e n t i o n e n , t o r i c h t e n Erwartungen und e h r -s i i c h t i g e n Wiinschen " (399). As Gotz was the man o f a c t i o n : "Immer weg g e s c h a f t i g , t a t i g , warmend und wohltuend wie d i e Son-ne", so Lenz commends Werther's " e d l e n emporstrebenden f e u r i g e n G e i s t . . .immerwahrende T a t i g k e i t , d i e s e l b s t d u r c h d i e L e i d e n -s c h a f t d i e a l l e s i n U n t a t i g k e i t h i n s t a r r e n macht, n i c h t gehemmt werden konnte, d i e s i c h b i s z u l e t z t noch i n den f u r c h t b a r s t e n 192 Ruinen e r h i e l t . " And as Gotz faced death with courage and resolution: "vergniigt, bessere Gegenden zu schauen, wo mehr F r e i h e i t i s t , als er hier s i c h und den Seinigen verschaffen konnte," so Goethe has placed i n Werther, "einen jungen muti-gen lebenvollen Held auf die Biihne, der weiB was er w i l l und wo er hinauswill, der den Tod selbst nicht scheut, wenn er ihn nur auf guten Wegen i i b e r e i l t , der im Stande i s t sich selbst zu strafen wenn er es wo versehen haben s o l l t e . . . und, als Simson unter dem ihn erschlagenden Gewicht hinsturzte, noch immer bewies daB er Simson war." To Lenz's mind, the basis of the s i m i l a r i t y between Gotz and Werther i s t h e i r common independence, t h e i r successful re-sistance to external determining forces, t h e i r s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . Neither Gotz nor Werther need to be t o l d what to do, they l i s t e n only to the promptings of th e i r hearts and act spontaneously. As Lenz had said i n his "Verteidigung", Werther demonstrates that wisdom comes with action and derives from personal experi-ence: "Leidet erst so v i e l als Werther," he urges his correspon-dent, "tut erst so v i e l , l e r n t erst s o v i e l einsehen und uber-sehen " (400). The heroic Werther, as opposed to the s e n t i -mental Werther, was t a i l o r e d to a Germany that, unlike Rousseau's France, for which La Nouvelle Helo'ise was written, was paralysed by "s.teife S i t t e n " which had s t i f l e d spontaneity and action. Werther was written for a society: "wo man ein ewiges Gerede von P f l i c h t e n und Moral hort und nirgends Kraft und Leben spurt, nirgends Ausiibung dessen was man hundertmal demonstriert hat und 193 immer wieder von neuem demonstriert, wo man i n den eisernen Fesseln eines altfrankischen Etike t t e a l l e seine edelsten Wiinsche und Neigungen i n den ber.auch.ten • Wanden seiner Studier-stube v o r s i c h t i g ersticken laBt und so bald sie sich melden, irgend ein System der Moral dagegen schreibt " (39 8). Again we recognise the central ideas that occupy Lenz: the r e j e c t i o n of moral theorising i n favour of p r a c t i c a l action, the con-v i c t i o n that true l i v i n g consists i n conjuring the desires and aspirations of the heart,, not exorcising them with some s t e r i l e moral system as a precautionary measure against un-foreseen consequences. Is Lenz, then, preaching a f t e r a l l some philosophy? Does not Werther exemplify af t e r a l l some valuable moral stance? The contradiction i s indeed there. Contrary to his r e j e c t i o n elsewhere of the importance of "Anwendung" in a l i t e r a r y work, he now describes Werther as "ein B i l d , meine Herren(!), ein gekreuzigter Prometheus an dessen Exempel i h r euch bespiegeln konnt und eurem eigenen Genie iiberlassen i s t , die nutzlichste Anwendung davon zu machen ". (396). Genius w i l l t e l l us, pre-sumably, that Werther i s no example of suicide, but that he i s an example of freedom and strong.independence of s p i r i t . We are not to apply anything of Goethe's novel to our own s i t u a -tion but we are to take to heart the message that there are resources for noble s t r i v i n g towards l o f t y goals within the human heart, that the i n d i v i d u a l contains his own destiny i n his heart. I f this i s a "philosophy", i t i s communicated, thinks Lenz, more to our heart than to our mind. I t i s not an 194 i n t e l l e c t u a l proposition to be held i n theory but an aesthetic form—"ein B i l d " — t h a t penetrates to the very seat of our active powers and brings them into action. The s p e c i f i c statements made i n the novel cannot be abstracted from t h e i r context and taken away as general propositions, as c r i t i c s have done to them: "Die S t e l l e die s o v i e l Skandal gibt, wo Werther der Vernunftvorschriften i n der Liebe spottet, man s o l l e seine '.Zeit.eintei.len iu.s.f. wie ekelhaft k l i n g t sie i n dem Munde eines Stutzers, eines Sauglings und a l l e r Rezensen-ten die diese sogleich damit auftreten lassen—und wie ganz anders i n Werthers Munde '". (400). Such ideas expressed by the hero only have sense i n t h e i r context, as spoken by Werther, and since the context i s unique, there w i l l hardly be any r e a l s i t u a t i o n to which they might also apply and to which they might be transferred. I f there i s to be an e f f e c t on the reader, and Lenz does d i r e c t us to what he c a l l s "die moralische Wirkung auf die Herzen", i t i s the e f f e c t of the whole, of the " B i l d " or "Gemalde", not of the "philosophy" of any parts. The same point i s made i n a footnote, printed by T i t e l and Haug, to Wagner's tra n s l a t i o n of Mercier's Nouvel ess a i . Here as well Lenz chafes at the public's insistence on talking the actions of l i t e r a r y characters as possible modes of behaviour i n r e a l l i f e : "Eine der groBten Hindernisse a l l e r Wiirkungen eines Gedichts aber i s t , wenn der Leser die darin vorkommenden Rollen fur si c h oder andre a u s t e i l t " (I.667). But did not Lenz himself do pr e c i s e l y t h i s i n the essay "Uber Gotz von Berliching-195 en", when he suggested that the members of the Societe each take a role and act out Goethe's play as "eine scheme Vor-iibung zu diesem groBen Schauspiel des Lebens"? (381) How-ever i n that case the suggestion was merely to act out the play, not to become a Gotz i n r e a l l i f e . The public, com-plains Lenz, has a tendency to wish to act out the actions and events of a play i n r e a l l i f e . I t w i l l remain dangerous, therefore, to publish works such as Goethe's Werther and Pro-metheus , "so lang das deutsche Publikum moralische Abhand-lungen und Gedichte zu vermischen schwach genug i s t ". (667). Poetry i s meant to move us, he says, and by so doing to i n -spire our actions with " M i t l e i d und Liebe", not with a s e l f -destructive passion. He concludes: "Wenn wird man einmal an-fangen mit fester Seele bei ^ den Meisterstucken unsrer Kiinst-l e r voriiberzugehen, und sich ungestort von ihnen entziicken zu lassen, ohne sich Leidenschaften zu seinem Verderben zu iiber-lassen?" (667) I t i s by "Entzuckung" that man i s inspired and improved by l i t e r a t u r e . The salutory e f f e c t of a work i s on the reader's heart, i t does not present a "moral" to be per-ceived r a t i o n a l l y and carried out to the l e t t e r i n re a l l i f e . T i t e l and Haug summarise i t thus: "Selbst wo Lenz die Dichtung— wie z.B. die Wielands durchweg—nach moralischen Gesichtspunkten b e u r t e i l t , hat das mit dem Moralismus seiner r a t i o n a l i s t i s c h e n Gegner nicht das mindeste zu tun. Auch die 'Moralitat' i s t i n diesem F a l l eine Angelegenheit der 'Empfindungen* und 'Sensa-tionen', der Wirkung 'auf die Herzen des Publikums'--weshalb es 196 auch nicht den an moralischen Maximen zu messenden Charakter, sondern das 'Herz' des Dichters zu verteidigen g i l t ". ( 6 6 7 - 8 ) . The point i s once again that there are no general moral laws which human behaviour must obey. The poet must no more prescribe certain courses of action than God does, but by ap-pealing to the heart of the reader he can encourage him to seek that same in d i v i d u a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of human existence that his characters display. Thus, Lenz's l i t e r a r y theory re-f l e c t s his moral-philosophical thought—an observation that T i t e l and Haug make b r i e f l y but, unfortunately, do not take any further, when they note: "Die Werther-Briefe. . . rticken damit unmittelbar neben die 'Verteidigung des Herrn W. gegen die Wolken' als eine aktuelle Applikation von Lenzens moral-philo-sophischer Reflexion " (66 8 ) . The "Werther-Briefe" indeed r e f l e c t i n many respects the moral philosophical ideas of the other essays. To Lenz, Wer-ther exemplifies the concept of free, active self-development, the replacement of moral maxims by a new morality of the heart, the sacredness of i n d i v i d u a l i t y beyond the reach of m o r a l i s t i c evaluation. He embodies that l i v i n g - o u t of l i f e commended i n the Gotz essay and j u s t i f i e d metaphysically i n the "Versuch", "Supplemente", "Stimmen" and "tiber die Natur unsers Geistes". He i s not so much seen as a model of altruism as Gotz was, but l i v e s free of external constraint, discovering for himself what potential there i s i n his own heart for heightened existence, l i s t e n i n g to his own heart, not to moral guidelines, and learning 197 from his own actions what i s r i g h t and what i s wrong. In his discussion of Goethe's Werther Lenz gives expression, as he does frequently i n his writings, to the tension between the wisdom that comes through personal experiences and self-aware-ness, and that which i s learnt from others. Learning from others may save the i n d i v i d u a l from having perpetually to learn by his mistakes, i t may therefore save him much pain, embarrass-ment and tragedy. But r e a l learning comes through action and the ensuing awareness of one's actions, because only thus does the i n d i v i d u a l hold his destiny i n his own hands, only thus i s there freedom, autonomy, development of his p o t e n t i a l . Just as i n the r e a l world man must learn his own lessons i n his i n -dividual existence, so l i t e r a r y characters who are to " r e f l e c t " r e a l human characters, learn t h e i r own lessons, exemplifying no general and universal truths, for a l l to observe and make th e i r own. We must neither expect any general "morals" or "philosophy" from l i t e r a t u r e , nor c r i t i c i s e l i t e r a t u r e on the basis of any external "moral". I f l i t e r a r y characters are to be an example to us i t i s i n t h e i r uniqueness, t h e i r indepen-dent action, t h e i r s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . Whilst t h i s i s indeed i t -s e l f a "moral", i t i s the only one that Lenz admits. If the i n d i v i d u a l can be trusted to discover and l i v e out a morality of the heart, t h i s must indicate a b e l i e f i n the es-s e n t i a l goodness of man. Various studies have shown how such a b e l i e f owes much to Rousseau, who had encouraged a b e l i e f i n 1 4 . the soundness of the human heart. However i n Lenz i t owes 198 most of a l l d i r e c t l y to the New Testament conception of man under grace. Whilst T i t e l and Haug are correct to rel a t e the ideas i n the "Werther-Briefe" to Lenz's moral philosophy, we must remember that his philosophy i s always set into a theo-l o g i c a l framework, even i n such a philosophically-sounding essay as "Versuch liber das erste Prinzipium der Moral". Be-l i e f i n man i s b e l i e f i n the redeeming power and example of Christ. The "Promethean spark" that i s the human potential for freedom, development, divine c r e a t i v i t y and happiness, the spark which contemporary middle-class Germany had l o s t but which Gotz manifested to them, was kindled i n man by Chr i s t , so the F i r s t Supplement t e l l s us. C h r i s t is. "unser Prome-theus", and his salvation consists i n development of the Pro-methean powers inherent i n man. Werther i s a Promethean figure, experiencing the l o f t y p o s s i b i l i t i e s of free human existence, yet he i s c a l l e d : "ein gekreuzigter Prometheus"— he experiences l i k e C h r i s t the suffering as well as the sub-l i m i t y of human existence. Yet, as i n "Uber die Natur unsers Geistes", suffering i s redemptive, i t i s followed by exaltation, i f not i n thi s l i f e , then surely i n the next. Because of Christ, salvation has come to human s t r i v i n g ; even where there i s suf-fering and f a i l u r e , there i s redemption. The Age of Grace means that the s t r i v i n g s of the human heart are predestined, u l -timately, to succeed. To Lenz, Christ and the C h r i s t i a n experi-ence mean a new freedom, optimism and hope of a glorious destiny that i s the "gospel" to a mankind s t i l l enslaved by impotence, 199 narrowness of v i s i o n , and the legalism and moralism incarnated by Wieland. Werther, giving us a v i s i o n of expanded horizons, wider perspectives, enhanced p o s s i b i l i t i e s for the human soul, gives us an example of metanoia. To Goethe, of course, t h i s essay on his Werther would have been an embarrassment. Not only did i t attempt to keep Werther a l i v e when his author had k i l l e d him o f f — a n d with him a danger-ous tendency to c u l t i v a t e i n t e n s i t y of feeling--but i t s s t y l e i s stamped with a disturbing mixture of "exhibitionism and 15. c r i t i c i s m " , with an i n e f f e c t u a l posturing that prevents i t from ever becoming the devastating counter-attack on Wieland or the powerful defense of Goethe that he intended i t to be, and tends to i l l u s t r a t e a l l too well Goethe's famous ve r d i c t on Lenz pronounced i n Book 14 of Dichtung und Wahrheit: "So-hat er niemanden den er l i e b t e , jemals geniitzt, niemanden den er haBte, jemals geschadet." In t h i s study, however, t h i s i s be-side the point, for whether or not thi s essay i s good c r i t i c i s m , i t gives revealing insights into an important trend i n Lenz's preoccupations. No longer, namely, does he champion strength and powerful, e f f e c t i v e action, as he had done i n his essay i n praise of Gotz von Berlichingen. Though Gotz exemplified the idea l of Action, he i s a character who finds no counterpart i n Lenz's own l i t e r a r y work. I t i s rather Werther, with a l l his f a i l i n g s , who stands as a model for Lenz's own characters. Lenz has announced s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n thi s essay: "So sind an einem solchen Charakter auch die Schwachheiten verehrungswert " ( 4 3 8 ) . 200 After his i n i t i a l i n t e r e s t i n the ide a l of free and powerful Action, we now f i n d him dwelling on the problems involved i n any action. Gotz was an i n s p i r i n g model, but i n r e a l i t y humans are not l i k e that. They do not know how they should act a-ri g h t and i n th e i r own inte r e s t s . Spontaneity often leads them astray and they taste the often b i t t e r consequences of error. Lenz's preaching of metanoia, though i t i s meant to spur man on to higher moral goals, presupposes a p a r t i c u l a r concern with the f a l l i b l e and with the mistakes they make. Lenz's characters are ones who have something to repent of, who can r i s e because they have f a l l e n . This i s no new idea i n Lenz's th e o r e t i c a l works. The correspondence with Salzmann of 1772 showed Lenz to be dwelling on the subject of human sin and i t s consequences rather than on the greatness of human pot e n t i a l as manifested i n the figure of Gotz. But i t i s re f l e c t e d i n his l a t e r l i t e r a r y works f a r more c l e a r l y than the idea of "Charakteren, die sich ihre Be-gebenheiten erschaffen, die selbstandig und unveranderlich die ganze groBe Maschine selbst drehen." Even the f a l l i b l e , how-ever, have personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for th e i r actions. If i t i s they who acted wrongly i t i s also they who must take the consequences of th e i r action; : i t i s also they, moreover, that can and must learn from these consequences. A l l action, Lenz thought, whether r i g h t or wrong, can and must be turned to ac-count. Only by action and experience i s moral growth possible. This was Lenz's interpretation of the F a l l , as he presented i t 2 0 1 i n Meynungen. A l l human action, from Adam's on, was necessary i f man was to make moral progress. I t need not surprise us that Lenz's two main dramas follow Adam's pattern of a F a l l followed by achievement of insight, which, through metanoia; the consciousness of higher modes of action, brings the i n d i -vidual a step nearer to his ultimately l o f t y p o t e n t i a l . Per  Hofmeister i s Lenz's most enthusiastic presentation of the idea of metanoia. Freedom of action i s freedom to make mistakes and freedom to derive s p i r i t u a l and moral p r o f i t from those mistakes. In Die SoIdaten metanoia i s not put forward quite so o p t i -m i s t i c a l l y . As Lenz there explores the often tragi© conse-quences of erring human behaviour, he shows to what extent freedom of action, which i s s t i l l maintained behind the pre-tense of making society a determining force, necessarily en-t a i l s suffering. Individuals are responsible for the suffering they bring upon themselves. To err i s th e i r prerogative, to suffer the consequences t h e i r fate. Their only attitude can be one of acceptance. To others around them the only response can be compassion. In Die Soldaten the lessons learnt are b i t -ter, but they are lessons. Metanoia i s pa i n f u l , but i t s t i l l e x i s t s . 202 CHAPTER FIVE Metanoia i n Per Hofmeister "Ein B a l l anderer zu sein, i s t ein trauriger nieder-druckender Gedanke, eine ewige Sklaverei, eine nur kiinst-l i c h e r e , eine verntinftige aber eben um dessentwillen desto elendere Tierschaft"(I.378). With these l i n e s from the essay: "Uber Gotz von Berlichingen" a theme i s announced that runs through the f i r s t two acts of Per Hofmeister. These acts consist largely of a discussion between the Geheimer Rat, the Major his brother, and the reactionary Pastor Lauffer, father of the hapless tutor about whom the debate i s carried on. Against the Major's unreflecting insistence on the value of employing a private tutor rather than sending his son to pub-l i c school, and against the Pastor's weak defense of his son's q u a l i f i c a t i o n to be that tutor, on the grounds that the scar-c i t y of suitable employment for a young man i n his son's posi-t i o n makes him a beggar who cannot afford to be a chooser, the blunt advice of the Geheimer Rat i s that the tutor Lauffer should be thrown out on his ear. Not only does private educa-tion pander to the conceit of the n o b i l i t y , he says, not only i s i t contrary to change and enlightenment, but above a l l i t i s degrading to the tutor; a l l Lauffer can expect i s f u t i l i t y and bondage: "Pie edelsten Stunden des Tages bei einem jungen Herrn versitzen, der nichts lernen mag, und mit dem er's doch nicht verderben darf, und die ubrigen Stunden, die der Erhaltung 203 seines Lebens, den Speisen und Schlaf g e h e i l i g t sind, an einer Sklavenkette verseufzen; an den Winken der gnadigen Frau hangen und sich i n die Falten des gnadigen Herrn hineinstu-dieren; essen, wenn er satt i s t , und fasten, wenn er hungrig i s t , Punsch trinken, wenn er p-ss-n mochte,uund Karten spielen, wenn er das Laufen hat. Ohne F r e i h e i t geht das Leben bergab riickwarts, F r e i h e i t i s t das Element des Menschen wie das Was-ser des Fisches, und ein Mensch, der sich. der F r e i h e i t begibt, v e r g i f t e t die edelsten Geister seines Bluts, e r s t i c k t seine siiBesten Freuden des Lebens i n der Bliite und ermordet sich selbst" (II. 25). Lauffer's p o s i t i o n as tutor evidently cor-responds to the more general picture Lenz paints i n the essay on Gotz, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the opening paragraph (1.378)^ of man determined by his circumstances. Lauffer i s dependent on his father for f i n a n c i a l support ("unsere E l t e r n geben uns Brot und K l e i d " ) , he has returned from a not too distinguished uni-v e r s i t y career ("unsere Lehrer driicken i n unser Hirn Worte, Sprachen, Wissenschaften"), he hears of an opening as tutor to the Major's son ("es entsteht eine Liicke i n der Republik wo wir hineinpassen"), i t i s at his father's behest that he takes the job ("unsere Freunde, Verwandte, GSnner setzen an und stoBen uns g l i i c k l i c h hinein") , and f i n a l l y , and disastrously, he s l i p s into an e r o t i c involvement with Gustchen ("irgend ein artiges Madchen driickt i n unser Herz den Wunsch es eigen zu besitzen, es i n unsere Arme als unser Eigentum zu schlieSen> wenn sich nicht gar ein t i e r i s c h Bediirfnis mit hineinmischt") . The picture 204 painted i n the essay i s intended to be uncomplimentary, yet the r e a l i t y of Lauffer's s i t u a t i o n i s obviously more uncompli-mentary s t i l l . There i s not only the heated argument about the value of the job he has taken, but also the very shabby nature of his a f f a i r with Gustchen. Lauffer i s not only a b a l l , tossed around by others: his father, the Major, the Major's wife, even Leopold his p u p i l , but morally also he i s at the mercy of his own lower desires. He seems to o f f e r no resistance to concupiscence, neither with Gustchen nor, ab-surdly, with the peasant g i r l L i s e . We have to c a l l him a seducer, though the term does too much c r e d i t to his weak-wil l e d , weak-principled nature. Lauffer s l i d e s into the af-f a i r with Gustchen out of a combination of weakness and indo-lence . The fact that the tutor i s both a plaything of circum-stances and a victim of his lower nature i s no coincidence. The Geheimer Rat points out that one leads to the other: "Ohne F r e i h e i t geht das Leben bergab riickwarts. " A human being i n bondage to circumstances can no longer remain a human being, but i s reduced to the l e v e l of basic appetites. Lauffer i s forced to give up the r i g h t to l i v e by his own p r i n c i p l e s , and receives i n return l i t t l e more than food and drink. L i t t l e wonder, the Geheimer Rat would have said i f he had known at th i s point what was to transpire between the tutor and his pup Gustchen, that his sexual appetite was also to demand compensa tion for the loss of freedom. Moral degradation i s the r e a l 205 danger i n a tutor's position. Deprived of the chance to use his powers for the general good and to increase h i s own happi-ness, a person loses a l l "Feuer, Mut und Tat i g k e i t " (30), he loses "den Adel seiner Seele" (2.6), which i s educated man's a b i l i t y to l i v e and act by his own p r i n c i p l e s . Events then prove the Geheimer Rat's opinion to be r i g h t . Lauffer loses a l l will-power and p r i n c i p l e , and only p a r t i a l l y recovers i t when he i s shocked into i t by the conviction that he has caused Gustchen's death. However, the Geheimer Rat's opinion i s a diagnosis of Lauffer rather than a prognosis. Lauffer lacks will-power from the beginning. The re a l thrust of the Geheimer Rat's remarks i s that though Lauffer's s i t u a t i o n i s against him, though he i s an example of determined man, pushed by family and circumstances into an i n s i g n i f i c a n t job, with the att r a c -tion of a wife with whom to share "eine selige Zukunft" - to become a small cog i n the huge machine of the world, he i s aware of the degradation his job forces him to undergo, but does nothing about i t other than complain. The exhortation to Gotzian l i v i n g i n the essay assumes that i t i s within man's powers to break out of one's determining circumstances. Deter-minism can be overcome by character. Lauffer i s i n unfortunate circumstances, but the fact that he does nothing to break out of them but accepts indignity a f t e r indignity shows weakness of character rather than misfortune. The whole of the f i r s t scene of Act II i s designed to prove the correctness of the Geheimer 206 Rat's opinion of Lauffer: "Er i s t ein Tor und hat a l l e sein MiBvergniigen sich selber zu danken ". (2.4). One would have to be a f o o l to give up one's best years to a job that brings no job s a t i s f a c t i o n , no sense of worthwhile accomplishment and next to no pay,-and to bind oneself i n slavery to the whims of a conceited master and mistress. Beyond the picture of the wretchedness of a private tutor's s i t u a t i o n i s the f o l l y of anyone who would put up with i t . Certainly the s i t u a t i o n i s h o s t i l e to general happiness, but i t i s i n Lauffer's, and the Major's, power to change i t . They have t h e i r p r i o r i t i e s , how-ever, and choose not to. Lauffer's attachment to Gustchen motivates him to put up with his degradation, and the Major's concern with prestige and upholding feudal values, and his i n -sistence that his daughter w i l l marry into the highest family i n the land and therefore need an exclusive education, moti-vate him to go on employing a tutor he r e a l l y cannot afford. The Geheimer Rat's picture of Lauffer's f o l l y i s streng-thened by the i n a b i l i t y of the unenlightened Pastor to come up with any better argument i n defense of private tutors than: "Ich bin auch Hauslehrer gewesen " (28). The more he defends his son the weaker his case becomes, and he i s reduced to such feeble platitudes as: "Man kann nicht immer seinen Willen haben," "es i s t i n der Welt nicht anders;" (27), "es musseh doch'bei Gott! auch Hauslehrer i n der Welt sein" (27) and "wie konnen Sie mir das beweisen?" (28) When he has made the t a c t i c a l mistake of assuming that the Geheimer Rat had also had a private tutor, his only response to being corrected on t h i s point i s "da i s t 207 aber noch v i e l driiber zu sagen'', and "ich meinerseits bin Ihrer Meinung nicht ". (28). Both thePastor and his son lack determination and i n -dependence not because of t h e i r s o c i a l position but because of t h e i r attitude towards i t . I t i s not his s i t u a t i o n that has transformed Lauffer into what he i s . At the beginning of Act I, he i s hardly known for any p r i n c i p l e d determination, subsequently to be eroded by the nature of his job; he i s known rather for his f a m i l i a r i t y with Leipzig's coffee houses, and for his "galanterie". His i n t e r e s t i n dancing, shared by the Majorin and Graf Wermuth, symbolises the s u p e r f i c i a l i t y of his concerns. Lauffer always was a shallow character. I t i s Lenz's emphasis on the character of Lauffer, or rather on his lack of i t , that leads us away from taking the t i t l e : Per Hofmeister Oder Vortheile der Privaterziehung as an announcement, even an i r o n i c one, of the play's r e a l theme. 1 . Since E r i c h Schmidt's famous dictum i t has been agreed that the comedy was hardly written to warn against the p e r i l s of employing a private tutor, even though the other private tutor in the play: von Seiffenblase's , has as pernicious an influence on others as Lauffer, and even though F r i t z returns us tc the theme by his remarks i n the concluding l i n e s of the play. The succession of events do not a l l serve to underline t h i s "Sen-tenz", denied even by Lenz himself (1.385); the student scenes and Wenzeslaus episode draw attention away from the tutor problem, focussing i t rather on the problem of concupiscence. And the 208 seduction scenes themselves indicate that i t i s not the s i t u -ation of Lauffer so much as the character of Lauffer, and i n -deed that of Gustchen and Major, that i s the r e a l source of the tragedy. Lauffer seduces Gustchen as weak-willed good-for-nothing; not because he i s a tutor but because he i s that sort of tutor. In Act II Scene 1 Lauffer r e f e r s , i n his l e t t e r to his father, to "Aussichten i n eine selige Zukunft" (31), Scene 2 then l e t s us see what sort of future he has i n mind. Here he i s languishing i n unrequited love for Gustchen, and wallowing i n s e l f - p i t y . By Scene 5 events have taken t h e i r course, the appeal to Gustchen's compassion has done i t s work and Lauffer has s l i d into the role of substitute lover for F r i t z . Gustchen kisses Lauffer, thinking of F r i t z , or more accurately, thinking of her own role as the g i r l deserted by F r i t z . She, of course, has long practised role-playing. Steeped i n the world of popu-l a r c l a s s i c s of l i t e r a t u r e she finds a precedent for her ac-tions and others' i n Shakespeare^, G e l l e r t and Rousseau. Her f i r s t words i n the play establish Romeo and J u l i e t as the model for her relat i o n s h i p with F r i t z : "Glaubst du denn, daB deine J u l i e t t e so unbestandig sein kann:" F r i t z picks up the theme and toys with the idea of being a Romeo, Gustchen brings i n Ge l l e r t to suggest a more r e a l i s t i c a l ternative to Romeo's k i l l i n g himself for love, and so the game goes on. By Act II Scene 5 i t becomes apparent that i n using Lauffer as an Ersatz-Romeo she i s stretching the model quite considerably, but as 209 J u l i e t she s t i l l abandons herself to reveries i n which she t r i e s out the various postures of the forsaken lover. I t i s hard to blame her for doing t h i s . Conditions i n the Major's household are not conducive to wise and stable behaviour. Her parents despise each other and f i g h t over t h e i r children, so that Gustchen, being caught i n the r i v a l r y between them, has no natural relationship with either. Her mother d i s l i k e s her for Graf Wermuth's int e r e s t i n her and seeks to establish her own intimacy with the Graf by making indiscrete revelations to him about the Major. Her father dotes on her to the extent of seeing i n her the person he wishes her to become rather than her r e a l s e l f . After F r i t z ' s departure she has no friends e i t h e r — a p a r t from L a u f f e r — a n d l i v i n g i n i s o l a t i o n i n the country with no other moral guide than her books of l i t e r a t u r e , she not surp r i s i n g l y develops a propensity for role-playing, rather than l i v i n g spontaneously or by p r i n c i p l e . She i s much more than Lauffer a victim of her circumstances, and yet aft e r her f l i g h t from home and months of suf f e r i n g , she does come to grips with l i f e at f i r s t hand and abandons a l l posturing. Though her s i t u a t i o n becomes l i k e that of the Prodigal Son, she never s l i p s into that posture, but acts spontaneously and f o l -lowing her deepest f e e l i n g . Before her f l i g h t the s u p e r f i c i a l rhetoric of "0 Tod! Tod! warum erbarmst du dich nicht!" (40) ccmes easy to her. Later, when the conviction comes to her that she has caused her father's death, and when she i s r e a l l y facing her own death, i f not from the exhaustion following c h i l d - b i r t h 210 then by suicide, her words express genuine horror and despair: " S o i l i c h denn hier sterben?—Mein Yater! Mein Vater! Gib mir die Schuld nicht, daS du nicht Nachricht von mir bekommst. Ich habe meine letzten Krafte angewandt—sie sind e r s c h o p f t — S e i n B i l d , o sein B i l d steht mir immer vor den Augen! Er i s t tot, ja tot--und fiir Gram urn mich—Sein Geist i s t mir diese Nacht erschienen, mir die Nachricht davon zu geben—mich zur Rechen-schaft dafiir zu fodern—Ich komme, ja ich komme " ( 6 8 - 9 ) . The opposite development i s to be seen i n Lauffer. At the beginning of the play he shows no sign of any propensity for role-playing. I f he does f i n d himself playing the ro l e of general factotum i t i s because he i s forced into i t and i s too weak to r e s i s t , not because he l i k e s i t . By the second act, however, he has slipped into playing Gustchen's game. To win her sympathy he str i k e s a trag i c posture, asserting that he w i l l request the Major to remove from her the object of her hate and revulsion, that i s : Lauffer, and ends: "Ich muB sehen, wie ich das elende Leben zu Ende bringe, weil mir doch der Tod verboten i s t - - " .. (32). A f t e r the seduction t h i s more general posturing turns into contemplation of a s p e c i f i c , and ominous, model: "Es konnte mir gehen wie Abalard" (4.1). Gustchen, i n the printed version i f not i n the manuscript version, immediately grasps the implications of thi s model and suggests instead Rousseau's happier version: "Hast du die neue 'Heloise gelesen?" At t h i s point the scene ends and we never see them together again, but the damage i s done. By damage we mean, of course, 21 1 Gustchen's pregnancy, but also the fact that Lauffer has now slipped into Gustchen's way of looking for second-hand models of behaviour. Lauffer, who should be Gustchen's tutor, i s the one who has learnt from his pupil to allow his behaviour to be determined by foreign models rather than by personal conviction. Having already been forced by his position as tutor to give up his freedom, he now begins v o l u n t a r i l y to abandon any sense of ind i v i d u a l destiny and see himself as destined to follow a path that others have l a i d out before him. In Act II Scene 5 the idea has only just struck him, and w i l l perhaps be forgotten. However when shocked into an awareness of the consequences of his act of seduction, i t comes back to him, and i n the despera-ti o n of remorse he abandons himself to the model. Lauffer"s castration has been a rock of offense since the day the play was published. Was i t necessary for Lenz not to be content merely with alluding to the castration of Abelard but to make his tutor go out and actually perform the act? and as i f this was not enough, then to spend whole scenes discussing the value of the act? What was Lenz's intention i n making Lauf-fer do this? Are we to see i t as one v a l i d solution to the prob-lem of concupiscence? Or i s i t to be seen as a trag i c act of mistaken remorse? Or i s i t an act of crass f o l l y , l i k e a l l of Lauffer's actions? We know of Lenz's own agonising over the problem of dealing with sexual desire. In addition to the preaching of ascetic re-sistance i n the essay on the "Tree of Knowledge," the private 212 document: "Meine Lebensregeln" enumerates ways of d i s c i p l i n i n g one's desires. And a further comment, published by B l e i , speaks of Lenz's b e l i e f i n the value of pipe-smoking to con-t r o l desire: "Immer habe ich bemerkt, daB unter den Tobaks-rauchern die gutartigsten Leute sein. Das setzt eine gewisse S t i l l e und Zufriedenheit des Geists voraus, i n der man sich bloB hinsetzt, urn zu geniessen, und jede Pause i n unsrer Seele i s t uns heilsam, i n der s i e sich ein wenig zurechtlegen kann 2. und Ordnung i n ihre Begehrungskrafte bringen." I t i s evident that Wenzeslaus, with his own "rules for l i v i n g " i s a r t i c u l a t i n g much that was of concern to Lenz. And i n doing so he does bring to focus some of the ideas and attitudes expressed i n the student scenes as well. Lauffer i s not the only one with the problem of concupiscence, nor i s Wenzeslaus the only one with clear ideas on how i t i s to be dealt with. F r i t z and Patus's student friendship comes to a c r i s i s when Patus compromises Re-haar's r e s p e c t a b i l i t y and his daughter's honour by climbing into her bedroom at night. Though he does l a t e r spring into action and challenge Patus to a duel for dishonouring Rehaar himself, F r i t z ' s immediate response i s to preach him a sermon on the wrongness of following his desires: "Ein Mann, der gegen ein Frauenzimmer es so weit t r e i b t , als er nur immer kann, i s t entweder ein Teekessel oder ein Bosewicht; ein Teekessel, wenn er sich selbst nicht beherrschen kann. . .oder ein Bosewicht, wenn er sich selbst nicht beherrschen w i l l " (71). As i t turns out, Patus seems to be not even a "Teekessel"; he i n s i s t s he 213 has not actually touched the g i r l , and F r i t z knows that despite the aggressive exterior Patus does not have what i t takes to make a r e a l seducer. The same cannot be said of von S e i f f e n -blase, whose persistent attentions to F r l . Rehaar culminate i n a major attempt to abduct her. He and h i s tutor, with t h e i r persistent,, c a l c u l a t i n g attempts to take advantage of others, are the only r e a l Bosewichte i n the play. Lauffer himself i s a "T.eekessel", concupiscent out of weakness rather than out of malice.He i s so easy a prey to temptation that moral maxims and rules of l i f e a l l prove too hard for him. He rejects the path of a s c e t i c c s p i r i t u a l i t y l a i d out before him by Wenzeslaus, pre-f e r r i n g the warmth and human companionship of marriage to the naive, simple-hearted L i s e . Lauffer, then, i s quite incapable of r e s i s t i n g concupiscence, and i t i s for th i s reason that his castration i s to be seen as the act of f u t i l i t y that he senses i t might be: "Ich weiB nicht, ob ich recht getan " (80). Wenzes-laus shoots wide of the mark when he sees i t as the hallmark of s p i r i t u a l greatness. I t was done i n d e c i s i v e l y and out of moral impotence, and a l t e r s nothing of Lauffer's problems of s e l f -control. Having s l i d h e l p l e s s l y into the seduction of Gustchen, he f a l l s equally helplessly a prey to the charms of L i s e . Cas-t r a t i n g himself does not make up for his lack of p r i n c i p l e , and prevents him from ever again acquiring r e a l s e l f - c o n t r o l . Moral impotence i s not corrected by sexual impotence. Above a l l i t i s an act of weakness because i t was done out of a f a t a l i s t i c sense that what had to happen to Abelard had to happen to him. Mis-214 t r u s t f u l of his own moral judgment he follows Gustchen i n i d e n t i f y i n g with a l i t e r a r y model, and even then i s not sure whether he should have done even t h i s . Lenz does, however, allow him a limited happiness, i f , to our minds, a derisory one. Castration and celibacy were no solution and had to be shown to be so. Not only does cas-t r a t i o n not solve the problem of concupiscence—only s e l f -control or marriage can do that, i n Lenz's view—but i t i s reduced to the absurd by Wenzeslaus' extravagant praise. I t becomes a fanatic act, associated with the grossest excesses of r e l i g i o u s sects. In marrying Lise, Lauffer i s opting for love and humanity, and that must always be preferable to l i f e -denying fanaticism. Wenzeslaus recognises he has been mistaken i n Lauffer: "Das miiBt' ein ganz andrer Mann sein, der aus Ab-s i c h t und Grundsatzen den Weg einschluge, urn ein P.feiler unsrer sinkenden Kirche zu werden .". (9 7 ) . At least Lauffer has the sense to refuse t h i s r o l e . He opts instead for a l i m i t e d happi-ness that matches the l i m i t a t i o n s of his ambition. The message of the t h e o r e t i c a l essays was that greater happiness and f u l -filment and greater moral stature are achieved by resistence to concupiscence. The v i t a l energies of the i n d i v i d u a l are sapped and dissipated by easy s a t i s f a c t i o n of desire. Lauffer always chose the easy way, and as a r e s u l t can conceive at the end of the play of no higher happiness than marriage to L i s e : "Komm zu deinem Vater, L i s e , seine Einwilligung noch, und i c h bin der glucklichste Mensch auf dem Erdboden!" (97) With Lauffer, we 21 5 have now the impression that we have come to the end of the story. His happiness i s fixed at the l e v e l of humble married l i f e , so humble that there w i l l be af f e c t i o n instead of mari-t a l love, and chickens to feed and raise instead of children. With Gustchen and F r i t z and t h e i r families, the ending i s quite d i f f e r e n t . Gustchen's role-playing does not, as we have seen, sur-vive the test of harsh experience. Dire poverty and the trauma of c h i l d b i r t h while estranged from her family, with only a bl i n d old woman to help her, bring her to depths of humiliation and despair. Her g u i l t y conscience, which had f i r s t caused her to f l e e her home and her father, and then to dream that she would be the death of her father i f she did not l e t him know she was s t i l l a l i v e , f i n a l l y drives her to attempted suicide as she imagines, i n the delirium of weakness, that the Major i s already dead. Her death, she f e e l s , i s required by j u s t i c e . With th i s she reaches the lowest point of her humiliation, and i t i s at t h i s point that chance intervenes to save her. Her father appears, snatches her from death and responds to her plea for forgiv.eness with a torrent of affectionate abuse that ex-presses his joy at recovering her and his complete willingness to forgive. From being a l o s t sinner Gustchen now becomes a penitent one, with a b i t t e r experience to look back on but much the wiser for the experience. Like the penitent woman at the end of Faust she i s now a means of grace to save other sinners. With a new s e n s i t i v i t y to the moral dangers facing a young woman, 216 she, with her father and the Geheimer Rat, befriend Jungfer Rehaar, compromised e a r l i e r by Patus and now i n danger of being abducted by von Seiffenblase, and save her from a fate s i m i l a r to her own. Lenz deals frequently with the concept of repentance, and defines i t , as we have said above i n Chapter 3, as a change of mentality:" M e T a v 0 £ L T e — n i c h t tut BuBe. . .sondern verandert euren Sinn, erhebt ihn, trachtet von ganzem Herzen, das Ge-schehene zu verbessern—und alsdenn 'glaubet an das Evangelium', i h r habt einen Gott, der miBlungene Versuche nicht mit dem Tode bestraft, sondern mit Leben, ewigem Leben, wenn s i e nur f o r t -gesetzt werden!1 (1.508) . I t i s at the ending of Per Hofmeister that Lenz gives the f u l l e s t i l l u s t r a t i o n of metanoia, and i t affects not only Gustchen but also the Major, the Geheimer Rat, Patus, his father and even F r i t z himself, though there i s l i t t l e i n his case to repent of. In the Major, metanoia takes the form of repentance from his desire that Gustchen should marry a "General or statesman of the highest rank". Like Gustchen the Major has to undergo a period of suffering, i n which his che-rished i d e a l gradually fades before his eyes. The loss of his daughter's beauty and happiness following her f a l l , then the news that she has run away with Lauffer, and f i n a l l y the f r u i t -lessness of the search for her, drive him to despair and i t i s a l l the Geheimer Rat can do to prevent him from abandoning his family and ending his l i f e i n the service of the Russian army. Beyond despair, however, he gains a new s e n s i t i v i t y to su f f e r i n g . 2 1 1 7 His aggressive pride i n his daughter i s replaced by compassion and humility. When he goes to Gustchen's rescue he i s prepared to i d e n t i f y with victims of misfortune, whether he finds his daughter or not: "Ein Weibsbild war's und wenn g l e i c h nicht meine Tochter, doch auch ein unglftcklich-. Weibsbild " (69). The pretentiousness of marrying Gustchen off to a nobleman i s shunned, though i t i s deeply rooted i n him and returns to tor-ment him: "Freier fiir meine Tochter. . .1st er von Adel. . . 0 s i e s o l l t e die erste Partie im Konigreich werden. Das i s t ein vermaledeiter Gedanke! Wenn ich doch den erst f o r t hatte; er wird mich noch ins Irrhaus bringen " (101). Repenting of his overweaning ambitions he also repents of his ref u s a l to follow the Geheimer Rat's advice and give his children a public educa-ti o n . He has no more i l l u s i o n s on t h i s score, even though he has no idea how g i r l s of Gustchen's age should otherwise be educated. But discussion of that issue belongs to some other occasion: "Davon wollen wir ein andermal sprechen", says the Geheimer Rat, expressing the f e e l i n g that a new beginning i s possible and that the future i s open for progress and develop-ment . The misfortunes suffered by the family have affected the Geheimer Rat i n a strange way, and revealed an unexpected i n -consistency i n his character. When he hears of his son's im-prisonment his immediate response i s no longer one of p r a c t i c a l concern, and a clear perception of what needs to be done. His ra t i o n a l approach to the question of the Major's employment of .218 Lauffer and to the emergency of Gustchen's disappearance, becomes, i n the case of his own son's emergency, a f a t a l i s t i c submission to the punishing hand of God: "Der Himmel verhangt Strafen iiber unsre ganze Familie ".• (55). The rationalism re-turns when he i s t o l d by Seiffenblase of old Patus's harshness towards his son, and counters the tutor's defence of old Pa-tus ' s action with the assertion: "Gegen die Ausschweifungen seiner Kinder kann man nie zu hart sein, aber wohl gegen ihr Elend " ( 5 5 ) . Rather than take active steps himself, however, to help F r i t z i n his misery, his only reaction i s to submit again to what he sees as divine j u s t i c e : "Es i s t ein Gericht Gottes iiber gewisse Familien; bei einigen sind gewisse Krank-heiten e r b l i c h , bei andern arten die Kinder aus, die Vater mogen tun, was s i e wollen " (56). His form of repentance runs d i r e c t l y counter to that urged by Lenz.. His impulse i s to do penance rather than to do some active good to set r i g h t what has been done wrong: "ich w i l l fasten und beten"; he s l i p s i n -to s e l f - i n c r i m i n a t i o n : " v i e l l e i c h t hab ich diesen Abend durch die Ausschweifungen meiner Jugend verdient" (56), instead of "believing i n the gospel" and i n a God "der miBlungene Versuche nicht mit dem Tode bestraft, sondern mit Leben, ewigem Leben, wenn sie nur fortgesetzt werden." The freedom that the Geheimer Rat preaches elsewhere has now given way to the P i e t i s t doctrine of e l e c t i o n . He resolves to go and plead with God rather than redeem his son from prison. Small wonder, then, that i t i s soon his turn to be reading a l e t t e r enumerating the f o l l i e s of his own son, just l i k e Pastor Lauffer e a r l i e r . 219 The Geheimer Rat's main l i m i t a t i o n i s that his role as philosopher and commentator often leaves l i t t l e room for his role as pa r t i c i p a n t i n the action. He abounds i n p r a c t i c a l wisdom, but at moments of c r i s i s he often does nothing. This i s not to say that his problem i s the same as Strephon's i n Die Freuride machen den Philosophen: that he i s namely a "bloBer Beobachter ". (11.323), a philosopher only. He does a c t i v e l y r e s t r a i n the Major i n times of panic and despair, he does sug-gest a l i k e l y source of information on the whereabouts of Gustchen or Lauffer, and he does take the i n i t i a t i v e i n rescu-ing Jungfer Rehaar from the unscrupulous Selffenblase. But he does nothing to save his own son, and when Gustchen i s sighted attempting to drown herself, his weak reaction: "Gott im Him-mel! Was s o l l e n wir anfangen " (69), i s as useless as the Graf Wermuth's helpless : "Ich kann nicht schwimmen." I t i s the Major who has the energy to act spontaneously. His impulsive-ness may make him shoot and wound Lauffer, or rush o f f to be-come a peasant, or die i n the Turkish wars, but i t also enables him to save Gustchen's l i f e . In the words of the "Supplement" again, " i hr werdet gerichtet werden und seid schon j e t z t gerich-tet vor Gott, nicht nach dem, was i h r getraumt habt, sondern was ih r gehandelt habt bei Leibes Leben,. es s e i gut oder bose" (1.509) . Per Hofmeister i s about people who do things, not about people's ideas, nor about the people who have them. L i f e i s ac-tion , thought Lenz, not knowing or moralising; consequently those characters who have knowledge or who moralise are not r e a l l y 220 part of the drama. Wenzeslaus i s a minor and comic figure because he does very l i t t l e . He: merely represents an idea that has a basis of sense but i s carr i e d so far as to become nonsense. His actual freedom of action i s limited, at his own acknowledgement, to a very narrow sphere. He can make much noise about personal freedom, and does manage to save Lauffer the f i r s t time from attack, but the "halb Dutzend handfester Bauernkerle" (53) with whom he threatens to defend his freedom are never there when they are needed. And af t e r the Geheimer Rat has offered Lauffer the compensation of a bag of money for the Major's assault on him i n the schoolteacher's house, Wen-zeslaus contents himself with the very much milder threat: "Ich w i l l ihm einen B r i e f schreiben, dem Herrn Major, den er nicht ins Fenster stecken s o i l ". (68). Wenzeslaus' ideas are considered by Lauffer and presented to the reader for consider-ation, but f i n a l l y have no e f f e c t on the tutor. He w i l l not become a born-again p i l l a r of the Church, not because he re-jects the idea on p r i n c i p l e , but because he i s too weak to re-s i s t temptation i n the form of Li s e . L i f e proves to be too strong for the old pedant's moralising. Lauffer cannot see his s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n as a s a i n t l y act; he refuses the role of second Origen and marries Lise instead. The Geheimer Rat, true to his name and profession, also abounds i n ideas and advice but experiences very much less than the other main characters and participates less than they, i n the moral drama of the play. He cannot for a long time f i n d i t i n 22:1 him to forgive F r i t z , and when he learns of Seiffenblase's calumny and i s reconciled to his son, he makes only a feeble attempt to apologise to him and ask his forgiveness, and leaps i n immediately with an excuse: "Ich seh, i h r wilde Bur-sche denkt besser als eure Vater. Was hast du wohl von mir gedacht, F r i t z , aber man hat dich auch bei mir verleumdet". (98). Metanoia i n his case i s limited to a certain awareness that l i f e i s not as simple as he thinks and he would have others think. His trust i n a r a t i o n a l world and i n his own r a t i o n a l precepts has been shaken, but that i s as far as i t goes. While the others f i n d and a c t i v e l y experience the acute joy of re-c o n c i l i a t i o n , his function i s rather to orchestrate the recon-c i l i a t i o n . His orchestration, however, plays a v i t a l l y important role i n creating and i n t e n s i f y i n g the s p i r i t of metanoia i n Act V. The Geheimer Rat may be on the surface less a man of action than a man of ideas, and he may have f a i l e d to influence others, even by his ideas, but he has already come across as something of a busy-body, wanting to supervise Gustchen's transportation from the scene of her attempted suicide, but receiving the Ma-jor's rebuke: "Was geht s i e Euch an? Ist sie doch Eure Tochter nicht. Bekummert Euch um Euer F l e i s c h und Bein daheime ". (70). We now f i n d him carrying out behind the scenes an intrigue that does influence the course of events and powerfully shapes the denouement. I t i s important to note the way i n which he c a l l s the cues i n the l a s t two scenes of the play. His manner i n de-222 laying giving the information that w i l l set anxious minds at re s t seems, at f i r s t sight, highly t a n t a l i s i n g , not to say c r u e l . F r i t z , who has received no r e p l i e s to his l e t t e r s to his father, and fears he has been disowned, wastes no time upon a r r i v a l at Insterburg i n seeking his father's forgiveness, but the Geheimer Rat i s strangely i n d i f f e r e n t to F r i t z ' s need to hear his forgiveness expressed i n so many words. The anxious question: "Haben Sie mir vergeben?" (98), being answered merely by an ambivalent: "Mein Sohn!", i s i n t e n s i f i e d by the Prodigal Son's admission: "Ich bin nicht wert, daB ich Ihr Sohn heiBe." S t i l l the Geheimer Rat refuses to respond to the moral intent of F r i t z ' s words, and instead of giving the abso-l u t i o n that i s being asked for, suggests only changing the sub-jec t : "Setz dich:denk mir nicht mehr dran." In a few minutes the scenario i s repeated. The Geheimer Rat's question: "Aber was fiihrt dich denn nach Hause zuriick, eben j e t z t da?" brings F r i t z to the r e a l cause of his anxiety: "Fahren Sie f o r t — 0 das eben j e t z t , mein Vater! Das eben j e t z t i s t ' s , was ich wissen wollte. . .1st Gustchen tot?" Once again the Geheimer Rat evades the question and diverts the conversation to the subject of Jung-fer Rehaar. Ascertaining that Patus has a p a r t i c u l a r concern for her, he sends him i n on cue to the antechamber i n which the g i r l i s waiting, to be reunited with her. F r i t z ' s renewed plea for information i s then rebuffed again, which drives F r i t z a l -most to breaking-point: "0 mein Vater, wenn Sie noch Z a r t l i c h -k e i t fur mich haben, lassen Sie mich nicht zwischen Himmel und 223 Erde, zwischen Hoffnung und Verzweiflung schweben. Darum bin ich gereist; ich konnte die qualvolle UngewiBheit nicht langer aushalten. Lebt Gustchen? Ist's wahr, daB s i e entehrt i s t ? " (99) The Geheimer Rat's cunning reply successfully maintains the f i c t i o n of Gustchen's death u n t i l F r i t z has reached the lowest depths of despair, at which point he sends his son i n to the antechamber to an e c s t a t i c reunion with Gustchen. In the l a s t scene, the game i s played once more, t h i s time with the Major: "WeiBt du was Neues, Major? Es finden si c h F r e i e r fiir deine Tochter—Aber dring nicht i n mich, d i r den Namen zu sagen " (101). By asking the Major to give his consent to the marriage without knowing who the suit o r i s , the Geheimer Rat causes him to ask himself, f i n a l l y , the question whether i t i s after a l l important who his daughter marries, and at thi s point the door i s opened and Gustchen has the cue to walk on with F r i t z . There remains one more reunion to stage-manage: that between Patus and his father, and the general r e j o i c i n g i s complete. Such delay t a c t i c s make for excellent drama. The suspense created and the way i t i s created, are important elements i n the atmosphere of comedy that informs these scenes. But there i s another reason why the Geheimer Rat i n s i s t s on prolonging the uncertainty and, i n - F r i t z ' s case, the agony. In each case his t a c t i c serves to draw out a f u l l confession, the reward for which i s then the joy of reunion. With F r i t z i t tests his feel-ings towards Gustchen and e l i c i t s an acknowledgement of g u i l t . 224 The confession of g u i l t towards his father: "Ich bin nicht wert, daB i c h Ihr Sohn heiBe" (9 8) i s followed by one of g u i l t towards Gustchen:"Schuldig war ich, einzig und a l l e i n schuldig. Gustchen, s e l i g e r Geist, verzeihe mir!. . .Ich habe falsch ge-schworen 11 (100). With Patus i t tests his feelings towards Jungfer Rehaar; his pretence of "Ich? Nein, ich habe sie nicht gekannt " (99), i s comically transformed to the correct admis-sion: "Ja, ich habe sie gekannt", a comic reversal of Liiuffer's switch from the honest to the dishonest answer i n Act I Scene 3: "Non Madame. . .Oui Madame " (14). With the Major the t a c t i c serves to draw out the admission that he has been wrong to i n -s i s t on a marriage into high society for Gustchen: "Das i s t ein vermaledeiter Gedanke! Wenn ich doch den erst f o r t hatte; er wird mich noch ins Irrhaus bringen " (101). In each case suspense makes the characters that undergo i t more human. I t brings them to a moral awareness of the i r attitudes and actions, and to an honest confession, which i n turn enhances the s p i r i t of metanoia. With F r i t z i t sharpens the joy of reunion by sharpening the pain that precedes i t . With Patus i t c r y s t a l l i s e s his feelings to-wards Jungfer Rehaar and makes him take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for deal-ing openly and honestly with her. With the Major i t makes sure that he i s f u l l y cured of his vain and pretentious ambition, so that his;?happiness can be unflawed. When human beings are brought to t h e i r knees and t h e i r s e l f -delusion i s replaced by humility and honesty, then they are f i t to receive joy and happiness. I t i s i n thi s l i g h t that we must 225 now interpret what seems at f i r s t sight, a rather nasty jibe by the Geheimer Rat at Gustchen's suffering. Gustchen, pro-testing against his reference to F r i t z as : "den bosen Buben", pleads: "Da mein Vater mir vergeben hat, s o l l t e Ihr Sohn ein minder giitiger Herz bei Ihnen finden?", to which the Geheimer Rat r e p l i e s : "Er i s t auch noch i n keinen Teich gesprungen" (88). Can he r e a l l y be saying that F r i t z w i l l only be forgiven.. when he too has reached the rock bottom of s u i c i d a l despair? As a quick r e t o r t i t cannot be taken quite as l i t e r a l l y as t h i s , but i t does r e f l e c t the Geheimer Rat's insistence on f u l l repentance, even abasement, as a prerequisite for the unbounded happiness of metanoia. His reluctance to act on hearing the news of F r i t z ' s imprisonment and f l i g h t seems now to have a deeper reason than that he i s someone more prone to philosophising than to acting. F r i t z was not yet ready to be forgiven and saved from his misery because he had not yet come to the end of himself. He had not yet f u l l y learnt his lesson. The Geheimer Rat had stressed, to Pastor Lauffer, the freedom and personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that he believes a l l men should have: " F r e i h e i t i s t das Element des Men-schen wie das Wasser des Fisches" (25), and to the Major he had argued F r i t z ' s freedom to learn and grow not i n subjection to a private tutor: "LaB ihn nur.—Seine lustigen Spielgesellen wer-den ihn minder verderben als ein galonierter MiiBigganger " (13)» By implication, F r i t z should now be l e f t to face the consequen-ces of his actions, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Events should be l e f t to take t h e i r course, u n t i l such time as he i s 2 2 6 brought to a r e a l i s a t i o n of his error and to metanoia. To be sure, the Geheimer Rat does not express th i s reason for his inaction at the time the bad news of F r i t z reaches him, and i t i s hard to reconcile t h i s concern now for F r i t z to learn his own lessons, even the hard way, with the self-accusing resignation he showed then. His lapse into P i e t i s t i c fatalism i s a clear inconsistency i n his character. But the desire to bring people to a point of f u l l repentance as they taste the f u l l consequen-ces of t h e i r action i s , as we have seen, a consistent feature of the Geheimer Rat. He i s quite merciless i n pushing F r i t z , i n Act V, to a f u l l confession of the error against which he had spent the whole of Scene 6 of Act I warning him: "Ich habe ge-schworen, fa l s c h geschworen " (100), and we can well believe that he would also have been merciless enough to leave F r i t z to his fate on the p r i n c i p l e that "Gegen die Ausschweifungen seiner Kinder kann man nie zu hart sein ". (53). However the end of the play shows that behind the sternness there i s benevolence i n the Geheimer Rat. The abasement he i n s i s t s on i s followed by exal-tation. His r e t o r t to Gustchen, however, does more than reveal his own attitude towards the timing of forgiveness. I t also estab-l i s h e s a d i r e c t l i n k between his role and the p a r a l l e l role played by chance i n the play. His delay t a c t i c i s also found i n the course of events. He w i l l only act to forgive and save F r i t z when his son has become penitent to the point of despair, i n the same way that, as chance would have i t , Gustchen was 227 brought to the rock bottom of penitent despair before she was saved. I t i s only when her compassion for her father has be-come a sense of g u i l t at having wronged him and when the humi-l i a t i o n of her suffering has become r e a l humility, that her f a -ther arrives to rescue her from the death to which she has a l -ready thrown herself. With the Major, likewise, i t i s only when he has reached the point at which he can be human and com-passionate enough to spot misfortune and suffering i n others, whether they be his daughter or not, that he i s reunited with Gustchen. When he goes to her rescue he does not know whether i t i s she or not. I t s u f f i c e s that she i s a victim of misfor-tune: "Ein Weibsbild war's und wenngleich nicht meine Tochter, doch auch ein unglucklich Weibsbild—Nach, BergI" (69) Chance also makes Patus and F r i t z win the l o t t e r y , but only a f t e r F r i t z has stood up for honour and j u s t i c e and Patus has become honest and mature enough to admit he has mistreated Rehaar. Hebbel saw only a r b i t r a r i n e s s i n the operation of chance i n t h i s play. "Die Menschen im Hofmeister", he said, "finden sich zusammen, wie Konig und Dame und Bube im Kartenspiel zusam-men :kommen, und i h r Schicksal i s t dann am Ende auch ein Karten-schicksal, eine rohe w i l l k u r l i c h e Combination des Z u f a l l s . F r e i -l i c h mag auch im Z u f a l l Providenz seyn, doch i s t es eine Provi-3. denz, die wir nicht zu erfassen vermogen." Chance i s , however, not inscrutable but c l e a r l y linked to moral j u s t i c e . After hu-man beings have acted out of f o l l y or weakness and tasted the b i t t e r f r u i t s of t h e i r actions, chance comes i n to turn the en-228 suing moral i n s i g h t into salvation and new l i f e . But i t i s careful to intervene on t h e i r behalf only when they have reached t h e i r lowest and humblest point of submission and awareness of th e i r need and t h e i r failings--when they are namely at t h e i r most human. Chance i s therefore a saving force, not, as Oehlenschla-ger w i l l have i t , a force for harm as well. Describing Lauf-fer as a " B a l l der Umstande" he sees him as a b a l l r o l l i n g at  random, and ascribes the family disaster to the fa c t that Lauffer happens to r o l l onto the scene. Moreover the happy ending i s haunted, he says, by the shadowy presence of "Zu-f a l l " , conjured by F r i t z ' s f i n a l words: "Wenigstens, mein siiBer 4. Junge! werd ich dich nie durch Hofmeister e r Z i e h e n lassen." If chance was responsible for bringing Lauffer onto the scene, chance, thinks t h i s c r i t i c , cannot be trusted to act any more favourably i n the future. But t h i s i s to f a l l into the old er-ror exposed by E r i c h Schmidt of blaming the Hofmeister for everything, now under the name of " Z u f a l l " . The play c l e a r l y shows that the tragedy was not simply caused by the existence of Lauffer as private tutor. The tutor issue i s beside the point. The blame i s shared by a l l concerned, not only by Lauf-fer but also by the Major and by Gustchen, and, one might also say with Oehlenschlager, by the Geheimer Rat, who, i r o n i c a l l y , could have prevented the tragedy from happening by taking Lauf-fer on as teacher i n the public school, though what we know of Lauffer makes i t hard for us to blame the Geheimer Rat for not 229 wanting him i n the school either. The point i s that the whole ethos of the play i s not one of chance happenings over which humans .have no control, but one of personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for actions and events. The moral renewal of the ending im-p l i e s moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the disaster. The events that occur genuinely by chance are saving events, or form part of the pattern of suffering and abasement leading to salvation. Lauffer i s given, by-chance, the wrong information regarding Gustchen's death, but thi s brings him for the f i r s t time face to face with his wrong-doing. Not u n t i l the Major found and wounded him did he express any remorse whatsoever at his se-duction of Gustchen—his explanation to Wenzeslaus of Graf Wer-muth's furious pursuit of him was the shallow one that: "er i s t e i f e r s i i c h t i g auf mich, weil das Fraulein ihn nicht leiden kann ". ( 5 4 ) . His preoccupation i s with himself and his new-found freedom: " 0 F r e i h e i t , giildene F r e i h e i t ! " . ( 5 7 ) , not with Gustchen's fate, and even when he admits his wrong-doing his re-pentance amounts to l i t t l e more than a refusal to allow Wenzes-laus and his peasant bodyguard to pursue and punish the Major and his brother for disregarding the sanctity of the school b u i l -ding they had broken into, before he lapses back into concern for his own safety: Wenzeslaus "Wo i s t das Otterngeziichte? Redeti Lauffer "Ich b i t t Euch, seid ruhig. Ich habe weit weniger be-kommen, als meine Taten wert waren. Meister Schopsen, i s t meine Wunde gefahrlich?" ( 6 7 ) . Not u n t i l he recognises his c h i l d and hears that i t s mother was seen committing suicide does he r e a l i s e 2,3d what he has done to her. Chance i s linked with moral j u s t i c e , which requires, here, Lauffer's punishment to bring him to moral awareness and repentance, as moral j u s t i c e w i l l require Gustchen 1s rescue at the l a s t moment as a reward for completed repentance and acquired moral insight. The other instances of chance shaping the action belong likewise i n the area of salva-tion . We are i n f u l l agreement with Oehlenschlager, therefore, when he observes: " A u f f a l l i g e r kommt noch Z u f a l l als dramatur-gisches Lenkungsprinzip zum Zuge, wenn es nun darum geht, von 5. dieser Position aus die Figuren wieder zueinander zu fiihren. " Chance i s an agent of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , and t h i s , as i s not the case with the Geheimer Rat, i n a genuine .sense. The many re-unions could have taken place without the Geheimer Rat, but not without chance. The Berg family happens to be i n Konigs-berg and able to save Fraulein Rehaar from abduction by Se i f f e n -blase. This enables her to be reunited with Patus who comes to Insterburg with his f r i e n d F r i t z . Marthe happens to be old Patus's mother, which means that by being involved i n caring for Gustchen's c h i l d she also becomes reconciled to her own f a -mily, and li n k s the two families together. F r i t z and Patus happen to win the l o t t e r y just at the ri g h t time and just when they have come to show a certain maturity and sense of responsi-b i l i t y . Lenz does not portray chance as an arb i t r a r y force but i d e n t i f i e s i t with moral j u s t i c e ; i t operates i n harmony with human response. Humans are responsible for the bad, chance i s 231 thai responsible for turning the bad into good, but only aft e r the humans have come to a r e a l i s a t i o n of the i r wrong-doing. The pattern l a i d down i n t h i s play i s of: SIN—SUFFERING—INSIGHT—SALVATION—METANOIA—HAPPINESS. Lenz leads people to the brink of disaster, and even into d i s -aster, then through disaster to s a l v a t i o n — a salvation that not only takes place as a r e s u l t of new, moral awareness but also consists i n moral renewal. Instead of Oehlenschlager's "Handlung nach dem Prinzip ' Z u f a l l ' " , we would describe the plot as rather: "Handlung nach dem Prin z i p 'Metanoia'." We return, then, to Hebbel's objection: " F r e i l i c h mag auch im Z u f a l l Providenz seyn, doch i s t es eine Providenz, die wir nicht zu erfassen vermogen." The workings of chance are not, as we have seen, inscrutable, but can they be seen as the work-ings of Providence? I t must be answered that the whole develop-ment of the plot implies a benevolent God. What appears i n the play as chance takes on the aspect of divine grace. The r e l i -gious dimension i s , moreover, not just implied, but i t i s d i -r e c t l y expressed i n th i s play by the use of r e l i g i o u s language and through patterns of suffering and redemption that are also at the heart of Lenz's understanding of C h r i s t i a n i t y as he pre-sents i t i n the th e o r e t i c a l essays. An examination of Lauffer's and Gustchen's fate w i l l serve to i l l u s t r a t e the r e l i g i o u s d i -mension of the play. The question to be asked i s why chance/Providence steps i n to save Gustchen but not Lauffer. At f i r s t sight i t seems that 232 there i s considerable s i m i l a r i t y between the fates of Lauffer and Gustchen, and one would expect, therefore, to see a simi-l a r denouement. Both characters are overwhelmed by a sense of g u i l t : Gustchen because she has sensed her father's death in a dream, and Lauffer because he i s given to believe that Gustchen i s dead. In t h i s , both characters are a l i k e i n being mistaken. Gustchen attempts suicide to punish herself for causing her father's death, but i s saved at the eleventh hour. Lauffer castrates himself as a punishment for bringing about Gustchen's death, but no one saves him from his act. Why the difference here? In reply i t should be noted that Lenz has been treating Lauffer and Gustchen d i f f e r e n t l y ever since the f l i g h t from the Major's home. He saves us from having to agonise over Lauffer's castration and i t s tr a g i c implic