130 Pages

The Life of Treitschke

THERE are some names which we instinctively connect with eternal youth. Those of Achilles and Young Siegfreid we cannot conceive otherwise than as belonging to youth itself. If amongst the more recent ones we count Hoelty, Theodore Koerner, and Novalis the divine youth, this is due to death having overtaken them while yet young in years. But if involuntarily we also include Heinrich von Treitschke, the reason for it lies not in the age attained by him but in his unfading freshness. Treitschke died at the age of sixty-two, older or nearly of the same age as his teachers-Häusser, Mathy, and Gervinus, all of whom we invariably regard as venerable old men. And yet he seemed to us like Young Siegfreid with his never-ageing, gay temperament, his apparently inexhaustible virility. To his students he seemed new at every half term, and living amongst young people he remained young with them. Hopeful of the future and possessed of a fighting spirit, he retained within him the joy and sunshine of eternal youth. Thus Death, when he came, appeared not as an inexorable gleaner

gathering the withered blades in the barn of his Lord, but rather as a negligent servant destroying in senseless fashion a rare plant which might yet have yielded much delicious fruit.