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The Idea of Europe

 | 
Catriona Seth
, 
Rotraud von Kulessa

49. The Origins of European Unity

Texte intégral

1August Wilhelm Schlegel, quoted by his friend Germaine de Staël in her treaty on Germany, De l’Allemagne (1813i), evokes the Middle Ages as a period of unity and progress for the whole of Europe.

2In those distinguished ages Europe was sole and undivided, and the soil of that universal country was fruitful in those generous thoughts which are calculated to serve as guides through life and in death. Knighthood converted combatants into brethren in arms: they fought in defence of the same faith; the same love inspired all hearts, and the poetry which sung the alliance, expressed the same sentiment in different languages.

3Alas! the noble energy of ancient times is lost: our age is the inventor of a narrow-minded wisdom, and what weak men have no ability to conceive, is in their eyes only a chimera; surely nothing truly great can suceed if undertaken with a grovelling heart. Our times, alas! no longer know either faith or love; how then can hope be expected to remain with them!

4Germaine de Staël, Germany (1813).

Read the free English text online (1861 edition):
https://books.google.de/​books?id=79ETAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA96
Read the free text in the original language (1841 edition):
https://books.google.mu/​books?id=pEZbAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover

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